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RabidMongoose

Elderly Narcissists

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Does anybody here have advanced knowledge on how to deal with elderly narcissists?

I have a parent living with me who is very antagonistic in her attempt to get attention off us. In the day she is confrontational, patronising and tries to get under our skin in the hope she can cause arguments. And if there is an argument she will try and milk it for its attention seeking worth for days afterwards. This one isn't so much of a problem as I can ignore her outbursts.

But it occurs in the middle of the night which is quite challenging as it disrupts our sleep. Every night she is trying to start conversations or making loud noises. I've even been woken up by her tapping her fingers on the wall and my door. Shall I just dump her in a home? I'm in my thirties and really cannot be bothered with having to put up with this anymore for the next 10-20 years until she dies. That sounds really harsh as its my own mother but I'm sick and tired of it.

Is there any other way to stop this behaviour? I need sleep.

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I'm not going to advocate putting your Mother in a home, but might I suggest you both visit  her GP. She may have dementia, that can cause outbursts. It doesn't sound like narcissism. But then again, I am not a Doctor.

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I agree with Kismet.  My wife's mom had Alzheimers and behaved like that on some days.  Get her to a doctor.  The progression of some illnesses require more care than you can give at home..  

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Have you tried the old line "my house, my rules"? What do I know? There is no way in hell I would ever had let my mother move in with me. She was always obnoxious.

Seriously, if it isn't normal behavior for her you should inform her doctor.

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You could also remind her if you can't do your job, due to lack of sleep, none of you will have a place to live.

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1 hour ago, RabidMongoose said:

Does anybody here have advanced knowledge on how to deal with elderly narcissists?

I have a parent living with me who is very antagonistic in her attempt to get attention off us. In the day she is confrontational, patronising and tries to get under our skin in the hope she can cause arguments. And if there is an argument she will try and milk it for its attention seeking worth for days afterwards. This one isn't so much of a problem as I can ignore her outbursts.

But it occurs in the middle of the night which is quite challenging as it disrupts our sleep. Every night she is trying to start conversations or making loud noises. I've even been woken up by her tapping her fingers on the wall and my door. Shall I just dump her in a home? I'm in my thirties and really cannot be bothered with having to put up with this anymore for the next 10-20 years until she dies. That sounds really harsh as its my own mother but I'm sick and tired of it.

Is there any other way to stop this behaviour? I need sleep.

If your mom has dementia, or a mental illness, it is a difficult path to go down. I was a live in caregiver for a woman with alcoholic dementia, and borderline personality disorder. She died in Dec. my lady was awful, they can get violent, they wander, they are paranoid, and refuse to take medication. How is her memory, (short term, long term) her ability to make logical connections, does she ask the same things over and over, need to write things down, is she paranoid, a common trigger for agitation or the behavior you are describing is exhaustion from masking. Pulling herself together in social situations. A person with dementia can't handle normal outings, normal everyday life,  once out of an environment they know,  places become overwhelming, they become disoriented, and a huge behavior problem. The best place to start is to get a diagnosis from a neuropsychologist, or neurologist and if she is under the dementia umbrella you will have a much easier time getting her in a facility. Do you have POA ( power of attorney) and a medical directive. If not get them because it will be much easier to get her help. We ended up putting my lady on palliative ( in home) Medicare covers it because behaviorally she was to violent and no facility would take her. It won't get easier, and can affect your health, get help. Find a local caregiver group, they will know of local resources. You can call the Alzheimer's hotline 24/7 for  emotional support. 

 

 

 

Edited by Sherapy
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It's nice you found a new career that can be more fulfilling, Sherapy.

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Good luck getting such a person to see a psychiatrist.

I'm accused of narcissism all the time, and I guess I have to say I am.  I have the excuse that I'm old.  The barber comes once a week to trim all the unwanted hair and make my beard nice and neat and short, but I leave it "salt and pepper" because I like how it looks.  I'm a little chubby but that is fine in Asia -- shows a certain prosperity -- and I dress spiffy (now there is an old word for you that the millennials can look up -- I use it because it's the best I can think of.  I don't dress formal but I always try to look good and neat and my clothes are tailored and all that sort of thing.  I guess I'm a bit of a Vietnamese Poirot, although of course in today's age one would not carry a walking stick (much as I'd like to)

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I'm just browsing quickly, but good advice, so far. My little piece is to not put her in a group home; trust me, it makes things worse. Have a little Pow Wow with her GP and get some direction and ensure that you or someone else privy to the issue has power of attorney. She needs an individual caregiver used to dealing with these issues. My mother is a mean, hateful, nasty person who was simply unmanageable for my sister and I. It tore us both apart and even endangered our careers, so something had to be done.

Your mother needs a licensed, vetted caregiver willing to give it their all. Think about her health, of course, but consider yours, too.

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I would check whether she has some neurological problem, like Sherapy said, and would probably see a family councilor to work out solutions. Kind of like the councilors for difficult kids, but for difficult oldies. If she is just looking for attention, creating her own private soap for her own entertainment, maybe the councilor will have some more constructive activities to do together.

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It isn't dementia but thanks for all the replies.

She has always been quite challenging to be around. The problem is that when we told her she is disrupting our sleep instead of taking it on board she got a kick out of it. Now she repeatedly tries the same tactic in the hope she can get some more attention. I didnt want her living with us to begin with but no one else will put up with her.

I think she is going in a home.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Frank Merton said:

Good luck getting such a person to see a psychiatrist.

I'm accused of narcissism all the time, and I guess I have to say I am.  I have the excuse that I'm old.  The barber comes once a week to trim all the unwanted hair and make my beard nice and neat and short, but I leave it "salt and pepper" because I like how it looks.  I'm a little chubby but that is fine in Asia -- shows a certain prosperity -- and I dress spiffy (now there is an old word for you that the millennials can look up -- I use it because it's the best I can think of.  I don't dress formal but I always try to look good and neat and my clothes are tailored and all that sort of thing.  I guess I'm a bit of a Vietnamese Poirot, although of course in today's age one would not carry a walking stick (much as I'd like to)

Indeed, getting anyone to a neuropsychologist is not an easy endeavor. In my case, the lady I cared for was a psychologist and knew her way around testing, yet, even then POA ( power of attorney) and a MD (medical directive) Is the most important thing to have in cases of dementia. And, finding a support group that is proactive and resource rich. And, a symptom of dementia is the ability to mask which is the capacity to do and say the " right" things in front of an doctor or psychologist, a person never loses their sense of self or drive to survive. I strategized around this by taking my lady to the testing at different times of day, during her sundowning period and low mental functioning times. 

Edited by Sherapy
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8 hours ago, Gingitsune said:

I would check whether she has some neurological problem, like Sherapy said, and would probably see a family councilor to work out solutions. Kind of like the councilors for difficult kids, but for difficult oldies. If she is just looking for attention, creating her own private soap for her own entertainment, maybe the councilor will have some more constructive activities to do together.

Personally, I think a facility, or a six pack, or assisted living or adult day care is a much better choice, because they have trained employees who know how to divert problem behaviors, keep them busy, he can go visit her and the quality of the relationship will be better. In the end, that is what we aim for as caregivers to help forge quality relationships with the family members. The problem with a facility is the price tag, that is why most keep the older person at home. What is downplayed is the toll it takes on the family caregivers to care for someone who lives in, most family members work full-time and then come home to care for someone who is debilitated in some way. It sounds like RM has a serious issue on his hands is exhausted from it, and with exhaustion comes high stress, lack of sleep, and the lack of time to recharge his own batteries, which if left unchecked can lead to his own health issues. Burnout happens fast in these situations. Then to go get an education on how to manage his mom ( which really is diverting behavioral issues/ after a lifetime of his mom knowing every button to push ) is a huge time commitment and endeavor. RM, would be better off finding a relief caregiver  ASAP to stay with his mom, this could help temporarily, until he decides a long term solution. My heart goes out to the guy, this is such a rough road. 

Edited by Sherapy
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15 hours ago, RabidMongoose said:

Does anybody here have advanced knowledge on how to deal with elderly narcissists?

I have a parent living with me who is very antagonistic in her attempt to get attention off us. In the day she is confrontational, patronising and tries to get under our skin in the hope she can cause arguments. And if there is an argument she will try and milk it for its attention seeking worth for days afterwards. This one isn't so much of a problem as I can ignore her outbursts.

But it occurs in the middle of the night which is quite challenging as it disrupts our sleep. Every night she is trying to start conversations or making loud noises. I've even been woken up by her tapping her fingers on the wall and my door. Shall I just dump her in a home? I'm in my thirties and really cannot be bothered with having to put up with this anymore for the next 10-20 years until she dies. That sounds really harsh as its my own mother but I'm sick and tired of it.

Is there any other way to stop this behaviour? I need sleep.

I dealt with that with my mother in law until she passed. When you both work during the day they get lonely and angry by the time lunch hour and when you come home. 

Seriously making them see a doctor helps. Also when you get time focus on what they are missing out on. I couldn't believe the change in attitude by just a trip to the beauty parlor and a new cut would do for  her attitude! Also, told her off when my spouse had to go to the hospital for stress and heart problems. It helped when I asked her if she really wanted to kill her children! 

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Note the way I used the word "narcissist" and the way others here have used it.  I always thought the word had to do with excessive concern about how one looks (and especially someone thinking they are particularly good looking).  

The new (at least to me) meaning someone self-centered and judgmental and obnoxious and difficult about it all.

I can see a similarity between the behaviors, but to me narcissism is kinda funny, especially when I see it in myself, while the behavior being described is rough.  I don't think I would necessarily associate it with senility, as I know difficult, judgmental people of all ages, down to about three.  However, senility could bring it on or, perhaps more accurately, bring it out (behavior that the person up to the onset of senility has always been able to control).

At this point in time there is little to be done about senility.  Some counseling and a few drugs are around, but don't seem to help much.  At this point helping care-givers seems the best point of approach.

About people who are like that as a personality trait, I have to say I'm ungenerous and avoid them.  Not much point in trying to change anyone's personality -- and a bit arrogant to think one can.  I suppose I should be compassionate and realize they must be lonely and full of negative emotions and I should try to do what I can, but in the end we can only help ourselves and leaving Buddhist tracts on human love and so on lying around will only be counterproductive.

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45 minutes ago, Frank Merton said:

Note the way I used the word "narcissist" and the way others here have used it.  I always thought the word had to do with excessive concern about how one looks (and especially someone thinking they are particularly good looking).  

The new (at least to me) meaning someone self-centered and judgmental and obnoxious and difficult about it all.

I can see a similarity between the behaviors, but to me narcissism is kinda funny, especially when I see it in myself, while the behavior being described is rough.  I don't think I would necessarily associate it with senility, as I know difficult, judgmental people of all ages, down to about three.  However, senility could bring it on or, perhaps more accurately, bring it out (behavior that the person up to the onset of senility has always been able to control).

At this point in time there is little to be done about senility.  Some counseling and a few drugs are around, but don't seem to help much.  At this point helping care-givers seems the best point of approach.

About people who are like that as a personality trait, I have to say I'm ungenerous and avoid them.  Not much point in trying to change anyone's personality -- and a bit arrogant to think one can.  I suppose I should be compassionate and realize they must be lonely and full of negative emotions and I should try to do what I can, but in the end we can only help ourselves and leaving Buddhist tracts on human love and so on lying around will only be counterproductive.

 There isn't anything wrong with your perspective, Frank, in fact, you make great points. IMHO It is arrogant to think we can change dementia. In caregiver group, I routinely hear stories of caregivers who are trying to care for a family member who is better off in a skilled facility with people who are experts in the disease. We can't change a person with dementia, but educated caregivers can get inside their world and manage them from their perspective. Compassion to me, is getting the best help for all involved, and this can and does mean putting a person in a place that is designed to care for severe cases of dementia. I don't think you are a narcissist because you like to look good, it sounds like you take pride in your appearance and why not. 

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1 minute ago, Sherapy said:

 There isn't anything wrong with your perspective, Frank, in fact, you make great points. IMHO It is arrogant to think we can change dementia. In caregiver group, I routinely hear stories of caregivers who are trying to care for a family member who is better off in a skilled facility with people who are experts in the disease. We can't change a person with dementia, but educated caregivers can get inside their world and manage them from their perspective. Compassion to me, is getting the best help for all involved, and this can and does mean putting a person in a place that is designed to care for severe cases of dementia. I don't think you are a narcissist because you like to look good, it sounds like you take pride in your appearance and why not. 

Looking good gets respect and from that better and faster service and more polite treatment from folks like police and baggage handlers.  In Asia age and good posture do that too.  That however is just an excuse.

I guess I'm lucky in that I've never had to deal with senility.  Everyone I know who has died has died fairly young (oh I did have an aunt get well above 100 -- we really don't know because of poor records back then -- but she was out there getting and heating her own bath water with her toothless smile to the very end and we have no idea what actually killed her (I think probably a stroke as just one morning she was gone).

When I'm struggling to find the word for something, sometimes I have little fears, but I think that happens to everyone and in fact my memory is as good now as ever (we always sometimes have trouble finding the word for something).  I don't know if there is any truth in the idea of trying to stay happy and mentally active, but certainly it can't hurt.  Still, I know a top lawyer who was sharp as they get but still went downhill very fast, although I don't think he has Alzheimer's but instead that condition caused by lots of small strokes.  Alzheimer's seems to take longer to develop.

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23 hours ago, Michelle said:

There is no way in hell I would ever had let my mother move in with me. She was always obnoxious.

Our mother would ? I guess its call brow beat ?  Seemed like all the time these light little things like well I suppose I could try and do it myself, or well if I can't seem to find someone to help, EVENTUALLY WE SAID , well my evil had mentioned the old geezer home or WE WILL BE LOCKING YOU IN A ROOM AND FEED YOU THERE if you've nothing good to say! -- EVER! good to say, shut your hole! well it wasn't probably exactly like that but things were so much nicer after that.  Sometimes I think they need their butt paddled hahahaha!

Update: I'd said to myself and other's be easy , be nice , patience .  I know for a fact if she was someone else's mom I would have an abundance of patience but for some reason well around here HA! we have little patience with immediate family and are very hard on them but treat other's of other families so nicely hahaha! kind of hate that but that's the way it is for some reason.

Edited by MWoo7
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I hope as I get old I'm not one of those Mums.

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Nobody has an ancient XgLx5.gif  like Fran(actress) type mother with a squeaky naggy winer voice all in one, but if they do they must have all the patience in the world , make that WORLD CLASS PATIENCE ! : )

Edited by MWoo7
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38 minutes ago, Kismit said:

I hope as I get old I'm not one of those Mums.

OMG, me neither. I don't want dementia and if I got it I can't bear the thought of putting my sons through it. My butt goes to a home, period. 

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26 minutes ago, Sherapy said:

dementia

Probably a long time till anything remotely like that comes around for you, besides by that time they'll have something more ironclad in diet to curb it.  Some get it, some don't(senile/ ALL TIMERS), but I do know that some that don't get it or are sharp as a tack have extreme diets, nothing out of plastics, only traces of meat here and there like for say in salads ZERO packaged or store bought meat because of (this poison that poison and they can name them all ! HA! ) and their water has to be 9 or close to it in PH. EXTREMELY STRICT! but they are always 80's / 90's and sharp shARP SHARP !   Some hip friends say "well my granny smoked cigars and drank whiskey till she was 103" IMMEDIATELY ! I say " that's truly a shame."

They're like saying, "wa  wah what do you mean by that?", and naturally I've something to the effect of "well they would have made a couple hundred easily!"  "you know if they lived a clean life."  Never goes over well HA!

Edited by MWoo7
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Narcissism is a life long personality/character disorder. When an old person suddenly develops self centered, irrational, delusional thinking it's almost always a sign of some form of dementia or brain related disorder.  

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59 minutes ago, Lilly said:

Narcissism is a life long personality/character disorder. When an old person suddenly develops self centered, irrational, delusional thinking it's almost always a sign of some form of dementia or brain related disorder.  

My understanding of narcissism is:

At an age where the kid hasn't developed a solid identity yet the parents psychologically abuse it destroying their self-esteem. The child feels distressed and creates a perfect identity to move on from it. That perfect identity gets adopted as the true self and solidified resulting in the creation of a narcissist. What happens is that in order for the perfect identity to be validated the narc needs to be the best at everything, always right, to always win, and to be at the centre of the universe. Obviously that requires everyone else to creep around them on egg shells so as not to dent their ego, to talk them up, to not question their decisions or opinions, to not point out their faults or flaws, and to provide endless attention when needed.

As people arent interested in doing all of that the narcissist is setup for constant disappointment. It forces them to confront the realisation that the perfect identity is fake slamming them back into psychological distress. So the narcissist is either perfect or their world is falling apart. Its from one extreme to the other like with bi-polar and the narcissist will do absolutely anything to revalidate the perfect identity. When people point out what is wrong with the narcs behaviour they get either ridiculed and devalued, or the narc will claim it never happened (and convince themselves it didnt too). The reason being is if you arent talking nonsense, and the narc accepts that something happened, then they are forced to confront the realisation that their behaviour is less than perfect. There goes the perfect identity again slamming them back into distress.

My understanding of dementia is:

Starting in their early twenties they begin losing brain cells including those responsible for impulse control and obeying social norms. It takes a well trained eye to spot it in someone so young but by the time they get beyond fifty it starts becoming apparent to all. They act out their psychological needs inappropriately causing embarrassment and resentment in others. Usually when they start acting out their sexual needs inappropriately they get put into care as their adult children dont want to have to deal with that.

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2 hours ago, RabidMongoose said:

My understanding of narcissism is:

At an age where the kid hasn't developed a solid identity yet the parents psychologically abuse it destroying their self-esteem. The child feels distressed and creates a perfect identity to move on from it. That perfect identity gets adopted as the true self and solidified resulting in the creation of a narcissist. What happens is that in order for the perfect identity to be validated the narc needs to be the best at everything, always right, to always win, and to be at the centre of the universe. Obviously that requires everyone else to creep around them on egg shells so as not to dent their ego, to talk them up, to not question their decisions or opinions, to not point out their faults or flaws, and to provide endless attention when needed.

As people arent interested in doing all of that the narcissist is setup for constant disappointment. It forces them to confront the realisation that the perfect identity is fake slamming them back into psychological distress. So the narcissist is either perfect or their world is falling apart. Its from one extreme to the other like with bi-polar and the narcissist will do absolutely anything to revalidate the perfect identity. When people point out what is wrong with the narcs behaviour they get either ridiculed and devalued, or the narc will claim it never happened (and convince themselves it didnt too). The reason being is if you arent talking nonsense, and the narc accepts that something happened, then they are forced to confront the realisation that their behaviour is less than perfect. There goes the perfect identity again slamming them back into distress.

My understanding of dementia is:

Starting in their early twenties they begin losing brain cells including those responsible for impulse control and obeying social norms. It takes a well trained eye to spot it in someone so young but by the time they get beyond fifty it starts becoming apparent to all. They act out their psychological needs inappropriately causing embarrassment and resentment in others. Usually when they start acting out their sexual needs inappropriately they get put into care as their adult children dont want to have to deal with that.

I am certified as a memory care specialist (dementia). There are 127 different types of dementia, how old is your mom? With the exception of early onset Alzheimer's old age is the leading cause of dementia. It is common for a person with dementia to be paranoid and based off your description it sounds like your mom is paranoid, even delusional and highly agitated due to it. The reason is because the part of the brain that regulates judgment, reason, impulse control ( frontal lobe) have lost the ability to regulate and tell reality from fact, so they think and act in accordance with their version of reality as if it is true, they can even think something on television is "their" reality. They can pick up other people's reality as if their own. Can you appeal to her logically? How is her memory? Short term, long term? A person with dementia have periods of lucidity too, they mask which means they can act fine in front of doctors or company, but afterwards they become highly agitated and wiped out from it which leads to major behavioral problems due to overstimulation. Family members can write off signs of dementia to stress, personality defects, narcissism, all kinds of things etc. What is she doing at night that is preventing you from sleeping? From your post, it sounds like she is delusional, having outbursts is a huge part of dementia too. Does she sundown? Does she need consistent help remembering to do basic things? Is she alone during the day? The best thing for you is to take her to a neuropsychologist, or her doctor especially if this behavior is a sudden development she could just have a UTI the symptoms can mimic dementia.

http://m.alz.org/

 

 

Edited by Sherapy
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