What is the best way to respond to accusatory language?

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It's not all the time, but it's most of the time. My mom is not someone who by nature has been a blamer, abusive, any of that sort of stuff. She's actually a mild person, one might say meek and childlike until she becomes stubborn or irrational. But in our interactions of late, everything seems to be my fault. If something is gone, I moved it. If something is dirty, it's my fault. She will use very extreme thinking in an accusatory way: "The shed was perfectly fine until you put all your things in it, now it's a mess, you need to get rid of everything." You have so much stuff. Nobody has as much stuff as you." "There are always clothes all over your bed." "If you'd only do..." "Did you take my butter? (no) Because it was there before." "Did you move x?" "You're so (insert criticism here)" "You always do x" etc. Now it would be one thing if any of those things were true, but they're not. I'm fine with taking criticism where appropriate but her thinking is very extreme.

The fact is, yes the shed needs to be organized, but it's mostly her stuff, and general garden, cleaning, painting stuff etc. All of which I've organized multiple times, never once has she done it. (It needs to be done again and that's in the plans). I'm actually a super-clean person and except for a nightclothes, the only time there are clothes on my bed is when I'm folding laundry. There are a few work items and books in my private space but it is by no means a hoard or even cluttered. And most of my things are not even here. Yet she has enough things to fill a two bedroom house.

Bottom line, her thinking is extreme and her accusations are getting more frequent. I feel my mercury rising, and I swallow the anger each time, but what is the best way to respond or ignore it with minimal psychic injury on my part?

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Veronica, you are probably right. I no longer stop to get milk and bread because when we get home I have to hear about sh has no money. Got tired of explaining she does and "if" she needs it I will give her what she needs. My brother gives her cash for birthdays and Christmas. I put it a wallet in her top drawer and show her what I'm doing. She forgets its there. I never go down the street her house is on because its up for sale. Don't need to explain, for the upteenth time why she can't go home. Mt husband thinks I'm nuts but he isn't the one who has to deal with it to a person who will forget in the next five minutes.
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Trapped, I think that you are the person closest and so get the blame for all her problems. Dementia patients become the center of their own world so anyone in range gets the blame. It is not easy to continue in this role so before things get critical make some plans for the future. Do you think you would be able to care for her to the end. It will probably get worse mentally and finally physically and the final six months or so she will not be able to do anything for herself. Are you prepared to become the bedside nurse, change the diapers, cope with the laundry, try and get her to eat and all the things that go with end of life care. Her verbal abuse could also become physical which is even harder to accept.
Research all you can about Dementias and decide how far you can go in the care.
and make plans for her future. Can you afford any care for mom either in the home or a facility.
. Don't put yourself in position where you are financially responsible for her care. Have you consulted an elder care lawyer and have POA etc for her.
You will feel so bad because of the things you may have to do for Mom's safe care so keep at the front of your mind that this is the same Mom you have always known but an ugly disease has taken control of her mind and body. Think of it as the Devil taking over mom if that helps. If you have religious beliefs draw strength.
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JoAnne, I think I can understand your Mom's actions. She thought because you were talking to the cafe owner you were conspiring against her. Being paranoid seems to feature in this disease quite a lot. I think in her twisted thinking she morphed the owner into your brother because she had no idea who the man actually is.
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First she has Alzheimers/Dementia so her actions are part of her problem. There is no rhymn or reason. Like said you r the crazy one not them. We went to eat at a sandwich place yesterday. I was talking to the owner about something I found. He and my Dad had been friends. When we got in the car she made the statement she had no family. She started crying. Got home and asked her what the problem was. I was conspiring with my brother Howard. (His name was not mentioned in conversation with owner). I was keeping things away from her. I told her the only time I talk to my brother is when he calls to say he is coming to visit. It turns out I'm being blamed for my brother not visiting enough. He is 56. Told her I was not responsible for his actions and next time he visits tell him how she feels. No, she probably doesn't remember the conversation. Have no idea what kicked all this off about Howard, just out of the clear blue. This happens every so often unlike you who has it constantly. You will need to let it go. I tend to ignore saying nothing.
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Pamstegma said it perfectly. My mom was exactly the same! At times I wanted to yell back in my defense and other times burst out crying. I couldn't take it.
So I had to mentally prepare myself for my daily interactions with my mom. I realized, learning more about dementia behaviors (not saying that is what your mom has) from this site, that I needed to reverse the roles and essentially suck it up... To a point.
IT WORKED! My mom was condescending and rude! So when she would complain about me messing up her drawers, I would answer her, "Oh I see, would you like me straighten them up again"? or " What was I thinking?" "I'm sorry". Boy, was this hard because she would be glaring at me as if she wanted to body slam me out the door. But it definitely softened her mood. And if it didn't make her in a calmer, relaxed mood I would just tell her she seemed like she was tired or not feeling well and I would tell her I will leave now so she can get some rest. I will come back when you're feeling better. Then I'd leave. I know she lives with you then I guess leave the room? I don't know if she is able to be left alone? If so, you might leave for just 10 or 15 minutes to take a break and clear your mind. Go yell at some kids at the park. I'm kidding of course!
I do know our moms just want to keep busy and their brains seem to work as if they have a task then all of a sudden they see a butterfly and then their their minds are shifted, taken off task to another project and they forget about the previous ones. Then they feel as if someone else made the mess or moved their stuff because they forgot they were the ones to make the mess or move their belongings. Blaming them makes them upset because they really don't believe they moved or lost anything. Going along and trying to solve the "mystery" is always the best route. Sometimes changing the subject to their favorite lifetime memory helps too.
Biting the bullet and taking the blame seems to work. She's trying to figure this disease out in her head and it isn't making sense. ( Once again I'm using my mom as an example and not saying your mom has dementia) My mom turned verbally and somewhat physically aggressive but now she's progressed to where she is very happy and loves everyone in her AL memory care unit. A complete change but a progression in the dementia. I didn't know she even had the disease at first but it began with her forgetting, getting lost when she drove, then mean just to me ( her caregiver) but a sweetheart I everyone else. So I denied anything was wrong with her. I hope the advice on this post from the many answers you receive will help. Hang in there and try some different methods. One of them will work. You are doing an honorable and praise worthy job in caring for your mom. Always remember that!
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You don't have to take the abuse. You can pack up and just move on and be free from it, I'm telling you as a fellow abuse survivor myself. There comes a time when to much is too much, and from what you're describing you're currently on the verge of lashing out because when you stuff it for long enough it's like smoldering rags in a closet. Smoldering rags always break out into a full-blown fire sooner or later. This is exactly what anger is doing to you, and it's only a matter of time before you finally explode. What I would do in your specific situation is is just get out of there and just move on with your own life. Get some professional help from a good Christian counselor or even your pastor. There comes a time when you must leave what's hurting you before it destroys you
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I agree with Ferris1. Your profile says your mom has dementia. Her behavior is common on dementia patients. I think it helps to keep reminding myself that it's the dementia causing her to say those things. It's not really her who is being difficult and imaging things. It's her condition that is causing it.

Before I knew that my cousin had Vascular dementia, I thought that she was a very difficult, mean and selfish person. I had sacrificed a lot of my time, energy and resources in order to help her and all she seemed to do was insult me, criticize and accuse. She would say that I put grease on her counters. There was no grease. She would say that I messed up her drawers. I didn't touch her drawers. She was imagining things. Later, it all made sense.

You have to understand and accept it. Don't take it personally. It's hard, but you have to just listen to them, tell them it will be fixed and that everything will be okay.

Caretaking a person who puts this much stress on you can be overwhelming and it's not for everyone. I would consider my options and decide if I needed help or to make other arrangement for her care. I will add that the stages of dementia can cause the person to move from this difficult and hostile behavior to one in which they are more calm. It's hard to predict how it will progress.

I'll also suggest that you discuss her issues with her doctor. Sometimes, pain, anxiety, depression can be treated with medications that can help the patient's mood. Medication did help my cousin and she is now pleasant, kind and appreciative. I'm not sure if she passed from the earlier stage on her own or if the meds caused it. Maybe, it's a little of both.
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When you care for someone with dementia, you have got to develop a THICK skin, and be able to let words go in one ear and out the other. Walk away. When you come back later, she will have forgotten what she said, so she cannot be blamed. Do the best you can, but don't take it personally.
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One approach might be to say something like "I'm sorry this is upsetting you. Just remember I love you"
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Everything that breaks, goes wrong, is a mess and lost is my fault.
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