Advice on how to deal with live-in mother?

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My mother has lived with us for 3 years now. She has her own apartment downstairs with a private entrance. She has severe hearing loss and hearing aids do not help much. She has a curvature in her spine, but was fine until she fell over 3 years ago and now does not trust her legs to hold her up. She has all but completely withdrawn from any interaction with the outside world. She will go to the grocery store weekly, but not much of anywhere else. My husband and I ask her continuously to go places with us, but she refuses. She uses her hearing as an excuse. She is afraid of everyone who comes to our house, and will leave the room if anyone comes over. She sets in the dark most times and does not talk to anyone except the dog. I'm an only child. I don't know what to do to help her. Should I try to contact her doctor and talk with them about how she chooses complete isolation?


Speaking to your doctor about your mother's isolation is probably a good idea. She may be suffering from depression, or anxiety, and not telling you. Sometimes, the opinion/advice of an objective third party goes a long way to convincing seniors to get the help they need. Finding a hobby that your mother is passionate about may also help.
i have been caring for my elderly mother for 7 years. the stress that is on me is unreal. my only sibling, a brother, died 2 yrs ago, as did my husband. My mother is very controlling and wants to rule my life. she treats me like i am a teenager, and when i complained to her about this, she said, well you act like a teenager. i have friends who i like to visit, who live just down the street, but each time i go down there, she acts as if it is a slap in her face. complains constantly of not getting to do anything and has to 'sit in her chair' all day every day. I take her on a shopping trip at least once a week. I take her anywhere she says she wants to go. but still, not good enough. she is constantly griping at me and my son, who is my only support system. HELP
First, I would like to thank both of you for your comments. I really appreciate your contact. Shadyldy131, I know exactly what you are going through. I am also treated like a teenager and still get reminded of all the things I did wrong growing up. And I'm 48 years old. My mother has absolutely no trust in me whatsoever. I've been trying to start a small business and she tells me what I should or should not do. I enjoy going to car shows on the weekend, and she makes me feel guilty if I go anywhere, yet she will not go. I am on a very strict low salt diet for blood pressure, and she still goes to the store and buys things that I am not suppose to eat. And if I don't eat them, she pouts and tells me how much money she has wasted. You sound like you are in the very same situation. I constantly hear, "I wouldn't do this, or I wouldn't go here, or I wouldn't have anything to do with this person". When my stepdad passed away 11 years ago, I sobbed and cried, because I knew my life was over. From that moment on, she would try to control everything about me. If you need to vent - I'm here and I understand.
I am in the same position as both of you. My Mom sits there all day and plays dictator, acts like she doesn't appreciate anything, and you are disrespectful if you state your views. She makes me feel guilty because I have a life. We are treated like we are youngsters. I'm 44 and I can't wait to GROW UP. What will the stress do to our health?
sjohnson9 - go to the car show! You deserve and need to have stress relief in you life.
Decor 426 I know exactly what you mean. I was in Hurricane Katrina and lost everything. I had to take both of my aging parents in. My dad had 3 strokes and is in a wheelchair and my mom is healthy, but nervous and has aches and pains everyday. I have been helping take care of my dad with my mom for 20 years. She refuses to put him in a nursing home, but she is the real problem. She has become a dictator since she lives with me. She wants to tell me what to do all the time. I take her out the house everyday, even if its for 2 hours to go to Walmart or the Pharmacy, which has become my life. I live at the doctors offices 3 - 4 times a week and that has been for the past 20 years. I have never had a real life with my husband and children because I was always trying to take care of them. Don't get me wrong, my kids always came first, but my husband sometime got put on the backburner. She takes up a lot of my time and thinks thats the way it should be. She hears of other older people living alone and when I tell her if she don't lay off she could be in the same position, she don't get it. I have recently bought another home and am going to add a whole separate living quarter for them hoping that it will give me some space. I'm really losing it after this many years of dealing with it. I'm feel so differently about my mom now, when I use to love her so. I feel like she has taken my life away from me. When I finally have the nerve to speak up for myself, she makes me feel guilty. My brothers, don't do anything, they won't even take my parents for a weekend so I can get away with my family. She don't care that my brothers won't take them and she still talks to them like it was nothing, instead of taking it as an insult. I am lost and don't know what to do.
mlv3000 I think we harbor resentment at our mothers because we know they can be stronger and they are not stupid, but they have thrown in the towel so to speak. I find that my mother doesn't want to do any activities because my Dad can't anymore, I think she would feel guilty if she would. Believe me my Dad wouldn't mind if she did something it would make all of us happier. I know that I am a good person and that I am kind to others and I try to do the right thing by my parents. So no matter what your Mom says just remember who you are as a person.
Decor426 This morning my mother told me that she doesn't understand why I want her and my dad separate from me. I told her 2 families just can't live together. She told me that she and my dad was my family. I told her of course they were, but I can't live with all of this sickness around me at all times. She is pouting now, and won't get out of bed. I am standing my ground. This is not good for my 12 year old daughter and my husband. I have been helping for 20 years and she won't give me any credit for what I have done. She acts like I haven't done anything. The whole thing with my Mom is, is that she wants to go everywhere with me and leave my dad with a sitter and she won't give me any space. I feel like I have wasted my whole life on someone who don't see what I was trying to do for them.
mlv3000 I believe that sometimes they think they are owed our companionship and this is what they brought us up to do, its expected of us, I wonder how long I can do it myself. At least you were able to buy a home I'm not in that situation. My Dad doesn't understand why I have to get out of the house, and I get dirty looks and comments when my husband,sons and I want to plan a get away, thats what I have to look forward to when we plan to go on vacation this summer. I'm going to have to get someone to come over to make sure my Dad gets his medication because she gets confused. I have very little conversation with my Mom because of her bitterness. Sometimes things are more appreciated when you don't have them around all the time. I support your move, but put a schedule in place so you are not there all the time and take time for yourself for once.
Decor426 I know what you mean about vacations. I haven't had one in 11 years. Last year I planned a 3 day get away and asked one of my brothers to keep my mom and dad. He said yes and on the day I was to leave, he said he couldn't handle them. I had an aunt that took pity on me and came and stayed. I was miserable the whole time. I slept my 3 days away from depression. It's not fair that I can't do what I want to do when I want to do it. I'm sorry you don't have a home, but no matter where you are if they are under your feet, its bad. I hate my own home. When I bring my little girl to school in the morning, I don't want to come home. I wish I could run away. I saw a doctor that gave me valium to help out with my nerves, but it really don't help. I have all this pent up anger and it needs to come out. We were not made to take care of our parents forever. I said 20 years ago, I'm in it till the end and I fear it will be mine first. I love my parents, they were good to me, but my mother is so controlling. My husband and I go out and grab a taco bell bite or a hamburger on Friday and Saturday night and before I go I have to feed them. Then she will say, you never ask me to go with you. Her place is to stay and take care of my Dad, not to horn in on my husband and I's together time. She just don't get it. Anything, I do is just not good enough and I don't want to hurt her feelings forever, but I have to take a stand for myself now.

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