When my father died in 2003 I moved my mother across the country to live with me because he left her with nothing but her Social Security. I loved having her here but she and my narcissistic husband didn't get along so she moved into a senior apartment. I helped her financially and was her chauffer. I had to move her back in with me about 3 years ago because she developed dementia and she could no longer live alone. Fortunately, she and my husband, who had mild dementia at the time, had forgotten about their animosity towards each other. I had no idea what I was getting into. I was shocked at the things she did. When I found this site and read other people's stories and the advice they were given it was like someone threw me a lifeline. Now I understood this insidious disease a little better. A few months ago my husband's neurologist said she thinks he may have Alzheimer's. She based that on the area of his brain that has shrunk the most.
I know my mother has no control over her actions. She has advanced dementia. Most of the time she doesn't know who I am and she is not able to have any kind of meaningful conversation. If it's Alzheimer's then she is in state 6. Fortunately, she is sweet until I have to force her to do something she doesn't want to do like take a shower.
My problem is I haven't been able to adjust my attitude. I always seem to be agitated and I know my mother can tell that from the tone of my voice. Even my small dog has picked up my attitude. She started growling at my mother. Don't worry. Mom is in no danger from the dog. For the last few weeks my mother has been pacing. She will walk around the kitchen cart for over an hour. Rest a little and then do it again. At times she follows me. It really gets on my nerves when she just stares at me. I don't want to hurt her feelings but I can't handle that. I've tried redirecting her but that only works for a couple of minutes and then she is back to pacing or following. Perhaps I should ask if anyone has any suggestions on how I can change back into the patient person I thought I was. For those who find caregiving an honor and joy how do you keep that attitude? I feel that if I had a better attitude this job wouldn't be so emotionally hard.
I've thought about putting her in a nursing home but I live in a state with filial responsibility laws and that scares me. When my father died the state where she used to live demanded that she pay back 100,000 dollars. A few months later they wrote and told her they found insurance that covered it. I have no idea what that was about since she didn't have any insurance that she knew about.