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She came to live with us 9 mo ago when fil passed. She has dementia and other issues, so she can't live on her own. I have always clashed with her, but we somehow kept the peace over the last 33 years. She seemed to change while her dementia got worse over last 3 years, and we got along fine while I took care of them when they still lived at home. Now, I'm seeing the traits and behavior from the past, and it's ringing old bells. I tell myself she is sick and doesn't know better, but in the end I still react, then get upset with my behavior. I used to be a compassionate person.

When I had Mom and dad 2016 - 2018 he was Sicilian and nasty but just worse than used to be I found myself just trying to remember he's 92 let it go. It was his house, I just went home, but worried about. Mom so didn't want to leave her holding the bag so tried not to tick him off.
Now with just mom walk away its not her choice. go outside get some fresh air hang on the porch. she ihas severe dementia but so much easier than he was without dementia. I Count my blessing and try to think about how confusing this is for her to not understand. Good luck we are here for you
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Thank you all for being so sympathetic to my situation. Hearing from others who can relate to the feelings I'm experiencing, has been like a virtual hug for me! This forum has been a much needed place for me to go when I'm feeling distress. Your advice and kind words are so appreciated and help me get through the tough times.
Wishing you all a peaceful day!!
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Get some Rescue Remedy pastilles. They help both parties.
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Care for her as you wish someone would care for you in the same circumstance.

if you lose patience, take a break, as often as you need.

You are really not doing this for her, but for your spouse, for your children, for humanity.

Thank you for setting a good example for the world.
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Along with all the other suggestions may I add that mindfulness meditation would be very good for you and your health. I don’t like being crabby toward someone who is really annoying and can’t help it and can’t change but blowing up isn’t good for any of us and our blood pressure. Setting Alice some time for oneself as caregiver to do deep breathing and/ or other meditation practices really helps. If you are religious, some private time for prayer helps.
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So much sympathy for you. I just (slightly) blew up at my mum again, because we'd told her we were going to the chemist FOR HER, but when we got back she was in a bad mood because she 'didn't know where we were'. For many, many reasons, it's time for her to be in a care home, but discussing it is another matter. She'll be rational one minute, then "I'M NOT GOING ANYWHERE!" the next. This is such a difficult stage of life. (She's 97 and lived with us for 19 long years).
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Imho, it is IMPERATIVE that you treat yourself well. Your MIL cannot change as she has a broken brain. However, you can change your mindset; even so, with the assistance of talk therapy if need be.
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I have been reading a lot about this since I have been experiencing what you described. It's called compassion fatigue. At times I feel anger and resentment and question my ability to be compassionate. What has helped me is to find time for myself and to not feel guilty. I am sending you positive thoughts.
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Get out of the house. Then make it a common day and time, as it will give you something to look forward to. Just a thought - hang in there!
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You are most likely having a personality or lifestyle mismatch with your MIL. She and you might have very divert viewpoints on life. It doesn't mean that you are being a "mean" or "bad" person. It doesn't mean that she is trying to "push your buttons." As her dementia progresses, she is losing her social filter. What she thinks, she says without considering how other people make take her comments. The truth is that these are probably viewpoints and thoughts she has had all the time - but are now a little more "odd" or "confused" or "vocal" since she can not access all her memories or decision-making brain cells.

The question is whether or not you can continue to care for a person who obviously keeps saying or doing things that are irritating or offensive to you. If you can get to the point of distancing her comments and behaviors into a category of her being a "client" or "patient" or "charge," you may find yourself not reacting as strongly to her irritating behavior. If she is being "mean" or "violent", you may have to consider putting boundaries on the problem behavior. You may wish to consider alternative coping techniques when she displays irritating behavior. Try reading any of the "boundary" books by Townsend and Cloud. They are Christian counsellors who have successfully helped people deal with problem behavior in valued relationships.

If you find that trying to modify your responses, trying different coping strategies, does not help with the situation, please consider getting more help. Ask family, friends, members of your faith community, and/or paid help to step in daily for a bit of time and weekly for more extended time. You need to have "time off" to care for yourself: 7-9 hours of sleep every night, 4 healthy meals at reasonable pace, activities to take care of your health, and time to pursue fun activities with people you value.

If having more help and setting boundaries with appropriate coping techniques doesn't work, consider other living arrangement options for her.
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Hello. My answer is probably in here but just in case ...

have you considered medicaid and a facility ?

look for a nice place So you dont feel bad about placement and request medicaid help or some kind of financial assistance.
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Talk to yourself as if you are talking to a dear friend or anyone you want to support. It is often easier to take our self out of the picture.
Learning self-compassion is one of the most healing awareness we can do / and it is a learning process.
I learned to count everything I was doing right (10 a day) which countered all the negative self talk.
When you catch yourself in negative self-talk, immediately think of a positive about yourself.
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This woman is sick, mentally and physically, and nothing is going to fix that. Unless YOU do something, YOU are going to be stuck with the problems which will only get worse. You are perfectly normal in reacting to her negative behavior and personality clashes. Why would you not "blow up" with someone who is in that state - some people can handle it but most could not. I know I could not and would not put up with it. You have a choice to make. I doubt setting boundaries will stop her so you either consider a caretaker to relieve you of what is harming you or you place her. YOU must now come first. She has lived her life.
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Don't be too hard on yourself. Try to deal with your MIL from day-to-day as she is now without dwelling on whether her behavior reminds you of past slights and offenses. Express your frustrations as needed in places like this forum or by writing your feelings in a journal. If you feeling like putting MIL out in the backyard or locking her in the basement, say so in your "journal" or your rant and when you are feeling less stressed, you may see humor n the absurdity of some situations.
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I understand completely, because I got to that point myself. We asked Mom to make the move down to Florida where we lived, sometime after my step father passed away and she lived alone. That was fine for mom as long as she had someone close, that was back in 2002.

She had started having problems with fear and vertigo. Her landlady worked and so did another family in her building, so she was alone. Mom had friendsand loved to play cards. Though my brother and sister-in-law lived close, they both worked during the day.

So while visiting family one summer, my husband and I asked mom to come live with us in Florida. After seven years, my husband passed away, and it was just mom and I. It was fine, we had our moments like any mother/daughter. I’d say, in 2016, mom started talking to someone that wasn’t there, seeing things, and would ask me what someone was doing in the house. She’d be up in the middle of the night fixing herself breakfast, unlocking the front door before I was even awake, and wandering. She liked to sit on the bench in front the house and watch cars, people in the village where we lived. The way my home is, I can’t see out the front without walking to the front door and when I wouldn’t see her out on the bench, she’d be down the street or in the street and sometime my neighbor would walk her to the front door. She began to resent anything I tried to tell her. I couldn’t leave to go to the grocery store or church without having someone stay with her for a couple hours, and during that time she would ask when I was coming home. I have two brothers, one in Arizona, the other in Illinois. There wasn’t much they could do, and I used to tell them, the hard time I was having with mom, and that I couldn’t do it anymore. The decision was made to put mom in a home; that was a hard thing for me, because when mom would say about not going in a home I told her I wouldn’t do that and the guilt haunts me till this day. The first place she was at was a very nice private home. My one brother came down to help me bring mom there, she was resentful with the small staff, and one day after about a month, stood up herself from the lunch table and fell, fractured her femur, had surgery, and was put in a nursing facility to get therapy etc. It turned out they had long term care, so we decided to keep her there, and healed well from the fall, but after maybe a year started to decline. Mom passed way in March, 2020; eight days after the nursing homes were shut down and I couldn’t visit her any longer due to the I think it broke her heart, cause she knew I was always there, then not; she didn’t understand.
Mom lived with me sixteen years, and was in the home a year and a half and I visited with her almost everyday, still did her laundry, and loved her with all my heart and miss her everyday. So, it’s not an easy thing to do, but when you take care of someone you love, and it begins to take a toll on you and your loved one, then it’s time to take care of yourself too. I will be 80 at the end of this year, and so far I feel I’m cognitive, may forget something now and then, but I’ve been blessed to care for my mom. I myself have four grown children, and when the time comes for me, if I’m confused or not capable to live alone, I’m sure they’ll come together and make the right decision for me and my care.
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It’s called Burn Out, I have this I am my Mother’s caregiver 24/7/365 going on 4 years but before this she lived with me 27 years now she is in need of total care cannot stand, walk, totally depends on me. I do get respite for her once a year and that is better than the vacation we’ve planned. Just the freedom of not taking care of her . I do loose my temper, I would of last night, I put her in bed she kept yelling and clapping. I went in once she said my hand look at my hand. Nothing was wrong. I went back to bed, she kept on for about an hour. I did not go back if I did I probably would of yelled at her, I let her cry it out like a baby who doesn’t want to go to sleep.
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You haven't mentioned who else is living with you - spouse, children? I would advise a family meeting to discuss alternate care for your MIL. Do the research-there may be wonderful places where she can be well cared for and happier.

Your resentment is natural and normal even under the best circumstances. Be as proactive in your life as you have been in taking care of MIL. If you don't make a change now, it will ruin your life and those living with you. You don't say if you have any help at all. If a Memory care home or nursing home is financially out of the question, then consider hiring outside local help for several hours a day to give you respite.

I wish you the best of luck and stay in touch with this group, which has helped me endlessly.
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I understand “losing yourself.” It is a real emotion and in my opinion, a warning you are deep into caregiver burnout. Because I have denied that reality after 6 years of 24/7 caregiving for my husband of 7 years, I warn you:
Please don’t lose yourself to this situation. Every day you continue to avoid saving yourself, becomes another day deducted from your future. You will never get these years, months, days back...nor the lost forever opportunities to live joyfully. Believe me, I speak from experience. God bless you.
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Let me clarify in case I sound harsh... those emotions may not be telling you to suck it up & be a saint.

They may be a little messages it is time to change the situation.

I started some care duties for a relative. It was quite good for a long time. Then it became a chore. Then some resentment crept in. Eventually I would dread arriving, the smell, the mess. I keep going while it still seemed like she got something valuable from it, but then I had to withdraw. It was time.
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Losing patience, frustration, anger, resentment. All valid emotions. What are they trying to tell you?
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As far as 'nobody wants to go into a care facility' goes, that's not always the case, nor is it the best answer for all involved. If you've reached the end of your rope and are short tempered with your MIL, neither of you are thriving in the current situation.

My grandmother lived with us while I was growing up. It was a nightmare, frankly, b/c my mother was filled with resentment over having her there, so nobody benefitted from the arrangement. Everyone would have been much better off had my mother been honest and said "I can't do this" and had grandma placed in Skilled Nursing or managed care of some kind. I know my childhood would have been a lot less traumatic had that been done. Ultimately, after 25 years, grandma WAS placed in a SNF after being shipped off to another daughter who said No Can Do, and she was perfectly fine. She made friends in the new place, had 3 hot meals a day, and everyone was happy.

Dementia is THE hardest thing on earth to deal with at home, especially as it progresses and the behaviors worsen. That's why Memory Care Assisted Living Facilities are popping up like flowers on every street corner in the USA these days. Look into it, before you lose YOURSELF in the process of trying to do the 'right thing.' The 'right thing' doesn't just involve your MIL............it involves YOU too, and your husband. Everyone's life is affected by dementia, and in a Memory Care, the team is devoted to giving 24/7 care to the afflicted elders, in a beautiful atmosphere to boot.

Don't think of yourself as not being 'compassionate'. Think of yourself as being burned out and ready to make a change now. No shame in that, no harm, no foul. Remove any stigma you may have associated with managed care, and go tour a few places soon. You'll see for yourself what I mean. My 94 y/o demented mother lives in one and is treated beautifully.

Wishing you the best of luck coming to terms with your own limitations.
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Dear ineverthought,

(((hugs))) I agree with Linnie. After 33 years it is only natural to feel anger, short tempered and irritated about the daily responsibility and coping with the increasing care.

From what you are saying it sounds like you feel burned out. I've been a caregiver in my family since I was a child first for my siblings, then my parents and grandmother. I went into hero mode and thought I could do it all. Like Linnie said I do feel the anger and resentment built over time.

I would deny my own feelings. Ignore the bursts of anger in me. Looking back I feel like I should have made different choices and even said I had enough.

I hope you can get some respite care and possibly looking at other care options for your MIL.

Thinking of you.
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I empathize with you. If you've had issues in the past, resentments can develop with caregiving because it's not easy, especially when loved ones start to decline. Your entire life changes as your existence revolves around their needs. The first few months or years may seem okay but after a while it can take a toll. I love my parent, but I can't envision having my own child take on this responsibility. No one really wants to go into a care facility but it's something I now realize I have to consider, especially if I won't be able to afford home care services. I too used to be compassionate but find myself being unlovabale towards a dear parent who doesn't deserve it. When the pandemic resides and we can allow home care services to resume, it will lighten some of the load.
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