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My mom is 83 with later-stage dementia. She has recently begun to speak in exaggerated baby-talk. It doesn't stop her from hurling insults and making very hurtful comments to me and my husband. We left our home to come live with her and take care of her. I have two brothers - neither of them lift a finger to help, yet they've both questioned me about "what Mom included for them in her Will". Mom’s house and assets were placed into a trust, and will pass on to me upon her death. I have POA as well. She left my brothers a little money in her life insurance policy. But that’s it. They live in different states and made it clear they “weren’t able” to help.


Also, if I try to discuss anything of importance, or I even gently ask if she could cut down on her hurtful remarks to me - she begins to wail loudly, and pretends to cry (not a single tear), building up to a dramatic crescendo if she doesn't get the attention she seeks. I've stopped responding to these phony outbursts, and when she realizes I'm not falling for it - she abruptly stops, and returns peacefully to her TV show, newspaper or whatever she was doing.


I'm beginning to feel both resentful and guilty. She's my mom and I want to take care of her. She begged and cried until my husband and I agreed to come stay with her. Her home is larger than ours and has a spacious guest room for us to use, but we do still have a home of our own to take care of - we don't "need to be here" as she seems to believe, and she's certainly not "taking care of two adults" as she constantly jots down in little notes which she leaves laying all around the house. Though I realize the dementia is progressing, I am feeling like she's being extremely manipulative, and she knows what she's doing. Between the daily tasks of seeing to her care, doing the housekeeping, cooking, laundry, running her errands, answering the same dozen questions OVER AND OVER literally every five minutes, and that God awful baby talk - I am at my wit's end. It's affecting my marriage and my health. I myself am living with Lupus, diabetes, hypertension, and trying to recover from a Laminectomy (spine surgery) with a Lumbar Fusion. Needless to say, it's a WHOLE LOT!


What should I do? Is it time to consider memory care in assisted living? Or am I over reacting? I need your thoughts, everyone.

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In the short term, could you find some respite care for her for two or three weeks? The respite is for you, but it can potentially help to give her a ‘different reality’. A facility’s response to her attention seeking may make her see her own behaviour differently. Even if that doesn’t work, it will give you a break, and some time to look at the other alternatives. Potentially a win-win, worth a try.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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First of all, I empathize. I cared for my mom for two decades, 15 years in my home. It changes our lives, doesn’t it?

My mom doesn’t have any form of dementia so I will leave that up to the people on this forum that have experience with that. My mom has Parkinson’s disease.

I did burn out. I had sibling issues too. Unfortunately, in my situation the relationship between my mother and I became strained. I suppose sometimes that can’t be avoided for various reasons.

Too much togetherness is hard on families. Lack of privacy, changes in routines and lifestyles all plays a part. Anyway, I am no longer mom’s caregiver. Long story.

I feel relieved. Surrender your responsibility to be the primary caregiver and you will be relieved too. I promise.

Take care 💗.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Move back to your home and get on with your life. She's only going to get worse, and you don't deserve this.
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Reply to HelloImMinsu
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I pity you. Totally. Look into a guardianship of your mom and perhaps you can become that. Then decisions can be made such as where she will live if it gets to be too much for your marriage. Since no one else can help. I wish you the very best. I am in the same boat.
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Reply to Jennifor
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It is quite reasonable to be feeling burned out and questioning whether she needs to be placed somewhere or not. With what you describe, it would seem like time to get her into somewhere to take care of her full time or to at least get some help in the house so you and your husband can go out on dates and have a life that does not include caring for her.
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Reply to againx100
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Onelove937 Feb 27, 2020
Thank you againx100 - I think you are right and it may be time to at least research the most suitable facilities. In the meantime, I’ll DEFINITELY take your suggestion, and start having regular date nights with my husband. It’s desperately needed. Thank you for your response!
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I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I know what a tremendous strain on all aspects of your life and health this must be for you. I care for my mom in the home but can get some breaks once in a while. Also she is forgetful but not where your mom is now mentally. And I am struggling to keep caring for her. I can't say what is right for you. Ideally you would not have to be caring for her and should be just caring for yourself but I know it's not always that simple. I don't think you are over reacting at all. Practically it sounds like you need to get yourself out of that situation and find someone else to care for her or at least give you some big breaks. That might mean assisted living or memory care or it might mean getting in home care... I'm sorry, I don't know what else to say. You have friends and support here.
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Onelove937 Mar 14, 2020
Thank you so much AnnabelleB - your suggestions are just what I needed to hear. I’m definitely feeling overwhelmed, so I’m going to start with getting some help to come in and give me a break twice a week. Then, I’ll be able to think with a clearer head and figure out what comes next. Thank you again for your help.
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You do know that with this stage of dementia you Mom has no control over what she says and does, right? So you will save yourself a lot of time, trouble and hope repeating what she should do or not do. She cannot respond as the rational well, not demented mind can respond.
You have a tremendous amount on your place. Lupus alone, let alone all the other things, is very dangerous when you tax yourself too much. It is time to put mom into care. Do understand that, with her acting out badly she will likely need a memory care unit where there is staff equipped to hand this. It is, quite honestly, not going to get better; it can only get worse; you are putting your own health at risk.
You have control of things. Your Mom should not be in care with you doing only visits. So sorry for all you are going through. Chronic health things are so depressing all on their own, and with this added it is sounding impossible.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Onelove937 Mar 14, 2020
Thank you AlvaDear for your response. I’m aware that she’s not in control of what she says or does - and I constantly remind myself of it. Over and over, all day, every day.
I’m fighting a lupus flare right now, and have finally realized that I cannot continue this way. If something happens to me - my mom will not have anyone here to look after her. I’ll be hiring someone to come help out for two days a week, and my husband and I can return to our home for a quiet break and a much- needed getaway now and then. In the meantime I’m gathering info on memory care AL facilities so we’ll be prepared when it becomes necessary. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. You’ve been a great help!
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If she is in the later stages, she is beyond an AL. I think medication may help Mom. But remember, her brain is broken and I feel they do become like a small child. She has no idea what she is saying to you. Its what is flitting thru her brain at the moment. It may be time to place her in MC or LTC. In the meantime, let what she says roll off your back. I know its hard but this is not your Mom.

So glad Mom looked out for you. Play dumb with brothers, you have no idea what Mom set up.
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Onelove937 Mar 17, 2020
Hi JoAnn29,
Thank you for your thoughts - and I agree, this is not my Mom saying and doing these things. But as each day goes by, things are getting worse. I've reached out for help so I can get out of the house once or twice a week. And now, sadly I do believe it's time for LTC. As for my brothers - you're absolutely right, and I'll no longer entertain their questions... I'll simply tell them that I don't know what's in Mom's Will. Thank you again for your help.
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If it were me, I'd get her placed into a Memory Care ALF immediately!!! How can you possibly expect to take care of her, yourself, and your husband under these dire circumstances?? Dementia often reaches a point where Memory Care is a must; incontinence happens, and their behaviors can go really haywire, too, making in home care very very tough.

Please look into some ALFs in your area before all of this affects your health and prevents you from healing!

Good luck
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Onelove937 Mar 17, 2020
lealonnie1,
Indeed, your words hit home, and I agree that keeping Mom here at home is no longer a healthy option for any of us. I'm in the beginning of another flare right now - and it will not be possible for me to continue on in this manner. I've sought out some help for a day or two each week, and I'll be taking some time to find a good ALF or LTC for my Mom. These have been some very tough times, and these have been equally tough decisions. I appreciate your help, and your kindness.
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You are burned out and it's not going to get any easier. It's time to place your mom in AL/MC. Doing so is still taking care of her! You still have a life left to live when she is gone. Don't let this take your life before that time comes. You've gone above and beyond by leaving your home and moving in with her. Not many people can do this to the end without placing their LO in a facility.
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Reply to Tiredandweary
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Onelove937 Mar 17, 2020
Tiredandweary,
Yes, you're right about that - I'm burned out in the worst way, both physically and mentally. I've received wonderful advice here in this forum and I'm truly grateful. I have decided to find a nice facility for my Mom, so that we all can remain healthy and able to deal with the days ahead. Thank you very much for your help!
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I'm so sorry for your situation, it must be very difficult. I'm new to the forum and don't have much to offer; however it seems that you are doing an awful lot to care for your mother and the last thing she needs is for you to burn out and get sick yourself. At this point I don't think its over reacting to consider assisted living or some kind of in home care so you and your husband can have some kind of "safe zone" to get back to after being with mom. I don't know if there is a right/wrong answer, but feel it's important that you feel OK with it and maybe discuss with a professional. It may turn out that your mom does better by being engaged in the daily activities that many of the assisted facilities offer. I hope you are able to get some assistance and find the right solution for you. Take care of yourself!
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Reply to rosiemontalvo
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Onelove937 Mar 17, 2020
Hello rosiemontalvo,
Thank you for your suggestions. And although you may be new here - your support means more than you know! It’s been heart wrenching trying to decide if it’s time to consider an AL facility, and I’m finally at peace decision that yes, it is. As much as I wanted to care for her myself, and in her home - it’s in her best interest to find a place that is equipped with professional staff to address her needs and care for her properly. And as you pointed out, she’ll no doubt come to enjoy the activities and the new friendships that come along with being there. Thank you again!
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