I am starting to think my mom is mentally ill. My parents went into a terrible tailspin around the age of 70 that involved heavy drinking, prescription drug abuse, and a deterioration in their marriage. After spending about 5 years living a very isolated and negative lifestyle, dad developed signs of dementia and eventually had to be put into a care facility. I think dad was probably covering for mom's mental illness but once he was unable to do that, she has unravelled and now I've got a mess on my hands. She's been placed in a "senior behavioral health center" three times in less than 12 months. I think she's bipolar at best, schizophrenic at worst. NOT dementia, I'm sure of that. I'm her only outlet to the world, really, and it's terrifying to think she will continue to be a weight on me for the next 10-20 years. I might add that I believe my mom's "split personality" combined with verbal abuse of my father, contributed to his rapid cognitive decline.