Why does my 67 year old mother make up ridiculously transparent excuses for everything?

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Why does my 67 year old mother make up ridiculously transparent excuses for everything? She shows no signs of dementia. It's pointless and frustrating for others and she gets enraged when confronted with it. For example, she ate a sampling of fairly rich foods when I gave a cocktail party and gave herself an upset tummy. After hearing the toilet flush all night, I asked if it was all the food and she agreed. Then when she went to make cocoa, I suggested tea and she responds that it was having a cup of tea after the party that made her sick, not the rich food. When I laughed and asked why she had to try to bull me and make excuses instead of just saying she'd rather have cocoa, she went ballistic. It was quickly followed by threats to leave and screaming about what a horrible person I am. Just to note, she has nothing and is entirely supported by me and squeezes my funds like her personal sugar bear. She's never had it so good so we both know she isn't leaving. But why the constant silly excuses?

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My MIL lies when it is totally unnecessary. It is the strangest thing. There isn't any thing EVER that she doesn't 'embellish,' 'stretch,' or outright 'fabricate.' She has done this her entire life - but now that she is old and has become totally dependent - it is far worse - it is much ANGRIER.

I have looked up info on pathological liars and personality disorders. She has NOT been diagnosed - but she certainly has some ISSUES.

Fortunately, our circumstances allow for virtually total separation and that is what we have done. She has her little apartment attached to our home and after a particularly awful episode where I 'overheard' some very hateful, malicious and untrue lies she was telling the social worker, her physical therapist and mutual friends - I went to see my doctor (who is also her doctor) who told me if we can't get her OUT OF OUR HOME - then some sort of permanent separation was absolutely necessary.

My husband interacts with her most of the time - taking her meals, etc. Thankfully, she can still care for her physical needs - bathing/toileting. When the day comes that she cannot - she is out of our home. I am physically unable to do 'hands on' caregiving anymore and the only way to live with her 'issues' is to not interact much with her. I have worked through my guilt - I still do far more for her than any of her other children or their spouses have ever done or will ever do. But, I have taken back my life and will no longer participate in her mind games. She refuses to be evaluated and since this 'separation' is working - we won't press the issue.

But I definitely feel that peoples minds can be very strange at times and there is absolutely NO POINT trying to talk or reason with my MIL. She is incapable of empathy and totally incapable of accepting any responsibility for the awful things she has said or done. Claims she doesn't remember. The doc did give her a simple cognitive test and said she DOES NOT HAVE DEMENTIA - he said she has anger/rage issues, among other things.

Never in a million years did we ever see this coming. For anyone thinking about being a martyr and caring for their elderly parents - DON'T! It starts out ok and as they lose more and more independence it morphs into something very difficult to deal with.
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Has your mom always acted like this? If you don't think she has dementia then she's being rude , unreasonable and ungrateful to the daughter who supports her. She definitely is not showing you respect. Maybe she feels guilty that she has to rely on her you, only you know if this is the case. If you think she's ok but just being ridiculous, then tell her to knock it off, if for no other reason that you have to live together in as much harmony as possible. If there's a chance she may have a medical problem, I'm sure her doctor will help and needs to know her behavior has changed.
My father was diagnosed with Alz in his early 60s and passed away at 68. It's in his family. It was heartbreaking and shocking. Unfortunately in some people it does set in early.
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My FIL also lies all the time, and makes excuses all the time for his bad behaviour ...I can't make up my mind whether he is just manipulative or having dementia moments; the problem I have is that lying shows at least cognitive functioning, as he expects to be believed. He gets hugely angry and sulks if anyone asks him why he needs to do this, but he doesn't stop it.
These days we simply don't believe a word he says, and when he tells a lie, nobody in the family responds at all ... no feedback, no answers, no engaging, no nothing. It doesn't work though.
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Christy & JessieBelle: sounds like my daily life with my mother who was recently diagnosed with early onset Dementia. My mother bends the facts according to who she talks to.
The agitation and argumentative are the WORST to deal with. I live with my mother and am her primary care giver. Try to re-direct when she get's agitated. Arguing is a dead end street. My mom takes meds for the early Dementia and when her agitation and combative behavior get's out of control I giver her a med that calms her down but doesn't knock her out and make her loopy.
Hang in there!
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Christy, 67 is young for age-related decline. Has your mother been tested for diabetes? It was the first thought I had when she wanted a sweet cocoa after an evening of being ill from eating rich food. Problems with sugar level also would explain instability of mood.

Something I've learned in taking care of my mother is that it is unproductive to try to argue with her or correct her. In their minds we remain willful teenagers forever. Parents are never wrong. Your mother is like mine in bending the facts to fit what she wants to do. I can suggest something else might be better, but if I add why, she will treat it as criticism. And she won't tolerate criticism from her willful "teenage" daughter. (I'll be 61 next month.) I have to phrase things so that they don't sound like I'm criticizing or confronting her in order to keep the peace.
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I would have her evaluated by her doctor. Tell the doctor how she has been acting when she is not in the room to hear. They can often fool the doctors. But there might be something she can take for the agitation. Good luck.
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