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My mom is in her late 70s, has issues with dementia (though not formally diagnosed) because she is stubborn and cheap. She has signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and is extremely resentful of any family. She's recently told me not to be in contact with her. (I'm letting her be for a while.) But, I swear sometimes it's like I'm dealing with a very helpless and wildly imaginative (and not always in a good way) 5-year-old and other times it's like I'm dealing with a very angry, spiteful, paranoid old woman. It's very rare to have a day where it's just "mom."

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Heidi, since your mother has tried pills, I'm assuming she has seen a doctor. If she won't go to a doctor for more help, sadly you may have to wait until something really bizarre happens and then perhaps Adult Protective Services would get involved. You could try calling them now, but depending on where you live, you may or may not get anywhere.

I agree that sometimes the adult child (or children) must step back and wait. It sounds cruel and is very hard to do, but until a person is officially diagnosed with a cognitive disorder, there's rarely anything that can legally be done.

Perhaps if you stay away for awhile, she will come around and realize - at least for a time - that she needs your help. We can hope that she does and the time frame is long enough to get her into a doctor.

If there's a true emergency, taking her to the emergency room may be a foot in the door to getting her help.

Take care of yourself and please let us know how you are doing.
Carol
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First the confusion. Then the anger. Later you will see delusional behavior. Get her some meds before she is totally out of control. Save your own sanity by staying away, that is a good move. It sounds cruel, but if she won't get off a sinking boat, you have to row away from her.
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We had the Jeckyl/Hyde with my MIL. She loved my BIL. She tore into her son and didn't realize my BIL had come in he door as well. Her attitude did a complete 180° when she saw my BIL. Turns out once he stood back and thought about it, her son remembered she had a mean side when he was a child. It is very sad that she saved her venom for the one son taking care of her and saved all the sweetness for others, in recent years. Yes!! Jeckyl/ Hyde happens!!!
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My MIL was never easy to deal with. But now that I am her full time caregiver and she lives with me.....................she is really tough. Here's the thing: I KNOW that she KNOWS that she is hurting me. Yes, her Alzheimers is pretty much late stage but she is still manipulative. Sweet as pie to any and all people who stop by. But when we are alone her persona toward me is well.......not nice. I've spent tons of hours reading up on dementia. But I hardly find anything that addresses this problem. She is Dr. Jeckyl and Mr Hyde. Anyone else have this problem?
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My mother is 92 and living in a long term facility. She has very advanced Alzheimers/Dementia although she has still not been fully diagnosed or even tested despite our many requests to have a full work up done. I can totally relate to these stories that have been shared. My mother is also Dr. Jeckle, and Mr. Hyde. It turns on and off like a switch. As a result of her violence when she gets hostile we can not care for her 24/7 as she has hit all of us. Last time we tried to care for her 24/7, she threw us out of the house, which left her with no care until the ambulance came as we called 911 in order to get her some help. We visit my mother every day at the care center, and she is so happy to see us, and is never hostile toward us in this new living arrangement as we are not her care givers now, but instead her visitors and family. So we are now kind of her heros, when we come. She is also very depressed at times, yet her personality dose swing and it almost seems as though she has multiple personalities. I wish there were a cure for this or at least a better way to manage it. It sounds like many in a similar condition as my mother are suffering as they have a fragile brain, which means they need our love and support and compassion all the more. Sadly their behaviors that are out of control set themselves up for retaliation that could be abusive. We check my mother for bruises regularly as nursing homes dont always to the right thing. We have even called the Ombudsman and they have helped us alot. As others have said, we also are on an emotional roller coaster, and we are often exhausted while trying to care for, and about my dear mother. I think we all need to pray for a miracle. This is a disastrous way to end life!
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I'm so grateful for everyone's stories and advice. My MIL is the same way. I can pretty much tell what she's going to be like when I get her up in the morning. The different personalities is the most difficult thing for me to deal with. It's also hard to accept that she is so self-centered and could care less how she affects everyone around her. It's also very hard when everyone else who meets her for the first time or deals with her on a short time basis tells us how she's the sweetest lady they've ever met! Makes us feel like crap when we talk about how she acts with us. We wonder if it's all in our imagination! A therapist at the rehab facility told us yesterday that her mother said that when they are 95 they've earned the right to treat their kids however they want. My mil certainly subscribes to this line of thought. I certainly do not. I would never subject my children to what we are going through. It scares me to death thinking I could be like her with them.

I do agree that the Teepa Snow videos on Youtube are very helpful. I just want to add that what she teaches makes so much sense but is hard to keep doing for any period of time. Sort of like a diet. When you get really aggravated (and you will) and forget her guidelines (bound to happen), just pick back up where you left off after you've cooled down. My husband can't seem to stop trying to reason with my mil even though we know she just doesn't get it or want to get it. He sounds like a parent trying to reason with a two year old and over explaining.I know he lost her after the first sentence. He'll come to me afterwards and say "Yeah I know I just wasted my time but I couldn't help myself". Sigh...Having an autistic child prepared me for this to some extant but it doesn't make it any easier.
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I took my mom to see my niece get married 3 states away. I recently had that experience with my mom in the afternoon & alone in the hotel room. She became the rude, unreasonable person that remember as a child. This bought up memories that had been long packed away. I'm blessed with friends that were available via social media that let me vent through the 'dark hours'. We will keep her in long term care, I know now that even if it was an option, I will not/cannot be her 24 hr caregiver.
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Been there, done that with mil. My husband tried to help, only to be threatened with a call to authorities for "elder abuse"--he told her that because of her copd, she should quit smoking. Heidi, it's very sad and frustrating, but some folks don't have the ability to trust, even their own kids. Do you have any siblings or cousins? Sometimes the best idea, as you say, is to stay away until she calls. This is a rough road you're walking down, know that you can only help her as much as she'll allow. Hang out here, it's a good place.
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My mother has been a full blown narcissistic with extreme sociopath tendencies. I am the eldest and only daughter, I have been her target for years. She is now suffering from dementia and it's the perfect storm. She has developed an eating disorder, eating incredible amounts of food, only baths 2x a week, refuses to wash her hands after using the bathroom and is an out of control - control freak. Any and all attempts to place her in assisted living have failed. Her lying is probably the worst .. it's rare she tells the truth anymore. I have moved in with her and she uses me like a slave. Her insidious comments and gossip to anyone who will listen have me on edge and stressed out of my mind. I am making plans to relocate out of state and I told my younger brothers good luck. I deserve to be happy and enjoy my life, realizing my mother is and always has been toxic.
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I'm dealing with same and it's difficult. Some days good some days bad. You are doing right thing by backing off and letting her cool down and settle down. My mom always gets better after the break. We have to protect ourselves --mentally in order to be patient and be our best with these loved ones. I honestly have to gear myself up for a phone call or visit and these often drain me and I need time to recover.

I just had incident yesterday where mom called panicking about a burglary where her purse was stolen and checkbook raided. I steeled myself to be calm and patient and tried to walk her thru looking in the house. She was very angry and accusing me of burglarizing home even though I live in another state. I understood how frightening it was to lose her purse --aren't we all?! But she couldn't be reasoned with. I was certain from our conversation that it was just misplaced. She ended up calling police and reporting burglary. She did not call me back and isn't answering my calls today....punishment for not driving 6 hrs or being there "as a good daughter should".

Don't take it personally. Do what you can, when she gets crazy, calmly hang up or leave and tell them you love them and will see them later.

Our incidents are always forgotten and I used to hold the hurts, but just let them go now. She's my mom, I love her, but I won't let her destroy me or ruin my happiness, spoil the good things I have going. I deserve happiness. You do to.

PS they always treat those closest to them the worst --we're their punching bag for all their fear, loss of control, and ailments as they age. Everyday, I tell my husband to please put me in facility when I get old and mean. I never want my children to go thru what I deal with. I pray to be a nice, loving, kind, pliable , happy elder.
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