How do you best give care to an elderly narcissistic parent?

I identified so much with the young woman trying to care for her mother who obviously has narcissitic personality disorder. My question is how to see the parent gets proper care if the NPD abuse is going on?

My mother has NPD, and I am just moving in with her now so that she can financially afford to live at home rather than going into assisted living. She has exhausted reverse mortgages. I have multiple sclerosis, and the verbal abuse is flying. The stress makes my symptoms flare. Already less than one week in her house, and I am left drained and crying all the time. I am afraid for my dog. Despite objections, my mother feeds him old fish, hot dog buns, etc. There has already been one emergency trip to the vet and, at times, I'm afraid she will hit him. My mother has dementia and wanders, has a horrible memory, hallucinations, etc. She is 91, and I am 63 years old and am afraid of dying prematurely due to the stress and leaving my mother to fend for herself.

Should I place her in a home against her objections? I'd thought of trying to find 2 spots in assisted living, one for my mother and one for me (in a more independent program). Is this a reasonable idea?

Please, please, any suggestions would be helpful!


Answers 1 to 10 of 16
Put her in a home. Please save yourself, I feel so bad when I read these stories of people taking so much abuse from elderly parents who can and cannot help their bad behavior. But you are not well, you need to save yourself and your dog. Your Mom will be well cared for. I think people have alot of bad feelings about nursing homes. I would love to know why. My Mom tells me and my brother that is where she wants to go and we are very nice to her. She says she wants to have elderly friends around. I don't know but, would love to hear input from people who have parents in nursing homes. Good Luck.
Top Answer
You are living in a toxic environment and need to find more approrpriate surroundings for the both of you. I can understand the practical side of your decision to move in with your were leading with your heart. However, you did not factor in her extreme behaviors that I assume have been going on for years.
As much as I love my Mom, I know that neither of us would be happy living under the same roof. The compromise I struck was to find her an apt. in the same complex I live in. I also have paid caregivers who come in once or twice a week. My wish for her is to live in a home environment for the rest of her life. But I also know that this may not be possible. You need to think of your health (and your dog's too.) Many caregivers pass away before their charges. At 91 years old, and with all her medical issues, she should probably be in a place where the staff can properly care for her needs.
Good luck...there are never any good answers when you care for an elderly family member.
Take care of yourself!! I have no serious health problems and I am so wore out, frustrated, and have to protect my cat from Ruth. So if it all possible put her in a home where she can be cared for and you can at least go visit her when your health permits. I hope you find your solution soon as your own health needs immediate attention.
I placed my mom in an ALF against her will with dementia at 89.
It took about 3 months before she finally settled in and now is happier than she has been in years....It will be I year next month and she thinks she has lived there forever.
Shes pretty social so she likes having people around and enjoys the activites. She was absoluetly miserable and depressed before I moved her in. Now I don't have to worry about her saftey...... I should have done it 3 years earilier right after my father passed away. I tried to give her the benefit of doubt that she could take care of herself but she really coudln't.
Dear Janet...oh I am an expert at NPD myself...just figered that out 2 years ago after a lifetime with my mother that she had NPD...going through her decline was not fun..still going through it ..she is almost 87 and declining more recently..I have never moved in with her because she is controlling. There was an excellent blog about NPD's and how they affect us. If you would like that information please let me know and I will send you the website information. The girl has stopped posting but there is tons of articles and feeback posts from many folks that have parents or relatives or siblings that have NPD. Oprah or Doc Phil should do an entire show about would be an eye opener for a lot of people. One thing that struck home when I read this blog ernestly 2 years ago...was one article was about how NPD is NPD till death...and I can see it.
Look for a place that has a tiered system from IL to AL to LTC & SNF then hospice. So that you do not have to move again if you can help it. I think the idea of both of you all moving into it is great if you can afford to do that as it sounds like you all are very intertwined and at 63 & 91 that is the way it is. But each of you should have your own room & or roommate. Good luck.
Do they have those in all states..places period are hard to research and find.
PriateQueen - yes, all states should have not for profit continuing care facilities.
Hi pirate Queen. I recently joined an online Yahoo support group for adult children of parents who have or had NPD. It's an eye opener, for sure. It looks like most of us didn't realize it until our 50's. My sister escaped when she got married and moved to another state. I lived apart from my mother until this week and was amazed to rediscover her controlling nature. Combine that with dementia - WOW! I'd love to have the link you offered. Thanks very much!

It's clear your mother needs help from someone somewhere else. Also, it's time for you to put yourself first; to love yourself the way you should and find a place where you can be at peace for a change. If you think you're helpless, just imagine how that dog feels. No one, including this poor creature, should have to live in fear. When you finally start packing, s/he should be at the top of the list.

Wish you the best.

-- ED

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