Visits with my mom are so unpleasant. I am the bad guy.

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Mom has dementia and I have taken guardianship of her. She doesn't think there is anything wrong with her and says I am just "after her money". I have her in a nice assisted living facility but visits with her are just awful. She keeps asking when she can go home but i know she can't. My presence just makes her angry and she yells and I get upset. She has said some truly hurtful and awful things to me and about me. I feel guilty because I don't even want to go see her.To make matters worse, my dad is in decent shape and living at home with daily assistance. This makes her angry with him. I think she sees it as " unfair". After 60+ years of marriage, he misses her and is having a hard time accepting her condition and the fact that she can't be at home any longer. I have no brothers or sisters to help me with them. I live an hour away and own a business that requires a great deal of my time and attention. The guilt and stress of this situation is making me sad and despondent. I even feel guilty for focusing on how this affects me when my parents are going through such an awful time. If I didn't have a wonderful, helpful wife I would really be at the end of my rope. Help!

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Mom's PCP, a nice guy, but not a geriatrics specialist, was able to se mom's anxiety and gave her xanax. Told her to take when she felt scared. Worst possible advice ( and not a good drug for elders).
When she got into Independent Living, the geriatric specialist recommended a geriatric psychiatrist who much more fully appreciated mom's situation. She put my mother on scheduled dosages of klonopin, to " get ahead" of her anxiety (you need much less of the meds that way). And she wisely insisted we get mom a cognitive evaluation, which revealed her Mild Cogitive Impairment ...and yes, if we'd been advised to have mom see a geriatric psychiatrist sooner, this might have all played out differently.
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Yes it is. It was essential for us to get the right treatment. Once behaviour in a senior goes "off the rails" it should be required. We would have been saved a lot of stress if she had been referred to one sooner.
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Golden23 - isn't it amazing what a difference a geriatric psychiatrist can make. Along with BarbBrooklyn, I am a giant advocate of this type of assessment when dementia is involved - especially if the person was "complicated" before dementia came into the situation. A geriatric psychiatrist worked wonders with Barbs mom, your mom, and dramatically in my own mothers case. I wish everyone dealing with these sorts of issues were able to have a geriatric psychiatrist consultation - at minimum! Wouldn't it be wonderful if an annual assessment of this type was required to receive Medicaid or Medicare benefits?
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mitch - you are doing te right things. My mother went through some months after she was hospitalized in a geriatric psychiatric hospital when she hated all of us. She was thoroughly evaluated, with a geriatric psychiatrist in charge of her case,and eventually she agreed to go on an anti psychotic which worked wonders. Later an antidepressant was added. She is now in a facility and more content than I ever have seen her. The right professionals are invaluable. It is obviously better for your parents to be separated. Sometimes there are no great or even good solutions - just better or worse ones. You are choosing the better ones. They are fortunate to have you.
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Cmitch, you are the GOOD guy. So many just walk away, driven off by the constant blame game. As for Dad, he misses the wife he married, not the angry woman you have saved him from. Bless you for caring.
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Rainmom - I will certainly look into your advice. I have spoken to many health professionals and no one has suggested this. Dealing with these issues has certainly opened my eyes to the medical profession. I've learned several things...doctors do make mistakes, often they seem reluctant to give direct advice, seldom will they sign their name to anything. Seems like they are afraid of litigation or censure. Personally, having gone through the guardianship process, the last thing I want to do is be involved in any more legal proceedings for any reason. Sometimes, I would just lkike my decisions to have some kind of validation. I second-guess myself so much!
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I agree that if her mood and anxiety is not improving, she may need a medication adjustment. Not all anti anxiety meds work well for everyone.
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CMitch - I wanted to clarify and add that yes, my mom was on an anti anxiety med as well as an anti psychotic and anti depressant at the time I took her in to see the geriatric psychiatrist. What my mom was on had been prescribed by her pcp. It's been my experience that doctors rarely criticize each other so when I met with the geriatric psychiatrist after he'd seen my mother, I was surprised when he told me - shaking his head the whole time - that what my mothers pcp had prescribed made no sense in terms of combination, quantity or dosage. So, as you've said your mother is already on similar medications, don't blow off the idea of getting her in to be assessed by a geriatric psychiatrist. As a specialist in this field- prescribing the specific correct meds in the right combinations and dosages can make all the difference in the world. It certainly did for my mom and therefore- for me.
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CMitch, it sounds like you have done a great job getting help for your parents. It's a tough thing to place a loved one in a place where they can be protected and cared for, especially when their brain doesn't allow them to realize what's going on. But, it's necessary. As a Guardian, that's your job. She would agree with you, if her brain was working properly.

I'd just keep reminding myself of that. I mean, I would feel guilty, if I hadn't done anything. Sometimes, you have to give yourself permission to be proud of what you have done for your parents, even if they are not able to appreciate it.

I agree with others who suggest that you get your mom evaluated by a geriatric psychiatrist. Sometimes, medications can really help someone who is overly anxious, depressed or worried. They helped my loved one a great deal. These meds don't need to make her groggy or sedated. They work on a daily basis to help someone feel as content as possible.

If the visiting experience is too painful, then, I would hold off for awhile or at least until you can gain some confidence in yourself and the fact you did the right thing. And if mother needs medication, perhaps her mood will change and she will be more receptive to seeing you without being outrageous.
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Lol, Rainmom and Mitch, I often think of myself as " Little Miss Geriatric Psychiatrist-recommender" here, but only because the right combination of antianxiety and antidepressant meds made SUCH a difference in my mom's life. They still need adjusting from time to time, like this summer when mom became convinced she had leprosy.

And yes, there IS a difference in the way a neurologist and a psychiatrist prescribe.
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