Does Mom have dementia, or is she just lazy?

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Mom is 73. Since my father passed almost 20 years ago, she's lived with either 'men' or family members. Her entire life with my father, she never had to lift a finger. He cooked and taught us (5 kids) how to cook. We also cleaned and did the laundry from the time we could reach the sink with a chair. She spent her life very leisurely and has never been the loving 'Mom' we should all have. Just very selfish, domineering, and critical.

She's been living with me for 6 months. When she isn't sleeping (which is a lot), she's either watching TV, eating or smoking. That's it. She leaves dirty dishes and wrappers all over the house. She doesn't clean her own room or bathroom. If she does happen to put a dish in the sink (rare) she'll pour stuff like cereal in the sink and not rinse it out. She opens cans and leaves them on the counter top and makes a big mess and leaves it for me to clean up. She doesn't do her laundry either.

When I try to converse with her, she says "Oh well" or "Whatever". My siblings say that means she has dementia, but she's never had any interest in her children. Never. When each of her children moved away from home she never called to ask how we were. When we would call her, she didn't ask us any questions. She acts pretty much the same as she's always been, uninterested in anyone except herself.

When it's just me and her, she makes all these noises like she's in so much pain she just can't do anything. The noises increase while I'm cleaning. But, when anyone comes over, she doesn't make noises and seems fine.

She also refuses to go to any type of doctor (eye, ear, GI). I just don't know what to do. I've asked her to do simple things like unload the dishwasher, etc. She says she can't.

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You said two things that really stuck out in my mind. She has a history of laziness and she smokes. People who are lazy aren't going to be inclined to do things like clean house. People who smoke usually have less energy than those who don't. Put the two together and it means a lot of extra work for you.

I usually like the idea of aging at home whenever possible, but I wonder if your mother is just going to cause so much resentment that she makes it miserable. Would she be able to afford moving to assisted living? People there will be paid to cook for her and clean up after. If you find yourself opening the garbage a hurling something else in, muttering curse words, it may be time to look for other options. You don't want your blood pressure to be raised every few minutes! It's not healthy for you and I'm sure it is hard on the rest of your family if anyone else lives with you.

She is only 71 so may have many more years to live. I hope she does have a long life, but wouldn't want to see her taking years off of yours. Big hugs. I know what you're going through. (Maybe we should have a group growl.)
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ReadyToGo, your Mom is still very young and from what you had written about her past it sounds like your Mom is just so use to having others wait on her... that's her personality, she's spoiled big time.

She leaves dirty dishes and wrappers all over the place because she knows you will clean up after her. Right? Let her learn to do things herself, eventually she will get up off the sofa while there is a commercial on for Dr. Phil, and put her laundry in the washer. Don't you do it, even if it means she doesn't have one clean article of clothing to wear. If she complains, give her a lesson on how to push the buttons on the washer.

Yes, she will moan and groan why she can't do this or that [my sig other is that way, his Mom spoiled him rotten] because your Mom knows you will do her chores. Let her bathroom become grungy, eventually she will find the cleaner [I stopped cleaning my sig other's bathroom years ago, every couple of months he will clean his bathroom], in the mean time I hide my eye passing by that room.

As for having dementia, it doesn't sound that way. She just wants to be waited on.
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Your house, your rules. My mthr did the same when she came to visit when she was young, and lived in a hoarded home because she would not clean up. Nope.

That does not happen at my house. She was never invited to live here, she went straight to a home where she is safe and clean.
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ReadytoGo, sounds like your Mom still drives, why doesn't your Mom find a senior apartment complex where the rent is based on her income? That way if if wants to live like Oscar Madison, then she can.

Just curious, where was your Mom living just prior of her moving in with you? And why did she move in at her young age [she's just a few years older than I am]?
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JessiBelle, what you wrote reminds me of a funny story about my ex husband. He was a slob and never put anything back where he got it. He never cleaned up a mess he made. And he used to throw his dirty clothes on the floor next to his side of the bed (although we had a laundry shoot which went right into the basement to a basket next to the washing machine. I got sick of picking up his d _ _ _ clothes and asking him to do it (which he didn't) I decided to just leave them there and see what he did. Eventually the pile got high and he ran out of underwear - and he said - are you ready for this? "You are falling down on the job, I don't have any clean clothes" Yep, some people are just plain lazy and they will always find someone who will enable them and somehow make that person feel guilty when they don't. Mind you, I made him an "ex" a few years later. His next wife picked up after him and supported him and catered to his other lazy habits. Lol!
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Ditto on all of the above. Your mother is just lazy and selfish. It doesn't sound like she has dementia. .She knows how to survive using others and has simply traded in a man (or someone else) for you to be her current slave. Find a senior apartment and you will have to make arrangements for her (because she will be too lazy and selfish to do it herself) Then load up her stuff and boot her out. So far she has always found a way to link up with someone who will do it for her (and there are a lot of "users" like her - pretending to be victims) Its time for her to do it for herself. You owe her nothing and if I were you, I'd move far away just like your siblings.
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ReadytoGo I hope it helps to know that you are not alone, because it really helps me! People try to make me feel guilty and act like I am being selfish because I live alone to, but they have no idea what its like to have a narcissistic parent! I think a lot of people can't see their parent(s) as a person before they see them as a parent. This goes for mom or dad and even both for some of us. When you have to deal with them as a caregiver it creates a whole new set of dynamics. You start remembering what they were like growing up. You realize the image that you created in your own mind of them. You realize how they used you and others and manipulated everyone to do what they wanted them to do...mainly you and your siblings. I struggle with guilt all of the time since my mother's stroke for the purposeful boundaries that I have to set with her because she has no concern or compassion for the fact that I have a life of my own. She treats my step-dad like a dog and he caters to her but has his limits to. It really is about limits and boundaries. They won't change or consider how it impacts you...all they want is what they want. And in most cases what they want is at your expense. Stand up for you and don't let anyone tell you that you are wrong for doing it. You are not! Its unfortunate, but its a fact of life and taking the higher road is always the best. Since you are the one that seems to be dealing with the "reality" of the situation, you are the chosen one...whether you want to be or not. Take care and be strong! I pray that God will deliver us all!
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Ack! Today I cleaned my mother's bathroom. I guess I should have waited another day. She had a bout of diarrhea and the toilet was spattered again. Soiled cloths were tossed about the floor. Picking up the cloths was especially gross because I knew what was on them. Why oh why oh why.

Some people say we are going to get gold stars in heaven. Personally I think they will be brown after all the s#!t we go through. Bless their hearts; I know they can't help it. But bless ours, too, for having to clean it all up. :-P
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Ready, I so understand. My mother leaves trash where it falls. Toilet tissue runs out? Put on new roll and throw the old cardboard tube on the floor. Want a soda? Go to the refrigerator and get it. Leave the empty bottle on the floor. Spill something? Get a paper towel and clean it up, then put the towel on the kitchen table. Have an accident? Clean up with cloths and towels, then throw the clothes and towels on the hall floor. My mother needs a maid. No, wait -- she has one. Me.
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You may want to have your mom tested for cDiff. My mom was finally diagnosed with this. So gross!!! Once it was diagnosed though the docs treated it in the hospital and she is better now. You might also want to have her start taking
Probiotics. That made a world of difference. No more diarrhea!!!
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