I know I’m not the only one dealing with a parent with senile dementia bordering on Alzheimer’s. So how is it done? How do I keep my own sanity?

My mother has forgotten I sold her car. And she’s mad at me.

Back up to three years ago when she was admitted to hospital for pneumonia. When she came out, it was decided by the doctor that she should no longer be driving. She was 83. According to our laws she needed to go for a road test and she didn’t feel up to it. So she let her license go. We all thought it was for the best.

I hung on to her car for a year and then sold it. I didn’t need it and neither did she.

For the past three days I’ve been getting calls from her, asking:

What happened to my car?

Why didn’t you tell me you sold it?

Is nothing that’s mine, mine?

Why didn’t I have any say in the matter?

If I’d known, I wouldn’t have let you sell it.

Am I a non-person now?

Do you have anything else of mine you can sell [out from underneath me]?

I may as well die and get it over and done with…

Where’s my car?

Four or five phone calls a day, every day. Each call lasts half an hour or so and and goes around in the same circle. Same questions over and over. There’s nothing I can say to convince her she knew and agreed at the time. The logic that she didn’t need it is met with, “I wouldn’t have given up my license. I’ll just get it again, then I’ll get my car back. I want my car back.”

A couple of times I’ve managed to distract her from the cycle of questions, but she just phones back and starts again.

I’m worn out. I’m an only child and I have no other family here, so I’m on my own with her care.

I’m at a loss.


11 thoughts on “Eroded

  1. I had a hard time pressing the ‘like’ button. I spent a lot of time with an elderly grandmother who had no short-term memory, She would ask the same questions, tell the same stories but she was non-confrontational. I’ve know people like this, too, and I am sorry you have to deal with it. I wish I had more than sympathy to offer you.


  2. Oh no. I don’t know what to say. I think that’s the way of it. Depending on which parent, I might record her and play it back to her at the next call. Depending on which parent, I might lie to her. I hope someone has better advice. :/


    • The temptation is there to record her, but all it does, even when I can prove some other way that she’s wrong, is makes her feel worse about herself, so she cries and makes it my fault. My mother has always had a way to make me feel guilty about everything – she’s rarely wrong in her own mind.
      I do lie to her. Often. But she has these pesky notes… I have to get in and steal them… 😛
      Thanks for your sympathies, Joey. It’s nice to have people who make me feel less crazy with sane suggestions. 🙂


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