What do you do when you and your aging mother have a really nasty argument?


My 86 year old mother and I have now been living in a garden home for four years. We have had minor confrontations in the past, but yesterday it really got heated. She has early onset dementia, loss of hearing in one ear(which she refuses to do anything about) yells for me and can't hear me when I answer back unless I yell back at her. Then as a result, she tells me not to scream at her. Told me I was the devil and hated her life. I cannot go on like this and neither should she. We both own the garden home so how can I convince her that moving to a retirement or assisted living community without causing more arguments.

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I have blowouts like that with my mom 2-3 times a week. She screams that I don't have a mother anymore and that I'm no longer her child. When she's not in full on rage, she makes a point of addressing me as her child. I used to try being reasonable. There's no reasoning with her. I've told her to think about what's she's saying because she'll be responsibile for the outcome. Her response has been to say "good" and then repeat yelling the same things. As a result I've gone weeks without talking to her except for the bare minimum to get things done. When I do that, it tends to shutdown her blowouts.

Of late, I've taken to walking away as she gets going. I can hear her screaming behind me and I just keep going. I've talked to friends with older parents going through the same thing. Many people hit a certain age when it's impossible to reason with them. All logic falls. Being an engineer, it's my nature to find solutions and solve problems. Somethings have no solutions. You just have to minimize the damage.
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One of two people in a conflict always has to be the patient, reasonable one. It's a decision of awareness. It's not easy and usually you end up the perpetual " bigger person." I think that may be why I have gained so much weight:(
Hearing loss is aggravating for both the loser and the person who again is the perpetual redundant speaker. Sigh:(( Communicate honestly, hug and forgive. xo
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Thank you for your feedback. Hopefully we can mend our relationship enough so she will agree to tour some facilities. Hearing from others with like/same circumstances or more insight is very helpful.
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When my Mom would say rude comments to me, I'd tell her so. I learned to walk away when she was ornery - many times I'd be in tears - but I found it really helped.

Regarding an ALF, I recommend taking your Mom on some tours of local facilities to get her buy in. Her needs are only going to increase and you are already burnt out so I think this may be a great option, if you can financially swing it.

Bless you.
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