I have been taking care of my elderly mother for the last 3 years since she had a stroke. Before the stroke she showed many signs of paranoia. It has only worsened. I have been accused of stealing from her and tainting her drinking water and food among other things. She insists that people come on the roof of the house and steal the attic fan and relocate it. She has just recently become physical. She throws things at me and has pushed me. The doctor keeps telling me this is all normal for her situation but that does not make it any better. I, myself am on medication for anxiety and depression and I just feel like a trapped rat. I know that mom is no longer mom. There is no sign of love or compassion although there had been very little prior to her aging. I really need some guidance as to how to proceed so that we may both exist in a non hostile environment. Thanks to all who cope.

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luigispen, the doctor was probably right when he said that it was normal under the circumstance. I suspect your mother may have had some small strokes before she had her large one. These could have caused the personality change that you saw. The large one added to it. Some medications may help your mother. For yourself you will just have to weigh how bad it is as time passes and decide how much you can tolerate. Do you have any help with your mother? That would take much of the pressure off. If it becomes too bad you may want to look for a good assisted living (AL) community that has a memory care section. The greatest problem with these are they are very expensive, so many of us would have trouble affording them for long.

There are a lot of options available that you can look into. While she is with you, you can tell her that you wouldn't steal from her or taint her food, and that you checked the fan, which was put back in place. If it gets bad, just leave the room. If it gets too physical, call 911 and let them take her to the ER. You can decide from there if you want her to come back to your house or not.

It is never easy. Please let us know what is going on with you.

Mom needs better drugs. Find an MD who understands that.

Sounds pretty clear that she's deteriorating mentally. Has she been diagnosed with any form of dementia? Do you know that Alzheimers Disease has various stages and that physicality can be involved with the later stages?

I'm not generally in support of placing someine outside the family home but with the physical involvement you mentioned it may be time to consider it.

The Alzheimer's Assn. is a great resource; if you have one locally, you could contact it and ask if there's any guidance or help they can suggest.

The fact that your mother's doctor feels the physicality is "normal" doesn't mean it's safe or that you have to be on the receiving end of it.

It's good that you recognize that your mother is no longer the mother who raised you but has been changed by physical and/or mental deterioration.

Have you begun to research and/or interview institutional facilities for possible placement? The Alzheimer's Assn. can help with this by providing you with lists of appropriate facilities.

Do you have durable and medical powers of attorney that would allow you to act on her behalf?

I would try once more to raise the issue with her doctor and make it clear that you can't tolerate physical abuse, and most certainly don't want to have to involve law enforcement officials the next time she's abusive. If he/she still thinks you can accept the "normal" behavior, think about finding another doctor or one who specializes in geriatric medicine.

Ask the doctor what kind of placement would be appropriate, such as a dementia unit.

It will be hard to place your mother in a facility, but it sounds as if the time has arrived to make this necessary.

Good luck, and know that you've done all you could under the circumstances and it's time to let the pros step in to provide more structured care.

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