My Mom (87) has heart disease, very early dementia and huge personality changes. Any advice?

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She was always easygoing and friendly. Now, all is changed. It has taken a long time to see it is not me that is settting her off (most of the time). Anyway, she misunderstands me, then gets angry at me, and I don't get to explain what I really meant. She does not say goodbye on the phone, just leaves it there or hangs up. I know, in my heart, that I did not say anything that should have hurt her. I am especially careful and I measure each and every word I say, and, still, she thinks I am uncaring or not understanding or trying to create a problem.

This is not the mother I have known all my life, so I am losing the Mom I have always known and loved and still love. Do I just agree with her and say she is right and that I have done and said something wrong, or do I do what I just did, right now, which is to say "No, I did not do anything wrong" and leave it at that.
She tells me "don't call me anymore. But then she will call me back.

Sorry for all the questions. I am new and things are getting really bad with my Mom. She has been ill for 7 years now, but the last year is the worst.

Note: I keep thinking each year, or episode, or hospitalization, or fall, is the worst and a crisis until the next one. We are living from crisis to crisis and my anxiety level is high, so I hope this post makes some sense.

thank you for reading and anything you can offer to me would be greatly appreciated.

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Thank you all for you kindness and for your suggestions. I know it is not easy to respond to someone else when you, yourself are going trhough so much. I appreciate it.
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Dementia is the gift that keeps on giving. My mother, 90, has 5 distinct personalities now that I recognize upon entering the room she is in. I can tell which one I am dealing with immediately. She has Dementia, Parkinson, and heart issues. I have learned from the wonderful people on this site that it is alright to walk out when she is being abusive. To not feel guilty because I didn't cause the problem, and she really doesn't have control of these personality changes. Do have the Doctor help you evaluate this new person you are dealing with. I have been accused more than once of plotting with the Doctor against her. This is an interesting journey we are all on. My mom doesn't even remember what each personality does or says. It is hard at times, but I wouldn't have her anywhere else as long as I can handle her care. I am also working on accepting that the day will come when I can't care for her at home with the help of others on here. This site is full of helping advice and caring individuals that are a wealth of information and will help you with your journey. I don't know what I would have done without this website to turn to for answers.
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Have her doctor check her thyroid, B-12, and make sure she is getting enough water. Her personality will change with dementia, the heart disease can bring on depression (which will present with crankiness), and a low thyroid (hypothyroidism) makes one cranky, skin dry, hair falling out - it is a very important gland that needs to be checked frequently. Best wishes!
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Even a UTI can cause signs of dementia. First step is a trip to her doctor. Good luck.
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PS-this is also available as an audiobook.
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I would HIGHLY recommend you read the book THE 36 HOUR DAY. I. believe it's in its 5th or 6th revision. It answers many, many questions regarding dementia and Alzheimer's in an easy to follow way. There are suggestions to ask of the patient's doctor and helps to understand why she acts as she does. After I read the book I realized, in hindsight, the signs were apparent in my grandmother's case. I wish I had known about this book much sooner. Best wishes.
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Diet can affect personality. My dad is a "bear" when he has caffeine. Also, lack of quality fat (no trans fats, hydrogenated oils, or deep frying) in the diet can affect mood. Good oils, such as coconut oil and butter, can improve moods. It's better to cut the carbs and up the fats. Look up the low-carb high-fat diet.
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Wow..we are going through the same thing with my aunt who will be 88 in July. She's always hurting her daughter's feelings. She complains because she's not being put first one minute....and the next minute she's telling them all NOT to come visit yet. She hurts all the time and she has meds for it that she claims doesn't do much. IT's only a matter of time before the FALL puts her in their care or a nursing home or assisted living. I keep an eye on her until her kids can make it back to this side of the states. You keep telling her you love her and hang in there.
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sometimes it is best to not argue or correct their perceptions...it only sets them off and makes things worse for both of you. this is a difficult stage, but is should pass. If it continues and you feel like she would benefit, perhaps her doctor can prescribe a low dose anti-depressant for her. good luck.
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Hi Kate. Many of us have walked in those shoes and still do. As this is new for you there will be some days when you have enough patience to say "okay
mom whatever you say;" however there will be other days when you have no energy nor patience for her personality change, particularly if she is just rude for no reason. As time goes on you will figure out which battles to fight.
Throughout this journey what you absolutely MUST do is save time for yourself and try to begin accepting
your new normal. Do not feel guilty when you have no more to give. The
balance of self preservation and being a caretaker is often difficult but
maintaining your sanity and mental health is your priority. Your mom still
knows you love her regardless of her actions. Continued Blessings.
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