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My 88 year old mother has developed into a terror. A very mean demeanor.....arguing, cussing and everything is negative with her. It's amazing what us caregivers have to put up with. These old people lose part of their mind in the aging process and the ones taking care of them are on the receiving end of their wrath. It's absolutely mind-boggling with all the problems these elders develop......not just physical problems, but the resistance they dish out to those that are trying to care for them. Instead of making it easy for their caregivers.....these elders make it hell. I deal with it every day. It's terrible what the aging process does to the human body!

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Yes, the one who does the caregiving gets the brunt of the anger. It's not fair but it is true. I try to think of it in the same vein as I did when my children would throw a tantrum. It's a result of feelings they can't express and all I could do is let it run it's course. That doesn't mean taking abuse. It means removing yourself from the center of the storm. To do that I often had to retreat to the bathroom for a few minutes and vent, or if possible, get out for a while. I say, if possible, because most of the time it wasn't. I hope you have a care partner to support you. If not, please use this space to help you through it.
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One thing I try to remember when I encounter difficult attitudes is this: every thing we do to "help" is just one more reminder of what our loved one can no longer do for themselves. It is hard for that generation to accept help. Give your mom some space when she gets nasty. Tell yourself that you are doing the best you can and hopefully "this too shall pass"
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Roscoe,
I know you're against hiring help or seeking therapy, and that you have plenty of money. Are you also opposed to medication? Does Mom have a diagnosis of dementia? Many cranky old folks get better on an antidepressant or antianxiety medication.

But Roscoe, you don't want help, do you. That's OK. Feel free to vent.
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Roscoe888,

Thank goodness for chat lists like this one!
It's a terrific part of a Caregiver's support system.
Find/develop good support systems --before-- you find yourself down the proverbial rabbit hole, sucking your thumb in a corner!

Caregivers too often find themselves in really wretched circumstances.
Sometimes, they can be overcome or compensated for, but other times, not.

Currently, there's laws that protect Elders from abuse or neglect, but, to date, NO laws protect Caregivers from Elders who abuse them.

When an elder becomes Terroristic: Caregivers, Beware!
It's a terrible thing---heart-breaking, frightening, totally frustrating, and always button-pushing--NONE can button-push as painfully as close relatives--especially parents!!

As Dementias of various kinds creep in, 'who they used to be' hides, or in some cases, gets worse; who they used to be is rarely seen again....
A mean person can become nice, but usually, mean people get worse with dementia. A nice person will get mean, then as Dementia gets worse, they get nicer.
Head injuries over a lifetime, strokes, etc. can trigger really bad behaviors--these are VERY hard to remedy with the best helps and best counseling.
There's not a whole lot anyone can do to fix it or make it better.

One can endure though--best by taking good care of yourself!
If you have some good memories of life with your Elder, before Dementia, hold on tight to those!
If you feel those slipping away as the elder gets increasingly hostile, write them down, to help you find them later--you WILL need them as part of your own healing process.

"Using soft language to turn away wrath", can help, but not always.
Using small tricks, like changing the subject, redirecting in various ways, can help some.
Changing your own perspective of events, can sometimes be some help.
Keeping in mind the person is not their usual "self", helps.
Walking away might help in some events, but not always [sometimes the demented person will just follow you and keep it going][not sure what to tell someone in that event--I failed to solve it here].

Keep a log--notes on a calendar or diary, of daily events, what they were, what was said or done, is protective of the Caregiver.
Calling 911 EVERY time the elder gets physically violent, within the first 24 hrs., to make a police-documented record.
Take dated, timed pictures, take dated, timed videos of happenings.
DOCUMENT EVERYTHING.
These help protect the caregiver--it may be the only thing you have protecting you in court someday.

Realize that sometimes, one person simply can't keep being the Caretaker under the same roof, or sometimes even in separate houses--
---that's when it's time to find a better place to get your Elder the care they need.
There's no harm / no foul, admitting one can't do it all anymore.
...it's FAR worse to keep trying to keep doing it, against all odds, to the point it destroys the Caregiver.
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My Mom was abusive when I was a child. I walked away at 32 and now find myself in the position of caregiver in my home. I have 3 siblings who would not care for her. She is physically and emotionally abusive to my husband, dog and me. I am at the end of my rope so I feel your pain. I keep readi,g hoping to find an answer. Sending you strength.
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Sometimes people need to vent, find reassurance, find a different answer. Keep writing Roscoe, we are here to listen. I have similar issues with a 91 yo mother. Very hostile, angry, difficult - and she's had a pretty great life. Always had anger just under the surface, though - don't know why. Visit her now with a second person/witness that she knows and is comfortable with every few weeks to make sure she is ok. I receive lots of nasty phone messages, and am not allowed in her home unless I let her know we are coming over - which is fine, she lives at least an hour away. Not allowed to speak with her doctors without her there. I am the only person in the family who has helped her. It is a very lonely/stressful place to be when in you are turned on for helping/saving that person. Hang in there.
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I personally went through it with my patient. I was the "horrible" one. But I kept going, changes occurred with the care I provided. Was laid off for a week. It was a struggle getting back. I was yelled at, threatened, accused you name it. But oddly I got an apology from her when she was having a bad day, and I sat with her, comforting her with contact and words like nothing ever happened. She sincerely apologized for the hell she put me through. Basically, it's hard to deal with. I just kept telling myself it's part of the disease, don't take it personal. I would be upset at times. But my best advice, and what got me through is imagine yourself as her. It's hard, but deep down do they really mean it? Probably not. Your the easiest target. As was I. Hugs to you, I know it's hard to deal with this situation, especially being family
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I SO feel for you, Roscoe. My heart bleeds for you. I'm in a similar situation where my 81 year old Mom who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder also now has dementia.
All I can do is pray God will help me see her through His eyes, see that her needs are met and try to find solace in Him.
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My mother is 86, insists on living alone, is hoarding everything, will not accept help, and is so cruel. My older brother, who is a retired doctor due to serious emotional problems, can not be talked to about the situation because he tells her. what I have said. I am attempting to find an elder care lawyer who can help. Mother's attitude after my father passed away is that everything is hers and no one can tell her what to do. My brother supports her, but he no longer even has a valid medical license. I am so weary of being yelled at and debased. I don't know what to do.
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My husband brought his extremely difficult personality to his dementia and causes daily problems for me and the staff at the ALF. He has only been there 6 months because I could no longer care for him but he was always acting out and still does, leaving me holding my breath that he will not get kicked to the curb. Previous doctor fired him/us because he, the doc, was ill equipped to handle such a difficult patient. New doc (only 2 visits so far) is proving to totally 'get it' and the dz given by UCSF. Husband now on Risperdal and the doc just increased the dose. Before he got on this Rx, I felt he was as miserable as he was making all those of us around him, like a horse with a burr under it's saddle, bucking and jumping around but not understanding what the problem was. The husband seems to be a bit more calm and I will take any positive change, even if it is just 'a bit' but hoping for even more improvements as the doc increased the dose last week. I think a lot of the elderly are as miserable as the caregivers and not all of them understand why they feel that way and giving them medications is out of love. Granted some people are just mean from their own life's journey but that too can be medicated to help calm them down. BTW: we tried alternative approaches before going to the Rx and none of them worked.
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I hear you all, and concur. The strange thing, is that my mom was always that nice, sweet, nurturing, caring; do anything for anybody if she could kind of mom. Nowwwwwww, it's totally reversed, and as her dau I know I have to con't to be there for her; even though she has become some sort of terror right out of some sort of movie..lol. If it's not one thing it's another, and I find my guard (emotionally/physically) up on a daily basis. God Bless you all, take care of yourself, be open minded that the person your caring for is them but not really them as you knew them.
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Amen, GeorgiaOMM. Perfectly and beautifully said. Exactly what runs through my head constantly - daily, hourly, every minute. Exactly what I want to say to others, but when I try to write it down, the right words just don't come. Exactly what I needed to see written by someone else - such a deep and meaningful comfort. This site is always a comfort - besides getting good advice, and even sympathy when we need it... nothing beats connecting in deep empathy, knowing that we are in so much good company in our various situations. Thank you so much for sharing today. I will be re-reading your words often, and lifting you up in prayer (as I generally do ALL caregivers, but with a special mention of thanksgiving for your contribution here that has been such a blessing to me). God bless you!
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Ty frqflyer that is good to remember sometimes I am more crippled than my poor mom. All she had to look forward to I'd eating she has a great appetite. Lol. And watch tv. And of course looks forward to my visits and calls. But she gets in her moments also. I love her she's my mom. :-)
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We need to stop and think that we all have our bad days, for whatever reasons.

Imagine becoming elderly and you can no longer do the things you use to love to do.... you no longer can drive and you are stuck inside day after day..... walking becomes difficult.... seeing and hearing become difficult.... your friends/siblings are succumbing to major health issues or death.... new technology makes it difficult to use the TV or even to call someone because cellphones aren't easy to use when you are elderly.

I know I am becoming grumpy myself as these things are slowly encroaching upon me.
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Roscoe, your day will come...she is developing dementia and part of her brain is not receiving signals that would make her "nice", at least not yet. Try to have more patience and if you feel like you cannot handle it, then it is time for professionals to take over. Do not "blame" her for her condition, and not ALL old people have dementia. I know 100 year olds who are very pleasant, do not have a mean bone in their body, and hang in there.
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I know exactly what you're going through and it is Hell. Our Geriatric Physician explained to me that the most "basic" and most deep rooted personality and mindset comes to the surface when Dementia/Alzheimers sets in. So it's therefor disastrous when someone has always been negative. My 98 yr old friend is getting more difficult by the day, making things up and telling lies to anybody who will listen. He thinks everyone is stealing from him and cannot remember that we put his valuables away for safe keeping last year when the VNA was coming in. He was a retailer and so he likes to shuffle paperwork but cannot understand his own bank statements and doesn't comprehend what he's reading/looking for while he endlessly shuffles through paperwork. He is angry about getting old. He isn't adjusting to it. He hates his life and thinks that all his old (dead) friends have abandoned him.
I have endured an investigation by the State and being shunned by the Dr for a period of time all due to the time he called the bank and told them he didn't want a POA. It took us a month to get it straightened out and the bank manager understood once I provided the proof he had dementia. Plus, he had told them he wanted me to be POA (after) he was dead. Not before. This helped as they explained to him why a POA was necessary while he is still alive. But the bank manager also dutifully explained why his duty was to call the State and report this. Let me tell you, it was NOT fun for me but turned out well simply because they (the State) finally realized my patient was wacked. In the meantime, they never ever called me and went behind my back to only speak with my friend and I had to get in touch with them. Be careful and have all medical papers ready so you can defend yourself and your Mom from these predators. We also have problems with a neighbor who thinks he's inheriting a car and several other items from the estate because most likely my patient has said he's giving these things to him. Now that I am prepared, they can do no harm. Also, make sure you have a guardianship. It's very important. Even though I am POA and also executrix I was told I had to get guardianship so am now once again hard at work to protect him from himself. Good luck and God Bless. I find extra love and a little pampering and praise go a long way with him and always listen to his stories with interest even if you have heard them a hundred times. It somehow settles them down.
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Roscoe what has changed? From your previous posts your mother has always been a terror and no advice that any of us can give you is going to change that
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It is my experience, and I know that all cases are different, but I am an only child and tend to get my "hackles" up when my Mother gets ornery, I have found that what the Good Book says is true....a soft word turneth away wrath...when I do NOT follow my own advice, we get into a war of wills. Mother is 88, normally mild mannered but lately has become somewhat demanding and assertive. It truly is hard to be a care giver and maintain some semblance of a good attitude under really bad circumstances. I just have to keep coming back to the fact that her dementia is increasing and her brain is not working normally. It pains me to come back to that time after time. But I would have you also know that DAILY I am having to confess my sins of the tongue and ask forgiveness and a renewal of a good attitude for myself, it makes life easier to bear. My prayer is that when she passes, I will have sweet memories of our times together and that losing her will be like losing a greatly loved old friend. I have to do things like this to keep myself centered or the care giving itself would do me in. It is nothing like I thought it would be and in each case circumstances are different and always changing. It isn't anything you can write a manual about, nothing you can say is "pat" it is ever changing. You never know from day to day what the present day will hold for you both.
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Sometimes you don't have help, and I understand, Roscoe 888. I'm beaten down by it. Get some help if you can afford. We cannot any longer, but it helped a lot when we got to have a life outside of caregiving.
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in my experience it's important for alll the family members and caregivers to try and be on the same page about what's going on otherwise you are fighting among yourself. in our situation we have one sibling who enables badly the craziness...the other 3 are pretty much on the same page through emails, texting, phone calls. Doesn't mean things are great, but at least there's an end to some of the manipulation.
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