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I've cared for my dominating, perfect mom for 13 years. Brother and sister won't even take her for a week. She listens in on phone calls, my husband and I have to go to our garage just to talk without her butting into our conversations. If I say anything to her,she cries and asks if I want her to leave. She even calls the doctor to verify I'm not giving her wrong doses of medication,then claims that the doctor and I are both wrong, though her prescription says the same thing. She's told family members that we lock her out of the kitchen, denies she did it, then says she might have been mad at me. My family thinks it's funny . . . I'm tired of it and don't know how to make any of this better. Please help with suggestions. I promised my Dad that I'd care for her,and I want to, but I can't take this.

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You've honored the spirit of your promise to your dad. He wouldn't expect you to destroy your own health and perhaps even your marriage, to care for your mother who is obviously ill. Her paranoid behavior could be dementia. Please have her doctor check her for dementia. Whatever the results, 13 years is long enough for this kind of life. She will outlive you if you allow this to go on. It's time to look for a nice assisted living center. She will protest and cry, but do it anyway.
If your siblings think this is so amusing, they need to take their turn caring for her. If they aren't willing to do that, then they need to back you in making this change.
Good luck - you will need to stand firm. But let everyone know your health is threatened by the current situation and you need to get some rest. You can make sure everyone knows you will visit your mom, and that you expect them to do the same.
Carol
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The commandment, "Honor your Father and Mother", comes to mind every time I am faced with this, which is every day.
Jennie, dealing with a manipulator and thinking you have to put up with her sick behavior, and with the mocking of other family members, is beyond unacceptable.
I am moving my Mother this Sunday into a residential care home, as Lilliput has described. It is a house in a regular neighborhood with 5-6 other similar people with their own rooms and live-in caregivers. My Mother was in one after her husband died 3 years ago, but was over-medicated and the head CG was a yeller. I got her out, brought her into our home and started the journey of caring for her 24/7, with 2 good caregivers during the day. We got her off of unnecessary medications and after 9 months, she is more alert, but also more demanding and everyone is exhausted from her needing 1 on 1 attention every waking minute. Who can do it? What about everyone else?
Being in this position of caring for my Mother has been an eye opener: I realize that growing up, all she provided was food, shelter and clothing in the way of basic needs. I continued to seek, through my own natural will to survive and thrive, to find my own way. So, I am a late bloomer, but I have a broader perspective and gave my children what I did not receive: nurturing, affection and encouragement. That is what a parent is supposed to do. Isn't that what you do when you love and cherish something beyond yourself? That is a fact, and what they dole out is not love of others, but a sick, self-concern. Please find a nice place and enjoy your life with your husband. God Help Us All.
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When you promised your dad that you would care for her, it did not mean that she has to be under the same roof. Your mother needs specialized care that you are not trained to give her. She is also a little bored, from lack of social contacts, and needs to have her energy re-directed. Again, this cannot happen if she is in your home.
And as Carol mentioned above, you have to protect your health. People here used to say that to me long ago and I thought I could do it all. Three years later, I have hit the wall and my health is suffering for it.
Today, call around to facilities that specialize in Alz/Dem care. There are so many nice ones now that look like homes instead of "facilities." Vist a few - you need to see for yourself that she will be cared for.
If the family protests, ask them to "rotate" taking care of Mom. I doubt you will have any "takers." At the very least look into in-home care or adult daycare so you and your hub can get a break.
You posted in this forum because you need to make a change. Start today.
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I told my mother I've had enough and I couldn't look after her anymore. She's still hanging on to her home and living crisis to crisis. Last time I went over I took the police with me and made them go in first to check on her because I was afraid she was dead when she didn't answer the phone. Also if she was alive I wanted her to know that I was starting to involve the public authorities against her wishes. BTW she was still alive.
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Please don't do what I did to myself. My mom passed away 7 years ago and I promised her that I would take care of my dad. He wanted to continue living in his own apartment so I had to go there every day sometimes 3 times a day because I had no help from my brother or sister. I even would run to his beckon call at 3:30 a.m. because he was not feeling well. I felt like I "had" to do it and not complain about it because, after all, he raised me and now was my time to take care of him. It came to the time last year where I could not do it anymore. I was running myself ragged and not even taking care of my own health issues. I spoke to my siblings and we all agreed, of course they were very willing, to place him in a nursing facility because of his health issues. He is now there a year and still making me feel so guilty about placing him there. I have just finally gotten over the guilt because he is receiving 24/7 care and has never looked better. I know my mother would agree with me that I made the right decision. I now am suffering with my own health issues that I should have taken care of last year. Please don't do this to yourself. I almost ended up in a divorce because my husband couldn't take seeing me running around like a lunatic and we didn't have a normal family life. My sons were even complaining that they never saw me. I finally am realizing that I lost who I was seven years ago and am just trying to build my health and find some normalcy in my life. Do what you feel is right in your heart; do it for you, your mother and your family. You will see that it was the right decision to get her the proper care she needs. Good luck to you.
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"If I say anything to her, she cries and asks if I want her to leave."

Next time she asks if you want her to leave say "yes" and start the dialogue. Go out and get brochures of nearby facilities and have them ready to show her. It is time you reclaim your life. You can honor your Father's wishes by finding a good place for your Mother.
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I'm not sure I understand your question. Is your husband showing these types of behavior too? If so, I would think the same answers would apply. No matter who we may be caring for, the stress and frustration would be similar. Maybe even harder if it involves a spouse because we choose to "love,honor and cherish", but even at that, sometimes we need help or they need help that we just can't give. Doing our best is the best we can do. Good luck to you.
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I've read enough of these questions to know we women are dealing with very demanding, narcississtic mothers. On one hand our guilt keeps us caring for them beyond our present physical capacity to do so. But we're constanty reminded of what we didn't get as children, as one responder said. I am reading a book I'd like to recommend "I Am My Mother's Daughter" by Iris Krakow. 100 stories tell of dealing with this kind of mother and what their responses and reactions were.
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N1K2R3 - Funny response. Mother lives in our home, not the other way round. She lives on social security, hasn't paid rent in 13 years and is broke by the middle of each month. She won't allow me to help her with her finances, so I'm not sure where all her income is going,but I know she couldn't make it on her own financially. Any other ideas?
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Peace and Blessings to all adult children who care for their difficult elderly parents. I am moving my Mother this morning in a couple of hours. It does not help to be sitting here feeding her her fruit and yogurt, as we have done every morning for almost a year, and listening to Perry Como sing the Lord's Prayer.

Yet, I am not willing anymore to sacrifice my own well-being, my husband's privacy in his refuge, and our freedom as middle life adults with a lot of living and working to do. Tough but loving choices are painful.
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