How do you handle your elderly mother who acts disrespectful when interacting with other people?

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It happens when things don't go her way and she becomes frustrated. She will whine and make innappropriate comments to whomever she feels is the target of her frustrations. She has targeted people she barely knows. I have been so embarrassed by her behavior in public that I no longer want to be seen in her company. My mother is very self indulgent with a high sense of entitlement and has been all her life. How do you handle a situation when your elderly mother decides to act out this way especiallyin public?

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Leeah4 you're right to get your dad out of your home! Do it as fast as you can and don't let anyone talk you out of it. You have a right to be treated with respect in your own home! And you don't want your daughter picking up those bad habits from your father. Take care of yourself and your daughter. Hugs to you - please keep us posted on how you're doing.
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My father with me and has since last year , after massive heart attack. He loves me but, doesn't respect me at all. Always been lazy as far as being clean. I am worn out. Not that he can't clean up after himself, he just doesn't care. He intervenes every time I want to discipline my child for something. All he does is sleep, drink coffee, smoke. Once he was out of the harms way , he just went back to poor eating and other habits. He always has ruse comments to say about me in front of my friends. Even though they put him in his place, still very embarrassing. Long wait for homes and I really did not want to do that but, have no choice. My sister has never helped and barley visits him at all. She is the exact same way, as far as rude is concerned. I really do not like my dad's family at all and they have never been part of my life. I am really tired and worn out and now, my daughter is starting to treat me the same way. Her father is the same. My daughter and I did great without the two of them in the picture. Had better relationship with my dad , at a distance. That way, I could set limits on how much time I spent in the toxicity , if any. Could be an underlining problem mentally with him. I know he has no self worth at all. Could be long time depression underneath. I need him out of my house, can't take it anymore. Although he helps us financially, not worth what I go through mentally everyday. My daughter adored her grandfather but agrees, she had better relationship with him when we lived apart. He is just so unclean and lazy. Feel I have another small child running around all the time.
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I often wonder if my Mother "didn't mean it", as well, when she was 35, 45, at 55, etc. I wonder when the excuse for her behavior became dementia and not a nasty temperament. Oh well.
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I went through this with my Mom and made out business like type cards I kept in my pocketbook. When it happened, especially in a waiting room, I handed them a card when I got a chance to. It said to please excuse her as she has alzheimers and she doesnt mean it. I always handed one to the secretary before eye or skin dr visits too.
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Yes, I feel for you. My mother had problems with putting me down in front of people or saying disparaging things about my weight or clothes, etc.. but also saying inappropriate things a lot more as she got into her 80's. She is now in an assisted living facility (and they are seeing some of this now), but before she went there, and after 50 years of being put down, I finally had it and screamed at the top of my lungs at her and told her I would not be disrespected any longer, after all the hours, days and months of taking her to doctor appts, paying her bills, doing her taxes and finances, I finally could not take it anymore. I think it really scared her as I had never spoken to her like that, ever in my life. She got quiet afterwards and has been on different behavior since then. Just something to think about if this strategy might work for you. I felt better and did not feel bad about it at all afterwards. We do have a better relationship now that she knows I will not tolerate being talked down to or insulted.
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I remember a situation that came up many years ago when she, Mother, was still driving, making her own appointments, interacting with others in society-- a few years before 2007 when macular degeneration ruined her vision and she became so helpless. I had witnessed her self-centered behavior since childhood-- tantrums, screaming at us, screaming indignantly on the phone on a Saturday morning around 9 am when she could not get an appointment that day for a haircut. Hello.
Anyway, she received a letter from one of her doctors telling her that he Would not see her and to please find another doctor. He did not give her referrals. Lol. She came to me sheepishly as I was dutifully visiting her that day and showed me the letter. Yep, reject. Not putting up with your bs, lady. I silently said Thank You, God. Validation. I am not imagining terrible things about my Mother.
I read the letter. I told her that for some reason, he could not be her doctor. I askedif something had happened the last time she had an appointment. She was very impatient and grabbed the letter from me and said they were all stupid in his office. He never had time to listen to her. Uh huh.
I had always tried to reason with her--like I was the parent and she was the child-- from early on. Classic case of narcissist parent. I was so afraid for many years that I would be like her or like my Grandmother, who tried to program me to hate men, yet to be dependent. You get how that works? You snag a man, preferably one with means, you become more helpless and dependent in your relationship, have a kid or three for whatever self-serving reason, then you torture and manipulate them for as long as they can take it. If they leave or commit suicide or die some other way , you just get another one.
It's never their fault. Others must allow for their behavior and not expect them to be nice. However, they are superficially pleasant when it serves them. And if it serves them to make a scene to get more widespread sympathy, they will do that.
These are sick, mean, selfish people. All siblings are affected badly in some way by them. The defiant ones who keep fighting the dragon eventually win.
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Does she have a death wish? Here in the The Bronx, "dissing" people you barely know will earn you -- and whoever is hanging around with you -- a royal beatdown.

Nip it in the bud Debra. Tell your mother she's out of line and apologize to the person she's disrespecting right on the spot. The problem with this, however, is that you'll become the target of her frustrations. Nip that in the bud too.

Advanced age and lung disease are no excuse to mistreat people. Doesn't matter whom, where, or when.
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Stop being with her in public or until you explain why you do not want to be seen with her. You didn't mention if she has dementia, but self-indulgent people in earlier life tend to be self-indulgent later in life. Their personality tends to stay the same. Tell her your concerns and stop being embarrassed. She is the one who is disrespectful. You cannot control another person, only yourself and how you respond to events.
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SweepsSilly, your comment cracked me up! "where to put them when the time comes (who'd put up with them!) So funny. This subject is interesting to me because it is far reaching with ppl who have to put up with others in their lives who behave inappropriately, rudely, and obnoxiously to the public. My Mom (with dementia) is never rude and never has been, BUT, I have a dear family member who has a personality disorder. I love her very much, but I never know who she may "go off on" at the drop of a hat when out in public. It's nerve wracking, and I always feel on edge, or that I have to make an apology to someone. But, as 3pinkroses and Angels 19 said, and this is something I have had to learn and practice, we are only responsible for our own behavior, and we just have to ignore the bad behavior of those we are with. (Unless of course it's trantrum throwing children....ha ha) And the dementia parents can be exactly like the trantrum throwing children. The other thing I have done is simply try to not put myself in situations where this type of behavior may pop up. Like when I was a young mother taking my children out shopping etc, if they acted up, I just stopped taking them out shopping with me. Too much stress, and I didn't want to have a big fuss and scene in a store or restaurant.....which is usually the places where they'd choose to act up, knowing somehow that it would be most embarrassing!! We need to eliminate as much stress in our lives as possible. Amen sisters!! ;-) (and brothers)
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SweepsSilly,
I know what you mean. I think it becomes difficult finding places to take our Loved One when they do become verbally abusive, but I know there are places out there. The training that I had to work for agencies in the past was extensive especially in the realm of dementia as most of our clients were suffering with it to a degree. We know that what they say is the disease talking, but it really does take someone special to work with them day in and day out for a full 8-10 hour shift. I was a supplemental caregiver so I never had to do a full shift with someone who was really combative. It takes a lot to do it. I have had to do it with my own mother. Fortunately as the dementia has progressed, she has become docile.
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