I am MJ the daughter of mom who is 94 we live together now for over 15 years. Mom was diagnosed with dementia last year and is getting worse. Had trouble writing Checks or using her card so I took over her account which she resents. She also totaled her car and resents not driving as well. She seems angry at me all the time takes out her frustrations on me. Also accuses me of stealing things... anything from her hearing aids to her dogs pet records and she pounds her fist and swears screams and cries has meltdowns a lot now. The doctor has her on a new medicine now for the fourth day to help with these outbursts but so far they are not helping. I am extremely stressed out and burned out going through this every day am home more than not,I hardly ever get to go anywhere myself before I feel guilty leaving her alone and also worry. I am in this all alone and have never done anything like this before and I'm thinking I'm going to have to have someone come in and help soon but I'm sure it will make her angry. I would also like to take her for respite care for a day, say like once a week but don't know how to talk her into going there. She is not very sociable person has very few friends I'm sure she won't like any like coming in her house either I just don't know what to do I am very stressed out and worried about leaving her alone when I go to a movie or shopping for three or four hours. I'm scared She will fall or something. I have two sisters that live on the opposite end of the United States that are worthless and has never helped mom or even call and ask her if she is doing. One of them calls when I'm not here and I think she is turning mom suspicious against me wanting to stay in her good graces for the 10 grand they are both each gonna get on down the road.I don't trust them at all. I would like to keep in her home here as long as possible but don't want to drain all of her money on in-home care either but I need a break as well I feel like I'm losing my mind I am 67 she is 94 and has a doggie. I have no life. I lost my job ( well had to retire early) and lost my 12 year relationship when she came to live with us I am sad stressed burned out and try not to get mad when she accuses me of everything to where I don't even wanna get up in the morning now. I've have put all aside for over 15 yrs living with her, standing by her helping her with anything and everything with no end in sight and now she's suspicious of me and blaming me for everything and mad at me daily... I'm so sad, mad, burnt out and hopeless.... help!

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I agree that your mother probably won't gracefully accept in-home help.

I agree that you need to reestablish a life of your own, one that includes less stress!

I think what has to happen now is placement of Mother in a care facility. I don't know whether that would be assisted living, memory care, or a nursing home, but it would be a place with 24-hour staff in three shifts, and with people used to dealing with irrational behavior. You could visit as often as you want.

This will most likely drain all of her money. So what? It may even take more money than she has, in which case she'll have to apply for Medicaid. So what?

You wanted to keep her home as long as possible. You've done that. This is the point at which it is no longer possible.
Helpful Answer (9)

Why are you so worried about her getting angry? It is ok for you to be totally miserable but not ok for your mother to be unhappy.

You don't have a life because you are afraid it will upset her. You lost a long term relationship over being her caregiver. What are you getting out of all of this?

Yes now is the time she needs to be looked after by professionals. It is more than you can handle. And too bad if she doesn't like it.

What exactly do you expect your sisters to do other than call more? You made the choice to take in your mother, and now you regret your choice. Do not be angry at them for not making the same choice you did.

Your mother won't get better, it will only get worse. You won't be any help to her if you end up sick yourself. You owe it to her to put her in a safe place which quite frankly is no longer in your home because you cannot do this 24/7. You need to regain your life. Please take care of yourself.
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Unfortunately it's not uncommon for the elderly to be angry. It's very common for them to accuse people of stealing their stuff. They simply can't remember where they put it and it's easier for them to accuse others of taling it.

I know it's tough. My mom was a handful for a few years. Tantrums and outbursts that would last for days. Lately though, she has calm down. It's like she made it over a hump. Much easier to deal with now. For example, she fully realizes she just forgets where she puts things now. Instead of saying someone stole it, she says she can't remember where she put it. I've found the best way to deal with the anger is to simply leave it alone. Don't argue, don't even respond. Just walk away and let them settle down.
Helpful Answer (5)

Dear Skywatch,

You have been a very dutiful and loving daughter. After 15 years you have given a lot and its only natural to feel burned out. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's anger issues. I wonder as freqflyer suggested it might be a UTI or her health issues are escalating or a combination of meds affecting her behaviour. Or her body could be shutting down.

Please consider talking to her doctor or social worker about placing her in assisted living or a nursing home. Its time to give yourself some respite. Even the most patient and understanding children get burned out. Please don't be hard on yourself. Its better to take this step for your mom and yourself.

Thinking of you.
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A lot of wisdom and opinions and reality in so many of these answers, but I take exception that with the Lord you will get through this. You may not. I don't know if I will. My financial options are slim to none, other than the partial and very compassionate help I have received from a local non-profit resource group. They secured a couple of grants that have helped with occasional respite and some legal advice and a support group, as well as connecting me with a 24/7 help line and Adult Protective Services. Yet as my loved one continues to decline, my tears are daily. I have no life at all outside our tiny house which goes on the market in a month and the overwhelming prospect of a move we cannot afford. My honest advice is that you have done the best that you can, and if you can afford it, let your local resource group help you find a place for your mom that is geared to the level a physician decides. You can spend as much time with her as you feel comfortable spending and then sleep and care for your needs and heal. You've been saying goodbye to her for a long time now and eventually that will be final. But again, you cannot blame yourself and I pray that the common feelings of guilt will release their hold on you one day. I wish you well.
Helpful Answer (4)

SKywatch, have your Mom tested for an Urinary Tract Infection... such infections can make an elder feel terrible thus the elder will have outburst, etc. The UTI test is fairly easy and can be cleared up. Thus, take your Mom to her primary doctor, or take her to an urgent care for the test.
Helpful Answer (3)

So to recap, that’s get the UTI test done.
Have her assessed for NH or Memory Care.
Realize that what you are doing isn’t working for either of you.
Consider calling in Area Agency on Aging for an assessment to see what services are available for her.
Helpful Answer (3)

Sky, why does your happiness not matter here? Why is a dementia patient calling the shots?

Your mother needs more care than you can give her. She needs an assessment by a geriatric psychiatrist for a proper medication regimen to address her agitation, anxiety and depression. She needs activity. She needs professional supervision of her nutrition.

Her care needs have to be assessed by folks who do this for a living and told by her doctor that she needs more care.

Have you called the Area Agency on Aging yet?
Helpful Answer (2)

I feel for you. You have done SO MUCH for your mother. But you count, too...JUST AS MUCH AS SHE DOES!

If she isn't getting enough nourishment, don't you think that's the definitive reason she needs to be placed somewhere?

I understand not wanting to make her angry. I tiptoe around my mother, too, because she can be SO nasty to me. I complain plenty about her, to other people. My brothers hear plenty from me about her. And of course I have the huge advantage of NOT living with her.

Are you an only child? Do you have siblings? If so, how do they support you?
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Skywatch, many of us can relate to the difficulty of placing our mother in some sort of facility. But it's time for you AND your mother to face facts. When mom isn't getting proper nourishment, it's time to make a move. Many of us have done it. We've had that come to Jesus moment with mother and said, in effect, "it's time."

Sounds like "it's time" with your mother. I know you hate to do it. She hates it and will treat you like a dog, which she is doing already. If she's going to be miserable anyway, put her somewhere where she can get proper care. Then get on with your life, as best you can. You cannot help your mother if both of you are burned out. Elderly mothers will take us down through there; they'll manipulate and make us feel guilty. It goes with the territory. Do your homework; find the best place that is financially feasible; and put her there. It doesn't make you a bad daughter. It makes you a good daughter.
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