elizabeth1 Asked April 2012

How to talk to my difficult mother about the news we were given about her chronic illness?

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After a long bout with COPD, my mother was told she was in congestive heart failure and that she would never improve and would continually go down hill. She's always been very unreasonable with just about everything, even when she was healthy so now she's even more difficult. Nothing anyone does is ever right (or enough), she won't do anything or listen to any suggestions to help to improve her quality of life. It's almost as if she's given up but wants to make life miserable for those who love her. I am at my witts end! There is no way to discuss the necessary things we need to figure out now (for the future) without things turning ugly. She tells me i don't do enough for her, then turns around and tells me she doesn't know what she'd do without me. I arrange for help to come in (i work full time, she's in a senior independant apartment) and she accuses me of not wanting to help her. I know she is scared and I do hate that she's going through this and I want to be there for her but I don't know how to talk to her. I have put my life on hold to help her (and yes I realize it's only been 3 months) but I feel like I'm running in circles!

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JaneB Apr 2012
So, this sounds like your Mom definitely qualifies for hospice. Can you get the referral? They can help you talk to her about what is going on -- they are so smart at reading how much information people want. AND they are wonderful in terms of supporting the caretakers -- and that be YOU, sister. Sending good vibes...
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3pinkroses Apr 2012
Three months can feel like an eternity when dealing with the difficult parent; I do feel for you as I know how discouraging it can be. If she won't listen, don't think you can change that. She will probably need a third party to intervene.

I would call Elder Services in your town and ask what they would suggest. They are trained professionals who can truly guide you and be there for support. It is not easy, I know. Take care and wishing you luck.
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