I have known for at least two years that there was "something wrong with mom". I saw so many signs that were just not evident to anyone else. It seemed like she was remembering details of the past, but could not retain any new information. Had a terrible time with details and organizational skills. It took me a long time to convince my brothers who both live out state (no other family) that there was any issue because in social situations and public arenas she seemed fine. That is still the case now. The difference is that people dont know the level of intervention and management it takes to sustain her living "indepenently" in the huge 5 bedroom home we grew up in. People dont know that I pay all the bills, do most of the grocery shopping, manage all her medical issues, meds etc. and do all of it with a great deal of resentment from her. From her perspective and the outside world it all looks great!! No one knows what it took to get her out. They dont know that she bareley leaves one room in her house and has to be reminded to shower. She stays in her pJs all day. I know she is severely depressed and have tried everything under the sun to help her improve her outlook and mood. Senior groups, assisted living, moving in with me... you name it. She refuses stomping her feet that she will die in her home.
My children are in college, and I am a teacher so my schedule allows me to visit her every afternoon. Somedays I can barely stand it. My whole body becomes tense and my anxiety level goes through the roof. No matter what I do to try to help her or improve the situation , there is no change. I feel so incredibly hopeless.I hired an aide to visit with her 3 hour per day to give her social stimulation and be sure she takes her medications. The anger, guilt and resentment I feel is consuming me.
I have taken her to every type of doctor under the sun. Next week we will see her geriatric doctor who will shre the results of the neuropsych report. Her diagnosis is early stage Alziemers and Clinical Depression. The plan is to increase her antidepression meds and add Namdea??? (sp) for the ALZ D. I am so angry and afraid. Her refusal to cooperate is maddening. Example... wear the safety alert pendent, exercise, even if its walking around the house, eat a well balanced diet. (Anything healthy I buy for her eventually rots because she will not eat it)
She seems me at the demon. The controllong B*&ch who wants to order her around.Our relationship has deteriorated and it is hard to spend even an hour together. I have gone to therapy. I know that I am the only one who can change... but I am angry that she will not participate in ANY small way to help herself. As I said the anger at her for that consmues me.......

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Thanks so much for the responses. I will read them often because they both have such good advice in them. eseleedy, I am going to think of a project! I like the idea of doing something that I can actually see some results from. I know that is part of the problem for me. I keep trying and trying and no results. My new approach is to try only new ideas... the old stuff has just made me angrier. I am also limiting my exposure... calling on the phone today, forgoing the visit as it just makes both of us miserable. Wishing both of you all the best. Thank you so much for the support and advice. Candy
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Candy, I think Jessie has seen my posts about my dad around here a few times, but I'll share again for you.

Dad has advanced vascular dementia, which just means that his brain isn't getting enough blood to sustain it, and there's pretty massive cell death. Some of this was caused by strokes and cardiac events. However, honestly speaking, it's a direct result of his own actions. His brother died of a heart attack in the early eighties. In the following years, several doctors told dad he had to eat right, exercise, and generally start treating his body better. His reply was always the same: "You gotta die of something." In other words, he chose this, not just for himself, but for mom and I. Now he's essentially a newborn with slightly better verbal skills. We have to keep him from hurting himself, damaging the house and vehicles, clean up after him when he makes a mess, or soils himself. That's what he chose for mom and I. Y'know what? That makes him a selfish, self-centered asshole.

The reason I shared that is to let you know that you're not alone in being angry at something you can't change. Virtually everyone on this site has had anger issues with the person they're taking care of. Some issues run deeper than others. Please feel free to come back and find one of the "venting" threads to let it out. No one here will judge you. Trust me.

Now...what to do that will make you feel better? People here will recommend finding some "you time", which is valid. It helps to get away and do something that you like. Read a book, see a movie, play video games where you shoot zombies in the face (if you're me), whatever. That's fine, and it's definitely not a bad suggestion. I have another that I haven't seen here yet. Start a project. Build a model airplane, start a garden, learn Klingon, whatever. Make it realistic. Don't say "I'm gonna write the great american novel!". I'm not saying you can't, but try to find something you can do within a week or two, or at least see results in that timeframe. Make sure it's something separate from your mother. Do it for yourself, and not other people. By that, I mean don't do it for external validation, like painting a picture you're proud of, only to feel ten times worse when someone tells you it looks like shit. You're not starting a project to make other people feel better. You can't change your mother, but finishing a project will show you that you can accomplish something, and you'll feel better. As far as the tensing up and getting angry before you even set eyes on her...don't get out of the car until you calm down. Do a quick search online for meditation and breathing exercises. Get centered before you walk in the door. You're getting angry over something that hasn't happened.

That's all I've got. Hope it helps.
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I know that anger feeling well. I have trouble dealing with it a lot of times, and end up being a terrible grouch. It used to be so bad that it would keep me awake at night. The only thing I found that helped was to look at my anger objectively. Most of the time I would find that my parents had done something that was maddening, but not bad enough to cause as much anger in me as it did. Then I was left to figure out why I had gotten so mad.

Chances are that at the moment your mother hasn't really accepted that anything is wrong with her. Maybe she has gone through many losses in recent years and doesn't want any further losses (e.g., home, independence). If this is the case, it might be good to let her control what she can. There will probably come a point when she is willing to let you have more control of her life. Just have to take it a step at a time. I hope that others will have some experiences to share.
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