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I (and my wife with whom she has not gotten along with for the last 40 years) are the only close relatives and we support her financially (except for her modest social security benefit). The problem is that she is making my life miserable with her constant complaining about everything (including me). There is no pleasure in visiting with her (which I do at least twice a week).......in addition to taking her to all her doctor appointments. I have explained to her on several occasions that I don't want to be around her when she behaves that way (verbally abusive and then non-stop crying). This affecting my personal life negatively and is unhealthy for me. PLEASE, if there are others who have experienced, this share how you have handled it.

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I would suggest that you speak with the activities director at the place where she lives. Maybe there are some activities for her to join so she can focus on having some fun and meeting new people. If there are not enough stimulating activities for her, you may want to consider a move to a place that offers for interaction.
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Divot, I suspect your mother is frightened of losing her sight, wondering how she'll cope, but channeling all that frustration, anxiety and fear toward you and your wife. You're certainly justified in objecting to her criticism.

This is a situation in which it's hard to find good solutions. I would have suggested that you cut down the visits to once a week, but she may very well then complain even more that you're not visiting as often, with your response being as you stated.

I suspect also that she's not integrating into social activities or mixing with other residents, but relying on you for companionship. Perhaps you could talk to the activities staff and see if they'll make an extra effort to get her involved.

But, realistically, sometimes people are just going to concentrate on their declining health and be unable to see how they can benefit from the resources that are available.

I agree with Babalou - the hostility then alternating crying (regret?) might indicate some mental issues that could be addressed with meds.

You might also chat with staff to see what their observation of her behavior is, especially whether she behaves this way with them or just with you.

I'm not suggesting that you give up and accept her attitude, just that there's a limit to how much you can do.
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My mother has been a handful all my life - and most likely all hers as well. In the past few years her sharp tounge, self-centered attitude and manipulative behavior has increased. When mom had a fall back in August her dementia kicked into high gear. Since I deal with mom without much help from my brothers, I got 99% of her crap - I honestly think I was very near some sort of break-down. In late December I got mom in to see a geriatric psychiatrist. He did a medication over-haul - changed moms antidepressant and added some dementia related meds and it has made all the difference in the world. Seriously! I wish I had done this a long time ago. My mom will be 89 tomorrow - so even though your mom is up there in age, I believe it's not too late for you and your mom as well.
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Take her a geriatric psychiatrist. She sounds as though she may need medication for depression and agitation.
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I have taken care of my mother for years now that she is 82 she has reverted into a child again. Hiding her meds and papers that I need to have. She say's its a game for me. For me more of a pain looking for stuff, to back up some she has constraint stomach pains that the doctors can not find a cause so they just prescribe her pain meds and a patch for 24/7 she till complains and the doctor has increased the prescriptions to 180 tables in which she has taken all in 16 days this equals to 11 a day she is only to take 3 or 4 I have tried to monitor this but have no success she is mean and hateful. I am at wits end sometimes . I have health care come in but she sends them away and we do not have any place she can go during the day. I just need some suggestions
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When seniors who have been normal for most of their lives start acting unusual, crying, being aggressive, unreasonable, starting arguments, hiding things, being mean and aggressive, indicates that something is going on. The best place to start is with the doctor. If you have access to their doctor, I would share the information. Hopefully, the cause can be discovered and treated.

Things like infections, anxiety and depression can be treated with medications. Still, if the person has dementia, it may be that the unusual behavior will persists to some degree. I'd read a lot on this site and other places about this condition so you can adjust your expectations and help the patient have more understanding and protection.

Rbranch, if you mom is hiding things, it could be that she misplaces them and forgets where they are. It may that she can't control the way she's been behaving. Have her doctors mentioned mental decline? Has she seen a Neurologist or Psychiatrist?
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Divot
To me ( and others might disagree) you have to weigh your options. No matter what you do, you won't make her happy. You might even learn she has happier days when you aren't around. I think it's because you represent her only chance ( in her mind) of escape from her current situation. It's like if she could only convince you to do something to change her circumstances she could be happy again. Of course that isn't true. Her happiness has to come from within. She may have been able to behave without so much desperation in the past or with others now. She has lost her reserve with you. Perhaps a form of anxiety? Some will recommend medication for anxiety or depression and they might be right. It might dull her senses enough to not express herself so negatively or relax and actually enjoy your visits. But you, Divot, have to recognize your part in your unhappiness when visiting your mother. Prepare yourself before visiting. Deep breathing before going in AND after coming out. A set time. An agenda of things you want to check on. A hug. A check to make sure no scrapes etc. Her supplies. That her space is cleaned. That she's groomed. Her food. You get the idea. Don't engage with her when she attacks. Ignore those comments. It's really hard. The crying might be therapeutic for her, not so much for you. Set a limit. Tell her she can cry for 30 sec then you are leaving. You must leave when you say you are going to. You can even go in and say, let's get the crying done. Same with critical remarks. You can also ask her to write down all the complaints and you'll read them later. That you don't want to spend your visit with her complaining. Tell her to tell you something good before she tells you something bad. ( my mother once said, good to see you...,I guess). Tell her one of your problems and see if she has empathy for you. ( probably not). Don't take your wife. She's not interested in her. But she will complain that she didn't come. Take a plant that you can water when you go. Put lotion on her hands. Touch her. Believe it or not you can do this in about 15 min. Leave her better than you found her in some way. Take her a trash magazine or flowers or a lipstick something small she can complain about. Ask her a question only she knows the answer to. Did I fight with my cousin? Did your dad have a pet name for you? She may not know the answer but she will think about it. Share a little related memory. Dad always called me bud and I liked that.
So have an agenda, give her physical contact, have a little social interaction, give her a gift, set limits. Spend 10 min before going in and jot down what you want to accomplish. Save your lists to go over later. If she will write down complaints, write her back an answer. If she won't write them, you can sit at the table with her and write what she says and then read it back to her. Validate her feelings.
If it is in your culture, say a prayer with her. Share a meal or a cup of tea. In other words, Divot, go in prepared to work hard for your time with mom and you will be more at peace that you are doing everything you can to make her life better and not be so miserable when you leave. Don't forget exercise for you and her. Hugs
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That is exactly the scenario we had with my mother from living in her own home to nursing home. And, listen to 97yearoldmom - there is a pattern, and most of us have gone through the same, or will.
We got Mom into IL when she was 92. She lived there for 8 years and complained every single time we visited (about not having her car, the food, lonely, then the opposite - too many people, etc etc) It was a wonderful place, good food, lots of activities. When she needed more help she went to AL and complained just as much. Just know 1) parents take out frustrations that come with age on the child (and do not necessarily complain to anyone else) 2) loss of home, car and independence and fear causes this, and growing dementia doesn't help because you can't reason with dementia 3) old age depression often is part of the cause (mom had to go on an antidepressant - zoloft)

In fact, when we were not there, Mom did have friends she hung around with both in IL and AL. She did go to activities but didn't want us to know. Maybe you could ask the staff to link your mother with a similar type friend as she will feel more comfortable going to activities with someone with her. (if she doesn't already have one and not told you)
Mom was always a negative Nellie so it just got worse. She was doubly miserable because she knew she was aging, but refused to admit it and adamantly refused help (pride). Since she had so few interests all she could think of to talk about was complaining, she liked to complain. We each visited once a week, took her to lunch. I did her toenails, ironed her clothes, brought her gifts, none of which she appreciated much simply because it was beyond her ability to be happy at this point. I did all her running around, took her shopping when she could physically do it, finances, laundry and tried to amuse her to no avail.
You are doing all you can for your mom. You cannot control another person's happiness so don't let yourself feel guilty if she dumps on you. You are doing the right thing by telling her you will not go down that path.
My sister and I told Mom we are not going to argue about the car, or whatever, and change the subject. If she didn't stop, we told her the choice is either stop or we leave - and we left on several occasions. She had dementia, and at first I worried she would be mad or upset, but after five minutes, she didn't remember we walked out. Don't expect that you can convince your mother of anything because you can't - it is another way of her trying to retain her independence.

You will go through many stages as she ages especially if she is relatively healthy and lives to old old age (Mom was 101). There are too many to mention - bowel obsession, bathing issues, eating issues, refusal of help, the walker, the meds, etc. That is why we are all here for you on this forum because we have all been through some or all of this.
Try to take it in stride, first off keep in touch with the doctor - find out if she would benefit from antidepressants as that might help with the aggression as well (My mother responded to zoloft and her agitation and depression was reduced) Play it by ear, see what works and what doesn't and know that it isn't your fault she is unhappy.
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