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Sounds like your mother is suffering from dementia and depression both. Accusing people of stealing, calling the police and having trust issues is very common with dementia, along with paranoia in general. Sleeping all day and being argumentative and difficult are also signs of dementia and depression. Call her doctor and see about all of this; at 96, there isn't much you can do about dementia, nor can you 'fix' it or argue with it, really. You CAN, however, treat the depression with Wellbutrin or something else the doctor recommends.

What you can do about the food situation is write up a menu; let her know what she can expect for a week in advance and if she doesn't want it, then her second choice is a PB&J sandwich or an Ensure. Period. Make sure that several of the meals are not home cooked and served, but easy meals that you can throw together that are cold or ordered in. Breakfast can be cold cereal and fruit, that's plenty good enough. You're not a slave or a maid, and just b/c your mother is 96 with lots of issues doesn't mean it's okay for her to treat you in such a manner. Let her know that, too. I am a firm believer in setting boundaries down with loved ones, even loved ones with dementia. My mother would manipulate me 24/7 if I allowed it, but I don't. I make the rules, she has no other choice but to follow them. She lives in a Memory Care ALF, however, so that makes my life a lot easier than your life. My question to you is, what steps can YOU take to make YOUR life easier? Having panic attacks and getting 'sick' when you exercise is pure manipulation, which tends to worsen when a person has dementia. I've witnessed it with my mother who's always BEEN a manipulator, but nowadays she's become a MASTER manipulator with the moderate dementia. It's amazing the lies and stories she's capable of coming up with in an effort to get what she wants, when she wants it.

Wishing you the best of luck devising a strategy to deal with all of this, and a set of boundaries for YOUR sake!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Depends on how long you have been cooking and feeding her. Have the two of you ever lovingly cooked and shared together at one time? Do you also have a job and your own family to help?
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Reply to Patathome01
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trying2018 Aug 17, 2020
I have been with her for 5 years - moving from out-of-state to keep her in her home. I am single and I work from home so earn my own money although not nearly as much as I made in the jobs I had before I moved. There are no other relatives nearby to help. I was working outside the home but she kept calling the police on the home caregivers. She has a trust problem.
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It must be taking a toll on you, if you're your mother's sole means of domestic support and social engagement! I don't think it can be good for either of you.

Hmm. Some decorating, eh?

Does anyone else come to the home at all, to speak of?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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trying2018 Aug 17, 2020
Yes. It is just me. My sister doesn't want to be involved and she is moving out of town. She doesn't get along with my mom at all. No one else comes to the house because of COVID-19.
But, even before that, my mom is not really a social person. I am trying to find a way to cheer her up because she is pretty healthy but it seems like depression. I think she is upset that my sister is leaving town. She takes temporary lab jobs in other states. When she left earlier this year( February) my mom got sick and was in the hospital overnight for a panic attack.
Mom also appears to be upset because I started an exercise program since I want to be healthier. I do it before she wakes up because when I started doing it, she said she was sick and we called her doctor three times in two weeks. So, I exercise when she cannot see me so I don't upset her.
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I really don't expect her to do all that much. Yes, we live together. I cook for both of us - not always at the same time. She gets up to eat and then goes back to bed until lunch. Then, she is up for a bit then goes back to bed until dinner. Then pretty much goes back to bed. I manage her meds, do the laundry, clean the house and the like. We tried in-home care but it didn't work. Between two agencies and several individuals, we went through 30 people. Like many elderly, she thinks everyone is stealing and has called the cops a few times even though nothing was missing. Sometimes she has the energy to do some decorating since she actually is pretty strong. It's weird. She just wants to yell for me to do stuff for her constantly. I work from home now because she acted out a lot when I worked outside the home. But, if I am working she yells for me to do something. I guess she is lonely but it's taking a toll on me. She is still accusing people of stuff even though no one has been in the house for months. She went to daycare before COVID but then decided she didn't like it and refused to go back.
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Reply to trying2018
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I work in reablement. It is our job to support people in maintaining their preferred independent normal lifestyle, as far as possible.

I have met people in their nineties, one is 99 tomorrow in fact, who do a tremendous amount. Cook for themselves, clean, handle the laundry, manage their meds, keep their families in order over the phone - they're an example to us all.

But. Your mother's 96. How much in the way of catering do you expect her to deal with by herself?

Are you cooking just for her, or for yourself at the same time? She lives with you, does she?
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