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My dad died last year of ALZ. He was such a model patient, never complained, even the nurses at the facilities remarked how they had never seen such an easy going ALZ patient. My mom has been having some cognitive issues but MDs are not sure if it is some kind of dementia or just her lifelong anxiety/OCD where she cannot focus on anything or make decisions. She is complaining, griping, criticizing, even though I do all I can for her and my brothers do not (one lives out of state and cannot help, the other occupied with his own crazy wife).


She broke her pelvis six weeks ago and was in hospital then rehab. After a couple of weeks in rehab, they wanted to send her to AL but like an idiot I objected, saying I would take care of my mom at her home for a couple weeks until out of state brother visited, to buy us time to make a good decisions. Stupid me. I was a slave to her, and would not complain if it was just the work. She is so hyper, OCD, griping, etc. When my out of town brother was in town, we found a couple of good living situations, including one where you are in the same apt. for assisted or indy living, so you could start out in AL until pelvis is healed, go back to Indy, then eventually to AL and never move apts. She balks at that. She wanted to go to another place and now that place has an opening and she is balking at that.


Physically, she was doing very well on pelvis recovery but can never sit still and start deep pain again. I brought her to ER and the ER doc said bedrest for a few days. She said she was planning to visit cemeteries of loved ones over this weekend, the Doc said she has delay that for a few days. She argued with the doc, and I said I will not bring her to these places if the doc says no. She says I am saying that only because I do not want the work of driving her there, this even though I have been her slave for three weeks. I said there is no point in going to Dr. if you don't listen to what doc says. She wanted soup so I went to hospital cafeteria, and they had wild rice. I came back to say they had her favorite, chicken wild rice, and we went to cafeteria and she said it is wild rice, not chicken wild rice, why am I lying all the time? I cannot deal with her anymore, I work my rear off and she just gripes. I brought her home and stayed with her though baseball game which she likes then went home. She wanted me to stay, and I did feel a bit guilty for not staying and leaving her alone but she just drains me so I came home. I set everything up for her in terms of meds, phone, water. She always wanted to move out when my dad was alive and in her defense, my dad never wanted to, then he died leaving her alone in house which she did not want to be, but now we find places for her and she balks on the situation. in one you have to go to a studio while you wait for a 1BR apt. to open up. So what? When my out of town brother was in town we tried to clean up the junk out of basement (she is a hoarder) and she would not let us throw it out until she went over each piece, newspapers from the seventies, car wash coupons from the eighties, you get the idea. So she not only didn't let us throw them out, she sat on floor to go through them ten minutes for each item, thus aggravating her pelvis again. We said a 1 BR would open up before her house is nearly ready to sell so she can keep her stuff in house while she lives in studio and waits for apartment to open up. I just want to throw my hands up in air and move, but feel too guilty. Friends have advised just leaving her at home alone, never helping to force her to move to a place. I don't know. Anyway, rambling I know. Cant take this any more.

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Karsten; Let me try to illustrate something about what Cognitive Decline looks and feels like.

So, we moved my mom to an "Independent Living" facility due to her toxic anxiety and over the top reactions to any kind of small "emergency" (like a burned out light bulb, or ants in her kitchen).

I would visit mom once a week, take her to Bed Bath and Beyond, to the beauty salon, to look at the fall foliage, whatever.

Every single week, she'd get in my car and say "Are those parking tickets?".

(She was referring to little white squares of paper that one accumulates in NYC; we no longer have parking meters into which you deposit coins; we have Munimeters that accept credit cards and which dispense a small white square of paper that indicates the time your parking expires.)

I explained those white papers to her the first week. She repled, "well, I hope they're not parking tickets.".

The second week, she got in the car and exclaimed over my "parking tickets". I explained them again. And again, "Well, I hope they're not parking tickets".

The third week--well, you get my drift. I just said, "No, Ma, they're not parking tickets".

It's US who have to change our tune, Karsten. We need to change our responses to our parents' irretrievably broken brains. This is the new normal.

((((Hugs)))))
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So, Karsten; Is your mom's complaint about your lying to her a constant one? Or is this a "sudden change in mental status"?

With folks who are "crazy", to use a technical term, that can be hard to suss out, but if this seems to be mom's craziness on steroids, she may have a UTI. You need to call her doc (yes, I know her doc can't stand to be in the same room with her, but call) and get her tested for that.

Otherwise, try agreeing with her. "Right-o mom. yes I always lie to you. Sorry to be such an awful child; I'll be leaving now".

When your mother becomes unreasonable, don't argue. LEAVE.
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Karsten, those of us who’ve been here for a while and have followed your posts are trying to tell you that nothing will happen to change this unless you make it happen; stop trying to reason with her, arguing with her, explaining to her and above all, backing down and doing nothing at all.

Call 1-800-GOTJUNK and take her on a cemetery tour. While she’s gone, have that crew put a trash-out into high gear. When you get home and she freaks out, tell her this is it. You’re sending her someplace where she will be cared for and safe and supervised. She call tell everyone there what a vile and rotten son she has. But you’ll be done. You won’t have to abandon her. She can be narcissistic there just as well as in her home. Her personality won’t change, but then you can get on with your life.
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"She broke her pelvis six weeks ago and was in hospital then rehab. After a couple of weeks in rehab, they wanted to send her to AL but like an idiot I objected, saying I would take care of my mom at her home for a couple weeks until out of state brother visited, to buy us time to make a good decisions. "

So, Karsten, YOU objected, not mom?

If mom is IN a rehab and THEY say she needs to be in LTC and she says I don't want that, my son will care for me....YOU need to say "No, Mom, I can't do that; you will be on your own at home."

Then, it will be an unsafe discharge and the facility will figure out how to get her into LTC. The facility can get emergency guardianship....there are several routes, but if YOU acquiesce and say "oh, yes, I'll be there to care for her" you're going to need to do that.

Stop saying yes.

Look, Karsten, the HARDEST thing I ever said to my parent was "Mom, I can't do this any more". She argued with me, told me I needed to respond to her "emergencies" but I said no. Because I had seen and heard HER say "no" to HER mom when caring for her mom became too much of a burden.
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bettina May 2019
Like others have said "No" is a complete sentence. I find it ironic that many
of us on this forum have had such a hard time saying no to demanding abusive older parents who themselves had no problem saying no to their
own parents.

Both of my parents had parents who were ailing and chose to leave them and almost never visit in the decades that followed. Their parents ended up ill and cared for by siblings that were uncompensated for their time and trouble and who were stretched so thin that my grandparents care in NH ended up quite substandard. It was so sad to visit them at the end. was (only my second time meeting them!) Btw both my parents had time and money to spare for visits, but chose to visit only once in over a decade of their parent's decline. We did however take a number of vacations during this same time period.

My own father expects that I would forgo vacations to tend to him and his
needs. And in reality, that is often only choice as it is quite expensive to
fly long distance, pay for lodging and transport, pet sitter, food on road, etc.
My son has watched his friends enjoy long trips with their families that he has not been able to have for almost his entire life. And I have become exhausted and old before my time caring for his grandfather. I wish I'd learned the word no much sooner!
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That is what you need to do. Tell her to call brother. She is his responsibility, too. Tell him you need days off and you would appreciate he pick up the slack.

At this point, you can not force her to move, Who cuts the grass and does maintenance? If you, tell her no more. She will have to hire someone, same with cleaning the house. You may have to do what Broken said, turn her off. Seems you will never please her. Someone bought a friend a Rollator. Not cheap. She complained it wasn't like the old one where the seat went up. This woman doesn't have 2 nickles to rub together. She is and has been a Debbie Downer for years, poor me all the time. For now I have backed off. Sorry that you can't.

What I would do, is not see her as often. Maybe call once a day just to check on her. Establish a day to shop and run errands. If she asks why you are not coming around as much, tell her you no longer will put up with her negativity or her criticism. You have your life and she makes it very hard to help her with hers. Not doing it anymore. And, she needs to depend on brother a little more.
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Karsten; I'm sorry if my answer last night was a little harsh; DH had to be taken to the ER because he stopped taking his antibiotics after kidney surgery....he "felt better".

Just wanted you to know that your post left me with a craving for Chicken/Wild Rice soup, which is now simmering on my stove. I so wish I could send you and your mom some.

You are SUCH a good son; ultimately, your mother is going to be MUCH better off (not happier, she's constitutionally opposed to being happy) in a good facility. And you will have some peace of mind.

(((((hugs)))))) from Brooklyn
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Karsten May 2019
was not harsh, no problem. I need to have firm advice, which you did, but it was not harsh. So it is actually CHICKEN wild rice you are making? Not just wild rice? You would to be lying about this, would you (like what possible reason would I have had to lie to my mom about this) Shes always accusing me of lying, about things for which I would have not motive to lie about. When I ask why I would like about that, she says because that's what I do.
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Thanks all. Yes Broken, that is like my mom, but at least your mom seems to temporarily understand. I have tried heart to heart talks with my mom trying to explain I have my own house and life to worry about, cannot be her full time servant, am tired of doing all this only to be criticized for not doing enough like other peoples kids, and what I do do is all wrong. It goes right over her heard, she doesn't hear a word of it. I do relate to how when you try to assert your independence, that is what makes your mom particularly angry and makes her punish you. Exactly like my mom. I am leaving her home at her home all day today without visiting, I need a day off, telling my mom to call my other in town brother if she needs help, but in a way cannot enjoy day (basically working to catch up on everything I have missed doing) as I feel guilt about what if something happened when I was away. Anyway, thanks to all of you for your wise input.
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Hi Karsten,

I am sorry you are going through this and believe me, I totally get it as I am dealing with the same situation almost down to a T - Mom, can be very manipulative and boy can she land the guilt and shame trips .... Had a tough conversation with her last night about boundaries and about some behaviors being unacceptable and boy did she turn it around before asking for forgiveness only to do it all over again today.

I asked her whether I was allowed to have an opinion and whether having a different opinion threatened her. Silent treatment - but I allowed it to happen. When we got to her lab appointment, took her in and told her I had to take care of my dog as she needed to be walked and would wait outside for her when she was done. The thing I realized is that the more I do things on my own, maintain my own independence and continue to make my own choices the more she is threatened and the more she wants to put me down and punish me.

Protecting myself, placing myself in a safe emotional bubble, if you will, allowed me to have a nice day and not get dragged into "her pit of emotional distress" tried as she might. Eventually, my mom, relented and she was quite pleasant for the rest of the day.

Take care of yourself, we cannot care for our loved ones (as easy or difficult as they may be) if we do not care of ourselves first.

I will keep you in my thoughts. Your sister in dealing with a narcissistic mother...

Broken Daughter
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Well Karsten, the next time you get a chance to move her to AL you will know what to do. Sorry for all the drama. I’m glad she’s doing so well. Only you make it possible for her to remain at home.
Good luck and keep in touch.
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So, you had an opportunity when she was in the hospital. She could have been moved at that time and you decided to accede to her wishes.

So, when are you gonna stop letting the crazy lady drive the bus, Karsten? You need to say " Ma, this is what is going to happen". Or " These are your two choices".

And the step out of this quagmire.
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Karsten May 2019
what legal recourse do I have? From what I understand she cannot be forced to move without her say so, unless she was declared incompethent, and maybe its coming to that. But even if I had been OK with moving her from rehab to assisted living like they wanted, she could have blocked it

I feel the only thing I can do is not help her and sort of "starve" her out, forcing her to realize she needs help, but in the meanwhile she could get hurt again. And while I do overfeel guilt at times, also seems feasible that I cannot simply abandon her in her home altogether.
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