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Everything she complains about. From the food (which is pretty tasty) to transportation (the bus is too bumpy) to the people there. Everyone has been nice to try to please her. but she is very rigid and change sends her in to an anxiety induced fit. She tells half truth. For example, she said no one came to change her linens. When in fact the AL called me first and told me they attempted to changed the linens but she refused to let them help her. Or no one ever does anything for her, when she turns away help. It's to the point where people are starting to get fed up with her. She's been snappy and rude all of her life to people and now others are not putting up with it. She gets upset with me when I try to clarify things for her...she said I'M THE ONE WHO DOESN'T UNDERSTAND. She'll say I don't love her anymore and start to cry. Several doctors says that she doesn't not have dementia. I've tried to overlook her behavior, be kind because she is my mother, but I'm to the point where I simply want to walk away. Any words of hope?

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kazzaa, we give low dose SSRI for post traumatic stress and it usually works - much less than full antidepressant dose - who now, you might have suffered a little less. :-)

but hey you got over it anyways, and that's great
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Talk to staff and see if they're seeing something different. It turned out that my mom was complaining to my sister and I, but the staff said she was going on outings, chatting, had a routine. They came right out and told me she was working me. So I started dropping in and watching her, as she was chatting and smiling. We started responded as rocknrobin suggested and also mentioned that her constant complaining would affect how much other family members called her on the phone.
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I was too but refused to take anti depressants it happened after an accident and a bad bang to the head for months after my doc kept asking me if i was feeling a bit down? i said no THEN a few months later i was in a very dark place as my injuries kicked in and i was in terrible pain lucky i got help but when youre in alot of pain you can get very down. Also doc said depression is quite common with a bang to the head glad im over that sh*t!
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I've BEEN depressed, so I can personally verify the truth of that statement. If anything goes right, there's a dark side to it or you don't deserve it. Nothing can happen that can't make you feel worse. :-) I'm not depressed now so I can laugh along with you!
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sorry am still laughing!!!!!!!!!
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vstefans i almost choked on my tea phew just missed the computer! "depressed people see the world true sh*t coloured glasses" you cheered me up!!! LOL
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She is depressed. Depressed people see the world through sh**t-colored glasses. Get her meds adjusted or changed, avoid reinforcing the negative statements with a lot of attention, and maybe the vicious cycle can be broken
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Have you ever heard the term "Even bad attention is better than getting no attention at all." I worked at an assisted living for 10 years and I've seen your mom many times. Never happy unless complaining. Call her bluff. When she says they never change her sheets, counter back with "I know they offered to do it. If you want to sleep on dirty linens, ok." With each complaint, counter with "I hate to hear that." Or "That's too bad" Then change the subject. You could always say "Mom, if all you are going to do is complain, I need to go." You say this has been going on for years. Stop being her audience. Enough already.
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We get the same song and dance from mom, but when we come unannounced, we catch her having fun. Staff said she is pleasant and social. Two sides to this coin! So we visit once a week and keep it to an hour. She is pleasant for the first hour, but then "woe is me" kicks in and that is our signal to exit. Phone calls are fine, but she is never in her room. Who is fooling who?
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I would just limit the time you spend with your mom. Let her figure things out her own way. I'd be more concerned that she'd get kicked out of the place, but if she's been there over two years, they're probably used to her.

Since you can't change her and she's always been this way, you need to work on building up your mental defenses and not let her negativity seep into your brain. As they would say on Star Trek, "Put up your shields" when you visit or talk to her. Let those complaints just bounce off. You've offered help and she's refused; you've done what you can. Now you have to protect your own mental health.
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Is there a geriatric psychiatrist who is affiliated with her AL? We had success with mom being treated by the geri psych who simply paid visits to the residents in their rooms. Complete privacy. Just a thought.
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LadyBelle, I think that some people just enjoy being difficult. She probably knows that she can get a response out of you, so she complains. She makes you miserable, but for her it is life as usual. Someone once told me that some people would complain about the taxes if they won the lottery. She is where she needs to be and you are trying to get her the medical help that she needs. Beyond that, there is little you can do. In most cases, you cannot control what another person does, you can only control your reaction. Try not to worry.
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Thank you for your responses. My mother has been in the same AL for 2.5 years. She's been depressed for years. She is being treated for depression by the general practice doctor and the doctors have referred her to see a therapist, which she refused. I've taken her to 2 different therapist. One she refused to stay long enough to talk to, the second (specializing in geriatric psychology) she saw twice and refused to go back.
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This is a very difficult situation for you to deal with. my only suggestion is to try and co-operate with the staff over things she refuses. for example can you find out when they will be changing her linens and be there to make sure she can't refuse. If she has always been like this there is little change of changing her behaviour. Have you dicussed this with her Dr maybe there is something he could prescribe to make her more complient. She obviously does not want to be there but she's is there and has to stay so be firm with her and tell her plainly she has to adapt
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How long has she been in AL?
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Your profile says that your mother has depression; is that being treated? Is her doctor aware of how she turns away assistance, about how miserable she is and how she seems to misinterpret situations? Sometimes those are symptoms of what they call Mild Cognitive Decline, which can be subtle. My mom wasn't mean, but she misinterpreted things, was highly critical of people who used walkers and didn't stand up straight; people who didn't talk loud enough (I kept pointing out that they were stroke vicitms, to no avail). At some point, whether due to TIAs or whatever, reasoning abilities and the ability to hear and take in explanations went out the window. Her own doctor thought she was "fine". The geriatric neurologist who ordered neuropsych testing told us a much different story.
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Yep i agree with ismiami! my mum was always bitter unhappy and negative.......add dementia and it just gets worse and worse. ive heard sweet old parents get nasty with dementia thats ok but when theyve been whiney all thier lives its unbearably hard to live with! If mum was just passive and in good form this job would be a breeze!
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If the doctors say she does not have dementia and you state she has been snappy and rude her entire life, there is no reason to expect she will become kinder when facing the fearful challenge of aging.
Learn to ignore her complaints, if they are based on half truths, you cannot hold others responsible.
If it embarrasses you publicly, do blame it on her age, people won't know she was always a meanie.
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