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How do you stand up to verbal abuse? My mom is no where near a dementia state, I know she is unwell and unhappy about it, but to flat out lash out and abuse me when I’m trying to help? Screaming at me because I’ve forgotten to bring something? Throwing her hands up in the air because I don’t know what drawer she keeps whatever in? What do I do? I think I need to hire the caregiver for the weekends, too. This is not right.

You don't "stand up" to verbal abuse.

You remove yourself from it.

Your profile doesn't mention dementia; has a thorough workup been done?

If mom is cognitively intact, then she can learn that if she screams, you go away and don't help.

If mom has dementia, you removed yourself from the abuse--win/win.

Don't stand around and get screamed at!
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Hotflash47 Feb 19, 2019
She has had a very thorough workup and there are no signs of dementia. I'm getting to a point where it's embarassing. She ordered me around to and fro in front of the daytime caregiver. "Bring me this, bring me that, put my shoes on, take this away." I was juggling her wheelchair putting her in the car and she says, "Hand me my water bottle." I can't deal!!
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She treats you poorly because she gets away with it.

Why should she treat you kindly when being a snit gets her everything she wants and a pizzing post in the process?

It is okay to tell anyone that their treatment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. If you can't treat me nice then I will not be around, period. Oh, I'm sorry you need help, then behave like a civilized human being and treat me like one. Every time she gets ugly, you get gone. I have canceled my dads doctor visits because of the ugly behavior. It didn't take long for him to realize that treating me like a scratching post got really bad results. Not feeling well is an excuse, not a reason.
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The verbal short temper and outright abuse is one of the most stressful and painful impacts of our seniors declining health. Knowing the impact pain and sleep deprivation brings to my own temperament, I can let a lot of the throwing up of hands and tone of voice stuff go on by. When the language becomes clearly abusive and/or the cumulative total of attitude gets to me, I disengage. Since my father with vascular dementia is now in MC, I can disengage right out the door. Before MC placement, I could only disengage to another room in his house or to one of the porches.

Does she verbally abuse the hired in home care givers too? Or is she pleasant with them and vents on you and other family exclusively? Even with dementia, if the person is still capable of selectively choosing their target, then some level of control is still working. The dementia patient is not able to consistently exercise control, but as long as the behavior includes selective targeting he/she can reduce the level with family too.

I suggest getting an old fashioned sand glass timer (maybe one for 10-30 minutes) and after explaining to mom that she's in "time-out" whenever she's verbally abusive just turn the timer over and leave the room. Place the timer where she can easily see it but cannot get to it.

Since your mother doesn't have dementia, I would also have a conversation with her along the lines of "people who are nicer get better treatment from their care givers" and "if you are nasty enough, no care giver will want to care for you here in your home; you need care givers so when we cannot hire anyone anymore you will need AL". This is reality and if she is cognitively intact this is a reasonable conversation because it is so true.

Don't let yourself be embarrassed by your mother's behavior. She's not a child you are/were responsible for teaching or enforcing proper behavior.
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Hotflash47 Feb 21, 2019
Thank you for this!
Mom is extremely nice and caring to the outside caregiver that comes during the day. She asks politely and says please and thank you. But as soon as I get there, it's not asking it's "Get me this, get me that, why can't you find this." She is safe enough to leave overnight but when I got there early this morning she accused me of putting her medication that she needed "all night long and I couldn't get it!" in another room, when I proceeded to show her that it was in a little box she packed up for herself RIGHT THERE ON HER BED. She was extremely embarassed when I showed her it was 2 inches away.

I promise you she does not have dementia. This was a clear case of, "you weren't here to wait on me all night so it must have been somewhere else." I told her about some other early morning behavior last night and she denied it, but didn't totally disbelieve it...

She is medicare eligible for a SNF until this Saturday. Is it too late to get the order and put her in one? She has said it wouldn't be out of the question since the daytime caregiver is racking up hundreds of dollars a week.

Ugh.
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I think people with heart conditions just never feel good. You may not think she has Dementia but if she is not getting enough oxygen to her brain, it will cause some problems.

My Mom was told once, they lash out at the ones they love. We tend to forgive them. I really hate this word, but this really is "unacceptable". (I call it the teacher word)

I agree with Barb, you walk away but I also think you have a right to say "Mom, you really don't need to talk to me like this. I am sorry you don't feel well. I am sorry you have lost your independence. But this is not my fault and I don't need to be treated like a child. If you would prefer an aide on the weekend then I can arrange it. I don't mind doing for you but I refuse to have you scream at me when I am doing my best" Then walk away and let her think about what you have said. After that, everytime she gets abusive, walk out of the room.

Some of it may be the roles are now reversed and she doesn't like she now has to be cared for. Some love the attention, others hate that they have lost their independence.
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If this isn't new behavior or newly worse and you know nothing biological is going on (dementia, UTI, depression) and fear isn't driving it (again a change) then my gut is you need to take care of yourself and not let yourself get more pigeonholed into being her whipping board or teaching her it's ok to treat all caregivers this way because that will come back to bite both of you. It might be worth taking her to a geriatric psyc or specialist of some sort though to make sure nothing physical or chemical is contributing if you aren't positive. You obviously care and want to make sure she has the necessities for safety and health, it's important to you, but we do the extras out of love and because we get some pleasure out of doing them for this LO. For instance my mom took care of me in more ways and times throughout my life than I can count so it gives me a kind of pleasure to do that for her, do extra little things with or without being asked, it's not always convenient and I don't always agree with her desire but I am happy to do it anyway. Lol, my FIL was a complainer, he just lived to complain but he still appreciated my effort or whatever so while I dreaded hearing about his current complaints I didn't dread going to see him. Sounds like your mom is leaning to the dread to even see her realm and that isn't good for anyone.

When you find yourself not getting anything positive even if it's just the self satisfaction of knowing you are taking care of her it's probably something she doesn't really need you to do for her and you probably shouldn't. If what she wants from that drawer isn't a medication she needs and she is berating you for looking in the wrong place so all you want is to get put of there or worse yell back at her, I would suggest stopping and just telling her that since you can't do it right you shouldn't be doing it at all. If she is going to treat you that way she should get someone else to do that chore or favor for her. Keep doing this with things you don't feel important to keeping her healthy and safe, so the minimum unless her treatment and behavior change in which case you will want to do things that make her happy not just sustain her safety and health. Am I explaining that well enough? This way you are caring for her but you aren't trying to please her, that takes some of her power to make you fell lacking away and if she decides to start treating you better you will probably want to be around more and do little things that make her happy more but be careful about getting to that place where you are simply trying to please this person who doesn't really want to be pleased.

Absolutely get some help coming in if you are able and go ahead and have them more than just weekends if need be too. In fact you are taking care of her needs by making arrangements for someone else to be there doing the physical interaction and if you not being around as much to be that physical presence helps buffer some of you feeling used and mistreated all the better, you will be accomplishing the best situation for both of you, she is cared for and you aren't as stressed. Take some of that emotional control back by removing yourself from the fire if that's what it takes. I would fully support letting her know what is wrong and what you are doing for yourself, for her and for your relationship but don't fight with her don't do it at an emotional time and don't feed her need to control you with negativity whether or not she is aware of it.
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Hotflash47 Feb 21, 2019
Your response is exactly what I needed to hear.
She is in her room eating (I cooked dinner for her) and I am sitting at the dining room table two rooms away.

I’m waiting any minute for, “Geez you’re not very talkative,” or some other quote she’s thrown my way over the years because I’m not sitting next to her, talking to or entertaining her. I am in a completely different room. She is eating. She has what she needs I don’t need to do any more.

The anxiety attack I’m having is overwhelming but I’m sticking to it. I have ALWAYS felt responsible for her happiness and put mine on the back burner for all of my 47 years on this planet. I’ll get through this anxiety attack. I always do. Today was an especially bad day with her accusation this morning. I kind of just don’t want to talk to her right now. I shouldn’t be so emotionally stuck, and this emotional heaviness is just draining me dry, but she said these mean things to me while I was changing and cleaning her commode bucket. Of all the times to be cruel.

Lord knows I didn’t expect her to grovel on blended knee thanking me for this, but I also didn’t expect a, “What the &#*! do you want me to do” answer to any simple question I’ve asked. And never mind asking her if she’d like to shower today, she thinks I’m insulting her hygeine and thinks she must smell bad.
So, let the doctor on Monday tell her that.

I’m so over it.
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Appeals for better conduct don't work for me. The abuse keeps on coming. The only thing that works are consequences, i.e. depriving my abuser of my presence: I walk out. Ciao. Adios. Farewell.

I don't care if they're having a bad day, a headache, or heartburn. No excuses. I won't be the verbal pincushion. They've seen the last of me for awhile.

I understand a disabled individual cannot be abandoned for abusive behavior. But I'm thinking there's probably some consequence you can impose. Time to get creative! Pretend you're temporarily deaf for nonessentials like "Get me the #%*@ remote!" Or "Bring me a GD Twinkie, you $%@*!" Shut the door and let them curse. You may return to an improved attitude. Maybe.

I was grabbed once and pinched really hard. This was accompanied by some language. I gently took her wrist and removed it, saying "That's very rude," and left the room for a long time. She never repeated the behavior.
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JoAnn29 Feb 19, 2019
When I read your last paragraph I thought, I would have pinched her back and ask "how do u like it". They get like small children. And thats what I would have done to a small child.
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There are all good advice in this thread...shes your mom but that doesn’t give her the right to abuse you...set your boundaries and stick to them! Either she figures it out or you’re not around to be her whipping post.....her choice.....and that doesn’t mean you dont love her and want her safe....you have to take care of yourself!! Love and blessings to you
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Do you live with her? Can't you simply disengage?
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Hotflash47 Feb 19, 2019
I dont live with her, and i have a daytime caregiver for her. But she cannot walk unassisted, and she needs to be brought dinner, and water, and this, and that before I go for the night. She is fine and safe overnight, there are neighbors and one other relative nearby ready to help. I can’t leave her completely but when I’m there I need to know what to say and stop the behavior. When she is well, believe me, there will be little relationship left.
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Great start hotflash, don't let her treat you crummy anymore. It is just as easy to be grateful as ungrateful she needs to learn by consequences.

I am sorry that you have been trained to accept responsibility for her happiness, it is a loosing position to be in. Only we can make ourselves happy, no one else can and she was so very wrong to do that to you. I think it is great that you see this and are actively pursuing a change.

We are all rooting for you to get out of the terrible trap she has held you in for 47 years. Here's to happier days for you!
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How are things going, HotFlash?
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Hotflash47 Feb 21, 2019
I wish I could say well, but it isn't. I'm going to have to tell her that her outburst today was the last outburst and she needs to invest in 24 hour care. I can't do this.
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