Suspicious and Spiteful Elderly Mother

by Lou

My mother lives in an independent living facility and she is 92. Recently she was rushed to the emergency room and diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Three days later after aggressive oxygen therapy and fluid reduction she entered rehabilitation.

I have medical and financial power of attorney for her, and made all necessary decisions concerning the hospital, and the rehab facility. She was not in a condition to make these decisions herself.

After two days in a rehab which has the best reputation in our area, she began calling our home throughout the night saying she was being mis-treated by personnel, and drugged through her food. She was also hallucinating and seeing things in her room. She demanded that I take her out of rehab although she was in no condition to return to independent living. The hallucinations have occurred several times before her recent heart issue. She describes visions of little people with colorful clothes, as well as hundreds of large bugs in her apartment.

She accused me of working against her, in conjunction with the rehab facility and keeping her there against her will. She said she felt like she was in jail. No amount of reasoning by their staff would change her mind. I told her she needed to stay two more days until such time an assessment could be made by her doctor concerning her ability, both physically and mentally, to return to her apartment.

The next morning she told me that she was going to find an attorney, revoke my power of attorney, and remove me from her will. She has made outbursts and threats like this several times in the last 2-3 years. I pick up her groceries weekly, take her to all doctor appointments, and invite her to all holiday events. When I do visit her, she cusses at me, and feels a need to continually remind me how my father mis-treated her when he was alive. He passed away in 1997.

I am in a position where I just don't know what to do. I have done my very best to do what is in my mother's best interest. Dealing with her hatefulness and spite is very stressful and depressing for both myself and my wife. We are both in our early 60's

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Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia
by: Anonymous

Hello, this is without question a very trying time for you.

However, when you say: "She was also hallucinating and seeing things in her room.... The hallucinations have occurred several times before her recent heart issue. She describes visions of little people with colorful clothes, as well as hundreds of large bugs in her apartment."

These are some of the classic symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia, which has an insidious onset. It would be worth having your mother assessed with this in mind.

As a serious form of dementia, it would also over-rule a suggestion that she now has full capacity to change her legal provisions.

Talking With Mom Depresses me!
by: Anonymous

It's nearly 3 A.M., and I'm awake, mentally preparing for yet another round of listening to my 81-year-old mother's negative comments which start my day. EVERY day!

No way does she view herself as negative. Quite the contrary. Also, she has a quick, all-knowing response to every situation I share with her, most of which reflect her "misery loves company" attitude.

For example, if I talk about my husband's recent sprain from catching a football he was tossing with our teenage son, Mom drives home the point that we're getting older and can't do the things we used to.

People, even in their 50s toss footballs with their kids! That example might sound petty and I could list a million more that compiled equal a crummy (depressing) way to begin my day, but I'll keep conversing as I love Mom and can't bear her to be lonely.

Please have her Checked for an UTI
by: Ro

My mother in law gets very upset when she gets Urinary Tract Infections. She has had so many her urogyne finally put a ring inside her and she is sooooo much better now.Urogynechologists are perfect for elderly women because they see mainly women with these exact issues and know what to do. We had tried a gyne and a urologist but the urogyne knew just what to do to deal with her bad attitude and help her medically.
Good luck

Hard Times
by: Anonymous

Your situation sure sounds frustrating! You may already know this but a urinary tract infection can make anyone who is older (I think our doctor said 70's and older, could be wrong with the age) have hallucinations.

Our mother was getting so many UT infections that my brother and I could tell right away when she was getting one because she was so off her game. Sometimes she didn't even know what a shower was.

Through my caregivers group I have learned that sometimes when in a facility the personnel don't even think about the UI infection and do a urine test.
Will be thinking of you.
Mary, Santa Rosa CA

Attorney Time
by: Christine

Consult your own attorney and document everything!
No lawyer is going to change her power of attorney if she is not of sound mind. Her accusations and suspicious-ness sound like mental health issues to me, but I'm by no means qualified to absolutely state that.

A competency evaluation might help you retain your legal powers, and may remove any questions about independent or assisted living arrangements. Best wishes to you and your wife.

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