I am new to caregiving and am caring for an elder that is demanding and is prone to a bad temper.

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Hi everyone. I'm 47 years old and live in the home I grew up in with my mother. She just turned 79 in late July.

My mother is obese (5'6" and over 300 pounds), is on medication for blood pressure and cholesterol. She has two coronary stents. In late 2005, she started having some vision problems due to circulation in her eyes. Because of her weight, she has some mobility issues/arthritis.

In spite of this, she is in better shape than many others I know who are her age.

She's always been demanding and prone to bad temper, but over the last month, it's gotten a lot worse. Right now, she hasn't spoken to me for almost FIVE DAYS all because I went out to dinner with my significant other on his birthday and came home around 11 that same night. She was mad because she had to get up out of her chair, go in the kitchen, and cook something.

I had brought her some food from our dinner and she basically said "I eat more than once every 30 - 40 hours; shove it up your a**; go take it to your significant other and his family, they're all you care about anyway." I had told her in advance we were going out to dinner and I would be home later.

Since then, she won't say anything to me unless it's in a sarcastic or hateful tone of voice. When I called and asked her what she wanted to eat before I left work on Friday, she said she "hadn't thought about it" and hung up on me. When I was getting ready to go out with my signifcant other last night, she said "I see you're getting ready to go work your corner again." (Yes, my mother basically called me a whore.)

I am going to call her doctor tomorrow and request a face to face meeting with him. I really believe she needs some medical help. I'm at the point now where if I DO go out, I'm afraid to go home, not knowing which side of her I'm going to see.

This makes me angry. I bring the paper in for her every day, bring in the mail, make sure the checks are written so bills are paid, do the laundry, take out the trash, go to the store for her. I do clean the house--not to her satisfaction, but I do the best I can.

She doesn't like my significant other, but it seems that she's becoming more resentful of the fact I have a life and do social things. A few weeks ago, when I told her that I was meeting some friends after work to see a movie, she said, "so that means you're not going to feed me?". I said, "I will bring you dinner AFTER we leave the movies and that will be sometime after 7:00."

She won't go anywhere--I've tried to get her to go places and she won't.

I'm sorry, but I don't deserve to be treated like this. I just need to vent.

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Amen to all of the above, she'll get over it and she will eat when she gets hungry believe me. Yes all those feelings come with the territory. Some territory. I'd rather be at the beach. You all take care of yourselves we will still be here when they go but what condition will it be? food for thought.
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Hi CLL007
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Alice,
It was great hearing from u and your doing good. I'm doing good also, had a very nice Christmas and a very nice New Year ( in bed by 10:00pm) But it was good anyways. I'm also working on getting healthier this new Year so is my Husband. My Mom is adjusting to us living here and is getting along with my Husband better. It still is stressful for me being in between 2 people but I'm also adjusting and have learned to just walk away. My Mom is getting more confused but we are dealing with it as are all of u. Happy New Year to everyone.
CLL007
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Hello CLL007 and Everyone,

Happy New Year to all , and I hope everyone's holiday was great. I am doing good, dad is moved into his apartment but as I was getting ready to go on vacation he fell down and broke 5 ribs.

The doctors gave him pain killers which caused him to have delusions and they were really bad this time. It seems everytime I go away for any length of time something happens. Well the doctors are telling me its dementia and it will only get worse and he needs to live with someone. Well I am trying to find help in house now. I was talking to him and his balance and walking is going quick so he said he is not against assisted living so I am going to look at places with him this week.

I have a week until my semester at school starts. This is my last semester and I am done and ready to go to work. I have to get dad situated so I can have a life. I have very hard classes this term and I need to concentrate on that and that is very hard when I am worried all the time about him.

I told him we will not be turning away any help we may get. I cannot be their 24/7 and my marriage has suffered so much over this.

Anyway, thats enough crying about me and my situation how is everyone else? Its a new year and we have much to look forward to!!! I am serious about getting myself healthy and in shape this year. My husband and I have bought healthy cooking books to learn together. Yesterday I made homemade Veg. soup and brought some over to dad because he loves it.

So, I did go on vacation and it was wonderful--everyone deserves a vacation. Happy New Year and thanks for your help.
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Hi Alice, Haven't heard from u or seen any comment from u. Are u doing alright? I hope everybody had a good Christmas and a Happy New Year.
CLL007
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The most difficult emotional thing we go through as caregivers is the transition from Mom to Child reversal--it's a position Mom's don't give up easily. I'm stuck in that place right now and I'm 64 while Mom is 86. She keeps reminding me she's the "Mom". I blew up once at her and felt so badly that I swore I'd never do that again. Instead I use the phrase "now that's enough" and walk away. If she'd understand it, I might add "remember I'm the one who gets to pick your nursing home" but in my case that doesn't work.

I do believe we can enable our elders to bad behavior by taking whatever they want to hand out--just like one would by giving an alcholic his alchol. It's difficult to step back and realize that we're doing it. It's rather like training a puppy--be consistant and turn your back on that bad behavior so they will realize their needs will be met but your life has to go forward also. I feel so badly for you young ladies trying to fulfill your life and do the caregiving too.

Let's stick together,
NALEWA
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Ultimatums may work...if not for your sibs, they may work for you. Here's what I mean. Communicate in as nice a fashion as you can that unless they call or come with a new tune, that they don't call or come at all. This may mean that they won't speak to you but then they can't degrade you if they don't speak to you! Eventually you may need to speak with an elder attorney about securing her assets so that the vultures don't have access after she's gone. This may widen the rift between you and your sibs but at the rate things are going, it already sounds pretty wide.
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I have been taking care of my 77 year old Mother since my Dad passed away in January 2007. I took an early retirement from my career and spent the next 8 months getting her home of 30 years prepared to remodel and put on the housing market, then moved to into my home. I am married to a wonderful husband and have a great daughter that help me as much as she can. However, I have 3 siblings, one in Florida and 1 in N.C. Neither of these siblings can seem to understand just what I do for my Mom. The one sibling that lives near me on the West Coast, just a few miles away helps when she can. Actually, none of them help. The sibling that lives near by, stops in from time to time, listens to me vent about the other siblings and gives me a pat on the back. Not really what I am looking for. The 2 siblings that are out of state, don't speak to me at all. I have tried to communicate with them, but end up the bad daughter. Mom has been with me for 14 months now and they have each visited once. I have asked that they come more often and I do realize that they have work schedules and such, but this is the only parent they have left. They tend to make promises to Mom about visits, but don't ever show up. I recently sent them all an email to voice my feelings regarding the false promises and because this monster in my family.

My siblings do not believe my Mom needs a caregiver. I've tried to explain to them that they don't see her on a daily basis and have no real clue. They only know what my Mom tells them over the telephone. I have asked them to communicate with me about visits to my state or wanting Mom to visit them in their states. But they have refused to do that. I help my Mom with her daily tasks, her banking, I cook for her and drive her where she needs to go. These things I do not mind doing, but I do mind being beat up by my siblings on a regular basis.

I am not sure what to do with keeping my temper with my siblings. At this time in my life I am so stressed out and unhappy. My Mom is a Diamond in my treasure chest and I would do anything for her. But she will not say anything to my siblings regarding how she see's them treat me. That hurts.

If anyone has some advise on what I should do with about my disrespectful siblings, please let me know. I am about at my wits end.

Nonnee
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You are wise to look for the lessons in misfortunes. Often, that mindset helps us get through difficult times, and of course, others benefit. I hope you both heal fast.
Carol
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I have learned a good lesson since I have had to cope with broken ribs maybe it was God's intention to make me realize what it is like to be disabled so I can understand the husband's feelings more- he developed a new wound on his foot and at this time he is being careful. Our church sent some food to us yesterday-it was a great treat/
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