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My mother is trying to stay living independently after recovering from falling and breaking her hip. She had some sort of psychotic episode that we think led to her falling. Now back at home, we are able to leave her some of the time with an "alert" pendant, and an automated and monitored medication dispenser. She, of course, hates that any sort of monitoring need to happen, but is somewhat willing to accept it as long as it means that she doesn't have to have a "Babysitter" (provided by her 4 adult children and her oldest grandson - who is my son). She started to develop syncope, which doctors in hospital think is due to a sensitivity to Atenolol, so her dose has been cut in half. So far, 48 hours of no dizziness being reported. My question - she's started to verbally attack my son - accusing him of treating her disrespectfully, not wanting him to stay with her, etc. She has exhibited obvious delerium, anxiety, and confusion very recently; so those type of remarks are usually easy to overlook. However, these last few "attacks" are said with a great deal of lucidity, and seem to be truthfull from my son's perspective. He is extraordinarily hurt, as you can imagine - he's 19 and is studying for an emt exam. He's been at her house the entire time she was hospitalized to care for the house, clean it, and care for her animals. He helped to stay with her when she first came home, so she didn't have to accept VNA "strangers". So this kind of new(ish) behavior directed to him is very hard for any of us to take, but especially him. My question - has anyone else had a similar situation happen, and how did you cope with it? I'm recommending that my son get some help from a support group, and perhaps talk to her social worker...

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This is not an appropriate responsibility for your son at this point in his life. Bring in in-home care. Sure, she doesn't want "strangers." She certainly knows by know that we don't always get what we want. Your son's welfare should be at least as high a priority as your mother's. Get him out of that situation.
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Yes, we are dealing with it. My mother had an accident about a year ago (detailed in another post) and at the same time I had major surgery with serious complications. I am the only child and with her living in another state....I could not be there. My daughter 25 at the time stepped in to help. She quit her job moved to a town close by and would travel each weekend to check on mother and get her what she needed. The one thing that was not affected this entire time was mother's big mouth! The insults and ugly words are too much to deal with. It is one thing when she does it to me but my daughter will not tolerate it and does not understand the excuse of "old age" she believes mother is fully lucid and knows exactly what is being said.
What I have done is repeatedly told my daughter how much she is appreciated and that she no longer have to assist if she does not want to. Now that everyone has moved into my home .....the unrest is ongoing. So, my husband and I have decided to clear our space. The process has begun to place mother in an assisted living home like the one she was in previously. This is now a matter of our sanity and well being as mother does not care (may be she is not aware) how we are affected. Everyone has suffered with her being here the past year and it is time to make a change. Sometimes we have ideas in our head as to how we think things should be but it is not always the best choice. I somehow thought we could care for her until the time came for a nursing home. There are no other options in this situation.
I pray for you and your family. At this point your son has to live his life and I would have a heart to heart with him. Let him know how much his support is valued and he now has to focus on his future and his goals. We do not need our young people to build resentment and become angry toward the situation. I wish you well and resolve with this situation. It may be time to find a reputable home care agency and hire someone.
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Get professional help in the home. If your son is studying, his has enough on his plate. Young people need to be protected and given room to breathe. He's done enough, more than enough.And make sure he knows SHE has a problem and he did a good job and doesn't need to be subjected to abuse.
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As I said before...get a home health aid...your son is not qualified to deal with any of this at this point.
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When my mother-in-law is being mean, I just tell that she is being mean and give her time to calm down. Generally, she calms down fairly quickly and seems more humble. I simply am not taking anything negative that she says seriously and I take every kind word to heart. If your son can't distance himself emotionally then he shouldn't be with grandma. We must take care of our children first.
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Maybe check for a urinary tract infection first. That totally changes the elderly and is a simple test you can do with a dipstick test from Walgreens for $9. My mom has a sharp tongue ongoing but I've come to know when it's extremely bad and directed at others and not just me, there's something else going on with her.
Good luck.
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Well, I'm looking at a lifetime of criticism in my situation, and I'm trying to develop a non- inflammatory response without sacrificing my own self-worth. I'm trying, "Thank you for your correction". This neither confirms my responsibility for whatever the he'll it is that I supposedly said wrong, nor degrades into the childish, "No I didn't!"
Sometimes I think my self worth is never going to recover....my own plan for myself is to put myself in a home before I put my own children in this situation.
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Wow. My mother, who has always made me the family scape goat has stepped up this awful behavior and unfortunately, now my four siblings have seemed to jump on board. My dad who has commented previously about how much I have taken from her and subsequently taken the high road afterwards, even told me within the last fifteen months that I needed to apologize to her for being 'disrespectful' to her when I told her in an email, after two times hanging up on me, that I was not going to a) talk about other people with her and b) that when she repeatedly got on inflammatory subjects it made me feel baited since she knew how I already felt about it. The last 14 months have been hell at her hands. She drives everybody crazy in her relentless pursuit to trash me, has told my brother who has been named my parents' executor that she wants to cut me out of the will (he said my dad 'wasn't there yet' but intimated that I again need to apologize to her or they might do it!). Every month or so I get a crazy Bible-quoting but definitely nasty note from her with an attached copy of this 'awful' email (which has nothing disrespectful in it but does draw a boundary around her abusive behavior towards me). With the Bible references she seems to revel in 'trumping' even my faith - which is paramount to me, because what do I do? Come back quoting another Bible verse to show her how off base SHE is? I don't. I respond with nothing. But my mother, while I do certainly believe is NPD along with very dramatic and histrionic, doesn't have dementia. My dad would rather believe that she is 'losing' it than admit she is just mean. He has told me he thinks she has dementia and that she is hard for him to live with. It has boiled down to a crazy family all in denial and all willing to pin the whole thing on me in order to get an inheritance. Gross!
The bottom line is this for me, and this is where my two cents comes in. If I were the only person left to care for her, I would. I would make sure she was safe, dry and cared for. I would see after that. But I would not put myself in the fray to be abused by her any more. If someone is lucid and just basically mean, don't put yourself in her line of fire. Hire somebody and have peace.
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There are aging at home presentations about how to deal with caregiving by family members and others which are provided by medical professionals and or AARP. I attended several to find out how to care for an elderly woman with dementia. While she did not like me in her home at first, she got used to it. When she got nasty, I just left her space for awhile. Introducing her to a person who is an in-home care assistant is necessary at this point, it seems, for the well-being of everyone in the family. Tell her that it is for a trial basis of a week (or two) and that you will discuss her concerns if she has any after you select a reliable agency and person.
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When we moved mom to an assisted living she was verbally abusive yelling that we had drugged her and forced her there. I handled it well for several days because I kept telling myself I would feel the same way. HOWEVER, the day came when I had just had it! We were in my car ready to leave when she did it again. Much to my shame, I lit into her, I yelled at the top of my lungs things like, "We would never do things like that . . . you raised us with love and compassion what would make you think we would ever treat you with anything other than the same? My brother did . (& I mentioned sacrifices he made to find the place and pay for it). I know I said a lot more then cried. She has mild dementia but it must have shocked her so badly that she has never mentioned it again. Just as the Assist. Lvg. people assured me, in time she has accepted her living arrangement and talks about how she willingly moved there as she needed more help. We felt that just as she had to make tough decisions that we didn't appreciate when she protected us; it is now our turn to do the same for her. My brother was adament that I should be allowed to be her loving daughter to enjoy her time with me and not the bad guy making her mad. If affordable get her care even if just temporary while she heals.
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