How to respond to my mother when she is saying she hates her caregivers and wants to be on her own?

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My mother will be 89 in January and believe she is doing what is called "sundowning". She has a caregiver from 11-5 seven days a week (two actually - one M-F and the other on the weekends). They've been with her for years and she loves them "most" of the time. Soon after they leave she will start calling anyone whose number she can find.....over and over and over. She has taken to telling me how much she hates them and how they are so mean to her and aren't even around (even when they are in the next room), etc. I know for fact that they are quite devoted to her and even accept her phone calls when they are off-duty and home with their own families. I've tried reasoning with her but that doesn't seem to work. Should I tell her I will look into it? I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions??

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Churchmouse, she actually has ranted at one of them and she didn't even know who she was talking to. Ordered her to leave! Then she promptly called me and said no one was there to help her. I had to "fix" it so the caregiver would come back because mom was EXTREMELY unkind and hurtful.

Sadly, the truth is that she was never a "nice" person to others and her bad behavior is resurfacing as any "filters" she had have disappeared.
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It certainly does sound as if her brain is coming up with some pretty scrambled stuff. I agree that you were right first time - don't argue, reassure her that you are listening.

One thing I would do, though, is talk to the caregivers about it. Very carefully, obviously. The thing is, what if she starts ranting at them as well as about them? You need very delicately to let them know what is happening and that it is symptomatic of dementia, in no way reflects either on their care or on your mother's true feelings towards them, and is something everyone on Team Mother needs to support each other with.

And check, while you're at it, that she hasn't already ranted and had an upset response from one or both of them. You don't want to lose good people.
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Yes, the best thing to say to a person who is sundowning is "I will look into it" or "maybe next week". Chances are the person will forget you said that, so you may need to repeat it daily.

My Dad recently started with the sundowning. Whenever he calls and sounds confused, I will change the subject over to the weather, as he's a huge weather buff, thus his mind will go into the current/now phase and we talk weather for awhile.

I also worry about who else is my Dad calling, so recently while visiting, I hid his old pop-up address/phone file, and I thinned out his Rolodex. I didn't want him to think he was still living at home [he's in senior living now] and call vendors to have the tree trimmed or the other work done at his previous home.
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