My mother is 92, and other than moderate dementia, is in the pink of health. I use to travel an hour to see her every Saturday. I would bring food, fix a few things around the house, listen to her complain about life, take her shopping and then go home. However, visiting my mother is like having a buzz saw going directly through my head. She is insulting, critical, ungrateful, demanding, argumentative, manipulative and downright unpleasant to be around. She also has dementia memory loss, so she repeats all of this kind of behavior over and over and over again on the same topics.

I have tried to be generous and kind and patient over the past twenty years. However, now, at sixty, I am not so patient. In order to save my sanity I do not go to visit her every week. I go once every two weeks, sometimes three. I speak to her on the phone during the week, mostly a friday night call is all I can manage. She hates her life and is always telling me that. I try to help, she says I am trying to control her life. If I back away, she says, in so many words, that I owe her. She has refused in-home care to help her with light housekeeping or even taking her food shopping. She has medication for depression, but refuses to take it. She has no other friends and one of her sisters has severe alzheimers, whom she visits from time to time.

I think my mother has been verbally abusive all of my life, but now, I realize it is a combination of her age, the dementia, etc. However, I do not have any patience anymore. I'm not sure what I can do.

If anyone has had this situation before, I'd be grateful for any advice. I feel so alone with all of this.

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Hi Waffles, it's your long-lost sister here :)
I've been in your almost exact same situation, and I can totally relate to what you're going through. Your decision to give yourself more space and distance is the only thing that will save you.
I don't have any great advice, since I've hit a wall with my own mother. Thank goodness, she did accept a home care person who comes in about 4 times a week for a few hours at a time, provides transportation, light housekeeping and so on. But my attempt to "discuss" transitioning to Assisted Living -- that's a traumatic memory for me, a blur of me trying to keep calm while she ranted and raved, on and on, over and over, only getting more and more ramped up. Get the point? Lol. I can only describe my reaction as being completely shellshocked and numb for days after. Since then, I've taken over her affairs completely, but have stopped all the visits and social phone calls. I only see her/talk to her if it's urgent, and refuse to be manipulated or pulled into any false drama, pity, or whatever else she tries to conjure up.

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