Any ideas of how to approach the topic of assisted living with my 81-year-old mother with her without her flying off the handle?
I have been caring for my 81 year old mother for several years now since her husband passed away. She has had both knees replaced but still has trouble getting around. She has macular degeneration which progressed to the point of her no longer being able to drive herself or do some daily tasks which involve seeing small things. She has high blood pressure, severe arthritis, had a small stroke, IBS, cannot hear worth a darn and various other aging related problems. After her 1st knee in 2009, we decided it would be best if she moved in with me so I could help her. The years she has been with me have been wrought with constant Dr appointments and taking her places she needs to go. I was trying to work a 40 hr week ( I am a single mother for 15 years), but it became impossible to take care of her and myself with never having any "me" time. I cut my hours to 30 weekly to help accomadate her. She is very passive agressive. She loves to give me the cold shoulder and will ignore me for very long periods of time if something makes her mad. She blew up at Christmas a couple of years ago over the fact that I had to raise my voice so she could hear what I was explaining.. she refuses to wear hearing aids. She had asked me a question, I told her the answer, she didn't understand, so in a louder voice, I repeated myself as I was hanging lights on the tree. Five minutes later, she came out of her room crying and telling me she was going to live somewhere else because I "treated her like a dog". She refused to talk to me for about 4 days even as I chased her down the hall asking for a hug. I hugged her and she just stood like a statue. I finally was able to reason with her and let her know I wasn't yelling, just trying to be heard. Still refusing the hearing aids because as she put it, "It would just cause extra strain on you to have to help me with them since I cannot see to change batteries". Well, there have been many episodes such as this one and through the years, she is very intrusive into my life and my daughters lives. Constant questions about who, what, when, where and why don't they do this and why don't they do that and you should do this and that. I have let it go for a while now... pushing it down because if I approach her criticisms, I know I will get the cold shoulder and she will take it personally. I feel as if I am rambling, but there is so much I need to get out to get some advice. I will get to the latest episode. My youngest daughter, 22 went to Spain 1 year ago to study. She was supposed to be there a month, and in the first week, she was sexually assaulted by 4 men and had to return home. My Mom was so loving and understanding then. We held each other, prayed and consoled each other. This past week, I found out that my daughter has become addicted to pain killers as a result of never dealing with the pain she endured from her attack. All along, she had told me she was getting help and I believed her. When I told my mother, she attacked me and my parenting skills and even attacked my daughter by saying things like if we were better christians this would have happened, if I hadn't babied her so much this wouldn't happen, ect. She is a very conservative christian and believes that being in a church makes you one. We are spiritual and believe in God, but don't attend church regularly. Needless to say, I set a boundary that if she was not going to be supportive during this time, we needed to find other living arrangements. This was Monday.... she finally spoke to me Friday and told me she was going to live somewhere else, I wasn't going to know where, and she would never speak to me again. She accused me of never loving her and giving her bad care and I was only interested in her money, which she does help out finanacially with the house since we had to get one big enough to accomadate us all. I have tried to reason with her and she has become irrational and hateful. She refuses to discuss it with me. She has always held all of her bad feelings inside until one day they just explode...and it's always directed at me. She never even lets her friends know when bad things are going on unless they are related to her health, like if she is hurting badly. I have given up alot of my own privacy and social life for her and never have complained about it. I think however, it is time to look into assisted living for her. I simply cannot tolerate this behavior any longer. Any ideas of how to approach this topic with her without her flying off the handle? As an aside, she took care of my dad who had emphysema while also caring for her father after her mother died. I was not allowed to leave home for college because I was expected to stay home and help her. She told me then that she would never put me in that position of having to care for her... I have dropped subtle hints in the past, but she says that she doesn't feel like it's as stressful on me as it was her. Any ideas would be welcome.... PLEASE!