How do you deal with this?!

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My mate and I moved into my mother's home at her request after a year and a half of careful consideration and discussion between the 3 of us. Mom was making bad decisions, the house was in disrepair and people were taking advantage of her. We gave up everything to do this. At this point we have been here for 2 years. It has grown increasingly difficult. I would guess she has dementia/Alzheimer's, but she has not been to a doctor in at least 10 years and refuses to go. She increasingly treats me with suspicion and distrust. She has ample resources and I am an equal on her bank account, POA, etc. I have put an end to the pilfering of her $ and affected the crucial repairs. Her distrust, suspicion and outright accusations towards me have increased and it's escalating. We came to help her. At her request. I feel like this is the biggest mistake I have ever made. It is ruining me. I will be surprised if it doesn't ruin my relationship with my mate. I felt that I couldn't not help her. Now I feel like I can't help her or myself. 22 years of isolation and 10 years of alcoholism have served to run everyone else out of her life. No one will be here for her unless it is to take advantage of her. I love her, care about her and want to help her. I just don't know how much more of this I can take! Where do I turn, what do I do?

5 Comments

When my Dad got really bad and I was ready to throw it in....my brother helped me.

Now, I do not mean he showed up..oh no. Nor did he actually do anything beyond talk. BUT...he talked to Dad man to man. Told him without any sugar coating that he was going to be put in a lock down memory unit at the NH if he didn't knock off the crap.

He told him, the only person keeping him out of the NH was me...and I was about to walk because of his abuse.

A day or so later...Dad admitted openly that he had to force himself to keep his thoughts to himself for the sake of keeping me happy. I know he wanted that to be the opener for another argument, but..I nodded and said...yes, that is right! And didn't stop what I was doing to talk any more about it.

From time to time after that he would make statements about how is own son could talk to him like that...but I never rose to the bait.

Can some man sit him down and make him understand the consequences of his continued behavior?
If your mom has dementia/Alzheimer's, I'm not sure anyone could sit her down for a heart-to-heart conversation and actually make her understand the consequences of her behavior! My mother has progressive dementia, and about 1% of what I say to her she actually remembers; about 2% of my suggestions does she take to heart, and 99% of everything I say goes in one ear and out the other. I think you should research assisted living facilities in your area, since she has ample funds to finance such a situation. I would never, ever be able to care for my mother in my home (or in her home), it wouldn't work. With dementia, a person needs extra care and attention that an ALF would provide, along with 24/7 caregivers who aren't emotionally involved. Your mother can accuse them of whatever she'd like, and they will not take it to heart. You're in a very tough situation and I feel for you. Best of luck.
I agree - the heart-to-heart will only (possibly) work if the person is still in a lucid state of mind and just being mean or harsh because it's their personality. And again, then it might not work even then, if they've always been that way.

If dementia is involved, a heart-to-heart talk most likely isn't going to work - at all. They might listen and agree that they understand they are being unreasonably mean and harsh and agree to change their behavior - but then 20 minutes later, they'll forget and it will start all over again. The dementia patient cannot help their behavior most of the time, and no amount of talking to them is going to make a difference. It's like dealing with a 2-year-old all over again - they know what they want, you won't give it to them, so they get irrationally angry and throw a temper tantrum. The dementia patient knows what they want in their mind, but can't express it, or think they can still do things (like driving or walking out of the house to a destination they have fixed in their mind) - and when they're told they can't, they get irrationally angry and upset over it. The difference is that a 2-year-old improves with age. A dementia patient never will. They will only get worse.

I would strongly recommend, as lealonnie did above, that you start looking into assisted living facilities with memory care available when she needs it (which may be soon). That way, she won't have to be transferred to another facility, only within the same one. You can't keep living like this. There is nothing wrong with making this move - many of us have had to do it. It's not easy, but it's necessary.

Best wishes for your search.
She's not making sense with her statements, because sense has left her.
But her statements could be taken seriously and if it is possible she could decide to revoke your POA, you may want to look for support for incompetency and guardianship. If she does not have the cognitive wherewithal to do that, you still have to take care that a predator does not swoop in and help her do so. As you said, someone could easily take advantage of her.

Realize that in her mind, you are the cause of her troubles, not the person heping her deal with them; she can't grasp or accept that she is having loss or her own capabilities. It is hard, and even harder to say to yourself "don't take it personally," but the thing to do is not to take it to heart, and to feel comfortable using trickery, flattery, and cajolery to make her life and yours more comfortable, and to make as many pleasant memories as possible. You may be able to keep helping her, you may not; you do need to know that helping her is not going to include fixing her, and that she would prefer not to need your help so being as sly and sub rosa about it is ideal. I mean if she is accusing you about the finances, print out a big pile of stuff, tell her you know how worried she has been and go over it all in lots of detail with her because even if it is totally over her head she will feel complimented on and reassured of her being in control of things. You probably cannot lay it on too thick.

Best wishes. This is hard.
Well... I believe the heart to heart could work even with dementia

My Dad was pretty far gone with dementia. He was refusing to take medication because the VA doctors were taken over by aliens and trying to take over everyone else. He refused to stay in bed at night because there were animals crawling on the floor toward his bed so he had to get out. Loud noises because my Mom had her lover in the house at night......Bugs everywhere in the living room....etc, etc.

He was connected just barely enough to know that I left..he would be institutionalize. He had no idea who I was...but, that was a different problem

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