Has anyone been successful at walking away from a narcissistic parent with dementia?


My mom moved in with me in April after breaking her foot and tearing ligaments in her knee. I'm so sorry I did not move her into ALF at that time! Now, I'm unable to find a place she can afford and don't see this as, "my calling" to live out life in this sacrificial mode. She is so delusional, negative and ungrateful! I'm miserable. She is continuously comparing my care for her with what she, "sacrificed for me" when I was a child. I don't feel as if I owe her my adult life in misery because of what she did as a parent! In this vent, is my question - how do I reverse this decision and get this woman out of my house??!!

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If she was in the hospital or in rehab, they had a social services department. Wherever she was last, as long as it wasn’t years ago, give them a call. If they can’t help because she’s been discharged from their care, they can suggest another place for you to call. It won’t be easy to place your mom. She will put you through hell, flinging accusations and piling on the guilt. If she is, like my mom was, a martyr and a drama queen, it will be worse. Mom’s prize winner line to me was “I hope your kids don’t do to you what you’ve done to me.” That was one of many accusations. But if I hadn’t placed her and taken her to live with me, my feelings of anger would have overwhelmed me.
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Aftrr dad died mom did ok by herself for a few years. I would come over and help with yards, doc appt, etc. then she was diagnosed with dementia. I moved in with her, hired a caregiver to help while I was at work. Then I had to retire as she required 24/7 care. Even though I was a CNA it was a difficult and emotional challenge. Eventually I had to place her in a Memory Care facility. My dad had been in the Navy so she qualified for the Aid and Attendance benefit and with her pension from my dad it covered her expenses. Yes there were issues about care but I stayed on top of things and it gave me back the opportunity to be her daughter again. Actually she though I was her mother. I became very close to mom and lost her in January. I wouldn’t change one thing in caring for her. It was an honor to give her what she gave me as a child. You need to realize that it’s not your mom speaking it’s the disease. You should attend some Alzheimer meetings. They will help you understand the disease and not to take what she says personally, which is very difficult. Prayers for you and your mom. 
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Next time she trots out the I changed your diapers analogy, ask her when she's going to grow up and leave home, then.
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Please do not sacrifice yourself. And she considers your care substandard (not the superior care she thinks she provided to you when you were a child), so that should make it easier to walk away.

Use her funds (and then Medicaid) to pay for her care. She is NOT your responsibility.
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There is a thread on this board called "Is it normal that she's so negative?" You need to read it!

You are not obliged to provide hand's on care or housing for your mother. You can arrange for her care and housing, paid for with her funds or with entitlements and subsidies.

Talk to your local Area Agency on Aging (it's on your county website) about getting a "needs assessment". They will also generally provide information about paying for care. Do that TODAY.

Mother can be angry. Her anger won't kill either one of you.
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Has her foot problem healed? Does she really need caregiving? Think about where she would go if she didn't have a daughter she could impose on. Would she look into subsidized housing? Would she use up her assets to be able to afford ALF? Would she apply for Medicaid? Think of what she would have to do if you were not in the picture at all. Why can't she do that now?

Getting her out helpfully and politely and for her own good because she deserves more service than you can provide would be wonderful. But getting her out forcefully and with her very angry with you may be necessary. And any way you do it you will feel unearned guilt. But having her out of there will be so much better than living in misery, any struggle to make it happen.

Others will have practical ideas for how to accomplish that. I want you to feel empowered to act!
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