Mom is hateful, my husband thinks it's dementia. How can I find out from long distance?

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How do I know if mom has dementia when I'm in Texas and she's in Iowa and she hates me! I'm still stuck on trying to be the "good daughter". Probably because I'm an only child and mom has no surviving relatives. We had her with us but she was just too beligerent and she actually ran away back to Iowa and is residing with my cousin. She sold their house after daddy passed away to come to Texas. Now she blames me for being alone, and penniless and no one wants her. This all stems from her giving me inheritance money and also money (about $1500) to help fix our old house up so it would be sellable (which it was and we have a new home). But she had money left - what she did with it all I don't know. She blew some it - a $3000 ring she'd been wanting for years and a used car (I understand)..but the rest is just gone. She's a bigot and hates my hispanic husband. She wants to argue and keeps saying I threw her out of our house (I didn't. When she was argumentative and beligerent, I told her if she wasn't happy - there's the door. That is not being thrown out!) Now we live a life of text messaging and she won't stop. She wants to argue and I can't do it. She doesn't have my number, only my husbands because we had to change mine to keep her from making me have a breakdown. I have MS and she apparently could care less if she stresses me out. She has said she's had a couple of strokes, but who knows. It could be lies. My cousin is housing her and believes I am the wench from h*ll simply because of what my mother says. My husband says it's dementia. I don't know how to determine if it is - or do I just walk away before she literally kills me from stress.??

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I too am an only child. Dad died almost 2 years ago and for many years mother has been so rude to her family that they have not spoken to her in about 40 years. Dad's side of the family wants nothing to do with her. She thought her friends would take care of her. They did not want to tackle that to her dismay! She actually made me her financial POA as well as Durable Mental and Health care POA. Dementia does make people mean and rude. Your cousin will find this to be true when your mother "wears out her welcome". In the mean time block her number from your husbands phone also - it does neither of you any good to read/listen to her speak to you the way you have described. Also, have found a wonderful book "The 36 Hour Day" about Alzheimer's and Dementia (available on Kindle too!). It will explain alot, to the point of the "aha moment". Take care of yourself - learn some meditation principles, eat correctly, and take care of your MS. I say this almost every time I comment on here - can't remember where I got it but you are only responsible for making sure she has a comfortable place to live, food, and decent health care. That is it. Nothing else. Do Not let her guilt you into anything else! It sounds like your cousin has all of the above in hand so stop stressing about it. It takes time but it comes! If you need anything we are here for you! Take care and many thoughts are coming your way!
cota4kids I disagree that a person true personality comes out when they have dementia, it is just the opposite, my mother is one of the most loving sweet giving and compassionate person I have ever know, she was diagnosed with dementia many years ago and I seen the changes as she lives with me and I am her full time caregiver, she has days when she can be hateful and mean but it is just the diease not her personality, do not detach, just let the mean things roll off your back and know that it is the disease talking and not her, do not take it personally, show compassion and love her and be as comforting as you can be while still taking care of yourself, will keep you in my prayers, God Bless
My Mom can be pretty hateful too. She says things like I'm just after her for her money, or gets mad at me for not contacting her friends to tell them how sick she is. She has many and she's not as sick as she thinks she is.

I too am the only daughter remaining. I've given up trying to please her. Who said when you get old everything should be your way?

At least my Mom is financially secure, and lives in assisted living. After half an hour of complaining I often tell her "Well, sometimes you're just going to have to be unhappy". Even after all that she says, "Oh, I'm not unhappy"

Sometimes I think she just needs to vent and I try not to argue with her and pretend to listen. I get tired of everything being so negative.

I'd like to think its dementia, but sometimes I wonder if its just how she really feels coming out. Dementia or not when you don't feel well its convenient to take it out on those around us.

Doesn't sound like you should let your Mom move back in with you. She's fine with your cousin.
My personal theory is that when dementia sets in, the true personality comes out. There are no longer filters that stop inappropriate expressions. You have described my mother and our relationship to a T ... including the cousin that takes care of her. Except my cousin is beginning to see the truth now. I maintain a polite, yet limited relationship with my mother, showing her respect despite how she acts toward me. I also have an autoimmune disease and the stress can cause flaring, so I strictly limit my interactions. It's sad and hurtful ... you have my sympathy and understanding.
Madeaa has it spot on imo. Maybe you should call and talk to your cousin, or write her/him a letter simply explaining that you attempted to help her, she left of her own free will, and while you love her, you have health issues that you need to address rather than putting all your energy into such a destructive relationship.

My mother is the same way. She was always the nicest person around everyone before but could be a handful when it was no one but family. Now, she has no off button. She can't understand that half of the stuff that comes out of her mouth is either racist, bigoted or just flat out ignorant, and while I can overlook most of it, the personal attacks make me regret taking care of her and my father. I live inhome so there's no real escape. (Gave up a job and house of my own to move in with them when it became apparent they could not care for themselves.)
She was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's, plus she is manic depressive/bipolar (we're not sure which, she was diagnosed 30 years ago, refused meds at any point and will not see a therapist for anything because she's so paranoid). She was like this before she became older, but now it's like there's no filter or off switch to it, she will cut loose on anyone, doctors, nurses, strangers in the grocery store. Sometimes I wish they came with mute buttons... then they could rant all they wanted and no one would have to hear it!
Your cousin will find out mighty soon if it is dementia; detach with love and when push comes to shove work with your cousin to help her get into the right setting.
My mom was always the sweetest person imaginable, then started having brief episodes of irrational anger and hatefulness. It took me a while to catch on that she was beginning to experience dementia. At first this happened just occasionally, maybe about once every month or two, and I was completely baffled. When these episodes began to happen more frequently, and she started to exhibit paranoia, it finally dawned on me that she was experiencing dementia that was gradually getting worse. It's a real challenge to deal with the hateful episodes, and I was not always as patient as I should have been. (I was her sole caretaker.) I just returned from her funeral out of state. Very, very mixed emotions; huge-huge-huge relief-relief-relief on the one hand and some sadness on the other hand. She would not have wanted to be this way. Now we are both at peace. What a drawn-out ordeal. Blessings to all of you.
My mother can be mean also. There are days when she's as sweet as can be, and then out comes the venom. Like most others here, I have my own medical problems. The stress does not help. It's hard what advice to give you. My mom sometimes refuses to talk to me, and then an hour later it's like nothing happened. I would try to tell you to take it with a grain of salt. At least she's not living with you. Much of her anger comes with trying to cope with the ravages of old age. I know, as I'm getting older myself. I find I am a lot meaner and grouchier than I was when I was younger.
I am finding that my mother's personality disorder is from congestive heart failure. Many illnesses can cause anger issues. But, mine would never see a doctor. I am so sorry, that you are going through this. You are not alone and I think we all take it personally.
My mom has CHF and I will say when it gets bad and she has trouble breathing she does not think clearly and since she in the last stages that happens often. She gets delusional and paranoid also..but she is also a little bit crazy and always has been.

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