Mother accusing me of being mean, neglecting and or hurting her.

Started by

I don't know if I am looking for answers as much as for sympathy and support.

My mother's latest game (has been going on for a while) is to act like a hostage or battered woman. She may have playing that hand too well, though and it may have backfired.

Examples include: We were in the car and I stopped to greet a neighbor - one who Mom had not yet met. Mom blurts out "She's mean to me" and points in my direction.

I was invited to a party and had no one to leave Mom with. My gracious host let me bring her. After waiting on her hand and foot, I was taking her to the bathroom, clearly supporting her so that she could walk. She turns to a group of party guests and says "She never helps me". Okaaay, Mom, who looks the fool now, I am clearly helping you right now.

She is continuously doing this wide opened eyed "scared" look and refusing to speak when I am with her in front of anyone.

But the one where she has overplayed her hand... I have caregivers come in during the week while I work. Caregiver #1 just gave me the heads up that Mom told caregiver #2 that I push her. Caregiver #2 was very concerned and asked my mother if she should call someone for her. I guess Mom realized that she shouldn't have said what she said because she did tell Caregiver #2 not to call anyone.

I have never harmed my mother nor given her any rational reason to be afraid of me. Her game hurts my feelings and I am tired of her trying to embarrass me.

If someone takes one of her complaints seriously, she is going to find herself out on the street. She is living in MY house. If there were ever to be a formal allegation of abuse, she will find herself out of MY house!


Mom2Mom, I never had that situation yet, but from what I have read on the forums over the years that this can be a frustrating situation especially when out in public or others are at your house.

Have you tried reverse psychiatry with your Mom. Example, when you are with your Mom out in public and she tells someone how mean you are to her, you answer "Yes, I am so very mean, I never take Mom anywhere"... [rolling eyes].

Sounds like your Mom is either having some memory issues or just wants attention. I am surprised Caregiver #2 didn't realize this situation is just your Mom's imagination as most experienced Caregivers have had prior clients who make unfounded remarks.

When you think about it, getting old isn't easy. We lose our independence. We have to rely on others to take us places. We feel lousy, have aches and pains. Most of our friends have either moved away or had passed on. Today's TV shows are terrible, and the music even worse. We become very grumpy :[

Would your Mom enjoy being at a senior center with others of her own generation? Or would that be difficult to do?

Caregiver #2 is not a very experienced caregiver. And to top it off, she is very nosy and a busybody. But, I am still disappointed that she fell for Mom's drama so easily. Mom clearly has the life or Riley with us and has never shown any signs of abuse or neglect.

Mom would NEVER go for the idea of a senior center - even if there was one close. She doesn't want to hang around with those "old people". She is quite the elitist for an 84 year old woman.

The one thing that saves me is that Caregiver #1 (four days a week) is only 5 years Mom's junior so they are peers more than anything. She has become a member of our family and totally sees through Mom.
Um, yes, I see what you mean about being prepared to turn your mother out. But in the meantime you might have been arrested and held pending trial.

Cover your behind. Discuss this situation with your local APS. Tell them exactly what you've told us, and listen to their advice carefully.

And what's more, it's hurtful! It IS hurtful that your mother is a) playing stupid games and b) so bloody ungrateful for the care you give her. You do have to blame the real culprit - the dementia - but you also have every right to feel upset by what she's doing.
It is surprising and shameful what we can go through. I haven't had my mother talk too openly about how terrible I am, but most days it seems my mother absolutely despises me. I say black, she says white. I buy something for me, she says it was stupid. I cook dinner, she hates it. She lives to oppose me. She also invents some tales, but fortunately so far no damage.

Why they do it, I have no idea. It seems like pure hatefulness or a demon has entered their lives. There is nothing about growing old that should make someone grow hateful, but it happens a lot. My mother has dementia, so I can't really address it. She will just say I'm making it up -- that it never happened.

Mom2Mom, I wonder if your mother straightens up a bit if she thinks she could have pushed you too far. Mine will straighten up a day or two, but then slide back into it.
Definitely call APS and talk to them about her behaviors. And discuss them with her doctor.

We had a much less serious situation with my MIL, who did NOT live with us. My husband tried to talk to her about smoking (she had copd) and paying more attention to what her doctors were telling her to do. She shouted at him that he was being abusive and she would call APS on him.

My husband chose, from that moment on, to have very little with his mother. He had no resources to pay for representation if she chose to make trouble, and from her history, she had tremendous will and ability to make trouble.
I think I would be curious as to why she's making such false and serious accusations. Has she been evaluated for cognitive decline?

I would discuss it with her doctor to try to figure it out, since, I would want it duly noted that these accusations are not true and that they are a mystery to you.

Has her attitude, behavior, conduct or functioning changed with regard to any other issues? I might be very observant and talk to the home healthcare staff to see what they might have observed and picked up on.
Sorry, had to end previous post early...

I think there are folks who have previous problems with trust (mil was in that camp, my mother is not) and there seem to be folks whose "trust button" gets broken when dementia sets in. In any event, for whatever reason, there doesn't seem to be a mechanism to fix this. Medication for anxietu, depression and agitation may help.

For whatever reason, lots of dementia patients are better cared for by professionals with no emotional valence. I'm fond of saying that my empathy for my mom, who is convinced someone has stolen her wheelchair is not improved by the number of times i was told to stop being a whiner when i was a child. I would not/ do not think of geting an elder, especially one with dementia, into a professional care situation as abandonment. You simply want the best care possible.
I guess this is next for my Mom. She is completely aware of what she is doing. My Mother got a call from me several times a week. Hung up before her husband got up in the morning. Told him I never call. He chewed me out. Next she wants to go to a store I take her. She disappears to call and say how I am dragging her to these stores and she is sick. That was my last over night stay with the two. The verbal abuse from both was not needed. But the situation of no caring for or pushing is a high possibility with her. It is a risk of jail if anyone calls Adult Protective services. Not all elders are incapable or develop cognitive decline. Mick Jagger dances about. Jane Fonda acts. All around my Moms age. She chooses to have this behavior. In reviewing my life, it is evident it isn't new it is 70 plus years in the making. Joking doesn't work. It is hard to beat a master manipulator.
OMG - the wide eyed look of helplessness, that's the one my mom perfected. The one that says "I don't know, my daughter never tells me, helps me, spends time with me, on and on to whatever point she was trying to shove down my throat by putting on a show for whomever she could sucker into watching...just reading your post brought back so many memories of my mom pulling that crap it's got me crazy, angry! And yes, on more than one occassion she took it too GD far and got herself in a mess that I had to then clean up. Yea- I know how you feel.
" I'm fond of saying that my empathy for my mom, who is convinced someone has stolen her wheelchair is not improved by the number of times i was told to stop being a whiner when i was a child." Good point, Babalou. How could we forget how we were treated, and why should that NOT factor into how we view our parents now?

A lot of people on this site say to "blame the dementia." The caregivers who are doing SO MUCH already (with little thanks, usually; uninvolved siblings; no reimbursement) are also supposed to put up nastiness? I don't think so. That won't be me.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support