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My mother is in a sort of group home (with four other women, and around the clock care). She has dementia, some hearing loss, is slow to move around.


The biggest issue lately -- and this is hardly something new -- is she gets these obsessions.


Lately she is fixated on her roommate. Let's call her Lisa. Mom and Lisa share a large room in a residential house and have some privacy there because of the way the room is set up. My mother, however, has taken a strong dislike to the woman. She rants about Lisa, saying she's a former prostitute. She also will practically shout about Lisa while Lisa is in the same room with her, saying she's ugly. She says Lisa is a thief and damages her things. My mom smokes and blanks out so she will burn her own clothing but blames it on Lisa. (I'm trying to get to the bottom of whether anything has been stolen. One time a light bulb was removed from my mother's nightstand lamp, and it could have been this woman, but it could also have been my mother removing it and trying to cause trouble -- possibly even forgetting what she did. My mother has done things like fallen down and then called the police saying she was attacked by a neighbor because she says she has to "protect" herself.


They've gotten into fights. Upon coaxing my mother has admitted she's hit the roommate with a cane. She also says every other woman in the house has ganged up on her -- including the caregiver. Highly unlikely.


But my mother is totally obsessed with Lisa. She cannot think of anything else. She cannot talk about anything else. She gets ideas in her head, like Lisa will be forcibly removed (according to management, no). She threatens suicide because she hates this Lisa so much.


I've spoken to management about the fights, accusations and whatnot. They know my mom gets obsessive and exaggerates, but is there anything that can be done? My mother is diabetic and on antidepressants, but not on any antipsychotics. Overall I think the home is a good place for her, but she gets into these wild obsessions and is totally consumed by them. I don't see any reason to remove her either, because wherever she goes next, she will end up hating someone at that place and starting it up all over again.


Anyone else deal with comparable situations? How do they cope? Have they had the situation stabilize with medicine or trying to get the enemies to socialize or games or something?

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My mom, in early-to-mid stage, obsesses on a certain topic or topics for awhile before moving on to another, likely related to ongoing damage in her brain. Regarding your Mom, you may want to consult with her doctor about some kind of medication to help relieve her obsessive behavior. The coping part with all of this is the worst! You may want to look into care outside your home for your mom. At the time of Mom's diagnosis, my sister and I offered to care for Mom at home. Now I am glad she refused and is living in a memory care facility. True, she doesn't like it, but at least we are spared from the brunt of her negative behavior. We can always, when visiting, leave when her conduct becomes intolerable.
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