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Hi everyone. I'm 47 years old and live in the home I grew up in with my mother. She just turned 79 in late July.

My mother is obese (5'6" and over 300 pounds), is on medication for blood pressure and cholesterol. She has two coronary stents. In late 2005, she started having some vision problems due to circulation in her eyes. Because of her weight, she has some mobility issues/arthritis.

In spite of this, she is in better shape than many others I know who are her age.

She's always been demanding and prone to bad temper, but over the last month, it's gotten a lot worse. Right now, she hasn't spoken to me for almost FIVE DAYS all because I went out to dinner with my significant other on his birthday and came home around 11 that same night. She was mad because she had to get up out of her chair, go in the kitchen, and cook something.

I had brought her some food from our dinner and she basically said "I eat more than once every 30 - 40 hours; shove it up your a**; go take it to your significant other and his family, they're all you care about anyway." I had told her in advance we were going out to dinner and I would be home later.

Since then, she won't say anything to me unless it's in a sarcastic or hateful tone of voice. When I called and asked her what she wanted to eat before I left work on Friday, she said she "hadn't thought about it" and hung up on me. When I was getting ready to go out with my signifcant other last night, she said "I see you're getting ready to go work your corner again." (Yes, my mother basically called me a whore.)

I am going to call her doctor tomorrow and request a face to face meeting with him. I really believe she needs some medical help. I'm at the point now where if I DO go out, I'm afraid to go home, not knowing which side of her I'm going to see.

This makes me angry. I bring the paper in for her every day, bring in the mail, make sure the checks are written so bills are paid, do the laundry, take out the trash, go to the store for her. I do clean the house--not to her satisfaction, but I do the best I can.

She doesn't like my significant other, but it seems that she's becoming more resentful of the fact I have a life and do social things. A few weeks ago, when I told her that I was meeting some friends after work to see a movie, she said, "so that means you're not going to feed me?". I said, "I will bring you dinner AFTER we leave the movies and that will be sometime after 7:00."

She won't go anywhere--I've tried to get her to go places and she won't.

I'm sorry, but I don't deserve to be treated like this. I just need to vent.

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Amen to all of the above, she'll get over it and she will eat when she gets hungry believe me. Yes all those feelings come with the territory. Some territory. I'd rather be at the beach. You all take care of yourselves we will still be here when they go but what condition will it be? food for thought.
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Hi CLL007
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Alice,
It was great hearing from u and your doing good. I'm doing good also, had a very nice Christmas and a very nice New Year ( in bed by 10:00pm) But it was good anyways. I'm also working on getting healthier this new Year so is my Husband. My Mom is adjusting to us living here and is getting along with my Husband better. It still is stressful for me being in between 2 people but I'm also adjusting and have learned to just walk away. My Mom is getting more confused but we are dealing with it as are all of u. Happy New Year to everyone.
CLL007
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Hello CLL007 and Everyone,

Happy New Year to all , and I hope everyone's holiday was great. I am doing good, dad is moved into his apartment but as I was getting ready to go on vacation he fell down and broke 5 ribs.

The doctors gave him pain killers which caused him to have delusions and they were really bad this time. It seems everytime I go away for any length of time something happens. Well the doctors are telling me its dementia and it will only get worse and he needs to live with someone. Well I am trying to find help in house now. I was talking to him and his balance and walking is going quick so he said he is not against assisted living so I am going to look at places with him this week.

I have a week until my semester at school starts. This is my last semester and I am done and ready to go to work. I have to get dad situated so I can have a life. I have very hard classes this term and I need to concentrate on that and that is very hard when I am worried all the time about him.

I told him we will not be turning away any help we may get. I cannot be their 24/7 and my marriage has suffered so much over this.

Anyway, thats enough crying about me and my situation how is everyone else? Its a new year and we have much to look forward to!!! I am serious about getting myself healthy and in shape this year. My husband and I have bought healthy cooking books to learn together. Yesterday I made homemade Veg. soup and brought some over to dad because he loves it.

So, I did go on vacation and it was wonderful--everyone deserves a vacation. Happy New Year and thanks for your help.
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Hi Alice, Haven't heard from u or seen any comment from u. Are u doing alright? I hope everybody had a good Christmas and a Happy New Year.
CLL007
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The most difficult emotional thing we go through as caregivers is the transition from Mom to Child reversal--it's a position Mom's don't give up easily. I'm stuck in that place right now and I'm 64 while Mom is 86. She keeps reminding me she's the "Mom". I blew up once at her and felt so badly that I swore I'd never do that again. Instead I use the phrase "now that's enough" and walk away. If she'd understand it, I might add "remember I'm the one who gets to pick your nursing home" but in my case that doesn't work.

I do believe we can enable our elders to bad behavior by taking whatever they want to hand out--just like one would by giving an alcholic his alchol. It's difficult to step back and realize that we're doing it. It's rather like training a puppy--be consistant and turn your back on that bad behavior so they will realize their needs will be met but your life has to go forward also. I feel so badly for you young ladies trying to fulfill your life and do the caregiving too.

Let's stick together,
NALEWA
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Ultimatums may work...if not for your sibs, they may work for you. Here's what I mean. Communicate in as nice a fashion as you can that unless they call or come with a new tune, that they don't call or come at all. This may mean that they won't speak to you but then they can't degrade you if they don't speak to you! Eventually you may need to speak with an elder attorney about securing her assets so that the vultures don't have access after she's gone. This may widen the rift between you and your sibs but at the rate things are going, it already sounds pretty wide.
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I have been taking care of my 77 year old Mother since my Dad passed away in January 2007. I took an early retirement from my career and spent the next 8 months getting her home of 30 years prepared to remodel and put on the housing market, then moved to into my home. I am married to a wonderful husband and have a great daughter that help me as much as she can. However, I have 3 siblings, one in Florida and 1 in N.C. Neither of these siblings can seem to understand just what I do for my Mom. The one sibling that lives near me on the West Coast, just a few miles away helps when she can. Actually, none of them help. The sibling that lives near by, stops in from time to time, listens to me vent about the other siblings and gives me a pat on the back. Not really what I am looking for. The 2 siblings that are out of state, don't speak to me at all. I have tried to communicate with them, but end up the bad daughter. Mom has been with me for 14 months now and they have each visited once. I have asked that they come more often and I do realize that they have work schedules and such, but this is the only parent they have left. They tend to make promises to Mom about visits, but don't ever show up. I recently sent them all an email to voice my feelings regarding the false promises and because this monster in my family.

My siblings do not believe my Mom needs a caregiver. I've tried to explain to them that they don't see her on a daily basis and have no real clue. They only know what my Mom tells them over the telephone. I have asked them to communicate with me about visits to my state or wanting Mom to visit them in their states. But they have refused to do that. I help my Mom with her daily tasks, her banking, I cook for her and drive her where she needs to go. These things I do not mind doing, but I do mind being beat up by my siblings on a regular basis.

I am not sure what to do with keeping my temper with my siblings. At this time in my life I am so stressed out and unhappy. My Mom is a Diamond in my treasure chest and I would do anything for her. But she will not say anything to my siblings regarding how she see's them treat me. That hurts.

If anyone has some advise on what I should do with about my disrespectful siblings, please let me know. I am about at my wits end.

Nonnee
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You are wise to look for the lessons in misfortunes. Often, that mindset helps us get through difficult times, and of course, others benefit. I hope you both heal fast.
Carol
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I have learned a good lesson since I have had to cope with broken ribs maybe it was God's intention to make me realize what it is like to be disabled so I can understand the husband's feelings more- he developed a new wound on his foot and at this time he is being careful. Our church sent some food to us yesterday-it was a great treat/
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barbees, You hit the nail on the head for me. I wish to do everything within my ability to do that wil enable my Mom to remain in her own bed until God calls her home. My dream may not be within my power to do, but I sure will continue trying. There is no place like home, loved ones and familiar spaces, including in one's twilight years. If Mom loses her memory entirely, that is a different story, otherwise, she is no different than I am. We love each other, home, garden and family. greekgirl, don't bash yourself if you occasionally feel resentment. Caregivers are a walking bag of mixed emotions. After all, we are only humans trying to do the right thing and to make sense of situations that sometimes make little sense. Live strong, my fellow caregiver. Follow your spirit all the way.
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Greekgirl, I'm so glad you feel better after "talking it out" on this site. It does help a lot to vent, and to know that people understand, even though they can't change your situation for you. Also, there is something to the fact that things look "darkest before dawn." Sometimes a new day gives us a little better perspective. "Things" haven't changed, but we are more rested and so we have change just a bit. Take care of yourself,

Carol
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barbees you made me feel right when i awoke and saw the comment, atleast shes in her own bed. i geuss yesterday i was feeling alot of resentment, but today i will try to realize getting older and immobile has got to be 100 times harder then being the one watching thank you all for being here. what a life savor this site is.
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Dear Sunshine
I can relate to that.
I know now what the saying (what goes around comes around) means
I tell people that I put mom through h_ _ _ when I was young and now it's my turn.
But you know what, at least I know that mom is safe and asleep upstairs in her
own bed.
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Regarding how to deal with a thankless job, appreciation is what I feel as opposed to what I expect as a caregiver to my Mom. Mom and Dad gave me their best and made my life comfortable when I was a child and vulnerable. It is the least I could do as an adult is my personal viewpoint.
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Just love them ,they sometimes may say or do things they really don't mean. Sometimes it may be to the medicine they are taking or they just are so lonely, and they don't know how else to get the attention that they need. Just sit down and talk with them sometimes helps. Don't let anybody take your joy, let them know you love them but they will not take your joy. God also loves you so ask him to help and he will.
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Alice
Kick back and relax on your vac- I hope it is with friends and not family. What class are you taking. Our new aide started today and it looks good he works many hrs and also goes to college.
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Hi Everyone,

Believe me we are not alone at all. Just here makes me feel like someone understands what is going on. This is a thankless job but look we have everyone here to let us know how wonderful we are and how much work we do and to validate out craziness that goes on.

I feel for all of us--I do notice that their are not many men I think because they could not handle the responsibility.

CLL007--I have a sick husband also. He has been sick with cancer for a year and a half and the attention between my dad and him is just like 2 children. When he was going through kemo I thought I would die of stress because my dad was sick at the same time. It is so hard to be their for 2 people who want all your attention just like children. My husband now wants me to totally ignore my father, yeah right like he is ever going to be out of my life. I know he has taken advantage but he is my father and I love him and worry about him. So anyway, my hubby is better for now and feeling stronger so I am happy about that--the only thing I notice is that men even when they are sick still run their mouths!! That never seems to go away!!! (Just kidding-now we love them)

Well girls I have class tonight--yes class like my life is not full enough. So have a good night and talk to you soon. By the way in 6 days and counting I am going to Las Vegas for a week. I am going to relax and relax and read oh yeah and maybe gamble a bit!!

Take Care
Alice
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THANKS CAROL. HOW DO OTHERS DEal WITH WHAT I SEEM TO THINK IS A THANKLESS JOB. I LIVE IN HER HOME. I DO NOT GET ANY FINACIAL ASSISTANCE FFROM HER OR ANYONE, EVEN BOYFRIEND. SHE REALLY IS NOT MY MOM IN LAW WE JUST SAY THIS .PETER AND I ARE MARRIED IN HEART. NOT LEGAL. SHE HAS MONEY AND DOES PAY HOUSEHOLDD BILLS, BUT ALWAYS IS UPSET IF A computer is on OR DO LAUNDRY, OR RUNNING WATER TO DO DISHES. IM ALWAYS BEING EXTRAVAGENT, WHEN IN TURN I HAVE NOT LEFT THIS HOUSE FOR MORE THEN 10 MIN IN 4 WEEKS. HELP...
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There are many.

Your mother-in-law is probably afraid and not happy with herself. You are there and she's taking her frustrations out on you. Some people are just not nice to people, ever, but that isn't always the case when an elder seems impossible to please. Often, it's about them, not you. Still, it's hard to take. You aren't losing your mind, and you aren't alone. Keep checking back. We're with you.
Carol
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for 6 months i really thought i had lost my mind taking care of my mother-in-law, she also never is happy with anything i do and cannot think about the fact that i have given up my entire life for her. glad to know others are here
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divabella, you are on the right course to seek medical advice on your Mom's worsening anger outbursts and to also continue living your own life. Doing all that you are doing to help your Mom is the very best that you can do. You can't look to her for praise, recognition, or thanks. Often times, that is just the way the caregiver relationship with a relative rolls when there are medical issues, including unbridled anger. You are doing the right thing in seeking to maintain the balance in your life and not allowing yourself to be manipulated by your Mom's tantrums. Am so proud of you!
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Hi Alice,
Thank's for the advise because almost everything u said about taking care of your-self is exaclty what I'm going through. Last yr. I lost 80 lbs. and I have gained 1/2 of that back due to the stress, I eat when My Mother goes to bed because it is such a relief. I have been taking care of my Husband for almost 4 yrs. and we did alright but taking care of My Mom and him can be very stressful they both want my attention and some times it can be way too much. When I want to eat something at night instead I will get on-line and read your comment. Hang in there and we will chat soon.
We are blessed by God aren't we !!!!!
Cindy
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Hi Cindy,

I have read your post and feel for you. Take care of yourself first that's what I have had to learn over the past 7 years, I just started to do this. I was almost at the breaking point when I had to say stop and I cannot do this anymore. I needed to look at myself and see what I have done to myself (gained weight, no longer kept myself up, and just looking horrible) and I have to now take care of myself and loose this weight and take care of my health and also my looks because no one will do it for us.....

So I feel for you I have been here too...Not many people can understand until they are in the shoes of someone like us who deals with things like this on a daily basis. God bless you and have a great day.

Take care......Alice
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Dear Alice:
I too do all the work on 1 1/2 acres plus all the house cleaning etc. and it is very hard. My husband is also disabiled and I Live with my Mother so I know what u are going through, get help if u can. If not just pray to God for the strength to do it. Good luck
CLL007(Cindy)
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Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to say hello and I am doing good. I hope everyone is taking time for themselves and not allowing ourselves to get overloaded. Things just have a way of getting really difficult all at once and we need to care for ourselves so that we can handle all we have to do.

Take Care..Alice
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Please do keep writing and talking. You'll find strength in numbers. Many of us feel stuck, but with enough talking and reading and communicating a light may pop on that says, "Yes, I can."

There is respite care available through many county and state agencies. Check with your adult human services (just go to your state Web site for a number). You'll have to actively look for some help, but it's out there - at least a little, for some time away from your responsibilities. RSVP has Senior Companions in many areas. They would be in your phone book (maybe under Retired Senior Volunteer Program).

Anyway, please keep in touch. That's the first step.
Carol
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Dear CLL007

I totally know your situation and the best thing is to vent here, it has helped me lots. I feel for you and not being able to get away but you have to care for yourself. Can you schedule a hair cut, massage, or something just for yourself that takes a hour or so for yourself?

These getaways are priceless and not to mention a great joy to your emotional health. Please take care of yourself first, it took me for my hair to be falling out, my mental health to be in jeoperdy, my weight to sky rocket to see what was happening to my self.

I am putting myself first now, I have 3 classes until I complete my BBA and am able to sit for my CPA. I am looking forward to a new career full of new rewards and travel. This is my time and I still have a father who I help but I put myself first now and he is learning to care for himself and he is joining social groups like I have been begging him to do forever.

So you see you must love yourself and care for yourself before you find yourself a mess and at the end of your list of important things to do. With the strength to do for myself I feel I can acomplish almost anything. I think if I did not tell my father how I felt about the situation I may not have had the confidence to start my new career for fear of everything.

Keep writing and you will find that you will start to feel a bit more relaxed.

Take Care--Alice
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Dear Mari,
There no one close that can be here if I need to get away, I just go and worry the whole what is going on at home so I really don't enjoy being gone. I'm not sure how long I can deal with this. Thanks for listening.
CLL007
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Good for you, Alice. It does sometimes happen that we do too much, and they let us. When they find out we won't, they realize they can do more. It's always a balancing act - how to help but not over-help.

This is an inspiring note.
Carol
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