I'm at my wits end...new here.

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Where to begin...My name's David and I'm 46 y.o. with an 85 y.o. Mom who's going blind and her short-term memory is shot. I'm pretty much the primary care person in our family even though there's 4 more siblings... 3 sisters and an older brother; I'm the youngest. 2 of the sisters are MOS (married and out of state) and the closest sis is also married and helps when she can (when I say "when she can", it's literally cause she can't do anything unless her a-hole husband says she can). My older brother lives with Mom and I but he's having a lot of mental and emotional issues which makes his moods go up, down and all around and I can't deal with him sometimes. So like I said I'm the primary caregiver for my Mom who's physically able to do things but is very depressed so she doesn't do anything but sleep all day(says she doesn't really sleep but just lays there...her excuse is "Why should I get up; there's nothing to do" WHen she chooses to get up she goes straight to her recliner and the TV which is her only form of entertainment...She had vision problems in the past for which she went through the Lasik eye surgery for cataracts or glaucoma back in 2008 or 2009 but as of this past year it's come back again...she says everything is blurry or cloudy so she can't see very well...can't see the numbers on the remote, can't read magazines or the TV Guide. She also has memory loss so sometimes she asks the same questions over and over...Always asks what day it is and if it's day or night!!! Other than those issues she's just gotten LAZY...she doesn't bathe or do her towel bath like she used to; I dread the evenings cause then it's the "channel changing game"... I will put something on for her to watch and after a few minutes she starts her whining cause the program is "boring", they talk too much, she doesn't understand what's going on, etc. So I change the channel...10 or 20 times a night... then it's "I want to watch the Spanish channels" so I put them on and she just can't sit and watch whatever's on...she can't see the remote buttons too well but she changes them anyways and pretty soon she's sitting there whining again with the TV on a blank channel...you get the idea...EVERY NIGHT!!! I get frustrated and can't take it...then the mental abuse kicks in...starts her attitude and takes it out on me...not to mention I have to keep the house clean, cook for her, care for her 4 cats (feeding, changing litter, etc.) and with no help whatsoever. Since she gets up late sometimes 6,7 or 8'oclock she'll be up till 2 or 3am with her channel game. I always rise at 6:30 or 7am so I try to be in bed by 9 or 10 but she'll keep yelling at me to change the channel again & again and I'll be up till she gets tired of the TV and goes to bed. There's more to this story but I'm sure you get it...like my user name, I'm "at my wit's end"... David

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David, I don't know if you can be an effective caregiver because you seem to have too much contempt for your mother. Maybe you're upset with her because your life has not gone smoothly, with the drug problem and all. Maybe you're upset with yourself because of the job and money situation. This may all relate back to an earlier time in your life. In my mind you need to work on you to get your life in order. It was great your mother was there to fall back on when you needed it. If you get your own life in order and the stress is less, you may feel more kindly toward your family.

I really wish you could encourage your mother to go into assisted living and let the two sons sort their own lives out.
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Olmaandme, I love it! GREAT JOB!!
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Has her eye doc checked for another cataract? My mom had cataracts done in 2003 and the synthetic lens became cloudy. They did a ten minute laser procedure and she's seeing great in the eye. The tiny hole allows light to penetrate the lens once again. Just a thought.
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I could make a few suggestions, David, but first I'd like to know which suggestions from last December you have tried, and how did they work?

I will make a an observation, though:

Your mother has dementia. You are treating as if she still has normal cognitive skills. That will not work. Not today and not next week. Keep up what you are doing and you'll keep up having the same frustrations.

If venting here helps, you are welcome to vent. If you want a solution, you have to be willing to make changes.
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David, go back and read the previous 13 postings.... and read them again, and again. You need to start taking some of the suggestions to heart because you'll no longer have a heart due to all the stress. Then who will take care of your Mom?
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Hey all....here again to vent and blow off steam cause if i don't I think I would punch a hole in a wall I am THAT aggravated with Mommie Dearest!!! It comes down to the issue of her #1--- being lazy...and #2---accepting the reality that she cannot see very well to cook...and the thing is she will put something on the stove then go sit in front of the TV!!! Like always she burns everything then blames it on me..."why wasn't I watching it??" I usually cook but she always criticizes my cooking so I'm like "well if you don't like my cooking, you're welcome to cook for yourself or go to a fancy restaurant"!! She'll try to cook but she overdoes it with some of the ingredients like the olive oil which we use in some of the food I cook...she can't see well so she pours like a freakin' gallon into something I use about 2 tablespoons or so. Then she cannot see the burner dials so she just cranks it all the way because she has no patience for the cooking...she wants it hot like yesterday and the thing is she cranks them up then GOES AND SITS DOWN IN FRONT OF THE TV!!!! of course she forgets and if I'm not watching she'll burn everything...You would think the microwave would be easier for her BUT NOOOOOOO...she likes to heat up milk for her coffee and let's say half a cup of milk...i know it takes 1 min 45 secs for it to get to a boil without it running over but she can't see the buttons so she pushes the most convenient one which is the "start" button which is only 30 seconds...I've tried over and over to show her the buttons : 1 for 1 min, 2 for 2 min, 3 and so on...the micro beeps and she takes out the milk which of course is still cold so she starts her b*tchin' and puts it back in and pushes...of course the start button again and it goes on and on with the damn beeping and doing it again til I get fed up with the beeping and do it myself!!! Right now as I type this she's sitting there complaining that there's nothing good to watch...I can sit there (and I have) and change the channel over and over to different programs and she will watch for five or ten min then start the "that's junk!!" routine!!! I've asked her countless times "What exactly do you want to see??" and get no straight answers...

I'm getting frustrated just writing this with her yelling at the TV like it's the Tv's fault that there's nothing but junk on....usually at 8pm when her usual programs finish that's when the whining begins...gotten to the point where I'll change the channel twice maybe three times and the last time i'll tell her either watch what I put on or don't watch anything!!! Then I'll go to bed and insert the ol' earplugs and tune her out...Honestly I'm really sooooo worn out by her antics...I treasure the early mornings and afternoons when she's sleeping and I have the house to myself!!! I dread it when i hear the shuffling of her slippers in the hallway...like my mood just drops like a lead ball hitting the floor!!! I know what's coming....first the twenty questions she asks me every day: What day is it? Month? Did the cats eat yet? Did my sister call today? Is there money on my card (bank card) My sister is in charge of her finances and adds funds to her debit/credit card in case we need stuff from the store. If we need anything I'll walk to Wal-Mart which is nearby and pick up whatever we need...if she's up and about right when I get back from the long walk from the store she'll ask if I bought cake or cookies or chocolate instead of telling me BEFORE I LEAVE or call me on my cell and tell me what she wants...that would be too easy on me...I've tired myself out writing about this, you can imagine how tired I am when i finally crash....Thanks for being there and reading this!!! David
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Hi Atwitsend. Have you put your mom on a schedule? Please remember you really are in charge here, what would she do without you? It concerns me that she can't tell if it's day or night....or is she manipulating you? I would think if you can't tell the light from the dark you are blind....I mean completely (?) Get in touch with the services that are available to you and her....like medicare and there should be an office for the aging where you can get help and an assessment of her and what services would be available to her....like adult daycare. Has she been diagnosed with dementia, because some of what you are talking about do fit the bill - anger, paranoia.... Take her to a neurologist (some specialize in memory disorders again you're in charge here don't let her say no (I know it's hard especially if she throws a tantrum) and if you need help with transportation check out Catholic Charities (you do not need to be catholic). I think this may be free or pay on a sliding scale. You should not be abused and the more you let her, the more she will do it. I mean really ? she wakes you up to change channels for her? Please be proactive, the more you do the better off you will be. Let us know what is going on and HUGS to you.
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My thought on this is that all of the prior comments are good! Also you should insist that she not cook! If she is blind and she may have dementia, cooking (or using anthing that may cause a fire) should be off-limits! As texarkana says, turn off the stove and oven - microwave, too. Anything that could cause harm to her and you should be off-limits. This should be non-negotiable.
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LISTEN! to olmaandme. SCHEDULE!.Put your foot down. My god, you are the one literally cleaning the cat litter, that gives you the POWER! He who cleans the sh*t gets all the votes.Let her holler,tell her to call the police.Don't be held an emotional hostage. No one is beating on her door to do the things for her that you are currently doing, she couldn't afford them. You are basically unpaid live in help. And no, it's not the wrong thing to do to go to your private area and put your headphones on, you are trying to preserve your sanity.As far as the cooking I see that as the most immediate danger, cut the d*mn circuit breaker or gas to the stove OFF! Also make sure you have a handy fire exstinguisher and smoke alarms with working batteries.Take charge of the situation, she starts to cry,give her a box of Kleenex.As far as cutting the power to the oven, I wouldn't ask her permission, both your lives are in danger from her behavior, she does not have the right to endanger YOUR life.
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Totally know what you're up against.My solutions were:
Get on a schedule.Be firm about it.Be professional. Forget she's your mother between 7 AM/ and 8 PM.
Do not argue.
With my mother...
I tell her I have a life ( not true but I like saying it).
I put on a channel she likes and take the remote telling her flatly I will not be in again unless I am passing by the room.She will get angry. Ignore it.
However recognize that she may just using this as way to have company.Loneliness and the feeling that her body is betraying her causes depression and aggression.
7:30 PM My mother gets ready for bed under supervision.
Bathroom, hand wash, ( other) and pajama's. I stand outside the door and tell her I'm waiting.Offer help if she needs it.
We have grab bars (everywhere).I encourage her to do for herself. If she refuses I insist and will do it for her.She knows I am good to my word and does not want my help though in a pinch she has come around to accepting it.
Lights out at 8 PM (she's 94).
I monitor her but do what I need to do for myself.
She is awakened at 7AM and up whether she likes it or not.
Bathroom routine, wash, dress, breakfast.TV on to her favorite show.
Most days I find jobs she can do.
I wash her clothes, she folds it.I insist as it helps me and keeps her busy and useful.It's important to feel you can still be useful.
She is responsible for dusting her room every other day. I give her the dust cloth and polish, shut the TV and say "time to work!"
Helps keep her mobile as well.
We put a Christmas tree in her room. I left the decorations for her to do as she see's fit.
Don't take "no" or encourage her pity party.
It won't help her or you.
She's blind, not dead.The blind learn to get around.
Your life is not over and the experience of caring for your parent is the best training you can get even if you aren't paid for it.
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