My mom is in denial about dementia. We took her to a geriatric specialist who gave her the memory test and it upset her. I'm following the advice of Alzeihmers.org and I don't push the subject. I just encourage her to share with me any memory problems she's having so that I can help her with it. I explain that it can be a UTI, ear infection etc, and that if she tells me, we can treat it and most likely she will see an improvement.
The personality changes are very hard for me, though. She struggles with anxiety and depression. She's on meds for both. When she's having a bad day, she takes it out on me and ridicules me. I have noticed that when she talks to certain friends on the phone, her irritation and belittling of me is worse. Her friends ask inappropriate questions about her life and give her financial and medical advice that is completely ill-informed. These friends have not been courteous or kind to me. My mom moved in with me for several years now. The plan has been to move into assisted living, but with the pandemic, that has been put on hold.
There was a seemingly Divine intervention in that my mom accidentally dropped and broke her cellphone. I've not replaced it yet because 1) I limit my trips out of the house in order to remain as safe from the coronavirus as possible. 2) I've noticed that not talking to these friends, my mom is much more pleasant with me. We spend more time together talking, writing songs, gardening, crafting, etc. I FEEL SO MUCH MORE PEACE without her having access to her friends via her cellphone 24/7.
For my own self care, I don't see a reason why my mom needs to talk to these friends. There are a couple that are very supportive and encouraging. But there are others who vent their anxiety about the pandemic, politics, and who are busy bodies. One friend needed a reference for a job and asked my mom to call that person for them. My mom doesnt have the judgment or ability to figure this out and so it ended up on my plate. I texted them and told them they needed to figure this out on their own. This is just one of more than dozens of examples of how her friends create more work for me because they ask her to do things. Or they give unsolicited advice about money, benefits, etc. and then my mom asks me 100 questions again about her social security, how much money she has, blah blah blah. And I'm caught in a predicament of spending what little self-care time I have to answer, yet again, all her questions about her money and bills. We've been through this many times, she's just unable to remember. And then she get's anxious or depressed about money.
She lives with me, her little bit of social security covers some of her groceries and supplies she needs. The rest, I cover. When she is able to go into care, more than 75% of it will be paid by me.
I'm tired of her friends. They weren't there for her when she was living in her home. Several years ago, I got a phone call from her and she said she had no groceries. I live 2500 miles away. I couldn't get any help for her. The "friend" that she paid to do errands had left the state for 3 weeks without me knowing. So I called home health agencies to try to get help immediately, and I got a plane ticket for the very next day. I have a lot of resentment about these so called "friends" who weren't there for her when she needed help.
Now she lives with me and it's a lot of work. I'm just now starting to be able to focus on basic self-care such as eating more healthily and cutting down sugar. Her friends are WAY TOO MUCH for me. And they are causing me more problems. They aren't helping at all. They seem to be nosy busybodies who just want to get my mom upset.
Any advice or support is greatly appreciated.