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Hateful words, lies, pot stirring, money and counting
Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 11:44 PM
Joined: 8/23/2019
Posts: 2

Never in my wildest dreams, a couple years ago, would I have thought I would be writing this. My mother and I have never had a very healthy relationship, she's always disliked me but here I am attempting to help her through this dementia thing. One brother ran for the hills, the other was stealing from her bank account. They left  her alone in an apartment, surviving on lots and lots of ice cream with the occasional salad thrown in for good measure. I knew, for my own peace of mind, I had to step in and do I moved her into assisted living. I am 64 and have psoriatic arthritis (so not the healthiest person going) and physically moved her myself, with a little help from my daughter. Now one month later, my mother is verbally attacking me on a regular basis, telling me to shut up in front of people and even, after having eye surgery last week, told a clerk in the grocery store that I hit her. I couldn't believe I was hearing her say that, of course, getting the glare-eye from the clerk I had to explain she had just had surgery the day before. My mother thought it was hilarious. Me, not so much. The clerk wasn't so impressed either. Now she's telling the "black eye" story to others COMPLETELY differently than it really happened. I finally had to tell the nurse in the surgeon's office that my mother has dementia and my mother flipped out and was furious, saying that I was telling the nurse that she was nuts. She then told me to shut up. Today, she wants to know where her money is and why she can only have $50 at the assisted living. She says she may want to buy something, even though she can't go anywhere without me. I tried to explain and then she got mad I walked out. On top of all this, my mother is a drug addict...Norco and Xanax. The doctor gives them to her like candy and says she's been on them too long to take her off. Before I moved her, all she did all day was have an assortment of prescription pills all over the table, counting them. Sometimes she would take too many Norco, other times she would forget to take her BP or cholesterol meds. It was crazy making and she didn't want anyone to help her, including the home health nurse. So here we are and I don't think I can do this, but I have no options. Everyone has abandoned her for the most part because she is a poop stirrer (always has been). She's constantly saying bad things about me and now wants to know where her money is...even though it's in the same bank as always and I am her POA. She says she wants her credit card back, even though she can't use it because she has nowhere to go. I don't leave it in her room as I'm worried my brother will take it and use it again. I am in the process of changing all her accounts so he no longer has access to any of them. I feel so alone and overwhelmed. I had just lost 50 lbs over the past six months and I've put 10 back on in a month dealing with all this. How do you cope when you are the sole responsible person? I just don't think I'm strong enough to do this. The worst mother talking crap about me to others. I feel like a little kid all over again. Any suggestions?
Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 12:19 AM
Joined: 7/12/2017
Posts: 1380

its late my computer needs to be plugged in but good enough is good enough...remember that
Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 1:05 AM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 738

Hello & Welcome. 

My first response to your post was “Thank God you didn’t move her into your home!!!” From some of the things you mentioned in your post , I think you are doing a great job of taking care of your Mothers needs! Seriously! She is blessed to have a daughter who cares about her.

There’s always plenty to learn when dealing with people with dementia- PWD. I’m going to mention a few things for you

1- Mom should not have a credit card. Give her a fake one, she can cause herself and you a lot of grief should she get scammed etc etc.                     

2-I’m sorry your brothers are useless.

3-what you described about your Mother lashing out at you is unfortunately common behavior with some dementia patients. In my experience they lash out at the person closest to them and that’s you. Also the lashing out might be the only way she can express her agitation and/or her fear. She is probably aware that she has something wrong. I’m not making excuses for her. I can imagine how hurtful her words can be. I feel bad for you.

4-PWD will make you crazy about their money. The best way to deal with your Mom is to acknowledge her concerns about whatever is bothering her. Example Mom- where’s my money? You have stolen all my money! You could reply calmly Mom I understand your worried about your money. I know you worked hard. Please don’t worry because all your money is safe in your bank! Then change the subject. Others will come along with advice on these types of problems.

5-My biggest concern is your Mother telling others you’ve hit her. Wow! All it takes is one person to believe her and you will have more trouble than you can deal with. I’d talk to the manager of her facility about this matter. I’d also document it. 

I wish you luck. I’m sorry the two of you didn’t have a good relationship. Please take good care of yourself. Try not to let her words hurt you. It won’t be easy but try. How often do you go visit her? You might be going too much.

Has your Mother been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist? I think she should see one. A Geri-psych can prescribe meds that will help with the lashing out and difficult personality.

Again- good luck and take care of yourself first. Dementia/Alzheimer’s is absolutely the worst disease in the world for the patient and the caregiver. I hate this disease. It changes everything.

Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 2:05 AM
Joined: 2/2/2019
Posts: 156

Evidencegoddess, it sounds like you are going through a very difficult time with your mother. Has your mother been properly assessed and diagnosed as having dementia? Has she had MMSE testing done and if so, how has she scored? A geriatric psychiatrist should be involved in assessing her behavioural issues to determine what medications would be helpful if she is experiencing agitation, delusions, confusion, anger, hostility, insomnia, etc. Perhaps it would be better if your mother did not have access to her pills. If she is now in assisted living, discuss with management what arrangements can be made to have staff attend to her medication needs. You are wise to be changing the bank accounts to prevent unauthorized access. Does your POA allow you to cancel her credit card? If so, cancel the card and give it back to her. Can your mother still read and understand bank statements? If she can, perhaps you could provide her with a current bank statement. If she can’t read and understand bank statements, give her one anyway. Several forum members have indicated that they carry “business cards” that reference the loved one is suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease, and the card is discreetly passed to staff prior to conversation, as needed. Perhaps this would alleviate your mother feeling humiliated, embarrassed, and becoming angry and hostile toward you. It is very difficult being solely responsible for looking after a loved one with dementia even if you had a good relationship prior to the disease. Dementia sufferers lose the ability to think rationally and to reason. The journey for care givers is not an easy one and many of us put up with crap depending on what each day brings. Since your mother is in assisted living with most of her daily needs being met, would it help you to have less contact with her?
Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 8:05 AM
Joined: 8/8/2014
Posts: 855

You have taken care of the necessary things: mother is safe and cared for. You are making sure her money is safe. If it is not beneficial to you or her for you to visit, you don’t have to. You can call and ask how your mother is doing. You can still be her advocate without subjecting yourself to her abuse. Take care of you.
King Boo
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 9:25 AM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 3172

Placement, depending on the level of care, should be able to address the addiction.  If there is a visiting physician who provides services to the facility (preferably a Geriatric Psychiatrist who is the expert MD to understand how drugs interact with the brain affected with dementia), they can wean from the addictive drugs and taper in any necessary medication to help with the aggressive/upset feelings.   Since facility staff will be administering the medication, this is the key point.

My LO had an addiction to sleeping pills and an unaddressed anxiety disorder prior to admission.  One of the few gifts of this disease was that he finally, through placement, got both of these addressed.

It is unfortunate Mom's confabulations are so negatively directed towards you.  It's much easier when it's something like they think they are married to the Queen, had an affair with their favorite movie star, etc.

Keep meticulous financial records and all shall be well.  Be sure to back up the computer files or keep hard copies in a well organized binder.

If brother was stealing from her, check her credit reports to make sure there is not an unknown loan or credit card opened by him in her name that he has possession of; after that, freeze her credit line with Experian, Equifax and Transunion very easy to unfreeze if you need to, they give you a code online.

If Mom is foul, there are ways to visit without exposing yourself.  A view from the nurses station or a 10 minute touch base is sufficient to insure well being.  Hopefully, things will improve.

Everything from our childhood and sibling relationships is vomited forth to the tenth degree during this process.  It hurts a lot.  Somehow, just believe that walking this most difficult part of life with her as best as you can will help resolve this after she passes.  

Could I suggest using a tracking app on your phone, like LooseIt or My Fitness Pal?  I put on a lot of weight due to stress eating or sharing treats I brought to the Nursing Home.  With hard work, it came off after but if you are able to add this structure to your day it will help control what you are eating.