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I was helping my Mom shower 2 days ago before a gynecologist appt. She wouldn't let me hold the hand-held shower sprayer. After the 3rd time I tried I asked "why won't you let me rinse your hair?" She said "Because you're trying to hurt me!" I have been gentle and patient with my Mom for 2-1/2 years now. She went on to say that she really didn't know who I was anymore because I have done so many horrible things and that I am "very sick". She has advanced Parkinson's, Psychosis of Parkinson's and I suspect Lewy body dementia. I know the Alzheimer's Dos & Don'ts of communication by heart on their flyer about Compassionate Communication. Having a very hard time letting go of the hurt this time and just need to pout and vent for a couple days. I console myself with remembering that parents can be the most awful to the ones who do the most for them. I've heard that they are most hurtful to the ones they love the most. Thank you for all your support and reading this. All will be forgotten very soon. Of course the 4 siblings who are running around the world living their lives are heroes in her mind. My Mom lives in Assisted Living and I am her primary caregiver. Either I, my son, or a private caregiver is with her 24/7 due to a complicated medication regimen (10 times a day with 6 of those very time specific) and the tendency to wander. I know that so many of you have a much harder burden with less support. I reminded my Mom today that I am a volunteer and have never taken a penny from her. I know that trying to explain anything to her is only for my benefit. She attacked me back in December because she thought I was stealing things from her bathroom drawers. Her Neurologist said that accusing caregivers of wrongdoing is a frequent and very difficult symptom with her diagnosis. No one ever put a gun to my head and made me be her caregiver. I got sucked into it after she was hospitalized Jan. 2014 and they sent her home with great care needs. I quickly saw the state of the house and gradually saw that she didn't understand time, calendars, clocks, microwaves, toilets/plumbing, the levels of her house (one story!), and on & on. Always tried to be respectful and not "take over". Thanks again for all the support and wisdom here.

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Boy you are not alone! I have two siblings "from Hell" -- full of advice, and no solutions. Parents are mentally ill and ALZ and I'm just trying to do my best to keep them safe, meds distributed and food on the table, lots of doctors appointments and I have no life! There is alot of abuse from an alcoholic brother and a sister who wants to control everything yet lives states away and does so all on the phone. I am always to blame from both siblings and folks. Anyone who is a caregiver has my heart - its a thank less job and we do it because we love and care about our folks. I hope you continue to love her and read all of Carol's articles, this site and reading articles has helped me.
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Dear JessieBelle and Rainmom, Thank you so much for your kind responses. I treasure your words and really needed to read them right now. A big hug to both of you and all the others out there going through such similar painful experiences.
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dmasty,

I don't have any words of wisdom that haven't already been said here. I just want to let you know that I think you're doing a great job caring for your mom and she's very fortunate to have you.
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dmasty - when I first found this site I was literally at the end of my rope. I knew pretty much nothing about dementia. What I did know was that I had been driving myself into the ground looking after my mother for several years, putting my own family second and mom was getting more "eccentric", mean and angry with each passing day. In October mom said some horrible things to me that I will take to my cremation! Now I realize it was largely "the disease" talking but I didn't then and to be honest, knowing it now hasn't really helped make it any less painful. But at the time all as I could think was "how could she say that to me! Can't she see I'm practically killing myself for her"? So I came here asking "why"? A wise poster said "the person standing closest to the fire is the one who gets burned". It didn't really explain things to me but for some reason I've found alot of comfort in that saying. It tells me it's happened to others and that it's nothing I've done - it's not me. Mom is better now - on "mood meds" as I call them. Moms health is also declining and she straight up doesn't have the strength to be as hateful as she was. Still I limit the time I spend on every visit - I realize that's harder for you to do. But the other thing is I've learned I had to "detach". Most of the time I approach visiting her as I would a stranger I've been assigned to do a good deed for. It's sad but it's necessary for me. If you find your mother becoming a stranger it may become necessary for you too - take a few steps back away from the heat of the fire. And remember - it's nothing you've done - it's not you.
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You sound like you're doing a good job. They can say some really hurtful things at time. If she hadn't been in the shower, you could have just walked away. Sometimes you are really stuck. Do they have an assistant at the AL who will help do things like bathing? That would allow you to not have to be in such an up-close situation with her. It probably irritated her.

My mother says the worst things when she is under some type of stress. If we are about to go somewhere she doesn't want to go, if we have company coming in, or if there are work projects going on, she can come up with some major nastiness. On the flip-side, if we are going to church or something she enjoys, she is so pleasant. Whatever her mood is, I get the brunt of it. This is what makes me think that the bath and the appointment may have triggered her to be so nasty with you.

I'm always sorry that things can't be easier all the time for us.
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