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When elderly parents live with their adult children who are their caregivers, and are disrespectful towards them and their friends. My mom who is 82 was living in Massachusetts on her own and was feeling she needed help, so she asked if she could live with my husband and I. We agreed, since we've cared for my father in law who had dementia and also for my dad for many years. Both have since passed on. So we moved her out of state and in with us. We have one roommate renting a room from us, which we've known for over 20 years, and my mom has a room to herself.
Within the first week of living with us, she informs us that (in her own words)
" I can't stand that idiot we have as a roommate." All within ear shot of our
friend. I took her aside and asked her why she felt that way. I told her how long we have known him, and that he is an honest and trustworthy individual. I also told her that we need that room rented out and could she try to be more respectful towards him. It's been one month now and she just ignores him and gives him the cold shoulder. When we come home from an outing or a doctor appointment and she sees his work truck she says " Looks like the asshole is home". Today she had another smart ass remark and I jumped down her throat for it. She says she dislikes him because when he comes home from work he has a couple of drinks,( doesn't get drunk) and he has a sleeved tattoo.
I don't want to put her in assisted living, but since she has been with us our home is not what it use to be. Calm quiet and relaxing. Do you think there is anyway I can get this grumpy odd lady I call my mom to change her way of thinking? She calls herself a God fearing Christian, and she does her bible devotions every night in her room. I've tried to tell her that this is no way for a God fearing Christian to act and reminded her what the bible says about respecting others, all to no avail. Has anybody else had to deal with a disrespectful parent? Please help!!

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Blannie the dr said no when I brought this up but I don't agree with this dr so thank you for saying what I was thinking.
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Frustrated your MIIL is showing signs of dementia-type behavior, unless she's always been like that. Is this a new kind of behavior for her? If it is, it might be worth having her checked for her cognitive function. Those kinds of odd, inappropriate behaviors can be the first sign of dementia.
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My mil is 68 and disrespectful to some of our friends. A friend lost their place and stayed with us. She locked the teenage boy out of the house. She would throw tantrums and make sounds, purposely fart at them, slam doors at them. They have now found a place but she at times is disrespectful to them still other friends and even us.

Idk what to do :(
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Dr. Rocku2, have you had your mother diagnosed for possible dementia? I suspect that is what she is dealing with and, if so, she needs all the patience and understanding and love you can bestow on her. I would have her visit a neurologist as soon as possible. If she has dementia, it will be downhill all the way from here on. I know because I have a hubby with dementia except that he is very placid most of the time and not at all hateful and violent. Every person with dementia is different.
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Sounds like you have done the right thing. Remembering that Mom asked to live with you, it is your choice to bear with it. Because, once they have dementia, they can no longer make good choices. Then, the POA is at issue. Can you continue, with your hands tied? Then you are so brave! Maybe deserve a medal for all those you have cared for, now, and in the past. Caring for the elderly medal!
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What a frustrating situation you have. And because I am not in the middle of it, I can easier ask: what would be so bad about having the family members that are threatening to come and take mom way, do exactly that? You have tried your best but mom does not want live with you. She is entitled to make her own decisions unless you are her conservator. So let her be self determined and let your family take your mom if they want her. You can love her and care for her from a distance, which may be the best for all concerned. You can not argue reason with a brain damaged person, which is what dementia is - a damaged brain. You do not have to defend or explain your grown-up life to your mom or to anyone for that matter. Your house = your rules. Good luck.
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Dr. Rock, that's a sad story, and yes, your mom has cognitive impairment. Distant family are not going to be able to see that or accept that either logically or emotionally by talking over the phone.

The room-mate may be just fine - because its not his mom, he can probably see that mom is not coming form a logical perspective and that it is on relfection on his actual worth as a human being.

Get copies of the "unfounded" letters that you should have from APS, and send them to the siblings, along with photos of your one plant, your card, your home, and Mom sitting there glaring...as you said, they simply found it more acceptable to think you were failing her than to disbelieve her messed-up perception of things; maybe they can even get on here and be educated on what dementia is. Invite them to visit - they will be treated like gold, of course, but MIGHT be able to see at least that the situation is not inappropriate. They should have the option to take her into THEIR homes then too. There should be a comprehensive geriatric evaluation including her cognitive status that would be shared with them. to make clear what is probably already obvious, that she can't safely live on her own. You have a right to ask to be put back on the medical POA list if you are going to continue to try to care for her, and it may take someone getting a guardianship to make the whole thing reasonable.
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Is anybody here in San Diego, CA.?
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Yes sendme2help. The reason I'm trying so hard with my mom is exactly that. She's my mom. My father in law had dementia and on his bad days he was no where near a bad as my mom. And we cared for my father who was a breeze. He was actually happy till the day he died. He was a joy to be around. I just wanted to do the right thing.
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Yes, Babalou, the best, low key route. If you cannot send mom on vacation to Massachusetts and not accept her back. Amazing you were able to assist other family members, is there a reason you are trying so hard?
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If you have to place her without the help of brother or family, be sure it is a christian home. Have you heard of the 6 pack homes nearby in the community where only 6 beds are personally cared for? If it is nearby, you can visit, and bring her marijuana cookies if she asks. Remember, she asked to live with you. Tell that to brother.
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I'll add one more thing to keep in mind. The next time she ends up in the ER or hospital, you DON bring her home;you work with discharge to find her a nice facility.
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Call anyone in your family and have them pick up mom. Your lifestyle is different than your mom's, it is not the dementia that is the real problem. You should not have to defend yourself, or your generosity towards mom, because she will never be comfortable. Since she shares private stuff with other family members who would judge you, have them take her, you tried. Either lifestyle is not wrong, just different, like water and oil. Since she has taken steps to shut you out, you will be hitting your head against a wall, expecting different results, while she allows you to appear worse and worse. Ask her now where she wants to live.
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Several suggestions. First, tell brother he's welcome to come get her and move her into HIS home. If he doesn't want to do that, he needs to shut up. That will probably shut him up. Or send mom to stay with him for a couple of weeks or a month. See how she does there.

The additional info you've written (her believing you're snooping on her, believing your roommate is stealing from her, reporting you to police repeatedly) are all classic signs of dementia. Go to Youtube and check out Teepa Snow videos on dementia. And start reading the threads here. Your mom will only get worse, particularly if she doesn't allow you to help her.

Understand that with dementia, her paranoia and threats will continue where ever she is. Medication might help her with anxiety and the paranoia, but if she won't let anyone talk with her doctors, your hands are tied until she's in much worse shape.

I'd say call brother's bluff and get him more involved. Maybe mom will listen to him and he can come to understand that you're not doing anything wrong - that mom's brain is broken. Good luck and keep us posted on how you're doing.
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I'd like to thank all of you for your input on this topic I started, but now I'm seeing that I have a much more serious issue to deal with here. It all started while my mother was still living in Mass.
Since I live in California, I went to see a Medical doctor who is knowledgeable about Medical Marijuana. I have Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, and I heard that Medical Marijuana can help with the pain, and if nothing else, it would help me get to sleep at night without having to take a sleeping aid.
So I went and got a Medical Marijuana card and I use marijuana on average about 2 or 3 times a month in the evening before I crawl into bed. That card also lets me grow up to 6 plants with certain restrictions. I had one plant growing in the back yard.
When mom was still in Mass. I was telling her about this and she was all for it. If it helped me, and I had a doctors approval, no problem. She even asked me to see if there was any info on using it for Polymyalgia and Arthritis type pain. So I was sending her all sorts of info I found. She was interested in trying it, but I told her I couldn't help her with that it would be illegal. I asked her to go talk to her own doctor about it, but she was either too embarrassed or to scared to bring it up. So she never tried it and the subject was dropped.
Now, 1 or 2 years later, she's here in California with my husband and I. At first the trouble was with her hating our roommate, who we have known for years upon years, and she hates him for no good reason other than just hating him. She tells us to “Just deal with it” Now a month later, she still hates him, but now she also thinks my husband and I are nosing into her medical issues and her financial issues and she thinks our roommate is stealing from her, which he is not doing. A few weeks back, I was showing her our vegetable garden we have in the back yard, and I pointed out the one pot plant we had growing. She told us “your going to get arrested for that” and I explained to her that it was legal here in California and I showed her my Medical Marijuana card that made it legal. Then one day she got mad at us and she called my nieces who still live in Mass. She only gave them half the story, and now they called me up and started yelling and screaming at me, saying I'm miss treating her and I'm a drug addict. They suggest to her that she call the police. So she does. 3 police officers how up at our door and want to do a wellness check on my mom. No problem. She tells them that I'm using Marijuana and I'm growing some in the back yard. They ask for my Medical Marijuana card, I show them, and they tell my mom there is nothing illegal going on here, and as long as we are not abusing her there is nothing wrong. They asked her if she has been injured and she says no. They leave.
A few days later we come home from the store, and again, more police at our door. She called them again, with the same results when they came to the house. Since then we have pulled up the plant and tossed it in the trash. The trash man took it away later in the week. Now she has taken me off of her Medical proxy and has put my nieces on instead. I knew this move was going to be hard on her, but I figured in time, she my come around. She did not allow me into the doctors office when she had her initial visit with her new doctor, and with her taking me off her medical proxy, her doctors won't talk to me about her medical issues, nor can I ask them about her medical issues. My nieces have called their
dad, which is my brother, who hasn't spoken to my mother or myself for close to 15 years now and all of the sudden he's concerned about his mother being abused by me and my husband. He's threatened to have mom taken out of here and me and my husband thrown in jail. My mom has called social services to help her look for a place to live, and when they came to our house, I sat down with the lady and my mother. Social Services told her that she sees nothing but a caring daughter and her husband who is doing all they can to give you the best of care and your fighting them. They don't think she should live on her own which is what she's after. I'm at my wits end on this, and my other family members are no help. I've left them messages to call me so I can explain myself, and I also left them the name and number of the social worker that was out here, so they can speak directly to her and get the info they told me and my mom. I need to explain to them that this move has somehow interfered with her logical thinking, and they are not helping her by buying into her stories. They are actually doing her harm. Because now I have to resources to get her the help she needs. I see signs of dementia, and my brother says we just want to put her into a home so we can take everything she has. So not true.
I suggested to my mom in front of Social Services that my mom take my half of her life insurance policy and turn into a cash benefit so if she does leave here she could maybe afford a nice assisted living place close to our home. Seeing today is Sunday, first thing in the morning I'm calling her doctor to see where I stand.
If anyone from my family would bother to ask or even listen to me they would find out that since mom has moved in I haven't been using my marijuana, and if I did it would be before I crawled into bed, and my mom is safe and sound asleep.
There is a safe and responsible way of using marijuana, just like there's a safe and responsible way of using alcohol.

Lord Help Me!!!!
My only concern is my mothers well being.
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Go tour different places to see what is out there before you need it. I learned there was nothing at all to feel guilty about. We found a continuum care facility nearby that has been a real lifesaver. I can go to my job and not worry. I can sleep at night and not worry about what's going to happen. My kids can have friends over. Home is our haven. For us, it was the right move for so many reasons.

A lot of seniors rally when they get in the right environment with peers and activities. There is an adjustment period, but with patience it can be done. The staff at these places are pros at helping new residents adjust. They usually have a buddy assigned to them.

Assisted living is for people who are still pretty good. It's not a nursing home or a place to put someone with moderate dementia with behaviors.

My mom should have been in assisted living 15+ years ago before her dementia progressed so far. She may be better off today if she had done it.

The place my mom is at had age 65+ only apartments with no additional medical services but an emergency cord in the bathroom and an I'm OK check every day. These people were having FUN. They ate their meals in the dining room that worked like a nice restaurant, had cocktail hour, went to the theater and everywhere else on the shuttle. Many could still drive and parked under the building. There was an awesome Sunday brunch and special meals at holidays. You could add on housekeeping & laundry and weekly pill box setup with reminders. There were parties, outings, and if you were bored it was your own fault. If you were getting a little forgetful, it was OK. Staff were everywhere and would help, but they were not dressed like medical people. It looked like a nice hotel. You had to get your own mail from the little post office area. They had 3 flavors of church on Sunday and a visiting pedicure service. The doctors came to the building. Residents did their own laundry in the facilities on each hall. You had to provide your own furniture and each apartment had a kitchen and pantry. Some people had small dogs. I would call this retirement living with a safety net. They had a workout area & library. 50 channels on Dish Network, free wifi, utilities included. They would not let my husband & I move in because we are too young. Our teenagers would have been a problem too.

The assisted living unit was for people who needed more help with activities of daily living like dressing, and starting to need more medical assistance from skilled nursing staff. They still came to the independent living dining room or could eat in their more quiet smaller dining room if they needed assistance to eat. You could see people dressed like nurses and the med cart was out in the hallway. More use of wheelchairs. No post office area. Family could come get the laundry or have it done on site. There was no stove in the rooms, just a nook for a table & chairs and small fridge.

The next wing is the more traditional nursing home wing where people are bedfast, or unable to really care for themselves at all much. There was primarily nursing staff there and it did feel more hospital like than the other units, but it was still pretty.
The laundry was done on site & included. No kitchen area at all in the rooms. No mini fridges. A lot of people had a recliner and that's it for furniture. Most had family pictures and embroidery or their own art on the wall to make it more home like. The beds were hospital beds and very low to the floor to avoid using bedrails.

After that is the secure memory care/dementia unit. Behind that is the extra secure memory care unit for people with mental illness and dementia. This is now where my mom is. People can have things from home, but it really depends on the size of the room and if it will confuse the person or not. No food storage in the rooms at all. The bed is a hospital bed. They have a common area that looks like a living room with TV that only plays old movies & shows. There is an eating area as well with a huge fish tank.

Beyond that is the hospice unit for the people who are dying. I haven't had a reason to visit that unit yet, so I can't really describe it myself, but it looks pretty nice and serene from what I can see.

Physical & Occupational therapy are in the building and staff will come to the resident's room to pick them up & take them back. The dentist is on site too. Pharmacies deliver to the independent unit. The other units use the same pharmacy service for everything. Let me not forget to mention the beauty & barber shop! Mom loves manicure day the most. Her nails are always well groomed and painted, and she loves to get her hair done too.

The fact all this can take place in the same campus, without going out in winter weather, without taking time off work is just amazing to me.
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I'm beginning to think that maybe she does have some cognitive decline coming on.
It seems to be coming on very slowly. I'd say she is fine maybe by 80% of her waking hours. And I think this is also a case of too much change at one time like sandwich42plus brought up. I have an appointment to speak with someone from our local aging and independence organization and I'm sure she will bring that up. If she doesn't, I will. As far as moving her into Assisted Living....Good idea but I'm afraid what her reaction to that would be. Especially since her cognitive decline is not that severe yet. She's only been living with us for a month, so I feel I should try to keep her here with us for awhile longer and see where it goes. If and when it comes down to putting her into assisted living I'll be able to say I did all I could. We were able to handle my father in laws dementia, before he passed away without putting him in a home, and we were also able to keep my father with us. I just need to know I gave it my best shot.
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I had a client that wouldn't speak with me for 2 years just because I patted her arm and said I'll see you later-she thought I was being condescending which is not how I meant to be perceived. A small action can be interrupted as something else. Or it could just be for whatever reason she doesn't like him. It doesn't really matter, it's your home-I'd speak with her and let her know that she doesn't have to mingle and speak with him, but being rude is just not nice and it's inappropriate. Maybe it is time for an assisted living facility, close by where you can visit. It could also be that your mom has some mild dementia and is unable to control her impulses, I see this often. If clients could see themselves they would be appalled by their actions. There could be several reasons for her comments. If it's dementia she may not be able to control herself, if it's rudeness-that just not allowable. She doesn't have to like him, but should treat him with respect.
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Is it possible there could be some cognitive decline going on here? It's not unheard of in the over 80 crowd.

There is also such a thing as too much change at one time. Human nature is to fight back.

I agree with the advice to have her go to senior living with people her own age and ability. She can have her own space the way she likes it and participate in activities intended for people her age. If she wants alone time, she can go to her apartment.

My mother could not wait to redecorate my house to the way she had hers, which is NOT the way I wanted mine. She also could not handle our hectic schedule with kids, activities, and such. She would pitch a fit if my husband & I went on a date together without her. It got worse and worse and worse because of her dementia, but needless to say, things were better when she did not live in a home that was never going to be hers or reflect her wants.
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You brought up something I was thinking -- how she would feel about your husband if she could get by with it. I also wondered if she would start saying things about him if your roommate wasn't there. After reading what you wrote, I wonder if she is just not comfortable with your roommate and tries to find things wrong with him, rather than accept the responsibility for her discomfort. It was be great if she could become comfortable with him. Maybe that will happen.
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Thank You all for your replies. JessieBelle, your absolutely right when you say we have to figure out how to react to them. When she goes on a rampage I separate myself from her, or I just get quiet. That lets her know I'm upset with her and she doesn't like that. Maybe in time she'll realize how her attitude is un called for. A far as our room mate goes, I've talked to him and he says he doesn't take it personally. He still says hello to her when he sees her. That in it self shows how great of a guy he is. Another thing we have started to do is asking our room mate to have dinner with us. Sometimes he does and sometimes not, but when he does we seat mom next to him. If she can realize how cordial he is being maybe it will rub off on her.
When mom moved from Mass. she had no friends.to speak of. She lived in a senior apartment building, and when any neighbor would try to befriend her, she pushed them away. All of her interactions were with her Grandchildren. My brothers kids. As far as the drinking goes, she used to have a few drinks when socializing, but that was many moons ago when I was till just a young child. I told her yesterday that I don't think her disliking our room mate has anything to do with drinking or tattoos. I think it has to do with him being a man. My parents have been divorced for 20 years or so, and ever since she has an attitude towards men. Dad passed away 5 years ago. He was so much easier too care for! I also pointed out to her that I feel if my husband wasn't my husband, she would dislike him too. Since mom still has her faculties together, I'm hoping if I show her different scenarios of how she's acting, one of them will strike a cord with her.
Hugs to all of you.
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DrRock, you must be living with my mother. She is a Christian lady who finds few people who are acceptable. She talks bad about most everyone. I don't think there is any way to change the mindset. They make movies about old people like our grouchy old moms. They are incorrigible. The only thing we can figure out is how to react to them and when it is time to lead separate lives. I'm surprised your roommate hasn't served notice yet that he's moving. It is probably most unpleasant to come home to such hostility. Good luck getting things straightened out.
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DrRockU2, sounds like there is now a child/parent dynamics going on here. You are now once again the *child* and your Mother is now once again the *adult*... and she doesn't like your friends.

You also have to realize your Mother had moved from her *home* in Massachusetts leaving behind her memories of that place, her friends, her hairdresser, her doctors, etc. She's like a teenager who has been pulled from her friends to move with the family to a new location.... she's not a happy camper, going to grumpy, pout, and say mean things.

It seems like your Mom has her own stereotypical mindset of someone who has tattoos. Is there a reason she doesn't like someone who has a couple of drinks? Someone from the past? Someone she might had dated in her youth who broke her heart? You never know.
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Start taking her out to look at Assisted Living facilities. Some of them are quite nice. Many elders are a whole lot nicer when they live with people their own age. As far as her failure to live up to her christian principles, maybe a little counseling from her minister is in order.
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