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My 83 year old mother lives with me and my husband. My older sister recently died and I paid for the majority of the funeral expenses and wiped out my savings. Her husband of four years gave me most of her jewelry, excluding the really expensive pieces such as her engagement and wedding rings and her diamond earrings. Much of her jewelry was not in good condition, bent earrings, single earrings, broken chains, etc. Her husband gave a diamond ring that she received from my mother for her high school graduation (in 1970) to my niece (her daughter). My mother keeps telling me that she wanted it back. My mother and I went through teach remaining piece of jewelry and decided what to keep and what to sell. I kept one ring and my mom kept two rings, none of the rings have monetary value, but are a remembrance piece. Yesterday my mother told me that I should not have sold the other jewelry and wanted the ring I have worn every day since my sister passed away. My mother also informed me that it was rightfully hers because my sister meant more to her because it was her daughter and I was only her sister. My mother frequently puts me down and tells me that I mistreat her. I not only pay for her medications (thousands of dollars annually), I take her everywhere I go with my husband, dinner, movies, theater, etc. I do her laundry and cook all her meals. She rarely thanks me and tells me I owe her because she gave birth to me. She once told me that I was the worst mistake she ever made. I am angry and hurt all the time. I am really beginning to resent my mother, and that is very sad because until a few years ago we had such a wonderful relationship. She makes nasty comments to me and my husband frequently. We cannot afford an ALF and she would not go willingly anyway, so that is not a viable option. She has some memory issues and walks with a cane or walker, but is not ready for a nursing home.

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Up until a few years ago your relationship with your mother was good, you say. Did she live with you then? Could it have been that you had less contact then and less opportunity to get on each other's nerves? Or was the relationship genuinely good?

People do change over the years. We can become a little less patient or more mellow, a little less anxious or a bit more frugal. But in general personalities don't change drastically. We don't, in our seventies, say "Well, no more Ms Nice Guy. I think I'll let it all out and try being a b*tch for the rest of my life." So I am wondering what has happened to your mother to allow her to say dreadful things to you.

One possibility is that she's always been kind of nasty and you've just glossed over it.

As others have said, infections such as UTIs can cause crazy behavior, but those don't go on for years.

You say she has memory problems. Does she have any other signs of dementia? That is a disease that can certainly cause irrational behavior and apparent personality changes.

Bereavement can also cause irrational behavior in very unexpected ways. That may partially explain current nastiness, but nothing that has been going on for some time.

Look for anything that might be causing this change in your mother. It would be a great kindness if you could help her get back to her former loving behavior.

Meanwhile, stop accepting this kind of treatment. Stop waiting on Mom for things she can do for herself. Stop taking her everywhere you go. Don't give in on irrational demands, like giving her your ring. Stop paying her way.

Setting boundaries will be a big challenge after you've accepted this kind of treatment for years, but it can be done, and it is much, much better than living with resentment of your mother.
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I agree with Joann... Tell her since you have noticed that she is sooo unhappy living with you that you have made a day to visit some ALs.. that may shock her into a wake up call if she is lucid. If she says she wont go.. OK Mom, I'll go look for you. Because I surely hate that you are so miserable and unhappy... I have also taken to saying to my Mom, when she complains.."yep you are right.. we suck.. It's all us.." and walk away. No argument, no conversation.. just walk away. Sort of shuts her down. And you keep the dang ring! If she gave it to sister, it was a gift, now gifted to you. I do wonder why you paid for the funeral, but I understand if you felt you had to.. It's a rough time when a family member passes. Good luck, and my prayers are with you!
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1. Call your local Area Agency on Aging and get a needs assessment.

2. Call mom's doc and describe her mean behavior and when it started. She's had a change in mental status. She might have a Uti or she may have had a stroke.

3. Geriatric Psychiatrist is a good idea.

Take back your life. If she says something mean, walk away. Not because she will learn. Because you'll feel better not engaging
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I wonder too why you paid for sisters funeral. This was her husband's responsibility. If it depleted ur savings than u couldn't afford it. Your Mom must get SS, if so, she can pay her own expenses. The next time your Mom says something negative sit down and calmly tell her that since she is so unhappy there that you will apply to Medicaid and place her in a nursing facility. That you have done everything you could think to include her and make her comfortable but since she isn't happy maybe it's time for her to find a new place to live. And the ring...you deserve something of ur sisters especially since paid for her funeral.
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Stop volunteering.

You used your savings to pay for your sister's funeral expenses. Why?
You pay for your mother's medications. Why?
You and your husband take your mother everywhere with you, to the detriment of your time together as a couple. Why?

Your sister's funeral expenses were not your responsibility. Paying for them was your choice.
If your mother cannot afford to support herself, she can apply for state assistance. You can help her to do that.
Treating your mother kindly and embracing her as a full member of your household is a good and loving thing to do, nobody would argue with that. But that doesn't mean you're joined at the hip. When it's appropriate (which means when you feel like it), leave your mother at home and spend time with your husband.

But most of all, figure out what's happened to your mother's personality. The loss of her daughter, her squabbling over tokens, her cruel comments, her accusations of mistreatment; then you say that until comparatively recently you had a great relationship: add these things together, and I suspect that what you're looking at is dementia exacerbated by bereavement.

As you say your mother wouldn't consider an ALF (it's not altogether up to her, by the way - it's your house she's living in) I'm guessing she'd be a bit sticky over seeing a geriatric psychiatrist, too. But that's who you need to consult. Do you have a co-operative PCP/GP?
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Chele1544, first thing, take your Mom into her doctor to check for an Urinary Tract Infection. Such an infection can make an elderly person act hostel, out of sorts, down right mean. If your Mom has a UTI, it can be corrected with anti-antibiotics. It will be worth the trip if in fact there is a UTI.

And STOP paying for other relatives expenses. It is not your responsibility. If Mom cannot afford her medicine, have her go onto Medicaid [different from Medicare]. Call your State Medicaid office and get her signed up.
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Chele1544 - Bless you for having such a caring heart and taking care of others. I have been following this forum for about a year and have read so many stories that sound just like yours. Elderly sick parents turn into spoiled brats who never say "thank you" or "please", it is one demand after another.
Those with dementia - they change their mind every day about what they want or don't want. It is a test of strength and not everyone has the financial means, time, or physical ability to handle care giving for long periods of time. My advice is to take care of YOU sooner than later! You have now drained your savings paying for your Sister's funeral [yet her husband kept the expensive jewelry???] and buying your mother's medicine. Save YOUR money for your retirement years and for your own medical and long term care needs. Her lack of planning for her senior years does not require you to go bankrupt and have a nervous breakdown taking care of her. Second, your Mother sounds identical to my Mother. No matter what you do, she is never satisfied, DEMANDS you take care of her for FREE because she brought you into this world. You know what? Caring for a loving child that you create and bring into this world is NOT the same as caring for a sick elderly parent who is mean and hateful. F-O-G Fear Obligation Guilt. She is pounding on your FOG buttons and you need to put your foot down. STOP! Take care of you, your husband, your Marriage, and if she is too broke to afford ALF, there is Medicaid. Nobody is going to pay for help or look for alternative housing YOU care for them for free. What would happen if you became ill or passed suddenly? I watched my Narcissist/Bully Mother drain the life out of my younger brother. He never married because she demanded he take care of her his entire adult life. Even when I would give him a weekend break, she would sabotage his plans and insist he go to the bank with her to take care of some paperwork or some other last minute detail to ruin his "getaway". They will do what you allow them to do. It may take counseling but time to put you first. Peace and Blessings.
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That stupid thinking of "I gave birth to you" or "I took care of you for 18 years" is incredibly rediculous. When people tell my mother what a wonderful daughter she has in me, of course agreeing would give me credit, so instead, she wants the limelight and draws attention to herself by saying, "But I feel badly that she does for me"... then they all say, "You took care of her for many years, now it's her turn to care for you!"
For having dementia my mother is still slick.
Excuse me... the circumstances of why they gave birth to us, whether it was a decision or not, really does not matter. Once we were born it became their "legal" responsibility to provide all of our needs.
Honoring your parents is parallel to respecting them, which does not require the obligation of taking care of them, except for very few acts.
Nasty, unappreciative, complaining, manipulative, controlling, spoiled, obnoxious parent's like your mother, and mine, as well as many we hear about here, have zero rights to destroying our peace of mind, making us physically ill, disrespecting us, our spouses and children and ruining what precious time we have left in our lives. My mother would storm up to her room and stew in boiling anger because my husband would walk past her or enter a room where she was and not greet her. My husband is very respectful, helpful and friendly to her, but narcissists demand constant attention. I'd listen to an earful of her rage against him, telling me she's not "accustomed" to such behavior. She would be seething over this, once saying, if he fell down our stairs then maybe he would understand what it would feel like if she ignored him. I would sit there listening to her trashing him thinking she's old and has dementia, let her blow off steam. Finally I woke up and when she started in with her complaints about everything, I just tell her "I don't want to listen to this." and I'd walk away. Wow! Thas a huge step for me.
Don't stand for your mother's guilt trips about the jewelry. It's all BS. Keep what you want. Don't let her trash your husband! Isn't she in your home?? Your mother is a self centered narcissist. People like you and I are brainwashed to accept verbal and emotional abuse from our mothers! We're not in touch with our own needs as we're people-pleasers. It took me 40 years... and still going... of my mother's abuse to suddenly realize that no matter how much you give, do and tolerate... it really means nothing to them. They're already thinking of the next thing they want. I sacrificed my life being by her side. I don't know how many years you've suffered in your mother's hands, but, my God, she will NEVER EVER EVER change. Take it from someone who lost decades till finally coming to terms with this. Now I'm focusing on learning how to shed the unwarranted guilt so I can begin to think about my needs and desires at 60 years of age. God bless you and all of you here for the support you have given me and others. 

PS. In case anyone thinks I would think differently if I had children, I do have children.
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Dear Chele
You take action! You will feel better immediately.
I am so sorry that you have to deal with this for one minute, much less every day. Call Area on Aging in to assess your mom for placement. See what it would take to get her on medicaid if she can't afford ALF. People who bully seldom stop unless they are stood up to and its said that people treat you like you have trained them to. Please get out and do something nice for yourself. You and husband should take a date night each week, alone. Each time she says something ugly, let her get her own dinner. My 97 year old mom walked to her kitchen to get her lunch every day and she was using a walker. My 90 year old aunt uses a cane and does the same.
Mom can sit at home and realize how nice she has it. By the way, unless you are living in her home, she doesn't get a vote on going to ALF. Does she pay rent?
I'm not as nice as you. I wouldn't put up with it a minute longer than necessary. When the social worker comes out to assess her, speak very plainly about the situation. What is your mother going to do without you? Absolutely nothing. Take your power back.
You can't have it both ways. If she doesn't have dementia, she should straighten up. If she does have dementia then get her in for medication to try to adjust that ugly mouth. And remember, there are three people living in your home, not one. Get therapy. Do something to let go of the power you are giving her words. Your husband doesn't deserve her even if you think you do.
Stop letting people take advantage of you. Your BIL, your mom. You are beaten up because you are dealing with so much negativity. You have to have something or someone to build you up, not just tear you down. Since she used to be so nice to you, she probably does have dementia and I'm sorry about that, but again, don't pretend she doesn't. A geriatric psychiatrist . You don't ask. You make the appointment. If she refuses to go, she doesn't go out of the house for anything until she does goes. Since she isn't able to be nice, she must have something wrong with her. Adopt that mind set and you won't be as angry when she acts out. Is she living with you so that you can take care of her? If so, take care of her. Get her medical attention.
I'm sorry about the loss of your sister. Consider that you are also in mourning and therefore not as strong as you might be otherwise. Be gentle with yourself but take action and get toxic mom out of your home. As you've seen with your sister, we do die. Life is short. Get lots of hugs from your husband and give him some too!
Come back and let us know what actions you've taken.
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