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My father died 2 months ago. I promised dad I would take of mom. She doesn't hear or read or write or drive.. She is very health and 83 years old. I am responsible for her finances, social entertainment etc. she lives alone and does not want to live with me now. My siblings gist and call occasionally. So basically everything is on me. My life now includes her in everything. I no longer get Saturday naps because she wants to go go go. All the time. If I say no she starts crying and says she is stuck in the house (not true) she gets out way more now then when dad was alive. And now she keeps telling me she wants to find a man to go out with. And she is going to walk to McDonald's 2 miles away if I don't come get her.. Insists I take her to Sunday breakfast. I find myself lying to her about what I do when I am away from her so she doesn't make me feel guilty for having a life. I promised dad but I don't think I can do this..oh and she thinks she is rich and just spend spend spend. She lives on social se unity only and barely makes it. I will be having to make up the difference shortly if she keeps spending. When I tell her no she gets upset so I just give in and say fine be broke then. I want my life back..
My husband wants to get an rev in a couple of years and travel.. I don't think I will be a part of it because I have mom..

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Is she in an assisted living program or elderly housing? That might be an option, she can socialize without having to have you cart her around all the time. I find that the best thing we can do for ourselves is to try not to feel guilty. I feel like I have a child who is 2 in an 87 year old body, my money is getting tighter having to pay for someone to come and sit with her if I want to do something.
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True that $ are an issue for most!
Excellent point from purplesushi that "assisted" doesn't have to be a formal thing -- anywhere with a social life sounds like an improvement (well, maybe not a bar or casino...). DO check to see if your Mom qualifies for veteran's benefits as a widow. Where I live there is a non-profit that matches people on limited income (or looking for inexpensive housing) with seniors who are looking for someone to live with them, sometimes paying rent, sometimes providing some care. Some matches work out great, some not so good ( "reality" check & needs to be fair )
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I would like to comment that "assisted living" is not financially possible for a LOT of people - especially those who are skating by on Social Security alone, like many seniors. I would suggest checking into any programs that offer discounted senior housing, since your Mom is physically "healthy" other than having hearing issues. That alone makes it more difficult for her, but not impossible, to live on her own again. Check with your county's Department on Aging or whatever it's called in your state - they should have a list of senior housing complexes where the rent is a percentage of her income.
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I'm seeing a lot of members suggest assisted living for her, and I agree. In addition to keeping her safe and giving you a much-needed emotional, financial and physical break, it would give her a built in social scene. She might even find a man with whom she can socialize.

There are a lot of ways you can fulfill your promise to your dad without killing yourself in the process. One of those ways is to look for and put her in a facility that can meet her emotional and social needs in a way that you can't.

You have to keep living your life.
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It sounds to me like the BEST way to take care of your Mom would be assisted living. Even if she has no money there are ways and places for her to live and they can be just as nice as the more expensive ones. She needs people around and activities. You can't provide what she needs and maintain you sanity so turn that part over to an assisted living facility. Be sure to pick one that has levels of needs so as she ages she can remain in the same environment. You are not abandoning her by doing this you are really doing what is best for her. My Mom would be so much happier in assisted living but my Dad is with us also and he won't even discuss it. He sees "nursing homes" as a place to go to die. I can't get him to even consider it. You may even find that once a week going to a bingo night or majhon game with Mom can be great fun for you also. The RV Plans must continue for both you and your husband!! Taking care of Mom can not become your sole purpose in life or you will loose your life and your sanity.
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Momhouseme, your solutions for entertainment are wonderful. In my Dad's case, he would corner passersby into talking and then I don't know what would happen. I would feel like I need to save them from him no doubt. Or get caught making polite conversation with strangers to keep Dad entertained, sometimes fun, but not always, and not sleep time.
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IsntEasy,

You are so right.
OTH, it is impossible to get any control over finances, without other family members helping present a united front to keep the elder in tow.
One sibling told me "she's been so poor all her life, she deserves to spend it however she wants--just let her".
That was the last straw in trying to help Mom live on the monthly stipend, or getting any of her money into an interest bearing account to help that stipend.
After that, it was constant undermining of any measures to get our elder to stop hoarding useless stuff--trailers full, acres full.
This elder "disappeared" over $200K in about a year.

Some of it may still be rotting where she buried it, as she firmly believed burying it was safer than banks never mind her experience with money literally rotting in a jar she'd buried previously.
She takes exceptional joy in destroying a target person with accusations of theft, while letting cash rot or gifting it to others.

Ain't life grand?
Yep...do whatever you can to keep money accounted for.
Do whatever you can to get POA for finances, to prevent elders losing their resources---
DSHS takes a dim view of elders getting rid of money in that 5-year look-back....or at all.
The IRS takes an even dimmer view.
PROVING the elder was the one who got rid of it, will always fall back on the family in charge, as if they had any way of preventing it.

Just beware of money disappearing or being used for things not really needed.
Beware of hoarding habits in elders.
All those could cause elders to be denied services from DSHS/Medicaid, if they suspect anyone deliberately got rid of money that could have been used to support the elder in need.
Virtually NO officials consider that the elder is willfully getting rid of cash, and deliberately lying about family members taking it.
Family caretakers have little to no protections from accusations and abuse of them by their elders.
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Word to the wise – stop at nothing to control your mother's spending. Use every tactic you can think of. I thought I was, but I didn't do enough. Now dad is still spending at exactly the same unrealistic rate and my siblings and I are footing the bill (while I'm paying college tuition and our own expenses, all from our recession-shrunken paychecks!). It's sad to admit, but I can't wait until he has a diagnosis that will get him admitted to a nursing home. How awful is that?!
People will say "let them go and they'll find out the consequences," but unless you're strong enough to stand by and watch your parent move into government housing (which in our area is really substandard), the aftermath of their actions will all fall in your lap. And, lets' face it – you'd wind up having to deal with the move!
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Alemap,
I promised my Mother's mother, I would be there when Mom needed help, as Gma kept wringing her hands over who was going to take care of her daughter once she herself was unable/gone.
I promised her I would be there for Mom.
Repeatedly.
How stupid.
But then, back then, I had no words or understanding about what was really going on with Mom, only that she was different, and, being around her was dangerous to my health.
But she was still my Mom, and I felt loyal and supportive, and wanted to make sure she didn't come to harm...
AS-IF I could ever prevent that, considering her lifestyles, choices, and her mental/emotional issues.
It wasn't long until Mom needed money every month...so I sent money for years, and that helped some.
Well, the time came when she herself begged me to take her and her current spouse in, under catastrophic conditions; other family were not acceptable to her; she dramatically stated her discomfort at thought of staying with them, and I suckered for it.
Things went downhill from there, until after 6 years of her generating divisive drama among family while under our roof and care, and becoming increasingly abusive and slanderous towards me and my family, she HAD to be moved out to protect what was left of us.
But to other family, she's sweet as sunlight on a meadow.
My advice: IF you think you cannot deal with your elder's behavior --now--, find a more appropriate place/staff to handle her care, because the behaviors will likely get more intense as her condition suffers w/ age and infirmity.
Hold tight to any good memories you have w/her, and try not to let current behaviors destroy those, .
As for "finding a man"...at this point, is more likely one more example of poor decision making [executive brain function deficit] ---although there ARE elders perfectly capable, that is less common---they're usually showing slippage of executive function in that kind of statements.
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While many may agree having a mother doesn't mean giving up your life to her, your life with an elderly parent over 85 yrs does change. They do become a top priority or as I called my father "my project" in jest. If your parents were always independent until they passed away or if your relatives tend to die young (before 85 yrs) you haven't experienced it. The upper 80's and 90's are not the seniors who need no help. They are the fragile elderly. There are exceptions when seniors remain independent above age 85 but they are the exceptions.

If your parents are below 85 and still need no help from your, count your blessings but remember times will be a changing if they continue to age. Aging is a process, and the decline does begin. Be prepared for it is coming as sure as the sun rises each morning.

Elizabeth
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Ps Saturday was devoted to whatever mom wanted. Sounds easy enough but it wasn't because she also wanted me every other day of the week. So we did little spurts. When I was working full time of course she was antsy when I got home having been stuck in my home all day. I ensured she had the magazine subscription that she loved delivered; I also hired a companion to come and visit with mom and one was just wonderful She took mom shopping and more. This was a lifesaver while I was working because it eased my mind. When I got home I simply told mom I had worked and I needed to x, y z and when I got done we would do something. When the time came I had some engery and we either made dinner or went out...I always sought senior priced meals, free deals and the like since we were going so much. So if we went out I would make a trip to the store or wherever after work an adventure. Perhaps a side trip to a vista point, an outdoor cafe for a dessert, outdoor starbucks (a variety of drinks). To save time, if we went out for food I generally ordered an extra meal to go. This meal would be dinner for the next day...another hour or two were saved for the next day. I developed a system that did end up working. Tired? Yes. I worked it out so I could also get naps. Ex: we tried going to a park like location to watch airplanes land and take off. I packed a lunch blankets and the like...we sat ourselves down and mom was entirely entertained for hours and I would always fall asleep. This was my perfect outting with mom. We were both happy with this. We took alot of busrides to shopping malls therefore easing me always having to drive and find parking. We have a mall type area where we would have fun plus get some things done; there were restaurants plus grocery, drug, sundry, cleaners, ups and more.
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I'm guessing your Mom hasn't found facebook yet. You might set her up with an account and teach her how to use it. She'll have ton's of online friends in no time. Facebook can take up many many hours of the day and even the night and keep her entertained.
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before alzheimer's mom would visit me from So CA and when she did I had to give up my life during the week stay...she didn't want to share me whatsoever so I had no contact with friends except maybe a phone call ...she didn't even like if my attention was on a phone call....I always looked forward to seeing my mom but dreaded the week. it also always entailed doing what mom wanted...when I visited SoCa on a side note, we also did whatever mom wanted.
When mom came to have surgery here I assumed it was temporary but it turned out long term. Mom's mind was off but she, as others have described, wanted to go go go, this mall that mall, here there. Mom failed to acknowledege that I worked full time...boy I just wanted to sit many many times. On top of the go go go was the laundry food shopping and I was doing all the finances and more. I know you all understand. It can be exhausting and I agree that you father would never have wanted you to be the sole provider and entertainer. For me, entertaining would have been ok but mom and I didn't enjoy the same things.
I don't know that I have a solution for you but I just gave in to some degree. I just resigned myself to taking her out every saturday. I did so because my mother was no longer able to do these things for herself so she relied on me. Therefore, I tried to make it work and it did. I just committed myself to this being a choice i was making.
It wasn't as demanding as it appears it might be with your loved one ; once we did all the Nordstrom visits mom wanted my mom was pretty ok. We always included a stop at Starbucks in our trips (my desire). Saturday therefore was mom day. I learned to buy groceries on the way home for example, at 7-11 where they had (a unique 7-11) fruits, frozen meals, drinks, milk. Yeh I probably paid a bit more than if I had gone to a standard grocery store but I decided to conserve energy and do what i could when I could (7-11). Get an ipad so you can do work on the go when u are with mom. Fly Lady, an online get orgazied site has cool things. One thing I got from this site was I have a zippered bag. Everything I need to pay bills including but not limited to a stapler are in the bag. I was able to pay bills for example while mom meandered through nordstrom. If mom returned to me early allthe items fits right back into the bag and I could pick up where I left off later. One does have to set limits of course so developing some viable plan or schedule could help.
Once I got a little organized rythem to doing this, I was happy providing for mom as they do rely on us. Today she has Alzheimer's and I still take her out and the joy I see on her face warms me. The years before this were trying as they are likely for you at this time...try to find some balanced way of addressing the challenges. I am happy to continue bringing forth ideas.
Furhtermore I agree your mom is likely spreading her wings now doing all the things perhaps she could not do in her marriage. My mom also went through that.
My mom was always go go go whereas my father liked his homemade sandwich, a baseball game on tv.or puttering in his garage, quite the opposite of mom. So I believe that we are in some ways our parents new spouse that will do the things they like to do. Its a mess but...
Hope something here helps.
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All of the ideas for meeting new people and all that are probably very good, but do be cautious and make sure you can keep control of finances. Dad may have been putting the brakes on and she may be declining a little in judgement and need some limits set and explained; it may not just be emotional or whimsical, she really could be unable to make good judgements financially and otherwise and now he is gone her thinking could be "now I can go do whatever I want." My other caution is that if she finds new "friends", that someone can make sure they are not out to take advantage of her, e.g. get her POA and spend spend spend every penny or even run up huge debts...sadly, that sort of thing has been done, and once in a while on here we have had stories of people getting isolated from all loved ones in order for this to occur, with very little if any legal recourse.

Don't jump to conclusions, or instantly become over restrictive, of course - she may just be rebounding or reacting emotionally, or doing what she would have done all along. But, also do not let the fact theat she is physically active and recognizes people and is oriented blind you to the possibility that there can be some mild cognitive impairments in an early stage that can limit critical thinking skills.
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My father in law is almost 86 and he lost my mother in law and is now living with a widow who is his girlfriend and your mom's age. One of my grandmothers found a new boyfriend who was younger than her at your mom's age. So, maybe you should encourage her to go to singles events and join senior groups that travel and do activities that are fun and go places together. My grandmother did a lot of volunteer work with at risk kids and other places. Sounds like she needs both some income and transportation. Can you find an easy-to-do part time job, maybe one that can involve telecommuting or in a store where she can meet the public? My father in law works full time and loves it. Keep in mind for the future- do undo your mother as you would have others do unto you. You wouldn't have been born or nurtured and cared for growing up if not for her. I remember that every day in caring for my own mom and her mother. Picture yourself in her shoes- how would you want someone to treat you- and act accordingly. Too much selfishness in this country.
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Alemap, another quick comment. Don't let the other people on this site diss you about taking Mom to McDonalds. She is 83 years old, for heaven's sake. If she wants to eat at McDonalds, let her. If she threatens to WALK to McDonalds, call her on it. My mother threatens to get in the car and do stuff like that, but she never does it. But frankly, if Mom is reasonably healthy at age 83 and she likes fast food and isn't on a restricted diet, let her have what she wants. If it hasn't killed her yet, it isn't going to. I frequently run to McDonalds for coffee in the morning and around 9 AM the place is mobbed with seniors. It's a social thing for them to go get pancakes,orange juice, coffee and conversation.
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Your Mom needs a social life, but it doesn't have to be "all you, all the time".
Keeping active is a VERY healthy way to deal with grief compared with some of the options (ie hunkering in the house for years, laying in bed looking at the ceiling for a few more....).
If assisted living is an option she is likely to find other mentally active women her own age to hang out with (we all friends when we were kids, & that need never went away!).

Learn the words "I'm really sorry, but I'm already scheduled that day", and and pre-plan some other alternate forms of transportation (expect a tantrum, be firm). DRAFT the siblingsif they are in town --don't wait for them to volunteer. Be persistant--make them have to say "no" once a week for the next year if you have to, in order to make clear that they too are expected to help your Mom & not just drop everything on your shoulders because you are convenient.
Schedule one fixed day/outing a week with Mom. This gives her security that you are "there" for her. As she ages it may become the only day she leaves the house some weeks.
Find a better restaurant than McDonalds if you can. Scope around for what local cafe, diner, etc. seems to have a lot of handicap-lic cars in the parking lot at 10am on a week day! Denny's isn't necessarily the best, but has some healthier options, & you can go for just coffee & a snack if budget is an issue (be cheerful, friendly, & tip the waitress nicely though !!!). There is a Denny's near my house that has become "senior central" -- sort of "Cheers" for the local over-85 crowd. My neighbor is 98 and is NOT the oldest regular ---the adjacent drug store has TWO styles of "Happy 100th Birthday" cards! The manager & his staff know all of "their" seniors, the manager the bus-boys all flirt with my neighbor (OK, so maybe she starts it!). She loves the attention, and the whole staff walk away from the table smiling after greeting her.
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Alemap, there are some good suggestions on this thread. Does your community have a Senior Center? Many communities have a place where you can bring your elderly parents so they meet other people their age and interact. The Senior Center in my community has exercise classes and craft lessons, book clubs, bridge, all kinds of things an elderly person might enjoy.

When your father made you promise to take care of your mother, I understand that you thought personally caring for her 24/7 was the deal. But that is completely unreasonable to expect you to give up your own life to take care of someone who doesn't seem to appreciate it. Frankly, finding the best possible assisted living or long-term care facility for her is also taking care of her. If she can afford assisted living, and is able to take care of herself enough that she would qualify, she might really enjoy that type of setting.

Cute story: My husband and I have a friend who is 84 years old and a widower. He moved into an assisted living center about three years ago after his wife died. He's pretty self-reliant, but he didn't want to burden his family with his care. We teased him at the time about how his dance card would be full once he moved in there, but he told us we didn't know the half of it! He is one of only 4 or 5 men in the facility, and practically the only one who still has his own hair and teeth. He said the women fight over whose table he will sit at for meals every day (he chooses to sit with different people at each meal) and they invite him to their rooms for drinks, then put the moves on him! He is so surprised!!!! I think it's hilarious! He said running away from these women is good exercise though. ;-)
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I have experience with a NH that was a godsend to those who were so frail they could do nothing else and thrived on afternoon entertainement there, but for those there that had most of their faculties, it looked like a living hell. Look closely at any you choose. And posters, finances are an issue. The good ones cost more and are NOT affordable to anyone restricted to social security income alone.
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Ohhh, and the spending is also a sign of boredom and depression... Giving her a social life WILL help with MOST of your problems. I worked for MANY years in Nursing Homes! A lot of the people thought they were at a resort and living it up! They thrived on the afternoon bingo and morning flower arrangement class or what ever! I think she just might be a hit at the home!!
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This is all perfectly normal. Finding a man....normal. She is lonely and bored. Trust me, there are PLENTY of nursing home romances!! :) I would look into an assisted living home or nursing home with lots of activities, etc. Problem (some of it) solved!! Taking care of her DOESN'T mean you have to do it all!! See to it she GETS the care she needs and I think she would be a Great Candidate, since she would THRIVE on the activities and social life... and who knows!?? She just might meet a man! :)
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I agree with the posters that encourage you to find a social group for your mother to be part of. All of her entertainment should not be on you. There's adult day care, senior book clubs, hiking clubs, etc. She can do public transportation because they pick her up and drop her off at her door to accommodate her disability. If it's still to much togetherness for you, check into assisted living for her. Just because you promised to take care of her didn't commit you to doing it all yourself. Look out for her, but don't try to be EVERYTHING to her.
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It is called assisted living and maybe she can find herself a man there. It is not reasonable that you give up you life to entertain her.
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Hi! please read!!!! Your Dad "took care of your Mom" by "sitting on the porch reading". That gives you license to do the same. She needs to find activiities that entertain herself. Or be bored. Her choice.

As far as RVing with your husband in a while, or even the occassional vacation or respite, tell your siblings they MUST come and sit on her porch for a week every six months or year. It is their DUTY.

I don't have much hopes of finding affordable enjoyable assisted living with only SS to pay for it. You might actually be on the hook for a while. Or, save up by living frugally for an RV that has room for three, sounds like she'd love it. Not sure how much fun she'd be to be around, but you never know.

oh, and look for a "friendship circle" where you can take her to daily to spend 6 to 8 hours among similar aged persons. And usually there is a town service that will take care of the transportation too. Look into your County Senior Services.

This strikes a raw note for me, because my mother asked someone in my family to take care of another member of my family, and I don't believe that means 24/7 care by you. It means make sure she's taken care of - by someone who cares ABOUT her. In my case, I WANT to be the caregiver, and I can tell by the sighs of resignation that the current caregiver doesn't want to do it any longer, and it is taking a toll for the patient who doesn't want to be a burden, but they won't give up the caregiver task because "mom said". Totally misinterpreted, in my opinion. In means make sure she's ok, not go lie under that bus she's driving.
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Promising you would take care of your Mom doesn't mean you have to be at her beck and call every hour of every day. It means looking out for her & making sure she is safe. Sounds like she would benefit greatly from living in an independent living senior community - are there any "55 and up" apartment complexes near you? She could make friends there - heck, maybe find a boyfriend if she wants. If you don't put limits on what you will and won't do now, you will only get in deeper and deeper. She starts to cry when you say no because she is manipulating you - and it's working. Good luck.
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Alemap you do not have to cater to your mother's every whim. If she cries, let her. I was in a similiar situation, until I realized I was allowing my mother to control my free time. I stopped being my mother's salvation to life. Get that RV and go with your husband when the time comes. Tell your mother of your future plans so that she can make plans for her own future. If she continues to be irresponsible and do nothing that will be her problem not yours. Having a mother doesn't mean giving up your life to her.
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My mother is a much more social person than I am. The hardest part of both of our journeys was her losing her license and becoming dependent on me to get her to and from her social activities unless she or I could make other arrangements. She had something planned every day of the week! She absolutely wore me out. I ended up having a talk with her and telling her that I needed a day where I did absolutely nothing outside the house - a day where I could sit in my pj's all day long if I wanted. Now Mom has declined to the point that her social activities revolved around her doctor appointments, and I look forward to getting out of the house as much as she does.
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I think your mother is wanting to remain active and perhaps is the type of woman who even in her 80's wants a man in her life. I would try to get her to some senior events, it will be difficult for her to have a wide selection of men because more men die before 80. She may have to look for a widower in his late 60's or 70's. However, if she is a women who attracts the company of men, she may develop some friendships or more. Also if she spent most of her life married, she may have missed out on the dating from ages 20-30 and that may be where she is emotionally even if she is over 80 now.
Either way, her friends both male and female are passing away each yr at this stage so she may need to find younger seniors to relate to for friendship.

If she practices a religion, most churches are looking for workers. Try to hook up safe transportation to get her to volunteer activities. Since her money is short, perhaps a part time job, would be helpful for short hours given her age (perhaps 4 hours a day).

I think you are dealing with a young senior mentally. Like overly active children they require activity to be happy.

Good luck.
Elizabeth
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Oh dear, How I can relate to what you are facing. My father passed away years ago. I cant tell you how many times I have heard "I should have found another man" from my 83 year old mom who has been living with me for 2 years now. Same situation, go,go,go! I have encouraged her to get out and do things for herself, for her own well being - in a gentle manner. I get that thrown back at me with the replies...but I don't want to go alone. I'm scared, I don't like old people.... LOL - it makes me laugh, but all in all - I envision myself in her shoes and it helps me with compassion. The quirks are just her sharing her feelings and thoughts, which are to be respected. I'm sure she is scared. She has to make an adjustment also. Don't you think that this isn't on her mind also? I have heard everything to "I wish I were dead!" I let it pass and deal with it as calmly as I can. As far as the spending, I also have to encourage her to save and not splurge. McDonald's is not a word in my home - I don't like fast food and I have helped get her back to a very healthy eating routine and only take her for french fries once every couple of months - thank goodness she agrees with this, but perhaps MacDonalds is a social escape for her or a memory for her that she is find of because she and your father did this together? ! I try to do things for her that let her know.. I understand. I do plan an event once a month outside of the day to day routine. In the future, You will be able to travel and do the things that you need to do in time. Has she thought about or talked about moving closer to family and friends? If she wants to meet other people and specifically men - does she have a plan? Its not out of the ordinary anymore for widows/widowers to want to have companions in their lives. I wish you peace of mind. Don't let your new found responsibility be a total downer, you need all the energy you can get now to both physically and emotionally deal with this situation for perhaps many more years. Ask for help if you need to, look into local resources for home health companionship and make sure you go to doctors appointments so that you can be aware of any changes to her mental and physical capacities. Do all things with love. You won't be sorry for helping a woman who loves you. :)
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If your dad only died two months ago there could be a lot of stuff going on. Your mom could be wanting to go because she doesn't want to be home by herself because she misses your dad. When my dad died, my mom was never home. She shopped and bowled and yes she came to visit me a lot. She just couldn't handle being alone. She also shopped a lot. Something about grieving makes shopping very therapeudic. I watched it happen to my mom and even to myself when I was widowed with very young children. Maybe some grief counseling would help. I also promised my dad that I would take care of my mother. I took that promise very literally. Now 12 years later, my mother has dementia and after living with her for 4 years and taking care of her 24/7 for the last 2 years, I had to admit that this was the not the best thing for her or for myself. Last month I had to move her into a memory unit of an assisted living facility. I am still having problems with the guilt but I realize that I am still taking care of her. It's just that now I am doing it with the assistance of trained personnel that are better able to take care of her physically.
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