My mother took care of my dad with dementia until he passed away a year ago. The day he died she became totally dependent.

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She could no longer cook, clean, drive or stay by herself. She is very demanding. When she wants something she expects you to drop what you are doing and fix her problem. After a year she has went from a size 8 to a size 14. She went into Physical Therapy rehab to help but she blamed her kids for trying to put her away. For over a year we have been taking turns keeping her at each of our houses but it has just gotten to be overwhelming. I also feel like it makes her situation worse. She has three dogs. We now have someone staying with her and we speak to her every day multiple times and visit her often. I do her grocery shopping and pay all her bills. She is never happy and I feel guilty when she constantly calls to complain.


Before your dad developed Alzheimer's, was he the one that managed the money and made all the decisions? If he'd did and then suddenly you mom had to start making choices and paid the bills. But now since your dad died, she might want to revert back to where she never had to make hard choices and someone else took care of her. I would limit how much you do for her. Scale back your visits to once a week, same day and the same hours.
When my dad passed my mom (76 years old) became totally dependent on me. My dad had done everything for her. For the first 18 months she lived with my family and wanted us to wait on her and take care of her like my dad did. She was waiting on an independent living apartment to become available. When she moved in she cried because she had never been on her own before.
Over the last four years I have learned many lessons. The more I do for her, the less she will ever do for herself. I have had to step back and limit my visits. No matter how many activities, exercise options etc. are available to her I cannot make her get involved. I was upset that she sits and watches tv all day. One day my husband reminded me that even when my dad was alive she just sat and watched tv all day. Ha, he was right.
I will always be here for my mom, handle her bills, take her grocery shopping, watch out for her medical needs and bring her to my home for holidays and family parties but I will not be her total social life. It's not fair to me or my family. She is an adult and can make her own choices.
I have learned not to feel guilty and I hope you can do the same.
Your profile says that your mom has dementia. It's not uncommon for a person's dementia to progress right after they suffer a loss, like the death of a spouse. As you probably saw with your dad, dementia does cause the person to be demanding. Their brain is damaged and they are not able to function as normal.

Rotating your mom, from house to house, might need to be reviewed as well. People with dementia often find staying in one place easier to handle. Moving from place to place each week might be confusing and scary for her.

I'd keep in mind that she likely forgets that she has already called you and that's why she does it often. When she complains, she likely doesn't realize that she's told you the same thing before. Reminding doesn't help.

I'd try to set aside feeling guilty. This condition is not your or her fault. And sadly, it's not always possible to make people happy, who have this condition.  I might discuss it with her doctor and get her checked out for UTI or other medical conditions. If it's the dementia, I'd discuss plans for her care with your siblings to figure out where she can stay and not keep moving around. Also, she may complain a lot because it's scary and confusing when dementia is progressing.
bundleofnerves, my Dad [95] was the same way right after my Mom passed.

It was then that I noticed that my Dad wasn't cross-trained, he didn't know how to cook, do laundry, run the vacuum, or pay bills. Since it was too late to train Dad to do those things, I had Dad hire caregivers and that worked out well. I took over Dad's finances.

Thank goodness I notice that the younger generation is more cross-trained to do chores that at one time where labeled just for the husband to do or for the wife to do.

As for your Mom not being happy, think about this, she lost the love of her life... this isn't the retirement that your parents had planned. No wonder she feels so lost. She feels she will grow old alone. I would grumble, too.

Does your area have a senior center that your Mom might enjoy? Having girlfriends can make a big difference... they can call each other :)

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