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mockingbird3, go to Florida. Relax. Enjoy. You'll returned a little stronger to deal with your own mother. Feeling guilty is part of caregiving. Few of us can fully avoid it. If you didn't go with your husband, wouldn't you feel guilty about that? Seeing your MIL and in-laws is also important in your life. Push the guilt to the background and don't let it interfere with making good decisions.

Mom is in a safe place where she is getting care. Be sure to talk to the staff about your trip. You know Mom best, but I think telling her at the last minute might be best. Be very matter-of-fact about it. Do not be apologetic because that reinforces her notion that you are doing something wrong.

Enjoy Florida!
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My sister acts just fine with me, but she acts out when she is in her group home. You have to draw a hard line with bad behavior and nip it in the bud. I tell her to sit down or go to her room and calm down and talk to me when she's feeling better. No matter how mentally incapacitated someone is, they always know whose buttons they can push. You have to cut it off as soon as it starts, when the voice and tone start to change, calmly take control and settle it down with a firm voice and don't give in.
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Mockingbird3, Go to Florida and have a good time. It's your duty to your husband. It's your duty to yourself. And you MUST have a good time or you will be a bad person. (Do you believe me?) Seriously, use a little of your guilt to make yourself go and get a break and enjoy your husband.

There's no one to visit Mom? Literally no one? Ask at the senior center or a church for someone with a nice personality, and pay them $10 per visit. Contact an agency like Home Instead. That will cost more, but the management there can ensure that Mom gets a visitor she likes.

I just reread your post, and had one more thought. Your Mom has a right to get pissed off at you and yell at you. Don't think there is a way to control that. You are going to do something she won't like. She may blow her top. Don't let that stop you, or make you feel guilt.

Do tell her you know she will miss you. Tell her you know it will be hard for her. Tell her you understand why she is angry. Maybe even fib about how you wish you didn't have to go, but you have to obey your husband. Walk away shaking with adrenaline and guilt. Then say, "Whee! I get THREE WEEKS away!" Breathe deeply, laugh and dance to burn off the adrenaline, and start feeling good!

If you feeling guilt would make her happy then you should feel guilt. But all she really needs is to believe that you feel guilt. While you are away, have fun fun fun all day. Call her once a week, and dread that, and tell her how miserable you are, and how lousy the weather is. Listen to all her complaints and anger. Say goodbye and say "Whoopee!!! I don't have to call for 6 more days!"

She will be unhappy or happy for her own reasons. You can have love and compassion for her, but you don't have to be unhappy just because she is. You are sad if she isn't happy, but happy yourself because you are smart and lucky enough to make yourself happy. Go and enjoy yourself. You deserve it and you need it.
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Those closest usually get the worst treatment. As explained above, since you're close, they cannot hide the disease from you. It is easier on the family caregiver to send a substitute on their behalf. The substitute should be a compassionate individual with experience working with people that have cognitive disorders, and one who will advocate for the care recipient, and communicate with the family as prescribed. This will alleviate the emotional toll on the family caregiver, while still maintaining the well being of the care recipient.
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My Mom is now 92. She always was hard to take as a mother: manipulative, tyrannical, and physically abusive to me and my sister. But she also had a charming side and was lovable. I never saw her as a cruel person: just a crazy person. But now I am filled with anger, resentment, rage, and have trouble letting go of wanting to "correct" her or show her why she never takes responsibility for her emotional outbursts. Outwardly I just nod yes, set limits I can live with and firmly and loudly say, "Stop. Stop that right now. Please. Change the subject." and then she actually changes the subject. I don't know if she has dimentia yet or Alz or whatever. I am going to a LCIW to work out my own feelings. She doesn't know that I am going. The therapist said that she thinks my mother is Narcisstic, Borderline Personality Disorder and probably bi-polar and always has been. It urks me that she was always punishing and abusive and yet no one has ever confronted her with her own mental illness. My father was like an ostrich: hiding his head in the sand. There was a time when Mom and I were really close and I thought she should come live near me. Thank God, not under the same roof. She is amazingly independent and I back off in every department of life because as a controller, she really needs to feel in control of her life as long and as much as possible. But even when she had a mini-stroke, she ranted and raved the whole time in the hospital that I was good for nothing and I made her have a stroke! I am so disgusted I cannot generate any more love for her. That is the worst of it!

My therapist and doctors have suggested to keep as far a distance as possible from her because she is so toxic to my happiness and health. But I am the only caregiver: I have a wealthy brother who does nothing. I have a blind sister who cannot help at all. My father remarried decades ago and is now 95: blind and deaf and taking care of his wife with dementia.

I like this site and will ask for help here. The latest issue is mom has decided she needs to move. Our current apartments have no handicap items: no elevator and she lives on the second floor. Of course I suggested this was not a good place to live when she barged in and got an apartment here three years ago. Now my landlord, whom I do not like, nor trust, is buttering up my mother (who loves flattery) that she can live in his new condominium complex in the same town. I don't know if one can rent or if he is trying to make her buy one! I think he is willing to rent one for $1300 a month. I dont' know if that includes utilities or not. My question is should Mom be moving now into an independent living place at 92 or wait until she needs assisted living? She is not wealthy. Her needs are that she needs a lot of social attention, some exercise, nice surroundings but no one "too depressing" around her: read old people! Any comments?
My need is to go for some low income housing since she doesn't pay me for all the time she demands from me.
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juddabuddhaboo - It sounds like you are doing the right things. You just need a little more "serenity." I always say a bad father is easier to survive than a bad mother.

Explain to the landlord that Mom can't qualify for a mortgage, nor can she afford that much rent. May not work, but it can't hurt.

I don't think you have to "need" assisted living. Is there a real nice one you can get her to tour?

Good luck. It sounds like you'll need it.
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If she's fiercely independent, how are you a caregiver?

Let her live on her own until she displays behavior that demonstrates she can't live independently. If you're not paying her rent, why involve yourself about where she lives? If she wants to buy a condo, she can and should buy a condo. She won't get it if she can't afford it, unless she pays cash. If she can afford it, that's just a little less money you'll inherit, and maybe not at all, if the stories i read here are like yours, she may leave her money to one of your siblings or a charity.

It seems you're worrying over issues that haven't happened yet. Look into assisted living for her for when she's ready so you can talk about it wisely to her. She may live to be 100 or more and still not be ready.
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redhed, I'm still a caregiver to my 22 year old daughter, and will be until she is self-supporting.

juddabuddhaboo's mother is liable to create a mess and ask her to clean it up. Not that easy to stay out of it.
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Obey your husband, that remark flew out at me, glad I don't deal with that in my life, again as Emjo said, religious differences, he thought he was God, I didn't. This thread takes me back some 21 months or so ago, new to the drama of it all. I literally thought I was crazy, no one believed me, what they did believe though was all the lies my mother fed them and then forgot she had told them. It has been a steep learning curve. It is/was the hardest thing I've gone through, and truly tested my sanity. Fact is there is no reasoning, teaching lessons with dementia. I just make sure my mother is safe, secure, well cared for and reasonably happy. I don't try to correct her, admonish her, I just try to redirect her. Guilt will do you in, you either did not enough or you did too much, you can't win with that either, so give up the struggle with it and move beyond it.
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Oh My God! I was wondering about the same thing! And it feels soooo unfair when my grandma does the same
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So true Adeena.
Visitors are saying "oh how sweet she is" and I'm ...........laying in the corner - exhausted and bleeding from my MIL's earlier vicious behaviors and horrible comments. They look at me and sweetly say........ "It's so nice that you have her to keep you company." Arrrrrgh!!
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Will write more when I get home. Want to follow this question.
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Because we are the ones they see day in and day out and as the adage goes: familiarity breeds contempt. Dad pulls this horrid behavior with me constantly; sister comes over and she's treated like a princess. She's gleeful about it. While I can forgive dad it's difficult comprehending a grown woman who is glad she gets better treatment while the main caregiver has to endure difficulties.
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Thanks to everyone for answers to a question I have only asked only in my head. Like so many other things I thought it was something I was doing wrong. The people at his daycare said he was so quiet and easy to get along with. He ate well, drank water when asked to etc. At home... not so much. Now I see another way of looking at his behavior. His being mean or not cooperative because he feels safer with me??? I can live with that. Thanks again
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