I care for my mom but I don't like her, she's very mean and yells about everything. She has dementia so I feel obligated.

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She is never happy, I don't think she ever was.its very hard to care for someone that you have nothing in common with.


Welcome to Aging Care, where you will find many you have things in common with.
Are you obligated? Do you have help from other family from your generation or hers? Explain a little more. Is she on medication, has she been evaluated, etc? xo
Yes mom has been diagnosed she is on Donepezil and Namenda,she lives with me. We have five siblings the two boys will not help and I don't blame them. We come from a very dysfunctional family. She has always been mean but now it's worse. My two sisters do help some with visits. How do let go and move on to be able to take care of her? I really don't like her and the other four feel the same. I have been trying since last September that is when she moved in. She can not live on her own she is 81 and the doctors say she needs care.
I understand. It's a universal theme, so never think you are alone. Many of us on the planet with same lesson to learn.
You don't have to like her, but in your compassion, you have been chosen to see to her care. Make the most of it for your own growth, and of course, her safety and comfort. You never know when the opportunity may come for healing. Give it your best shot. We are here for you.
I think you're asking how to be nice to her when she doesn't especially deserve it. That is a feeling I sometimes have about my beloved but stubborn and sometimes disagreeable husband. I want to be kind because I want to be a good person, but sometimes he makes it hard.

What helps me when I remember to do it is to use compassion. Your mother's mother probably wasn't that nice to her. What chances she had to learn to be a good person are pretty much in the past. IMO, people who are acting badly are unhappy, hungry, in pain, afraid or sick We know this about babies and toddlers. We have a harder time remembering that it's also true of teenagers, bosses, and elderly parents.

If you can look through her anger to the sad, scared, helpless person that your mother is inside, then you can feel compassion for her suffering. When you feel compassion, then caring and kindness feel natural and easy, so your suffering is also relieved.

Then she yells at you again and ruins everything.

But seriously. Her attacks come from her own suffering, and you should not listen to the words. Her pain comes from her, and you should not feel guilty for it. If you can respond with love and gentle humor, you will be proud of yourself and your load will be easier to bear.

Easy to say, and hard, but not absolutely impossible to do.

Dear JoyRita,

You are a good daughter and an extra special person. What I got from what you wrote is how can you take better care of your mom when she is and always was a mean person. She's mean and yet you are still trying to find the best way to care for her. I don't think you'll have any problem in tapping into your compassionate side. You're obviously a compassionate person.

Take the suggestions mentioned here and come back to vent or ask questions or to help someone else who may be in the same situation as you are.
I love my mother and she always took good care of us. She was not mean. Dementia made her difficult to live with. I cared for her for almost 3 years. It was the toughest three years of my life, no contest, physically, mentally, emotionally. I felt I was paying her back (and my dad, he came, too; he has Parkinson's) for all the love and care they gave to me over the years.

All of this, and it was incredibly exhausting and depressing work. People told me (and tell me) that I'm a "good daughter". In the beginning, the praise and knowing I was doing the "right thing" was enough. But mom would yell at me, get paranoid, become convinced that we changed something in the house without telling her. I found dealing with the toilet issues more and more impossible. Mom fell several times trying to get out of bed in the middle of the night for various reasons (dreams, didn't want to call me) and became less and less physically able. The last straw... Mom fell in the bathroom as I was trying to care for her with a dirty depends. We called 911 and at the hospital I told them I could not bring her home. I should have done it months before.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: move her out or move out yourself sooner rather than later. I wound up in the hospital with what I thought was a heart attack at one point - the stress was unbelievable. Your mom needs care you can't provide. Your health is at stake. You can help her from a distance if she goes into a care center. You can be an advocate to make sure she is cared for properly. But in my opinion you are not doing yourself or her any favors.

I hope this helps.
My favorite caregiving book is by therapist Dr. Pauline Boss, and it is called "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia." Here is what she has to say about caring for someone who did not care well for you:

"Taking care of someone who years before was abusive or neglectful of you is beyond what is expected of you. Caring for a family member who was or is physically or psychologically abusive is dangerous. Feeling as if you want to retaliate is also dangerous. These are justifiable reasons for NOT being a caregiver. ... Each case is different, but with most, I encourage some kind of continued management -- often through a social worker -- to make sure that caregiving team or the nursing home professionals are treating your family member well. This may be the best you can do given your history together."

I don't know what you mean by being "obligated" to care for her personally. If you can see to it that she gets good care, I don't know why there should be any reason why you have to personally provide it.
Absolutely!! I definitely recommend contacting a social worker, too - they often have access to resources that are overlooked!! Great response, jeannegibbs!
Great advice, Jeannegibbs. I am caring for my mother in my home, who has dementia. It has been a year now and I dislike her more than ever. She's sneaky, lies, and tries to manipulate, but has dementia so badly she can't pull it off. She has always been incredibly selfish and was not a loving mother. In addition, she treated my father, who I adored, horribly in his last few years of life and I resent her for it. But, I feel "obligated" to care for her, and my husband, who apparently is a saint, doesn't mind at all that she is in our home. I am an only child and she has no one. I want to put her in an assisted living facility, but not sure she would be able to (probably needs nursing home) not to mention the expense would wipe out her savings in a couple of years. I really don't even know what I am expecting anyone to say to me, except that I am not alone. I feel bad not liking her, but I simply have no feelings for her at all.
merrtell, Why are you obligated to care for her personally. It sounds like she would need a dementia care unit, either of an assisted living facility or a nursing home. So her savings would be wiped out in a couple of years. So? That is what her savings should be used for -- her care. When she runs out she will be eligible for Medicaid, so make sure you select a facility that will accept Medicaid after private-paying for a couple of years.

I just want to make sure you understand that what you are doing is a CHOICE. You are certainly free to make the choice to keep a person you like less and less in your home. But you are not obligated to. If you don't feel like it is a choice, then I suggest getting some counseling yourself. You can still keep her in your home, but you should not feel forced into it.

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