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I had to move my Mom from her home in Mississippi to Georgia last year due to declining mental and physical health issues. She lost my step dad in 2010. She also broke her hip and had a bad stroke in late 2010. She lived with me for almost a year at that time but eventually moved back to her home because she just made life miserable for everyone. We then lost my brother, her youngest son in 2013. After that she declined significantly and it was recommended that I move her back to Georgia by several people including her doctor. I was able to get her into a handicap accessible apartment and hired a 24/7 caretaker. It has been a year and she has done nothing but complain, accuse the caretaker of stealing everything from her van to her clothing. She's even accused me of taking advantage of her and has called Adult Protective Services and reported me. Of course they called her doctor and he told them that first thing they should know is she has dementia. She is being treated very well and is waited on hand and foot. She is being treated for depression and dementia but it doesn't seem to be helping at all.


Now she has told me that she is taking her life back and is moving back home to Mississippi which there is no "home" to move back to. She says there is someone that said she could move in with that said she was more than welcome to come. The person she is talking about said he just didn't want to hurt her feelings but there is no way that she could move there and he is taking care of his own wife that suffered a massive stroke and is in a nursing home.


I have so much going on with her, I really don't know what to ask other than, What do I do??? How can I get her to get the idea of moving out of her mind? There is no place for her to go or anyone to take care of her.

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What worked for my mom- and it was night and day results: Risperidone and Citalopram. ALL, and I mean ALL her anxiety disappeared. Shes clear headed and sweet as pie. A huge difference from anxiety, suspicion, fear, hallucinations and allusions. Of course, it could be her chemistry agreeing so results may differ-- but i could have saced myself years of grief had her first doctors recognized that her anger and hateful ways is PRE dimentia symptoms and it only gets worse as the disease progresses. Best of luck.
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Nkirkendall, We have all been through the verbal abuse. My mother's tongue would let go when she had a UTI. After she recovered, she would apologize. I would explain that her brain was very tired, and she could not be blamed for things that she said.

As for the moving talk, it continued until the day she died. She did not like being in the Assistled Living and dreamed of getting her own place. I would laugh and ask her who would be able to help her cook, clean, do laundry, etc. She would realize it was a pipe dream and drop the subject until my next visit.

Make sure your mom does not have a UTI. It causes them to go into rants. Sun downing also makes them do and say horrible things. Good luck.
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nkirkendall - my mother has said the most hateful things to me over the past few years. Even though I intellectually know "it's the disease talking" some of the things said hurt tremendously and will most likely be seared in my brain until the day I die. Still - since my moms med change she has become 1000x easier to be around - no more hateful comments or accusations. I still take a rx "mood enhancer" prior to every visit as I experience horrible anxiety before each time I visit mom - guess I'm a little "shell shocked". That said, I am also trying very hard to let go of the hurt and move forward, hoping to create a few happy memories to look back on once mom has passed.
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nkirkendall, there is a book by Jolene Brackey that you might find helpful, too. It's called "Creating Moments of Joy for the Person with Alzheimer's or Dementia". I find most of it works with my Mom, but of course there are also some things I tried that didn't work. But there are lots of very concrete suggestions, like making sure she has her purse and it has the things she's used to having in it, or recommending the number and mix of clothing choices that are enough to be familiar, but not to be overwhelming, etc. -- lots of things I would not have thought of on my own. This IS the hardest thing most of us will ever face. And sometimes we have to find comfort in the joyful moments we can create and quickly let go of the angry and guilty moments and move on. We didn't vote for a character-building experience, but boy, do we have a giant one! Having survived this, we can only look forward to the remarkable people we will then be for the rest of our lives. Hang in there and don't forget to do nice things and create moments of joy for yourself as well.
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Thank you all for the answers, especially lindabf. This is the hardest thing in my entire life... I am going to have to get help for myself. She went on a rampage last night because she found out I talked to her friend that she claims said she could come live with. I just wanted to make sure he was aware that she was not capable of living on her own and that she needed 24 hour care. She was furious with me and even accused me of causing my brother's death and she wished I would have died instead of him because he was the only one that cared about her, etc... It was awful... I just don't know how I will survive this...But, thanks for all the kind words...
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Is there a reason why using a paid caregiver in a private residence is better than AL with memory care? I ask because we need my dad to live somewhere else and money is maybe doabke, but none to spare. Want him to have a better life than in a crowded home where patience is in short supply.
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It is EXTREMELY difficult, though not impossible, for an ailing elder to adapt to drastic changes such as a move.
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Love the answer that you are "getting the house ready", & all the stalling tactics.
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Their brains are busted. They believe weird things because their brains are busted, and they are kind of 'winding down', fixating on things from the past. No rhyme or reason, it's like a videotape winding backwards, getting stuck at a certain point and repeating repeating repeating. You mustn't take it PERSONALLY. It has nothing to do with YOU, it's a dying brain. My mom was convinced her parents were sleeping in her guest room and she set the table for them every night. I took the knobs off the stove and told her everyone was busy but would be by tomorrow, and that went pretty well! 'Oh, OK, we'll cook tomorrow, then' yeah, right. Medication is needed. Please, tell her doctor, and see if he can get her on some medication. My mom had a mild anti-depressant for years, and she was very good-natured. -
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Oh, for living in small towns. Many years ago, my 86 year old grandfather suffered from dementia. He lived in Ft. Sumner NM and thought they had rented a house from the Indians and after they moved out someone trashed the kitchen. He believed the Indians thought he did it and were standing in the street and were going to come in the house and hurt him. The De Baca County Sheriff, wrote my Grandfather a letter saying he talked to the Indians and they understand my Grandfather didn't do the damage. Every time he would start to get agitated my grandmother would show him the letter and it calmed him down. I can't imagine my county sheriff doing that here where I live. Perhaps you could try something like akdaughter and khood490 suggested.
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Sorry - haven't read all the answers but I'm sure some of them suggested different meds. My mother was beyond a handful when we had to move her to a NH. Mom was trying to escape and was so nasty to the staff there almost no one who wanted to be around her. She was also hateful and accusatory towards me. While seeing my own dr for my stress he recommended taking mom to a Geriatric Psychiatrist - something I had seen mentioned her a few times. I got mom in to see one around Christmas time. The Psyc did a complete med overhaul and by mid January mom was a new woman. Mom sleeps a little more than usual now but that could just be the course of her age and dementia - other than that mom is sweet and agreeable - even more clear minded - actually she's nicer than I can EVER remember her being. I wish I had done this months earlier - it truely has made all the difference in the world!
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My father was placed in guardianship and he refuses to understand. Every month when the bank statement comes he is upset that his money is being used to paid caregivers. So I wrote it down and made 10 copies. Every time he starts I had him a copy of the letter that explains and asks him not be be mad at me as it is outside of my control. It works...every month I have to give him a new copy...but it works.
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You are in good company here. I have been through most of these same things with my mom, as have many others. Mom talks about moving back to her hometown where "all of her friends will come to visit me". She has one friend (90 years old, homebound) and her 83-year-old sister with mobility issues left in her hometown. She will also mention friends and relatives who have been dead for more than 20 years. There is no correcting her since she wouldn't remember any updated information anyway. I tell her that I am working on living arrangements back in her hometown and I will let her know when I get something set up. Occasionally she rejects that answer and says that she is going to find her own apartment, buy a car and take care of herself. I tell her to go ahead if that is what she wants to do, but be sure to give me her address so that I can come to visit her. I know that there is absolutely no way that she could accomplish any of this (especially now because we have had to remove her phone due to repeated, angry calls and she doesn't have a checkbook), but it is just easier to go along with whatever she says. It has been very hard for me to get used to therapeutic fibbing and tell her whatever will calm her down. Our generation was brought up never to lie to our parents!

Could you possibly just come up with a list of things you are doing to prepare for her move back home? Maybe there is a waiting list to get back in with her old doctor or dentist? You need to change her Medicare supplemental insurance back to Mississippi and you need to wait for the next enrollment period? You know those nasty insurance rules! Her friend is not able to accommodate her so you are looking for suitable housing? Just rotate these excuses as needed depending on her memory, and hope that she will soon move on to the next thing to obsess about. In the meantime, look for things to keep her busy.
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Agree with Lindabf. Your mother has gone through a lot in the last 6 years. She's trying to get some control back. Even though she might have lost some ability to think through and communicate her desires because of her stroke and subsequent dementia, her concerns need to be validated. Do you, in fact, trust the caregiver? My father loves where he lives because he was able to arrange the furniture similar to where he lived before for 40 years. Can you work with your mother to "fix up" where she lives now in a way that is pleasing to her and according to her wishes? Let her have some control.
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Music therapy? Perhaps playing music she likes might help ....
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Lots of good suggestions here. I'll add mine. You describe a woman who has experienced loss after loss after loss in a relatively short time. Add to that the overwhelming confusion that comes with dementia and you have a person who needs a lot of love, which you have to offer. With my Mom, when she talks about wanting to live on her own again or wanting to "go home" to the family that raised her who, of course, have all passed away, rather than either arguing or deflecting, I find it useful to say something like, "You've had a really rough patch for a while now and I'm so sad that you've had to experience that. Tell me about some of the things you miss about being back home." Then just listen. Usually the dementia will take her off track pretty quickly after that, but she will feel loved and heard. Also, remember that the accusations of the caretaker stealing her things may have its roots in the fact that in the new home, nothing is ever where she expects it to be. It's easier to blame someone than to face the fact that you can no longer master the new set-up and may spend the rest of your life looking for things you spent the last 50 years organizing and placing exactly where you wanted them. Remember that as hard as it is for us, it has to be harder for them - plus they lack the language to talk about it. If you can detach from her "motherness" and instead see her as a person you care about who has experienced the loss of her identity, her memories, and basically her life -- that reminder is often what will get me over the irritation and back into a mind of serving a beloved elder. Mind you, it doesn't always work for me - I'm more selfish than I wish I were. But it works often enough to be something useful to try. Hope it helps.
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You will never "get the idea of moving" out of the mind of a person with dementia until the disease progresses farther. Stop trying that. At best, you describe her as being unreasonable when she lived with you, so don't expect her to get along with other caretakers. Recognize dementia has various phases and being combative is just one. She will settle down, become less aggressive and then unable to talk. You could ask her doctor about medication that will calm her outbursts so the caregivers have a chance. You are doing the right thing, so just be patient and wait for the storm to subside.
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check with the doctor on something to help with anxiety or whatever she has. maybe you could suggest getting in the car and driving around for awhile to see if that would help. Or pretend that someone called and let her know the person she was going to move in with was no longer able to take her in or tell her there was a flood there and right now would not be a good time to move. wishing you luck.
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.... paranoia and accusations are 2 of the behaviors that go with dementia....
I have no answers....your's is a difficult road to travel....Prayers & HEALING LIGHT TO YOU.
God's speed....
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I'm sorry...it's so difficult to deal with the person when dementia causes the paranoia and accusations. We are going through that too right now with my dad since he moved from IL to AL a month ago. We just now got his doctor to prescribe a low dose of Buspar for the constant anxiety until he calms down. He is also on Zoloft. He was fine until this move. Breaks my heart and also is upsetting. You must realize you can not get her to change her mind. Her mind is not rational. Have you joined a support group or see a counselor who can offer suggestions? The only one you can deal with is you at this point . You didn't say if your mom is on any meds. If not, perhaps take her to her doctor for meds or a med adjustment. Call your local Alzheimer's Association for referral to a support group or other advice. They will have some info. I know it's hard to be around them and even love them when they are complaining and accusatory all the time.
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I know that little white lies are the way to go. It won't hurt them because they won't remember. But with your situation I'm not sure what sort of lie might work. I'm getting my folks to cut from nyc. Mom has dementia. I'm trying to deflect her resistance and telling her dad needs to be monitored in ct at Yale. She hears Yale and it's better. But then of course forgets all about that conversation. It's trial and error. I don't even know how my situation will play out but yours is similar. Good luck!
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