My 89-year-old mom lives alone and complains constantly. I also live alone and my mom wants me to move in with her but I can’t stand being around her for long period of time. What should I do?

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My mom is 89 yrs. old and lives alone. I am there every day and she calls all the time. I am 67 and live alone. She complains constantly about being lonely. She won't go to an assisted living won't even talk about it. She wants me to move in with her but i cannot. I would be so miserable i would make her miserable. I am an only child. She gets on my nerves so bad now i couldn't live with her. What should i do?

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If you could get her to go to adult day care, she'd make friends and be cared for, but I realize she likely wouldn't do this.

One thing you need to get really clear to yourself. You don't need to move in with her. In fact you are very smart to have thought it through and figured out that it won't work, before you moved in and everything went down hill. No guilt here, please!
Your mother is making her own choice by not going to senior events. It's sad that most of her friends probably have died or are too ill to be friends. That is a huge downside of living to be older than one's friends. But many people do find other friends or activities. Your mother's favorite "activity" is pushing your buttons and trying to make you feel guilty. This is her choice. Try to detach from her complaining, let her go on, and then say, "I'm sorry, Mom. I can't move in with you. I can help you find things to do if you'd like, but if you choose not to, then that's okay, too."
Then, if and when she needs care, hire an in-home agency to provide the care. They provide socialization, too. If she refuses that, then she has made that choice, as well. All you can do is try to help.
If she has dementia, you may need to call in Social Services to do a welfare check and they could, perhaps, force her to go to AL or a nursing home. But until there is enough deterioration to force her to get help, you can't do much.
Again - drop the guilt. You don't need to move in.
Take care of yourself, too.
Carol
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I agree with all above. Start looking for in-home care for her. She will need more care as time goes on, so it is best to get her used to other people caring for her now. My Mom resisted at first, but I carefully chose two paid, experienced caregivers whom I knew she would like. After the first few visits, she really liked having others to interact with.
I think that we get so busy trying to take care of the day-to-day needs of our loved ones, that we forget that their emotional/spiritual needs are important too...they need more social interaction.
Your Mom isn't asking you to move in because of care needs...she needs a playmate. Can you have someone visit her and entice her to go for outings? Could you ask someone from the senior center to drop by to tell her about their programs? Can she still participate in hobbies that she liked? Really, anything (other than docs. appts.) that gets her out among the living is a good thing and will lift her spirits and remove her focus from you.
good luck...Lilli
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Can she take care of herself? If you went on a two-week vacation, would she be OK?

Is there a senior center she could participate in? The one in our area arranges a lot of interesting outings, to plays, sports, etc., sponsors a bowling league, has weekly book discussions, etc. Is she a church goer?

At 89 probably many of her friends have died or are disabled. She has only one child. It is understandable that she is lonely. And at 89 she may not feel particularly motivated to go out and make new friends. As understandable as her attitudes are, you need to protect yourself from them. You can be her loving daughter. You can't take the place of all of friends, other relatives, and you can't provide her entire social life. And I think you are absolutely right -- you can't live with her!!

If you can guide her to some activities and she is able to participate, that may help. Continue to visit, perhaps limit the number and duration of phone calls, and stand your ground concerning living with her.
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Judy, has your mother's doctor every given her an anti-depressant? You are wise not to move in with her or have her move in with you because her emotional blackmail would make things worse and you would end up needing an anti-depressant. It sounds like your mother expects you to meet all of her emotional needs which is unrealistic and something my mother did to me as her only child when I was a child. When it comes down to it, we really can't fix someone else's emotions for to a large degree happiness is a choice and there is a book by that title.
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I don't know the answer on how to handle your mom but I wanted you to know you are not alone. My mom is living by herself and managing it only by guilting me into higher and higher levels of help and support. I am a bit younger than you (61) but I feel like now I have neglected my social connections and am becoming progressively antisocial myself from too much obligation and just being tired. My mom lives 45 minutes away so I don't go every day but I do her laundry, clean her house, cook her meals and take her out one day a week. When she is hospitalized (which is frequent), it changes to a daily ritual - which is almost unbearable and sadly, makes me very resentful even though I have always been close to her. My husband, who has cancer so he also needs support, is very resentful which adds additional pressure. I have siblings, but they live out of state. So you are not alone and I just want you to know that I don't find it at all unusual that the obligation of it all puts you on edge. IMO, she is being very selfish to place this burden on you. I think you should make sure you have other things in your life besides caring for her and you should tell her that you love her but you cannot come daily, this isn't fair to you and either she needs an alternative living situation where she can develop some friendships or she needs nurses aides coming to her house instead of you and limit your visits so you have time for yourself or you will lose yourself.
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Don't move in with her. My father moved 200 miles from his home to live with my son and I and it has been SO difficult. Harder than I ever expected. He was intimidated by the traffic here and quit driving. He had a few friends back home - but none here. He refused to go to Church or the Senior Center or do anything to meet new people.
Suddenly, I was his daughter, wife, mother, caregiver, chauffer, and only friend. It will swallow you whole if you let it. I also have a teen-age son to raise who is very resentful of how negative our living situation has become.

IF I had to do it over again - separate households would be maintained. We would all like each other a lot more, I'll bet.

Stand your ground; we have Homeinstead for my Dad three days a week; he really likes his caregiver and she takes him out for lunch, wherever he wants to go.

Something to consider for your Mom.
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