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My sister (who hasn't seen my mom for over 8 months), is here this weekend visiting my mother after declining my invitation (plea) to take her to her house for a month or so in order for me to relax and refresh myself. My mother has dementia and is extremely verbally abusive, sometimes violent, wanders, and for the most part an extremely negative, miserable person. I have been her sole caregiver for almost 4 years now and the condition is worsening.

My sister shows up, my mother is replaced with a nice, sweet, helpful, social, talkative, compliant, almost docile person that I haven't seen in many years! She went shopping with my sister and didn't use the wheelchair, just the walker, she let my sister do her hair, which she would be hitting me with if I tried to. She went as far as to call me "honey". My daughter and I are staring at each other with blank faces thinking, "who is this person and where is nana?"

I'm upset because I don't understand why she can't always be this way but towards me!!! Its not fair that my sister doesn't see the mom that throws things if she can't open them, or that is nasty and tells me and my little grandchildren to "shut up" constantly. She is rude and unappreciative and is now saying "thank you" to me and my sister.

I'm speechless, dumbfounded, flabbergasted, astonished, bewildered and most of all wondering. Does my mom really have dementia for the past 2 years?

Is this normal behavior for someone suffering from this disease? She is very narcissistic, since I was a child, so I'm wondering if she think's she's getting something out of this. Her supply, because she's getting attention from someone other than me. How can that be? What am I doing wrong besides being so tired of this life that I can do this 24/7 care. I'm sad for myself and that's not right. My sister is enjoying her visit with this "mom" person, but I'm having anxiety because I know as soon as she leaves, my mother will come back and be the same "mom" that I have to deal with. This is crazytown!!

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Yes JB the hoarding started years ago we put it down to her depression now not so sure. Ive googled hoarding and dementia and as far as i can gather they hoard in case they lose something and cant remember where it is?
HOW did you cope with this? I need to get a grip on all this clothing as my friend says "less clothes less mess" i cant get my mum to even pack stuff away in boxes i wouldnt expect her to get rid of them as they are all very good clothes but just to box and put them in the attic. If I offer to help she gets angry my friend is right the more stuff we can store or box the SAFER the house will be as well as really annoying and draining its not safe she has a big box beside her bed and no room to move around her bedroom. I want my sis to help this wkend AGAIN we keep doing this when does it end I want her clothes boxed and stored we cant keep letting her do what she wants its a danger to her safety now?
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kazzaa, that is amazing. My mother does that, too. Each day she comes up with a pile of clothes to wash. Most days I have a hard time getting her to even consider getting out of her pajamas -- they're so comfortable. She'll go through a set or two of pajamas because of accidents. But I'm left wondering where all those other clothes come from. How did they get dirty?

My mother is starting to get out of this phase. I don't know if that is good or bad. I woke up this morning full of dread about the day. We can't fix anything, but can only watch the same things happen all day.

Does your mother hoard clothes, too? Mine won't get rid of clothes, even if they are out of style, are worn out, or don't fit. She might need them again one day. I think they are memories of who she used to be.
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Just hang in there and if things get worse then you should maybe you start thinking about a NH. My sister is coming this weekend and im dreading it like you mum on best behaviour etc... the last few days its been raining heavily here BUT my mum keeps churning out mounds of dirty clothes from her bedroom theres dirty clothes all over the place and im still trying to dry 3 loads from the machine. My mum is going mad now thinking shes tyding up for my sisters visit and im left to clear it all up i cant go on like this it is "crazytown" you clean up look around and theres another mess. I have decided to leave it all for my sister to see and help out the whole house needs to be decluttered and mums clothes sorted and just leave a few items that she wears daily IE pjamas? Im just worn out with this and can see that this is going to get worse.
Hang in there like im trying to do and just do your best for your mum until as i will find soon "enough is enough" in the last month ive had nothing but infections am so run down my health is deteriorating as every minute of everyday im worried about my mum and how I will cope with her as she declines further?
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My mom says I'm the crazy one also. She also says that I've told everyone that she's crazy and that's only reason people think she is. They only listen to what I say about her.... Pointless to bring the droves of people over to tell her that they know she has a terrible disease by the way she behaves around them (i.e. church friends, neighbors, my friends, etc.)
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I have a theory regarding this behaviour? I think my mum knows I know she is losing her mind but as long as she can manipulate and act normally around other siblings she wont go to a home she will just say as usual that im not right in the head as she does? Yep so frustrating i try and ignore it but its not easy!
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Oh I know this only too well which is why my stomach is in bits,my sister is coming this weekend and im actually praying that mum does flip with her although my sis dosnt spend enough time with mum to see her nasty side no matter how hard I try to get my sis to be in mums company as much as is bearable she always gets away with meeting friends or doing anything else than spending much time with mum so how can she see it? my family will never see this side of her until she gets worse meanwhile im getting nuttier by the week!
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Jls use those exact words talking with your sister "if you can do it better, then why don't you"?
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Well, I have lived here with my mom for over 7 years now in a house that my parents built 23 years ago. My "visiting" sister has already told me the medication that my mom is taking is "for dizzyness", "so no wonder she's always dizzy". This medication is Haladol for outburst of violent and aggressive behavior and has worked wonders. Nowhere on the bottle does it mention it's for dizzyness. Now she's going around the house fixing every little thing she can find wrong with the house. Like I haven't done that all day everyday for the past 7 years. Its only me and I think I do a really good job. I've saved my mom $$$$$ by fixing things myself instead of calling a contractor, plumber, etc. I can't wait for her to leave. My mom is going to have a fit when she leaves, but I'm just letting her run the show until then. Why doesn't my sister just take her with her when she leaves if I'm giving her wrong meds, she lives in a broken down house, and she "seems so normal". My sister won't, but maybe I can talk her into it by saying how well my mom is doing since she has been here (72 hours lol). I feel incompetent. I'm sure she will go home and tell everyone how her visit went. If she can do it better, why doesn't she?
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Jls, My Mother isn't a hitter, but she just flat out used my sister, for years. I wouldn't stand for it and I didn't have to put up with the cr*p. Take care of your health. I know how frustrating your mom is.
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When my kids were younger I was thrilled when the teacher would talk about how well behaved my kids were. I would high five my husband that they acted nicely at school. But I got the "bear" when they got home...

But with my Mom I high five my husband when my Mom acts out in front of siblings! I didn't raise her and I'm not responsible for the crap that comes out of her mouth!!
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Very very very helpful answers and comments!!!! Boy, do I feel better (as usual when I talk with you guys). I feel so much better knowing this is not just a "its me" issue. I know that I can't bang my head against a wall trying to convince my sister that this really isn't my mom or how she acts, so I tried telling my sister that my mom was so "happy and lively" while she was here visiting, so why doesn't she take her home with her and see if she stays that way. Maybe its me that makes her miserable. My sister was too wise to that one and tried to avoid the subject. Well, I'll just keep plugging along and I must say, I went to town with my daughter tonight (got to leave the house for once). My sister was with my mom and boy was that hour nice to have. I am grateful for that.
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PinkLA: Thanks. And, please be careful. I was fortunate that time. The permanent damage was a scar. The rest was just painful, and scary. My mom was abusive when I was a child. And, I took a few courses about elderly care in a local community forum after that episode, they cautioned us to keep fingers and hands away from their mouth. They can bite a finger completely off. Braid your hair and secure it to your head. Don't wear dangly jewelry, don''t wear big lose tops (they can throw you or pull you down with it), don't wear things they can yank off of you and hurt you or themselves with, and never be barefoot were things they told me when dealing with elderly. Wear sleeves, and pants because they can scratch your bare skin. The list was long. And my sister had not been around my mom for years when she took her into her home. She hadn't realized the abuse and anger had gotten worse over the years. But, when someone reports elder abuse, the reaction is immediate and very intrusive. My aunt called the authorities, and luckily, i had gone straight to the ER, and there was also a previous police report from a nurse that my mom had hit during a hospital visit. I too am sorry you had to go through abuse. It is difficult when siblings don't believe you. No normal person wants to bruise a parent, but if they are out of their mind, there is no consideration of what the damage they will conflict on you. They just react with the behaviors they remember from long ago. Good luck. My mom passed on years back, but I know what you are going through. And, write your feelings down about what is happening. It helps to process it later.
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It's called "show timing". She puts on an act for others and it's actually quite exhausting. When she is alone with you and your daughter, she can be herself. The good news, if you take it that way, is that she CAN be herself because she TRUSTS you. It sux, because sometimes family think we are exaggerating, or being dramatic....but the bottom line is....it's the disease. This situation is very typical.
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Twizard, I never thought about that aspect of it. I recorded some of my mom's hallucinations today. I think recording it gives us a record of how and when things happen. I also try to jot down a note or two on my computer to record some of this behavior.
I've always been afraid that my mother is going to turn violent with me. She was very abusive when I was a child. So sorry you had to go through that with your mom.
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My mom had dementia, and would personality-flip, too. She tended to spread the abuse equally, had always been a negative person for the most part. But, when I had not been over in a while, due to work or circumstances, she was a lot nicer. At this time, she lived with my sister, who said the abusive and disruptive behavior was progressively worsening. PinkLA is right. You aren't doing anything wrong. When i was the caregiver mom would get mad at and hit me. When my sister was, she would do the same to her. She tried to play us off each other. Video-tape it, you may need it later, so save it. Because if she turns violent, and you accidentally bruise her or hurt her trying to get away, or get her hands out of your hair before she rips it out, or break her bones trying to keep her from getting your fingers or arm between her teeth (yes all too real for me), you will need proof that you weren't just abusing her. My mom turned physically abusive if she was mad. And my aunt accused me of making it up, but there was a hospital ER record of her almost severing the tendon in my forearm. Teeth marks matched my moms exactly, which kept me out of jail.
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I go through this all the time with my mother. With me she can be a real bear. But with my brothers, she is so quiet and sweet. I think she has a doppelganger in the back room that she brings out when my brothers are around. Looks like my mother, but certainly doesn't act like her.
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BTW, you are not doing anything wrong. This is all your mother. Do the best you can and hopefully your sister will see through all of this.
Sorry it has to be you that has to deal with the brunt of her negative behavior.
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Video record it with your smartphone if you have one. Then download the video to your computer for future reference.
Sometimes the dementia patient will be so excited to see the other person that they can put on this front for a couple of days. I saw this many times with my mom and my siblings. I would always stay for 3-4 days and after a couple of days I would begin to see the odd behavior. But, while my siblings came for a 1-2 day visit my mother was all there. I still can't convince a couple of them that my mom is delusional.
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