How to cope with hurtful accusations from Mother with dementia?

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I know many of us have been there. Yesterday I was talking with the hospice nurses as she was being admitted to hospice service.

Mom saw me in the room, rattled the knob and kicked the door before we could open it. She has a bruise on her face from a fall last week. When the hospice nurse asked her how she got that bruise she looked straight at me with an angry face and said "My daughter beats me up." She was perfectly serious and believable, probably would have passed a lie detector test.

All the times she hit me as I was growing up, I have never laid a hand on her; I would not dream of it. Her comment really stung me.

So my question is, what do you say to yourself to heal up from these cuts?

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Sophe509 you've received some sound advice from caring and informed community members. I have to say that I hadn't thought of Pamstegma's advice but she's right. There is a legal risk. Even though this is the disease talking - and that is what you have to continually tell yourself - for your own protection you should follow Pam's advice. You don't want to be left with a legal issue after all you've been through.

I went through the "she's taking my things" routine that many of us do, simply because my mother couldn't remember where she put things or what she wanted the day before. That hurt horribly, so I do understand how painful these accusations can be. But when the accusations are about physical abuse and you can't prove otherwise, you could be on dangerous ground.

Please keep us updated when you can. We want to know that you are all right.
Carol
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Get her out of your house right now. The problem is that if she says you hit her, APS will get involved. NEVER visit her without a witness present. Insist on supervised visitation for your own protection.
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What do you say to yourself? "It's the disease talking, it's the disease talking, it's the disease talking...."

It still hurts though.
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Sounds like there is a bit of underlying anger here from you…which is okay and understandable. So you probably should evaluate what is most important….and if you can move Mom then do so. You may find that your resentment towards her will grow and your patience towards her will shrink. I believe the answer "the disease" is very accurate. What might be interesting is how you would have described her before the disease. Was she sweet and kind and caring? I ask this because I know there are may defenses that the core personality is no longer there and that the disease is to blame. The loved one becomes a total stranger. And then, they could still be the same person. My story: My husbands mom lived with us and was never considered very popular with her family. She had been alienated by members of her family for some very understandable reasons. When living with us we had daily encounters that were a bit unpleasant. When she angrily wandered from home for the third time she was picked up by a local couple. While they waited for the police to retrieve her she told the story that her son was home drinking and threatening to kill her. When the police brought her back they interviewed my husband and discussed her" tale". And of course my husband recognized this as part of who is mother really was…and not only part of the disease.Does that make sense? The decision was made and was easy….she was moved into a senior home in 5 days. Wow was it an ugly and spiteful move. The words and statements that spewed from her left additional permanent wounds on my husband. Unfortunately the move also began one more long painful guilt trip for my husband. Eight months later he suffered a mild stoke as he consumed if he had done the right thing.Of course we did! Such tangled webs we weave which consume us! My own father who is 91 has Alz. and , not to be biased, has stayed sweet and kind. He has caregivers who report when he has days when he has the disease agitation/ugly personality moments. They recognize that these moments are part of the disease and not his core personality. He is always able to revert back to his "regular" self…..I guess he is fortunate and blessed. The disease is such a puzzle. Long story I guess…but none of us are alone!
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We kept a hand written caregiver log for my mother with a brief summary of her day, activities, food intake and mood(s). If something happened (such as a fall), more details were noted in the log. It was a valuable tool for the whole family and her medical providers.
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Ladies, I feel so much better after reading about your experiences. A year and a half ago I quit my job, rehome do my pets and moved back to my home town to be of assistance to my parents. The family expected my mother to pass due to her health conditions but unfortunately it was my dad who went. I had just moved into my own apartment but mom's needs were such that I have to stay with her and take care of her. A year later I still have not unpacked my place. I have tried to be a good daughter but it's been difficult with my overbearing, controlling verbally abusive mom. She has not been diagnosed with dementia although I do see symptoms occasionally and report them to the nurse. She recently got it into her head that I'm stealing her money and has verbally attacked me viciously about it. The day before yesterday she asked me to sit on the couch, rolled her electric wheelchair near me and started screaming in my face. I decided I couldn't take it anymore and the next morning I showed her on paper an accounting of all her money and told her I was giving her 30 days to make other arrangements for her care. I have physical health problems as well and this has all just become too much for me. I know this doesn't specifically answer the original questions but I just had to get all this off my chest. The suggestions of a log and visiting with a witness are good ideas. My family sees a completely different side to mom and I expect to get some grid for my decision but I have decided to take my doctor's advice and take care of myself. I'll still transport mom to her doctor appointments and see she has her medications but I'm done being used and abused. It's just nice to know I'm not alone. Thanks
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Whew Pamstegma, I had *not* thought about that. Excellent point. I will follow through on that instantly. Thanks.
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One of the most helpful things a counselor told me was that my mother was projecting all her self hate and anger on me. Which is not to say it didn't hurt, but she's always been mean. In the 7 yrs she's been in a facility, I've relied on professional counselling, the experience of friends who've been there and already experienced all these things, and anything I can to help me deal with it. One of the most effective things has been to just say "If you are going to put me or my children down, I'm leaving. I'll come back when you are in a better mood." And I follow through on it. For some reason, she seemed to think that I should just sit there and listen to her make vile comments and accusation. Maybe because my Dad did that.
I agree with those who have told you to place her in a home. Also excellent advice I received from a counselor was to NEVER let her live with me, because I would be trapped and at her mercy, just like when I was a child and she would say mean and hateful things. I always remembered that, and thank God I did. As you can see, we have quite a history.
As her dementia seems to be getting worse, she changes the facts of stories. One of which is she tells everyone she's had a stroke, but brain scans say otherwise. Whether this is to elicit pity, or to try to explain to herself why she cannot do certain things any more, I have no idea. I just bite my tongue and let her fabricate whatever she wants, as disagreeing with her evokes rage.
Kind of in a bad place myself so my patience is low. My ability to cope is limited by my own situation....don't do well if I am tired, dealing with other issues, or feeling ill. Just have a cold, but feel crabby and irritable, so I will stay home for a few days until I'm in a place where I can cope.
The wish for our parents love and approval never seems to leave....at least for me. So when they call you names, or run you down, or try to embarrass you in front of others, it can hurt. Yes, for some it's the disease, it's the disease. But if you have lived with a disapproving and mean parent all your life, you may have to learn you don't NEED their approval or love. I've had to come to terms with it. I still wish I had it, but have accepted it will never come. God loves me, my kids love me, and mother doesn't love me because she doesn't love herself. Just the way it is.
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I can certainly see that guilt from past actions comes back to haunt our parents: I see it in my parents lately as they are in their 90s. So far it comes out in different ways. They don't have dementia as bad as yours do. The abuse accusation certainly comes from deep guilt . I sympathize with Sophe! And like you, I never fought back when my mom was beating me up. A few years ago when she didn't get her way she yelled at a crowd, "my daughter's a bitch!" I was hurt and horrified! Now I can laugh at it. But it ain't no fun. Thank God she doesn't live with me. I allow her to choose her own destiny and help only when asked. I can't stand her company anymore.
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Mom has Alzheimers and other medical conditions; Dad has serious medical conditions plus he has been showing signs of increasing dementia of some kind. Dad has high anxiety and panic disorder and fears practically everything; very phobic.He's scared to death of 'getting' Alzheimers like Mom and is VERY resistant to aging, and even being around her because of it. I'm by them alot @5 days/wk and Dad does this to me, I think, because he is scared of the unknown coming for him and Mom...He says alot of hurtful comments , accusations that aren't true, and even says some of these in front of other people who have no idea of the whole picture...Dad is a cover-up artist with other people but his doctors are seeing what happening with him, even tho he thinks he has them fooled. However, it still hurts. I am his only daughter who cares for both D ad and Mom, I spend alot of time and energy into their daily care and needs, even taking time away from my own family and our needs. I quit my job to take care of them , without pay because I don't believe in being paid to take care of one's own parents at this time of their lives. I drive them to all their dr appts (total of 17), make all the arrangements, etc and Dad still does this. I try to put it all into perspective and it helps, but at times it still really hurts. Dad has always put himself and his own needs first, even puts Mom second, he is very selfish and doesn't care what it does to anyone else. The drs are working with me because they see what is going on so that also helps. All I want is to do everything in their best interests but when Dad says hurtful things and/or accuses me of whatever is in his mind at the time, I'd have to be a concrete wall to have no hurt from it. Perspective is the best remedy I have for this. Take a day or two away from them, but have someone else as your back-up . Keep their dignity and independence as much as possible, but watch from a distance without their knowing. Vent it out to someone else, then stop talking about it/thinking about it as it will ruin any time you have with your own family and friends. Do something that relaxes you to lower your stress level. You HAVE to do this or it will eat you up the more you go over it....It works, it really does....you cannot let it consume you as it almost did me til I realized what was happening...perspective is the key.
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