Follow
Share

In April we brought my almost-90 year old mother to live with us and our 11-year old son. She has her own space but not a full kitchen. She wants to help me all the time, with cooking, etc. She is very slow and, when I do accept her help, ends up doing things her way instead of the way I have asked. I have asked her to wait until I ask for help but she cannot stop herself. She is very active with her church and still drives. I am thinking we need to go to a therapist or I need to tell her I'm just not going to answer her when she offers help.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
I'd suggest telling your Mom you'd like to "assign" her a few meaningful tasks that would "help you out so much" aand ask her for some ideas of things that need doing that she most enjoys to do or is "best at". Select a few from HER list and "assign" them to her, not forgetting to tell her how much you appreciate having her help. Then let her go about them her way, even if it takes her longer to do them then it would take you, and even if you'd do them a different way. Each of us wants to find meaning in our lives. As we age, that can get harder and harder. By "helping out", your mother has a way to maintain her dignity. If she's cognitively aware, (and she must be doing pretty well since she still drives!) she wants to feel like she's still "good for something". I appreciate how frustrating this can be for you, and I don't mean to minimize that. However, try to imagine how frustrated your mom must feel. The intent of my suggestion is to find a way to meet your mom's need to be useful and minimize your frustration.

-- Sheri
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You should just smile and thank God you have a busy, active mom who wants to be with you and share household activities. I would love to be in your shoes. Don't sweat the small stuff. Life may not be the party we all expected, but while we're here, let's dance! Have a great day with your mom and smile. ~Sooz~
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

i dontthink going to a therapist is going to solve a 90 yrs old woman . she has her ways set and that is how her mind works .
just give her something simple chores to do . maybe laundry ??
my mother in law did the same thing to me , i was makin homemade noodles and she came in and messed eveything up . i had to go out in the barn and grab me a beer to calm down ,. my husband said oh hun im so sorry .
we end up havin a all diifrent shapes of noodles for supper .
im just glad i dont have to take care of her . just my dad and he just sits in recliner watching tv . whew !
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

She does the wash the way she wants, too, but I am living with that. I asked her to dry only but she does not remember and does the wash too, often when I would have waited to include additional items. The drying has its own problems. Hangers facing the wrong way, hung clothes folded and vice versa. I have one pair of jeans and it was lost for a long time because she folded them with my son's and they got in his drawer. My only white t-shirt finally surfaced after 6 months, caught in a contour sheet. She empties the dishwasher, carefully drying each item. If she has forgotten during the day, she sometimes does it while I am trying to make dinner. I try to be calm as I say it is not a good time.

I have suggested she continue unpacking all the boxes she brought over here when she failed to weed her possessions after selling her house, but she hangs her head, doesn't act, and continues to offer to help me.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Your mom might have some dementia problems. It sounds as though she isn't trying to upset you but instead is perhaps truly confused about how to do tasks. My mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer's, is very helpful but also often does things the "wrong" way.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sooz, I'm sorry but I'd like to take away your star! When you are floundering and getting very angry about an elder's behavior, being told to be grateful that it is not worse is not very helpful! I hope this can be a place where we all try to empathize with one another's trials and weaknesses and don't one-up one another about who has it worse.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi, reagor. I can understand your anger. Again, while your mom may not have dementia, I can relate to the behavior because of my mother-in-law. She so wants to be helpful because that is what she has always done and the kind of person she has always been, but it is very frustrating to witness her do things repeatedly or the wrong way or negligently (burning food). I wish that I could offer more than commiseration.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sheri, I think you are exactly right. My mom needs lots of praise and lots of activity. My husband says she is like this with everyone and not just me, and that she does not know how to 'just be' and probably never has. I have resisted the idea of expanding her task list because I have already felt it is a full-time job to keep her occupied (that's why cooking with her has been such a strain--she'll make the salad and then say 'What now?' and I can't think fast enough to tell her what is next that I don't mind her doing), but I think you may be right that she needs a longer 'to do' list. I just need to find time to lengthen it, and it needs to be mostly things that are NOT food-related, because I am usually tired and under time pressure when I cook on weeknights and not very patient (obviously). Hey, I give my husband a 'honey do' list and that works much better than yelling at him for sitting on his bum! Maybe this could work for my over-achieving mother...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

oh u leave sooz s star alone ! she is right , just be happy and dont worry , it;ll be all right ! at least ur mother isnt mean t o u or spits at you or cuss at you in every name ofthe book , a very evil woman ! you dont have that . heart breaking and makes you cry , your mother is wantin to help you ,. all u can do is apprecated it and be thankful . i wish i have somebody here to help me clean around here , im the only ones that does it all ,
my mother in law would put pots and pans in my clothes closet in my bdrm !! i was floored and alot ofthe stuff i dont know where it went cuz she puts them to an odd places .
at least she dont live with me so i know the frustations and anger builds up inside of ya , my mother in law would take her socks off her feet and wipe downmy kitchen table , i was glad i stood there and seen that ! told her to go put her socks away and i wash down the table good with soap and rag !
but i shake it off and knowing she cant help it .
she comes here once a great while and honest i dontthink i could deal with that everyday .
but then i remind myself at least shes not spittin at you or kickin ya . break ur heart .....
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am sure your life is much harder than mine and I should not ever have presumed I had any right to join a support group. Thanks.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter