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Doc thinks she has dementia. I agree but just now reading a book about dementia. She wants to be seen/called daily, told everything, etc. I don’t want to tell her everything. It’s none of her business. I understand she is losing her mind, feeling confused, depressed, mad. She truly does not appreciate anything done for her. It’s like we should do everything for her. Have everything revolve around her and are supposed to be happy about it. She’s spent so much time lately being mad at me because I’m grown, have a life, and physically ill. I’ll need surgery in a couple of weeks. I don’t know how she’ll handle that. She’s mad at me too because she doesn’t have any friends. But she is not friendly though. We’ve tried setting her up with friendly outgoing loving elderly ladies to be friends with and she refused to talk to them. I’m at a loss as of how to handle this.

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You know something? I think we're all ill equipped to handle our demented mother's bad attitudes, to be truthful! I know I am. I promise myself every time I talk to her or see her that I WILL NOT get annoyed or say anything negative. I even smile when I pick up the phone so she will be able to 'hear' the smile in my voice. Within 2 minutes the smile turns into a frown and she's gotten under my skin. When anyone goes to visit, they haven't stayed long enough. When the physical therapist comes to help her (at HER request) it's the 'wrong time'. She can come in the morning, at noon, in the afternoon, in the late afternoon, the early evening or the evening...............no matter, it's always THE WRONG TIME and she 'can't' do PT at that time. She hates all the people in the Memory Care home she lives in. Everyone has issues but her. And on and on and ON.

I tell her as LITTLE as humanly possible because the more you tell these types of people the more fodder they have for the mill. My daughter is an RN and going back East for 13 weeks.............we are not even telling my mother! She will call her grandmother weekly, as usual, so my mother won't even know anything has changed. My DD will visit gma before she leaves and as soon as she gets home, and make up excuses in the meantime, if asked, as to why she's not visiting. Otherwise, I will hear nothing but 'worrying' and 'dread' and 'what if' scenarios for 13 weeks while DD is gone. Nope, not gonna have it.

Set boundaries with your mother now. Before things get worse, which they will with dementia, it's the nature of the disease. They get SO self centered, the entire world revolves around them even MORE than usual. So figure out when you are going to call/visit, etc., and when you will get off the phone or cut the visit short. My mother knows that if she gets too verbally abusive, it's time for me to either cut the call short or leave her room in the MC. Some things can be negotiable while other things should not be. Taking verbal abuse for long periods of time should not be something you're willing to negotiate.

Remember, you can't make an unhappy person happy. You can, however, keep YOUR sanity throughout your mother's disease. She's only 73 and you may have a LOT more years of nonsense ahead of you. Establish boundaries NOW and you'll be a lot better off. Also, does the IL place your mom live in have a continuum of care option available? Can she move to AL or MC if the need arises? That's always a good option to have on the back burner. Plan B when Plan A falls apart.

Wishing you the very best of luck, my friend.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 16, 2020
Great advice! I second all of this.
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Rovana's comment bears repeating and remembering: "don't expect reasonable behavior from mom and remember you cannot argue with dementia. Broken brain here."

This may very well be one of the hardest things you will ever deal with in your life. I feel so bad for people who are just beginning this journey with a LO and I'm so sorry you are facing it. I have been there and I am not exaggerating when I tell you it is horrible. When vascular dementia started out of nowhere with my mother, it was like being hit by a freight train. It knocked us down and chewed us up!! It wasn't any fun for her either, I will add. She knew something was wrong but there was nothing we could do to make her understand what was wrong. We couldn't even make it good for her. Nothing we did helped her or made life pleasant for her. Reading all you can to understand this will help but it isn't going to make it easier. Even though I would have patience with my mother because I realized she had no control over what she did, I would still lose it occasionally and have a crying breakdown.

If I could give you any advice it would be to go ahead and look into memory care facilities for your mom. Even if you can keep her at home in the beginning, there will come a time when you probably can't handle it anymore. We tried keeping my mother at home and taking care of her but it was killing us and it was also more expensive than placing her somewhere. We had help because we couldn't do 24/7 but that comes with its own set of problems.

Did I mention this is horrible? It is exhausting, heartbreaking and terrible for everyone, including the person with dementia. Try to find compassion for her, even when you think she is doing everything she can against you. She isn't. She just can't help it.
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You don’t need this stress. I can hear the stress in your writing. It’s horribly frustrating to be in your situation. Please give yourself permission to let go. Your mom is not going to change. It’s not like you can reason with her to improve her situation. You have already tried that route.

She needs assistance from others. I can empathize with her on that. I am not heartless. Help can be provided by a non family member. Remove yourself from this burden and I guarantee that you will feel as if a heavy weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. Look into future care for your mom and gracefully step away. Start living for you again. You deserve it.

Best wishes to you. Hugs!
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seekingjoy Jan 18, 2020
Such wise words. Please listen.
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My heart goes out to you. I am dealing with the same thing with my mom who has been living with my husband (who has early Alzheimer's) and me for 5 LONG months now. Nothing I do is right. Just about everything out of her mouth is criticism. However, she's a doll with her caregiver who comes once a week. They love each other, of which I am thankful. I was thinking back to my childhood and realized she treated me the same way when I was growing up, and I survived and have had a wonderful life 525 miles away. Now she's here and acts like she doesn't want my help, so I try not to give it unless she specifically asks. So I pray and thank God that I wake up every morning. This is my motto - "I'm still standing, and I'm still strong, and nothing will knock me down." Hope this helps. Will be praying for you.
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anonymous965086 Jan 19, 2020
spend the money and hire a caring caregiver. Five months is not Long. How long did you mom take care of you. I cared for my mom without any grips. She was not easy to care for, but after all she cared for me and I considered it a blessing to make her last days, months, years, as comfortable as possible without complaining
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You ARE NOT alone. Please make a list of those you love & trust who you can and will talk to about your mother: Her Dr suggest a Neurologist, your family children, brothers and sisters, pastor, church friends, friends, local friends, dementia and Alzheimers groups.....
Also you need counseling to help you understand where your mother is coming from. This is NOT about you! It is about fining people who understand how this illness progresses and changes how a person acts and thinks. She is afraid , she does not understand what is happening to her and why. She is not attacking you!!!
Find home nurses, home helpers, psychologists, church groups that specialist in Hospice care..
YOU MUST NOT TRY TO TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING NO ONE CAN IN THESE SITUATIONS..and pray! You are not alone you can email me IF I can help Best to You! Dr Jack Grenan
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If it's your thing to study, there is a free online course called Understanding Dementia (by University of Tasmania). Next intake Feb. https://www.utas.edu.au/wicking/understanding-dementia

I've done this & really got a lot from it - especially the videos links with personal stories. I think there was a forum too.

A work friend also did the course who was struggling with her self-centered Mother (pre Alz diagnosis). She was being run ragged as Mother lived in a rural area, was no longer driving & needing more & more help (but refusing all non-daughter help). It literally took a village to convince her to move to AL, neighbours, relatives & her trusted Doctor. By the time she moved, she was malnourished, skipping meds, confused & getting paranoid. Her daughter supported her Mother wishes to stay in her home as long as possible but her own health suffered badly through stress, anxiety, sleep problems & more.

She said if doing all this again, she would not enable anyone to live beyond their own capabilities. If they cannot manage - get professionals (Doctor, Social Worker) in to advise them. She has been a terrific support to me helping me to avoid that slippery slope she was on.

All I can suggest is have a good think about where your stopping point is. 1 X shopping a week? Daily phone calls? 7 days morning & evening visits? How much will you be willing to support Mum before you become a broken record saying "It's time to move to assisted living".
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arunyon0007 Jan 20, 2020
Thank you for sharing the link, I signed up.
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Wow-I'm amazed that we all have the same Mom! You've gotten some great advice here and all I can add is-take care of yourself! I've been dealing with my mom's issues for almost 15 years now-not knowing for the longest time what was happening and having the medical team unwilling to take a stance on her issues. I suggest some good counseling for yourself and setting up boundaries. I have done both but I would be lying if I said she still doesn't get to me. She's been complaining for months about wanting to move from her Memory Care unit and how she is going to ask my brother who visits twice a year to move her. I even warned him that she would be asking. Guess what? She didn't even mention it but has spoken of nothing else but asking him to move her since he was here. I know it's the dementia and her ability to push buttons still but it's so frustrating. I change the subject but she just comes back to that. Thank goodness for this forum and knowing what a "family" we have out here dealing with the same issues. Good luck and blessings to you in what is a very difficult and possibly long journey.
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ExhaustedPiper Jan 18, 2020
Oh yeah the pushing buttons, why do they do it? Some underlying need to manipulate their child? If I have learned one valuable thing from my mother it's what NOT to do to my own child.

I was kind of hoping as my mom's dementia progresses she will forget how to push buttons. But yours is in memory care and still does it, Ugh!
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I have said it over and over and over again. When the elderly behave in obnoxious ways regardless of who they are or why they do it and the impact is affecting the rest of the family, and you have done all in you power to stop the nonsense, then there is no other option but to remove them and place them into facility. What would make you agree to be the target of their bad behavior to the point that you are miserable, can't lead a normal life, and it will get worse? Make the decision to act before YOU are destroyed mentally or physically or both.
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Jenwide70 Jan 19, 2020
Not true, must get meds right and things will be better.
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You will get a lot of good advice here - have you talked to Doc about what to expect in terms of mental function? Educated yourself about dementia? Has your mom always been like this or did it just start?  Firstly, you are not guilty and should not feel that you are - mom is being unreasonable, childish, etc. - maybe longterm mental illness plus the dementia. You cannot fix that - so you have to decide what needs to be done for her, and for you,  and just ignore the rest. This forum will have posters with many ideas for you, experiences of their own. But I would say: don't expect reasonable behavior from mom and remember you cannot argue with dementia. Broken brain here. Do you remember Sgt. Carter and Gomer Pyle?  "I can't hear you??"  Learn about going "Grey Rock" - it really works IMO.
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Midkid58 Jan 18, 2020
I cannot begin to tell you how effective going "grey rock" was with my mother last year for 8! months while I was txing for cancer. She was just so hard to talk to and I was trying to focus my positive energies on myself, something I am NOT used to doing--and she was just noodling along, thinking I was dying and being 'poor R whose daughter is dying' and LOVING the attention.

I wasn't dying, and didn't. I expected a cure (well, remission) and I got it and a few months after I was done with chemo I made a short visit to her and let her know I was OK.

Luckily my mother cannot figure out how to use her phone and so phone calls are pretty much only when somebody wanders in to her apt and she grabs them and has them 'dial'.

I did feel bad, for a while, but when I realized how much more peaceful it was to not see her every week and deal with 'real mom' or 'dementia mom'--I'd do it again if need be.

Hey, My own KIDS grey rock me. My son is currently choosing that. Whatever. I told him if he couldn't be kind to me, to not be anything to me for a while, until he grew up. (He's 40, so I guess he's having his first midlife crisis, I don't know, Never got one, myself.) Better than him calling and yelling at me.

Watching my DH and his mom, who has turned the corner from 'nutty' to 'gone' has been heartbreaking. No love lost between us, but to see her treat him so horribly bad (that's not new) but to KNOW that the chance for them to make up is loooong gone. She's someone else, entirely. And she's not coming back----very sad.

HE expects her to think coherently and logically----and she couldn't BEFORE why he thinks she can NOW is beyond me.
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Take a look at Teepa Snow videos. She explains so much. And helps with ideas to handle the behaviors. Do you know about therapeutic fibbing? Just one more thought, when your mom says she can’t “place” someone, she really can’t at that moment, can another and then can’t again. It is so frustrating for us when that happens!
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