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How to Deal With An Elder Who Complains Too Much


My problem is with my mother in law not my own mother. We were never in a close relationship and didn't really know eachother before she moved in with us. She is paranoid and anxious, trusts no one and tells my husband I am out to get her. She is hurtful and difficult on top of that she complains about everything. We make allowances for her she makes non for us. We have four kids and they are normal kids that have to be told things over and over. She takes issue with that likes it's personal. I am the one who gets the brunt of her verbal attacks. I have never in my life had to put up with such a person. I am at a loss. Please help me.

I have a negative "Nelly" mother also..I can totally relate to many of the comments here. "Basket case" I think we have the same mother..lol. I've been taking care of my parents by myself (only child) for 7 yrs. my dad passed away 3 yrs ago. And now I am caring for my mother. She has COPD, DVT, and osteoporosis. She complains constantly. But will not call the Dr. about any of her complaints because she says the Drs don't "DO" anything!! Just one day I would like to stop by and have her actually ask me how my day was? I'm a mother of 2 grown children and I love to hear about their lives. She could care less about anything only herself! I pray that God will give me strength daily to deal with her but it seems never ending! She tells me everyday she wants to die... she's ready! This is really taking a toll on me, I have high blood pressure and have been on and off anti depressants. Just trying to hang in there! Would appreciate any comments if others are going through similar things 💗

Mine has negative things to say about perfect strangers when we are out and it's so embarrassing because she says these hurtful things so loudly, I just want to crawl under the table!

So glad to read this article! My mom complains about EVERYTHING and is so negative. She is constantly looking at the bad things that *may* happen, no matter the situation.

Useful info. Thank you.

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How is she at home?

My mother is 74 and just recently had a two week hospital stay. After getting out of the hospital they said she had to do physical therapy. They said she could either do it in home and they would come about three times a week, or she could do it in a nursing home for up to 21 days. She elected to go to the nursing home. And now she complains EVERY DAY about being there. She can leave whenever she wants and finish up the physical therapy in house, but she continues to stay. She says that she doesn't want the home health nurses to have to come to the house, and she wants to finish everything up in the nursing home. The only problem with this is that she won't be able to finish everything up in the nursing home as they will still send home health in for at least 10 days after she finishes her 21 day physical therapy. Her insurance is covering the cost of the stay, so that's not a big deal, but she doesn't like eating what they provide so me, my brother, and my sister have to bring her something to eat every single night. And the places she wants to go aren't exactly cheap, and she isn't the one having to pay for it either. She also is starting to act like a spoiled brat. The other day my brother was there and she asked for a ginger ale, so he went to the kitchen to get her one but they were out. He came back and told her this, and she said that was fine and to just bring her a diet cola instead. He comes back with the diet cola, and she suddenly gets very angry and yells at him and says "I asked for ginger ale!!" When he told her that they didn't have anymore she yelled again and said "well I'm not gonna drink it dammit!!" She got so loud that the nursing staff had to come in and ask her to calm down. She yelled at them as well and told them to mind their own business. She is getting increasingly more ill tempered the longer she is there, but she won't come home. If I would've acted the way she has acted toward people she would've popped me in the mouth and told me to have more respect for people, and I'm a grown man. But she thinks she can talk to people however she wants and no one can say anything to her without her biting their head off. It's somewhat comforting to know that we aren't alone in this, but it's still something that we shouldn't have to put up with. She is a grown woman who has suddenly started acting like a spoiled brat teenager who makes everything all about her.

I just joined this blog. Never was on a blog before, but felt I could use alittle support and understanding from people dealing with the same issues that I am. Reading the comments on here made me realize I'm not alone feeling the feelings I am feeling. I'm an only child and my mom used to be my best friend. She is only 75 but acts much older. She has COPD and macular degeneration in both eyes. Weighs about 90 lbs soaking wet. Pretty much self sufficient. After my dad died (1.5 yrs ago) we built an addition on our home for Mom. She still complains about being lonely. I work full time but do work from home each Wednesday. My daughter-in-law works from home (at Moms) 2 days a week. We eat dinner together each night and I usually spend abou an hr after dinner at 'her place'. I see many of the same complaints that I have on her: she's a constant complainer, never asks plz when I'm told what needs to be done for her, or offers a thank you. Asks impossible questions of me (which I could not possibly be able to answer, the gets mad at me when I tell her I don't know), wants me to make all decisions for her (which I refuse to as she is quite capable to decide these things as they directly affect her, then she gets mad and accuses me of arguing). I won't argue with her which I think ticks her off but it's senseless as she believes she is always right and I can't see wasting me time getting worked up about trivial things. I'm an LPN and have her health always monitored and at the top of the list. I'm just extremely frustrated and feel mentally abused by the things she says to me. Hard to believe that she can be so cruel. She has alienated the few friends she has. Who wants to spend time with a miserable person? Today was bad and she was screaming at me using profanity. I told her not to speak to me that way. At which time she Raised her fist and told me that she will speak to me any way she chooses. At that time I walked away, I never raised my voice. I kept a calm even tone though out but this has really shaken me. Seems impossible not to take it personally. I'm praying for strength.

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