Mom and Dad moved closer to me 4 years ago. I have taken care of them, found doctors, filled out paperwork, took them to the doctors, helped them set up their apartment, took them shopping for food, clothing, household goods, furniture. Took them to the hospital when they were sick, visited with them (multiple times for each of them, plus Hospice). Took them around to various places for entertainment purposes. Did many things with my mom (movies, mani/pedi, facials, tea, lunches, shopping, bingo, boat cruise, short vacations, drives, etc). I helped she and dad get set up and they live at a place that has a bus that goes out daily and another person to take them to their doctor appointments. After my dad passed, I was with my mom constantly, trying to get her acclimated. I knew, after a while, that in order for me to enjoy my retirement with my husband that I NEEDED to establish BOUNDARIES! So, I did. I went back to work and she had to depend on the bus and the driver, not me. Now that I'm not working full-time, but enjoying my retirement she has started lying to me, being deceitful, being underhanded about many situations. I believe she is doing that because she is NOT getting what she wants.......and that would be me there ALL the time taking care of her and doing everything for her! My husband and I went away for Thanksgiving last year (I'd told her 6 months before we left) and she is still so upset that we LEFT HER for Thanksgiving! When I bring up the fact that I have 2 other siblings that she could spend the time with, she says they are busy working, they are IMPORTANT and they live too far away! I tell her she can't always depend on me for everything. She doesn't get it. Now she is totally lying about when they come to visit and doesn't even include me or gives me the information long after they've been here. They are being deceitful, yet want me here. BUT.....she wants to be included in all that I do and if people come (like my daughter) and I don't include her in everything, she is quite angry. I think I need to establish with both her and my siblings WHAT they expect from me, because I think they think they can just walk all over me and I'm to do everything and not complain! Anyone have any rules for living close to an elderly parent, yet still able to live their own life? My 2 siblings get to do that with NO PROBLEM! Yet, I'm expected to care for her without having my own life! HELP!!!!

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Yes, my mama said that to me too. I told her that I could not be with her one day and to call my sister. She said, ------ is busy. HUH? She never asked _____ ;she just felt that my life was more 'flexible'. We were both married, yet I had a child in college, hers were both grown. I tell you all over and over. I was done with my siblings after the death of my parents.... To much drama and I got to see who they really are.

Thanks for your kind reply. It is interesting that (as you stated in your second paragraph), even though she complains about not being included in things or going places, it all comes out, eventually, that yes, she did see so and so or go here with so and so and it was a wonderful time. When I ask why did I not know about any of that, she always replies that it was a quick trip or quick visit, even tho I'm 10 minutes away from her! And that's all I want to know, is that she's safe, and if she doesn't want to include me, that's fine also..........but it can go both ways than too! She can't expect me to always include her in all that I do and visit with anyone who comes to visit me.......she expects to be included! I feel I have established excellent boundaries, I call her, not every day, and about 2 or 3 times a month ask her if she needs to go anywhere, do shopping, go to the bank, etc and will set up a time that works for both of us and take her. I thought that was appropriate! Now, she says since I'm NOT working, I should be taking her everywhere again. I disagree! If that's the case then I'm working again and should be paid as a caretaker! I'm no willing to give all of my time to her, as my other 2 siblings do NOTHING!

Arizonagal, I'd say do what you're doing - enjoy your job, enjoy your retirement, enjoy spending time with your husband. And, especially, let other people help your mother with the things she really doesn't need you for. You seem to have it pretty well taped?

So I'm not quite clear what your mother is being deceitful or underhanded about, exactly. And what do you think she is trying to achieve? Is it the kind of thing where she says nobody took me to the party, and then you find out the next day that in fact she was included in a cheerful group of four and in fact had a great time?

As for your siblings, try gently reminding them that although your mother is well supported independently, you're still in effect her primary caregiver, responsible for her welfare, and you do need to know her approximate schedule and whereabouts. Actually it's perfectly healthy for her to have relationships with them independent of you, but of course it would be better and safer (especially as your mother becomes frail) if they could just let you know their plans.

Your mother's unfair expectations must be very irksome. But I'd worry for you more if you didn't seem to have her measure already!

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