My mother has a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, but also suffers additional mental health. - AgingCare.com

My mother has a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, but also suffers additional mental health.

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Throughout my entire life she has been abusive verbally. (physically when I was younger) I have maintained a relationship with her based on my terms (when I can handle her and am in a good space myself). She now has a diagnoses of alzheimers, and while still living on her own, requires a lot of my time. She waivers from demanding to 'trying to be nice'. She has pushed away my daughter who was trying to help me out so I can get a break. (she is mean and verbally abusive to my daughter) She tells me she doesn't need the services (home care) I have arranged for her so she keeps cancelling them. I have been trying to catch some sort of break, and to be perfectly honest, at this time, if I could figure out a way to completely walk away, I would. For me, this runs deeper than her current disease - it is years of abuse and now she believes she has an excuse to be that way as she frequently says "i have alzheimers, you know. I can't help it." I am at a complete loss as to what to do? Has anyone experienced similar? How did you cope? Did you find a way to distance yourself without having to take a second mortgage out on the house?

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YOU be there to let them in. Do you have POA for her?

You are going to need the advice of a certified Eldercare attorney. Hoping others with more experience will come along with more advice.
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It is our home that we bought from her and his dad.... she has lifetime rights. We have tried to have office of the aging in before and she doesnt allow them in. I guess we have to report we are concerned for her well being... she lives in the house.... we have lived in a makeshift apartment in the basement for 21 years.
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You call your local AreaAgency on Aging and get her a needs assessment. Find out what level of care she requires.

Are you living in her home, or she in yours?
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My MIL lives with us and has schizophrenia. .. my husband had a stroke this past Nov. And it is all I can do to care for him..... she's 79, frail.... and refuses to go to a home.... what do I do?
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Amen to what Jeanne and Nasmir said.

You've tried to arrange care for her and she's having none of it. You and your daughter help out and you get verbal abuse. She needs professional care and the services of a geriatric psychiatrist. You've done your bit. Let the pros take over.
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jeannegibbs wrote an excellent comprehensive post. She says it all!
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Thank you Nasmir and Jeannegibbs. You are telling me what deep down I already feel - but hearing it from someone else helps to ease the guilt a little. HUGS.
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I haven't, but many, many people have experienced this. Here is what one respected therapist has to say:

"Taking care of someone who years before was abusive or neglectful of you is beyond what is expected of you. ... Each case is different, but with most, I encourage some kind of continued management -- often through a social worker -- to make sure that the caregiving team or the nursing home professionals are treating your family member well. This may be the best you can do given your history together." Dr. Pauline Boss, in "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia."

I think you do need to figure out a way to almost completely walk away, and that your mother's money and resources need to be what pays for her care. In addition to all her other abuse over the years she should not be allowed to exploit you financially now.

I advise:
1) See a counselor or therapist for your own issues regarding the abuse. If you have in the past, great, but now would be a good time for some "refresher" sessions for support. You deserve it!
2) Call APS and/or her county Human Services department. Explain that your mother is a vulnerable adult and you have been trying to help her by scheduling assistance but that she cancels it. You are not able to help her further. (Be firm on this point.) You hope that someone can, but it cannot be you. Depending on how coherent she seems to be they may or may not be able to enforce some measure of help. But it lets you off the hook.

Person with dementia cannot live on their own for very far into the disease. Some other arrangements will have to be made. Not Your Problem. When she is in a care center of some kind you may want to visit her on a limited schedule. But that's the future. See how it goes.

Under NO circumstances should you consider taking her into your home or moving into hers. Do Not Consider This. That way lies madness. (I'm not opposed to family members taking in a parent, but the deciding factor here is the abuse.) Don't Do It!
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