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My mother suffers from dementia. She has accused me of being after her husband--my father-- and wanting to take him away from her. She comes after me for this and it leaves me in tears. Has anyone else encountered this problem and how did you cope with it?

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Bbtwinks - thank you for coming back and letting us know how things are going - very often, we don't get the followup, which leaves us wondering how things ended up.

I'm *so* glad for you that your Mom is doing well in her Memory Care facility, and these "other woman" delusions are fading away. Hopefully they don't return! Best wishes to you and your family.
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Thank you so much for all of your answers, suggestions and support. When I posted my question, I was wounded and emotionally spent. Your kind responses really helped me.

My mom is doing well in her Memory Care facility and seems happy and content. She welcomes my visits and phone calls and seems to have forgotten "the other woman!" Hopefully, "she" is forgotten forever but, if she isn't, I will take a deep breath and just remember all the reasons why I love my mom so much.

Thanks, again, to everyone.
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Not to offend, but I don't agree with Riley's suggestion. Exploding at a dementia patient is *not* the path to take. You might feel better for a moment, but remember, you are dealing with someone who has the emotional and mental capability of a toddler here. Screaming at them in anger or frustration is only going to cause them fear, hurt and confusion - they may not remember who you are and definitely don't know why you're yelling at them!

Before you reach that point, walk away. When someone is stretched as thin as a caregiver is, it's far too easy to explode, and in some cases, that explosion may go farther than intended. And again, remember who you are dealing with. This person has no clue why you're yelling at them. You're not dealing with a "whole" person.
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I know my suggestion will most likely not be one many would choose. I would be the nice person as long as I could but when it got to the point where I no longer could stand it, I would explode and really tell her off. I know, it won't sink in, BUT IT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER. Good luck.
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I am agreeing with moecam. Many times it is hard to believe your loved one is deeper in dementia that you thought. My best friend's husband was in a memory care facility. They had a 3 stage facility and when it was time for him to move down to the next level, my friend fought it. She couldn't believe he was that bad. The facility just told her flat out he was. The move from 2 to 3 was a little easier, but she still had a hard time accepting the speed of his decline.
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Sorry, I know how painful these comments can be. I agree with BarbBrooklyn. It sounds too simple, but try redirecting.

I was always told never agitate, never correct, and never argue. When your visit, bring her something that will make her happy, watch something funny on TV. Make the moment pleasant for her and when she gets angry: redirect, redirect, redirect. I know it sounds simple, but it works.

She will eventually forget too, so take that heart that these accusations won't last forever. My mom was very angry in the early stages of dementia. Now she is back to her sweet self, which I am very grateful. But there was a time she hated me, and it was incredibly painful.

This too will pass. Join a support group or take a class that explains how to deal with dementia behaviors. It will be a tremendous help.
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My mom accused dad of having mistresses - she said he was selling her coins/stamps/whatever to 'keep' them particuarly when she couldn't find something because of course she never misplaced anything - as dementia progressed she switched to dad having 'boyfriends'

When you are helping & your dad is interacting pleasantly with you then your mom sees it as something to be jealous about - I bet your mom's dementia is higher than you think - have her tested soon -

I was surprised that my mom was moderate to severe when I thought she was mild in dementia - particularly when living in same place for long time they are following routine which can mask how far down they have become - an old adage said people's dementia shows up after a move but it is their familiar routine that hid it - good luck
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My mother suffered from dementia as well. When she was having a "bad day", she ranted about so many things it was difficult for me to know what was true and what wasn't. About a year after she went to the facility, I discovered, from a comment she made that my grandfather had committed suicide 50 years earlier. I had always been told he "had a heart attack". This discovery devastated me. Other times, she told me things I knew couldn't possibly be true. 70% of the things she came out with were about sex. She called the facility a "brothel". Since she had always been very prudish, to hear her speak like this was astonishing to me, not to mention distasteful. Depending on my own mood, I would flat out tell her "No one is having sex under your bed or in your closet!" Other times I would simply distract her. "Lets watch television", or Remember the time Aunt Jo had all those ducks in her back yard?" You need to develop a thick skin to fend off her nonsense. Don't take her rants personally, especially to the point of tears. If placement is a possibility, seriously consider it for your own health as well as hers. Change is not easy for anyone to accept, but the truth is that it happens whether we want it to or not. Sending good thoughts!
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Bbtwinks, I certainly hope things calm down in the memory care facility. Do come back and let us know how things are going.
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In the last weeks of his life my father did not know who I was. He told one doctor that I was a catcher for the Chicago Cubs. The way I dealt with it as I was at his bedside all those days was to repeat to myself that while he doesn't know who I am to him anymore, I know who I am to him and that is why I am here.
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I'm so glad, both for your mom's sake and yours, that you've found her a safe place to live. Let's hope this eases her mind. If not, she's in a place where a geriatric psychiatrist can weigh in on appropriate meds.
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Mom seems to know that I am her daughter, at times. She is impossible to redirect, reassure or comfort during times of agitation. The really bizarre thing is that she always recognizes MY husband and responds well to him. Anyway, it is extremely distressing for me and I don't always have the ability to step away from her when she starts in because of the situation we are in. My mom and I have always been very close and this is almost impossible for me to bear on top of losing her to the dementia. But mom began living at a memory care facility today. I am hoping that her accusations will fade away in time. In the meantime, the doctor has given her Xanax. I sure hope it helps!
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Ask her doctor if there is some medication to ease her agitation.

You cannot change this, you can control it to some degree with medication

My Dad believed I was his lover. Told me once he would have married me if he had met me first! Good grief. He believed Mom had a boyfriend in the house every night.

Worse with sundown. Sedative helped.
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This is so terribly sad. I can understand why you're upset by this!

Does your mother recognize you as her daughter at all? In other words, is this a relentless thing, or is it" just" some of the time?

Is she able to be redirected at all? Like a brisk business-like "don't worry about that Mrs. W, I have a husband at home. Would you like some iced tea now?". Or, "I love you both, Mrs. W, but I never mix my love life up with caregiving"?.

In other words, you play the part of the busy caregiver, not the wounded daughter.

Of course this IS wounding, and terribly so.

If this is constant, it may be time for placement. It can't be good for mom to be so agitated over "the other woman" being there all the time.

I'm so sorry and hope others will have better suggestions.
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