My Significant Other is 75 years old and diagnosed with dementia, bipolar/manic depressive. After spending 2 months in an Alzheimer/dementia SNF, she improved physically and mentally enough that we felt she was okay to bring home. I have been caring for her since July. She woke up 10 days ago with a fairly large lump on her neck. At the emergency room, they said it looked like an infected lymph node and admitted her to the hospital. The next day, she identified me as her mother and hasn't known who I am since. She became totally hostile and uncooperative with hospital personnel. They finally got her quieted down with Seroquel. Now, she speaks to me as her mother and talks about me, her care giver and life partner, extremely negatively. Accuses me of all kinds of illegal things, theft and lies. All I have ever done is take care of her and strive to keep her from harming herself. Her accusations hurt terribly. She becomes angry when I try to tell her I haven't stolen from her, can't understand that I am not her mother. I don't know how to talk to her. I am not her mother, who died 11 years ago. She hates me because I sign papers for her. That I make decisions about her care. She is the one who made out the trust appointing me her POA should anything happen to her. Now she wants to revoke it, but, of course, that is impossible. I wish I had never agreed to it. I wish I could walk away, but have invested 16 years of my life in this relationship and do not wish to abandon everything I have worked for. Plus the fact that I feel responsible for her well being. I am trying with all that's in me to keep her home as long as possible, but at 71 I don't know how long I can handle this physically or mentally. I am tired. Do I tell her she is not able to take care of things or continue to try to let her do things on her own? She wants my name off her bank account, but she can't even balance her checkbook any more. She won't allow any strangers to come in to help. Doesn't trust anyone. Totally paranoid. If anyone has some advice for me, I would appreciated any suggestions.

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BTDT with my own mother.

Look for a DEMENTIA care facility specifically. Not every nursing care location is equipped or trained to deal with the things that happen because of dementia, regardless of its source.

My mother was moved off the skilled nursing unit into a secure dementia unit on the same campus because of her mental illness + bi-polar behaviors on top of the dementia behaviors. She was extremely paranoid, especially of me, the only person on this earth willing to do anything for her. On that special unit, she got as-needed access to a geriatric psychiatrist, a psych nurse day to day, plus the skilled nursing her other medical conditions required.

As her abilities disappeared, they could increase her care levels right there without another move.

Now she is classified as hospice, and will finish out her days in her room there.

Having mom in a secure, structured, prepared environment let me and my family keep home as our retreat from the world. I can't tell you how important it is to have a place to find harmony, peacefulness, quiet, and joy as a caregiver. That is not greedy & selfish - it's self-preservation.

Seeing mom clean, fed, getting her meds on time, encouraged, and put into appropriate activities by professionals reduced my anxiety by 1,000%.
They do a job that I could not physically or mentally do by myself at my home or hers.

I hope we have helped you. Please come back and tell us how it's going.
Helpful Answer (1)

Yes, Jeanne, that is just right, based on current reality. Maybe there is a more suitable facility that she may have others to talk to. Worth looking for?
Helpful Answer (2)

That was then. This is now. Make your decisions based on current reality.
Helpful Answer (4)

Thank you both for you input. The reason I brought her home was she was constantly calling me crying and begging to get out of the SNF. All the other residents were much worse mentally and physically than she was and there was no one with which she could communicate on a day to day basis. Some of the staff even told her she didn't need to be in the SNF so you can imagine how that made me feel. Now she hates me for putting her there in the first place even though she was unable to sit up, walk, or form a sentence at the time..
Helpful Answer (2)

My short answer is return her to professional care. I went through this with my husband who has alz as well as bipolar. He was paranoid about everthing and anything. Suspicious of anyone who came into our home. Did not trust me to pay the bills etc etc. He is in memory care now and I am living a normal life.
Helpful Answer (6)

In the SNF she improved. I think the kind and loving thing to do would be to return her to the SNF and visit often -- perhaps for short visits if longer visits upset her.

This is exceedingly stressful for you, I'm sure. Remember that this is the mental illness coming out. It is not your SO's fault. It is not your fault. Her accusations are very common among people who have dementia. Add in the paranoia that often accompanies Bipolar Disorder, and you have a very miserable situation. Not Her Fault. Not Your Fault.

Being home does not seem to be increasing her quality of life or her happiness. Why do you think it is important to try to keep her home? Wouldn't you both be happier if she were under professional care? Wouldn't it be easier to maintain some semblance of your loving relationship if you weren't constantly together?
Helpful Answer (5)

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