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My mother tells people,"the nicest lady is taking care of me".She then asks them to tell her my name,because she's forgotten it. My 88 yr.old mother has progressively forgotten everything including what may have happened 2 minutes ago.I have tried to help her live life in the moment.Decorating for Christmas,sending out Christmas cards.Going to store.She's usually content,happy.but lately....she has outbursts of anger out of the blue.I am not sure how to handle it.Example: she came into the kitchen and screamed,you hate me...and cups and plates went flying past my head.This sweet little lady turned into rage,anger.I told her to go sit down on the couch .5 minutes later,she sat down with no recollection of why I might be crying,finally exhausted from it all,overwhelmed by all the constant care more demanding then a new born infant. Over two weeks,this behavior has resurfaced out of the blue,no reason or explaination for it.What should I do now?Am I kidding myself that I can take care of my beautiful little mother..I don't know how.....to let go.It's my mother.How do you ever...............let go?

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Dear Brookeb,
You are at a crossroads with caregiving for your mother, because it sounds like the situation has gotten out of control and her condition has changed. We try so hard to do what we believe is the right thing for our loved ones, and in so doing, we lose ourselves in the process. You can't lose yourself in order to save your mother. If your mother's cognitive function was optimal she would not want you feeling this way nor would she want to be the one inflicting the pain and causing the chaos. Are you trained and capable of dealing with more of her behavior? If not, there are people who are and it might be time to research your options. Have you considered getting some outside help with the decision making process? It's complicated and sometimes having an outsider who sees things through a different lens can be really helpful. You should be honored for all that you are still doing, but if she is not able to appreciate all of it, you're setting yourself up for more disappointment. Maybe it's okay to let go of some of that and let her be. I don't know what the doctor will find, but if it's not a UTI...then what? Can you make a decision that you matter? That your life matters and that you might not be able to fix this? If you want to continue this conversation, I'm happy to. Good luck.
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Does she have a doctor? If so, that would be my first call in the morning. This could be something as simple as a urinary tract infection.
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I think you know it's time to get help when you start thinking it's gotten way too big for you to handle. Darling, there is no "shame" in this! You're not abandoning your lovely mother, just asking for help in caring for her - and there are lots of options with that. So: what would help? Start thinking in practical terms about what you need, then look to AC or to your local services for advice about where to find it. Good luck xxx

PS And yes cross your fingers and check for a u.t.i. too! But it still sounds like the time has come...
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I'm thinking it might be a UTI. OR have any medications changed? Get her an Ativan.....and take one yourself. I would and I have.
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