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My Mom has recently had a bout of what they call "delirium" to the point where she swears my father [who died 18 years ago] was leaving messages for her on the home answering machine. Our family [her children] are scared to death of her behaviour, anger and outright rage. She beat her hospital bed with her cane and laughed that the nurse was 'scared'. She told the health care professionals that we, her children, have done 'nothing' for her. From one day to the next the doctor's declared her 'fine' and that she was of sound mind and there was nothing more to do in the hospital, so they shipped her home. What she neglected to say is that we are the one's taking her shopping, banking, doctor's appointments, helping around the house in addition to having home care come in and assist. [we all work full-time in addition to caring for our own families]. The psychiatrist, internal specialist, gerontologist as well as the social worker and transition nurse told us all: "Sometimes you have to let them live "at risk"'. We have done everything in our power. We made sure she has help at home to assist with meals, bathing and medication. She has Lifeline, a service to take her to appointments or shopping, which she refuses and demands that we take her. She's a smoker [obsessively], and loves her sodium bombs [aka all the foods not good for you!] We have had her medication blister-packed [last time in the hospital she was there because of self medicating on drugs and supplements recommended to her by an acquaintance that she 'respects' -- though he has never talked to the family or bothered to ask us about her health conditions] This is the same man who called us to lecture us about not caring about our mother [her words to him, not ours!]. We are at the point where we want to DIVORCE our mother. She's been hurtful, lies and demands us to respond to her needs that she deems are urgent [aka like running out of cigarettes at 11 pm and wants us to go out and fetch her some!] - she calls and tells us it's an emergency and we rush over there to be shown something that she purchased on her recent trip to Walmart with her friend. I can count on ONE hand how many times she has helped me with my children [who are adults now with children of their own]. Why do I feel such horrendous guilt over how she feels about us when we have responded to every urgent call? How do we divorce Mom?

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Could she have a UTI? My mother hallucinates and goes WAY off the tracks when she has one.
She moved in with us in December. We've finally started the process of preparing for either additional in-home help or a facility. I agree about sticking to boundaries and that's hard. I STILL feel like a little kid when my 109-pound, 81-year-old mother with dementia gives me that "look" when she feels like I'm "behaving badly" (making her take meds, clean herself, not giving Tums to the toddler, not letting her throw our stuff away, etc. lol.).
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All are good answers. If you can do it shut down the phone at night. During the day let let messages go to voice mail and only respond to what you want. Give her some lame excuse. You can always turn it back on for your own personal emergencies. If you see her and she wants some crazy thing, turn around an leave. Try not to feel guilty.
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You don't have to participate in your mom's drama. Her late night phone calls and such. Don't answer the phone. If it's an emergency your mom can call 911.

Letting our loved ones live at risk is sometimes all we can do. Will your mom's behavior and drama get her into a sticky situation? Probably. But trying to prevent such a situation is a never ending job. It is NEVER ENDING. It's exhausting. It's frustrating. It's anxiety provoking. You don't have to live that way, really you don't.

You've put all kinds of precautions in place to keep your mom safe. You've done your duty. Time to set some boundaries. How many times a day does your mom call you? What do those calls consist of? More drama? You don't have to take every call. What would you be comfortable with? Taking 1 call a day? 1 call every other day? Set your boundaries and inform your mom what you will and will not do going forward.

Then comes the most difficult part: sticking to your boundaries. You must stick to them or they're not really boundaries and your mom will get the message that your needs are not to be respected. So if you tell your mom that you will only speak to her once a day but she calls repeatedly just don't answer the phone. Easier said than done, I know, but putting boundaries in place is challenging in the beginning. A boundary is only as good as the will of the person creating it.
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Endorsing all that 97yo said; just say no.

Shopping once a week, have her make a list before.

If you take her to doctors, hand YOUR list of your concerns to the receptionist for the doctor to read; stand behind her and shake your head no when she says she's fine.

Write down a bulletpointed list of what you've done for her since the last appointment, if that makes you feel better.
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She has her bluff in on you. Just like she scared the nurse, she is doing the same to you. She thinks she is in charge and it appears she is.
If she is of sound mind then she should be able to figure out how to go shopping etc. As you said, you have provided her a service, let her use it. You have to set boundaries. You can't blame her for your not doing that. If she says its an emergency, tell her to call 911. She better learn how if she's going to keep smoking. She's not going to stop acting out until you show her it doesn't work. I would give my siblings my plan to not be manipulated so that they won't think you've abandoned them. If they want to join in, they can. Otherwise they will have to do her bidding on their own. You have to say no and really mean it. Be reasonable. Have her make a list and once a week, pick up what she needs but just ignore the late calls. She'll complain to her friends. That's ok. If they want to listen to it, better them than you. And yes, we are all at risk. Just from different things at different times. None of us get out alive. You are all probably a little addicted to the drama so take that into consideration too. You'll have to train yourself before you can do a very effective job with her. Good luck.
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