Mom has exhibited typical BPD/narcissicistic/ocd behaviors my entire life, with some psychotic outbursts. Now she is old and also showing dementia like behaviors. But she's also been a very clever actor, turning the crazy off & on at will my whole life. How is anyone to tell what behaviors are what and how to respond? E.g., long hysterical crying jags when she doesn't get her way, pretending she can't talk, or walk. And then being just fine moments later.
As time went on, I started to feel guilty and as if I were not being a "good" daughter. It almost cost me my husband, my health, and my job (after first retirement job!). You must rely on what her doctor says (if he/she has been her doctor for a long time and knows her) and share your limitations, as well as your love, for her. I ended up in therapy because of the "control" issues I had. My main advice would be to stay in close touch with her doctor, and her medications!, and only do what you feel is what you are capable of doing to help her through her ageing years. Take care of YOURSELF! Stay in touch with your doctor and tell him/her of your situation. I am no "young chick" myself (67), so I finally had to tell myself that I wanted to enjoy being with her, to do all I could for her, to love her....but not at the expense of my priorities. When she passed away about three years ago, we had spent time together and done all of the things we enjoyed doing together. Although I missed her more than I ever thought I would, I comforted myself with knowing I had done all I thought was possible to make sure she was loved and cared for properly.
I wish you well. Our situations are quite a bit different, but your question touched my heart. Remember that you are not the only one who has gone through this type of situation and do what you can live with when she is gone.
Madeaa - I have done all the homework/paperwork thanks to good advice I received a while back. And fortunately she is going into a continuum care facility. You start at one end and keep moving down the block into different "neighborhoods" as your care needs increase, until you wind up in the care center (nursing home) end. I'm so grateful this place had an opening.
In highschool, the few friends I could bring over due to mom's antics would tell me that I won't know when she goes senile (the preferred word of choice back then) because she would act out so often, particularly when:
1. There was some important event not focused on her
2. You needed to be on time to something like work
3. You had accomplished something or gotten an award/reward for something outside the home
4. You had admitted the stress was getting to you. I remember my dad begging her to lay off because it was killing him. And it was. He died of his 4th heart attack.
5. No discernable reason in the world. Random was always a possibility.
6. It would alienate/isolate you for her to chase off the people you had brought over.
Maybe it doesn't matter what's BPD or dementia. She's never going to get therapy for BPD, and if her dementia accelerates, it wouldn't stick anyway. The care workers at the facility can deal with her far better than me. I decided my role here was to look out for her safety and that's it. I can't make her happy. I can watch over her bills and personal business until there is none. I can see that she is safe until the end. No more than that.
Hang in there. It is so so hard. I feel for you.
I visit my mom every 4-6 weeks. It has to be on the weekend because I work full time. It can't be in the evening because of sundowning. It needs to be between 10-12 to be honest. This is not a huge window and sometimes there are conflicts with other things. No, the nurses don't always understand and think I should be there more often. Some family think her situation is my fault for going off to college,etc. It doesn't matter one whit what they think. We do what we can the best way we can and that's that.
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