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Advice - Mom in MC and texts, e:mails toxic notes 30+/day
Posted: Monday, November 15, 2021 9:42 AM
Joined: 2/16/2021
Posts: 2

Hi, not sure what I'm looking for but at my wit's end.  Placed mom in care facility end of June (med reminders and some care) but she's young, doesn't look like she belongs there with all of the "old people" who tell her she does not belong there.  I sold her house b/c she was convinced people were living there, stealing food, living in the basement so she would remove all light bulbs and turn over furniture so they could not see/use them.  She needed money to finance her care so I have been working with an attorney to  make the most out of a really yucky situation.  

I made the tough decision to put her in a facility in June (literally showed her and left her there and it was awful but I knew it was the only option), I have POA, sold her home, put her $ in an estate to try to get Medicaid waiver benefits. I also took her car away from her.  She is mad, understandably so, and does not understand/cannot understand.  

I'm doing this with the support of my DH, raising 4 young kids and both working a job through pandemic.  I say this, not to take away from my mom's journey, but man, I am just overwhelmed with responsibility.  I was raised by her (single mom) and she has survived 4 bouts of cancer.  We have not been particularly close over the years and live 3 hours away - she has always had manic depressive disorder - so it's been tough/toxic most of the time.  

  • she refuses to go to a neuro - she is refusing treatment;
  • she needs a dentist but won't go b/c she does not have her car - my uncle has offered to drive but she won't go b/c she doesn't have money.  I tell her it is all taken care of but she still won't go;
  • she wants to move - I tell her she can live wherever she wants and we will help figure it out - she wants her car to go look for places;
  • she does not want me in her life, wants complete access to her money, accuses me of stealing her money (I remind her that all of her money is hers and only hers) and sends texts to work and my cell at least 30 times a day - she tells me she hates me, wishes I was dead and accuses me of abusing her like my father did and a million other awful things.  When she told me she wanted me to die I had to block her for a few days to "take a break".
  • she said everyone at the facility has family who visits, they laugh, etc.  I asked if I could come visit b/c I'd like to see her and she tells me she wants me out of her life.
This weekend she sent texts saying her daughter (me) was taking her money, her car and her house.  I asked her who she was sending that to and she told me to mind my own business and stay out of her life.  I think she thinks she was telling someone about me but, sending it to me.  It makes me sad that she has fought so hard to live through cancer and her brain is what is taking her down.  Today I just want to give up - but I know everyone else has abandoned her in her life and I can't imagine doing that to her.

 I am sad she's alone and isolated herself from everyone so no one visits her.  I don't know what I'm asking for here, but, if you are reading this and it is similar to your situation, you are not alone.  If you have been through this and have some tips, ideas, I'd love to hear from you.  


Posted: Monday, November 15, 2021 10:24 AM
Joined: 11/14/2021
Posts: 13

I am so sorry.  Please block her texts for most of the day.  Look at them once a day or less. It doesn't help her for you to see those texts all the time and stress is really bad for our health. If there is an emergency the facility will call or text you. 

It sounds like you need help at looking at what is possible.  At knowing what is and isn't possible regarding your mother.  And help to be in charge of her without guilt and at the same time take care of yourself.

 Can you get counseling through your workplace? They may have an EAP. "An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems."

I have also gotten very good counseling over the phone from the Alzheimer's organization.  

Please get yourself some counseling.  You cannot fix things so that your mother is happy.  You cannot change that she has multiple health problems that make her so unhappy.  You can take care of yourself and do the best one can to see that her needs are met as much as she will allow them to be met. I am sorry she is so unhappy, angry and ill.  But you cannot fix her.  It is not your fault she is so unhappy.

Does she see a doctor at the facility?  It might help to talk to the doctor to see what else might help her anger, depression, etc.

I would look into having a go-between for you and your mother.  Someone else to check in on her and see what she needs.  Let someone else who is not likely to get caught up in the emotional stress be your eyes and ears.  Someone besides an employee of the facility.  It doesn't help your mother for you to be her emotional punching bag.

Best wishes.  It's kind and good of you to do for your mother.  I hope you can find a way to do so and still take care of yourself.

Posted: Monday, November 15, 2021 11:08 AM
Joined: 2/16/2021
Posts: 2

Thank you pluviophile - those are very helpful tips. I am going to reach out to EAP today and appreciate you reminding me that her unhappiness is not in my control.
Posted: Monday, November 15, 2021 12:53 PM
Joined: 7/28/2021
Posts: 15

Hi tghatt, welcome and thank you for reaching out.  I am so sorry for what you are going through with your mom.  It's terrible and it sucks.  You are definitely not alone - I've also posted on here when I've been at my wit's end!  I am in a similar abusive cycle with my mom who I had to move to Assisted Living (July) and then to Memory Care (October), both times without telling her in order to first avoid and then to solve a crisis situation created by her dementia.  She is mad, and I've barely seen her in months because she is hyper-focused on living someplace else (although she doesn't understand or remember that any independent living situation is not possible due to her level of memory loss) and refuses to discuss anything else with me.  She has had unmedicated anxiety/depression for years which we are now trying to address with medication but it takes time.  It's awful to get the constant phone calls and texts and you did the right thing by blocking her for a few days.  I've started hanging up on my mom when she becomes abusive and demanding (I have an agreement with the staff so that they are aware and can manage her behavior afterwards) and sending her repetitive calls to voice mail.  Even trying to set basic boundaries with her is stressful and agonizing because within a few minutes of a call or visit she forgets that she has spoken to or seen me.

I am also trying to raise my family and I am the only caregiver with POA, etc.  I'm the only family member she has and she is also isolated.  Most times after a call with her I feel guilty and question whether this is the right choice of care for her, even though I have carefully thought through and researched other options and concluded that she needs MC even though I know she feels out of place and "too active" for some of the other residents.  Other members of this board will echo that you and your family come first, even if it was a situation where you had a "closer" relationship with your mom prior to her dementia.

Some of the best advice I've seen/gotten on this board is that anger, complaining, and malcontent are hallmarks of the moderate to later stages of dementia.  As much as you want to, you cannot ease the dementia, make her brain work better, or be happy.  I keep reminding myself that my experience is that my mom will be miserable no matter where she is (despite what she says to try to guilt/goad me into taking her out of MC), and it is best right now that she is safe.  I agree that you should reach out for therapy for yourself.  No way should you be her emotional punching bag.  The Alzheimer's Help Line is a good resource and on a separate note, I've also found a lot of great educational info about the caregiver experience through the podcast put out by the San Diego chapter of the Alz. Assoc.

You are being a good daughter by taking care of her and planning for her care.  She will never know or appreciate all that you are doing, but please know that you are not alone in this journey!

Posted: Monday, November 15, 2021 12:59 PM
Joined: 6/10/2021
Posts: 42

First, I would take her phone away.  Why does she need it? When I moved my mom in to MC in September I took her cell.  The aides will help her call me anytime but she doesn't call often whereas she would go through crazy texting, calling sprees when she had a cell phone.  Also, they aides may help her call you 3-4 times a day but certainly not 30.  There is no reason for her to have a phone.

What is the medical situation in the facility? Minimally, a doctor or NP should be able to evaluate her and prescribe some meds.  You don't mention if she is taking meds for her bipolar disorder. If not, she certainly needs to have meds evaluated/changed.  It seems like anxiety could be another factor.  

As the parent of young children you know that often we have to do things/require things of them that they don't like but are in their best interest.  Unfortunately you are now in this same situation with your parent.  You have done what had to be done (selling the house, taking the car, placing her for care etc.) It's very difficult to manage but you are doing what is needed and correct.  

I would also not visit for awhile.  Let things calm down, meds to kick in etc. Believe me, I understand how much guilt you feel not seeing/talking to her all the time even if that time is not "quality" and just you taking abuse.  But that isn't helpful to anyone, not her, not you, not your husband, and certainly not your children.  You deserve to have some peace.

Iris L.
Posted: Monday, November 15, 2021 9:43 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17587

Please read about anosognosia.  This is not the whole problem with your mom but PWDs with anosognosia truly believe they are fine.  They see no need for doctors, medications or changes in their routine.  Her conversation will not be based in reality.  You must understand this, she won't be able to. Don't take what she says personally.  Learn the work-arounds from the members, they are very knowledgeable and helpful.

Iris L.

Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 10:18 PM
Joined: 6/17/2015
Posts: 5

I feel like I could have written this, minus your family’s struggle with cancer. In my case it’s unclear if mom has frontotemporal dementia with behavior issues or Alzheimer’s with undiagnosed pre-existing mental illness like bipolar. Either way, being the focus of all that anger is exhausting and (in my case) depressing. Concur with all that’s been said here about taking space. My mom is so verbal still on some days, and so clearly says what she wants to do, that I feel I ‘need’ to show up while she’s still ‘there.’ And then I get cussed at, told I stole her dog, etc, etc. At least she’s forgetting how much she hates my husband. Anyhow, reach out if you want to chat more because this thread resonates more with me than a lot I’ve read.
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