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She is 88 and lives alone. She accuses me of messing up her appointments and calendar. She has delusions which the doctor knows, but he has not diagnosed dementia yet. She needs something to ease anxiety. I can't take the daily, constant irritability and accusations, and I am the only adult child who will take her anywhere. My brothers do paperwork but no categorizing at all. She has always tried to control me, and now it is magnified. It is really wearing me down emotionally. I am afraid to call her or visit each time because I know I am going to get bombarded with accusations of making mistakes. Nothing is ever her fault. It never was, so a much worse attitude now. She lives to start an argument. It is really hard for me to keep quiet. If I do keep quiet, she gets very snippy and vicious, putting words in my mouth and mocking me. This is so hard. Suggestions welcome!

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You say that your mom sits in her car waiting for you, searing that you said 11:00, when you said noon. It sounds like she's forgetting and is confused. You can handle it like you like, but, this mental confusion would make me very curious. I'd make pretty sure she's not operating under a disability, before writing it off as manipulative and mean. I did that once and it was not a good thing. I wish you all the best.
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Your brothers do just the paperwork, yes? Time they got up closer and more personal :) Good luck, please update, hugs.
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Thank you so much for the advice!! The word "categorizing" was supposed to say caregiving...auto correct changed it. My two older brothers do NO caregiving. They each have their excuses and apparently think it is the job of the one woman-me. I really think that my mom is afraid of the thought of a nursing home so she makes me the target of mistakes to make herself look less crazy. The hard part is that it happens daily. If I tell her I am coming at noon, she sits in her car waiting for me from 11:00 on, then yells saying I told her 11:00. She starts a fight about it every visit, every phone call. I told my husband I can't take it anymore. I do think I am way too available, and I will work on distancing myself to remain sane! 😊
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Jules, it pains me to say this. But. If your mother has always bullied and harassed you, and it is now worse because she is using you as a scapegoat for her own loss of abilities, I think you need to look after yourself and stay away from her. At least until your brothers' hands have been forced and they have a proper support plan in place for her.

If you continue to volunteer for her abuse - and I know that sounds harsh, but it is what you're doing - then one of two things will happen. Either you will end up like a little toasted marshmallow from accepting her treatment, in which case you will enable her resistance to the higher level care she needs; or you will finally break, and you will end up out-and-out hating her, and you will feel terrible about that forever.

It feels as though your mother needs you because your brothers' care is of the arms-length type. Well, your mother does need help. But it doesn't have to come from you. Let someone do it whom she can't victimise. Let your brothers handle it, and recruit any additional help they need.

If you can shake off this sense of obligation, you will free up enough head-space to be able to interact with her again and still take care of yourself by establishing healthier emotional boundaries. But as long as you're in the middle of it, you're too buffeted by her to be able to think straight.
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Sunnygirl above has some good points... wish I would have played Columbo around my parents house [they were in their 90's] back when my Mom was alive... it was pretty much an unwritten rule not to snoop in their house nor for them to snoop in my house. It would have been an eye opener for me that my parents were not functioning on all 8 cylinders.
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It's likely that all of the messing up of appointments and things that she is complaining about is due to her own mental decline. I'd check into that to see. If she's missing appointments, late on payments, no longer has insurance coverage, she may be in real trouble. Of course, she's not likely to accept that. You will not be able to convince her that it's her decline to blame. You'll have to work around it, to get her help.

I suppose you could step back, but I think I would first observe her household and see just how bad the situation is. I might check her food and see if there is spoiled items, bills piled up, dirty laundry, medications being taken, etc. If she's declining, she may not be able to function in the home. That can make people lash out, be confused, etc. Ask other family members to come with you, so they can see too. You might talk to her neighbors and see if they have noticed odd behavior.

Depending on what you find, you might send letter to her doctor so he gets the full story. That will help him in knowing what to look for when he sees her. When the patient give inaccurate info to the doctor and there is no one to correct her, she may seem fine to him.
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Jules2, one thing I had noticed with my parents is that once again it was the parent/child dynamics.... it doesn't matter how old we are, we will always be "the kid" in their eyes and what do we know :P

You mentioned your Mom has always tried to control you but it is now magnified. If you can get Mom to her primary doctor, have them test for a urinary tract infection... such an infection can make an elder very difficult to deal with. It's worth looking into.
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Are your brothers local? Tell them that she needs to be taken to a geriatric psychiatrist. And then keep your distance until this happens (and she improves). This will be a good wakeup call for your brothers to see what it is like taking care of her.
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I agree. Don't participate in your mom's behavior by allowing her to treat you that way. Be as helpful as you can until the bad behavior begins and when that happens you leave her alone. Either tell her that you're hanging up or if you're with her, leave.
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She needs to be sen by a geriatric psychiatrist. Asap.

When she gets abusive, don't engage, don't get angry. Just leave.

She cannot control your behavior if you don't let her. You exercise control by ending the visit, pleasantly. "Oops, mom, gotta go now".
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