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92 year old middle-stage Alzheimer's mom is madder than a hornet that she has a live-in caregiver.
Yes, she is on meds.
Yes, I am certain they are not the right ones for her mood swings, which creep up with no warning and are volatile as hell.
Yes, I have made an appt with a different geriatric psychiatrist, since her current one literally has "no time" to discuss mom with me since she also runs a teeth-whitening clinic. (No joke.)
The new live-in caregiver has a tough exterior shell which is good. Mom's name-calling of her being "as big as 3 people" isn't outwardly bothering her, although I am mortified.
Mom blames ME for her dementia and her living arrangements. What she doesn't realize is that if not for me, she would be in a long-term memory care facility for the rest of her life without her beloved dog she obsesses over. She would be out of her home.
She fights me tooth and nail.
The caregiver has to call me because mom will not take meds for her; only me. And mom's meds wear off every few hours... then her behavior ramps up FAST to the point where she is screaming, sobbing, and kicking the dog's bed about. so I need to go over there a few times a day. thank God I do not work in a full-time job or I don't know what would happen.
This morning I woke up with not just panic attacks, but chest pains.
I want to disassociate myself from her completely, but I feel awful for even feeling that way.
Yesterday she told me, "Don't call me mom anymore." "I don't have a daughter." and "how can you take HER side?" (caregiver) - But the icing on the cake was when she pointed a crooked finger at me and looked at me as though she were putting a curse on me, and said with a wry smile, "Your time is coming, and when it does I'll be there to twist it!!!"
ugh! Thanks for letting me post. Not a question really just had to get it out.

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Okay - I'm caught up on this thread now! I feel for you Nikki - our moms sound a lot alike in distemperment. You must have been mortified when you had to drag your screaming mother across the street. But believe me it can be just as bad - just less embarrassing when you've got Sybil for a mother. My favorite of this variety is like what happen in early November. Mom had been asked to leave AL because they felt they couldn't met her care needs - she fell on days 10 and 12 after moving in - in September. I brokered a deal that we could keep her there as long as we had a private caregiver with her during awake hours - so we could find a nice NH for her rather than the first one that would take her. After about six weeks we found one and set up the move. Mom had gotten use to having someone wait on her hand and foot and was digging in, refusing to move. So I go over - ask the caregiver to take a break so I can talk to mom alone, I didn't want to embarrass mom in front of the caregiver when I had to - for the 100th time tell her why she had to move to a NH. Mind you, the caregiver knew it all - she's the caregiver after all but still - I thought it the right thing to do. Needless to say the talk didn't go well and mom was in rare form - she ended with saying she wished I had never been born. So then the caregiver comes back in - atmosphere is thick - mom asks the caregiver to sit with us and starts with - to the caregiver, in her sweetest helpless voice "I want you to know how much I love my daughter and how very grateful I am for everything she is doing for me - I know I'm a very lucky woman..." She carried on for a while - I just sat there wondering if I was the one losing my mind!
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Have you Googled or talked to Area on Agency about smaller group homes specialized in Alzheimer's? The homes usually have 6 to 12 residents and is way less expensive than a traditional memory care unit. These units are purposely understaffed for higher profits so if you can find a group home, which, were we live, are in a residential neighborhood, then this may be an option for you. I understand it all depends on what's available to your mother's location but if need be, maybe you can relocate her to a group home near you. Go to care.com for options on finding a lived-in caregiver if the current one doesn't workout. This is where I found my mother's relief caregiver. She's a former nurse in the Philippines and works the graveyard shift at our local hospital and comes to our home for a few hours one day a week for care and companionship to my mother. I had to go through several caregivers before I found the one that was the right fit. Although my mother doesn't have Alzheimer's, she does have personality changes due to her vascular dementia and when it gets rough, I keep telling myself it's the disease that's causing her outbursts, her anger and to not take it personally. I know this is easier said than done because my patience is tried every single day but there will be a time your mother/our aging parent will pass so when it does get rough, try to remember that you're doing what you feel is the best and safe thing for your mother. This is what I have to do to get me through the day. And then I drink a big ass glass of wine. :-) I have a unique family story and although it's very challenging for me to care for my mother, I believe, at least for me, this where I'm supposed to be right now. Yes, it does get very lonely and I run the gamut on the rainbow of emotions, but at the end of the day, I feel this is what I need to do.
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Nikki - sorry for not replying earlier - I lost track of where I've been posting and just found this again today. Those email updates don't help me much. Yes - my mom is on medication but to be honest right now Im not sure what. Mom had a new PCP who starts and stops meds without notifying me - he's a moron. Then two days before Christmas I took her to a Geriatric Psychiatrist who was mystified over what the PCP had be prescribing and we agreed to try some new things and stop the things that didn't make sense. The GP said we'd be doing it slowly - one med at a try to help determine what was working and what wasn't. He also said he'd deal with the PCP, lol! This new gentlier mom started around New Years but really kicked in about ten days ago so I have to believe it's the new meds. When I visit mom tomorrow I'll get a med list - which I need anyhow - and I'll let you know what's on it.
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Windy - the thing is - she does it to me and I can mutter "ok sc*ew this" to myself and walk out the door. I'm INDIRECTLY her caregiver. I run the show. It's the REAL caregiver that LIVES with her I worry about. Cuz if we lose her? Well, let's just say she's the "last house on the street" for me. And I have weighed the whole assisted living option. But here's the zinger: It would cost me $177K a YEAR to put mom in assisted living because she would need memory care and most likely, in time, lockdown. I mean, when I had the temps coming in, splitting 12/12 hour shifts for 3 weeks it was almost $10,000 just for that time period. A live-in would give mom one-on-one care. I personally feel that a long-term care facility would be understaffed. I feel this way pretty strongly because her rehab after she broke her hip last year, which I want to mention was THE nicest in our area, (chandeliers and all) still smelled like piss, and I personally saw my mom slumped over falling out of her wheelchair because they over-medicated her. So, for me, that is not an option to put her in a home. I would rather spend 1/3 of her and dad's hard-earned money to have one person live with mom, bond with mom (such as it is) and care for her one-on-one. Mom deserves that. Again it's a personal decision. i promised dad I would take care of her, and to me, that means she stays with her little dog across the street from me. But darn it if her rotten behavior doesn't eventually drive people insane. That is where the RIGHT meds come in; if we could only get them!
Her (awful) geriatric psych office called today to confirm an appt on Monday. I had told them I do not want to sit in that waiting room with her for an hour like I did at our first appt either. I mean, I sat there while mom fidgeted for ONE HOUR first appointment! It was over-crowded, and when I finally got to see the doctor, she waved my written summary of mom's issues at me and abruptly said, "In all honesty, I don't have time to read all this. Too much information..." I wanted to punch her. But since she is all I got until we meet with a new geriatric psychiatrist in early February, I am going back to her on Monday with mom for hopefully a good med change.
I have heard a lot about Ativan and Cymbalta. I am going to ask some real questions and she had better plant her butt down for more than 10 minutes to listen to me.
(whew, I think that was another vent!) I feel better already...
Tomorrow night, I am taking mom and her new perm caregiver out to dinner and it's the caregiver's payday. I am putting extra in her check. This is how we show appreciation. It beats paying a facility where mom can't even get her eggs the way she wants them (except on Saturdays!)
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My mom is not mean at all but just ever so pitiful. It's just soooooo depressing to deal with her. And honestly, she's had a pretty tragic life. I spose she deserves to be pitiful. I know this is easier said than done, but if either of my parents treated me like your mom does you I would have plunked them into care long ago, dementia or no dementia. I read all these stories on this forum and I just can imagine going through that kind of hell.
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Windy - you are welcome! I like knowing I am not the only one with a mom that makes life absolutely impossible with threats, screaming and resistance to help. Today she said, "Why don't you go home and kill yourself" to me. Nice. This was after I had taken her out for 3 hours and as soon as we got home she saw her caregiver and just started grumbling and complaining. I cannot WAIT to get her meds changed. The current ones might as well be m&m's.
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Nikki, I'm just having some fun here. I wouldn't survive a Florida summer. I grew up in WV and we could have horrible, hot, buggy, humid summers. Winter in northern Mi is really quite nice until you look around and see a 3 foot snow base in April.

This is a good discussion, thanks for starting it. I, like most others around here, have such conflicting emotions about my folks.
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Windy, yep, Florida. I grew up in CT and (don't flame me!) but I miss the snow and cold! That is because our summers are SO HOT AND HUMID it is crazy. And summer lasts HOT a longgg time around here! So I do love the fresh snow (not the muddy slush so much, but what can you do lol) - and i love the look of the icicles on the trees. Like a wonderland. The beach is nice here but congested. So many tourists this time of year. And it's not like there is time anyhow. (did I mention summers are unbearably humid here?) - hope that makes you feel better. ;)
Garden, here's the thing. Dad died in 2009; her LIFELINE. Then the original caregiver bailed, and even mom in her state of mind thought that was awful of her. Now, I'm not sure what is happening. I think mom KNOWS I will not abandon her. I think she knows she can treat me badly because no way would I desert her under any circumstances but darn it she sure seems to try. Part of me also has to re-think that altogether because she is treating the new caregiver terribly as well; so it isn't "just" me. She used to complain solely to me about her "sorry state of affairs" but tell you something - if she knew how some of the folks her age at 92 on the other side were living, and if she had the ability, she would thank her lucky stars I'm looking out for her.
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Nikki, it just occurred to me that perhaps she's afraid she'll be left again, by you. Maybe that's why she's so manipulative; she sets conditions that can't be complied with, she can't be reasoned with, so she creates a situation that you can never satisfy, yet as her daughter, you'll continue trying. If you were able to make her happy, she wouldn't have the hold over you that she has when complaining constantly about her situation.

Relationships can be so complicated at times.
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I don't know how people do it, living with mean, demented parents. I'm 600 miles away from the folks, just had hell week down there before the holidays and I'm still a wreck and my folks are kitty cats compared to all these mommies from hell.
I talk to mom about every night and it just depresses the living s. t out of me. They won't let helpers in the house yet, oh well.......Nikki, you and all the other live in caregivers are saints. Crazy I think, but saints.

Snowing like all hell up here for past 2 days. Big wind with lake effect snow off lake MI. Spent 2 hours on tractor blowing, now can't tell I was ever out there. Sposed to calm down tomorrow. More blowing, try to find the barn. Ashlynne, what part of the country are you in? BTW Nikki....Florida? I hate you......
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Ashlynne - yep that is what I do. She won't remember I said it, but when I do tell her "it's this or a nursing home" she FLIPS OUT. If I even mention memory care or assisted living as the "other option" she gets so mad honestly I think she is going to give herself a stroke. I mean SCREAMING mad. And I don't think she can 'fake' it in front of the doctor anymore because last week as I crossed her from my house to hers across the street she was screaming bloody murder at me while I tried to calm her down and rub her back. My neighbor (mom's next door neighbor) saw it (cringe) and saw me a couple of days later at the grocery by myself. She came and said "I wanted to hug you. I know what you are going through; my mom had it too...." Funny this is so stigmatized nobody talks about it but so many of us are dealing with it. Oh, and guess what?? I got mom on my phone sound recorder flipping out today. 14 minutes of it. :) (That's for the doctor!)
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Rainmom, if I can ask - does your mom take any medication for behavior or mood swings? It's nice to know i'm not alone. This behavior issue started when her caregiver up and left without notice (they had lived together in mom's house for almost a year as many of you guys know) - and it has not ramped down since. Just wondered if your mom was on something prescribed to help her stop resisting and being so critical and blaming.
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Nikki - two months ago, almost to the exact day my mother said the exact same thing to me - I lost the right to call her mother due to the mean, evil way I've been treating her. Comments like that tend to make for a memorable day, don't they? Since then her dementia has taken a shift, New Year's Day she told me she wanted to pay for my husband and I to take a trip to Europe as a thank you for all I've been doing. Just last Friday she sat holding my hand between both hers, stroking it with her thumb and holding it to her cheek. Every time I thought she had fallen asleep and I tried to slip away, she'd grasp tighter - this went on for 45 minutes with her not saying a word, just smiling with eyes closed. I swear, even as an full grown adult - it's enough to do some serious mental damage. I have since name this "Emotional Whiplash". Moms been as sweet and gentle lately as she almost never had been my whole life - I can only hope this phase lasts for a while - but I won't be surprised if it's Mrs. Hyde I find in her room, instead of Dr. Jekyll the next time I visit. You've got plenty of company here - this site has helped me more than anything and everything else combined. Well, this site an a Klonopin prescription! Best wishes.
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Oh Nikki, what a mess. From reading your previous posts I know this has been going from bad to worse for a long time. If she has dementia, unless her mind is too far gone now, she may be able to "showtime" at the psych appointment and make out she's fine. My late mother was able to do that almost to the end, when she just couldn't get it together at all.

All I can think of is, when she starts up, say "Well, it's either this way or a nursing home, your choice" and when she starts yelling, threatening etc. just walk away and go home. If she calls the cops, fine. They'll soon get tired of her wasting their time.

GA It's been snowing and blowing across these open fields for days Getting deep out back so I've moved the truck to the front driveway which doesn't fill up too much. The township keeps the road well plowed and, with 4WD and snow tires, I can always get out. Done basic chores, shoveled the front steps and filled the bird feeders. All cats/dogs are sleeping, wood stove running and we're hibernating.
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No, but I have made an appt with another geriatric psychiatrist in the next few weeks if we last that long. I think an in-patient stay would further confuse and upset her.
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Do you think that an in patient stay to adjust her meds is in order?
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GA, nope, I don't think she understands. Further, she thinks there is a conspiracy. lol Bottom line is I am done walking on eggshells and the repetitive snippy insults, nasty comments, and full-on temper tantrums that result in her screaming and shaking her fists at me are beginning to just piss me off and push me away further. She is taking her last stand at being the BOSS of her home. She has no concept that she simply cannot any longer, and that is really sad. For all of us!
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I do think you're right to stand up to her. Let her call the police. Maybe they'll even charge her after she harasses them with numerous allegedly threatening situations.

Do you think she understands when you tell her you're through playing games?
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On the other hand, the snow is crystally today, with little sparkles like rhinestones which shine in the glint of the sun.

And the wind chill is a warm 3 degrees above zero, much better than the negative wind chills in other states.

A little critter with a jleaping span of about 3' has dashed across the open area of the back yard, shortening its stride to less than a foot in the protection of the trees.

At least I'm not a critter that has to live outside in this weather. That's something for which to be thankful.

Nikki, I apologize for redirecting your thread but just had to respond to Jessie's weather comments.
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Well, I live in FL, and today we woke up to 45 degree weather outside. For us, that's pretty chilly, even though I was born and raised in Connecticut.
I love the cold because it affords me the "excuse" to hunker down under an afghan with a Stephen King book and SOUP!
But this whole thing with mom is just getting dumb. I actually did stand up to her and say ok, we're done playing this game. Whether you accept it or not, this is how it is.
Her response? i'll call the cops! I said go for it. You'll be the one getting dragged away.
She doesn't get that it's "the law" for her caregiver to be there. She won't get it, or accept it, and she needs new meds for sure.
She has always been neurotic and a worrywart. oh, and controlling.
So there's probably some lovely disorder lying co-morbidly inside her head somewhere.
It's just a sad state of affairs. When I yell back, she tells me to get the hell out of the house and "take that girl with you!" Ha ha, as if.
As if it's a picnic for the caregiver. When I remind mom of her horrid behavior to her "guest" as she puts it, she denies EVER saying awful things to her.... (after I have heard her with my own ears.)
It's just a Carousel of Crazy 'round here.
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Jessie, you don't know how much the image of a warm beach with softly rolling waves sounds so tempting! It's howling outside, there was another snowfall last night, only a few inches but on top of an earlier fall which covered up ice underneath. A few more inches are expected this afternoon, along with intermittent squalls, winds up to 35 mph....and on and on.

Driving alerts, weather advisories, etc. are posted. The best thing to do is hunker down inside with some warm clothes and blankets and a good book.

My hot chocolate stash is going to be rapidly depleted.

BRING ON SPRING!
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Sometimes they can seem outright evil, Nikki. Then they can turn around and be sweet as angels. It's hard to know what to do. I know you're just venting and don't need advice -- you know as much as I do about these things. Just wanted to say that I know how exasperating it can be. It would be so much easier if the people we cared for were always pleasant to be around.

What I think we all need is a day on a warm beach, watching the waves roll in and out while we sip on our favorite beverage.
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Nikki, notwithstanding the memory issues, it sounds as if she's being stubborn and deliberately taking control of the situation, manipulating you and the caregiver. All she has to do is cry or yell or refuse and she's taken that control away from you and the caregiver. It's like a tug of war - her on one end pulling her length of the rope and you trying not to be dragged and knocked down.

After reading about so many similar situations on this forum, I'm beginning to see this as somewhat like the Terrible Twos children go through when control is an issue to be wrested from the parents....foot stomping, screaming, tantrums, laying down on the floor and yelling, crying... and manipulating, or attempting to do so.

I haven't gone through this on any level as you have, but I'm just wondering, and hope others with more specific experience will offer their advice, if it's time to just stomp your foot and say NO!

Granted that losing control over one's bodily functions and house is traumatic, but the sturm und drang heightens it and really prevents any sensible solution.

Another issue is that there are the 2 of you in this situation, and 3 if the caregiver is included, and some compromise is necessary. She can't have her way all the time. This especially applies to staying in her house. If she won't attempt to cooperate, you can't be expected to bend over backward to accommodate her. Cooperation is a 2-way street.
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aw, thanks GA. Reading answers - even just people that understand and can empathize, is worth its weight in gold. She's just so d*mn HATEFUL to ME now... and to the caregiver. The new lady says, "Hey, let's go shopping! Let's have pie and coffee! Let's paint your fingernails!" No, No, and NO!!!!! She rejects her at every attempt at bonding. She refuses to allow her to help in any way, and she literally doesn't even remember that the woman made her a STELLAR breakfast fit for a queen this morning as she grumbled, "I don't remember eating anything.... she doesn't do anything..."
She is absolutely miserable and when I yell back (because at some point, I can't help it!) she will begin to sob and cry that she wants to die. Otherwise she wants to kill me. She is losing control over what she says is HER HOUSE (and it is) and does not understand that we are just trying to keep her IN it so she can have one-on-one care. She insists she can live alone and refuses to move or to accept help. I repeatedly tell her "it's this, or that!"..... thank you for hearing my vent. It helps me.
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I remember your earlier post when you were having trouble with the former caregiver who had some very serious mental issues, and your mother was resisting a new caregiver b/c of the attachment she formed to the former one.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as if the situation has improved any. I think your mother is guilting you and "jerking your chain" to make you miserable, taking all of her frustration out on you.

I don't recall if your plans were to keep your mother in her own home, but it sounds as if she's becoming too hard to handle, either for you or a caregiver. However, I don't know if she'd be better or worse (probably the latter) if you found a facility for her.

I haven't been through this situation and won't pretend to know what to do, other than recognize that her behavior is going to take a very severe emotional toll on you, and you need to remember that the verbal cruelty as well as the uncooperative behavior is probably going to affect you more than her.

The only thing I can suggest is to keep addressing the medication issue to see if one can be found that addresses this behavior.

I wish you luck and success; this is a difficult situation and I'm sure is very emotionally challenging and depressing for you.
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