Elderly mom living with me

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My husband passed 3 years ago. Mom lived with us then. I have never been alone. She has always been a hermit type of person, but now does absolutely nothing. She is 92 and extremely physically fit. Goes for a 5 minute walk every day. But she doesn't socialize and doesn't talk unless she is answering a question. I stopped pushing going out a year ago. She has her own in-law suite in my home, which is a blessing as at least I have my own space separate from hers. I go from MA to MD once a month for a week to see my grandchildren. One son lives close by and checks on her. I leave her meals in the fridge and freezer. I have close neighbors who also check in. It is my only respite, as my only brother lives out of state and could care less. She tells my son when I'm gone those weeks, she is afraid i will die in a car accident and then who will take care of her. My reaction to all of this is anger, then daughter-guilt, then anger again. There are many times I wish I hadn't had her move in. I miss the days when I would visit, take her shopping, to lunch, sit and have a cup of tea...and then go home to my space. I am just feeling sorry for myself. I understand that this age means self-centered is part of their thoughts, just as it was as a small child. I already told my kids that 20 years from now I am selling the house and moving into asst care. I would never put them thru this. Now I have a love interest and feel so wonderful as I thought that part of my heart died with my husband. My mother's response "oh, that's nice." nothing else. Then she tells my son that she is afraid I will abandon her. Her Christmas card this year read "thank you for being here for me." Not "I love you and so happy that you are my daughter" as from all other years. There are times that I think dark thoughts of how different my world would be if she passed on. Then the daughter guilt sets in again and I feel like a bad person. Thanks for letting me vent.


Although you are hurt by her Christmas card, I'd like to point out that she has made it a point to acknowledge that you 'are' there for her. I think you will both feel better if you begin to get some supports in place that don't include you, you will feel less chained to your mother and she will feel less dependent on you. Start small with a once a week helper for laundry or light cleaning, perhaps to keep an eye while she has her bath, and gradually increase the support given as she becomes more accepting.
I think your perspective right now is clouded by the feeling of being trapped and unappreciated.

The card indicates to me that she recognizes and appreciates you, even if it's not in your specific language. It's the thought that counts.

It's also perfectly understandable that b/c she's so reliant on you, she's anxious for her own security and safety if something were to happen to her. On that subject, what have you put in place to increase her perception of security? Does she have a life alert? List of speed dial numbers and contacts she could call in an emergency? Instructions for using speed dial, or alternately, just the list of names and numbers?

I would think of myself being in her situation, what could happen, and try to develop methods by which she could get help when you're away. Perhaps even an in-home surveillance system as well as a medical alert so that if she falls, she would be contacted and EMS could be sent.
I totally understand your feeling, costellery. I had a close relationship with my mother until I started taking care of her. It seemed like overnight I was transformed in her eyes from a loved one to a resource. I didn't get a Christmas card from her, or a birthday card either. She totally forgot my birthday, even though it's a few days before hers. She never asks anything about my life and changes the subject if I try to tell her. She wants the bottom line: am I coming to take her shopping or not? What time will I be there? Nothing else about me interests her.

I had to get away because I get too angry and resentful spending time with her. I live an hour away now and see her once or twice a week. I still get agitated but I have time to decompress and clear my head. Otherwise I'd be eaten up by anger and resentment, and the feeling of being trapped forever.

I wish I had some good advice for you. I hope your situation comes to an ending soon and it's an ending that works for you.
Don't feel guilty! You are a great daughter who deserves respect and love. Not sure why they think since they give us life they have a right to ruin it! On same page as you. When in past taking care of own needs I will go straight to ALl on my own. Never want to put my son thru what the last ten years of my life have been. Opposed to what it should have been. She shouldn't treat you that way. I know just how you feel. I have a selfish, ungrateful, inconsiderate one over here with me that I pray I get away from one of these days. If I could go back I'd never took this position on, and now have no clue how to get out of it. I've come to realize my life has value. I'm halfway through college and want to be able to finish in peace. Where their is a will, their is a way. Keep that in mind.
Your mom's concern with what would happen to her if you disappear is a good one. So good that it would be the reason you use to get her into an independent living apt! You are burned out, she has issues with being alone, and an apt would solve both problems. The info you have given has a simple solution.

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