My mother has been severely depressed for 13 years every since my grandmother died. Over those years I have begged for her to get help as she became a recluse and quit her job. Because of all of those things, she ended up losing her upscale home and having to move into a subsidized apt with my stepfather.
With the financial problems, the depression worsened and my mother was diagnosed with COPD although she still smokes. She has always been overly dramatic and acts like she can't do anything for herself and for as long as I can remember my stepfather took care of her and basically waited on her hand and foot. All of the negativity pushed me away and I would only call about once a week and visit a few times a year as we live in another state. Just this past summer of 2012, my stepfather had a stroke and ultimately passed away within a month.
During the month of him being in the hospital I was in her state constantly taking care of the two of them. Since they didn't have any money I was paying her rent, paying for her meds, buying her groceries and doing her shopping, laundry, paying bills, cleaning house, etc. She would act like she needed a walker, help in and out of the car, couldn't change her sheets or clean her house. I would feed into it and help her with all of these things knowing that she really could do it.
We knew that she couldn't live by herself, so we ultimately tried to sell our home and couldn't so let it go into foreclosure so we could rent a home that didn't have stairs in it so she could move in with us. We packed and moved her by ourselves with no help from my POS brother. Paid for her moving truck, bought her a new bed and bedding (because the cigarette smoke was absorbed into everything and everything smelled so badly and was yellow).
Since moving in with us she has not used the walker once. I push her to do things for herself. At first she tried to have me wait on her hand and foot but I would ask her if she could do it - to actually TRY first. It is amazing the amount of things that she can now do! She said she couldn't wash dishes, load dishwasher or unload dishwaser and she is now doing all of that. With a little push from me she is now able to do a ton of things that she used to "not be able to do".
My major challenge that I have now is resenting her for not taking care of herself. She still smokes, although I do not allow it in our home. But she gets lung infections and I have to take her to the hospital, as soon as she gets out she is chain smoking again. I just don't think that it is fair that I have to take care of her for her poor decisions. She argues with me that she is not depressed however she never leaves the house, never showers (hasn't right now in 5 days) and all she does is sit around the house wearing the same dirty oversized sweat suits with greasy hair and without her teeth in. I am at my wits end, it is gross and embarassing when we have friends stop by.
She complains about everyone and everything. If my daughter has friends over she complains about the way the kids act even though they are truly fine. She complains about the neighbors saying hi to her when she is outside smoking!
My mother is not elderly either, she just turned 67 but acts like she is 90. My father is the same age and is very active, our neighbors are the same age and are very active. I blame the lack of activity and cleanliness on her depression. She has dealt with depression all of her life. When I was a child/teenager she never wanted to go anywhere because she was "tired". My father said that even when they were married over 35 years ago she was all about "doom and gloom".
I am to the point that I hate being home, my family and I can be out somewhere having a great time and the second I get home and see her with her greasy hair, no teeth and dirty clothes I get so angry. Prior to her moving in with us my husband and I used to watch TV on the couch at night, now I am in our bedroom by myself at 9pm because I just can't take it.
Thanks for letting me get this all off of ny chest, it is all very therapeutic to even type it! xoxo