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My Mum is a narcissist so when she first started symptoms of dementia I shamefully put it down to her wanting attention, mainly because she has always used illness as a way of getting attention.


Her main problem always seemed to be that she has trouble walking because of arthritis so I didn't really pay too much attention to the forgetfulness, she said it was just old age. Things started going missing about 2-3 years ago that she said someone must have stolen but then after we had turned the house upside down they would suddenly appear.


However in the last two months it has suddenly escalated rapidly to the point that I am reeling with the responsibility and worry and resentment that I am expected to deal with it all. I am an only child, working full time, with a husband with lung cancer and two children who are married and live miles away.


Her anger directed at me has been spiteful to say the least and I am not good at just letting it go, I admit I tend to correct her when she accuses me of something, mainly because she has spent her whole life telling me that I am not as good as other peoples daughters.


She is now delusional, I had to look it up, but yes that's definitely it. She was wondering around the corridors of her sheltered home last weekend and had a conversation with her neighbor asking her how long she had been here and where she was!! She wouldn't let the carer in on Saturday because she said she didn't know her, although she sees her on the Saturdays when I have to work. By the time I saw her on Sunday morning she was very upset with me saying I had dumped her here and she never wanted to come, she cant remember moving to her current home of the last 4 years, she said I dumped her in another flat before the one she is in now, but she lived in a bungalow before coming to live by me. She said she knows its her furniture but doesn't know where she is or what her address is. However we had a meeting with the company that provide care yesterday and she was not too bad and all she would say was she didn't hear very well so that was causing her to have some problems. Bit of an understatement.


I'm not sure what to do next, if I take her to the Doctors she will probably be ok when we get there and if I tell him what's going on she will just say I want rid of her.


Any suggestions as to my next move.

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AuntyP, an extra tidy house and an extra tidy mother would make me think there's been a "good fairy" at work. Who runs the sheltered housing? Are you in touch with the manager, caretaker, or whoever's in charge on the premises?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Take her to the doctor. Sounds to me like it could be a uti or a TIA or a small stroke; but in any case this is a sudden, steep decline in your mother's functioning and you must report it.

Your mother's anger and resentment are going to be there anyway. I'm sorry, I know it must be terribly painful. But the point is that you "might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb" - if you do nothing about this recent incident, she'll accuse you of dumping her and not caring what becomes of her, yes? So better to get her examined, and be accused of trying to get rid of her. You know that you're actually trying to do what's best for her, and whatever she says can't change that.

As to what to tell the doctor, just describe exactly what you've told us.

PS - just a suggestion. Write down a brief account of what happened at the weekend, just the facts, and give it to the doctor to read. That way, you won't be trying to explain while your mother interrupts and contradicts.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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auntyP Aug 8, 2019
i am confused now as I popped in to see her unannounced yesterday just after lunch. She was having a nap in her chair, the house was extra tidy, she had obviously just had lunch and was dressed nicely. She woke up when I spoke to her and I had the best conversation I have had with her for two weeks, she remembered the names of her neighbor and asked after the great grandchildren. No she wasn’t perfect but the improvement was massive.
I have been keeping a journal for some time now as my daughter in law suggested it, they did it with her Grandmother.
We are in the UK and saw her GP 10 days ago and then the locum as GP is now on holiday until end August, she has a blood test booked for next week, I am hoping we can wait until he comes back because he knows my Mum and has agreed we will refer her for further tests when he gets back. Unless it’s an emergency and we need an ambulance it’s impossible to get anything referred when there is a locum in place.
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I would make her an appointment with her primary doctor to get the UTI check, and ask for a referral for a geriatric psychiatrist and possibly a neurologist, who can do a cognitive assessment. Then you can talk with the doctor about recommendations for care. Sounds like she may at some point need a higher level of care, particularly if she is getting confused as to where she is. I agree with others here, don't try to move her in with you and take on all of the caregiving alone, no matter how much she complains. You will run yourself ragged, particularly if mom is narcissistic in addition to her health and memory problems. There are meds too that may help with anxiety, depression, hallucinations, etc, depending on the cause.
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Reply to FrazzledMama
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I am sorry that you have fallen into the "crisis pit" with your mom. A practical start to improving the situation for both of you would be to get answers to some questions:

1) Do you have durable PoA (power of attorney) for your mom? Without this immediate solutions are delayed or more limited.

2) Does your mom have financial means? Do you have a good grasp of what her financial situation is? This determines what kind of care she can receive going forward.

3) If you are able to get her to the doc, have her assessed for cognitive issues and also a UTI (urinary tract infection) as this can often mimic or worsen dementia symptoms but clears up behavior issues with antibiotics.

I'm an only child myself and my mom is a single parent (90 yrs old and lives next door to me and doesn't often recognize boundaries). I feel for your situation. For your own peace of mind find her the best care she can afford and don't feel guilty if she goes into memory care. She will be extremely angry but you caring for her in your home is not a realistic option. Wishing your peace and solutions.
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Reply to Geaton777
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You need to keep a careful diary of what is happening, as your Mom is surely headed now for placement.
As to where she is placed, the answer here at present is NOT WITH YOU. Please do not attempt to take on her care; you will not get out from under it. People who have spent their lives as a narcissist often create children who feel continuously wanting and inadequate, children desperate to "prove" themselves and to finally hear "You are such a good child; I love you". Won't happen NOW for sure, so don't go there, and if you ever consider it, then get help.
There will soon come the time now with the combination she is suffering under that there will be the necessity of the EMS call ambulance to the ER. With the combination of her underlying mental and the current illness she will need placement and so enlist the social worker on day one. She can clear the way to placement about 10,000 times more quickly than you ever could do from your own home with your own knowledge.
Time now to get POA for health and financial if you do not have it. If she will discuss her future with you, all the "what ifs" ask her to do so so that you will have answers to act in her best interest if she is unable. Such as "What if you have a cancer; would you want treatment" or "what if you are unable to eat; would you want a tube feeding even if administration of same caused you to need restraint". And etc.
If all else fails and you are unable to deal with your Mom in any way?? That is to say she will not cooperate in any way and you are helpless? That is the time that quite honestly your Mom doesn't HAVE a daughter. There are many elderly failing out there who have NO ONE. You cannot push a rock up the hill, and do know, it will either crush you, or roll right back where it was.
Wishing you luck. Hoping you will stay on the forum where you will see so many questions and so many answers, or attempted answers.
Your Mom has had her life, and has apparently lived it as she wished. NOW it is YOUR turn. You are my concern. Please update us. I am sorry to sound harsh, but I am cutting to the reality-chase. It's what I do.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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auntyP Aug 7, 2019
Thanks for your support, I do have both POAs and Mum is financially OK although she has no idea now of her savings but is still obsessive about HER money. I have been reluctant to take away her last bit of independence by taking over everything but need to address this now.
My Mum won’t discuss dying or anything to do with end of life care, she still believes the doctor can cure anything with just the right pill! My Father died 15 years ago of heart failure having had two attacks 2 years earlier and we were told he had heart disease. Yet when he died she was surprised, and when I mentioned what sort of funeral he wanted she didn’t know because they had never discussed it. I was astounded, when I reminded her that we knew he had heart disease she called me a wicked girl.
i like your comments about pushing the rock up a hill that’s just how it feels.
i am taking little steps with her and have seen her doctor who is adjusting her medication and I will get her checked again for urinary infection which seems to be a regular occurrence.
Although it upsets her I have set boundaries in the past year and if she starts being spiteful when I go round and moans about me ‘dumping’ her here then I just say, Mum I’m going I will not sit and listen to this again when I am doing my best to help you. She lives in a 5 star assisted living apartment and she is still not happy, she decided before she even got there that she wouldn’t like it, just like she gets up every day and decides to be miserable. She never has a good word to say about anyone.
Onwards and upwards with that rock.
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