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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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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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Will write more when I get home. Want to follow this question.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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. 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 mother has always been a negative person with a biting tongue. She is now 95 yrs old with moderate Dementia and the negativity has gotten worse. I refuse to let her words hurt me because I know that she is getting the best care possible and I do not need her approval or disapproval to confirm this. Knowing that her mind is further detoriating reminds me that this is not the person I once knew. Also, It is easier to laugh and say that at age 95, she can do whatever the heck she wants to. Hang in there. Tell yourself that it is the "Swiss cheese (her mind)" talking and not the person.
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I just said to my husband, " if only we treated our family the same way we treat strangers" ... I wish I could take my own advice!!!
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My mother is living in an ALF, my husband wants us to go to Florida to visit his mother who is 91 and he wants to stay and visit other family also. We are planning on being gone for 3 weeks. I want to go and I am but the guilt of leaving my mom for that long is really hard on me. There is no one else to look in on her while I am away. She is bi-polar, has early dementia, has a narcissitic personality disorder and depression. I haven't told her yet that I am leaving for that trip. How do I tell her? How do I explain it to her without her blowing up at me and making me feel even more guilt? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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My father would go from verbal abuse to thanking me for "saving his life." Try to ignore the words and tune into the feeling: "My life sucks and I no longer have any power." Sometimes, if you can ignore the words, and acknowledge the unhappiness, you can touch the sweet part that is still there. Try something like, "Boy, you don't get to do anything you want to. Someone is always giving you orders." That puts you "on their side."

It's very hard.
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This is true. They often have expectations which can be fulfilled only by a family care giver. Besides, it is easier to vent out their frustration on you. However, once the dementia sets in, this mask is not going to last for long.
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This is true, often they expect a lot from a family member who is a care giver. However, this mask will not last long till the dementia fully takes over.
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Marialake,
I ask myself this same question often. It is so frustrating! I think several people here have the right idea. CarolLynn, that is good way of thinking about it.
Intentional but not on purpose. I do think they are aware of how they are acting toward their caregiver it is just their filter is gone and they simply don't care if what they say is hurtful.
Redhead: I agree. They retain some of that social etiquette and my mom still wants people to like her so she would never act around them like she does me.
Good advice: Do not engage! I believe they are trying to manipulate you and are saying things to upset you so you will engage with them. I really do think they are "Picking a fight so to speak". I have tested this theory out myself. If mom says something insulting to me or something she thinks I will disagree with her about and I just go along with it, she almost seems upset that her attempt to rowl me didn't work. As many have said, you can't reason with them, so you just go along with it because they forget about it anyway before too long. Or leave the room.
Here is food for thought: If it is STRICTLY the disease that is making them behave in this way and they have no control whatsoever over their actions then how are they capable of "showtiming for strangers and essentially turning it on and off at their will"?
Maybe this is a new topic but do dementia patients really do an about face in personality or do the traits that were already there become exaggerated? Isn't it like they have no inhibitions now so they basically act and say what they wish?
My mom is so good at being sweet and nice around nurses and aides that they are just now seeing the dementia. I have been telling them she has dementia for over a year! They see her for maybe an hour once a week and she lives with me 24/7.
I am sorry but thinking that she feels comfortable enough around me to treat me like dirt does not make me feel any better. I know there are those of you that feel we should sympathize with their condition and be patient and understanding. But, boy is it hard!!! You are the one doing all the work and mom is going on and on to the aide complaining about you! And the aide just nods her head and listens.
I think this is just another way they manipulate other family members and health pros that you are the bad guy. I wish my mom was nasty around everyone else like she is to me. Then I wouldn't feel so alone and like I was the one going crazy!!
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I've learned through through the years to not 'react' to my parents who have not been nice to me or my sister, historically, but are very well liked by their friends, because they have that social 'mask'.

Don't 'engage' if you see that kind of behavior coming your way from your parents. If they complain they don't see you often enough, tell them if they're worried about their safety, there are alarm systems they can wear in order to contact 911. Don't fall for the guilt trip. You will never do enough to make them happy. They are narcissistic if they think they deserve more from you than you're already giving.

I live in Florida and on Monday Dec 3, 2013, I went to a presentation on identifying, dealing with and preventing dementia. The organization was the Education Institute at Pines of Sarasota, a county subsidized nursing home, physical rehabilitation and child care facility.

They ascribe to the recommendations of Teepa Snow, a nationally known expert on dementia and Alzheimer's care. Teepa has all kinds of tips and tricks for handling people in dementia.
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I believe their behavior IS intentional but not on purpose. I look to the connotations of those words for me. I truly believe they intend to act that way and the ones who do, do it because their inhibitions have lifted and they believe in there damaged brain that it is appropriate to act that way, that they need to do it to get what they want, or that they deserve to act that way. "On purpose" feels to me like an interpretation but they are striking out to hurt someone. I don't personally believe that's the case. I just believe that they don't understand that they hurt someone or that they care anymore.

Vikki (stefans) is absolutely right. There are some very sweet dementia people, some who have been sweet all along, some who change from difficult to sweet and sometimes back and forth. The caregivers of the sweet ones don't post nearly as much, if at all, as the caregivers of the difficult ones.

And "frustrated" IS a caregiver, not just of one with dementia, now at least and hopefully never if s/he is fortunate. But s/he has navigated to this site for some level of support and understanding. Just doesn't understand yet but there is a difference between an elderly parent who is going through normal aging vs one who has dementia. The same philosophies and techniques such as "not taking crap" and other attempts to teach through behavior modification, well, they just don't work. The more the patient spirals into the depths of dementia, the more significant the memory loss becomes. They can't remember what you said for 5 or 15 minutes, what they had for breakfast or even if they ate breakfast. But they can remember how they feel for a lot longer, and if the way you made them feel or someone else that they think you could have prevented for making them feel that way, they can get angry about it and they will retain that anger for hours. sometimes.

No. You are dealing with physical brain damage that brings on a form of mental illness. The caregiver must be aware of the symptoms and behaviors that are natural to this condition and if caregivers cannot cope within the parameters of the disease, they shouldn't continue to be caregivers.
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Frustratedcg
One of the first things I was told when my mother developed ALZ was to remember that logic no longer works. So reading someone with dementia/ALZ the riot act for their behavior does no good. Maybe it makes you feel better in the moment, but my guess is that guilt will follow at some point. I've found the statement about logic not working to be very helpful in many situations w/my mom. That doesn't mean it's easy, just that we co-exist better when I understand that.
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If you are a caregiver, your posts are valid. If you've not been a caregiver, this is not the place to give advice about dementia or Alz. You can't "go off on them" and "not take their crapp"! They do not understand that kind of treatment and it will hurt them deeply, even when they might be doing things we don't like. Patience is the watchword - confrontation is a no, no. It serves no purpose and in a few minutes they would not remember what you said to them anyway. Better to tell them you understand and you love them no matter what and show it by the way you take care of them.
Also to Mamabug - get those car keys back from your nephew and use MIL's car to take her to her appointments and take her for rides in her own car so she can feel like she is still contributing somewhat to her care. No reason for you to drive your own car - you will see a change in her attitude when she is in her own car. It also gives her back some of her independence - not that she should drive again, but use her car for her own purposes. The nephew in charge of her finances can keep the insurance paid and the gas tank full, but give her a little grace. You won't regret it. Blessings. Being a caregiver is not for sissies and unless you've been one and can share positive thoughts, we don't need negative.
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Frustratedcg, I see from your profile that you are not caring for someone with dementia. Believe me, that changes the situation considerably. Going off on someone with dementia just doesn't help. They do not remember it at all and the behavior will happen again. We don't have to "take any of their crap" if it is safe to leave the room until they calm down. But this is for peace in the moment -- it is not about teaching them something.
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Marialake, it is frustrating when others see your loved one on their best behavior and may come to question your judgment! Our five children had to take over for a week when I was hospitalized unexpectedly. Believe me, none of them EVER doubted any report I would make about their dad's behavior after that. Other family members were a different kettle of fish.

Remember that MIL has dementia all the time. If it is Alzheimer's there are tangles and plaques in her brain that don't come and go, they only get worse. Even in her clear moments when she seems to be coherent, she has that damage in the brain. Yes, she perhaps knows what she is doing, and maybe she is even delighting in hurting you. But WHY would she behave in this crazy fashion? Because she has dementia. She always has dementia. I would try just to forget about figuring out if she might be manipulating you. Assume all of her behavior is dementia-related, and learn to deal with it best you can.
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They can get away with acting ugly if you let them. Best to go off on them and make it clear you won't take any of their crap. Don't hit them just royally chew them out.
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Welcome to the Alzheimer's caregivers patients from hell we probably all experience. My husband is like that, and it really bothered me until when I asked him about the situation, he had forgotten. So, be kind, be patient, and know they aren't doing it on purpose. This is just the way the brain works in dementia. Caregivers suffer a lot, but I would not want the dementia.
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MamaBug, some people do manage to stay sweet...their caregivers just don't need to post on here as often ;-)
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