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Mom has dementia, likely LBD. She is very high functioning. She lives in AL and is unhappy. While I have learned so much and can have good visits with her despite the verbal attacks, one thing is hard, and another intolerable. Mom comes up with scenarios about harm that will or should come to me in order to make me understand her unhappiness. I can deal with this. But when she names my grandchildren, or husband by name and suggests what could happen to them, horrible things, in order for me to understand her losses, or to give me what I deserve, I cannot deal with this. She says she shares this information with her siblings and they agree. I'm not sure if that's true, but her sibling keeps posting things on social media about karma, punishment, not caring for your old folks etc. I try not to let all this eat me up. How do I answer to these morbid attacks? So far I just listen, but I'd like to stop this type of conversation.

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Get off Facebook or block anyone who posts passive-aggressive messages. That's kid stuff.
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Reply to Eyerishlass
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Your Mom will never be happy. Bet she wasn't happy before Dementia. Its a shame they take it out on the ones that are actually helping them but they do. You have a right not to be abused. Tell your Mom you are sorry that she feels the way she does but you do the best you can for her. But, if she keeps saying these hurtful things, you will have to cut down on ur visits or stop altogether. That you will not allow your children to visit because what she is doing is abuse. Don't go into why she can't go home or live with you. Try to keep it short. Sit right in front of her and look her in the eye. They become like children but unlike children, they can't reason. So trying to reason with them is futile. Wait a couple of days and visit. If she starts the abuse again, tell her sorry you are not listening to this abuse and leave. She may finally get it she may not. There will come a time when the desease progresses to the point she just rambles when she talks. She will be in her own little world and hopefully no longer abusive.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Go to the AL and tell her you won’t be back. You are tired of listening to her. And then DON’T GO. Tell her she and siblings can make her room the ‘Hate Hangout’ and talk all day everyday.

Let staff know that you’re available for REAL emergencies and that’s it. 

You ask if I get offended. I go beyond offended. My mom’s a pussycat and she always had an even temper. My dad and extended relatives who lie about me get this. Oh! Block these liars numbers on your phone.
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Reply to HolidayEnd
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I so agree, HolidayEnd. Teepa Snow can do all the videos she wants, but this is simply unacceptable and shouldn't be tolerated.
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Reply to CTTN55
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NightOwl, as you probably know, LBD responds better to medications than some other kinds of dementia because there is less death of brain cells. Have you discussed her current behavior with her specialist? (She is being followed by a specialist, isn't she?)


The few months my husband was paranoid and accused me of stealing from him were the worst in his ten-year journey, in my mind. And his accusations were mild compared to what you describe. My heart goes out to you. I hope your mom goes through this phase quickly! (His diagnosis was confirmed by autopsy.)


Tough love simply does not work with dementia. You staying away or leaving will not teach Mom to change her behavior. The learning mechanism is broken. But, as JoAnn points out, reducing the amount of time you spend with her can protect your own mental health. I would opt for leaving, rather than not coming. "Mother, we need to talk about something else. This topic gives me a headache. How was that singer they had for entertainment last night?" If Mom can't change the topic, then you feel the headache coming on and you have to get home. Or, interrupt the talk. "Mom, I'm going to the kitchen for some coffee. When I come back I'd like to look at your old wedding album with you."


To me, your mom's behavior sounds like she has dementia. Exactly the diagnosis she has. She doesn't need to have a mental illness to account for it. And as a dementia behavior, it may fade away (or not).


With LBD, she may never reach a point when the disease progresses and she just rambles when she talks. She may never be in her own little world. My husband never got that way, even in hospice. Other than the paranoia period he was never abusive, either. Each case is different. I hope your mother's moves away from this abuse.


If you can find a local caregivers support group for those whose loved ones have LBD, I think it will help your sanity and stress level a lot! The LBDA.org website has a list of support groups by state.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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Omg. I would not listen to this. That is not your mom talking.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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About social media ...

Throughout my caregiving days and even now, I periodically share a short, interesting article about dementia. Not the 8 page medical journal articles but maybe a half page explaining that persons with dementia often make things up they believe to be real. Or a short one on sleep disturbances in dementia -- that kind of thing. I'm not doing this defensively (no one is attacking me, subtly or otherwise) but just to be informative. You might want to take up the practice. Not specifically aimed at your relatives, but just putting it out there in case they are interested.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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I don't think many people are, BH, just as not many people can cope with severe autism or schizophrenia or any other of the more behaviourally challenging conditions. That's why I wish that those rare, incredibly gifted individuals who do have a real vocation for "dementia whispering" (as I think of it) were paid on superstar salary scales instead of one up from stable hands or roadsweepers, as they tend to be.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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And I did get a laugh of of the comments on Teepa Snow. She's a wonderful entertaining lady but who has time for those antics? I watch her videos thinking, this is not my full time job. My mom would require a minute by minute companion with all the right moves. That was my dad and he's gone.
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Reply to NightOwl
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Hi Nightowl,

Just a couple of thoughts on your subject of hurtful comments made by your mom with dementia.

If we who know the dementia patient, that they are sick and can’t manage their own intellect and we can’t accept the diagnosis and all it’s implications, then how do we expect casual or infrequent family and friends to understand that they are listening to the ramblings of a demented mind??

If they “fool” us enough that we can be mad or hurt or offended, How can we blame others who don’t know the intimate details for being fooled?!

Don’t get me wrong. I know it takes a very secure person to not be offended by the hurtful speech we are discussing.
And it’s damaging to our own mental health.
But yes, when you are dealing with a sick person you do need to be mindful that they are ill. That’s why you and brother put her in ALF right?
What did you expect? Did you think she will be “well” just because she now is in different housing? I know it’s especially hurtful because you probably struggled with the decision.

I agree with not listening to this hurtful and damaging abuse. I also think it reinforces it to argue or try to reason with the demented mind or to give it your emotional energy other than perhaps regret or sadness. Even that is best dealt with after you leave.

That’s just my theory but my Aunt (91-dementia) knows there are subjects I don’t wish to discuss and she will avoid them with me although she will talk about them with others.

So she may be at a different level than your mom in that she can still “self” redirect. She will start to say something and then stop herself and change the subject when she considers her audience. I won’t go there with her and so she stops.

I realize that dementia progresses and she may not always be able to do that. It will be something new as time marches on. If the gossips are still calling your mom, they will observe the changes in her as well.

Teepa Snow is a way shower who I am grateful for. She exaggerates her message which is useful to get the point across. To decide that her teachings are not for you is to discount techniques that have been helpful for others in similar situations. But your choice of course. I find it effective myself as it avoids conflict.

If I were you I would walk in and take in the situation. Give her a hug, a couple of compliments. Maybe a treat. If she starts in and you don’t want to redirect, then give her a goodbye hug and leave. As long as she’s pleasant stay and visit. You don’t have to be angry to deal with her. Just girded.

I received this text from a friend. It might be useful for your consideration considering how very old this “poem” is and how long the problem of care taking elders has been with us.

From my book - SAVED BY A POEM

“Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” John 21:18
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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