She is 94, and in addition to severe dementia (presumed to be Alzheimer's), she also has a lifelong underlying mental illness that we believe to be Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It has become exacerbated with age. I have some disabilities, but I've been her sole caregiver for several years. She is usually fairly clearheaded for a few hours in the mornings, but by late afternoon, she becomes completely delusional, unable to perceive logic or recognize reality. And whatever delusional idea she gets, she is adamantly committed to it, to the point of trying to leave the house, and violently attacking me when I have to stop her.
Tonight, she swung her walker at me (she's very strong when she's angry) and I grabbed it in mid-swing to keep from being hit -- and she lost her balance. I caught her and eased her down to the floor (I am no longer strong enough to hold her up), but she did scrape her elbow. Now she claims I knocked her down, and she's going to have me arrested. (She will almost certainly remember none of this in the morning, thank goodness.)
This is the first time she's gotten hurt during an attack, and I'm worried that I may no longer be able to keep her safe. I'm also worried that the crushing pressure and anxiety and desperation of all this is going to end me. At what point do you give up and do what your mother has told you all your life you must NEVER do, "Don't you EVER put me in a home, I'll kill myself," ever since I was about eight years old. I'm trying so hard to fulfill the promise I made, because I think her few lucid hours a day would probably be lost if she were among strangers. But I don't know how long I can continue before I break, physically or mentally or both. How do you know when it's time to give up? I don't want to be selfish. I want to do the right thing for her.