My mom lives with us and it's becoming MORE and MORE difficult.
Never thought I'd be pouring my thoughts out to strangers like this but I don't know anyone who's caring for, much less living with their parent.I'm 54, married, my kids are young adults on their own. 20 years ago,Dad was diagnosed with Alz and unable to drive.My parents lived in their home and Mom (she's now 90) fought all changes, including legal matters.Suddenly unable to spend every single day socializing,she began calling my sister, in tears, to come get them for a few days.Few years later,Dad went into a nursing home and Mom began staying longer and longer stretches with my sister and with me (2000 miles away).By the time Dad passed 10 years ago,Mom was spending very little time in her home, telling us she just couldn't be alone.She was physically capable of being home alone(wears a full leg brace but no other health issues) if she hired someone coming in to do housework and yardwork.She came from a large, overbearing family and thrives on having people around ALL THE TIME.So she hated the idea of having to deal with having time alone.We tried to discuss senior apartments, options with her but she would turn on the waterworks and utter things about how she was a burden and a bother and everyone would reassure her that "oh, no, we love having you" and all discussions of her creating her own life were gone.She is a master of guilt and manipulation.After 3 more years of essentially living with us,we got her to at least sell the house, rather than my sister continuing to clean and mow etc.Now she needed to make a decision,which she refused and so ended up spending 6 months with each us.She told her friends we made her sell the house and how she was a nomad with no home.She still loves socializing but will not go anywhere unless my sister or I go too, including to a senior center, lunches with family and friends. She has no interests except reading and watching TV and those are just fillers.She has no desire to make new friends, preferring to co-opt mine.She expects us to be with her every free moment we have - we both work fulltime jobs so not a lot of free time here. I leave work, go home and cook dinner while she chats about whatever, watch TV with her at night and go to bed.Weekends, I'm expected to spend my weekend with my 90 year old mother.If I take time for me, she wilts or is sullen.She expects to attend social gatherings with our friends, and they all think she's just so sweet, they encourage it.What they don't know is that this lady has always been "all about me" - when she listens so empathetically to them, her motive is that they feed her "aren't you wonderful" need.She thrives on being fawned over and so is just so supportive and caring.She tells friends and family all of our business so we've learned to be very careful what we tell her.Ironically, with her own daughters,she can't give the support if she thinks it will diminish her attention.So when Dad died,she never hugged us and comforted us and acknowledged that we lost our Dad because in her mind, that would diminished her role as the grieving widow.In fact,she was visably bugged when we reminisced about Dad a couple days after he passed because it wasn't about her.So,here's where we are: My sister (59) just lost her husband and after spending 35 years as a caregiver, has said enough.We believe that Mom's vision of her living with Sis is they will be like the Golden GIrls - movies,visiting various friends and relatives, dinners,watching TV together every evening - contemporaries.Sis however is looking at life after many years of taking care of a sick hubbie, whom she'd adored.There's no way Mom will be ok with sitting home alone while Sis takes classes,does volunteer work,creates her new phase.BTW,Sis and I are extremely close. So Sis has said "done" and Mom is currently with me.DH is adament that we are NOT going to be the fulltime caregivers and I understand that, esp. as his parents are also elderly and we are the only kids in town to care for them. (They, however,are functional, having taken the steps they needed to keep them in their home safely).She can be alone during the day, we think but are concerned as she has fallen a couple times.She can't be left alone overnight which means we can't leave town for a weekend.Because she hates being alone,she has no understanding of my need to have "me" time.DH has been phenomenal all these years,but is wanting to travel,for me to have time for my interests after raising our brood and is starting to say "ok, we need to change something here". Plus he got a rare look at how selfish and mean spirited she can be (only about 6 people have seen this side) as she ripped me apart because I said she needed to see a doctor about her weakening good leg. So, you all have been thru this - how do I deal with this mess now that she's been living with us???? BTW - if you're contemplating this living setup, please realize your first obligation is your own family -discuss,think,pray first.