What do you do when you are dealing with an 88 year old control freak with no money?

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At what point to you make the decision that you elderly parent cannot live alone? My mom is 88, very controlling, bitter and smothering. We convinced her to move to the town we live in three years ago, two years after my dad passed away, due to the fact that I was having to travel three and half hours every time she got sick, which became very frequent. We found an extremely nice independent senior apartment complex for her to move to. She lived there a year and hated it, she refused to do any of the activities, go on any of the day trips or let them take her to doctors appointments. She insisted she would be happier in a duplex and it would be cheaper. So two years ago she moved into a duplex. I explained to her when she made this move that she would be all alone and never see anyone. That is exactly what has happened. She never sees anyone except me and my children. We are all very busy with jobs and school. I work and spend my half day off with her, we go to lunch and do whatever she wants to, shopping, beauty shop, doctor, etc. She insist now that me and my husband spend our weekends with her also. I have explained that on the weekends we have things we have to do as well as thing we want to do. She gets very angry when we go anywhere without her, even dinner. She continues to say that we could spend the weekend with her. She has had to go to the doctor at least once or twice a week for weeks now and I am having to take off work to take her. She continues to say that she never asks me to do anything for her. She cannot even call the doctor's office on her own. I call all her prescriptions in, make all her appointments and take her everywhere. I have contacted social services and she qualifies for numerous amounts of help. She refuses all of it. She insists that I can continue to do it all. She wants to move in with me and my family. This simply isn't an option due to her personality and attitude, she would not only drive us all crazy but it would probably end my marriage because she doesn't respect the fact that I have a marriage and we need time as a couple. She can be very hateful and verbally abusive to me. She has not been diagnosed with dementia but I strongly feel there is some dementia going on. She has no money and cannot afford an assisted living. I just don't know what options I have. She has refused all the help that we could have received and I am beginning to get extremely angry and resentful. She is a professional at making me feel guilty. This is affecting my life in such a negative way and I don't know what to do. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Nashville you will get much help from the great caregivers here and the former caregivers-I would say start baby steps to pull back-learn to say no to her-detatch is the word I was looking for-be firm -your weekends are for you and your husband and let her know she has to avail herself of the services she can receive-otherwise it will get worse-she does not care how her behaivior affects you. You should not have to spend all your nonworking half day with her-you decide how much time you can spend with her and still do the things you need and want to do-you will feel bad when you start detatch but the sky will not fall and the next time it will be easier and it is empowering to take back some of your life-when my late husband was abusive to me I left the room if he was home and if he was in rehab I went home and did not go back for a few days-his favorite thing was to call and leave nasty messages on the answering machine-I turned it down low and usually delated his messages without listening-if you do not take control-it will only get worse-tell yourself what I did-I do not deserve to be treated like this over and over again-keep posting your experiences will help other-if there is a caregivers support group in your area join it if you can-check with the local hospitals and senior centers and offices of the ageing.
I think it would be wise to get all the medicare and medicade info in the process for whatever facilities are available. Do you have other relatives nearby that can help out until the long-range plans are in place?

Unfortunately, when the elderly did not plan for their future care it falls on us. as children, to be the adult and make the right decisions both in Mom's interest and ours.

It is a hard decision but you can't sacrifice your health and family. Seeing that Mom is well cared for and safe is about all you can do at this point. Like mine, your Mother will not be happy wherever she is; so we just love them and be their advocate.
My MIL/FIL used to say to my husband when I first met him "why do we need to get involved or have friends, we have YOU...Oh my goodness that made my future flash before my eyes and I married my wonderful husband anyway.
MIL has suffered from sudden illness and while we will have to move into the apartment we built above their home when we shoveled the hoarding out we have promised both of his parents (who can't stand each other) that we will be there to cook/clean/etc their social life is their own responsibility. Guess what they say now? They wish they would have listened to us both... Adult or Senior Centers have the best plays, music, programs for their generation. Socialization is key...don't let a selfish person, even family, determine your life. Stand firm and make boundaries, she may pout and sit alone for a few weeks, but that's her choice, not yours. Best of luck to ya
I agree with the other comments. You can only do so much for her. You have to limit what you do. It's not helpful for your husband to give up your together time to her. You might need to explain to him that you need some balance in the time you commit to your mother.

My mom also acts as if I am her sole source of socialization and entertainment. I've had to limit myself to what I do. She lives with us. If I have to spend more "quality" time with her one week, say for medical reasons, then the next week I spend a little less time planning things for us to go out and do together.

I'm learning (I've been caregiving for a year) that I can't manage or control her feelings - her happiness, her mental state, or alleviate boredom for her. If she is unhappy about the situation, there's not much I can do about it. She didn't plan ahead at all. As long as she is safe, warm, and fed, I've done a lot.

Sometimes talking to a therapist can help you learn to set boundaries.
cmcwrinkl1: You are so right about "safe, warm, and fed." After a lifetime of "caring" for mom, "caring" translating into finally giving up my life for hers and it still not being enough for her, I reached my limit. She is now in independent living paying her own way. Yes, I check on her daily, going over there for a short bit of time most days, make sure she is "safe, warm, and fed," get her to dr appts, take her to lunch occasionally, do all the responsible things a daughter should do. BUT, using detachment that I learned about on this site, I was finally able to take my life back. Is Mama happy? No. Never has been, really, probably won't ever be. Narcissists are rarely happy because no one else can ever do enough and they aren't going to do for themselves. Can't change that. Finally, at 64 years old, accepted it. What changed was me and my life. Am I happy? Oh, yeah!
It does sound like she may need to be placed in a NH since she is not happy where ever she is living -you do not want her in your home-I have been on AC for about 4 years and from what other relate it almost never works out and only make more problems. I would tell her this and give her a chance to change her behavior and if she is unwilling I would start visiting facilities in your area and talk to social workers at the nursing homes and ask them to help you with the process and take it one step at a time.
treat I so agree with you when my mother moved to be close to my sister she did not make friends of her own where she was living and it was a mistake-when she got elderly she was very unhappy and it was very sad-I make sure I do things that I enjoy and have lots of friends at our senior center and a craft group I belong to-it is not my kids job to entertain me-they delevoped friends when they were growing up by themselves and it is up to me to develope friends. Stand firm and set boundaires.
(((((Nashville))))) You have nothing to feel guilty about. Your mum planted guilt buttons in you years ago to manipulate you. You say she has always been demanding and selfish. She does sound narcissistic. My sig other, when we first got together thought he understood how to handle my mum too, and it placed an extra burden on me, and I started getting flashbacks to childhood abuse, and ended up going back a therapist who encouraged me to draw tighter boundaries. I certainly recommend therapy - it helps. Like you, I could never have my mum in my home -she would ruin my life quickly. She has wanted me to be the one to do everything for her, (I have a sister) but I won't and can't. As cmcwrinkl1 said - I am not responsible for her happiness or unhappiness. She is well cared for by others, and I keep an eye on things and would step in if necessary. She would have me complain to the staff if her porridge is not perfectly cooked -she finds endless reasons to complain. I don't respond to those , and currently I am not responding to anything, as she has been particularly nasty recently. She is safe and warm and fed. I have withdrawn from social contact with her, for now. As I get older too ( I am 75 she is 100), I find her complaining and nastiness take a bigger toll on me, and I need to protect myself even more. Draw those boundaries. Learn about narcissism, and share what you learn with your husband. decide what you can and cannot do, while still maintaining your own life, and stick to that. When I started saying ":No" to mother's demands she didn't like it, and got mad, but she got over it, and I got a better life. Only1of3 is right. Narcissists are rarely happy because no one can ever do enough for them - can't change that. You can only change yourself.
Let us know how you are doing. I know it is not easy - took me years to draw the boundaries I have now, but better late than never. More ((((((((hugs)))))))) Joan
Thanks everyone for your comments! Your input makes me feel so much better. I do tend to feel very guilty that I'm not doing enough even though I know I'm doing all I can. Since I posted this things have gotten worse and I hired a caregiver against my mother's will. But, that's what I had to do for me so I did it. Today was the first day she came out and it went well. I am hoping this will give me some relief. It is very interesting that some of you mentioned narcissism because I had already looked that up and decided that was what I was dealing with. I have never done enough or been there enough for her. I really think if I spent 24 hours a day 365 days a year she would still find something that wasn't good enough. So, I have made my mind up to take my life back and like you all safe, make sure she is safe, warm and fed.....that's all I can do. If she wants to live a miserable, unhappy life that is her business but I actually want to enjoy my life and I plan on doing just that! :) Thanks so much, as you can tell, I'm having a good day today ~~ hope I can keep this positive attitude. All of your comments have been a huge help.
That is it in a nutshell when I realized I was not responsible for my husband's happiness it freed me up to have a little life of my own and after he died I was able to make a life for myself. A narcissic person will never be happy even if they are alowed to control completly the person caring for them. We can only change how we react to them. Only 1of3 has got it figured out-ggod for you. I took baby steps with the husband when the sky did not fall down because he was not happy -I was able to take bigger steps and he finally lost his power over me-of course I was punished by him when he was in the process of dieing-when he would respond to others and not to me-he was narcissic to the end as was my Mom but did say thank you for giving her a drink of water hours before her stroke.

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