How do I occupy my mother's time without me?

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My mother is 77 and extremely co-dependent of me. I am her only caregiver and I have to work to support myself. When I'm not at work (40 hours per week) I am subject to guilt trips and negativity as she is lonely and doesn't have anything to do. I have left my dogs with her for a period of time to possible solve this issue however she is not one to listen and takes them out to much and since she is not very stable in walking has managed to break both arms at different times over a 1 year period. Therefore, I don't leave the dogs with her anymore but she is jealous when I am home that I have dog company. She jealous if I receive a phone call from a friend. Mobility is very limited with her as she refuses to use a cane or walker and prefers to hang onto me which is one of the main reasons I don't feel comfortable taking her anywhere and yet she wants to go ALL THE TIME. After working a rather complex and stressful job I just want to go home. I'm tired. I have my own responsiblities...laundry, dishes, house cleaning, linen changing etc. I've made several attempts to explain to her that I have a load covering her responsibilities (groceries, medications, bills, etc) and then meeting my needs that I can't be responsible for making her happy and entertained. There's no time for myself and as I get older (48 now) it gets harder and harder to meet the load I am caring. My mother does not have 1oz. of responsibiltiy in her body. All family member have past away at this time which leave me to handle the caregiving alone. I run daily at 120% responsibility no fun is even in my vocabulary. Yet the negativity and guilt trips and jealousy I have to deal with daily due to her being miserable is really taking it's tole on me. I've been reponsible for her since I was 16 years old. She is not in the best of health as she has heart failure. How do I have time for myself to live my life and keep her occupied? My life is more than half over and yet I haven't had the chance to live my life without guilt trips and negativity from her that I don't do enough? I give all that I have to her. There's nobody in my life because it causes so many problems trying to meet friends needs and her that I can't handle it and I have to let my friends go. I've been married twice and both times my marrage has failed and I have nothing to give when I am done with her. I have also provided her with a new computer (which she does no how to use), big screen TV, cable and I have even bought her a Kindle thinking she could fine somehow to entertain herself but there's no motovation for her to do anything but complain in self pitty. Does anyone have any advise? I am desperate. Thanks for listening.

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I have to take Mom to Dr. right now, but just found this site. I am 75 and my mother is 92, and I have the exact same issues as many of you. When I return I will take the time to read all of these posts, as I am at my wits' end, depressed (medication notwithstanding), anxious (same with medication), guilty (only child). Since at our living arrangements Mom (and Dad when he was here) had their apartment at our house. My issues with Mom have been lifelong, but serious issues did not arise until she could not get out and socialize and I retired. Then my husband passed away. I can't afford a therapist, and my friends are disgusted with me because I don't see someone. Hope to get back to this soon later today or tomorrow. Thanks for all your comments.
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All I can say is good luck...some days are good, shine days are bad,...try to take care of you...n Dont feel bad...try not to....even if you need help...tell people...ask for help from doctors n friends,... anyone the more you talk n let people know around you...let others help...are you having panic attacks yet?...mine have increased to stress attacks....and my finances have all but crumbled...holding things by a thread...get her to join something...it's hard...but if you can get her into anything that is for adult day care...even an hour...my mom goes to the hair dresser a few hours...but...it's not enough even with the multiple shopping trips...nothing is even enough...take care of yourself...watch your health...do for you too...
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sandrak320,

It depends on your definition of " I won't drive my kids insane with my need to have a close relationship with them every day of my life." Just how close is close enough before it starts to feel like a parent to child relationship instead of an adult to adult relationship.

If you are looking to return to some sort of childhood closeness, that is gone.
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I have mixed feelings about this. I would hope my own children don't think of me this way and look for permission to abandon me in my old age. The thought of growing old alone is very sad and I wonder how anyone could allow that to happen. I hate to be alone and I get bored easily. Hopefully I won't drive my kids insane with my need to have a close relationship with them every day of my life. Hopefully they will want to be here for me. Hopefully they will be want to spend time with me. I have had to take on a caregiver role with my own parents and I wish I could move in with them or vice versa so that I am able to provide more for them. It breaks my heart thinking of them being home alone day in and day out without any phone calls or visitors and I do everything I can to see them several times a week. But they don't guilt trip me at all. So I guess there is the difference. They don't deliberately try to manipulate my feelings or make me feel bad. I know they are bored and lonely tho. How could they not be after years of living with very active lifestyles? I just want to do what I can to make the most of their last year's and I pray my children feel the same way about me.
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My mother is the same - nothing is interesting to her. I find it very hard to bear as I am interested in so many things that I have to rein myself in. So people like my mother are like Martians to me. My mother is envious of my "interesting" life but in order to have an interesting life, you have to be interested in something beyond yourself and she never has been, even when I was a kid. She is only interested in things that will bring her immediate profit and thinks it is a waste of time to concern yourself with anything else. This constant demand to be entertained drives me crazy.

Ironically I am so self sufficient now partly because she was so intolerant of any of my needs for attention when I was a small child. I seem to have been incredibly independent at the age of four, I can remember taking my two year old sister to a dining room on a ship and ordering breakfast from a waiter at the age of four. My mother was seasick and I was determined to get breakfast. It has taken me years to realize that this was a little unusual.
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Thank you all for your comments, it really helped me feel better and made me relieved of my continuos sense of guilt.
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contact your local area agency on aging, she may qualify for some in home assistance. You can look into an adult medical day program. She can socialize there, participate in activities, eat a meal and sometimes they take trips all with trained staff. It can be a great place, maybe it would help with the wanderlust she is feeling. I can understand you not wanting to go out with her all the time, I care for my dad and when I go home I'm tired. Having someone to come in or getting her out to a day program may be the answer you need. good luck
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Annt, so very true what you said "To tell someone to detach and not feel guilty when They have a lifetime of ingrained guilt is like telling a blind person to describe the color red" is right in the nose! I was able to set the boundaries recently with my mom. One of which was on best time to call me. I gave her a day and even time during that day that's best and in almost three weeks she hasn't called. This is either out of spite or she told my narc dad I set boundaries and he again told her to let me go and don't worry about me. (Which is how much he cared anyway.) She texted up to Easter then that stopped as well. So of course if starts the mind wondering why, what, and how knowing she has depression along with the codependency and still hasn't updated the doctor on it. She doesn't trust me or ever do what I suggest so re stress was taking its toll. I had to back away. But you are so right. Even though I made the boundaries, she had to feel more I control by stepping it up a notch and not call at all, trying to bring on guilt. It's a never ending cycle with her. I can't help her, and made the point that I won't be her caregiver, but doubt she has made an effort to substitute me. Is this the way the generation from the 30's and 40's thrive, by guilt and abuse? So horrid. I strive never to become mean like either of them.
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I am happy to find agingcare.com. My involvement with caring for my aging parents started two years ago. My father, at 90 years old, broke his arm. Now he is bed-ridden on a state program. He lives with me. My mother and I started to care for him. Within the two years, my mother's health started failing. She does not drive anymore. She still cooks, feeds and washes my father's clothes. She says, "this is her way of staying in touch with him. The providers we have for my father seem to have difficulty getting along with my mother. They come and go.
So, this leaves me with the burden of making sure that everything involving my parents are taken care of. I have 2 other brothers and one sister. I seem to be the only one that is available to help my parents. I realize I am living 3 lives. I am single and have no social life. At 57 years old, I am still trying to create a newness in my life daily. I too, feel like my mother has victimized me. She finds problems with everything. All her conversations are negative. I thought to share my life's activities to show others they are not alone. I know this is God's plan. I still pray.
I hope to find an enjoyable life for me before my final day comes
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I too find myself trying to "cure" moms boredom. The NH has plenty of activities but she only chooses to partake in the Smokers Club which is fine but she claims the rest of the time, she's "just sitting around looking ugly" her words not mine!

Dad isn't much of a socializer but Mom is however, she won't attend functions because Dad will not go or only if I go with her, which I can't do very often...only special occassions.

Mom uses her poor eye sight as a crutch for "I can't do this, I can't see that and the other" but she sees well enough to do more than "sit and look ugly" I've tried every reasonable occupier that I can think of and she comes right back with...annnh! I forgot, or the I can'ts.

I'm learning to put the billy club down and stop beating myself up trying to cure her boredom, make her happy etc. Really, it all comes from within...we all have choices.
You are a great person, doing a wonderful job. We just have to know when enough is enough..and yes I'm still learning and you will too.
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