We recently moved my mother closer to us so we could help out and spend more time with her. She's 82 and is in declining health. On a recent visit, mom said all of her phones were missing, then proceeded to unleash hell on my unsuspecting wife, blaming her for the missing devices. She also complains... constantly. My wife will never return to visit her.

My wife is retired and she originally volunteered to help out because I still work. I'm afraid that situation is no longer viable as my mother treats my wife poorly. So, I work, and I take care of her now, as much as I can while still trying to lead a somewhat normal life, which is getting more and more difficult.

She fell last week, breaking her wrist, and banging her head on the way down. When the hospital called, I had 2 diametrically opposite reactions: Shock, fear for her, and sadness. The other was hoping it was a severe fall and she wouldn't be coming home. I hate myself for that.

Does anyone else experience that emotional incongruity? Am I a horrible person for that?

I was experiencing the same thing with my husband. He is now in a skilled nursing facility. I receive calls nightly asking me to calm him down. Last night he fell and I wished it would be so severe that God would take him. He is miserable with this disease and no life for anyone. My life feels taken by this disease as well. I understand how you feel, let’s face it, no one would choose to live in this constant hell. Don’t feel guilty for wishing their hell to end peacefully and be with God
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to Beckylee

So she lives NEAR, but not WITH you?
I caution you now, do not move her in, and even (especially) temporarily unless you intend to give up your marriage and quit work and take care of your Mother.
You mother will be some time in rehab.If after that time she is unable to do her own activities of daily living with what help she can afford to pay for herself, she needs placement in whatever facility her savings will allow her to access.
Who your mother is is not the question as she is aging, and whoever she is, that will be changing. Clearly she is already exhibiting signs of dementia with the ;phone thing. Her hospitalization is a good time to get together and get a good neuro-psyc evaluation.
Please stay as a unit in agreement. I am in your wife's corner and I hope she is steadfast in demanding that her marriage not go down with this particular ship. I wish you both the best.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
Raysot Jan 25, 2022
Above all, I have stated aloud to my mom, wife, and anyone within earshot, that my wife is my #1 priority. Mom will not be moving in with us. That will fracture us beyond repair.

Mom's in independent living for now, but we will need to evaluate soon if she is to move into assisted living, which is probably not too far off.

I had hoped to have mom closer, to visit, to reminisce on days of yore, but that's not really going to happen and that makes me sad.

Interestingly, my 35-year-old son was staying with us this past week and saw first hand the stress this is causing us. We've had some deep discussions about end of life, and I reassured him that no matter what, once I start to decline I'm going to hop in an airplane and fly West until I run out of gas (We live in Seattle).

I was joking.... sort of...

Regardless, my hope of spending quality time with mom is now dead, replaced by conversations of where the phones are and what nefarious deeds her neighbors are plotting against her.
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I empathize. My father died a few months ago of pancreatic cancer, and there were times he was downright mean. I’m not a medical expert but I think the extreme pain, coupled with dementia and the tumor spreading to the brain, causes this. Please don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re most likely burned out from the emotional and verbal abuse and your wife is too. Only those who’ve been in this situation can truly understand the toll this takes on caregivers. You probably have not been able to sleep well or relax. As long as you don’t act on these feelings, know that you’re reacting in a very human way and you are brave to be honest about this. Take time to rest and take care of yourself. Visit your mother as much as you can. Forgive and tell her how much you care. Literally welcome each day as a new day and blank slate—this is what helped me to cope with my father. I had to forgive him and myself on a daily basis—I had to literally let each day go and forget about things, knowing I did my best. When it comes to the elderly and their erratic behavior know that long before they due you are already grieving—grieving who they used to be, and this is a shock to the system. Protect your marriage, feel your feelings and understand that your mother may not be totally aware of her actions, this helps to not take it personally. Take care!
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Reply to LeahO71
raynak26 Jan 27, 2022
I just wanted to thank you for your response to the man who posted about taking care of his mother and how he’s feeling. I take care of my mother and am also dealing with constant negativity and many other things described in the original post but your answer helped me, I do need to let each day go. so thank you so much!
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We constantly get asked the question here, "Am I a bad/horrible person?" We're all entitled to have the feelings & emotions we have w/o putting labels on ourselves for HAVING those emotions. We don't have bubbles over our heads that type out our thoughts for all to see, so we're entitled to feel our feelings w/o harsh judgements, don't you think?

In your profile, you say your mother suffers from Alz/dementia which is why she's treating your wife poorly & accusing her of stealing her telephones; it goes with the territory. In order to care for an elder with dementia, the caregiver has to understand where the paranoia is coming from: a broken brain. That said, your mother is living in Independent Living and suffering from dementia at the same time? That's not a good idea b/c she needs a higher level of care, obviously, as indicated by her recent fall and trip to the hospital. You wishing that she wouldn't come home is really a wish that she would live in a safer environment where more help & assistance was available & not left up to you and your wife. That would be Assisted Living or Memory Care Assisted Living vs. Independent Living which is what she likely needs at this stage of the game. Look into getting her situated in such a place where her needs can be met by a staff of caregivers that work 24/7 to provide it. That lets you AND your wife off the hook for the hands-on stuff and puts it where it's better accomplished: onto paid caregivers in a managed care environment.

Stop hating yourself for wanting a higher level of care for your mother and go about getting it for her!

Best of luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1

我知道你在哪里。我一直有很多times over the past decade with my mom. We used to be friends, she used to be cool. What happened? She's not that old, not even 80 yet. She's bitter, nasty, and I have come to conclude she really doesn't care about my well being anymore. She's not really a "mom", she's just this person I am stuck with because I am her only child, so here we are.

Right now she's in assisted living. She went there over a year ago in a wheelchair. I was told she would never walk again, and she needed help bathing, dressing, everything. The physical therapists are wonderful but I would like to give each one of them a smack across the face. They have gotten her walking again with a cane. Now mom is plotting to get her own apartment & move out to independent living. We've tried this like 3 times now. It's not gonna work and my life with end up in a tailspin like it always does.

Frankly, I am hoping for a fall, or something, to set her back and slow this roll. Over the years when she would be discharged (to me) from the hospital, I would sometimes cry when I had to pick her up. After a while I started finding a way to be "busy" and let them arrange a cab for her. Yes, I finally just refused to pick her up and play into the drama (she chooses very self-destructive behaviors and then expects the world to grind to a halt for her).

I think your feelings are normal. I'm glad we have this place to vent. I've been on this forum for about 8 years and it helps me keep my sanity.
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Reply to Upstream
Beatty Jan 27, 2022
I get you.

That awful stage between not steady walking & wheelchair bound.

I used to attend falls + other. Then falls only. Then called EMS for falls & attended.. slowly. Once keybox in place, occasionally. Then declined to go. It was hard at first. But I had done all I could. It was actually a relief to come to that conclusion.

现在社会计划访问只有——贝克& call. Advise given to reduce falls & move by professionals. Consequences will happen.
Raysot, welcome.

Your wife is a wise woman. Follow her lead.

Your mother is no longer safe at home. She would need 24/7 care to give her the level of care she needs. Those with dementia, beyond the very early stages, should not live alone.

Your mother is exhibiting paranoia and delusions (about your wife.) Is her doc aware of this?

Is she in the hospital right now?

Get yourself to discharge planning and tell them there is no one to look after her at home. It would be an "unsafe discharge". Use those words.

Get her tested for a UTI; thise can cause psychiatric symptoms in the elderly.

Get a geriatric psych consult in the hospital. Be sure you tell them about the accusations she makes about your wife. They are symptoms, and may be able to be addressed with meds.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

With Dementia, no one should be living independently. If she can afford it, transfer her to Assisted living ASAP.

I have a feeling you had no idea how bad Moms Dementia was until you moved her near you. In early stages they are very good at "showtiming". For a short time being able to make others believe everything is normal. Then there is "sundowning" where in late afternoon/evening the Dementia shows its ugly head.

Short-term memory is the first to go, like forgetting where she placed the phones. The ability not to be able to reason is an early sign. They get paranoid and pick one person to take things out on. No Mom is not who you thought she was because the Dementia is literally killing her brain. With each stage, comes something new. There is no rhyme or reason to it.

To ease your stress you need to understand, this is not the mother you knew. This is a women suffering from a horrible desease that is robbing her of her memories and her identity. She may realize something is happening but can't understand it. So, she gets angry. She needs compassion. She can't help who she is becoming. Believe me, I lack patience. Its not easy dealing with a desease that so precarious. Never know what will happen from one moment to the next. You could be sitting having a nice visit and then something sets them off. Paranoia is a big thing with Dementia. Its not easy, but your wife cannot take things your Mom says to heart. She needs to let it roll off her back. Easy, no. But she has to realize your Mom has no control. They lose their filters, the ability to empathize and they become self-centered. Their world becomes very small. It becomes their comfort zone. They like familiar things and places. Right now she is not where things are familiar.
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Reply to JoAnn29
Angie60 Jan 27, 2022
Thank you for your positive and obvious in depth knowledge and opinion. You eased my soul. Helped me remember she is not who she used to be.
Thank you
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Yes-I think that's a normal reaction. And sometimes the person with the disease will target a caregiver. It's a good idea to limit their interactions.
A big move like that is disorienting for a person with dementia. They only have so much bandwidth left mentally to handle day to day living, and when they end up somewhere new they have none of their usual waymarkers. It takes up a lot of their mental resources and can cause them to progress a bit. The disorientation makes them aware of their losses, and they can lash out.

It sounds like she needs to be in a higher level of care.

If she and your wife had cordial relations before, then know that her behavior is due to the disease--her brain and her ability to think rationally are affected--it's not just memory.
This might be a helpful read for you and your wife:
This has a checklist of AD dementia symptoms you can download at the bottom of the page. it may help you figure out where your mom is stage-wise if she has AD:
The alzheimer's organization has lots of resources--the forum here and the ones there have been helpful to me:
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to ElizabethY

"emotional incongruity?"

Yes. I get it.
No. Not a horrible person -
a normal person, feeling the full spectrum of emotions.
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Reply to Beatty

No! You are NOT a horrible person for feeling that way! Speak with the social worker for discharge planning and if she goes to rehab for the wrist, and can no longer live alone, under no circumstances tell them you could help. They make promises of we can get you lots of help which never happens. You work a full time job and there is no one to care for her at home. Make the social worker do their job!!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to cherokeegrrl54

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