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I live and care for my 80 year old Mother with dementia. She was showing first red flags around 74. She has been living with me now for coming up on 4 years. She was an RN and worked in elderly facilities throughout her nursing career which is why I desperately do not want to put her back in one. She functions fine by herself meaning she can bath, dress, make her own simple meals, loves her garden so she is not a total invalid that needs constant supervision. I have noticed since she has been with me a fairly regular new behavior I do not recall her having prior to her dementia. She is passive aggressive and sometimes it makes me want to lose it and sometimes I do! Example: (Mom) I am going to need to go to the store soon, not right now, but soon I will need to get a few things." (Me) " When do you want to go?" (Mom) "Oh it's not important, maybe in a few days." (Me) "OK, how about we go Thursday after you get your hair done?" (Mom) That's fine." Next day comes. Same conversation over and over until I just drop everything and take her. Anything to stop hearing about it every d*mn day until she gets her way. This happens with more than just shopping, it's everything, nothing is important but she won't quit bringing it up until she gets her way. It makes me want to scream at times. Every year I take a day and put up all her Christmas decorations and right after New Year, she takes it all down and stacks it neatly in a pile and when I tell her, I am not ready to put it all away yet, (I need my husbands help) she say's "Oh, I don't care if the pile sits there." It makes me grit my teeth because it IS passive aggressive behavior and I am a very straight forward person. I just do not remember being like this prior to her dementia, anyone else experienced this traite with dementia? How do I keep myself from getting so irritated?

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Well of course I deal with this! I was just talking with my husband about how passive aggressive mom is. She "gets" me enough that I just don't want to talk to her and give her an opening. She plays the oh I am so helpless so that we do everything for except get her dressed. I just found out she snuck cash to my brother via my holiday company. Odd she can't figure out the simplistic of things but can plot to give him money after she promised me he wouldn't. Yep I'm mad he gets money and I do not.Call me jealous, dealing with sibling rivalry ... just don't care. She has money because she isn't paying for a nursing home.
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Rainey, my mother does everything you talked about. She won't be around people without me. Even if my brother is coming over to visit I have to be there. Sometimes I have to sneak out after he gets here to get things done. She also will keep on about things until I do them. My mother is not as nice as yours, though. Mine is outright bossy. I don't do things right away anymore, though I have to admit that her nagging makes me do them faster than I normally would.

My mother sees me now like her arm or her leg. From what you said, your mother sees you the same way. Wouldn't it be nice if they realized that they could still do things on their own, like visit with other people? And wouldn't it be nice if they realized that they actually didn't need the box of rice until the next planned shopping trip? Mine always wants what she wants right now, like it's a national emergency and the world will stop turning if I don't go get it. I know it is a major control issue, but it can wear a caregiver out after a while.
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Um. I went eyeball to eyeball with my mother once over her infuriating obsession with always having her car fully fuelled. The fuel gauge has six markers, and if it ever went to three or below she would panic about running out of fuel. For goodness' sake, there's even an indicator on the dash telling you how many miles' worth you've got - around about two hundred in that case, roughly.

It didn't happen to suit me to stop at a filling station, I wanted to get straight home, and there were ten miles to go and absolutely no need to refuel. She became more and more anxious and upset, and I became sterner and more logical, until Daughter 2 in the back snapped "mother could we just get the f**king petrol please."

We did. It wasn't quicker but it was less upsetting and stressful, I had to agree.

What I've come to think since, and obviously this is with the benefit of masses of hindsight, is that elders' - especially demented elders' - naggy obsessions have much do with their dwindling world view, plus or minus existing personality traits. If you had a stone in your shoe you'd be a lot less interested in international carbon treaties than you would in getting the dam' stone out; the difference being that once you'd done that you'd go straight back to the bigger picture. But our elders can't cope with big picture stuff any more, it's *all* about their immediate context.
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I'm sorry you are having this trouble, but I do thank you for sharing. I had thought that my mother's behavior was simply due to her f'd up brain, but she's pretty much always been this way, so what did I expect? Some of it, yes, is due to her disease process. But this pouting and downright manipulative behavior is beyond maddening! It's like having a teenage drama queen in the house again, only this time there's no growing out of it! Arghhhh!

The latest is that any time she doesn't get what she wants or has to do something she doesn't want to do (ie, go to the doctor, and today it was I had a handyman coming to the house to give an estimate for doing some work), she gets a "sick stomach" and has to lay down. And the moans and groans and dramatic (pause for effect) sighs.

This morning she decided she had to get up at 5:30am and when I wasn't bright and chipper she got her nose out of joint and proceeded to sniff her nose and go back to bed. (at 7am, after I was already awake ...grrrrr....) When she got back up at 7:30am I asked her if she wanted breakfast and she sneers and says "fine"... she sure showed me!

I decided to just ignore the behavior all day and that just made her more incensed and resulted in bigger loader moans and sighs and even a stint out in the back hard fake bawling so all the neighbors could hear. She proceeded to sigh and moan all day and complain about her "sick stomach". Now, mind you the "sick stomach" is fine when it's time to eat or go out or whatever, but around the house that's my punishment for not jumping up and down with glee at 5:30 in the freaking morning! And there's no talking to her, no setting limits or boundaries because she moans and cries if you say anything other than happy, happy joy joy. So she slept all day off and on and she'll go to bed at 8pm and then be up at 5am again.

And the best/worst part? She's only been living with me for not quite 2 weeks!!!!! OMG!!! I'm in h*ll. And like you Rainey, I stupidly signed up for this! I need to have MY head examined!

Now thanks for letting me rant and get that out of my system. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. The pattern so far has been a good day and a bad day and a good day and a bad day, so please let tomorrow be a good day! :-)
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Jessiebelle & Patti,
You both are my saving grace because I don't feel so alone or that I am going nuts with these issues. I wish I could turn off my emotions sometimes and not let this behavior get to me but as you both know and understand, there is past history that makes it hard to be "Little Miss Sunshine" when it just feels like you are being passively manipulated into their every whim. Jessie, the world will cease to turn if she runs out of Haagen Daz gelato! She say's she has a little EVERY DAY! Who has to have ice cream everyday? Patti, I absolutely get the "helpless thing" but when she is determined, I have seen her pull off things I was just as surprised about. I have a brother who is a manipulative greedy jerk so I took away her checkbook and CC's. Now he get zilch because he never offered to help her in anyway, just wants to see what he can get out of her. Because I have full POA, I can do this. I also decided to give the group thing a try in my area just to see if it could help. After having a minor meltdown the other day, I felt I had nothing to lose. They have a meeting specifically for adult children caring for their parent/s with dementia. I'll let you know how it goes. I need better coping skills to keep my sanity in check and maybe I can gleen some insight into coping with these things that trigger my irritation. I am tired of feeling guilty everytime I lose my cool. Thank you both!
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Kali & Kimber,
Thanks for your stories about going through identical behavioral problems with Mom. I do everything for her because I have to, her dementia has moved on to a new phase since I wrote this post. Now her memory has become significantly and consistently shorter. I get upset too at times because I have more things I am dealing with in life besides her, and they aren't all rosey. Sometimes it just begins to feel like "What in the world was I thinking agreeing to this?" Life stinks now. I get depressed, filled with anxiety when pressures start to mount and the hits just keep coming. Where is my break? Nowhere in sight. She refuses any outside help. Kali, my oldest brother ODed, that really sent Mom into a tailspin mentally, never the same woman since. I won't deny sometimes I am envious hoping he is at peace, wishing I could just get a taste of that word. Mom still keeps saying at least once a day, I wish I could help you, I try not to bother you, I keep trying to explain to her I don't think your bothering me unless you constantly nag me to go to the store or whatever else she decides to fixate on. Yes, I feel bad when I lose it and tell her these things are not a matter of emergency. Being out of Hagen Daaz does not constitute an emergency to me. Being out of Altoids, dry cereal, whatever the new thing De Jour will be. Meantime, I am just trying to get a moments peace to get myself calmed down and clear my head from the laundry list of things I need to do. I don't have the will or energy because I am wiped out. I get 10 things done, then another 15 get added on. Then the salt in the wound, my brothers accuse me of having ulterior motives to Mom's money. You gotta be kidding! I had to quit my career, have no health insurance, I can't get a break because husband makes too much money so they think he should be paying the fortune that it would cost for me to be insured. So, I just pay as I go. My life and freedom is gone, what on earth would possess them I purposely signed up for this?
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It goes hand in hand with "I don't want to be a burden", while they reject every suggestion to bring in outside help. I suppose that she really doesn't want to bother you, but her dementia causes her to obsess. Set your boundaries, it isn't good for either of you if she makes you her whole world.
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Ohhhhh if only I had a dime for everytime I hear and have heard that phrase, "I don't want to be a burden." She actually started that one waaaay before she started getting dementia. I remember rolling my eyes everytime she would go down that road. I always chalked it up to the typical "Irish Catholic Guilt" I grew up with. Now she say's things like, " I try not to bother you......you can just ignore me....etc. etc. My husband is convinced she is knowingly manipulating me but I just don't want to believe that she would do that to me. It would mean she would knowingly be making me miserable.
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This sounds exactly like my household! My 83 year-old mother Lives with me and it sounds like she and your mother were made out of the same mold! I'm having a really hard time coping with all the passive aggressive behavior as well. She will ask me to do something and when I am ready to do it she says oh no I don't want to be a bother...it can wait.... and then if I don't do it I pay for it! It seems like a lose lose for me. I'm finding myself wanting to isolate away from her. She will say something passive aggressive and just retreat to her room as well. It hurts so much because my mom and I used to be so close . Don't even get me started about that "I don't want to be a burden thing!" I hear that all the time too. I'm starting to find myself becoming very depressed about the situation and having a hard time coping. I don't want her to have to go to a nursing home, I want to be able to take care of her. But some days it does sound kind of good. She also says "I'm just living too long that's all." The other day she informed me that she wanted to move to Oregon, when I asked her why? She replied because Oregon has an assisted suicide law! This was very hurtful to me because my brother committed suicide, and my daughter attempted suicide last year! It is definitely a hot button for me. She said the world is becoming like Sodom and Gamora and she hates the way our country is going down. She watches the news all the time and becomes very upset by it. My emotions are so raw, I don't want to go off on her but sometimes I do too. I always feel sad and guilty when I do, and she's give me the silent treatment for a while, or will act like nothing ever happened. I'm glad I'm not the only one going through this… she has gone to church by herself a couple of times and seems to like it. Also One of my piano students brings her grandmother over during lessons, so they can chat. The downside of that was when my 11-year-old piano student told me that my mom told her grandmother how much I hurt her feelings all the time . It made me want to put a stop to the whole thing. But I guess we all need to vent to someone? I'm not really sure how to handle the situation? Because I don't like her talking negatively about me especially to a student's grandmother. I haven't said haven't said anything to her about it.
I'm really not sure how to handle it, any suggestions? My mom has not officially been diagnosed with dementia. I'm not sure how to go about getting help from a medical professional? It is comforting to know there is someone out there who is going through exactly what I am too. I hope this is helpful? I would love to hear any feedback from you guys. Thank you Kali
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Kimber and Rainey. Thank you both so much. Definitely going to say I don't mind going to store I do mind the nagging. And ya we don't need a dozen cookies every day. nomad se. 530 a m is way too early. Living this life we live takes the joy of living out of ours. Sounds harsh but true. Some one earlier posted about feeling like a slave and I know I do. Plus I have a 21 yr old daughter who is starting to show some signs of mild depression because she hates being here. Well at least she has her own apartment and only comes here on the weekends.
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