My mother, a life long narcissist, is 88 and in a NH with Parkinsons, dementia and stroke. Every visit is just one round of b*tching, complaining, accusations and wants - me, me, me, me - such that I dread going there. Of course she's better than the rest of the residents and stays in bed with the door closed as mingling and joining in activities is beneath her. She has no friends - refused to associate with people and ran off the few friends she had over the years. I'm an only child and her only visitor.
The latest obsession is getting her phone re-connected. It was disconnected some time ago with her approval as her speech is so slurred no-one can understand her. She also can't dial well so there was always a huge phone bill with long distance wrong numbers, though I never mentioned it to her.
I dropped by yesterday on my way shopping to see if she needed anything. The first words out of her mouth were "I want my credit note". Huh? She wanted her credit card so she could pay to have the phone connected. Um you don't pay the phone installer because you have to put a credit card in a machine. "What machine?". We went round and round on that one until she started the boo hoo you won't let me have anything stuff which didn't work.
Then came the endless complaints and miseries, lonely, bored, this place is a prison and so on and I lost it. To cut a long story short, I told her in no uncertain terms that no-one but her is responsible for her happiness and entertainment and she could either get off her butt and try to mingle and join in some activities or she could continue to lay in bed, be miserable and rot away, her choice.
When I returned with her errands she was freshly dressed and meandering along the hallways in her wheelchair with a smile on her face. I'm not sure how long it will last but the blast I gave her seems to have worked, for now anyway.