Caregiving has exhausted me but I can't put my mom in a home no matter how bad things got.

My 84 year old mother has lived with me and my husband for the last 7 years. She lived by herself for a few years after my father passed away, but had to rely on neighbors to get supplies, go to dr appts, etc. At the time, I lived hundreds of miles away. I would take time away from work and my husband to fly up every few months to stock her freezer full of food and help her with things around the house. Then it got to the point where it wasn't safe for her to be alone anymore. She would fall, or be worn out from trying to maintain a big house and yard.

I can deal with her limitations (mostly blind; arthritis; cancer survivor), but what I cannot deal with is her attitude. She has us a nervous wreck. She turns every conversation into a battle. We cannot ask her a simple question such as what she needs from the store. We will get a nasty reply with what she DOESN'T need, and how we screwed up her last order. God forbid we bring home something from the store that she DOESN'T need. It's as if the world was ending.

When I take her to the doctor(s), she spans 50 years of symptoms and if I weren't there to keep the timeline straight, they wouldn't know what she was talking about. She complains about going to the doctor and getting tests done; says she is never going back or never getting another of those tests (especially mammograms). Then she complains if she thinks she should have had one of those tests, but didn't. She complains about the mammograms and the colonoscopies and the MRI's, yet when she's had them done, there was NO pain; NO bad experiences. I've been with her for each and every one of them; I even FAST with her to share her pain. She complains if she's prescribed medications; she complains if she's NOT prescribed medications. One minute she's saying what a wonderful doctor so-and-so is; the next he's a no-good blankety-blank.

Nothing I do for her is right, or appreciated. She started nagging me about Christmas cards around Halloween time. When my final exam was finished at school the first week of December, I immediately went out and bought cards, spent the rest of the day addressing them, filling them out, etc. When I was done I told her that I had finished the Christmas cards and all she had to do was put them in the mailbox. She unloaded on me. Said that she told everyone that she wasn't sending cards; wanted to know who I sent a card to and why; it was UGLY.

My husband and I try to take her out to see shows, and to do some different things. I always tell her to enjoy whatever she is able to see with her bad eyes because her vision could get even worse. She makes every outing a miserable experience. I guide her everywhere and try to anticipate any potential situations that we could encounter and she knows I'm not going to leave her stranded. Again, it's not her physical limitations that are so annoying, it's her ATTITUDE. Ordering food is a TOTAL NIGHTMARE. Again, she doesn't tell me what she would LIKE to eat. She can't even narrow it down to a sandwich, dinner, breakfast, or salad. She spews out a list of all of the things that she cannot eat, and all of her ailments, etc. She wants to know exactly what is in each menu item and makes nasty faces when she hears about carbohydrates, but miraculously, when cake, pie, or cookies are around, she suddenly doesn't seem to complain about her diabetes. Once, during a particularly awful dining experience, a fellow diner asked me how old my mother is, told me that her own mother passed away the previous year, and then told me that I am BLESSED. Yeah, right.

One time she will tell friends/relatives about how fun or nice something was, and the next time she will completely turn it around and tell them it was horrible! I've heard her tell out-and-out lies about how she was treated at a doctor visit, or during a medical exam.

I, too, have siblings who are unwilling or unable to deal with Mom. A few years ago I brought up the idea of a nursing home, or one of them taking over her care. One sibling was very understanding. The others had the nerve to tell me that her only problem is her sight, and that I am just complaining because I can't get everything to go my own way. They didn't offer to take her in, just cursed me for disrupting their lives.

I am so very thankful that my husband is understanding and helpful, and he's stood by me. I would be in a mental ward without him. He doesn't deserve this. I used to be a happy, positive-thinking, upbeat person. I would hear of other's grief and pain, and rationalize that my situation wasn't so bad. I gave up a good job because I was being drained at home and was taking too much time off to take Mom to dr appointments and my boss didn't understand. I used to think that I could solve MOST problems, or at least make them a little better. Now, all I feel is anger and hatred, and then I feel guilty for feeling that way. I always feel trembling inside, and I'm not nearly as tolerant as I used to be. I truly don't know what to do. I've been to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and I just couldn't put her there, no matter how bad things get for me.


Give yourself a lot of atta-girls, as you HAVE been dealing with it for all these years! Of course you are worn out and tired. When we are around negative people all the time, it rubs off, I don't care how hard we try not to let it get to us. I try different things, sometimes I just ignore it to the best of my ability, but I have stopped trying to make her happy. That has relieved more stress than I can say. I do what needs to be done, of course I pay attention to her, but she is simply this way and nothing I can do will change it. Try to find some things that will help you relax. I know this is easier said than done. But when you find yourself more focused on taking care of yourself, you will not be so vigilant to her behavior. And keep coming back here and telling us how you feel. We all understand and that is worth a lot. Welcome to our "charmed circle" as Cat calls it. We are here for you. God Bless
My 84 year old mom has been living with me for a year and already I am ready to throw in the towel. Nothing we do for her is good enough. My husband and I both are still working and she complains that we are gone all the time. i finally arranged to have her go to a senior center in our neighborhood 2 days a week but she tells people she really doesn't want to go. Luckily my job allows me the flexability to take off during the day if needed. We try to include her in dinners out and social events but she never seems to enjoy herself. I moved her here from 23 states away thinking that she would eventually adjust and be thankful for having all her day to day challenges taken care of but she doesn't seem to appreciate anything we do. She is in good health-just her body and mind slowing down. The guilt of not being able to make her happy is the worst. I take long bike rides or walks on my days off and this seems to help me cope. Good luck with your mom. I know it is tough but try and stay sane.
Hi scpirate:

My mom has been with me less than a year and my towels are shredded. LOl We both work and mom will not include herself in anything we do won't go out to eat, won't go to church, won't visit friends, of course, she has let her hearing go for so many years, I took her last month to be checked out and she isn't even a candidate for a hearing aid so there are no conversations unless she has something to say which is usually hurtful but tells me all the time what a loving person she is who the hell is she loving? Cant see she needs to have two cataracts removed but refuses so won't be long she will be Mrs. magoo. Than what? I moved her here to from another state way up the road I think it was a Big mistake, It was so much easier taking care of dad he was always so appreciative of the littlest thing. I am not feeling guilty, I am doing my best, She has made her decisions and when she can't see anymore I am sorry the nursing home can have her damn money, thats all she is concerned with anyway, it doesn't matter she never takes into consideration over the last 44 years how much my husband and I did with out to make sure her and dad had what they needed because there was always an excuse why they couldn't work. but that is the past.Now we could use a little financial help and she is hoarding so its like this you can let us use it for yu because she wants for nothing or you can let the government have it, you've never given me anything before so why start now, even at Christmas I had to play peace maker because she thought at the last minute 1 hour before guest arrive she was going to push my buttons and make Christmas miserable, well bingo Wrong lady, put my buttons in a safe place and It's my Christmas to no one is messing with them she didn't like It I didn't care and I had a great Christmas what she did with her's God only knows. I walk my dog I paint and get involved in other things, mentor a child, Bible classes, church, play cards with friends and whatever else I can get into She sits in fantasy world as always, I think those women of that era 1940's thought you had to be marilyn monroe to be a woman or something like that, she still wears the same hairstyle she wore when i was born and I am 60 does that tell you something? hang in there and think of you cuz you can't do nothing for her if you are't happy. It's taken me a long time to get here and I like it. I am not a selfish person but I am a person. neon
My husband and I have only been caring for my grandmother for two months. We moved her here from a nursing home. She had been in for almost 4 years and the costs were escalating and the care declining. We had talked to her about coming here for almost a year and then one day out of the blue she said she wanted to. Now I think it was a mistake.

She just turned 93 and ended up in the home because she fell and broke her hip and the therapy hurt so she wouldn't do it. She quit walking and up until a month ago was getting out of bed and sitting in a chair for a few hours a day. She put minimal weight on her legs when moved. She has let people do everything for her for 4 years now. She has only washed her face, fed herself and brushed her teeth. Of course she argues with us and says that she didn't put herself in the situation
Don't know why my post cut got off...

Basically, the gist of the rest of it was that I get angry many days because my grandma isn't truly appreciative and can be very demanding. She tells me she wants to die and is ready and when I get weepy and give her extra attention because of that she suddenly says she feels better and isn't ready. I did finally get the courage to tell her not to talk to me about it anymore because it really messes with my head. I will miss her, I do love her, but in many ways it would be a relief.

I have to get myself to the place that you are, neonwocky. I have to get out whenever I can and not feel guilty about it. My husband and I should go and enjoy ourselves any time we can get the sitter. If my grandma's son (my father) doesn't want to help and doesn't want to come see her I need to get over it. I have to learn that it is OK that some days the best I can manage for her is to keep her clean and fed. That will make the days that I am able to give more extra special. I have to remember that I am a person. Until I came across this site I thought I was not right as a person because of the feelings I was having. This has helped me start to get grounded again and know that I am normal (relatively

Whats normal honey? I know I'm not by a long shot! thats right you are a person and you and your husband should go out and have some time you know it is not written that you will always have each other either, Not to sound Macabe but from the day we are born our goal is to die, did you know that? It is our goal to get our soul back to God, He does love us and he never gives us more than we can handle. you are not responsible for what your grandmother thinks or says no matter how much you love her, than I am for what my mother thinks or says although they try to play that trump card called Guilt. Guilt serves no purpose whatsoever. Think about it It is not productive in any way at all. You go girl, enjoy the man you married, have fun, yes be there for grandma but sometimes grandmas bring things on themselves. Being stubborn can be a good trait, I tell my son, if it is positive, but being stubborn just for the sake of being stubborn is just down right stupid. Love you you and heres a BIG OLE HUG TO BOOT. The things we enjoy they don't especially do, the things they like we aren't ready for so there is the conflict. Have a Terrific day and remember God does love you .
We all need to let go of the guilt that's for sure. I didn't even get into the "money" situation in my other blogs. That is another story. My mother(bless her heart) has scrimped and saved all her life. Not allowing herself even the smallest pleasures. I had a brother 7 years older than me that was killed tragically when he was 20. He left a son who is now 40 and has never married. I have one son who is 37 and he has never married. I don't think either ever will. My mother doesn't even want to use her money for her own care. So who does she think will end up with it. She has helped me financially through the years but always in a way that she saw best. So even though I have always been grateful for the help, I am now seeing that it was just another way of control on her part. And that it now adds guilt on me when I can't cope with the situation. I got pregnant before I married the first time, and my mother tells me to this day that my getting pregnant hurt her worse than my brother getting killed. How's that for GUILT! But she loves my son to death so go figure that one out. Again, it was a situation that she thought she could control and death is not. I look back and I was just looking for a way out of the house then,too. I recently bought an easy yoga dvd and I just lock myself in the bedroom for a 30 minute session with the tv. I have learned that anytime you can carve out time for yourself it is a plus. One day at a time.
scpirate, Hi is the sc for south carolina, I live just down the road GA.

Yes, control and guilt didn't give them a thing did it just hurt us. I got pregnant like that to for the same reason that child who I loved desperatly died 27 years ago when he was 13. She don't ever want to bring that up to me I will go off like a wild tiger. She will hear the truth and that will make her cry and say you always hated me well hell yeah she took my son away from me when he was 18 months old because I had no house key (not reliable enough to have one) hahaha CONTROL had to take her to court to get him back and she sat in that courtroom and lied her butt off. So No I don't take all this crying baby crap from her. Yes, time alone I crave it can't seem to get enough of it. Thanks for posting
Neon - I have viewed quite a number of your various posts. I thank you so very much for taking the time to make them because they serve as confirmations to me and are such a major blessing. God bless you and yours.
Yes, SC is for South Carolina. That is where I grew up and my mom lived until I brought her here to live with us in Florida. So we are still neighbors. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I can't imagine how painful it must be to lose a child. We are taking my mother back to S.C. for a month's stay next week. That is all she talks about is how wonderful her hometown is and how she misses everyone. So today my husband was telling her to enjoy her visit and to see all her friends while there and she told him she hopes she dies while she is there. Another way to let us know that she is miserable. I'm counting the days til we have some relief from this craziness!

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