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My mom has been in a nursing home for six months. She has memory problems in daily life, but her mind can still be pretty sharp and she still tries to push my buttons. She is furious about the fact that I have been made her guardian, and she has been badmouthing me to everyone (relatives, nurses,...). When I find myself alone with her, she says that I disturb her, or she gives me the silent treatment (not sure this one is due to dementia, she has actually been doing this for years). She then says that I am the resentful one and asks why I hate her so much. Any tips on coping with this?

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Bee I am so sorry you feel so hurt by your mothers apparent ingratitude. Maybe she is one of those people who expects others to be psychic and guess what their current needs are rather than asking.
I understand what CM is saying about seperating out the real grievences that is part of a caregivers job. Some people just can't express their real needs and always feel others give them second best when that was never the intention. For example Mom may take you into a thrift store and look at shoes but what she really wants is for you to say. "Oh no Mom I will order those from LLBean what color would you like?" Now if she just told you her friend's daughter brought her shoes from LLBean and would really like a pair like that there would be no misunderstanding and everyone would be happy. unfortunately these problems have usually been life long and just get magnified as the filters slip away. Good for you doing nice things for your mother. She really needs that even if she appears to be ungrateful.
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Coutrymouse, thanks for the kind words. The thing is, it is difficult to separate the real grievances from the artificial ones. Yesterday I took time off work to take her to her favorite hair salon and then to lunch. She did not act pleased or thank me, but she kept saying that she wanted to buy new shoes (which she had never mentioned before). She was the same way with my dad when I was growing up, nothing he did was ever good enough for her.
Captain I don't think that my mother wants to bond with me over anything. Maybe she just wants to vent, but to me it feels like she also wants to hurt.
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I too deal with tongue bashing from my mom I honesty believe she thinks I'm her sibling whom she had problems with as a child and,, she introduces me as her sister not her daughter. I simply tells her I am your daughter not your sister. growing as children my mom also had a favorite child and that child moved across the country so he would not have to deal with any of what I am doing. I will keep everyone in prayer.
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find an enemy you can both have in common. blame aps or the judge. I don't think either would care one smidge and youd no longer be the target for her frustrations.
the elder just needs an outlet. when im with edna the daughter is the bad guy. when edna is with daughter im the prince of darkness reincarnated. the demented elders are like gossipy little kids currying favor with one then the other. Sharon and I are hip to it and laugh about it in private moments.
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Try to separate your mother's genuine grievances from her artificial/recreational ones. Then, once you've done that, you'll be able to see what, if anything, you can do to improve her quality of life. The remainder you just have to take on the chin - or else resign as guardian, wash your hands of it and let some other sucker take the punches. Sometimes there are no attractive options.

By genuine grievances, I mean for example that being told by a court of law that somebody else has complete authority and control over your life really sucks for any person who retains any clarity of thought at all. How would you like it? The fact that this decision has been made in your mother's best interests, and for extremely good reasons I don't doubt, is still not going to make it palatable to her. You can't change reality, but seeing in your own mind why she's so angry and resentful might make it make more sense. I'm sorry for your situation, it's very hard on you.
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Betty absolutely not. Sounds as though he is more than begining dementia so leave well enough alone. No good upseting him when he is enjoying his vacation. Just keep telling him how nice it is to have him here and enjoy his comapany and find him little jobs to do so he actually doesn't want to go home
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Dad not going home. 91and begining dementia. He thinks he is here on vacation...not so. Should I break it to him? Or string him along?
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Thanks a lot for the good advice. Every day is a challenge but it helps to know that others are going through this.
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Bee1998 your mom sounds like mine. I too am mean and I hate her blah blah. She accuses me of stealing her insurance money and then wonders why I'm not laughing and smiling. Dementia is kicking het butt and like your mom she still can push buttons. It's hard now to distinguish dementia and just plain meanness. It also brings up childhood stuff when she was just plain nuts. Hang tough you are not alone.
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It sounds like she resents you for her being in a NH which is a very common reaction. When you're not around I'm sure she's very pleasant and nice to the staff.

There's nothing you can do about her badmouthing you. Just continue to visit and be polite and nice to everyone.

Many (most?) times our elderly parents reserve their bad feelings and bad moods just for us because they know that we're their caregivers and aren't going anywhere. They take their loss of control out on us.

Don't argue with your mom. When she asks you why you hate her so much tell her that you love her so much that you want what's best for her. Then change the subject. If she continues try to redirect her attention to something else. Bring her some magazines or candy or a bouquet of flowers, something that will catch her attention on something other than why you hate her so much. Continue to redirect her but if she begins to get agitated tell her goodbye, give her a kiss, and let her know you'll see her next time. You're not a hostage when you visit her, you can leave any time.
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