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My mother has become extremely petulant. If she does not get 100 percent of my attention, she tries everything from rummaging in closets to saying she is sick, she has been home the past two days from Adult Center because she said she was not feeling well, but she is fine, a bit of gas perhaps, but other than that she is incredibly nastier than usual. She is doing very strange things but it is put on, she pretends to sleep and when she thinks I am gone will peek out for me, she will run down the hall if she sees me. This is the wacko behavior that I worry about since she said to me the other day if I don't sit with her she will tell them at Adult Center I am not feeding her. I am so done with all of this, stick a fork in me.

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Madeaa, She's a crazy, mean old bat! Good luck.
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Most elderly people want to continue to do things like they always have. They tend NOT to want to use "new" things even when they are much more convenient. It has to do with comfort level.
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Williasa, I am in Ireland, not USA and I am not married. It is a different socialized system here, no assisted living, just nursing homes. She is not at the stage for a nursing home, she is healthy, and very active, she can run rings around me I have ankle osteoarthritis. She turned 85 the other day and she looks splendid, I am affirmed by the people at the day center that I am taking good care of her. I do not want to medicate her at this time, she does very well when she is out and about, she does not do well when she stays in the house and watches tv all day. She craves craves attention, after all it really is all about her. She wore me out today, I took her to the hairdresser, Post Office, stores. I wish it were me getting my hair done LOL, she is off for the next week till the 19th of August, the day center bus is more off than on. The thing is when I have no break from her it becomes too much, she is very clingy. We had some bad news about her sister in England having terminal bowel and liver cancer, so I have been helping my uncle also. It is not easy, yes Raven, I would love a vacation, perhaps a week in Tuscany or Spain, but I have no one to look after her, it is just me. So the short of it all is, I need to be able to just VENT.
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My mother recently broke her hip. It is a blessing in disguise. She is in rehab and will go to assisted living . That is the goal. It will allow me to be her daughter again and not her caretaker. I have cared for her in my home for 8 years. During that time I watched her normally narcissistic personality fragment into dementia. But it was gradual. The anesthesia does a number on the elder brain. The gradual descent became a free fall. Her short term memory is gone. Although I visit for hours every day she does not remember the following day. But that too is a blessing. The next day she does not remember her rants and raves. We start the day fresh each day. A bit of advice because that is shay we all need. Get your mom on meds for depression and anxiety. She will eat and dress and cooperate for others, but not for you. You need to either bring in help or get her where she can get help. If she is the spouse of a veteran the federal government will pay up to 1500 a month for either. Assisted living is great but a parent must be cooperative, somewhat ambulatory, and eat. Having someone other than yourself working with your parent can help modify their behavior to prepare them for assisted Iiving. If a parents income is exhausted you can get Medicare to partially pay as well. If it is not exhausted their are ways to put their money into a trust. Try to get a power of attorney while they are cooperative. If you have to go to court it is very expensive. I was able to get control of my mothers finances early on so I could secure her income for assisted living. Once your parents are in a facility they cannot leave if you are their legal guardian. All NH or AL will have such forms for you to fill out. Bring personal items every day to talk with them about. Bring a newspaper and picture magazines even if they don't read. It will give them some control. Bring food treats but check with dietary first. Bring pictures, flowers and a cell phone. Most places will not allow cell phones so bring yours to let them talk to family and friend when they are cooperative. If they become abusive on the phone exit as quickly and pleasantly as possible. You must save yourself and your spouse. Your parent is never going to get better so get a plan.
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Madeaa, It sounds like you need some relief for a while. I was ready to lose my mind as a 24/7 caregiver for my Mom so I managed to go on a 2 week vacation which renewed me body, mind and spirit to come back and resume my care giving.

I have seen my Mom pull some odd behaviors that honestly made me wonder if she was really ill or just putting on. What I came to realize it that the odd behavior is all part of the disease. What does worry me is when they begin to threaten you that "If you don't do this.....I am going to tell whomever...you are not feeding me or being nice to me etc. That would be horrible to have happen and what is worse is she could cause so many problems potentially for you if anyone believed what she said. To her it is a game, like a child plays but it could have horrible consequences.

You really need a break Madeaa. I can't even say to you...talk to her, because if she is like my Mom, she will not remember what you said in 15 minutes. If there is ANY possible way of leaving for a time to relax, please do it.

Go Bless You!
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I may sound hard but, frankly, I have no feeling for my mother at all. What I do and have done for her is merely duty. I have scars where she knocked me around and put me in hospital when I was about 6 and it didn't get any better after that.
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Madeaa my mother, like yours, was a mean, nasty, spiteful manipulative woman her whole life - basically narcissistic with delusions of grandeur. She never lifted a finger to help anyone, not even her own parents when they were old and sick, because it was "too much trouble". I gave up my home and career to move in and care for her and for four years I was housebound, the constant subject of her evil ways. I often wished she would die so for once in my life I could be free of her. She's now in a NH, Parkinsons, dementia and mostly in bed asleep or in a wheelchair. She's like Jekyll & Hyde, sometimes reasonable, others evil and wanting to fight with everyone, especially me. When she gets like that I don't call or see her for a while. As I'm all she has she eventually straightens out ... until the next time. I don't feel that it's a battle we can ever win, just figure out how best to get through it. Take a look at the website Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. I found that very helpful as well.
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One thing I will add, she Can learn new things, she does new things when shown. I agree with Jessie about the worrier aspect, anxiety for sure. It is not an Irish thing with the toilet paper, it is her way of stopping a leak. She does not have a UTI, I agree with Veronica it is most definitely an old lady's insecurity. And please I am not burning out I am venting, venting, venting, isn't this the place to do it before I burn out?
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A good physical might be in order. When my son was little and hyperactive, the doctor told me he could give him medication if I needed it. I didn't and he learned self control. I think this might be a similar situation. If YOU need it, she can possibly be easier to manage with medication. She can't learn new things.
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Madeaa
You mentioned that you are in Ireland but did not say north or south, but to every one on this site the medical care is very different from the US. others have mentioned a UTI or other infection. Frequent bathroom runs can be a sign of diabetes but more likely an old lady's insecurity - part of the loosing control of body and mind. Some kind of medication intervention would help you both. Extreme care has to be taken with the doseage in the elderly. As the liver and kidneys age they work less efficiently so the dose needs to be lower. Is she appropriate for any anti dementia medications. If seroquil worked in the past that may be a good choice, she does not need to be given such a large dose as to make her a zombie. Hopefully her MD will be co-operative with this approach. As you know there are no easy answers so hang in there my friend
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Please get a hold of her doctor. Tell him you need some help...with meds and/or someone to come in and be with her. You definitely sound like you are burning out, and that is NOT good for YOU, or your mother.
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I understand. Usually when I write something here, I don't want advise and answers. I just need a place to scream. I can't do it at home or the neighbors would have me locked away. I also love it when people share their own experiences. It makes me feel not so alone.
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Yes, I understand about the filters, she is sneaky and manipulative it has nothing so much to do with her filter loss and a lot more to do with her underlying personality, this is how she was as a younger woman, now, yes her filters are not so good, but she is still manipulative and "me" oriented. I have talked to her Geriatrician about this and he agrees with me and gives me tips to take care of issues as arise. My mother does not like the loss of power, independence, aging and control, she acts out because of this when she gets angry and yes her fears and anxiety are also thrown in for added measure. This is a day at a time thing, I come here for support, not to be a know it all answerer, but to get the support I need, and to be allowed to vent vent vent.
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If the seroquel dulls her, try a different medication. Xanax is an anxiety reliever and is available in XR (extended release). Encourage relatives, even distant ones, to visit her and get some outside time for yourself, which is really important for YOUR survival.
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Madeaa, is your mother prone to obsessive thinking and anticipating bad things to happen? I ask this because some of the things you mentioned sound a lot like my mother. I think a lot of it with my mother is fear of looking foolish. She has stopped going out to talk to her friends. She says she doesn't feel good or some other reason, but I think it is because she can't figure out how to interact anymore. She also frets a lot about me. I am sure much of that is because I am her lifeline to the world right now. She also uses the bathroom a few times in anticipation of going out. I've learned to mention the bathroom 10 minutes before we are supposed to leave, even if she has just gotten out of it. She always wants to use it right before we leave. She is afraid of accidents, which I understand. I don't understand the little roll of toilet paper that she uses all the time. Maybe it is an Irish woman thing that came from the last century. All I can think is that it must be irritating on the skin.

My mother doesn't voice her fears, but I know she is a chronic worrier. She has an anxiety disorder -- always has. She is afraid people will notice she is not acting right, so she avoids them. She is afraid that something will happen to me, so she irritates me with her concerns. She is afraid of being embarrassed by having an accident, but she won't wear protective undergarments, opting instead to go to the bathroom a lot. I have a feeling much of her life is lived in fear now. It may be why she enjoys losing herself in her TV so much.
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Madeaa,

Try asking her doc about about putting her on Paxil or another anti anxiety drug and when you get a chance, try Sam's Club to stock up on cheap toilet paper, an stock the bathroom she uses with it.

I do wish you the best.
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Sounds like you are getting caregiver burnout. It happens to everyone at some point. Taking on the responsibility of a loved one is daunting to say the least. It also sounds like mom may have a urinary tract infection. There usually isn't a fever, pain on urinating, or other tell tale signs in the elderly and especially in dementia. The first thing that will change is behavior. They will be angry or tearful and upset about everything. That with frequent urination makes me think that is what you are dealing with. Dementia is a tricky thing to deal with. The person may seem to be manupulitive and you just want to scream "knock it off". but most of what they are dealing with including having filters, is diminished. when you are angry and it crosses your mind to do something outrageous, you have an internal filter that says that is not acceptable behavior. She doesn't. as the disease progresses she will become less and less able to control her words and or behavior. Making sure she doesn't have other issues like an infection is first, then solid routines are important. going to a day program is a good idea. Talk to the staff about her threats of accusing you of things like not feeding her. They will understand and see that she is not losing weight. they can help reinforce what you are doing at home. Remember they deal with dementia every day too! The most important thing I can tell you is that yelling at her or threatening her will not give you the behavior you want! In fact it will only make her angrier. Keeping a level head and calm voice is key to motivating a person with dementia. When you need a break, look into respite care. Most insurances allow for this up to 2 weeks per year. A lot of nursing and rehab facilities will take a person short term for this. Having another family member stay with her is ideal but not everyone can do this. Hang in there!! It sounds like you love your mom very much and she is lucky to have you!
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Thanks too Patti...I know when she was in respite for two months they used Seroquel to calm her down, but I will only resort as a last resort, I don't want to dull her and allow her to have her good times when she is feeling well.
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Thanks Kathy, mom is not ignorant, rather, I would say she is petulant and afraid as vstefans said. I will try to keep her being afraid foremost in mind, yet, I am a human and some days the hammer hits the knee in the right spot. But always with some people it is better to kill the sons of biaches with kindness.
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I would really look into medication if I were you, Madeaa... we started my mom on an anti-anxiety medication about two weeks ago and she's doing better than she has in years. She's consistently more relaxed, less obsessive and much happier which in turn makes me so much saner! I know medication is not always the answer, but it's certainly worth looking into if you can.
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A wise man once told me how to handle ignorant self involved people. lol "Be nice to them drive them crazy. " You are wonderful.
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Thanks Kathy, I do practice meditation and mindfulness otherwise I'd be in Oz with the scarecrow. Don't be worried, thanks but don't worry, my mother can push push push to get a reaction, ever been around someone like that? Usually, I can deal with it, sometimes it is harder, that is why I come here for reinforcement and when I need to vent, it helps, I don't necessarily need an answer, sometimes there is not one, but there is support and an understanding that is what I need.
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Do you practice mediation? . Where you concentrate on your breathing, and just let your thoughts drift? It will help keep you sane. it lowers your stress, and helps keep you calm and centered.

Somethings the shrink taught me. Disengage, step back, stop trying to make an impossible situation better. Instead embrace the craziness, set realistic goals, such as keeping her safe and warm. You can't make her sane again. You can't wave a magic wand and make her thirty again. Stop beating yourself up.

I am tired, if this sounds harsh, it is not my intention. In this situation, you have the power. She needs you; not the other way around. Emotional blackmail only works, if you give in to it. Try this next time. do this with humor. give her a hug; look her right in the eye next time she blackmails you into submitting with threats of neglect, and say " okay" then walk away. You can't change her, but you can change your response to her manipulations.

Can you take an "Alice in Wonderland" approach to the problem, detached amusement at the craziness, or maybe Dorothy's approach in "Wizard of Oz" awestruck wonder " people come and go so quickly here." You've been transported to another world. Maybe humming 'follow the yellow brick road" to yourself to make you laugh, and step back from the craziness.

I am worried about you. From your posts you sound at the breaking point. Dementia is uncurable. One person can't do this alone. Have you thought about putting her in a nursing home?
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Thanks Boni, I needed that support. She is nicer than warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream today. Holy God, she is a mind bender, she was possibly stuck in the fifth ring of Dante's Inferno last night, me I am living closer to the center of hell these days. Help us Lord.
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Praying for you, dear one. My mom goes back and forth...nasty...nice. EVERYTHING is MY fault...including the weather, on bad days. I am her savior and hero on good ones. Hang in there girl.
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When she gets nervous she pees, when she knows the bus is picking her up she will go to the bathroom six times, it is like a fixation for her, she says she doesn't want to be caught on the bus, she has always been like that. I had thought to myself well better than wetting the bed or your pants, whatever. Hence I bought her pads just in case, she does not use this but wads up a toilet roll of tissues, another hence, 18 rolls of flipping toilet paper every couple of weeks. ARggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggh
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it can be some other infection too, but the frequent urinating might be something
my mom would get them with no real complaint of pain on urination either! she would also get crazy when she had a cellulitis (skin/soft tissue infection)
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vstefans, I was thinking about a uti, but she always always is going to the bathroom, she drinks loads of water and I am forever making her tea. I asked her if it burns her when she goes, or does it hurt her or does she feel pressure, she said no. This is truly the biggest mind cluster F I have ever endured. Honestly, I am so glad she is in bed, because God help me I can't stand the sight of her right now.
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My mom is acting the same way. She now lives with my sister, but my sister needs respite plus she needs to go back to work part time in a couple of months. She is trying out having a caregiver come in for a few hours three days a week after my mom totally rebelled at going to a senior recreation center for two days a week. She is still rebelling at having the caregiver there, she hung up on me the other day when I told her to be nice, and she even remembered doing it. She won't eat if the caregiver is there, and if she loses any more weight, she will be put in hospice and get feeding tubes. We've tried telling her all this, and that also she will not be put into a nursing home if she complies. It's like talking Chinese to her because she is totally resistant, even to having her diaper not changed. I really would like to know how to handle this too; otherwise, she will end up killing herself by starving, and we won't be able to do anything about it.
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This is hard...now occasionally they get worse when they are having some medical issue such as a urinary tract infection, if you can get a medical checkup for things like that it might be of help to get back closer to baseline.
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