Mom in Assisted Living makes up things to coerce me into visiting.

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I visit my mom (with dementia) nearly everyday. Whenever I need to do things for myself or my family and need to miss seeing her one day, she makes up sicknesses and asks me to bring her something from the pharmacy (over-thecounter remedies). I recognize what she is doing and have started just saying okay, then waiting to visit her the next day as planned. She always says how lonesome she is and that she hasn't eaten in days. I know that she is eating and the staff says that she does get out and socialize with the other residents.. Does anyone else deal with this type of manipulative behavior?


I'll bet that most of us have, in some way at some times. Poor Mom. She probably does enjoy socializing. She probably does eat well. But persons with dementia tend to live in the here and now. She is not socializing in this minute so she is lonely, and she thinks in this moment that she is always lonely. She is not eating in this minute so she thinks she doesn't eat. Yes, I believe she is trying to manipulate you but she isn't telling "lies" -- she is speaking her truth.

If you visit almost every day and there are days you have to miss, so be it. You do what you have to do, and try not to feel guilty in spite of your mother's manipulation. Her real problem is her dementia, and you did not cause that. I'm sure you are doing your best to brighten her days. And that is all any of us can do -- our best.
That is so true about the here and now, I had to learn this the hard way. She is manipulating you, but so be it this is how she makes sense of what is happening to her. I hear from others that she is reverting back to her ways of operating when she was younger. It is okay, try not to get angry and just understand what she is doing is how she interprets her world and how she does whatever works to get what she needs now. I had to learn there was nothing devious really about it.
In their own ways, they can manipulate. I do believe that as I have experienced it. My advice for you would be to back off from visiting and/or calling. The staff at my Mom's AL place told me that when she had started to do this. They said I needed to let them be the caregiver's, let her depend on them, instead of you. It has helped my situation not going over every day. And even though she gets confused on who the staff really are, she has started to depend on them more.
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Most of us have been in your shoes. Don't feel guilty if you just say "yes," and then get over to see her when you can. She is confused and doesn't remember having eaten and likely doesn't remember the last time you visited.
Try to help her as much as you can, but take care of yourself, too. If you've been there one day and she calls, tell her you'll see her tomorrow as usual. Then, remind her the professional staff is there for her needs, as well. This is tough tor you. Please keep talking it through on the forum, as you have friends here who truly understand.
My Mom is in the early stages of dementia. She'll refuse to let the aides help her then call me and complain that no one is helping her.

If I want to leave on vacation she has panic attacks. She'll need an emergency trip to the doctor right before I go and then act like a martyr and say she'll wait until I get back. Never mind that we can get some one from her AL to take her to the doctor.

My Mom isn't at the point where I can tell her I'll show up and then don't. She would be sure I'd been in a horrible accident. If I'm more than 10 minutes late she's calling me non-stop.
Carol B.B. -- I have a question that is prompted from reading "keepontryintM" comment. The behaviors of the parent in early dementia w/ extreme clinginess and fear -- how much is a family member required to bear? Can they call the person at the NH or AL to please have a person stop by and calm the parent? Aren't they supposed to be the specialists? I have a "hermit/queen" borderline parent who is not in dementia yet, but if it happens and her issues are amplified with dementia, I do not think I could deal with her one more day. Do family members have "rights" to say "no"? Do we have the right to say that we have a trip planned and do it without the drama? Or, say we cannot take a phone call? What idea can be broached with the AL or NH that will benefit all involved? I hope this question will benefit others too. Thank you.
At my Mom's AL they say they won't force her to accept services she doesn't want. In an emergency, like when my Mom fell out of bed they're there calmly dealing with it. An emergency is what they're best at. But in a non-emergency drama their resources are limited.

Some times I just have to say "Sometimes Mom you're just going to have to be unhappy"
My Mom was the guilt trip queen and very manipulative. When she was finally diagnosed with dementia and got on some meds, things actually became much better. Her mood swings mellowed out some, and while she does not always make sense in her conversations and talks in the past a large part of the time, she is calmer and so much easier to be with. She is not the Mom that raised me and I was so close to as an adult, but she is closer than she has been in a couple of years. I'm enjoying her again and able to laugh with her again rather than being totally stressed out. That's the good part. She is in AL now after I tried to care for her, my family, and work full time. She also says she doesn't eat - but I've had to take larger size pants to her (she's a size 2) because she is eating three good meals a day now. She says she doesn't have any friends or do anything, but so many of the ladies in AL hug and kiss on her as she does them. They carry on conversations which I don't understand, but they are enjoying each other. Tomorrow she will again tell me she doesn't eat and doesn't have friends, but I have learned that she does eat, she does socialize, and she is easier to be with now than in a long time. I am able to take a breath now, enjoy my husband and family, and be a daughter. My wish for all of you is the same. The folks at AL are taking care of her although she wants me to think they are not. I still feel guilty at times, but she is where she needs to be with people taking care of her.
When you develop a relationship with the AL or NH; I found they will respond to your needs. Once they get to know the parent and caregiver; they better understand the dynamics in that relationship and the relationship they form with the patient.

When my mother was in the NH; she had more "friends" there than she would let on about. She would often call me saying no one was responding to her calls; but in fact they were. I would call the nurses station and find out what was going on. The nurses, aids, etc. were always responsive to my requests and inquiries. If I was concerned, they would go check on her.

Adjusting to living in a facility takes time; but from my experience anyway, sometimes I was advised (by a therapist) to stay away for a time and this worked. My mother became more reliant on the staff there and learned she could depend on them. If they are in a quality facility, there are many activities planned and something always going on for the resident to take part.

My mother had mental health issues and medication gave her a better life without being so anxious all the time.
This is a "sand in the line issue". By that I mean that you are at the point (that all of us reach) where you have to assert yourself and say no. You have your limits and you must respect them or you'll get sick. She has dementia and very likely doesn't know how many times you visit. She likely doesn't remember that you visited 10 minutes after you have left. So, it's time to set the limits and say no. She does have others there who are supposed to give her care. Let them do their job. That sound harsh, but I had to learn to do that or----never ever have a moment to myself and my family.

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