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well, here i am again after months. it is so good to be back with other friends. mother is now 92 and has full blown dementia. at least i think its full blown. i am sure there will be more to come. she has her room in a mess, going through everything, then mis placing it. she gets something in her mind, and there is no trying to let her know its not real. she took a broom and wiped the kitchen pictures off the wall, then when i asked her why, she said the neighbor was coming to steal everything. the neighbor is wonderful. she backed me in the corner the other day, and i thought she was going to hit me. sunday nite i wanted to go to dinner with friends, and i had hired someone to come to be with her, well, she played sick. i called and cancelled. she can really put the guilt on me. she was not sick. now, she is in the kitchen hunting for a ten dollar bill she didn't have. i just can't stand it anymore. i feel so trapped. i got a divorse after thirty yrs. then came straight here to care for her six yrs. ago. oh, how hard it is. at first it was ok, i could date etc. but after two yrs. i gave up my life and still don't have it. what can i do?
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Dear Sharri:

My heart goes out to you during this time. It is so hard to watch your mother deteriorate and becoming so problematic. Do you have family members that can help so you can get a break?

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers for any of us care-givers at times. I wonder, how is your mom when you do hire help to watch her? Is she difficult with them also?

Part of the problem, I believe, is when we don't get a break (such as dinner out occasionally) it makes dealing with our elderly loved ones that much harder. We all need to get away once in a while to get a fresh perspective on our care-giving role.

If you can reschedule a night out, it might be best if you don't mention it to your mother until the last minute. That will prevent her from being manipulative (for lack of a better word) and upset your plans. Then, gently inform her of your engagement and go... Be steadfast and help her to understand that this is important to you and best to allow you to get away on occasion.

It might be that when you do get away - you may find that care-giving your mom is just too difficult at this stage of her disease. Or, that there are other options you can consider which may be available to temper her behaviours. It just seems that when we are mired down in the situation, we cannot think or see as clearly as when we get away for a breather (too close to the forest to see the trees type of thing).

Sometimes all we can do is try to look at our own situation objectively. It is difficult when there are emotions such as love, guilt or family dynamics involved. It may be helpful to talk to a professional at this point to clarify your options and what is best...

Love and Hugs from Glenda

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