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My 84 yo mother lives in an attached apt with my youngest brother and his family, and has done so for the last 15+ years. She and dad moved in when dad's Parkinson's grew too much for mother to care for alone. He passed 10 years ago.
Mother has been fairly independent and up until about a year ago was still driving some, taking care of her own shopping, bills, social life etc.
I try to see her a couple of times every week, even tho she does not "like" me very much. My two sisters call her once a month, if that, and my younger brother calls about once a month. To hear mom, you'd think I was coming by to beat her up and mess up her apartment (I clean for her and she gets furious if I move something or, heaven forbid, throw anything away!) Only the brother with whom she lives and I have anything to do with her, really, besides and random call or visit.
She had a hip replacement in March and has really struggled since then. She's had a LOT of falls, won't use the walker-- She thought she'd have the surgery and come home. She had to go to a rehab place for over 8 weeks--and somehow that was my fault. She thinks I collude with her drs and the other kids to keep her down. The other day she commented that she was ready to drive again and I gently asked her how she was going to maneuver the walker into the car and then get herself in the car...trying to get her to problem solve, as it were...and she yelled at me "You just want me to sit here and rot, don't you?" No, I don't want her to kill herself or someone else by driving in an unsafe manner. The state has her license on "hold" and she has to retake the driving test--no way can she pass it, but my concern is that she'll drive anyway. She cannot walk w/o her walker, she is bent over almost in half and she says she can't see much of anything--yet she insists she can drive----sigh.

I am curious as to why she has "picked" me to be the "bad guy" in all this. I'm sure it would be easier to simply stop seeing her altogether, but my brother and his family need respite, and I give it to them. I have cut my visits down a LOT, I go, visit for a minute, clean for a few more and then leave. If I stay longer than a half hour she will start getting mean. More than once I have walked away in tears as she has said something mean to me. She doesn't treat any of the other kids like this..why is she picking on me?
I must add that we have always had a sort of distant relationship...she was very manipulative when I was growing up and put a lot of guilt on me about how depressed she was, or how messy the house was, whatever--she dumped on me. She constantly threatened suicide as a means to get us to stay in line. I guess I am the one who took her seriously...the other kids just ignored her. Sort of what is going on now, but to a greater extent. Still trying to manipulate...mostly, I guess the is just a rant, I am so tired of being the bad guy and so tired of her treating me like I caused all her woes. What can I do to still be a pasrt of her caregiving but also still have some sense of self worth after spending a day with her? (Don't say "make the other siblings get involved"--they won't beyond writing a check for something.)

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I feel for ANYONE in this situation. For many of us it has been a lifelong dynamic in our relationships with our parents. I know mine is. My daddy really loved me, and my mom resented it so much. She is ALWAYS saying "oh you were your dad's favorite"..and often in front of other sibs. I will say "Mom, he loved us all the same" which of course, is true, and I know her statements like that are said to make me feel bad, not good. The other kids can always just shrug mother's comments off. They TRULY don't care!!
As to her seeing someone (someone asked me if she needed psych help--sorry, can't remember who) she emphatically states that SHE is fine, it's the rest of us. She finds any kind of psychiatric help to be a sign of weakness & altho 4 out of 6 of us kids saw or are currently seeing a therapist and/or a psychiatrist---well, we must all be weaklings. I saw my psych dr the other day for a med check and he asked me lot about mother. (He's known me for 18 years, so he knows me well) and he said "You know, a lot of people want to blame their mothers for everything that's gone wrong in life---you actually CAN".
I felt a little vindicated and when he told me to take a one month break from her as part of my "therapy" wahoo!! No worries that she'll call me, she has never remembered my phone number and I've had the same one for 36 years. I am positive she hasn't called me 10 times in that length of time. I'm going enjoy my vacay from her and start seeing my therapist again for a tune up. Mom could live for 10 more years and I am not living MY golden years being demeaned and put down. (Oh, as far as getting her to move into assisted living: I checked out a few places, (didn't tell mother) emailed the sibs to get their input and the "vote" was 4-1 AGAINST EVER putting her in one. Wow, that's another topic for another day.
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No CM brother calls when he feels like it! so i havnt seen him to ask if docs said anything. Also hes an introvert so he is not the easiest person to talk to? i will know more i hope when i call sister tonight! i bet brother just picked her up and dropped her home even though i told him to cook her some dinner before my sister arrived.

I think im done with everyone now and as my other brother said "youve done above and beyond to help mum now just think of yourself and your own sanity".

I will start the process now for the home and put her name down it could take months? meanwhile ive noticed her dementia is getting worse now shes just not with it at all. Like i said the week in hospital will have taken its toll having to be sweet and nice all week cant have been easy for her now shes crabby and hurling insults at me. I do think she thinks well youve been away now so you can run around after me now that youre back! Asked me to make her tea? i said no nurse just told you to walk around as much as possible so you can make your own tea and use your stick NOW shes sitting in the front room "sulking" as i wont make her tea! she can do it herself so if she wants tea she can get it herself! Nurse said dont do everything for her as she CAN do things alot of old people cant do! yep shes a manipulator and a good one!

I will get to speak to someone this week and get to the bottom of this her saying im always telling her shes got dementia is scary and i need to know where this came from?
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Kazzaa, have you had a proper conversation with your brother since your mother's discharge from hospital? I'm just thinking about how you can get some kind of handle on what's been going on.
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Midkid58, forget why. Just remove yourself from the situation. Like others have said, only see her when others are present (assuming the others are people your mother will not want to alienate by displaying her toxic abuse). Let your siblings figure out the rest.
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Yes bookluv youre so right! lucky ive gotten to docs and nurses in the past but i am scared of any accusations of abuse as this would just finish me off! today she took her insulin BUT wont eat????????? she says she feels sick? so here we go again? a diabetic nurse is coming in 3 times a wk to monitor her insulin so i have to get her alone and tell her whats happening im sick of all of them its me they should be speaking to BUT as long as they THINK mums competent they will continue to ignore me and refuse to let me speak?

Its all so wrong yes we are the real victims of this disease and we need to start protecting ourselves i can see mum in hospital again soon MAYBE then they will wake up?

Mum wants me here 24/7 with no life and NO respite it aint going to happen. She was speaking to the carer this morning saying that my sister and brother were great????????? i am still shaking with rage! the carer said to mum well everyone has to helpout as your daughter cant do it all? mum didnt repsond!

I am so angry with all this and really thought the porfessionals would somehow take over now as the stress is too much for me.

I need to push now with families help for POA but she wont sign anything?
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Kazzaa, you need to find a way out of your home situation. My dad hasn't reached that stage yet. But I already dread the day when he reaches the 'accusation' stage. I'm trying not to panic. But, I'm saving like crazy, saving all receipts as back up documents, and thank goodness I still have a job! I feel bad for us. I used to cry a lot when my dad said that I was a bad daughter. I felt so much anger and betrayal when people believed him and started telling me that I should do more, etc... And this was before his senility came on. He wanted 100% control over me. I was the chosen child of 8 kids to sacrifice her life completely to taking care of them in their old age. It's been a struggle and still a struggle. I absolutely refused to give up my job because that gave me independence from him. He knows that he cannot push me too far because I can pack up and leave.

You all need to watch your backs. Start documenting everything, saving all receipts, itemize it, etc... Also save, save and save. Because if you're the chosen child to be abused and treated as dirt, then you better start protecting yourself - for any future legal accusations of abuse/neglect.
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midkid funny this came up now as my sister who lives abroad asked me "why is mum like that with you and not US?". I live with mum have no help from anyone everytime i walk out the door she starts an argument in fact everything is a battle? she wont wash take her meds see docs go to her apts cooperate with carers and then "the straw that broke the camels back" she sneaked into town ten days ago on her own without me knowing and collapsed i got a phone call from a shop to say theyd called an ambulance. To cut this short shes was in hospital for a week i never got to see a doc but she collapsed because shes a diabetic and refuses to take her meds properly wont eat what shes told etc......... WHen she was discharged i couldnt go as i had an apt for myself in the city so i still never got to see a doc and my useless brother picked her up and NEVER discussed with doc what happened etc.....? Something is going on now so i have to get to the bottom of this...........when i visited mum last week she said she told the doc that i am constantly telling her she has "dementia" and the doc was going to have a word with ME? NEVER in the 2yrs that i even suspected dementia have i ever said this to mum?????? two things a doc OR a nurse said this to her OR my brother has said something to her its all getting out of hand now and im done mum told docs she collapsed as i am always shouting at her and she was stressed??????? BS i am getting sick of the lies and illness or not its too much now SO either mum goes into a home soon OR i leave thats her only option. Mum was never a liar but this illness has turned her into something else i am to blame for her "madness" and im not putting up with it anymore. i have been away all wkend as my sister was here looking after her i havnt had a chance to talk to sister yet as we didnt cross paths as i left as soon as she arrived and have been "hiding out" at a friends all wkend.

Just now the phone rang it was a community nurse? she wanted to speak to mum i told her mum was asleep and asked what its in connection with as im her daughter? she said "oh i cant talk to you?" I told her i needed to know as im her fullltime carer she said " oh no ive been told NOT to talk to you?" so now im done something has been said in the hospital and its seems AGAIN i am the baddie????????????? so sick of this crap. I could see the "madness in mums eyes when she spoke to me blaming me for her health issues? sometimes you get to a stage when enough is enough and even though its an illness theres only so much you can take of abuse.

This week i am h*ll bent on getting her shrink to deal with this as i cant do this anymore to be very honest I hate her right now as the lies shes telling about me are just getting too much. I look after her very well in fact shes spoilt rotten! she does nothing but sit on chair watching TV and is only happy when im running around after her as soon as i go out all hell breaks and she abuses the hell out of me?
I spend as little time as i can with her now BUT NOT easy when youre living with her i will move out when i can financially IF she refuses to go into a home. She is not safe alone and i cant be here 24/7 listening to nothing but abuse.

I feel for you and understand totally what its like BUT just be grateful you dont live with her and you and visit AND leave when you can.

I know mum and i would be much better off if she goes into the NH up the road its within walking distance so i would stay here and make sure shes ok and visit everyday BUT i cant live like this much longer have been away all wkend and the thoughts of coming home here again made me physically sick and now im back in the dumps again as still nothing sorted and again family gone quiet?

Mum throws it in my face that ive nowhere to go as ive no money so thinks she can speak to me anyway she likes. I too am done!

Hugs as no matter what we do for them WE are the "baddies". YES youre right impossible to reason with someone whos losing her mind! my whole wk now will be spent getting hold of docs nurses and shrinks as im NOT taking this crap anymore and now shes obviously told docs NOT to talk to me anymore? I think this stinks as they know she has dementia but for now they are all taking her side and noone has even called to ask me anything?
Oh im so done!!!
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Countrymouse--yep, that saying startled me....into thinking. Why DO I go up there and take her abuse? It sure isn't for the joy of her company. I talked to my psych dr and he told me to take a full month off from caring for her. No calls, no visits, nothing. (BTW, Pam, we are BOTH medicated!) I can do a month. She doesn't know my phone number and wouldn't call me anyhow, she's already blaming me for things I didn't do/say, so why am I stirring the pot?
If she needs someone, she can call one of the other sibs. I'm done.
A reason why I allow her to talk to me like this is the dynamic of 50+ years of her threatening to kill herself if I didn't do..whatever she wanted or needed at that moment. That's a sick and disgusting way to get someone to kowtow to you. Somewhere in her mind she thinks that's OK, but she only does it with me. That I won't ever understand. Maybe the sibs will step up. Don't know. (It's POINTLESS to argue with someone whose memory is in and out...the "arguing" days are over.)
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Anne Robinson, the original presenter of The Weakest Link, said: "there are no victims. There are only volunteers."

Now in my book that is a truism, and a pretty harsh one at that. It's one of those superficially interesting sayings that elicits the instant reaction to start listing all the exceptions to the given rule; and there are usually plenty.

But in your specific case... Why are you allowing your mother to speak to you like this? Do you challenge her? I don't mean challenge her about her own business, I mean strictly about her behaviour towards you. Do not put up with this uncomplaining. Argue!
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Why does she pick on you? Because she can. You are there. The other siblings, except your poor brother, not around. So you get the nasty treatment. She is the way she has always been it seems. Maybe it is time for assisted living or something. She sounds pretty awful. I feel sorry for you
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Take her to lunch in a place where other people are present. Our sister has the same problem, so the solution for sis is never be one on one with her. She either takes mom out or she has someone else with her during the visit.
It also helped to get mom some Xanax twice a day when we took the car away. We did remove it because she kept denying that the MD said no driving.
Later we had to add in Zoloft to prevent the anger/depression. You are not the bad guy, she is going down hill and she knows it and she does not like it. Both of you are frustrated. One of you needs to be medicated. You decide which one.
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