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Every situation is turned around to focus on her . She has no filter on what she says.

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Thank you . It is indeed interesting and sometimes entertaining to listen to the advice of those with no first hand experience .
I've now decided to find a part time job to get me out of the house and away .....also to make her realize that my days do not revolve around her wants . She has access to several driver / assistant ladies but doesn't want to pay them . I use to pay for it before she moved in . She no longer has any housing expenses but still says she can't afford it . I'm slowly but surely losing a little part of me every day .
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I have a feeling what you describe is one of the worst problems of being a caregiver. We're told about what we're supposed to do to keep our loved one physically and mentally healthy. We're told they we are such good daughters and sons. When we have a common human slip, we feel guilty, because we were not being good caregivers. If we don't entertain them or at least arrange for the entertainment, we are not being good caregivers. If we're being nagged or verbally abused, we have to let it roll off our backs. If we say something back, then we are not being good caregivers. I wonder who is making us feel like we have to be such perfect caregivers. We are ourselves, so we are going to actually be human, not a stepford creation called a caregiver. I think if we can come to peace with ourselves that caregiving gets easier. I'm still searching for that peace, but guilt still finds me.

I've only recently started relating to the statement that caregiving is a marathon and not a sprint. A lot of the advice we get is for people who are doing sprints. These tips would be fine if it was only for 12 hours, 12 days, or even 12 months. It is a totally different thing if it is 12 years. You can't be a perfect caregiver year after year and have anything left of yourself. I think it better to live your own life first and do caregiving on the side. The hard thing is convincing the parent that they also need to live their own life and not consume their caregiving child's life. That just makes everyone miserable when it goes on for years.
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Just read all of your responses . Thank you all so much for the candid remarks and your own feelings and experiences. Hearing your thoughts has helped me immensely. I feel so much lighter knowing that I'm not alone .
Unfortunately, at this time we do have to have her live with us as her income nor ours is sufficient to pay for assisted living .
I find myself hating the person I've become around her . It's especially hard when my daughter berates me for "talking mean " . But how do I explain I'm reacting and defensive to the derogatory comments /implications she makes . I'm in fact embarrassed and ashamed that I allow myself to be drawn in . Most days I don't feel strong at all and like you some days I have to distance myself to not lose it .
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CEce, it's tough having to curtail your personality, which I'm sure is caring and loving, because you need to protect yourself from your mother's harsh words. For me, that's been the hardest part of taking care of my FIL. He's not like your mother, being miserable or cross, but he does harass me and it's so darn difficult to have to change myself, and the way I live, because the only thing that works, that really works, is to avoid being with him. I leave him alone a lot, and I don't think that's what's best for an elder. It's what's best for me--and that makes it what's best for him, because otherwise, him living here wouldn't work. I sense you have to do this too, and then feel guilty about doing it, even though nothing else works. It's the only way to keep our loved one out of a NH (demented as he is, he is adamant about not going to one). So we do it, out of love. But there are some weeks I can barely stand it, or him. There's a saying about how what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, so I reckon we're getting pretty darn strong at something!
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@ Jeanne Gibbs: "Why is your mom living with you? Does she have other impairments besides being crabby? "

Love that you put it this way. Maybe soon there will be a new and separate diagnosis category, maybe in the DSM manual:
"Impaired crabbiness, interfering with activities of daily functioning; difficulty with interpersonal relationships, with or without mobility issues or general age-related decline."
It will be at least covered by insurance!
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CEce, I just found your question. It is a very good one and I know that a lot of people are in the same position you are. My mother is a good example of what you are talking about. She is 90 years old and has been dying in her mind since she was 75. Every Christmas is going to be her last. Every birthday is a surprise that she is marching one step closer to her final day on earth. She has been so busy being miserable that she forgot how to live. We end up either being pulled into it or finding some way to get away from it, even if getting away is only in our minds. I have not found a long-term solution for pulling ourselves out of the misery they create for us. I do the same thing as you do -- I avoid her even though we live in the same house. It makes me feel guilty and people might think I'm awful because I'm not with my mother all day long entertaining her. That would make my own life horrible, though, so I don't spend a lot of time with her. I make myself feel better by reminding myself I am staying here because she doesn't want to go to AL or a NH. I do everything that needs to be done. Sometimes the guilt really pokes at me to interact with her more. That doesn't last long, because it is too hard to do. Between the loud TV and her unending talk of her symptoms and bad feelings about others, I get in such a bad mood that I have to get away from her. Very toxic to be around her for too long.
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Why is your mom living with you? Does she have other impairments besides being crabby? Has she always been a self-centered and negative person, or is this new as she has aged?

Besides not having any filter, does she have other signs that might point to dementia? Has she been checked for depression?

I feel very sorry for you, and for her, too. I hope you come up with a resolution that lets you feel comfortable in your own home again.
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Thank you very much . I will be checking into this .
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Cece, if your Mom is on a fixed income, then she probably could apply and be accepted by Medicaid. Medicaid would pay for her care at a continuing care facility [nursing home] but only if her physical health and memory issues have really decline.

As for the UTI, Medicare should pay for that testing, and treatment.
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freqflyer : No UTI , was at Dr today . I waited several hours for her to call me when she was ready to be picked up as she got a ride there since I had a dental appt . Even asked my husband to check at Dr office but she had already left , got another ride , and didn't bother to let me know .
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Thank you , wish I could but she's on a fixed income and we can't afford to pay for it .
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Cece, has your Mom been checked recently for an urinary tract infection [UTI]? UTI's can cause an elder to be outspoken, nasty, etc.
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Move her to Assisted Living before she destroys you. Boy, I watched my MIL just continually insult her daughter and criticize her, her children and her grandchildren. Very toxic. Get away from that.
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