My Mom lives with me & my very supportive partner. My mom was a really great mother, super sweet & caring until my dad passed. I have 1 sister, somehow I became the scapegoat. She is 94 & mostly mean now, she has a lot of memory problems. I get her meds, make her food, take her to all her docs & appts, keep her company & help her in every possible way. I am blamed for everything. She talks smack about me behind my back to my sister. I am by nature an optimist, but the mean talk & blame gets so bad that I am constantly upset. I get that sometimes when someone has dementia they can take it out on their caregiver, but it's out of control. I also resent my sister for not sticking up for me & for not being more involved with the care of my mom. She could easily share the responsibility, but won't.
I think it makes it worse, because I remember how sweet my mom used to be & I don't know this mean person who took over her body. If I stand up for myself & say something like “ you hurt my feelings when you talk about me like that” she will go into hysterics & say I am causing her to feel ill or will lock her door & then blame it all on me to my sister. I find myself dreading to be with her & then feel guilty. It's very sad & I'm unsure of how to handle it?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Dementia can change a person to the point where the only option is placement in Memory Care Assisted Living. My mother is also 94 with moderately advanced dementia and such a difficult personality that there is no way I would care for her at home. She has way too many mobility and incontinence issues as well so memory care is the only option for her. Even with her living there, she blames me for everything and carries on something fierce, it's awful. I can't imagine dealing with it at home with no escape.

Please look into getting paid help to come into your home, your sister to help out, or placement for mother. And stop feeling guilty! Who would welcome being treated badly, especially when they're devoting themselves to caregiving??? Being old and demented does not give your mother or mine a free pass to be mean and miserable all the time! Don't buy into that nonsense and figure out how to care for YOU and your partner before you find yourselves in despair while your mother goes about her merry way! It's vital to get a break and find time for yourselves away from the toxic waste! Give yourself permission to do that, Ok?

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (12)

Sounds like your sister has backed away for good reason. No one deserves to be emotionally abused, no matter what’s causing it. Please look out for your own health and mental well being and find an appropriate place for mom to live, it’s no one’s fault that her dementia has made her care more than one person can handle, but it’s time for professional care
Helpful Answer (12)

This is not a healthy situation for anyone to live in. The mother you once knew is gone, and will probably not ever return. She can't help it though as her brain is broken. However that doesn't mean that you have to take it. On the contrary. You have other solutions than keeping her living with you. I would start looking now for the appropriate facility to place her in, where she will receive that 24/7 care she needs, and you can get back to being the optimistic person you once were. You deserve that much.
Helpful Answer (9)

Adjust your thinking from what "was" to what "is." As you have noticed, your mom has memory issues and in her forgetting she makes up stories to "fill in the blanks". That is why you, the person who primarily cares for her, is blamed since you are the one interacting with her.

Reality. Your mom is having serious problems with dementia and anxiety. Please get her evaluated by her physician. Do not be surprised if the doctor makes referral to a neurologist (for dementia evaluation and treatment) and/or a geriatric psychiatrist (for anxiety evaluation and treatment). Expect that your mom will be placed on new medication. Expect anti-anxiety medication to make her a little sleepier.

Reality. Your tiredness is a sign of burn out. You need more people helping with caregiving. Ask family, friends, members of faith community, and paid help to pitch in so you get some time off - and away from mom. Use your time off to meet your own health care needs and your "soul" needs (doing things you enjoy with people you value).

Reality. If medication and more help do not change your situation, it may be time for mom to move into a facility for professional care. Coming to this place of understanding is not an admission of weakness on your part. It is understanding that she needs round the clock care (something 1 person can not possible do). Eventually, most people with advancing dementia reach this stage.
Helpful Answer (8)

I feel for you. It’s very hard to be a caregiver. It’s hard to have issues with siblings.

Many others on this site have either been through it or going through it.

We can’t control anyone else’s behavior. I’m sure that you know this already.

All we can do is change our reaction to it, at least at some point in time.

Of course, it’s normal to honor our feelings.

I would never expect someone not to feel their pain. That’s impossible!

All I am saying is that we can’t remain stuck and stagnate.

We are designed to grow and learn from our experiences in life, and many of our life situations are painful.

It’s easy to become frozen in our thoughts and it’s very difficult to push forward towards viable solutions and healing.

It’s a process that can take awhile to sort out.

Best wishes to you and your family.
Helpful Answer (7)

You aren't going to change your mother and you aren't going to change your sister. The only one you can change is you. you want to change? You know you don't have to be the fulltime caregiver for your mother. It seems to be affecting your health.

Have you considered a facility for your mother? If not, then why not?
Helpful Answer (7)

Bless you for doing what you've done for as long as you've done it!!! Now (as other's have said)'s time to look for an alternate living arrangement for mom. My mom is 91 now and her mind went years ago - she wanted me to quit working and move in with me - I already knew from our previous history that her idea simply would not work - under any circumstances. Her personality has changed, she dislikes everyone (that's been a constant for years)...and I could go on - but what's the point. I support her from a distance and it's best for all parties. My mother can be so judgmental, critical and unkind to everyone around her - including me - and then she wonders why people don't like her -...

Please, please, please start searching for a place for mom - get her moved out of your home or you from hers as soon as possible. It's not too late to save yourself...and certainly not too late for mom - her nastiness won't change one way or the other based on your decision. She will cope with it and so will your sister.
Helpful Answer (7)

I felt the same way when my mother with Alzheimers moved in with me. None of us are qualified to handle someone with mental illness, but yet, here we all are struggling for the sake of family. Things do change. Over the past 6 months, I have seen my mother go through several stages, some good, some bad. Once I got her meds right, her anxiety got much better and she became more bearable. She is on Antidepressants and Trazadone 3 times a day. Trazadone is used for sleep, but I give it to her during the day to keep her calm. Another thing I've learned is that drugs can work differently on dementia patients. The drugs my mother takes would put me right to sleep. But, not her! I also got outside help. I have an aid come 8 hours a day every day. Medicaid pays for it. Your mother may not be mean forever. Pray for change. I received changes and blessings that I never even imagined. Take deep breaths when she is mean. Try to redirect her attention to something else, like a tv show, food, etc. Get counseling for yourself. You need someone outside the family to talk to. My deepest sympathy for your situation.
Helpful Answer (6)

Dear Ms American Pi - - The Day The Music Died has LONG PASSED, hasn't it ???

YOU did everything you could so far, honorably, to fulfill what you felt were your loving obligations.

YOU will not get any help or agreement from your mother or your sister. It is what it is. Please enlist the help of your "very supportive partner" to find a facility where you can place your mom and GET HER OUT OF "YOUR" HOME.

Once your mom is placed, there will still be plenty for YOU to do, as her advocate and overseer, if SHE either "lets" you do it, or doesn't kick up a fuss. Memory Care places are usually quite astute about unjustified complaints by dementia patients however, once outside your home, if she goes off the deep end and continually complains bitterly, facilities are mandated reporters, and they may have to take action that could cause your mom to become a ward of the state.

So, after your mom is not in your home, if she doesn't settle in, and she still has enough of her brain wits about her, you can try to explain this to her in order to encourage her to stop, and "try" to explain the eventual consequences. It's usually a slippery downhill slope once they get into Memory Care, and you can only hope that she begins to forget her meanness and bitterness when she's not face-to-face with you and her living situation every day.

If you and your partner end up being the only supportive visitors she has, and without the daily grind of caretaker tension, she could even come around to looking forward to seeing you.

So, dont let Don's words come true:

"Oh, and there we were
All in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again"

Instead, maybe your sister will hear you through this (MY other Don favorite):

Now, I understand,
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen,
They did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now

Now, I think I know what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they're not listening still
Perhaps they never will

Helpful Answer (6)
LakeErie Apr 2021
No idea what you are talking about.
See 1 more reply
Thank you for all of your suggestions, I am going to get someone in to help,
after a bad marriage & an illness of mine, my mom let me live with her till I got on my feet ( & she cared for me when I was very ill & also my young child, while she was also taking care of her parent at home)
I guess I thought the least I could do is repay some of what she selflessly did,
i think getting someone to help inside the home ,is a good starting point ,
this experience has made me think about what will happen , if this would happen to me, my gosh it’s
not a good thought,
when I was a child, my grandparents
lived in the same house , I wonder if that also has something to do with
trying To keep my mom in the house, I ve seen my mom take care of her parents , we ( our family) all
helped out
Helpful Answer (5)
disgustedtoo Apr 2021
Hiring someone to help will take some of the drudgery off your shoulders. It may also redirect some of her anger towards the aide. Any GOOD aide will know this and be able to shrug it off. Be sure to find someone who has experience with dementia. Mom's income should be paying for this, not you!

It is admirable for you to try to follow family "traditions", such as caring for those who came before us. Sadly it isn't always the same. Most likely there aren't a lot of extended family living with you, to share the chores.

My grandmother did not have dementia, so it was easier for mom and her sisters to share her care. She also passed before she was 80, relieving them of this duty BEFORE their retirement years! If my mother had been more like that, without dementia, it's much more likely that one or more of us may have been able to care for her in our places OR she would have accepted help in her own place. I tried to keep her in her own place longer by starting aides, only 1 hr/day, to get her used to having them. She didn't need much help at the time, so it was more to get them in the door and provide a sanity check for me (I live 1.5 hrs from where she was, so daily checks were out of the question.) Sadly this didn't last 2 months. Dementia does lie to the person who has it. Their self-image is NOT consistent with current reality. She insisted that she was fine, independent and could cook. She wasn't and couldn't. After taking the car away, the inability to cook became apparent. Taking care of finances was the first thing to go, as I could see the mistakes she was making. Other than those issues, she should have been able to remain in her place longer with help. A timed/locked med dispenser was set up to ensure she didn't miss them or take too many. The aides could check and point out any missed (they aren't allowed to dispense.) She was over 90 at the time, so once dementia was at play and she refused the aides, we had to consider a facility. When bros found out the cost of MC, their eyes lit up and they both said for that kind of money, they'd take her in. Sure they would. Neither could handle it. It would have been a colossal failure, with mom paying the price! They couldn't have been much more absent, both in helping take care of things, including the condo, and visiting mom.

Having a much older parent who also has dementia which HAS impacted her personality really can't be compared to what you experienced in the past. It doesn't mean you should give up trying. Get some help in. Try to lose the anger and resentment. Try to laugh off the "antics." Ensure you get time out to do things YOU enjoy. Get away from the house when the aide is there. Build your own interests. Mom's care is important, but sometimes things can wait. Just because someone says jump, we don't have to ask how high. Meanwhile, it might be good to explore other options. She won't get any better, but rather worse, so there may come a time when it just isn't working at all. If it's too much for you and aides, consider a facility. You will have some time after hiring someone to explore places nearby. Visit often, vary times you visit, ask LOTS of questions. If/when it comes down to safety, for both you and/or mom, then it will be time to move her. My mother outweighed me, so I wouldn't be able to provide her care. Stairs here were also an issue, as are bathrooms that are much too small to handicap. It was better for me to find the best place for her, nearby, and visit, manage everything and provide supplies. She was well cared for, always clean and relatively happy there. Thankfully she never took on a negative persona. I did ask staff who body-snatched her though, when they'd tell me how cute and funny she was, along with some of the stories about her antics.

Do come back after you've had assistance for a while and let us know how things are going. Have a chat with sister, to see if she can at least be emotionally supportive. Hang in there!
See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter