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When my mom moved here in Oct of 2018, with the exception of the "pain doctor" she wanted me involved in her doctor appointments, right down to filling out all the forms because she can't write very well anymore and doing the leg work to get all her old records transferred, etc. That all changed when she got the results of her neuro-psych eval with me in the room, and I agreed with the doctor that it was time to stop driving. That's also when she got her dementia diagnosis.


She got around the driving issue by getting an out of state license but it drove a wedge between us because I tried to stop it and reason with her, which was met with nothing but rage and anger. A lot of this occurred when she was away this past summer, but the fighting about it on the phone was a huge drain. I finally had no choice but to give up. So she still drives.


Last night my husband and I were at her place visiting and she started talking about one of her recent doctor appointments. It was a follow up to the MRI's she got due to the (supposed) abdominal pain that caused an ER visit and admission. Everything was clear. Literally nothing wrong with her. She kept saying she couldn't remember all the details and my husband causally said I should just go to the appointments then she wouldn't have to worry about remembering. Her response in a VERY nasty tone- "That's not gonna happen!". I didn't say anything but my husband asked- "Why? She's a nurse, she goes with me", and my mom started in with some nonsense about how I went to the doctor who didn't want her to drive and it caused us a lot of fights. My mom was escalating this simple conversation with my husband and I started to get angry, finally I said to her "If your so capable of taking care of your own business then why did you move here?" Quite frankly imo it was and is a valid question.


With that question she flipped out and told us to GET OUT! So we left. As we're leaving she's hissing "I don't need anyone to go to the doctors with me", and before I could stop it I said- "Yeah especially that pain pill doctor". And then we were out.


I came home stunned. Biggest mistake I ever made was agreeing to this move. My entire life has changed for the worse (understatement) and I have to bite my tongue and ignore things because it might upset mommy dearest but she can dish out all the crap she wants and treat me like a personal servant for all the MANY things she needs. And this sudden need for privacy with her doctors - I know it's about two things, protecting her opiate addiction and wanting to hide her dementia diagnosis. It's like she hates me because I was in the room and heard it.

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Dear EP, I’m glad that you are going to see a lawyer, because you need to ask about the possibilities for selling the apartment that your mother is in. Usually there is, even with a joint tenancy, but a proportion of the proceeds goes back to each of you. Buying her out will let you sell the apartment and recoup most of the money you have spent – and the mods that were done solely for her benefit should come off her share. If your mother also has a ‘summer cottage’, she is clearly not broke. For example, she might take out a mortgage on the cottage and use that capital to fund another apartment. Don’t assume that you already know you can’t sell, ask about the possibilities.

Don’t feel guilty about terminating the current arrangement. It does not put her out on the street, and she can make her own choices about where to go when the flat is sold. Perhaps talking up the options will get her interested.

I’d also suggest writing a letter before the legal appointment that explains the personal situation. It will save a lot of time and emotion at the appointment, so that it can be about finance options instead of being about the personal issues. Best wishes, Margaret
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Thanks Lea. A year seemed doable, because in some ways I've created my own endpoint to the current hell which is better than the continual dread of no end in sight.

There will be work for me in the meantime. I plan to speak to an elder attorney, figure out the financial stuff with my husband, and most importantly keep my mother at a safe distance.

I don't know how a switch flipped in me that I don't have to do this forever. I'm going to credit Barb and others (you) for helping me understand that, the "no end in sight" feeling has been one of my biggest despairs.

Thanks for letting me know about the discussion versus questions format. I had no idea.
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EP: You can't post replies to each comment b/c this post is a Discussion vs. a regular 'Question' and as such, does not allow for that reply feature.

Good luck with your decision..........may God grant you the fortitude & strength to see you through the next year.
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I don't know why I am not seeing a reply option on each post to reply individually like normal, but I just wanted to thank everyone again for your replies. I value them so much and am thankful to all of you. Barb, thank you and I didn't mind at all that you posted what I wrote in Jan 2019. I remember writing it. Hard to believe how much has happened since then. Barb you are right the relationship has never been good. It's true for my siblings too. My mom was a damaged person when I came into the world and now she's a damaged person with dementia. In some ways I find the grooming aspects of narcissists to be fascinating. How they hurt and still command obedience and "love" is a really twisted phenomenon, and my learning curve since she moved has been a slow one. Probably because most of my life I kept a safe long distance, until now.

Barb I thought about what you said- calmly telling her I can't do it anymore. I've thought about taking more money out of our retirement and giving her what she put in and telling her to please leave so I can sell the place. I've even talked to my husband about it. It's not off the table. It would be a last sad resort, we would end up losing a decent chunk of our money since the equity hasn't caught up with what we spent yet, and I would certainly look like the most horrible daughter on earth but believe me, it's on the table. I also feel what TN said- it's hard to walk away from an older ill relative and that has it's own issues, especially since she now has dementia.

Last night I thought about all of this and what everyone has said. I think I'm going to give it one more year. My mom should have sold her summer cottage last summer. She has the assistance to do so up there and even a buyer but instead she decided to hang onto it. I feel she stayed up there, at risk, because she was fighting the dementia diagnosis so hard, trying to prove she was "fine" and the driving issue she was determined to beat. And of course she got a pain doctor in PA too. Can't go 3 months without getting yet another pain clinic in another state involved. In reality, she should not be alone up there, my brother is over an hour away and her older friends there can't cut it as her care-takers nor should they.

So I'm going to wait and see what happens this Spring/Summer. I'm going to look at her decisions and see how the dementia progresses. I'm going to push her to sell that cottage and the car she keeps up there. In my mind that money needs to be saved for her future care facility.

If she resists, and continues her charades and abuse and I see this dragging out for years, then we have the talk about her moving and I will start to prepare her for that reality.

In the meantime I'm going to limit my contact and put more boundaries in place. She wanted us to come over yesterday but I said no. She is coming over today to watch football and eat. I'm thinking two days a week seems doable.

NeedHelpWithMom- the story of your brother is horrific & I am so sorry you went through that. Thankfully my mom can't get street drugs but she's still addicted and you are correct about the power these drugs have. When my mom was visiting her friend in Nov I had a talk with her primary care doctor and told him I had concerns about the opiates. He had no clue she takes them daily and acknowledged there doesn't appear to be any medical reason to need them. He had to have my mom sign a consent for him to talk to the pain doctor and I think that happened on Dec 4th. Prior though- by a few days, she managed to score another 84 Norco pills. I'm hoping he will ultimately deal with this with her, he told me he was going to recommend an addiction specialist, but it hasn't happened yet. Still, I raised the alarm so I'm hoping to see a change there. If not, I'll call her out the next time she lies to me. No mother I'm not going to hide the fact that you are an ADDICT anymore.

Thank you again everyone. You ladies are the most amazing group ♥
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TN, I'm truly sorry if I come across as trying to stifle others point of view! Not my intention at all.

The "step away from this train wreck" advice only comes from me when the actions of the parent are clearly harmful and/or terribly upsetting to the adult child. I would NEVER in a million years have been able to go no contact with my own parents, even though we had far from an ideal relationship. My mother had vascular dementia for the last 4 years of her life and her actions and words sometimes caused me and my siblings distress. But I never for one second doubted that she wanted the best for me. We were always able to say to her "what you are doing is hurting us and making us unable to do out best for you" and she always got that.

What I'm getting at is that there was a mutual trust between parent and children that doesn't exist in the lives of some posters. It seems never to have existed and it seems to be harmful to the adult child to keep trying to revive this ideal parent that they have in their mind's eye.

I'll leave it alone. Love you all!.
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Barb, as much as _you_ and perhaps other posters have decided "this is NOT a case of a loving mother/daughter relationship lost because of dementia." there are other points of view. Why do you feel a need to stifle posters with those other points of view?

My father was the son of a drug addicted alcoholic father who would not support his family and was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive to his children, particularly my father - the only son. His mother, although not as abusive, let it all happen. So much so, the community required the family move in with a widower who could moderate the couple's behavior and yet their actions still caused my father's paranoid personality disorder. My father and his siblings loved their parents.

My father had paranoid personality disorder and was not an ideal parent. He also left an imprint on all three of his children. And yet even with some borderline abusive behaviors, all three of us loved him. Our relationships with him were as contentious as they were loving, but we loved him.

EP's mother is 4 years out from the stroke that caused her vascular dementia. She has a dementia diagnosis and a progression bad enough her doctor says she shouldn't be driving. Like my father, the dementia seems to have severely worsened pre-existing personality traits or disorders. Yet EP and her siblings are still in contact with her mother. EP purchased a condo and moved her mother closer. EP still visits her mother and gets stressed out over her mother's deficits. EP's _actions_ show whether or not her mother "deserves" her love, EP loves her mother. Even you seem to agree "This is the tale of a life long narcissist and her loving daughter..." EP may in part still be seeking validation from her demented parent; I definitely had a sibling fitting that profile for a couple of decades. But that validation seeking sibling could not acknowledge our father had problems and felt his own life was a failure - two characteristics I do not see in EP's posts. She knows and laments in detail on mother's outrageous behaviors and views herself as successful in life, at least outside her relationship with her mother.

Whatever the relationship dynamic was prior to the dementia onset, the dementia has changed the relationship forever and removed any behavior controls on what may come out of the mother's mouth. I agree her mother is no longer capable of caring how her actions effect others. EP has already stated as soon as her mother is incompetent, she will place her in LTC.

But here's the thing: walking away from a parent or spouse you once loved when he/she is ill and venerable inflicts it's own wounds. You have recommended EP walk away before and you repeated the recommendation in this thread too. I offered some different advice because EP needs to survive until the day of placement comes. You have one view of the situation based on your experiences and reading of the situation, I have another view in part because my own experiences have been somewhat different. In my opinion that's what a forum like this is all often about, getting a diversity of opinions and recommendations to consider and maybe apply to your own situation - not just for EP but other forum members who will read and maybe see something in the responses helpful to their challenges.
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EP, I hope you come back and let us know how you're feeling.

I copied your prior because I think we (and you) need to remember that this is NOT a case of a loving mother/daughter relationship lost because of dementia.

This is the tale of a life long narcissist and her loving daughter who is seeking the love and validation she thinks she can earn.

You can't. You couldn't when you were younger and she was well and you cant possibly now that she is so ill.

Stop responding to the Fear, Obligation and Guilt that your mom throws at you. If you can't go no contact, then maintain minimal contact and call 911 in an emergency. Hammer home to hospital discharge that she lives alone and is addicted, still driving and non-compliant.
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This is only a sticking plaster, but here is the key thing to remember next time.

Your mother refuses to allow you to support her in medical matters. Okay. Her choice.

But that means she mustn't talk to you about them, either. If she starts on the subject, you go cool and distant and say "mother, you have made this none of our business. So don't tell us." Shut her down and refuse to hear it; change the subject; if necessary make your farewells and leave. Whatever you do, don't rise to it!

She just can't have it both ways. She is entitled to make her choice, and she has, and so you must accept that. But you DON'T then have to take the bait when she dangles little snippets of selective information in front of you.
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Oh boy! What a nightmare. I feel for you. I really do. I grew up with a heroin addict. I know all of their terminology. I’ve heard it all and then some.

My brother thought he was in control of his opiate addiction. No one is in control. All addicts are slaves to their drug of choice and opiates are a tough one to beat! Addicts end up in jail or dead. My brother did both.

I am so sorry. This breaks my heart. It’s maddening, isn’t it? I also took care of my brother as an adult.

After his motorcycle accident he nearly died. While in the hospital he thought nothing of asking me to go buy heroin for him. That was my breaking point.

My mother begged me to continue helping him. I tried. I did my best but eventually I had to walk away. He ended up homeless until an old man took pity on him.

The old man brought him to the hospice facility and I received the phone call that I inevitably knew I would receive notifying me of him dying of hepatitisC. I was the last one with him. I forgave him for all the hell he put me through.

Yes, I am quite sure that your life has turned upside down. It happens to all families of addicts. That’s the sad part. It isn’t just the addict who suffers. The entire family does.

My brother would never agree to rehab. Your mom needs professional help. Look, I get legitimately being in pain. She needs professional help. You and I both know you don’t stop opiates on your own. It isn’t like smoking a joint.

I am not without compassion. I pray for all addicts and their families. Withdrawal is brutal. Unfortunately, my brother got hooked on drugs very young. Peer pressure. He did a methadone clinic for awhile. He would get clean for awhile. He even had his own business at one point. The lure of drugs always drew him back. I bet you remember your mom before drugs too. Drugs totally change them. Drugs magnify any negative traits a million times over.

You will not get any judgment from me if you decide to walk away. I understand your hanging on as well. I did both. It’s tough. But I beg you to walk away if she won’t get serious help. Please.

I hope you are able to resolve this horrific situation. I can’t begin to tell you how horrifying it is to watch someone overdose. There are so many memories burned in my mind that I pray to God I could erase.

Take care, many hugs for you. Been there, done that, it’s hell on earth.

I do know addicts that have beaten their demons and led successful lives. I hope your mom will be one of them.

Sadly, your mom has more issues than just the opiates. You know this. You are lost in this crap like I was until I finally walked. You may have to walk too.

My brother didn’t have dementia but I guarantee he had mental illness due to very long term opiate use. You will not be able to reason with her. She needs more help than you can give. Point her in the right direction if you must, then run, don’t walk. As fast as you can and don’t look back.

I hope, wish and pray for your peace.
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This is from Exhausted Piper in Jaunary 2019; her mom is a lifelong narcissist and was never a "good mom".

"I've known for many years that my mother is a narcissist. She was and IS a horrible mother who damaged all three of her children. I'm the oldest and somehow I got the brunt of her guilt manipulation and all growing up she tried to make me responsible for her happiness. My dad died 25 years ago and my mom never dated or remarried. I saved my sanity in younger years by living far away from her when I became an adult. When I would visit I would just indulge her the best I could and count the seconds until I could leave.

Starting about four years ago her health started to decline after she had a stroke. Right after the stroke she had mild aphasia but cognitive function wasn't bad. She seemed to recover okay and continued to live independently with some help from her best friend. Fast forward to now- her friend kept telling me she "needed to live by me" because she was becoming too forgetful and basically the early signs of dementia were all there. Her friend was getting sick of taking care of things and I don't blame her one bit.

So I moved her next door to me in my condo building. My husband and I are now invested financially in her unit. It was the only way it could be possible as she couldn't afford it on her own.

That was last Oct. Now that I see her pretty much daily I see that her cognitive decline was much worse that I realized. I finally got to go through some medical records for myself and I now know she has significant vascular disease, and this dementia has to be vascular dementia, although there is no official diagnosis, yet. She developed epilepsy after her stroke so she takes meds for that, and because of it she thankfully has an appointment scheduled with a neurologist for sometime in March.

I am so overwhelmed and depressed. Putting up with her moods daily, her subtle constant criticism and guilt trips. Nothing is EVER good enough. My two siblings were relieved that she moved here, but are now nowhere to be found. I'm getting NO support from them outside of the occasional phone call where they tell me I'm doing the right/nice thing putting up with our horrible mother. I'm so resentful. My husband and I worked hard to early retire and now we have THIS.

I would say her dementia is at a mid stage. The notes from her old neurologist said she has "Stable atrophy with chronic microangiopathic disease and chronic left middle cerebral artery territory infarct."

Needles to say I will have many questions for the new neurologist.

But my main vent right now is every day I am waking up with crushing depression. I know this is only going to get worse and I feel so overwhelmed and alone. My husband is supportive, but keeps his emotional distance. This truly feels like it is solely my problem.

Sorry for the wall of text. I'm a mess and don't know where to turn."

Exhausted need to walk away from this toxic mess.
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Piper, I am so sorry your mother is driving you crazy. I remember only all too well my stress and distress over my father's words and actions as he descended into dementia, particularly in the early days when I didn't yet realize I was dealing with a new person, "Dementia Dad". In the beginning DD seemed a lot like my Dad, only an angrier, less reasonable, more selfish and manipulate version of him. I didn't really recognize DD as a different person until he went overboard and deliberately attempted to hurt my mother.

Piper, you are living in a world right now where Your Mother (YM), who you love and who you must have had a reasonably good relationship with to move her near you, is being unreasonable, selfish, inconsiderate of your feelings, and often hateful. You are responding emotionally to those wounding events, wanting to distance and protect yourself, yet there can be little comfort from walking away from someone you love when you know she is struggling. Please let me introduce you to Dementia Mother (DM) who's brain is broken; who's thinking does not include or really care about others, neither the people she might injure or kill driving or her daughter's well being; who wants what _she_ wants _now_ just like any toddler. The sooner you can recognize DM is in charge, that the hateful words are coming from DM instead of YM, the sooner you will be able to take a step back emotionally. Once you begin to "observe" DM's actions you will find a place where you don't hurt as much and you can _decide_ how to respond instead of being driven by your emotional pain.

There's no point in arguing with DM. When DM begins the emotional/verbal abuse begins, I recommend telling your mother "We can talk about this again when you're calmer, good-bye." and walk out the door.

A couple of practical matters:

(1) Since you share ownership of a home with your mother, you have some liability exposure for her actions. I would review your home owner policy and consider increasing your general liability coverage. This is important not just to cover any monetary awards but to also get an insurance company's attorneys on your side of any lawsuit.

(2) Please write a letter to the doctor requesting a letter referencing your mother's neuro-psych eval and his recommendation she stop driving be sent to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The website states reporting is confidential and no legal action can be taken against the person submitting the report. (https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licenses-id-cards/florida-granddriver/medical-reporting-medical-review-process/) You could report her but since the reports are reviewed by a medical board, I'm guessing a report from her doctor would be taken much more seriously. If he seems reluctant to make such a report, I would remind him your mother is driving herself to her appointments at his office and he needs to consider protecting himself, his staff, and his other patients.

(3) See an attorney to have POA documents prepared. When or if things ever calm down with your mother, be prepared to take her to the attorney's office and get the documents signed ASAP. The attorney can talk with your mother and verify she wants to name you POA and get the documents signed in one trip, provided the documents are ready. Make sure you are authorized to rent or sale real estate so you can handle the condo when your mother needs MC.
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EP, I dont think you should "escalate" or argue with your mother, just so you are clear.

I think that in a calm moment you need to sit down with her and tell her that you can no longer be her POA or assist her with day to day tasks.

Give her the names of two geriatric care managers to get in touch with. Inform your siblings in writing about what you are doing. You might also consider a consult with an elder care attorney.

You can use the excuse that you are putting your nursing license in jeopardy by allowing her to drive while addicted to opiates.

Be cordial but firm.
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EP, are you not seeing the very lovely manipulation that your mom is working on you here?

Let her be. Tell her you have the flu. Take a vacation.

Look into getting a Geriatric Care manager who can take over your job. At mom's expense.

At some point, EP, you need to say "Mom, I cant do this any more". I'd say you've come to that point.

You've done ALOT for your mom, financially and in terms of hands on care. She is sweet when she needs you and venomous when she wants control. The only way you get off HER merry go round is by stepping away and getting someone else to do the job. Become unavailable.
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I made my first post on this yesterday morning. After I posted I got a text from my mom. No apology of course but she acknowledged "we" had a "silly argument" and she hoped "we weren't mad with each other".

"WE"...... made me want to vomit. She quickly followed with another text about a password issue I have been helping her with and needed assistance there. I thought about what to say for a bit and then decided to basically let her off the hook. I kept it short and civil.

Please hear me out. Escalating anything with her only makes things worse. I don't think she even remembered what really went down.

I absolutely regret moving her here, but now it's done I am literally stuck for awhile because right now there are no good options. That's why I can't simply walk away.

I've mentioned this before but my husband and I put a substantial amount of money into her condo. Then like IDIOTS we put her name on the deed with ours because she put in about 25%. It's deeded with rights of survivor-ship so I figured all was good because when she passes it doesn't become part of her estate, it goes straight to us. Worst mistake of my life.

So, my mom would never willingly sell the condo now. It's nice, and there is no way she could get anything even close to that on her own anywhere else, not to mention she has no other place to go and would never consider assisted living. I won't be able to sell the condo until she is either in a care home or passes away.

Because of these arrangements I am stuck with her here. Sometimes things aren't so simple and of course hindsight is 2020. I should have consulted with an elder attorney before we ever spent a cent. But we didn't think of it. We didn't know she had dementia and I stupidly thought she would live independently for the most part and I could just keep an eye out if needed. I often ask myself, what the hell was I thinking?? Her best friend knew she had dementia. That's why she pushed for the move. It was only after the move was done and over that her friend told me she thought my mom was having dementia problems. That was right about the time I was seeing it for myself, but I'm still mad at that friend for not warning me.

Sorry I am starting to ramble and venting as usual, but I really am stuck for now and it seems the best thing I can do is to keep as much distance as possible. I didn't see her at all yesterday. I will continue to limit my contact as much as possible, but I also think I have to accept that this is how it's going to be for now.

I know one thing, I will not be so stupid at the next big juncture. When she is deemed incompetent and doctors agree she can't live alone my guest room is off limits and my services are not available. That's when I will be able to get her into assisted living whether she likes it or not.

I wish things were different. I wish I had a real relationship with her and liked spending time with her. I envy the people who treasure every moment with their elders. But I have to accept this is not what I have, never did and never will.
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Sounds similar to my Mom, but I am single. I'm also getting ready to test the theory of leaving her alone. I've addressed my toxic relationship on here a lot lately. My Mom is supposed to be moving back into her own apartment in a few weeks time and she yells at me 'you're not even happy for me!' because I was saying how she wouldn't have to deal with living with me anymore.
Mine also tends to like the pain killers and will get them wherever she can. I can not start worrying over that.
Good advice on here about taking care of yourself and taking your life back.
I'm looking forward to that too.
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These types of women hate ANYONE who knows the 'real them'. They want the facade to prevail. The mask of perfection that all is well and I am perfect. Add to that dreadful personality dementia AND opiate addiction and holy chit, you've got a nightmare on your hands!

Step back. Surrender. Give up. Tell her you love her but you can't be there at her beck and call. Not only will you NOT go to the doctor with her, but you don't want to hear anything more about those visits or how they went. If and when she is ready to ask for help and actually TAKE it, and treat you like a beloved daughter in the process, THEN you will reconsider your position.

But for now, you're done. Say it and mean it. Take your life back, my friend. Some things are just too much, and this is one of them
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You can still write letters to her doctors and tell them all your observations, and tell them other doctors' diagnoses and contact info.
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Let her be, she sounds like my mother, my brother & I just let her go on her journey. Last month she had a slight stroke, she thought she was dying and had panic attacks and going to the ER every other day...so...now she wants our help...so, we moved her near us in Florida in a nice AL home. We will now clean out and sell her home.

Me, I'd just let her be. Abuse is not in my wheelhouse, so for the last years I let my brother deal with her, I still do not talk to her, I am just helping my brother get her settled.
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So she is not only driving with a diagnosis of dementia, but while on opiates. This is of course disaster in the making, and I can only hope it doesn't injure others. My brother had warnings before he stopped driving that he didn't tell me about at the time, but now admits. His accident did him great injury and demolished his vehicle. Happily he did not injure anyone else, but came within feet hitting another gentleman.
There is little you can do. There is honestly no reason for/no sense to arguing. Your Mom is fighting for control now, and is terrified of losing it. And yes, you are exactly correct. She wants you there when she wants you and not there when she does not want you there. She feels the tipping of the scales from her being "the boss" to you being the boss. Argument is hopeless, useless and senseless. You are starting to dislike one another.
She lives near you, but that honestly doesn't mean you need to embroil yourself in her affairs. Step away. Tell her that you feel she wants more independence and that you are now going to afford her that. Tell her you understand she would like to see to her own affairs and will allow her to do that. Let her hire a fiduciary if she requires help with finances and so on. Step away while you can. There will come a time when you cannot. NEVER take her into your home; she can move to differing levels of care as she requires them. Good luck. I think that there is a good deal of anger and unaddressed issues here (addiction) that is going to surely end in ruin with constant arguing. And given there is addiction, nothing will change.
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I think she’s afraid that she’s losing her freedom. It must be scary when you start forgetting things & then getting a dementia diagnosis.

My mom did the same thing.....she got mad when I went in with her for her appointments because she would lie to her doctor & wouldn’t remember what the doctor said.

She complained to my brother who had POA & that was the end of me talking to dr. He told them he had POA & not to speak to me anymore, then he took her to a new one who had no clue of her history over the last few years.
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I couldn't add anything EP.

Let her do it and find out how independent she really isn't.
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Exhausted, I think many of us here have advised you to step away from this toxic individual who happens to be your mother.

She has dementia. You can't reason with her. Resign your POA and stop inviting her and accepting her invitations.

Her charade of indepence is just that. Stop participating in the sham.
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