Mom with dementia is in assisted living and needs something from me every single day (often multiple times each day). She begs to go home, she claims to be deathly ill (although nothing is wrong physically), she thinks of things she needs after I leave her (just to get me to come back), she cries because no one visits her, but doesn't want visitors when people do visit, and she spends every minute that she is with me telling me how horrible I am and how I will pay for what I have done to her. I am at my wits end! I try to do everything I can, but nothing is good enough. I know I can't make her happy, but it sure would be nice if she would ease up on me a little. She calls me at least 5 times/day (I'm working) and always complains that no one cares about her and my work is more important than she is. She is absolutely miserable to be around, but I still visit her at least 3 times each week and take her out on Saturdays. I do all of her laundry and I even change her bed linens for her. Please tell me how you keep going when nothing seems to be good enough? BTW, mom has been in assisted living since September.

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Some times there actually is no answer. And to think there is might make you even more crazy than you are now. You need to distance yourself from your mother's situation. Hard I know, as she is family. But if you don't do it, you'll probably end up killing yourself. Your mom is on a path that cannot be altered. You, however, still have a choice. Your guilt will end up killing you if you don't toss it out. Ultimately, it's about survival. Yours.
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Abby, have you talked to the people at your mothers asst. living place? That is the first place I'd start, specifically the activities director. Find out if anyone is TELLING your mother about activities that are happening in the building, and whether someone would actually GO GET HER when they do happen. The activities director/chaplain at my mother-in-law's asst. living place, she and I have become acquainted over the last 4 years. She specifically comes and gets my m-i-l when things are happening, and accompanies her to these things. Otherwise, my mother-in-law who also has dementia and macular degeneration, would just sit in her room and watch TV. Though my m-i-l isn't crabby or mean, she is NOT very social otherwise, so she is introverted except with family. The other thing I would suggest is, once you've established that you want your mother included in whatever the activity is they're having, stop answering your phone when she calls. If there's an emergency, the assisted living place will call you. To me it's like when my son was little and we were trying to get him used to sleeping at night. I remember how hard it was when he cried and I had to just let him do it until he figured out no one was going to come running, so he had to go to sleep. Once we got over that hurdle, things were fine. Same idea with your mom. Your mother is fine, the place she's at is probably nice, everything's fine, don't worry your mom isn't going to drop dead from you NOT answering your phone. Tell the people what you've talked about here, believe me they've heard and seen it all. Everything is fine, you're doing a good job. ♥
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