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For example: elder says something totally illogical and when the same situation arises, you simply bring up the illogical point.
My mom, who was being the little princess, tried on some elastic waist jeans as they would be easier for her to wear out. Both were too large so I had to take them back. I asked if she would like to try a smaller size.
Answer: "I don't want to try on clothes that don't fit."
A few days later when she wanted to try on some pants that previously had been too small I simply asked 'Why do you want to try on clothes that don't fit?'
Seemed to confuse her, then it annoyed her. I let it go at that.

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Um. I was never the sweetest tempered or kindest person in the room when it came to my mother; but one thing I did do to make myself hold my tongue was imagine someone else speaking to her in the way I was tempted to. And if I knew that I would take that imaginary person outside and box her ears, then that helped me to shut my big mouth.

I know it's tempting to go Through The Looking Glass and join in the craziness, but what this boils down to, when you think about it, is mockery. Don't do it. Well, try not to, anyway. We're none of us angels.
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I try to operate on the 'regret minimization' theory. Do whatever will cause me the least regret in the future. So I do as much as I can to treat my mother well, so that I don't kick myself later. Might try looking at your actions through that lens to see if it helps.
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The only recourse for illogical conversations that works for me is to walk away instead of entertaining the delusions.
That is because the temptation to be mean because of frustration is too great.
Yes, I too have been mean, I would rather be nice, calm, and whatever!!!!
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There ought to be a class on communicating with the cognitively declining. You can't use logical fact/naked truth as you could before. You need to keep them calm more than be right unless it's a matter of safety. You find yourself down the rabbit hole, having an unbirthday as the March Hare runs around you. It's surreal.

The biggest thing I learned was to give an answer that would be ok right now. As adults we learn to answer each other with way more data in the answer than someone in decline needs.

The other thing was to keep it simple. Too much, too long, and too complicated means there will be a problem. This is hard if the person was used to getting very detailed answers and had you trained.

The use of "I don't know", "the doctor said", "the government said", and "the insurance company said" are magical motivators or even defusers. It seems like often, we are the least credible people there are, even if we are 70.
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So for example, she was running out of hydrocortisone cream that she used for an itching rash she sometimes gets. We go to Bed. Bath and Beyond and of course they've changed the packaging. So I find a tube of the same product she has and she grabs a tube of Gold Bond cream which doesn't have cortisone in it. I show her what I have and she says "but this one says anti itch". "But it hasn't got the right ingredient mom". She looks at me blankly and says "but it says anti itch". That's when I realized that I was dealing with a 6 year old, in many respects , and it helped me to adjust my expectations.
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Babalou, I have similar conversation with my Mom regarding products where the company had changed the packaging. My Mom goes one step further, she knows the last few digits of the product code, so if that is different than it's not the right product.

Like Lean Cuisine has updated their frozen dinner products from white background packaging to black background packaging. Oh my gosh. It's been a challenge.
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Your profile says that your mom has age related decline. Has she ever been evaluated for dementia?

I ask this, because your exchange with her reminds me of my relationship with my mom from several years ago. We've never really gotten along. She started having frequent panic attacks. We moved her to a nice independent living facility to see if she could get stronger and perhaps return home. We would have exchanges like the one you mentioned, completely illogical. The geriatric psychiatrist who was seeing her for the panic attacks encouraged me to take her for a neuropsych assessment. The diagnosis was Mild Cognitive Impairment, which is not dementia, but DOES mean that the elder's reasoning ability is shot. It made me understand where the illogical was coming from.
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I don't know anyone who's snarky to a loved one they're caring for. Perhaps it's time for you to move on.
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I just started reading the comments. Interesting how many of us used "snarky".
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2 cents like I said at the outset I wasn't sure whether baiting had the same meaning over there. I stand by my words however and I am fairly sure they will make you angry but they truly are not intended to.

It will serve no purpose in YOUR life to do what you are doing - this is not pay back - this is rise above that. I can see from your writing that you are not naturally that sort of person - I also know the desire to lash out when the darkness visits you - for these are horrible moments. At those times I definitely walk out of the room and get myself back under control and it is not easy but I do it because things have changed and Mum is now VULNERABLE just as YOU were vulnerable when you were abused. But I didn't want to become my Mum and I am damned sure you don't want to become yours either.

You are definitely not alone in suffering abuse - many of us have and some only find out about things they didn't know once their loved ones release that information through dementia.

I have to say that if anyone even THINKS you were baiting your Mum deliberately to cause her angst they would be right in shouting ABUSE and god knows you are the last person to deserve that given what you went through, but you need to be aware it could happen. It will be no use to shout but she did this and that to me

What I am really saying is that if you cannot rise above what happened to you then get your Mum into care - Olly is right, if one day it gets too much for you and you snap you could find yourself in prison or perhaps worse still in a mental institute if the courts deemed you guilty by reason of mental defect (however temporary that may have been and however unintentional that may have been). Given your childhood that would be so unfair on you.

It does seem that you haven't come to terms with what happened to you. I won't use the term gotten over - you never get over abuse - you only ever learn coping mechanisms. If you ever learn how to forgive your Mum - tell me because I haven't learned that one yet.

I have learned that I am worthy however - OK sometimes the veil of worthiness slips but for the most part I hold it close to me. I have learned that Mum can still whine bitch and moan and that it doesn't alter the fact that I am stronger and that *I* now act as *her* protector and guardian - the only difference is *I* do it properly whereas she didn't. The day I stop being able to do that is the day I stop care-giving.

So with kindness I say don't bait your Mum - it's not right, and you know it's not right or you wouldn't have asked the question now would you xxx
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