My mother has been in AL for about 4 years however she was moved about 6 months ago at the insistence of the family member who pays her bill.


I tried to keep her put as she felt at home in the original place but she “turned’ on me at last minute and said of course she’d move and why did I have a problem. Ever since, she tells me she hates the new place, never should have moved, wished she was dead, and has lived too long etc. The financial family member adamently opposes any move. This new place is very nice yet not familiar to her and she stays in her room a lot. She has been having temper tantrums demanding I get her out of there and hangs up the phone on me all the time. She likes to drink wine and finds a way to have some and cannot drink just a glass so she gets totally wasted and keeps calling saying she wants to live with me. She will be good etc, then when sober she gets angry and has forgotten all of the mean things and put downs she has said or how she behaved. She is also certain she would never want to live w me and my family and it would not be a good set up. She is basically mean when she drinks she is manipulative and demanding and I am constantly trying to help her feel better, which only allows her to verbally berate me. I am really the only family member who will put up with this now but she is destroying me with her meanness and venom. What can I do? If I try to tell her something she said that was hurtful she says she never said it and gets really mad. Does she really not remember how mean and rude she is to me or am I just her “whipping boy?" It is extremely hurtful and draining for me. She is very close to me yet so mean also —-mostly behind closed doors or she will cut me down to a sibling while I am right there. I don’t want to abandon her, but on the other hand I am fed up...Any thoughts? Does she really forget? Is she unable to control her meaness to me?

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.


Agree with freqflyer re AL & wine situation. Ask the AL to stop letting her have wine as she is abusive to you (possibly others at AL?) while under the influence. You say you're close to her but is it worth it? Put yourself and family first; less visits, less phone calls.

Protecting yourself by setting boundaries is not abusive, no matter what someone tells you. Find a talk therapist or as mentioned above, Al-Anon, to help you learn how to set boundaries in a polite way. The book Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud was the first book I read on this, recommended by my therapist.

MMC, I am really surprised that the Assisted Living is allowing Mom to continue to live there if she abusives wine to a point where she becomes wasted. Wine can be a dangerous mix if your Mom is taking certain medications. Sorry, something doesn't sound quite right here.

Thank you for your suggestions She has not gotten the diagnosis of dementia yet but depression for sure. I keep wanting to know if she even realizes how mean and hurtful she is or if she really has no recollection then I should not remind her. I think she is manipulative. So For Al-anon, I don;t know if I should handle her differently due to her illnesses, or the same regardless. In other words, I do not want to be abusive to her by telling her what behavior was not ok or what she said when she called 20 times, if she really doesn't remember. Her messages are " get me out of here... where are you I thought you were bringing me wine...what's wrong with you kids...for Gods sake I have no car or money help me..."

She has been diagnosed with dementia, yes? And she's an alcoholic? And it sounds as though there is some long-standing mental illness?

Has it ever been suggested that she be seen by a geriatric psychiatrist? Sometimes there are meds that can help with the depression and agitation that dementia brings.

I do not recommed continuing the conversation if she's drink or abusive. Or both. Just say "we'll talk when you're feeling better, Mom. Love you!" And hang up.

There is NO reason you should allow ANYONE, least of all a parent, to verbally abuse you.

Have you ever attended Al-Anon meetings? They can be helpful in learning how to deal with the manipulation of alcoholics.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.