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I am one of two children and my brother will not get involved. I have Power of Attorney for her financial and medical directives. She refuses to listen to her doctor, me or anybody who is trying to help her with health issues. Usually she just takes it out on me but now she is "sharing" the same unacceptable behavior with her Assisted Living caretakers as well as myself. She is mean, nasty and getting senile which is not a good combination. I call her up to check on her and she is horrible and wont answer questions I ask. She changes subject. I see the term "respite" and I am ready to walk away for a while. She has her meds, her supplies and I manage her finances and available in case of emergency but I cannot deal with this abuse anymore. Should I get a social worker involved or just deal with the Assisted Living people and express my need to back off a while? Trust me she won't care.

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Sigh. Dementia is tough enough. Actually way tougher than we should have to handle. Dementia on top of some pre-existing mental disorder is off the charts. I am so glad she is in a care center and not in your home.

I hope you will not have to completely disassociate yourself, as your brother has, but for now definitely take the weekend off and then work out a plan with the ALC to minimize your involvement.

Several other people here have experience with a parent like yours and I'm sure you'll be getting some experienced advice!

Hang in there!
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She is on a walker (broken back) and my house is not handicap friendly. They prepare her meals, do her laundry, hair salon and I take care of everything else. She has had medical issues lately and was restricted to her room due to Flu cases in her facility and she had cough and low grade temp. I am out of my mind, her doctor is out her mind and so is the ALC. We are all against her and picking on her and she yells and blames everyone for taking precautions. I just talked to her ALC and am going to meet with them on Monday. She is stocked up with her meds and supplies and I was told to take a break this weekend and not call her. Yes, I believe she is getting dementia. And yes she has ALWAYS been this way just getting worse with age. And I am all she has. My father was always a buffer between her and me and he passed away in 2005. My brother and his family do not live in town but won't call her even during the holidays. I have talked to her dr about addressing her mind issues but she does not see it plus good luck getting her to dr for dementia.
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If she won't care and she is in a care center that meets her needs, why on earth would you hesitate to take some "respite" time off? Some people in ALFs have no relatives at all to check on them. Yours will be fine for 2 weeks or a month of your "time off."

Your profile does not say what your mother's infirmities are -- why she needs assistance. Is this nasty, difficult behavior something new, or just more of what she's always been like?

Does she have dementia? Is she narcissistic?

The answer to your specific question, in my opinion, is tell the AL staff your plans, and take some time off! But for the broader question of how best to deal with her without losing your own sanity it would help us to have more details about your mom.
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