How do I deal with my manipulative aging mother when I'm the only child and I live across the country?
Hi, I am new to this site and hope I'm in the right place. I've been reading articles and posts, and it has been so helpful to read about what other people are going through with their aging parents.
I'm wondering how you all deal with difficult parents when you live very far away. How do you deal with the guilt of being far away and with the stigma of putting mom in a "nursing home"? How do you deal with the manipulative "nobody-loves-me" parent?
My mother lives in FL, my husband and I live in CA. I'm the only child. My mother is in her 60's but acts like she's in her 80's. She has problems with alcohol, blood pressure, arthritis and anxiety. From what I can tell, she rarely leaves her house. I'm concerned about what I will do when she needs assistance. I'm also concerned about how I will cope with her personality--she's becoming withdrawn, but then lashes out at me unexpectedly. Right now she's not speaking to me because her Mother's Day card did not arrive on time even though I explained that I mailed it the week before. Even though I called her early that morning to wish her a happy Mother's Day, she said I had done nothing.
I've offered her suggestions to help with her anxiety and her physical problems, I've recommended everything from yoga to counseling to medication, but she's not interested in any of it. She seems to be angry with me for not doing more for her, but she hasn't been able to articulate what she needs from me. She feels mistreated, but I call her dutifully every week and visit her at Christmas.
I would love to hear from you all. What is your experience with long distance caretaking?