When my step dad died almost 7 years ago, my mom just gave up. It took us to August 2017 to finally get her up here with us and we had no idea of her mental and physical decline. It's only gotten worse. She has severe memory issues, delusions and anxiety. She often says she just wants to be with her husband. On top of her regular meds she's now taking some for depression, anxiety, memory and now delusions, even though the neurologist says it's just typical old age (she's 84). I'm her main caregiver and we've had a couple of serious confrontations (thankfully she doesn't remember them....). She's become angry over imagined issues and I've gotten angry because she can't let things go or she obsesses over things and often ruins them. She claims things that were never true, has all but accused me of mismanaging her finances a couple of times, forgets small things and large (like how to answer her cell phone or that how my step dad died), she hoards things from old clothing to last night's take-out container. She's needy and contrary, negative and stubborn. She flipped another driver off once - she's *never* done that before! My mom isn't perfect, but she isn't the same person I grew up with. Her doctors tell me this is normal..... All I do know is I wasn't prepared for this, I'm not equipped to deal with it and I'm suffering from a bout of depression because of it. We live out in the country so there aren't really any resources at hand.

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At age 72 my mother had some serious health issues. While she was in the hospital she was overdosed on methedone and almost died. She recovered somewhat, she never was the same person she had been before. She had delusions and sometimes was quite nasty, although her personality had never been that way. My brothers couldn't cope and pretty much left most of her family care to me. Emotionally it is so difficult to accept that it is your mother.
My best coping strategy was this:
The mother I loved and knew was gone home to God. I was left with this elderly woman who looked like my mother who needed to be cared for. I thought of her as my friend's mother. The things she said couldn't hurt me because she wasn't MY mother. Because she was my friend's mother, I wanted her to be cared for with kindness. When she says things that are imagined, don't try to correct her thinking. Say somethinig like, "that must have been hard," or I'm sorry that happened to you." If you can validate her feelings, she will be much easier to deal with. Practice saying things like," imagine that!" or "strange things happen, don't they", "I'm sure that is what it felt like (seemed like)."These kind of statements acknowledge her understandings/feelings/things she thinks are true without argument or the need to prove anything to her. When she does things that are inappropriate, reproving her will not change anything. "I can see that driver frightened you/made you feel angry."
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Reply to Kathern

Ahmijoy gave you some great advice. You do need to find a new Dr for your mom.

As far as dealing with the fact that your mom is not the same as she was when you were growing up. Well there is a lot of us here that can relate. My mother wasn't the best mom to me! But her personality is/was so different that it is down right shocking. My mother never said bad words or talked about people, in fact, she never cared what the neighbors were doing. Now, she throws the F-bomb, talkes about everybody and always seeing what the neighbors are doing just so she can talk about them. There are many other changes.
How do you deal with it? For me, I pray about it a lot. And I tell myself that my mother has a broken brain! Her reasoning is out the window! That the mom I knew is gone and this is the shell for me to deal with.
I live with my mother as well and she was driving me crazy, however, her Dr put her on medications for her depression, anxiety, and for vascular dementia. Things got better in a few weeks. She started to calm down; she gets around more and she even laughs again. She was hoarding, but now she is willing to throw things away. It is like day & night!

Now I am telling you this to show you that there is hope; however, everybody is different and can and will have different reactions to medications. Furthermore, just because my mother is on meds for dementia doesn't mean it will stop the progression of the disease. But for now things are way better. She has stop all that crazy behavior.

Find a new Dr for mom and maybe find a therapist for yourself. Most of all, take care of yourself. Find time and things for you to do to keep your mind off of your problems. I put myself in time-out when needed. I read or have my boyfriend stay with my mother while I go out shopping or for a walk!

May God guide you and cover you with His grace and mercy, and keep you in Jesus' name. Amen

Good Luck!
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Reply to Shell38314

A little more info. My mother's neurologist is also my daughter's and I have the utmost trust in him. He has run several tests on her, all of which came back normal - which is probably one of the reasons I'm frustrated. My mother has not been diagnosed with dementia, or any other neurological disorder, so far.
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Reply to kirahfaye
Ahmijoy Dec 28, 2018
Has the neurologist evaluated her for dementia? Have you told him about her behaviors and how frustrated you are?
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What’s happening to you is what happened to most of us who’ve had parents suffering from dementia. We become the parents and they become the children. It’s a very difficult thing to understand and even more difficult to bear. My mom was the world’s biggest prude. She was so straight laced I often wonder how I got here. But when she was in the nursing home ALL SHE TALKED ABOUT was sex. Seriously. When I’d get home, I’d tell my husband I felt like taking a shower. Finally, one day I told her to be a lady and ladies don’t talk like that. It seemed to help.

First, your mom needs a new doctor. She is most likely suffering from dementia and the doctor who told you it’s just old age needs a swift kick. There are meds for dementia that won’t cure it but do help. Chances are they’re different from all the ones she’s on now.

Second, stop arguing with her. Her brain is broken and she doesn’t understand things like she used to. Arguing solves nothing and only stresses you out more.

Unless you want face to face support groups, there are a lot of resources online for dealing with dementia. This site is an excellent one.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

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