New caregiver to a controlling mother.

Started by

I have been trussed into caring for an elderly diabetes who I have never been close to. How do you set aside the hurt feelings from the past and the current stubborn non cooperative behavior to give the best care? And not be stressed out?


You should get yourself untrussed.
Trying to figure out how to make things better, unfortunately she is not being compliant with taking her insulin. Stuck in a place of no legal action I can take, but full of judgments from others as to not doing enough. Sigh
Personally, I couldn't do it. I over-see my mothers care and take care of all the administrative functions of her life. There are days when I'm barely hanging on to the ends of my rapidly fraying rope. It's completely beyond me how people do hands-on care when there is a dysfunctional relationship involved. These people have my utmost admiration and respect. "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din". ~ Rudyard Kipling
What is your history with mom? Do you live with her? Any other family nearby? (be they useless or useful....) Please share some backstory. It will help us explore relevant ideas with you.
Yes, tell us more about mom. If you're only 45, she must be pretty young herself. Why can't she manage her own care? Give us more information and we can better help you.
Not understanding "no legal actions I can take". Have you been appointed your mother's guardian? If not, I don't see that you have any LEGAL obligation to provide hand's on care.

Why do you care what other's think?

Sorry to be blunt, but so many folks here end up making their own prisons; they think that there is some legal obligation for children to care for their parents.

Tell us what is going on; we're pretty good listeners here!
OK, first a little about my relationship with my mother. My father passed 17 years ago, leaving my brother and I to look after my mom. My brother lives in Maryland, while I live in Florida, as well as my mother, but together. She is a type 1 diabetic and for as long as I can remember never followed doctors advise in her own care, including eating and taking her insulin.

My perspective on the way she treats my is one of inconvenience. For the most pat she does not call, speak or include me in her life, unless no one else would help her then she called me.
So the long issue is .... Right after my father's death she reconnected with a sister-n-law and a niece that lives in the area. That was great they were having a good time. During this time I only saw her on Holidays for she was always busy when I reached out to her. No problem she was fine until she wasn't. They got tried of the middle of the night phone calls from her having a diabetic event and refusing to call 911 and demanding they come and help her. So they finally started doing the right thing and called 911 themselves. She stopped speaking to them and now turned to me.

I tried to get her the understand the she needed to take better care of her self and do what the doctors says. Of course that was wrong of my was quickly explained I don't know anything and the doctors are all wrong and er diabetes is different then others. At that time I tried to mend our relationship, however she just wanted me to take her out to eat and run errands with her. Don't speak, just let her do what she wanted. i can not tell you the amount of times she was in and out of the hospital. But she was right. And also the whole time telling me that I was fat, not good at my job and a disappointment. As a result I spent less and less time visiting her, but of course worried about her health still calling a few times a week to make sure she was not in a comma.

Now, she decides to invite a friend to become a room mate. I had no problem with this. It actually brought relief. So for the next seven years the lived together and her friend saved her life I do not know how many times. The whole time my mother complained that her friend was annoying trying to tell her what to eat (the friend cooked every meal, which my mother demanded) and when to check her sugar.

During this time my mother stopped returning my phone calls, when I would go to visit she would stay in the room for maybe an hour then just leave and go to her room and watch TV. No, I am tired, no good-bye just leave the room. If it was not for friend / room mate I would not know anything that was going on.

At one she live in my neighborhood and walked my dogs around her block just to make sure she was there and things seemed ok. Then one day my husband and I brought lunch over to her for the friend was out of town visiting her family. Sitting out on the patio she proclaims, "My new house has no pool". I said excuse me, she said she was moving, nut it was just 5 miles away. She refused to answer why, she would not even tell me the address. I had to look it up on the county website in order to know.

Two week later she moved. Which my husband and I helped her to do. She lived there for a year. During that time she made excuse as to why I could not visit, too tired, to sick, going out and just no. So I backed off and let her be. Her friend / roommate and I talked and she would let me know when there was a problem.

Now, I soon (Summer of 2014) see on facebook that her friend is selling alot of her stuff and some of my mom's stuff. I call and ask what is going on. My mother says that she wants new furniture and downsizes. OK, no problem. Did not see her for the Holidays, as went on a cruise. Now it is February 2015 and again on facebook I see a local Realtor post that he just sold this house, you got it it was my mother's house. Feeling angry, I called her asking what was going on. She says she wants to live on the water and is moving to this small town a hour away. again does not want to give my the address or any more information. Just that she can do what she wants. I do speak to the friend and she explains they had visited her friends up there and my mom liked it and the next thing she was buying a house and a piece of property to build a house on. What! She gave me the address and new phone number. I admit feeling hurt and finally done. I did not visit, only a weekly phone call to make sure she was alive.

July 2015, rolls around and I get a call from the friend, Who ask me if I know that they have been fighting and my mother asked her to move out. I said of course not, she tells me nothing. The friend does wind up moving out. I tried to talk to my mom about what happened, but was told it was none of my business. I asked if she would consider moving back closer to where I live, told she like it there. Well with in a week of her living alone I start getting calls from the neighbors that she is passing out and not answering the door. She is having diabetic events due to low blood sugar. After about the 10 trip to the emergency room an hour from where I live. I told her that this is not working and we have to figure out how to stop this from happening before you wind up dead. Of course told to leave her alone. So I finally get my brother involved. (He has not come to see her in 10 years, just occasional phone calls.) He sends his wife down to visit and with her help we were able to get her a home aid to come in a few hours a day five days a week.
Now it is September of 2015. She is happy the aid drives her around, and does whatever she wants. So again she stops taking my calls or returning them. Makes excuses as to why I can't visit. I let it go and go back to the once a week call to check in. She does have a few visits to the emergency room for low sugar, we are talking in the 20's here. She stills no best and I no longer say anything because I am tried of button pushing she does when I do. The your fat and a disappointing to me thing.

Mid January 2016, I get a phone call from the aid that she found her unconscious that morning and the ambulance took her to the ER. Honestly I did not rush, I went to work, called the aid who did stay with her at the ER. She was admitted to the hospital and I went the next day to see her. She was bad, they did not know how long she was unconscious. She was not talking, fighting and hitting the nurses. They did get her sugars to level out. 4 days later she finally started talking at least yes and no. She did not have a stroke, but had been in a diabetic comma. She stayed in the hospital for 12 days. She diffidently had brain damage. Could not remember peoples names, thought she lived at her old address in New Jersey and the year was 1964. So off to an acute rehab care center. My brother did come down for four days to help me get her in the center. We waited to see how much damage was done and what she would get back. I was there everyday as she would not speak to any of the doctors or nurses for the first month. They I think she finally realized what was happening and she did the therapy and speaking. Still not eating except for cereal, hot dog or fruit. So from this time until June, I visited, brought her fruit, did her laundry, drove her to her regular doctors (as they would not go there) and worked to help her get well. Amazingly she has recovered her memory and functions about 80%. She could go home. She agreed to increase the home aid service to 24 hours until he see how she can take her of herself.

Well June 1st she went home, she has not been eating regularly and taking her medication properly. The aids cook for her, she wont eat it, they remind her to take her insulin and bills. It is a fight just to get her to check her sugar. So six days later to the er and hospital she goes. After a few days she is sent home.

I try to tell her that she has to follow doctors orders and stop fighting the aids. She tells me that she does not have to do what I say. My brother is coming down on the 24th to see what he can do. But I am having anxiety attacks every time I the phone rings or anytime I have to call or go there.
So, my dad did leave her well provided for so we can get her care, during these last months I learned that she did name me POA and medical segregate. However, no doctor will "sign off" on that she can't make decision for herself. I can't make her do anything and she wants to be home. The aid company is frustrated because she is not eat or take meds. I am afraid they will drop her as a client.

They she will be there alone and the worse will happen. Everyone says make her move, put her in a nursing home. She is only 71 and could live a full active life if she took care of herself. I really don't want anything to happen, but I am having a hard time moving past me hurt feelings of the past and finding the strength to battle with her over her behavior.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support