Mom is 91 years old, early dementia, macular degeneration, hearing aids but decreased level of comprehension. I am with her all weekends. And have limited help during the week. My beloved little dog just died this week, unexpectedly, in my arms. My dad passed 2and a half years ago, I spent the month he was hospitalized with him most nights and days. I have been staying with my mother ever since, although I have a house nearby. She can't be left alone, as the last time I did that, she got up, fell, and broke her hip (1/2013), and does not seem to remember her limits. Mom keeps telling me I should bury and not cremate my dog, she loved her too much. She also keeps bringing up my dad's death, and circumstances (cancer), and just won't stop. I am grieving too. I can barely stand this any more. What can I do to cope? How can I get her to stop telling me I should have my little one buried, not cremated? I made the arrangements after arriving at the veterinarian, where she was DOA. I hurt, and mom just makes it worse. Please help.......

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Ppstegman's advice is terrific as usual. You and your mom are both grieving, but your mom may forget many details. It's best, if you can, to try to just pass over her comments and change the subject. If you can possibly find the time, it may help you to have some grief counseling.

Losing your beloved dog is terribly hard. If I may generalize, it's now most common to cremate beloved pets. It's difficult to find a place to legally bury an animal and you certainly didn't want your dog's body "disposed of" the way it would be without a dignified cremation. As a pet lover and often pet owner (and sister of a pet fanatic), I think you did the right thing for your dog. You don't have to convince your mother of this - she likely won' t understand anyway. Again, try to keep that conversation to a minimum and change the subject when possible.

Your mom is going to need full time care, likely a nursing home. That will mean making another adjustment, but it also will mean that you don't have sole responsibility for her care.

Try not to argue with her if possible - you can even say, "you're right, Mom" whether or not she is. Helping your mom move off topic can be worth a little white lie. Let her save face and move on.

We are here for you whenever you want to vent or ask questions. Please keep coming back and let us know how you are doing.
Take care,
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You are both overwhelmed with grief. The loss of a beloved pet can bring back the painful memories of other losses. Simply agree with her, she does not need to know all the details. Mom may be ready for a nursing home, but I think you both need some time to grieve your losses before taking that one. Mom's MD may be able to prescribe meds to alleviate her obsessing. You should also redirect the conversation to happier times. Go back to her memories of when her children were young and life was simpler for both of you. It will help you both.
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