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We have ruled out any physical, psychological and neurological contributors. She is 89, living alone with helpers to clean, cook, shop, run errands, drive her etc. She has lost her social graces and doesn't understand that if she says hurtful things, people's feelings are hurt. She has gotten very demanding. It's very difficult to have a conversation with her because she seems most of the time not to be processing what we are saying.

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You learn to grin-and-bear-it. Been through this with MANY relatives especially parents...there's no changing them or their crude behavior. However, much to my surprise, strangers, "others" who are also caregivers in our age-group, store-owners, managers, receptionists, everyday-people are not shocked by this. It's all in how we handle the situation. We do our best to keep things objective and in perspective. As years pass, we even learn to laugh about it..Be patient. Pray alot!
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There are a gazillion forms of dementia. Many (non-Alzheimer's) dementias leave the memory intact -- and manifest with changes in personality, social filters and reasoning ability.
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Everything you're describing points towards depression and possible Dementia or Alzheimer's. I'm not sure where you had her evaluations taken but I think that she needs to be reevaluated by different doctors. And I'm not saying this out of the blue I actually work in a facility so I kinda know what I'm talking about. I've worked with a lot of dementia care patients and also those with mental health issues. She may also be lashing out because she has cronic pain that needs to be treated with medication.(If she feels like she's losing control over her life so if you can give her as many choices as you can it will help.) Elders often come across angry, when they are actually feeling scared, lonely, out of control, sad....! Getting her into any social group of her own age would help. It could meet her needs in a way that family and care givers cant. I would really encourage you to have her evaluated by different doctors because something just doesn't sound right. She is really showing most of the signs of major depression, and dementia.
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My 95 year old great grandmother is like that
my partner and I are her full time care givers
she is NEVER happy no matter what we do
we do all the cooking but can never do it to her liking
we clean but never to her liking
and so on and so forth I wish i had advice but I can only offer shoulder to lean on
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It can be a side effect of so many medications-some that you might not know about.
Why would her doctors report their findings (or finding nothing?) to you.? Think about that.

Then, some medical condtions just come with its own moodiness symptoms, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
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Gretagirl,
You mother's case is certainly perplexing. In your question, you state that your mom has people in the house who do the cooking, driving, cleaning, shopping, etc. basically running the household. How long has this been occurring and why was it done? Was she not able to take care of these things? Was she physically unable to do them? Was her hearing problem the reason? It's certainly understandable in light of her age, but still. I'm just curious. And inability to take care of yourself has to be indicative of some kind of decline. Did the doctors know this when they evaluated her?

Your story sounds familiar to me. When I first started noticing social issues with my cousin, I talked to healthcare professionals too. They gave me various answers about her being lazy, rude, etc. A little while down the road, I discovered they were wrong. It wasn't due to her being lazy or rude. I would try to withhold judgment and consider it a problem that she has no control over. Eventually, something more concrete may appear.
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I cannot believe at 89 yrs. she is not suffering from some dementia given the symptoms you describe. Have her tested by a geriatric neurologist. She might be suffering from clinical depression which can occur with dementia, so if it helps, try an antidepressant, and if one doesn't work, try another. This however, will not cure dementia which is progressive and fatal.
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My mother has cancer and has been receiving chemo for almost two years. Recently she has progressively gotten very negative and saying very hurtful things and doing spiteful things to hurt those she loves. I had her tested to find out why she is reacting this way and found out that she has dementia. Is this behavior normal for someone who is suffering dementia, the effect of everything she is going through, or something else?
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Thank you!! My FIL is same. Your response makes sense to me!!
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My 85 year old mother has also gotten a bit negitive this past 2 years.. but she and dad had to move in with us, dad had ALZ then passed.. she is depressed ( was on something for a year and half but thinks she no longer needs it).. She sees a piece of mail and thinks it's bad news.. says she is going broke ( NOT) and so on. I think they just get depressed over aging and everything. As FF said.
My FIL is really turning into grumpy old man at 93.. but he and MIL moved in with BIL and no one at that house is happy.. so that is a huge part of the issue with him. He can;t do what he used to, and so he DEMANDS everyone else jump when he says so.. which make people stay away. He has alienated his old friends, and can't get why this is... no manners and constant complaining may be a the first clue.
Good luck with this!
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GretaGirl, you are hurting, and you probably have an idea why this has happened with mom - some event, something - but maybe it hurts too much to share? Or maybe they told you something of the neurospsych results that does not make sense, or sounds very bad and you think it can't be right?
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Thank you all for your comments. Her neuro psych exam was two months ago. Yes, she wears hearing aids. My sister works for an ENT so her hearing aids get adjusted regularly.
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FF: "I bet a lot of us will be grumpy at that age, too, if we live to see that day."

I've started practicing myself!
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Greta, maybe your Mother is just unhappy that she is growing older.... she can't do things for herself like she did before.... she can't hop into a car and drive to the store to go shopping by herself....

shows on TV aren't entertaining any more compared to the delightful shows we had back in the 1950's and 1960's.... technology has become too complex, remember back when TV's were easy to use, you turn it on, turn the knob to the station you wanted, adjusted the volume and sit back and relax.... now we have such complex remotes.

Our best friends have either died or moved away, and it's hard to make friends when you live alone.... my Dad [94] found it was hard to talk to the caregivers who were in their 20's and 30's, he did better with caregivers who were in their 50's as that age group could relate to their own parents.

It's not easy getting old, I bet a lot of us will be grumpy at that age, too, if we live to see that day.
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Can you share any detail of the neuropsych findings? If that's not it, either chronic pain or depression or both could make someone change like this.

Honestly, I think they missed something. Or it was too early. Unless she just decided that 88 or 89 was the age when you didn't have to hold it in any more. What does she say when you ask her what has changed?
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Has she had her hearing tested? Does she wear aids? How long ago was she last checked?
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When was this evaluation?
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She had a complete neuro psych exam evaluated by both a neurologist and psychiatrist. She had a physical exam by an internist and neurologist. Thank you for your answer.
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How did you rule out neurological contributors? How recently was she evaluated?

She has lost social filters.
You are observing personality changes.
She does not seem to be processing what she hears.

Sure sounds like something neurological is going on, to me.

About 1/3 of people your mother's age have Alzheimer's disease. (It is higher than that for women, slightly lower for men.) In addition, there are nearly 50 other types of dementia that strike older people.

If she simply was getting cranky in her old age, that would be her prerogative, I guess. But that she no longer understands the social consequences of her actions and doesn't seem to be processing what she is told puts this in an entirely different category, I think.
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