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My Mom moved to assisted living a month ago it appeared everything was fine she was adjusting nicely making friends, participating in activities. Now all of a sudden she hates it, hates the food, hates her tiny room. None of this is true. The place is like a resort everyone is so nice and I've eaten there several times with one meal being better than the next. She keeps saying she wants to go back to her house and she has become so evil with the nasty things she is saying to me I'm making myself physically ill over this. I have tried begging, pleading, reasoning, even crying nothing is working. She has dementia ( although acknowledged by dr's not formally diagnosed) and I'm so afraid she is going to get herself kicked out thinking that will be her ticket to her home. My Mom is VERY stubborn and hard headed when it comes to getting what she wants. She basically manipulates and nags until,she gets her way and she absolutely cannot live alone and I honestly don't know where to go from here. My stress levels are through the roof and I'm beginning to think she truly does hate every ounce of my being. I have been falsely accused of so many horrible things, mainly stealing (which hurts the most) that are so untrue and so painful it's putting me in a deep depression. She has already destroyed a close relationship with my only sibling as a result of her antics. I was thinking of taking her for some tours to some of the less desirable Alf's in the area just to see how truly good she has it I just don't know if that will do any good. I did my homework and visited every place in the area and this one was by far the absolute nicest and cleanest, I wouldn't mind living there myself. It literally looks and feels like a hotel. Have any of you gone through this one month in and how have you dealt with it? She is threatening to call call home health agencies to price what it would cost to have someone come into her home should she move back to give her her meds as I cannot do it four times a day. She is also threatening to call lawyers and her doctor ( we told her her dr said she cant live alone). I guess basically what I'm asking is how have you all dealt with these tantrums and how did you get your parents to see that this is it. There is no other option they absolutely positively cannot go back home and live alone. I'm at wits end. Please help with any suggestions. I honestly don't know what to do at this point I'm so depressed and stressed over this.

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Even though how stressed and exhausted you are, you should still remember that your mother needs you and her condition is not easy. You should remain strong for her and do not be affected of whatever she say. No matter how heartbreaking it is, it is still you who should understand. I think the best way you can do is to observe her from apart, and let her adjust to the environment without seeing you for some time.
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Quick update. First I would like to thank everyone for the encouraging words, I don't know where I would be without all of you in this community who have cheered me on and lifted me up when I was at my lowest. I think we finally reached a good place I swear you never really hear much about the "adjustment phase" but its so real and so raw I really feel I might just have to blog about it. My Mom is doing well, not asking so much to go home, it does happen from time to time but I do see where she is getting happier about being there and making friends has really helped. I have backed off a bit, I'm not going there every day as I was and she is now finding her own independence again, making choices and friends on her own and getting into a routine. For anyone else going through the adjustment know you are not alone we are all here for you and it DOES get better. Now what I am finding is instead of getting the screaming, threatening, heart breaking phone calls I am now getting the gossip calls. Wait till I tell you this.... listen to what I heard today.... you would never believe what so and so did. It's kind of funny because its a fun side of my Mom that I hadn't seen in such a long time, its really nice to have that side back to her. She has gained three lbs since moving in which is a great thing and while she may not be thrilled with her apartment, I know in my heart I did the right thing and I see where she is not rotting anymore alone in her house sleeping and forgetting to eat. For once, after three months I am finally seeing a glimpe of the rainbow after the storm. And it feels fabulous!!!
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"Eyes crossed..." :-) Lovely idea, Ms Daisy, and I know just how you feel!

I'm glad your mother is putting her toys back in her pram. Take this opportunity to create a little distance - not to be remote from her, just make a kind of cordon sanitaire so that if things get lively again it'll get dealt with by the ALF first, rather than you. I really hope she feels more and more at home, though - eyes crossed again!
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We seemed to have reached a real turn around . Ever since we have gone on that tour of the "other" place the complaints have been less and less. Maybe I should have done that tour a lot sooner I'm not sure but the turn around has been nothing short of a miracle. While she still asks to go home she has not complained no where near the way she was and she actually appears at some small points to be liking living there. I pray this continues as I have had not one single accusation since we took that tour and she seems to be participating more in the activities being offered and less consumed about calling me to complain. Fingers eyes and toes crossed.
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ryan some people will never be happy with anything. Just before my father passed he said "Your mother will never be satisfied with anything" and, after living with her for 50 years, during which she treated him like dirt, he was an expert. All we heard for two hours yesterday was "me, me, me, I want, I want, I want, wah, wah, wah, woe is me". She's been like that all her life and will never change.
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Assisted living can never be a mistake. It's just that you have to be a little cautious about the place you choose for the elders. My mom has been living at Luvida Memory Care for over 5 months and she's happy being there.
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Well, I spent 2 hours with her and the director of the NH and presented all the paperwork. No problem there but then she turned to "you sold my house in a hurry, sold after 2 days". Actually it was in such a state needing renovations it was six months before it sold. Then it was on and on about her furniture. Then it was "so lonely and bored, no-one to talk to" - 60 residents in the NH - but she stays in her room and/or in bed 24/7 and refuses to join in any activities to get to know people. We told her she has to go out there, get into the activities and meet people, her happiness and ability to find friends is not my responsibility - she has to get out of that room and mingle. All she does is shut herself in her room and dream up stuff. Apart from the grocery store and the library she's been a hermit since my father died 15 years ago and, as a narcissist, expected everyone to drop everything and run to her whenever she chose. Long ago, on the phone, I asked her if she'd hear from xxx. "No, I don't call them, they call me". La de dah, no wonder her few friends eventually gave up.

Nothing will change as she won't try - everything has to be handed to her on a silver platter - but I've laid my cards on the table, been open and honest and the NH director and government inspector are very well satisfied. I don't know when I'll visit again, if ever but I expect I'll be getting phone calls from the NH that she's playing up again. No wonder I leave my phone off the hook a lot.
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For ashlynne. This isn't the first time a money trail has had to be documented and it won't be the last. If your ducks are in a row, don't worry. It's just the time factor. Distance yourself from her for your own sanity
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With my mother it's a combination of dementia and NPD. As I said above she's been obsessing for months about getting a nice big house (delusions of grandeur) and having live in care 24/7. This morning I got a call from the NH. Evidently the government body that oversees NHs is there this week and when asked if she had any concerns she said she didn't know where the money went from the sale of her house, yet she was kept informed every step on the way. Now I have to go down there and show her paperwork as to just how much money she has.

This all to do with the obsession about buying another house and having staff. Firstly the big house she had sucked most all of her pension every month just to keep it. Since then taxes, condo fees, gas and electricity prices have soared so she wouldn't be able to keep it today. Unable to sit up or stand she needs nursing care 24/7 and if she bought a house and furniture (both of which would have to be "Better Homes & Gardens"), which she can't afford, she'd not have a dime left to pay staff.

I had a condo in Toronto overlooking the lake and a great job on Bay Street. I came to Canada with 2 suitcases, $100 and a roof over my head for a week and I worked hard to get where I was but, as she couldn't manage alone, purely out of duty (she's a nasty piece of work and I've spent a lifetime avoiding her), I gave it all up and lived in her freezing gloomy basement waiting on her 24/7/365 for four h***ish years with no income.

Once she went into the NH I bought a tiny dilapidated cottage which was all I could afford. I have POA, preserve her money and ensure her bills are paid. As the money has been under my control for some years it would have been easy to dig into it and buy myself a nice home, but nope I've done my duty and personally I've lived below the poverty line for a very long time.

My poor father (who passed 15 years ago) busted his chops to give her everything she demanded while she treated him like dirt, but of course it was never good enough. Just before he passed he said to me "Your mother will never be satisfied with anything" and, after 50 years of living with the witch, he was an expert!

Yes, I'll go down there this afternoon and show her paperwork in front of a witness but that's the end of it. I will continue to preserve her money and ensure her bills are paid but I'm not obliged to run her errands or even speak to her. So be it. I've had a lifetime of hell from this woman. If I'm lucky I may have 10 years left and she's not sending me to an early grave.
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For msdaisy. Assuming the Dr won't provide meds because of her heart meds is that. An assumption. Schedule an appointment with the Dr. Please try to let the accusations of theft roll of your back. This is quite common with dementia patients. We had a lady who was sure we were stealing her denture cream. She even called the police. They were saints when they came to see her. I agree that you need to speak to the director of nursing and or the administrator of the community. They will have some insight for you. HANG IN THERE and you will be stronger for the effort. Just remember...........it's the disease talking, not your mom.
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A narcissist (if that's what she is) will never adapt. They will dream of more, bigger, better, and keep harping on and on and on about it thinking that, if they do, they'll get it but of course if/when they get it it won't be good enough. My mother to a "T". She'll carry on about getting a big house with servants until the day she dies. Reality is she can't sit up or stand, will never walk again and needs nursing care 24/7 so it's never happening, just her fantasy.
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The bottom line is she has to stay in ALF. I agree that talking to the staff about ways to make her adapt better may help and adding psych meds seems to be a must at this point as well. By all means, decrease your calls and visits to preserve your mental & physical well being. Don't let her suck the life out of you!
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Debralee my way of dealing with it as well!. Make sure she has all she needs but, apart from that, avoidance and distancing.
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msdaisy, I have been dealing with a narcisstic waif-like mother all my life. Nothing ever made her happy for long. She went after everything she wanted only to either dispose of it, blames others or play victim. I have found you cannot reason with a narcissist or have a healthy relationship. Boundaries, avoidance as much as possible and distancing is the best way to cope. I will make sure my mother is safe and cared for BY OTHERS.
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The furnishings of an assisted living whether extremely grand or comfy cozy are not going to change a residents situation. Nor is it going to provide better care, but an image of better care. The fact is your mother can not live alone. It is what it is. Change for a person with dementia is very hard and you have seen a worsening of dementia due to this change. Her increased confusion is frustrating for her as she tries to navigate her new place with strange faces. There is no majic in an assisted living that the person is going to change for the better.
An adjustment period takes 6-8 weeks. Check with social services and nursing director at the AL and explain concerns she is not adjusting. Maybe they can help her get more involved in activites and meet a "buddy" who might help her adjust.
As far as being blamed for stealing, it would be devaststating. It is common a person with dementia blames others. Sometimes they themselves will hide something and then blame others. If you google stages of Alzheimer's you will see symptoms or actions your mother is doing. One thing I suggest doing is keeping a log of all things she is doing that you think is dementia/ Alzheimer's related. You mother may be further along in her dementia stage than you realize. No stage is concrete as she may be in betweenn some stages. My mother in law has had 3 neuro/psycology evaluations during her process of Alzheimer's. It is a 2-3 hour evaluation done by a psychiatrist or psycologist. Bring your list of dementia syptoms with you if you decide to have the evaluation done. It has been valuable for her care and decision making. My husband was able to know when he needed to use the POA for her after the second evaluation when this evaluation had stated she was incompetent to make decisions or live alone. Hang in there!
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Unable to sit or stand (Parkinsons, dementia & stroke) my mother's been in an awesome nursing home for 18 months. A life long narcissist she stays in her room most all the time obsessing about buying another big house and having live in staff (servants) which of course is entirely impossible. She thinks she can have live in staff for round the clock care for "rent free", i.e. at no cost. The minute she sees me she's on about it and I refuse to discuss it "until you can walk again" which she never will. If she continues I get up to leave which shuts her up.

I'd love to sort her out once and for all and make her see reality so hopefully she'd try to make a friend or two and join in with some of the activities but I'm probably better to go along with her fantasy. No-one in her life has ever said no to her and if I jolted her into reality then she'd likely be raging against me all over again and her behaviour/attitude wouldn't change.

Msdaisy with respect to the phone calls, I was on the receiving end of daily raging phone calls such that it was making me ill and I changed my number, giving it to the NH with strict instructions not to give it out. I told my mother it had been playing up and as I rarely used it I got rid of it. She's at the stage she believes fibs. Peace at last. Visits still string me out but I visit when I know the following day will be clear so I can recover from it.
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I agree that you need to get her some meds for her depression. And since she's in a place that will care for her, you don't need to be calling her mutiple times a day - that will just feed her need to be despondent. Instead of being the listening post for her, be the person who gets her out to lunch or takes her shopping or to see friends. Engage her in some activities that she's enjoyed in the past if possible.

It's NOT your job to make your mom happy. Only your mom can do that. you can help her with medications to ease her depression, but it's up to her to make the most of her situation. Thinking you can make her happy or change her life significantly enough at this point with her illnesses and situation is a recipe for depression for YOU. You can only do what you can do. You don't control the world and you can't make your mom young and healthy. You can keep her safe and get her the best medical care available, but happiness, no you can't give that to her.
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"I would move in this place in a heartbeat."

You and me both, but clinical depression is not improved by your surroundings, only the correct med will do that. Can I say nicely, that calling her several times a day, is not helping either of you? If you are not already depressed, you soon will be. I had to put up boundaries between me and my Mother. I do understand what you are going through.
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The Mayo Clinic has a pretty decent explanation of depression, on their website.
www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/basics/definition/con-20032977
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Your mom is on medications for her heart and for COPD. She is depressed -- by her own reckoning, and by the behavior you describe. Why shouldn't she be on medication for depression? Make sure her doctor knows everything else she is taking and tell him or her about the depression. The doctor didn't say she couldn't have COPD meds because she was already on heart meds, right? What makes you think another drug for a different condition couldn't be added?

Often depression is treated with a combination of drug therapy and talk therapy. Do you think that your mother would be able to discuss her situation with a therapist?

How do you make her happy? That is a very kind goal, but realistically all you can do is remove or reduce some of the obstacles to her being happy. Right now the big one is her depression.

Getting her a bigger room probably won't end her depression. Once her depression is under control getting her a larger room (if possible) or taking her on outings or bringing special treats might give her pleasure. But none of them will cure the chemical imbalance that is depression.
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my mom was ill with dementia, bipolar as a house cat and exhibited schitzo behavior near the end. she was nice most of the time but the bouts of despondancy were difficult for me. men do not do well with the crying jags. my funnest memory is her telling the hospice social councellor that i was trying to kill her -- but she didnt want me to leave. just get me to my va shrink because i was crazier than she was. i guess we were running neck to neck for a while there.
then theres the time i stole 700 dollars from her. after we " found " the money she gave it to me for safekeeping.
dementia care will fry your mind. its blatant insanity that your dealing with.
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Well we are in month three and what an adjustment this has been. I've had more than my fair share of ups and downs, from rebellion, to anger to threats and now here I am three months later and after taking my Mom to that horrible other place to show her just how good she has it, she is acting deflated. I haven't heard one complaint since that fateful day of the tour of the other place but I sense my mom is majorly depressed that her life is reduced to an assisted living facilty. I honestly don't get it. I would move in this place in a heartbeat. She is still miserable but after seeing that other place she is not complaining at all. In fact she is not acting herself at all. I don't get calls at all anymore. When I call her (which I do several times daily) she sounds so deflated. I ask her if shes feeling ok and she just says she is "so tired all of the time." This is not my Mom, don't get me wrong, I'm so glad i am not being accused of ruining her life or stealling, or putting her away, those were things that happend almost daily but this Mom is totally the opposite end of the spectrum which is making me worry even more. She finally opened up tonight to me that she is depressed that she is always tired and always depressed. I don't know what to do for her. I don't think her Doctor will prescribe anything for the depression as she is already on so many medications for her heart and her COPD. SHe is upset her apt is so small, I offered to see if there were bigger apartments available. I hate seeing her so down and so distant. I almost wish she would start accusing me of things again so I knew she was ok. I thought this was going to get easier over time but I'm still making myself so sick over this and I feel like I'm second guessing my decision to make her move there. How long does it really take for them to adjust? We are 12 days into our third month and I can't see my Mom so depressed anymore. I just want to scream or run away, or maybe even both. How do I make her happy or at the very least convince her to try and even fake being happy. I just don't know what to do at this point.
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Thanks Grace I pray each day will get better. I missed a call from the ALF tonight but I know my Mom is ok,I spoke to her. I just pray its nothing serious. They seem to call for every little thing not sure if this is the norm but I guess I am not going to sleep tonight. I just keep praying they are not going to kick her out. Every time I get a call from them I go into a complete panic. I really need to get a grip on my emotions about all of this. I think sadly as it may sound I may have to finally take my Mom on some tours of some other facilities if anything just so she can see how trully good she has it at the ALF she is in. We also have a DR's appt in two weeks so I will be asking the DR about possibly giving her something to make her happier. I am at my breaking point I just dont' know what else to do for her. She is miserable!!!
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msdaisy I hope things improve for you (and your mom) soon. Medication might be the only thing, even if she is already on other meds, sometimes we have to keep in mind, we don't live forever.....so better to live "well" with the time we have left. My mom takes 11 different meds, and with severe arthritis pain she does take painkillers that are somewhat risky.
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Thank you all for the wonderful advice and support its so nice to be able to come here and just vent. Ashlynn's I sadly don't have the luxury of distancing myself, my other sibling already beat me to the punch with that so I'm really all she has. I do agree that I need to set boundaries and keep them, my kids still need their mom and not one that is fractured and broken due to all of this stress. Palm trees thank you too for the suggestion of boundaries.
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Chicago thank you so much for the book recommendation I just downloaded it and its a fantastic read. If I didn't know any better I would swear that book was written entirely about my mom. I already practiced some of the techniques in my earlier conversation and I was amazed at how much "nicer" our conversation was. Thank you so much for recommending it.
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Msdaisy the best thing you can do is distance yourself as she won't change. If she's been mean and nasty all her life it only gets worse with dementia. Take a look at the website Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers and you'll see her there, along with many of our mothers. She can only hurt you if she can get at you. Visit from time to time and leave when she starts. If you keep coming back for more she'll just keep bashing you. If she starts on the phone hang up or turn the ringer off and let it go to voice mail.
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Msdaisey, I am so sorry for the hurt and stress your mother is causing you. I think you need to read up on narcissistic behavior. My mother is exactly like this, EXCEPT, she is healthy and living in her own home. She has had a chip on her shoulder at me for at least 20 years. I complained to her about the stingy ways of my husband and the terrible cost of college for three girls (two are twins). Just normal stuff like daughters do with mothers. Never asked her for a penny, never crossed my mind.

Today, years after my girls have gone through school and are living their own lives, my relationship with mom is in shambles. She stabs me in the back every chance she gets. I just found out from my brother this past weekend that she has been doing this to me for at least 25 years. She has created an entire world of "my daughter is a worthless person who will get my money and blow it" to make herself feel better about being a miser.

I have educated myself about personally disorders, family dysfunction and abuse. There were many light bulb moments for me. Now today, I really don't care where mom goes when she needs care, it just won't be with me. She too will have to go to a nursing home or assisted living.

The sad thing is, we probably never had a real relationship with our mothers at all. It is so hard to wrap my mind around treating a daughter as if she were a worthless stranger. But that is what it is and that is what you seem to have as well.

You need boundaries. I have some and they get greater as each year passes. I am so sorry for your hurt, I know how that feels. It is a lonely sad feeling to come to realize that your own mother is more interested in her drama than in your feelings. I know you love your mother but even that dims with time and the realization that maybe she doesn't love you or your sister the way she should. Maybe she is not capable.

People with personality disorders get worse with age/dementia. So nothing will change but how you deal with her. Arm yourself in knowledge. Take care of yourself.
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Read Coping WIth Your Difficult Older Parent.

Let her call whomever she wants. I think that people will realize that she has dementia. I am going to avoid words like "you should," because that doesn't help. In my situation, I had to walk away and let mom depend on the staff.

In my own case, Mother plays a game that I call "You Lose." No matter what the situation was that we tried to help her with, she won and we lost. Dealing with her absolutely caused my sisters early death. What happens if she outlives you?
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I feel an attempt should be made for medications to reduce the anxiety. Sometimes time in itself along with medications will improve the situation. My experiences show me that it frequently is related to that period of adjustment seen early in the transition from the private home to the assisted/skilled. But not always, some patients remain hostile for very long periods. Its a scenario that plays out with additional medication and not always pleasant.
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