Dealing with mom.

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My father died 2 months ago. I promised dad I would take of mom. She doesn't hear or read or write or drive.. She is very health and 83 years old. I am responsible for her finances, social entertainment etc. she lives alone and does not want to live with me now. My siblings gist and call occasionally. So basically everything is on me. My life now includes her in everything. I no longer get Saturday naps because she wants to go go go. All the time. If I say no she starts crying and says she is stuck in the house (not true) she gets out way more now then when dad was alive. And now she keeps telling me she wants to find a man to go out with. And she is going to walk to McDonald's 2 miles away if I don't come get her.. Insists I take her to Sunday breakfast. I find myself lying to her about what I do when I am away from her so she doesn't make me feel guilty for having a life. I promised dad but I don't think I can do this..oh and she thinks she is rich and just spend spend spend. She lives on social se unity only and barely makes it. I will be having to make up the difference shortly if she keeps spending. When I tell her no she gets upset so I just give in and say fine be broke then. I want my life back..
My husband wants to get an rev in a couple of years and travel.. I don't think I will be a part of it because I have mom..

35 Comments

" gonna find herself a guy " .
thats a little unusual at her age. it sounds to me like she may have been a little more sociable than your dad was and she might have been itching to get out more for some time now. she might get it out of her system and become a little more of a homebody. my aunt was going to " get off that hill " too when her husband passed away but she soon got tired of running the roads and was quite content at home. i understand your frustration. " going " all the time doesnt appeal to me a bit..
I now realize why my dad say on the porch and read all the time. I also realize now why I only went over a few times a week to visit because of her constant negativity. I realize now just what my dad dealt with for 63 years. How am I ever going to deal with this? I. Tired I don't want to go. I just would like to sit and visit. And I hate eating out now.
You promised your dad that you would take care of Mom. What do you think would be more important in his mind, that she doesn't run out of money, or that she gets to go out to breakfast every Sunday?

I think it is perfectly fine, with or without a promise, that you look after your mother's best interests, but that you really need to prioritize all of her wants/needs and also be sure you can take care of your own needs. Surely your father did not intend for you to take care of her at the expense of being miserable her self.

When you tell your mom no to excessive spending she gets upset and you don't want to deal with that so you let her do self-destructive things. I don't think that is taking good care of her. It is VERY hard to switch roles with a parent where you now have to be the one to enforce rules, but that is what it takes. Seeing to it that her money lasts is more important than seeing that she is never upset. Do you see what I mean?

You are going to have to set some boundaries as you look after her.

Don't despair. You are both no doubt still in shock and mourning over your father's death. Don't be surprised if everything isn't going smoothly immediately. It will take a while for things to settle into acceptable routines. Just make sure the routines do not include you jumping up and running over every time she wants to go to MacDonalds. You won't survive a year in that mode!
Someone told me yesterday about his Mom. She went to an assisted living situation and they were all really scared that she would hate it. I don't know if that's a possibility for your Mom, but what he told me surprised me.

He said he went to visit his Mom and she was sitting there with a big smile on her face. She was poor all her life. She said now she had someone who shopped for her and cooked for her, she was surrounded by new friends and she learned to play Majong (not sure how to spell it). When he offered to take her out to visit his brother, she didn't want to miss her majong group.

So, not sure what is available for your Mom, but your Dad's request did not mean you had to be the only one who helps and entertains her. If there are things the community offers, she may be able to establish new friendships. Look around for help. Encourage her to take advantage of the community help that is offered... there may be something at the library or all the way to some form of assisted living.

My mom lived to be almost 93. At her service 25 women from her 'healthy bones' exercise class came and they dedicated something at the library for her (where the exercise classes where offered twice a week).

Please don't think what your Dad wanted was for YOU to do everything for your Mom, and don't feel like no one else can do it as good as you can. You do need a break, a rest, help from others.

I know, I tried to do it all myself. I never thought what others did was good enough for Mom, but in retrospect, she really had a lot of fun when she was able to be with other people and not locked up in her house along.

Best wishes to you in this journey.

Oh... and one other thing. The BEST advice I got on this site was when someone told me, no matter how frustrating or tiring it gets, try to tell your Mom that you love her every day and give her a hug if you can. I did that, thanks to that woman's advice and today, I know that for the last 32 years, my Mom felt my hug and heard my words... no matter how hard it got. That is very, very comforting to me today.

Again, wishing you well on this journey. You are a kind person and no matter how you accomplish it, you are giving a lot to your Mom.
Brilliant, let her find a friend, you are never too old for love....it will take the pressure off you.
If you cannot cope, you are better having a real eye to eye talk, and explaining this.
If she is being unreasonable, tell her so. If you want me to treat you like an adult, well, like when I was a teenager, you have to act like one too!
Why do we go down the guilt train...what is wrong with us? Some can do it, and others are not perfect, and cannot. Don't end up making all you miserable for the sake of being the 'martyr'.
Superman or woman does not exist. You can only do what you can do, and so many siblings do not give a monkeys! Sending a hug!
If your dad only died two months ago there could be a lot of stuff going on. Your mom could be wanting to go because she doesn't want to be home by herself because she misses your dad. When my dad died, my mom was never home. She shopped and bowled and yes she came to visit me a lot. She just couldn't handle being alone. She also shopped a lot. Something about grieving makes shopping very therapeudic. I watched it happen to my mom and even to myself when I was widowed with very young children. Maybe some grief counseling would help. I also promised my dad that I would take care of my mother. I took that promise very literally. Now 12 years later, my mother has dementia and after living with her for 4 years and taking care of her 24/7 for the last 2 years, I had to admit that this was the not the best thing for her or for myself. Last month I had to move her into a memory unit of an assisted living facility. I am still having problems with the guilt but I realize that I am still taking care of her. It's just that now I am doing it with the assistance of trained personnel that are better able to take care of her physically.
Oh dear, How I can relate to what you are facing. My father passed away years ago. I cant tell you how many times I have heard "I should have found another man" from my 83 year old mom who has been living with me for 2 years now. Same situation, go,go,go! I have encouraged her to get out and do things for herself, for her own well being - in a gentle manner. I get that thrown back at me with the replies...but I don't want to go alone. I'm scared, I don't like old people.... LOL - it makes me laugh, but all in all - I envision myself in her shoes and it helps me with compassion. The quirks are just her sharing her feelings and thoughts, which are to be respected. I'm sure she is scared. She has to make an adjustment also. Don't you think that this isn't on her mind also? I have heard everything to "I wish I were dead!" I let it pass and deal with it as calmly as I can. As far as the spending, I also have to encourage her to save and not splurge. McDonald's is not a word in my home - I don't like fast food and I have helped get her back to a very healthy eating routine and only take her for french fries once every couple of months - thank goodness she agrees with this, but perhaps MacDonalds is a social escape for her or a memory for her that she is find of because she and your father did this together? ! I try to do things for her that let her know.. I understand. I do plan an event once a month outside of the day to day routine. In the future, You will be able to travel and do the things that you need to do in time. Has she thought about or talked about moving closer to family and friends? If she wants to meet other people and specifically men - does she have a plan? Its not out of the ordinary anymore for widows/widowers to want to have companions in their lives. I wish you peace of mind. Don't let your new found responsibility be a total downer, you need all the energy you can get now to both physically and emotionally deal with this situation for perhaps many more years. Ask for help if you need to, look into local resources for home health companionship and make sure you go to doctors appointments so that you can be aware of any changes to her mental and physical capacities. Do all things with love. You won't be sorry for helping a woman who loves you. :)
I think your mother is wanting to remain active and perhaps is the type of woman who even in her 80's wants a man in her life. I would try to get her to some senior events, it will be difficult for her to have a wide selection of men because more men die before 80. She may have to look for a widower in his late 60's or 70's. However, if she is a women who attracts the company of men, she may develop some friendships or more. Also if she spent most of her life married, she may have missed out on the dating from ages 20-30 and that may be where she is emotionally even if she is over 80 now.
Either way, her friends both male and female are passing away each yr at this stage so she may need to find younger seniors to relate to for friendship.

If she practices a religion, most churches are looking for workers. Try to hook up safe transportation to get her to volunteer activities. Since her money is short, perhaps a part time job, would be helpful for short hours given her age (perhaps 4 hours a day).

I think you are dealing with a young senior mentally. Like overly active children they require activity to be happy.

Good luck.
Elizabeth
My mother is a much more social person than I am. The hardest part of both of our journeys was her losing her license and becoming dependent on me to get her to and from her social activities unless she or I could make other arrangements. She had something planned every day of the week! She absolutely wore me out. I ended up having a talk with her and telling her that I needed a day where I did absolutely nothing outside the house - a day where I could sit in my pj's all day long if I wanted. Now Mom has declined to the point that her social activities revolved around her doctor appointments, and I look forward to getting out of the house as much as she does.
Alemap you do not have to cater to your mother's every whim. If she cries, let her. I was in a similiar situation, until I realized I was allowing my mother to control my free time. I stopped being my mother's salvation to life. Get that RV and go with your husband when the time comes. Tell your mother of your future plans so that she can make plans for her own future. If she continues to be irresponsible and do nothing that will be her problem not yours. Having a mother doesn't mean giving up your life to her.

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