My mother is in mid stage Alzheimer's. She is also a narcissist. I just want to drive over a cliff. She uses neighbors, she tells them I am mean to her and of coarse the gossip around the neighborhood goes into overdrive and I am the bad ass abusing my mother. She knows exactly what she's doing, her history proves this. She is also confused, forgetful and secretive. Together with the Narcicissim it works against me. I've already had to deal with the cops on my doorstep because of a concerned neighbor. She has lucid days and days where she is on another planet. Either way it seems her narcicisstic behavior is getting more intense because of the Alzheimer's. Any advice out there? Anyone dealing with this horrible combination? HELP!!

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Yes, and when I saw your post, had to reply. Mom died about a month ago at 92 but seems to have had a sociopathic side to her for decades that made her dementia even more of a challenge. As her son, I took care of her the last three years and also had neighbors, police and anyone that she could call informed that she was being abused, poisoned, etc. We had about 6 caregivers quit.
The bottom line is if you were raised by a narcissist, you will actually miss her when she's gone in spite of all the chaos. Keep in mind that it isn't forever and she isn't going to change but that she loves you in her own strange way and needs you in this last chapter of her life.
I feel good about myself now that she has passed knowing I did my best.
She actually said she loved me several times before she passed and I knew she was scared. As tough as they are with that difficult personality, you will miss her when she is gone so hang in there for now and you will be glad you did later, thanks.
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Narcissism is very hard to deal with. The book "Stop Walking on Eggshells" has some helpful advice. Some of you have mentioned how the parent's behavior was viewed as "quirky" and tolerated when they were younger and could do for themselves. I bet a lot of you just moved far away when you were old enough to liberate yourself from this parent. They could not hurt you as much if you kept your distance. However, now circumstances require that you have to deal with it up close every day. A child who loved and was loved by a parent does not resent the little quirks of old age, but a child who was hurt will find the burdens multiplied by tens. A simple criticism can hurt like a slap because you are already hurting. This parent is being a "brat" in a way because they are angry at their circumstance of old age. It's different than dealing with a bratty child however because old folks have certain "rights." Please find a counselor or group to talk to and do it soon! Tell your parent where you are going and why. Their world is very small now; it doesn't hurt to make them aware that what they are doing, have done, will do -- will have an impact. Don't let them be childish. I hope that you do not lose your quality of life. Good luck.
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Weedwitch..I think almost EVERYONE is dealing with this on the board, just about! You ARE NOT ALONE. I think the age group of women..80 on up especially, tend to be this way..with or without Alzheimers! I have a mother who drives me up a wall. She tells people how terrible I am, how I do not cook etc..I have made her lunch, breakfast and dinner for 15 years. She says she doesnt eat, but she snacks constantly..I see her..she tries to sneak it..and then complains my food inedible. She also shrieks like a banshee over trivial stuff, like her dog needs to go out and she will yell it sounds like shes being killed. Its no fun, they are not teachable. My mother was so spoiled by my dad, and I loved my dad..he gave in to all her quirkiness..there are days I want to dig him up and have a good talking to with him! Anyway, its partly generational, partly Alzeimers. I do some behavior stuff with mine, like you do with a little kid..if you yell, I cannot hear you..that seems to work sometimes. Also distracting her with asking a question about her past seems to work for agitation, as far as the neighbors, get them a book on Alzheimers if you are close with them..if not ignore them. Tell your police department that you have a person with Alzheimers living with you. I know its hard..Im sending you a hug too..BUT YOU ARE NOT ALONE in this. You will love this forum group it is what keeps me sane!
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Wow. Those who say they're glad they found this board because now they don't feel alone - I agree 100000%!

My mother is incredibly narcissistic, and although she can be compassionate and helpful, there's often a motive behind it. She helps out so she can SAY she helps out. She says something nice or tries to be sympathetic so she can SAY she has done so. She refuses, absolutely, to admit to any deficits due to her dementia, and will snarl and contort her face into the ugliest expressions, spitting out absolute lies about how she's showering daily or how she's vacuumed her apartment and I'm just "trying to browbeat her" whenever I try to wash dishes or pick things up.

Her personality now is simply an exaggerated version of what it was before she developed dementia. I liken it to someone who's a "mean drunk" - their true self emerges when inhibitions are lowered by alcohol. Her inhibitions are lowered by having lost whatever filters she had that prevented her outright "Me me me me me!!" approach to life before. Nothing was ever her fault, nothing was ever enough, etc... before, but she tempered her expression of that to suit the person she was dealing with and because she knew society in general and friends and family in particular wouldn't accept her being totally selfish. Now there's very little preventing her from expressing it, especially when she's "challenged" by any comment or question that implies she's not managing her life as well as she once did (and she didn't manage much of it well even decades ago, either). It makes caring for her especially difficult, because one runs out of patience with the childishness.

Just yesterday I heard from an old friend who's a year older than my mom. She volunteers at a school, she's helpful to her own kids, she's active and happy, and it was great talking to her. I have another friend who's 92 and although she's getting a little less sharp, reads the New York Times every day, can talk about any world event, tries to learn new things (I met her when her husband hired me to teach her to use the computer 20 years ago, and even since he died 10 years ago, she still wants to learn new things and stay "with it" as best as she can). She lives alone most of the time and makes the best of it. She doesn't try to make anyone feel guilty or like she's "owed" anything.

Seeing people who can age without falling apart mentally makes looking at the state my mom is in both painful (I feel bad for her that she has dementia) and maddening (because much of my mom's situation - financially, and certainly in terms of how she drove away most of her friends over the years, increasing her loneliness now - is of her own making). Only the fact that she can't remember things and can't follow procedures or plot-lines in movies or books (to entertain herself) is "not her fault." If she would just cooperate with attempts to help her, I would have UNENDING patience for her dementia-caused issues. I can answer a question 50 times in a row and not sound peeved. I can explain something 10 times and write instructions or simply eliminate her need to deal with it - and wouldn't mind a bit. But her comments and haughtiness and eye-rolling and foot stamping and fist-clenching - they make me want to just walk away and let her fend for herself.

Of course, she won't HEAR that she has any role in her current situation or that she's not a stellar person who makes my life easier. She actually told an interviewer from the Dept of Aging that she's "the only person who does any work around this house." And she believes this, and not only does she think it, she doesn't bat an eye telling anyone who'll sit still long enough to hear it (50 times).

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And I was hoping they'd "forget" they had been narcissistic and actually become somewhat reasonable...boy, I guess I was wrong!
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Oh my gosh,
I thought my mother was unique, never thought there could be another just like her. I know exactly what you going through. Mom has not been diagnosed as yet with ?Alzheimer's but yes she has dementia and growing worse. They are the same as they always have been. Mom thinks the world evolves around her and no one else better even think of getting even a sniffle. I lived with her for 21 year's until 9 month's ago when I was forced to relocate because she started punching me in the face and pulling my hair. I stay with her all those year's after my step-father passed away and felt she couldn't be alone. She doesn't even appreciate that I gave her 21 year's of my life and now I am disabled in a wheelchair often. I could say much more but is futile. My offer of advice for you would be to go to Police and your neighbor's, explain to all your mom's condition. I'm sure neighbor's already guess as much yet they have a tendency to not believe the younger. You must protect yourself. Get it in writing from her doctor as fro her condition. Take that and file it with the Police Department. Remain calm always (easy to say). Never raise your voice at her no matter what. My mom had gotten into the habit even while i was there of calling the Police for everything, from the TV cable going wrong because she punched the wrong key and I couldn't always reset it, so she would get mad and call them. She told all her friend's and neighbor's how terrible I was. No truth in a word she said. Finally after a 100 Police calls they found out the truth and begged me to take her to a home. I had a nervous breakdown in the end of trying to care for her myself. I fell on the stair's and broke my pelvic bone, she still wanted me to do everything for her. My doctor said i must take care of myself. Now she has 3 caregiver's and they rotate spending the night with her. She has 24/7 care. No, she can't afford this. What I'm having to do is speak with her financial planner and we'll have to send monthly payment's to her checking account to pay for caregiver's. Mom went out of her way on Christmas day to shun me and spoke kindly to the caregiver instead. That's just their narcissism. When they are ungrateful, you must help yourself to survive it all. Mom is 85 and stronger than me. Be kind to your mom, but don't let her roll over you. That's the best advice I can offer for now. God bless you in what you are doing.
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Thanks for the originator on this topic, It has brought some peace to my life knowing that there are so many other dysfuntional mothers out there. I always pitied my friends' parents were so nice and they had such happy families, and my mom made me is nice to know that my mom was not the only one, so that I can appreciate that this must be some kind of disorder and just enjoy the happy moments!
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We are all in the same boat. What has worked for me doesn't work for my sister and it may not work for anyone else. It is a life time of working on the damage of emotional and verbal abuse. I still have low self-esteem issues and my sister and other siblings have many issues as well. As we all can see from the people posting on this thread, the effects on our health and emotional well being is damaging. I hope all of you can get help either from the Area on Aging, a dr., social worker, respite. Putting your health first is a must and I know it is hard to do especially when you are living with the person you are caring for.
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Hi, I sure understand. Don't drive over a cliff, just take a deep breath and regroup. I had an awful time when I started caring for my mother, she was/is in complete denial about her issues and so are the neighbors. It took her locking herself out of the house, complaining to the neighbors that I was hitting her, not feeding her, abusing her, yelling at her, not allowing her out, and the list goes on. Well, it was a nightmare, I moved from USA to care for her and what I went through to get here, I won't go into again, just look up the thread, "my mother has placed me in peril" not word for word but you'll see it. Anyhow for me in my pajamas after a couple of hours in a police station and then homeless shelter, I got back to the house and they put her in respite care, took me two months to get her out of there because they finally diagnosed her with advanced dementia and wanted her to go in a nursing home. She realizes in an amazing way that she created the mess, and has been quite cooperative since she came home, she understands and admits now that she was seeking attention and has not been spreading anymore stories, she does not want to go into a nursing home and sees what she did. The neighbors however still despite all continue to see me as the bad guy. The elder social workers tell me to pay them no mind, they just don't understand, but if I wish they will talk to them. Unless your mother has already been diagnosed by a specialist, you'd be wise to get POA and a will done now, if she has been diagnosed well, then there are hurdles. Good luck.
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So sorry. This is so painful. We have moved my mother, who is late stage Alzheimer's, in with us. I have found that if she has an audience she will be ruthless in her cutting remarks. My mother has been an agree person most of her life but because it would not have been socially acceptable waited until people were out of earshot to make her remarks. AD has taken away her ability to hide her behavior. My mother had huge issues with her mother and I have found that just answering her by calling her by her mother's name at least squelches the comments. We aren't going to change the behavior just have to figure out how to handle it without more conflict. This simple approach has helped here. Please protect yourself by having her physician document her behavior.
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