Overall, Mom's behavior has been better over the last few months. Her complaining is less intense, angry outbursts minimized, and fewer critical attacks. I credit her daily low dose of Seroquel for this improvement. I'm very thankful, as this has made my visits with Mom at memory care less stressful.
I've practiced and suggested utilizing the grey rock method here for some time. It's very useful for countering provoking remarks from anyone, dementia or not. Well, I was really tested this week when Mom, in her characteristic style started in on me. I'll admit, I ignored my own advice when I allowed the visit to drag on for 5 hours, when in fact I should always limit my visits to 3-4 hours max. Which is really as long as Mom can "behave."
Mom did pretty well for the first couple hours. I took her to a medical appointment and a couple of stores to pick up a few things she needed. When we went on a little pleasure jaunt to a surprise destination, she stepped into the Twilight Zone. Didn't know who I was half the time, maligning me like she was speaking to a friend or acquaintance about her "maneuvering, selfish daughter." I didn't challenge these remarks, just let it pass. That is, until I couldn't take it any more. Which is when I said that must be why her daughter drops everything to bring her little gifts, pick her up and take her to the doctor, out for a meal, and fun places where she can relax and get away from the confinement of memory care for awhile. Because she's so "selfish." I have to give myself credit. At least I didn't show much emotion with these remarks, if any.
Mom had a snappy little come back (she always does), which made me regret not following my own advice. Getting my back up is what she wants. The reaction is what she craves. Rule #1: Never, ever let her have it!
I have to go back in a few days. Hopefully I'll stick to my own advice a little better this time! Remember the Serenity Prayer! This could go on for years. And years. Thanks for listening!