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She will ask me a question and when I answer she says I'm wrong. My dad died last year. He was very calm, and kept peace with mom. Now that he is gone, it seems everything I say is wrong. Mom has always been very controlling but is hard on me. She has caregivers come in for three hours in am and pm. I just take her to drs appts, pay bills, sent up meds, I am her poa. I love her but this is making life very difficult. Just need some advice.

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My mom is the same, my daughter and I have decided that my mom has multiple personality disorder because it is crazy how she can be so mean to one person and then sweet as pie to another in the same breath.
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I am trying to let her come up with her own answers...it works sometimes! Also I am trying to help her to focus on positive things. Not the negative.
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Read "Caring for my difficult elderly parent." It is pretty good.

Being negative is no way to get people to visit you. My mother is the champ at negativity, but only to me and my sister. Fortunately, we don't live near her.

My MIL is the exact opposite. It truly does help to get up and put a smile on your face.
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Well, let's think about this. I bet when we get much older we might not be happy campers, either, because we have lost much of our independents.... our health won't be the greatest.... we can't stay awake long enough to see the end of a good mystery on TV.... food doesn't taste the same.... if we have to go somewhere we have to wait until someone has time to drive us.... we can't shop until we drop anymore.... most of our friends have passed on.... yada, yada, yada.

Yep, I would be negative, too.
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I'm having the same issues with my mother, and I have gotten some helpful ideas here. Not giving an answer might help me. This is a very difficult task being a caregiver to a parent when they don't realize that they need one.
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Thank you all for your input!! Iwill try some of your suggestion and see how it works.
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She does indeed know what buttons to push ... she installed most of them! :)

The real question is Why does she want to push any buttons in the first place?

What if you don't give her answers?
When did I have surgery?
I'm not sure, Mom. When do you think you had surgery?
I think it must have been June.
You could be right. I thought there was snow on the ground, but your memory may be better than mine.

How often do I go to the dentist?
I don't know, Mom. How often do you think you go?
If I knew I wouldn't be asking!
Perhaps we could call the dentist's office.

How can you avoid having declare your answers wrong? Don't give her answers. That seems simple enough.

How you avoid her constant negativity is another matter, though, isn't it? Leaving the room as blannie suggests is one option.

As you know, depression is a treatable disease. Discuss this with her doctor. It cannot be treated by you, and even talking to her about it is apt to get the "you are wrong" treatment.
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Lynn, this is so hard! Does she trust her doctor? Telling someone that they are depressed seldom does any good, if you can talk to her doctor before you take her to her next appointment, or send I'm a note detailing this, it might help him/her ask her the right questions. The doctor recommend that mom see a psychiatrist.
We like to remember them as strong and sensible, and suddenly, they're not
It so hard when our parents have difficulty with their thinking
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I figure there is depression going on but she says she already takes too many pills. She will ask when she had a surgery and when i tell them she says No that's not right. So then I have to show her and she still says " well I guess so.." I think she just knows what buttons to push.. I just need to step away for a day ...sometimes...
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Can you give us an example of the kind of question she asks and then tells you that your answer is wrong? I guess I would try countering with, "If you know the answer already, why are you asking me?'

You can also try limiting your time around her and the minute she starts that negativity, just say, "OK mom, I'm going to leave now, since you're obviously unhappy with me." Or when she asks a question, respond with, "I don't know, what do you think?" Would any of those work? Does she do it with others, or just with you?
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Lynn, I know what you are saying. My mother contradicts almost everything I say. I don't know why she does this. I used to think she just liked to try to pick an argument. Now I'm more inclined to think that it is her way of communicating. Her father was contrary, so she may have gotten it from him. The things she contradicts me on don't matter, but it can be irritating.
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She has a raging case of depression. See the MD and get her a mild antidepressant and possibly and anxiolytic. If a month of treatment does not help, consider assisted living, which is ultimately cheaper than what you are paying to keep her at home.
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