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I want to visit her but emotionally I am worn.

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Mom's aggressive verbal abuse was helped with Zoloft. It also reduced her anxieties and obsessions.
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Her verbal skills are changing because of the dementia. It's not personal. This is going to happen to anyone in front of her, not specifically you only. I know, this doesn't really help make any of it feel better. It will happen when she's tired, overstimulated, frustrated, and can even happen when she is in pain.

Emotional control and the executive functions that make us all behave in socially acceptable ways degrades first. This is normal. Forbidden words, racial remarks, swearing, and such will happen when it would have been unthinkable before.

My mom also lost her ability to follow multi-step processes and make choices early on. I noticed this way before any memory related problems popped up.
Her favorite choice was no choice. Not doing the dishes. Not cleaning up. Not calling a repair guy for the leak in the roof, etc.

Try to figure out when her optimum visit time is. For my mom, it's between 11:00-2:00ish. Earlier in the day and she may still be unwilling to be changed and has refused her meds - look out! Later in the day and sundowning starts and that's uglier than when she's refused her meds and won't let anybody change her smelly, used undergarment.

I try to go just before lunch is served, so there's a natural transition where I can step away and it won't be such a big deal. Or, if it's going OK, I can stay and visit during her meal.

I learned from somebody on this site that you can say "I can see I'm upsetting you, so I'll come back another time that's better. I'm sorry mom." It was probably Pam or Jeanne above who told me that! They always have great answers.

::hugs::

Don't feel bad about needing to step away or be picky about when you visit. We have to do what we must to protect our own mental health through all this. It's very stressful. Doing your best is definitely good enough. Other people with other ideas & different opinions need to walk in your shoes.
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Anger and anxiety are pretty common in the early stages, but can be managed with things like Ativan or Klonopin or Xanax. Ask her MD to prescribe something to alleviate her symptoms.
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Does Mom live alone? Is she a danger to herself or others? Does someone else look in on her regularly? How dependent is your mother on you for her own safety?

When you say that she "has become" verbally abusive, can I conclude that this is new behavior, since the onset of dementia? If you had a good, loving relationship with her before the dementia, dig deep into your memories and call up images of what it was like when she was well. Know the change is not her fault. She no doubt would prefer to be the way she used to be even more than you would prefer it!

You have lost/are losing a loved one. In her place is someone who looks like her but for some reason beyond her control is not the same person. This is extremely sad. Allow yourself to mourn this loss, and all the losses to come. Cherish any moments when Mom is truly present. Try to be reassuring and loving to her even when she isn't particularly lovable.

When things get overwhelming for you, say your goodbyes and leave. "You seem to not be enjoying my visit today. I'll come back tomorrow and maybe things will be going better." Don't expect that this will necessarily teach her to change -- you really don't know what she might be capable of learning -- but at least it will cut short your misery.
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