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Struggling with anger outbursts lately. Mom will lie right to my face about anything she does not want to take responsibility for. Yes, there are times when she truly can't remember something or when she honestly has an accident. But the majority of these times, she is deceiving me.

I am okay with her little white lies (sneaking an extra Reese Cup out of the fridge when I walk into another room or killing the waitress with kindness at a restaurant in order to get an extra refill of sweet tea after she knows she is not supposed to have any more). It is the bigger lies that I struggle with. For instance, deciding to poop in her diaper as she watches TV simply because she does not want to stop watching what is on the television (she has this belief that she can't be bothered with going to the bathroom at that moment so it can wait until after her show and then she will let me know so I can clean it up for her). She will lie and say she didn't know she was pooping on herself but then admit later that she didn't want to get up off the sofa. This is one example of a hundred but it gets my point across. Her bigger lies cost me not only my sanity, but my time. Just this one example of her pooping on herself takes anywhere between 30-60 extra minutes of my day that I already don't have, not to mention wiping her butt with poop everywhere can be more than aweful. I tell her this over and over and over and she doesn't change her actions. It is NOT the aging process -- she simply doesn't care!!!

Anyone else out there have a parent who lies as they are looking directly into your eyes? I am not talking about a confused parent with mental health issues -- I am talking about a stone cold liar. My days and my life are wasting away because she chooses to lie! I feel angry and hurt that she chooses to care about me and my needs so little.

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And what CM said, too... lol Not quite awake yet..
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If you're honestly expecting an elderly patient with mental health issues to to care about your convenience and act in ways that are convenient, I'm not sure you're the right person to be in this role and might want to look at alternative arrangements for your mom because your mindset on the issue is a** backward and you're going to stay pissed off from now until your mom dies. Would that all these hundreds and thousands of alz/mentally ill patients we're all talking about and taking care of around here would make things 'convenient' for us all! We wish!

What JG said, all the way.
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I completely sympathise. Honestly I do. It is SO hard not to connect the outright lie with the person you used to know, and to find it IMPOSSIBLE to believe that that person is not aware that they are lying through their teeth.

And yet it is so. Or at the very least, it is as near to being the simple truth as makes no difference. Think of the person as a puppy, who has a vague idea that it isn't meant to wee in the corner but absolutely no recollection at the crucial time of what it is meant to do instead.

And, somehow, you have to find a way to forget altogether such concepts as intention and motivation. These concepts no longer apply to your loved one's failing brain. Then, once you eliminate them from your thinking, you're left simply with the practical problem. Generally, it's a lot easier to cope with the downsides of clearing up mess or finding lost items when you're not also seething about the idiocy or devilment of the person responsible.

But I am not pretending that this is easy. Just that it does get easier with practice. And a lot less rough on the temper.

The other thing that works is prevention. If your mother is having "accidents," up the frequency of scheduled visits to the bathroom and you'll pre-empt (some of) them. If she tips her tea over herself with depressing regularity (having wailed "no! Don't take it away! I'm drinking it!" two minutes previously and then dropped off to sleep the second your back was turned - not that this is personal, you understand), get an over chair table with a good high rim that will catch the overflow and spare the upholstery.

She'll still think of something else, of course. But practical problem-solving is a more interesting and much less miserable exercise than trying to mend the inside of your mother's head. Best of luck, and huge waves of fellow feeling to you.
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sahk1942, your profile says that Mom has had two strokes and also has mental health issues. I would definitely say that an adult who would rather poop herself and have the indignity of someone cleaning her up than get to the bathroom on time is not mentally healthy.

The situation is still very frustrating and time-consuming, but keeping in mind your mother's mental illness may help a little with the anger.

I suggest it is not really the lying that is so aggravating. You don't get irate when she lies about sneaking a candy. Lying isn't taking your time. You'd still have to clean Mom up whether she told the truth or made up a fantasy or actually believes it was an accident. It is not the "lying" but the action she is lying about (if she is) that is the cause of your anger, right?

Maybe you could focus on trying to prevent the actions you don't like. Insist that she visit the bathroom every two hours (between tv shows) to help prevent accidents or deliberate neglect.

I'm not saying your major anger is not justified. But it is not changing anything and it is only frustrating you. You've told her over and over and she won't change. Right. She won't change. She is mentally ill. So stop telling her over and over and try something different.

Maybe rewarding good behavior would work. "If you don't have any poop accidents today, tomorrow we'll go to (someplace she really likes)". And if she has an accident don't be mad, be sad about it. "Oh, that is too bad. We won't be going to x tomorrow, but we'll try again tomorrow. Then we can go the next day." I'm sure I don't know if that will work, but what you are doing now isn't working so what do you have to loose?

I'd just give up on the lying issue. She lives in her own world where the concept of "truth" might not match yours.

Dealing with the mentally ill is definitely not easy! You are an angel for attempting it! If you find you just are not cut out of this kind of work, perhaps you can make some other arrangements for your mother.
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