I get so angry with my 88-year-old mom sometimes and find myself getting resentful to her and not treating her very good. How can I deal?

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i am a only child she is so difficult to take care of. i've prayed for patience with her but she drives me crazy. any advise?

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To soverytired-I needed to hear every single word you said. You described how I feel better than I can even try to do. I, too, am an only child. So as you know there's no one to split my mom's care with. I'm going to print your answer and keep it in my journal. Thank you so much for sharing!
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Snowboardwoman, do try to just accept the reality of your own limitations physically and emotionally as hard as that is for that is nothing to feel guilty about. For example, babies are for younger people to have and raise because they have the physical and emotional energy and health to do so.

We just don't know what our limitations are going to be as we get older. Both my dad and my step-dad are 89, but their limitations are not the same and that at no fault of their own. While earlier lifestyle impacts some for sure, I think a lot of it is genetic. I hope you are able to be more self sufficient at 93 if you live that long. I hope that I don't end up in a wheel chair like my step-dad but am able to walk around like my dad if I live to be 89. However, I would like to have more of my mind like my step-dad does compared to my dad.

Also, feeling resentful of her attitudes at 93 helps neither one of you. So, try to let go of the resentment. My step-sister who is 59 just lost her mother last May at age 81. She has come to face the fact the she does tend to have a critical outlook and mouth like her mom's, but she's told us that she now wants to change that.So far, she's made progress. That's been a wonderful change to see. I wish you well in your journey to be less dependent than your mother and to not have her negative attitudes that you listed above.

Take care, live with an attitude of gratitude, enjoy being alive, be less critical of yourself, be nice to others and be nice to yourself. Have a good day.
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cmagnum And country mouse, you both are very helpful. I suppose that most of the guilt is that I cannot physically and emotionally provide care in my home. Also, that i am resentful of her attitudes which is wrong at this age. If/when I am her age, I wish to be more self sufficient and able to contribute a small amount to a home. The previous advice to remember that mom is "childlike" is important, but hard to adjust to. Thank you.
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I think some of your stress in visiting comes from some anticipatory grief. She is 93 and probably doesn't have that many years left. Some of your stress probably comes from this guilt which like Countrymouse, I don't see what you have to feel guilty about. Do you have some overwhelming sense of responsibility or obligation that it should be you doing all of her caregiving? If so, where did that come from? Lighten up and let yourself off of this guilt hook.

She's being cared for and your list of reasons for her to be in a nursing home do justify her being there. I mean, she reached a point where assisted living no longer met her care needs and she is now somewhere that does.

Take care and do something nice for yourself today.
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Um. What exactly do you have to feel guilty about, Snowboardwoman? She's doing fine, isn't she? I expect the visits, from your own personal point of view, are extremely tedious when one gets down to the brass tacks of it - but you do it partly so that you can keep an eye, and partly so she knows you care. And that's good. Seriously, I'm not sure where your guilt's coming from - what do you think?
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My 93 year old mother lives in Vermont now that her husband has passed away. This was the plan since my brother and sister in Pennsylvania never had much time to visit or plan her medical visits, etc. She liked her assisted living home nearby, but the medical care was not adequate. So, now she lives in a nearby nursing home. I feel guilty that she is not living with me, but these are the reaosns that I "justify" the nursing home:
- She sleeps all day and satys up at night with aches and pains. We try to change all of this but it doesn't help
- I work almost full time. It is not time for me to retire yet financially.
- My mom is weak and sits in a chair all day. She has been like this for 10+ years. Therefore, she has become unable to do much for herself. She greatly depended on my poor step-father before he died.
- We live in a rural area where it would be difficult to have regular respite care.
- She is very fussy about details, how she looks, her surroundings.
- Last but not least, she talks almost non-stop, mostly about herself and her past.
I visit at least twice a week. Anymore feels stressful. I'm not sure why she stresses me out so much. She was a good mom for the most part, but not very independent. She tends to point out people's faults. Just this past week, she had to spend the night due to bad weather. We were both up all night with her moaning and uncomfortable. When the sun rose, she fell asleep in the chair!
I guess I'm just venting. Not sure how to move forward with having a good relationship and to stop feeling guilty!
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Soverytired wrote ...Also, although I don't advise threatening with a NH, she probably should start at the very least,
I wasn't threatening but it is a fact. I told my elderly parent that I can't do anymore. I' done. If anything else is needed, placement is necessary.
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I know soverytired what you are saying. I do get some relief every 6 months but the sibling has been so mean to me through the years and my parents think this one never does anything wrong that even thought I don't have to stay all night with them while he is home I am on call and have had days where he went places and I had to do all the work.I am too tired and burn out to do anything while he is home and it is very stressful. I have to also take my dad to the dr while the sibling is in for it is too hard by my self. I have had to buy a handy cap van mostly out of my pocket just to tansport him.My parents paid some I pray for patience and strengh just to do this. Seems like I can never do enought. I think sometimes I just feel sorry for myself because I know people who have it harder. I am so thankful for the internet for this is my only way to even know what is going on in the world. I would bring in outside help but my parents are standoffish so I would have to be there when help was there so why do that. I guess every family is the same there is one who carrys the load. I know my brother can't quit his job nor would he do this full time and come in and do this for he has bills where he is and he does feel bad that I am carrying this but he has always been mean to me and I will allways never be good enought I think that is what hurts the most. When this is over I don't know if we will ever keep in touch I am not too good to carry this and do this work but I feel I am too good for others to take advanage of. I don't want to be resentful and only want the best and the nurseing home wouldn't be it just seems like there is sometimes no hope. My dad won't try to do anything to get stronger I try to be by myself every change I get. I won't even go to the store unless I have to for I just am so burnout and tired I won't go in public I am not vain but when I look in the mirror I don't even know myself anymore. I will be lost when this is over for I love them and wish these last part could be easier and not so stressful. So I guess we just do the best we can and help each other throught it. Take care caregivers.
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annecurrey, actually sometimes I think sibling resentment is a wonderful deflector. We can't take it out on the old person but my sisters need to watch out for my ire! I have sometimes thought that being an only child would be better because I cannot get my out of state sisters out of denial about our mother's condition and I definitely have more resentment towards them as they treat me as though I am exaggerating, they judge me, I cannot vent to them or they will say hurtful things to me AND repeat it to my mother, needlessly hurting her....and I haven't been able to even get every 6 months out of them. Most recently, my oldest sister has refused to participate in family mediation. So it's interesting to me to hear from an only child. Not only does moonbeam have no one else to turn to (as some siblings ARE able to support each other, albeit not yours and mine!), she has to hold all her frustrations inside because she can't take them out on her mom. But you are right, it is a situation that is ripe for resentment because there is a lot of sacrifice involved and moonbeam should not feel guilty about the resentment she is feeling which is quite natural. Maybe throwing pots and pans at the wall of her basement would help! Also, although I don't advise threatening with a NH, she probably should start at the very least, planting seeds for moving her mom because it takes a long, long, long long time. I wish I started 10 years ago.
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If the elderly start resisting your efforts, remind them that there is always the nursiing home.
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