My mother will be 95 this week and has advanced macular degeneration and she is currently living with me. Every couple of days she will accuse me of playing tricks on her and intentionally aggravating her by hiding things or taking her things (some of which were never here). This evening she could not find the remote control; I waited to walk back to her room with her to show her it was on the pillow lined up next to her other gadgets. She insisted I snuck it in the room and put it there. She got irate; accused me of being cruel, mean, and said "You are going to pay for your actions one day!" From this it escalates into attacking me on a personal level for how I live, accuses me of not going to church, tells me I don't care about anyone but myself, and it goes on and on until I walk out of the room. No matter how I try to calmly defend myself by telling her I am not hiding her things and it would serve no purpose for me to do that, she calls me a liar. But at this point, logic is of no importance to her and she is ALWAYS right (has been her entire life) and there seems to be nothing I can say to get her to believe me. So I typically say I'm sorry if you don't believe me but I'm not going to argue with you and walk away from her. Once this starts, she remains agitated for hours, pacing out of her room to hurl some more insults at me until she can get a reaction. Then she tries to talk to my husband if he's there and tell him something is wrong with me, after he has witnessed the entire interaction so he will not engage her.
The next day is usually better because she has to come to me to eat so she is nice when she wants me to wait on her.
I have an appointment with a geriatric psychiatrist 10 days from now in order to get her medications adjusted which her primary care doctor will no longer handle. My mother has a longstanding history of depression and anxiety. I am also waiting for a small assisted living facility to open sometime this month and she will be moving there because I cannot deal with the antagonism living with her. This is my 3rd attempt to take care of her in my home and it is a repeat everytime. The antagonistic relationship with her children has existed for the past 30 years primarily due to conflict over her hoarding behaviors, refusal to get help or get rid of anything. Now with some dementia, the antagonism is magnified. Believe me, the arguments are heated and she is so agitated she has called the police on me once, wandered away another time, and threatened to call the police last week.
So I understand some of this is a common behavor with dementia patients and I am wondering if anyone has any practical suggestions for how to handle it "in the moment" to keep her from escalating into the personal level attacks?
Thanking you in advance for any input!