I do everything I can for my 90-year-old mother, but she is so mean and grumpy. How can I cope?

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It's poosible she is in pain, or that she has dementia. I am wondering if you are doing more than you can. There are agencies that can provide some help. You can check with your local human services agency to see if someone can give you some time off. Then, you may be able to handle her crabby moods better. Caregiving can wear us out.
Good luck,
I agree with all the ideas so far and I want to add something. (1) Compassion, (2) not doing more than you can do, (3) problem-solving for stuff like pain and insecurity, (4) anti-depressants, and (5) knowing it's not about you are all spot-on, hugely important, hugely powerful contributions to improving the situation. But there's still a relationship going on here, and unless your mom is totally demented she does have some control over -- and responsibility for -- her share of it. You get to say stuff like, "hey, please don't speak to me in that tone of voice" and "you've been so crabby today it's hard to stay here and help you." And you get to do things like walk out of the room when you're being yelled at for no good reason. Someone said, they get to be like children. Well, ok, -- and just like children, elderly can notice how much you put up with and be influenced by that. Children deserve and react well to compassionate problem-solving too but we don't just enable bratty behavior in them either.
Your mother could be mean and grumpy because she is scared of the future. She is afraid of what is happening to her and that creates alot of stress for her and you. Her stress comes out as anger and who better to be angry at than the person she loves the most, You. My mother does the same thing to me and I didnt understand until someone explained to me that she was afraid. When I looked at it like that I had alot more compassion for her and her situation. Try it and dont take anything she says however mean personally. She dosent mean to direct it to you.
Ditto what horselver said. We don't know what is going on in their minds. Does she have a type of faith? One thing we are doing now is reading the Children's Bible to my Mother. Always reassure her that she is safe, you love her, remind her of special things she did for you as a child, and you are happy now to be able to care for her. Saying that YOURSELF, will even make YOU feel better, which is key in having this go as well as possible. It's hard, sometimes seems like you're in a locked room, but it can flow like a river if you are at peace with doing the best you can. Big, Big HUGS:)
Once you have given your mom everything that you can, food, drink, company, conversation, and tried everything, just retreat, and let her be. Sometimes we can't change others mood. I give you a big pat on the back for making every effort. Now, go do something to soothe your soul, a bubble bath, a book, a funny movie, a walk with a friend or spouse...and relax...your mom will still need you tomorrow...and you will be there..best wishes..
rvanantwerp, 90 years on this earth, that is a long time. Yes she could be in pain and just not feel well. They become like children and show their moods. Get Hospice to come in and to give you time for yourself. They are great and I never knew I would say that. You still have complete control in the caring of your loved one. They do what you want. It sounds like you need time out. It is a hard job taking care of them 27/7. I know I have been there. My husband was in a NH for one month and that was a big mistake. They don't have enough help to keep an eye on them. He fell and boke his hip, causing him more problems and for me too. He is back home and Hospices comes in and gives him a bath three days a week. They are here for two hours. You can leave or do what ever you want during that time. Check it out with them and there is more they can do for you.
Sorry not 27/7 - 24/7 - that would be even harder. But take care of yourself and Hospice can help a lot. They will even stay over night and give you a night to sleep in peace. They do that every 3 mos. I think. There is so much they do to help you. Give them a call. No I don't not have any special connections with them,
Talk to her doctor about an anti-depressant. My 85 year old mother is super grumpy and low dose celexa does her a world of good. She is much nicer and easier to be around and the mood swings are far less frequent. She has benefited from it and so have her caregivers. I am not usually a proponent of anything from big pharma but in this case it works wonders.
support74 - she is at the end of her life. She is 90 years old. They told me my husband could live another 2-3 years and I am getting help
I am caring for my 90 year old Mother in my home. She is on Hospice and has been here for 2 weeks. It has been extremely difficult, even with all of the dedication & love I have in my heart. It seems that she is harder on me than my husband, the hospice care people or anyone else that comes around. I have learned to simply nod my head and smile at her during her tirades and simply excuse myself. My wonderful social worker who is a Hospice representative explained to me that I have become the "Mother to the Mother" and she reverts to being 2 years old with me & acts out with me as would a child. I know it is hurtful, but do try to understand the dynamics of a elderly Mama, who is now under the care of her own "baby". It is a tough gig, but hang in there. You simply have to be the adult in this case. It is very hard for us. We want our Mama back like she was. When we accept that isn't going to happen, we can live with it easier.

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