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I am a single parent doing my best to take care of my soon to be 85 year old mother. She was diagnosed last year with senile dementia. On top of that she is very mean and demanding and never ever satisfied with the things I do to try and help her. She says mean things to me and talks about me to other people. I really do believe that at times she fakes certain illnesses just to get attention, because it is something every single day. I can never be at peace. I work third shift so when I get off work I go to her home and clean and fix her breakfast day. She has a aide that comes twice a week to take get to run errands or doctors appts so that I can try and rest when I get off work. But it's never successful. My mom's vision is gone in her right eye and limited vision in the left. But to be honest she can see when she wants too. She portrays herself as someone who is blind it is a fuss everyday becuase she always makes the statement that she can't see. But in my heart I know she can see enough to fix something to eat or get something to drink. She is able to shower and dress on her own with no problem. But when her aide comes she wants her to do absolutely everything even down to getting on the floor and literally putting her undergarments on when I know and have seen her do these personal things on her own. My mother is very manipulative. If I don't do what she says or offer to do something when she is mad there is always an argument. I have a brother who lives in California who does absolutely nothing to help me take of her. All he does is buy her things she does not need and always quick to judge what is going on here in north Carolina. He called social services on me and accused me of abusing and neglecting my mother and stealing from her. And my mother would not allow me to say anything to him why I do not know. I have no help from anyone. Even my friends that I talk to tell me I do way too much. I make sure she eats, I cook dinner, run errands, clean, take care of her when she is sick or faking and its never any type of gratitude for me but if the neighbor does something or a family member out the blue brings one meal, they get all the thank yous and appreciation. But me, she makes me feel like I am nothing and useless. And if I say something she then turns it around to herself and then I am the bad person. When I know in my heart that I'm doing what I am supposed to do and GOD knows I'm doing the best that I can. But I've had enough I'm tired. Please any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

You sound like a beautiful person.. very compassionate. These day you are truly rare. Don’t allow some that doesn’t deserve your heart to stomp on it. I have a mother that is really similar that disrespected my father till the very end. She didn’t shed a single tear when he died last month. Like others have said.. set boundaries. Live your life! Pour your energy into people or things that are rewarding.
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Reply to Alonnastorm
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You are allowing her to abuse you, she has figured out how to manipulate you. If she locks you out, ok, leave and go home, she will contact you because what she is doing is all part of her game.

Time to set some boundaries with her, say what you mean and mean what you say, it appears that you are codependent. Please read Codependent NO More by Melody Beattie.

A boundary is set to protect you. My mother is abusive, when she started on me I would just pick up my things and leave, no words, just go. If I was in the middle of doing something to help her, I would just stop and go. Eventually she realized that she either behave or I would leave and for the rest of that day I would not answer her calls. I never waivered, eventually, due to her nasty mouth, I went no contact, haven't spoke to her for 8 years, never will, that is my new boundary that will never be crossed.

You are allowing her to ruin your well being...WHY? You are an adult, time to get your life on the right track, you do not have her POA, let someone else deal with her, if you back out of the picture, she will most likely be placed in a home, which is where she should be anyway.
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Reply to DollyMe
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Polo46 Nov 19, 2019
Good question. Why am i allowing her to ruin my well being. Thank you for the advice. It really makes alot of sense
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Hi Polo46, it's tough. Not only has your mom always been this way, but now it's probably worse due to a deteriorating old brain, maybe mixed with some dementia traits....add on her fear of losing her vision and independence, of course she is cranky! You are just the closest target for her anger, frustration and maybe some depression too. You can certainly try to make boundaries with her, but she just may not be able to control herself from being mean to you.

I see it this way. You have 3 choices:

1. Change the situation. Maybe getting more paid assistance if she will allow, or a live-in (partly in exchange for room/board) Consider placement, and if she is opposed, then maybe you can set up a respite stay at a nursing home or assisted living so she can get a feel for it. This will free you up to not be so enmeshed in her care, and will allow you to hopefully just have a good visit for once. There are probably lots of things that could change..... if one thing changes, then everything else changes too... ideally in a positive direction! I would not count on being able to change her behavior.

2. Leave the situation - Stay away and let the chips fall where they may. Tell your brother he can take over.

3. Accept the situation- If you think you can't change the situation, and you don't want to leave the situation, then you have no choice but to accept the situation. Now, this doesn't mean to just be a punching bag and go home every day feeling beat up. But there are ways to deal a little bit better with the verbal aggression and snide remarks. It sounds like you are fighting every remark out of her mouth, that's way too stressful! maybe you can learn to let some things go, or bounce off you, ignore them, do not respond to them, do not let them get to you so much, choose your battles. This takes a lot of practice and patience. But it's definitely possible and worth it in the long run. Accept that she won't likely change, and that it has nothing to do with you, but has more to do with her and her brain, her life experiences, her lifelong behavior patterns, her fears etc etc. Can you still love and care for her? You sound like a person who really cares, so I think so. But the only thing that might be able to change in this situation is you, my dear. Maybe a good therapist could help you to deal with this difficult situation.

In reality, if you don't choose one of these choices, nothing will ever change.
I wish you good luck and strength.
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Reply to SofiaAmirpoor
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Polo46 Nov 19, 2019
Thank you. That really has me to do alot of thinking. Thank you so much
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You might as well stop expecting any overt appreciation from your mother. You have been so faithful in helping her that she probably takes it for granted and doesn't think of it as something needing thanks. When someone unexpected makes an effort, it jogs her attention as something to acknowledge.

Continue to do the things that are necessary for her health and safety and that let you observe her condition, then continue on home. Think of it as part of the job. Your regularity is good support for your mother. Your mother may exaggerate her ailments and her needs b/c she is lonely and craves attention. Look for ways to give her positive attention so she might rely less on neediness. Does she cook anything or have a hobby or activity you can praise?

Good luck to you. I'm sure you are exhausted by being beaten down by your mother's negativity.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie
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Has she always been this way, ignoring your work and loving brother more? Those are so unkind. I think it's best that you leave her care to professionals to protect yourself. With professionals taking care of her, you can visit her when they are there and simply visit as a daughter *and have witnesses.*

Does your mother gave the money to pay for more aides? Who is POA? If you are, it's simple to pay for them out of her funds. If she doesn't have a POA or it's your brother, you can tell them that you need a caregiving contract and payment.

Chances are she will refuse, and that's your time to tell her and brother you are done with care giving. They will need to hire a care manager or place her. Honestly, placement seems like the right thing since she's mean to you and nice to others simply from a quality of life perspective!
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Polo46 Nov 19, 2019
She has alwasys been mean with a smart mouth..but at the same time she can be just as sweet. Sje doesn't have a POA. I am only over her medical. I take care of her bills by paying them out of her account and i pay her aide as well. I was recently put in charge of her VA benefits and im guessing she told.him about that because he said as long as i am around and in charge of things he is done with the whole situation. And im not even sure what he means by that. He and i have never really gotten along and were never close. To be honest i could care less about him. But she talks to him and tells him things that are not true and then it becomes a big mess. She is always sayinf she should go to a nursing home but its all just talk.
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Honestly, I think that a person that needs propping up all the time needs to be in a facility.

You can tell her when she gets nasty that you are not going to be abused, verbally, mentally, physically or emotionally and you will leave if she doesn't stop.

Haven't had breakfast, oh well, I am not an appetizer to chew on 1st. Be nice or be alone.

Why would you even ask her about telling your noisy, critical, unhelpful brother to play nice or stop? You are an adult and you can tell anyone that is mistreating you to bugger off. No permissions needed.

I am sorry to say this, but it sounds like you are still a child when dealing with your mother. Until you decide that you are within your rights to tell her what you will and will not do or what kind of treatment you will and will not tolerate she will probably continue to use you as a scratching post.

It doesn't have to be an argument, you can calmly tell her that you will not be treated ugly and if she doesn't stop right now you will be going home. One ugly word from her and you pack up and go home. Don't say anything else, don't answer any calls from her and try again tomorrow. Do this every time she is nasty, she will either stop being ugly or you will stop being her scratching post, either way you are not being torn to shreds and made to feel so terrible.

I would contact the local area on aging and get a needs assessment done and start the process of getting her placed. If she is so blind that she can not see to fix a bowl of ceramic or yogurt then she is in danger living alone.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Polo46 Nov 19, 2019
Wow. I never really thought about it like that. Telling her what i will and will.not put up.with will definitely turn into a argument and then its all about her and how she feels period. She will.turn her nose up and me and if she is mad when i leave she will lock the screen door so i cant get back in. Things have to be her way done her way agree with everything she says and do whatever she says. And she gets mad when she can no longer control me in what i say and do in my own damn life. (Sorry) she had me crying sunday morning all becuase i wanted to fix her a nice dinner and becuse i put too much salt she just went off. Complaining of this and that and wld not even answer the phone because she was mad about it. She is mad about something every single day. I know she is old but ailments and pains every single day. Doctor gives her a good report every time she goes but as soon as she gets home, here goes this hurts and that hurts. Some of my residents are way worse off then she is and they dont complain. They just happy to see another day. Idk maybe i need to just be quiet and deal the best way i can. But i get so tired. Sometimes i dont even want to be around her because i know its something and she drains all my happiness out of my soul
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