Mom can't do anything for herself due to pain and mobility issues so she gets waited on hand and foot by me and other caregivers. It's one request after another and if I don't answer right away she repeats it. She says it doesn't have to be done immediately but it's her tone and she has OCD so she hyperfocuses on what fell on the floor or lights left on. It never ends and by the end of my shift tonight I blew a much rage spewed out that I felt like a monster.

Anyone dealing with a personality like this?

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Whether you are the caregiver or the recipient, everyone acts and reacts differently. Some are wired to be caregivers - and some aren't. Likewise, some elderly are easy to take care of while others are unreasonably demanding, embittered, combative or abusive.

My mother's dementia has created the latter for me. Sure, I tried my best to keep her independent, but she eventually became a danger to herself and the situation became more than I could handle (bogus calls to the police, yelling at the postman and neighbors, false allegations of theft and abuse, racial diatribes, etc.). In her mind, she was no longer safe in the home, but instead of being fearful, she was violent and abusive. It was actually her idea to move to Assisted Living and it was a Godsend.

But there's something I wanted to say to Smitty. After years - and in hindsight really decades - of taking the verbal abuse, accusations and threatening behavior, I simply became void of emotion toward the woman. I can't help it but the fact is I no have an emotional investment. Sure, I do my duty and ensure that she gets proper health care (and yes, there are good places out there), but the days where I have any emotional connection are long gone. If you see yourself heading in this direction, do what you can to get help for her and for yourself - but also realize that you are only human. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about what you feel.
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Sometimes I feel like a monster daily because I get angry or frustrated then when I do I HATE MYSELF for days after. I don't have it as bad as you, mine can do somethings for themselves most of the time they don't but I know what you are talking about. My mom is very much like yours and now I can't help to think does she have OCD. I love this site cause it give's me such a seance/feeling of (I don't know) I know this sounds horrible but I feel better knowing others have the same problems I do. Oh I am so sorry for saying that, but for some reason it comforts me knowing I am not the only one that falls apart, that cries everyday, that loose's there temper, etc. I don't have an answer for you but I do want you to know I think your normal, I think we are all normal, and for those who say maybe seeing a therapist will help, all of you are my therapist (what good will it be sitting in a office and crying all the time) I have all of you and you all know what it is REALLY like. I hope this helps you feel better in some way take a deep breath maybe 2-3-10 cause today is another day. Thank you for sharing your feelings I wish I could hug you.
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Caregiving patience comes and goes in waves. There are days you take it all with stride and others you feel like you are drowning and can not breath. It is important to take care of yourself. Easier said than done. I am in a different situation than you, in that I moved in to fulfill a promise that my grandfather could die at home. I have my own home and I had a life beyond his care. This few month stent because he was dying, has gone on now for 32 mos. He has been officially under hospice care at home for 16 mos.(he get a total of 3 hrs/wk from them, the rest falls to me but I have better tools to manage discomfort). I lost count how many times he was very close to the edge but somehow recovers. I have been in almost constant state of alert with life and death. I have held on because it constantly appears that it will not be much longer. I have no more life. I can not make plans because one of his episodes make me drop my plans to rush home for him. Reality is that this has destroyed my business. I should never had made that promise. I seek to find the lessons in this experience. I am very caring and loving but my personality is not one that can handle being trapped or constant repetition (I am...was fiercely independent). People have told me that I will never regret this but I already do. If I had any clue what I was committing to, I would never have done it. I feel like I have been ripped apart and beaten (figuratively... no physical abuse on either side) When he finally does die I will not be able to go back to being me. Like a spring that has been stretched too long, I will not go back to my old self. So the quick answer is get out. If you are just living there to save money, it will cost you more in the end. It can deteriorate your health. It sounds like caring for her is killing you. If you are stubborn like I am... I am going to keep this promise even if it kills me and it just might.... then I suggest seeking and experimenting with healthy coping and communication. My grandfather is a strong self centered man but basically a good man with many admirable traits... but he expects women to wait on him. He is 96 and from another era. He has had his own learning curve with me fixing the bathroom sink instead of having a man do it. I have learned to calmly explain myself with reason, state my expectations as well as seek to understand his feelings and his desires... God knows he would never talk about fears. I have worked at stopping my tendency to imagine what he wants and now I ask him. Many times I am right (I can tell you want he is thinking just by the subtle movements on his face) but sometimes he surprises me by the answer. It is also good to make him use his words... make his actions a conscious effort not a subconscious reaction. I also have done better at setting boundaries. Boundaries that are shared and understood by both parties. (I am grateful my grandfather still has his mind for the most part and can do this. My heart goes out to all who struggle with caring for those with mind issues). Lord knows I feared open communication with him with all my soul. I was terrified that he would be angry with me. After all he was the great and powerful Oz. I was grandpa's little girl, he was the adult. But I faced those fears, since I was back into a corner. The stress was tearing my body apart. I should have been hospitalized twice with severe abdomen pain but refused to go because there was no one to take care of him. So I really had no choice. If I was going to survive the experience and keep my promise, I had to grow up, change my relationship with my grandfather, and have a heart to heart. He was uncomfortable with it as much as I was. But we got through it. I had to be the adult and not expect him to lead, know, or understand what I was going through. And we have had several conversations that I would never have had dreamed of having with him. And this ability to state my needs has improved my other relationships. So I will not be the same person and it will probably take months to heal and start a new life but I do have some great communication skills that will make me a better person in the end. Interesting, as I reflect on this, maybe I will not regret it... but I will say it has been a very costly learning experience. But it is only a learning experience if I look at it that way. If I choice to find the gold in all this dirt. If she holds over you the living situation and will not talk to you as an equal, get out. If you do not have all the ingredient to make a cake... it does not matter what you want, it just will not come out right. If you are angry or have strong emotions, it means your needs are not getting met. What are they? Identify it and then share your expectations. Don't assume the other person knows. It might still require compromise and you will still have bad days but it will be better. Remember no one can make you feel anything, that is your choice. Now all this sounds rosy and it is not. No one is going to live happily-ever-after. He still thinks women should take care of the house... he can still be demanding and get angry when he can not always get his way... but it is better and we can talk when new issues come up. I am not going to change him but I have made living with him a little bit easier... or at least I am handling it better. It is all about perception and you have control of that.

Points to ponder:
+ avoid a bell... I bought a wireless doorbell for him and it makes me gag every time I hear it ring...even on my good days. And if you do not move fast enough it can become their weapon.

+ read inspiring books like "The Four Agreements". To me the most important agreement is "Never take it personal". Remember her life is also turned upside down... she has her own issues and fears to contend with. The "Five Languages of Love" is another excellent book. You and your mother may have different languages (or expression) of love and appreciation. Maybe your mother sees love as service but you see it as words of appreciation and neither are getting their needs met. If your mother has her facilities, read it together and discuss it.

+ Breath.... several times a day, take good deep breaths.

+ Find areas of your life you can control... like eating, exercise. Care for yourself by eating whole foods and drinking plenty of pure water. Try eliminating sugar. Personally when I eat sugar I have lower emotional tolerance. And movement helps the nerves. Give yourself some loving kindness and seek to understand.
Helpful Answer (15)

RSTORMFIELD, you seem to speak from a place of much bitterness. That is not a good place to give advice from.

If it comes down to daughter's life being shredded to pieces because she has a demanding mom - no matter the relation - then mom is dying, and taking her daughter with her. If her mom actually knew she was doing this to her daughter and cared, she wouldn't do it.

But she doesn't know, and doesn't care to know. Daughter needs to draw some lines in order to be healthy for mom and herself. Put her own air mask on first... My mom can be demanding and it helps when I remind her I can only do so much, and some stuff is just not important, or can wait. Lucky for me, mom understands and finally agrees.
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Since your mom doesn't have dementia I think you're perfectly within your right to tell your mom, "I heard you mom. I will get to it in a few minutes." You're not there to be your mom's servant, you're there to help her and you're doing it out of the goodness of your heart.
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I agree with zookeeper, move her to Assisted Living if possible. Caring for them is one thing, and constant abuse is another. You save your own life first. Know your limits, draw the line in the sand, and leave when she belittles you.
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Perhaps it might be appropriate to point out that not all ALs or NHs are the same.

I live in central PA. It is simply NOT TRUE that the residents of the homes here do not get good care, that the employees are cold and callous, or that this system is crap.

I have heard the horror stories from the Manhattan-and-surroundings area. It might be worth it to look further afield. I have thought this many times. Wouldn't it be better to drive a bit further to have a much better facility--and cheaper? And to know that your loved one is happy while you are at work?

My mom is living like a wealthy aristocrat where she is now and, funnily sometimes, she feels and acts like one--and it costs about $3800/mo.
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My mother used to say "your"ll miss me when I am gone" truth be told I did not but that's another story
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But RSTORMFIELD, what happens after the overworked caregiver dies, then don't the people they were caring for have to into a facility after all? It seems to me that to suck the life out of anyone is evil and why should it be ok to abuse your children, no matter their ages? I don't think any person is anyone else's "lawful prey". To put it rather crudely, if you live to be old you are almost certainly going to wish you had not, but that doesn't give you a right to blame anyone else for your situation. This is a very imperfect world and it is very unreasonable to take one segment of the population and say "everything should be nice and cheery for them, no matter what it costs others." What about simple fairness here?
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Tell Mom to give you some time to respond back as you might be in the middle of doing something else and you want to make sure it was done right. I have a bit of OCD, so if I were your Mom I would understand "make sure it was done right".

Whatever you do, do not give Mom a bell to ring when she wants your attention :P
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