My mom has become a nasty, bitter woman and has isolated herself. Any advice?

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She has become the person she said she never would. It's not dementia. She still lives independently but a few houses down from me and I have to deal with her on a daily basis. I dread speaking to her at all. She is only 75 and likely to live for another 10-20 years. It's taking a toll on me. I am an only child and she has run off all family and friends. I can't be her only outlet for the next 1-2 decades. Mostly here to vent, but any comments appreciated...

Answers 1 to 7 of 7
Tell us why you "have to" deal with her?

If she doesn't have dementia, treats you badly, why do you feel the need to subject yourself to abuse?

If she is if sound mind, when speaking to her, leave when she becomes abusive.

What makes you think she doesn't have dementia?
Top Answer
Barb is right. The way to deal with a nasty person is to walk away.

There is an old saying that I believe is very true..."we teach people how to treat us". What you tolerate is what you will continue to get.

Now, this all presumes that she isn't suffering from any form of dementia.

When she tries to abuse you in any way, turn on your heel and leave. If on the phone..hang up. Do not be a doormat for her.
So, the bigger question here is, why don't you think that this is the result of some cognitive decline?

If this is a change in personality, a change in mental status from her previous level of functioning, there could be an organic basis; it could be dementia or it could be something else.

When did this start? How long has it been going on? Does she go to a doctor? Do you accompany her to appointments?

If she HAS a doctor, think about writing a letter to her/him, outlining your concerns. Contrary to what many folks think about privacy laws, you can GIVE any information to your mom's doctor; s/he can't divulge any information to YOU without your mom's specific consent.

Send the letter return receipt requested so that you proof of delivery. End the letter with something like "I know that you will be able to figure out the best way to address these changes that my mother is exhibiting. I'm worried about her health and hope that you will be able to work with my mom to help her regain her previous level of functioning".
Your profile says that your mother has depression. Is it being treated? Is she following the treatment plan? Isolation and depression can become a vicious cycle, feeding on each other. A depressed person doesn't feel like socializing, and being isolated makes the depression worse.

Depression is treatable. A big obstacle, though, is that when you are depressed it is hard to work up the initiative to seek treatment. If there is anything you can do to get that ball rolling, it would be a great service.

I also wonder how you can be so sure that your mother doesn't have some form of dementia?

If there is anything you can do that actually helps her, go for it, even if it is uncomfortable for you. But as the others have said, accepting her miserable behavior is not required of you.
BTW, how long has your father been in assisted living? How long has your mother been so bitter? Could these two things be related?
Mother has depression, no doubt. I have accompanied her to doctor visits and she has been put on antidepressants. My parents became very isolated about 5-7 years ago. My father began to slide into dementia. As he became weaker and more confused, she became nastier and more bitter...to the point where she was verbally abusive to him (and I think emotionally abusive). I truly believe her treatment of him accelerated his decline. She was a very reluctant care giver - refusing to participate in any care for him except medication management. He was going hungry, starting to wander and was very distressed much of the time. My mother told me basically to get rid of him and she never wanted to see him again. She said if I did not move him, she was going to commit suicide or move out to a hotel and leave him there alone. So, in March of this year I began the process of moving him to a memory care ALF. My mother refused to help pick the place, refused to participate in the process, said she did not care where he went. She said she would be happy living alone and would easily go on without him. After a few months she did cave in and go visit. She visits several times a week. I am getting calls from the ALF staff expressing concern about the way she speaks to my father and her overall demeanor when she visits. They say it does my dad more harm than good.

My mother is very angry at the world and she says everything is my father's fault. She says she is lonely but also says she does not want any friends. I am her only outlet. She is not necessarily unkind to me personally but every day I am subject to her negativity and anger and constant complaints.

I'm sure my mother does not have dementia. After dealing with it in my dad's side of the family I am pretty good at recognizing the signs. My mother has always been negative and depressed, all of my life. It's just now becoming an all-encompassing personality trait. She likes to drop the F-bomb, alot! And, has done so at dad's ALF in front of staff and others.

My personal problem at the moment is dealing with negative, nasty, bitterness, anger, etc. I feel the need to check in on her daily and we visit my dad together on Sundays. It scares me that she has no other outlet, no one, I am it, and this could go on for years. I run a small business and generally work 6 days a week, and spend my 7th day of the week cleaning house, tending to the yard, etc. I don't have much free time or good things in my own day to day life and am struggling to be there for my parents.
Moms 75, getting along ok alone in her own home? If she is this nasty why do you even speak to her? I suggest you start building some boundaries now. You can't change her behavior but you can change yours.

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