Angry Mom

by Craig
(Anaheim, CA)

My mother is 79 years old and my father is 82. They live in a senior apartment complex in Southern California. They sold their home in New Jersey and followed my wife and I out here over 12 years ago. My mother has always had some anger and resentment issues, but they were mild compared to what is going on now.

Every conversation I have with her turns into a tirade regarding a former friend, co-worker or family member from years past. In some cases these individuals passed away decades ago. I try to steer our conversations to more pleasant or topical issues, but nothing seems to work.

My father is a very laid back guy, but this is starting to wear on him. She complains about everyone and everything. Her eye doctor told her she has a mild case of Glaucoma. She thinks this is a conspiracy, and all doctors are out to get her. My wife works in an assisted/skilled nursing facility and is keenly aware of what is going on. We agree she is in an early stage of Dementia with short term memory loss.

Besides her, I am dealing with this by myself. My older brother lives near Philadelphia, and has not spoken with either of my parents for almost 18 years. I don't even discuss these issues with him, which is how we are able to get along.

My wife, myself and my father all agree this is becoming unbearable, and treatment is needed. The problem is, none of us know how to approach her without setting her off. Her temper has become more explosive with each passing year. She no longer has friends or daily activities. She just sits and watches TV 24/7, sometimes never bothering to get dressed. Has anyone else had this experience, and can anyone offer any advice on how to approach her regarding a medical evaluation?

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Same situation
by: Doug From Fla

I am in the same situation. Moved here to care for my mom as she had 3 falls and lives in the woods. She seemed very happy to have me coming but upon my arrival she started to complain bitterly about everyone and now it is directed at me.

She has some good days but recently there are more bad days than good. I do my best to get her into town. But if it is at my suggestion she refuses. I sometimes talk to her sister in law some 50 miles away and express my concerns and get her to invite her to her home. Mom goes and is very happy the entire time she is there. But on the way home she sinks back into a black mood and starts complaining about anything and everything.

I have asked what she would like to do, i.e. sell and move. Maybe live with my older brother who is totally retired. Her answer is always an angry NO I don't care You do what you want. Of course I want what she wants. But she only complains without making any moves to change things for herself. Yes, I think this is the beginning of dementia.... She is a bit forgetful and angry much of the time. Even when I tell her I love her and that I would assist her in anyway I can. She turns her back on me and refuses to talk part in the conversation.

Like so many others, I have other family members who refuse to help at all and are just waiting for what they can get upon her death. I am power of attorney now and want to make sure mom's moneys go to her care and not to the brothers or myself. It's hard and stressful and sorry not to have any advice for you.

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