Follow
Share

My sister and I are caregivers to uncontrollable elderly parent. Mom is in fair to good health and does not have dementia. However, she fights us tooth and nail on health issues. She won't let us go into the doctor's office for her visits and recently when blood pressure shot up to 183 over 190, would not let us take her to doctor or emergency room. Had horrible scream out with her out of frustration and she still wouldn't go. It's like this for everything with her. Her judgment is out of whack. Afraid she could get stroke or worse. She is the type that wants to wait until something happens before going to doctor. We are trying to keep her healthy and to head things off at the pass before they happen. Not sure how to deal with her moving forward. She is forcing us to leave her alone more and then we'll have to deal with the probelms when the occur. We live in a mother daughter same home. She lives upstairs, we down. We are single. We have no life anymore. All we do is argue with her and feel depressed and disgusted all the time. She is forcing us to stay away from her more and more. You just can't talk to her or get her to do the right thing. Also, of late, she is wearing the same clothes for two days. When you tell her about it she yells that she is the mother and she only wore them for 2 hours and can wear again. She is just becomming more and more belligerent. We take her to the doctor once every 3 months for general health checkup and she won't let us in the office with him. We take her to eye doctor also every 3 months for general health checkup and same here. She is having serious problem in getting prescription for eye glasses and we've taken her to doctor so many times in last month. But she still won't let us in office with doctor. I think even the doctors are blowing her off. If we try to go into the doctor office with her she has a hissy fit in the office and causes a scene. We are at our wits end with her. We are feeling that if she wants to do all this on her own and wait until something happens, then she is in God's hands. Let her call 911 when she drops. Hard to explain this in words and please don't think we are harsh ... we just don't know how to deal with her anymore. She has been a hard and selfish woman most of her life and when our dad past 10 years ago, she just got worse. She feels like she has no control since she has to depend on us for everything. And instead of being grateful or working with us, she fights us tooth and nail. I work and my sister is the home caregive during the day, I in the evening and on weekends. We have no lives anymore, not that that matters. We just want to have normal lives and peace. But she is gettng more and more difficult. Not even sure why writing to you kind folks. Sometimes it just feels better to write about it. But I'm worried she could have something and because she is so obstinate, that her lack of taking care of an issue in a timely manner, can cause something really bad to happen, like stroke or heart attack.

How do we get our mom to understand that we must have control. She keeps saying she is the mother and what she says goes. I can't deal with this much longer.

It has been 10 years of this and it's getting worse. I'm 55 years old and single and have no life. I work all day and deal with this all nite and weekends. My sister deals with it all day. She is 50 and single and has no life. We are miserable and suffering. We don't know what to do anymore.

So as of now we are leaving mom on her own. We cook her meals and bring to her but pretty much are leaving her on her own. We hardly speak to her when she's like this. We take her to doctor when she has an appointment and then home. But we are trying to have two separate lives in one house. This is how we are trying to cope this month anyway.

I kjnow this is probably wrong, but we just can't take this much more.

Mom is mean and nasty and just plain difficult.

I have great sympathy for her. She lost her husband, doesn't drive and has no friends. But I can't let this overtake mine and my sister's life.

We need to find a way to cope and exist together.

I wish there was an easy answer, but I know there is not.

I want to run away. Sorry to be so long winded and thank you for listening.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
Poor you guys its so hard for all us carers.....My questions would be: Why live with her? Why not both of you go to work and get some outside help for her?....Don't give up your lives for someone who doesn't want you too...... Speak to her doctor, there will be a solution....just not this one or maybe an altered version of this one? Stay strong...its such a horrible situation and daily battle....I know :(
(0)
Report

How awful. I'm so sorry. Maybe you can get help from the local Office on Aging or whatever the equivalent is where you live. Also might consult the Ombudsman for the Elderly. It IS possible to turn all this over to the state, but you may not like what they end up deciding to do. It sounds like a form of dementia to me too. Yes, do go see her doctor and tell them all! And if he or she is no help, take your mom to another one who specializes in Geriatrics if you can.
I may not be much help but I took care of an aged parent with (evidently Alzheimer's, but I didn't know till she had died that this was the situation) for about 15 years. I was lucky. For the most part, she seemed to understand the need for various changes in her life. I really hope you will come through it and be ok and I am sure you will. I'm a Quaker, and as we say, I will "Hold you in the Light." It's a form of prayer. Be well
(1)
Report

I to have the clothes thing. My Father usually throws stones at me when I tell him he has an odor or needs to bathe. No matter HOW I word it. He to creates stress. I thought I had it together this week and he used up the gas in the car not putting in more. He to blows up. I have tried taking most tasks away from him and then it's almost as if he makes a point on creating NEW issues. Last week he tore apart a cupboard and left it looking like someone went through it looking for drugs. I am now working on trying to keep him busy. That is one coping tactic. However he is bucking me on the issue. He doesn't want to go anyhwere or do anything and will create a crap storm.
Also, respite care was suggested to me. He refuses to go. Maybey she will go. I am not sure of the situation in your home.
(0)
Report

for the sake of this conversation ill enter the elder mindset right now .
" yea i have my share of health problems . if i want to go to doc ill let you know . otherwise mind your own business " .
i want a sandwich dammnt ..
(3)
Report

I had the same issues with my mother.This will sound terrible but I treated ( treat her)her as I did my children and my animals.
No anger, no options.My way despite the tantrums,the screaming the threats.
When out in public or the doctors I told her that her tantrums would only prove to people that she was incompetent.They'd look at me, they'd look at her and think "poor dear, she's lost it"
She'd have them and I'd just stand there.It didn't take long before she figured out I was right and outings out were far more pleasant when she cooperated.
Diapers were a long struggle.She fought me on that one for months.Finally after months of wetting her pants and dropping little poops as she walked across the floor she realized this embarrassment could be dealt with in a dignified manner.
At one point I told her honestly that if she didn't accept my help the state would step in and take over and she'd lose all, control over her life. She might have dementia she wasn't stupid and the change in her attitude though gradual was progressive.
I do not suffer bad language, insults etc.I tell her so and walk away.
Now she even asks for help buttoning a shirt or changing her depends.
If I think she can do it though I let her.I let her struggle until I see she ready then offer.She is embarrassed,she doesn't want to be a burden.I get it so I remind her often that one day we all need help.Someday I too will need help and she's still helping learn lessons life is yet to teach me.I let her know that her growing disabilities are teaching me a valuable lesson.That what a mother does until they die and she is still my mother.
(1)
Report

You're not alone regarding having a Mom with those traits. I don't have an answer. I think things are normal when not with her. When I go there it starts. Trivial nitpicking about nonsensical stuff. She seems just to want to pick fights. I guess there are a lot of seniors like this. No good, easy answers.
(1)
Report

I know the feeling to be honest with you. My mother who is almost 68 is the same way with me. Now she is keeping a calendar mark of every day the toilet paper roll is put on the toilet paper holder. She throws her money situation in my face constantly saying I have this and that to go on. She dropped from paying for my lock up which honestly I never asked her to do in the first place. She is still able to work. Just like you I am not even sure what to do anymore. I have had to ask my ex husband to help me get my groceries and etc now. I am not able to work due to not having a vehicle and no one around my town likes hiring anybody that doesn't have a vehicle. I have been turned down many times cause of this. I have yet found a job online but she constantly telling me I need a real paycheck like she does. Whatever you do please don't feel guilty just do what I do when my mother is being belligerent I ignore her. Though lately its not helping.
(0)
Report

I understand what you are going through and I too have a very difficult mother; however, I beat her to the draw. I sat down and wrote her primary care physician about her behavior and health issues. When we went in for hef appointment they took her back and placed her in a room per the usual doctors visit. Immediately after getting mother situated the doctor took me in her office and we had a private conversation about my concerns. I suggest you do this with her physicians; they can offer suggestions, run tests they may not have performed before, etc. It does seem like your mom is beginning to show signs of dementia and you will need the documentation if nothing else.

I wish you and your sister the best,
Bev
(2)
Report

I'm not sure if your mom has a relationship with Jesus but you may ask her. You can say a prayer like..."Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me. Please come into my heart and rein forever by the power of Your Holy Spirit." When Jesus died on the cross He took upon Himself all sickness, disease, infirmities, curses, and the Word says by His stripes on his back he recieved, we are healed in His name. It's a spiritual battle we face and Satan and his demons are good and trying to destroy us. Once she recieves Jesus for her Savior and Lord, her identity is in Him. I would look for natural ways to help with her health if she doens't want to go to the doctor. Type in natural remedies for .....blood pressure or whatever and pray what you find she will accept. I work for a lady who never went to the doctor. Finally after years she went so we could get some things through Medicare like a hospital bed, wheelchair, parking permit. Now we go about once a year and she seems just fine. She takes only one pill for cholestral. We had noticed signs of stroke before and had a nurse here and then brought her to the hospital and they did nothing. I will pray for her blood pressure to go down. God can do anything, especially when we agree. TBN (TV network) is good to have on and also Christian music. They have prayer chains too. Praisefm is one in MN or KTIS. You will see huge difference. Most of all respect your moms wishes for now but ask her if you could help her with shower or changing clothes. Pray the mind of Christ if she knows Jesus and tell the devil to go!
(2)
Report

My mother never really had any interests, so I think of her as being very average in intelligence. She did the housewife thing as her life's career. She did it very poorly, IMO.

I just got off the phone with her, she often calls me in the middle of the day and starts to complain about everything and everyone she has recently been in contact with. She never asks, "do you have a minute?" - she just dives right into her complaining.

Today it was how her visiting nurse is stealing her bandages and sneaking around behind her back and calling her doctor without her being present; the escalating monthly expenses - she insists in living alone in a 3 bedroom house with a large lawn; and my sister, the mooch.

I tell her that I have a mortgage to pay every month, so I know what monthly expenses are, she comes back with, "that's because you didn't have enough money to pay cash for your home."

When I say to her, I have to go back to work - I work from home quite often - she acts like I'm being mean/rejecting her, and tries to make me feel guilty.

It used to work on me, I would go into a rage for the rest of the day. Now, after doing some really intense work on detaching, I see her behavior as an attempt at manipulation, and I don't take it personally - I just say goodbye, and hang up.
(2)
Report

Was your mother smart in school? Mine is very much like yours at times . Mom was a scholar. Not sure how those syndromes are.
(0)
Report

I think we have the same mother, at least the same 'type' of mother. I totally understand you and your sister's frustration, and I feel your pain.
I've often felt that my 88 year old mother's 'bratishness' - which was always present my entire life - was the result of no one standing up to her: my father, her siblings, her friends. But after talking to my therapist, and doing a lot of research, I feel my mother must has some mild form of autism; probably Asperger's Syndrome.
I tried to get a cognitive analysis done on her, but she accused me of trying to have her put in a nursing home.
When she loves to accuse, and is capable of being very hurtful/insensitive in the things she says.
I've learned to stay away and let her manage the best she can. I was able to get her to sign a living will, and appoint me as her health care proxy, which allows me to call her doctors and discuss her condition. I take her to her bi-annual cardiologist appointments and go into the examination room with her.
But I keep my visits to a minimum, as they always end up in arguments.
Finding safe places to share your caregiver frustrations, like here, is best thing you can do to protect your sanity.
(2)
Report

You've identified it yourself: you think "we must have control" and you identified her as "uncontrollable." It's a control battle. And in that case of course she'll fight you, why wouldn't she fight for control of her life? It comes down to something essentially black-and-white, even though daily life is usually shades of grey. Namely, if she's demented, then you TAKE control with or without her agreement; and if she's not demented then you butt out because it's her life, come what may. If it's unclear whether it's dementia or not, back off and watch and wait; it will become clear.
(3)
Report

I know how all of you feel. I recently put Mom in nursing home, but just told her she was going to doctor appt and I sneaked out. She pulls the GUILT card on me constantly. I cared for her at home for 14 months and my only helper was my son. She constantly bitched about tempature in house (Liked it about 90 degrees) fussed her blankets were not on her right - wanted house cleaned, BUT MOSTLY WANTED TO GO TO HER MOMMY's house (her home?) Many nights she cried and begged and demanded to be taken home or she would walk)

she is almost in last stage of dementia. So she raises cain saying we don't feed her, don't medicate her, waste her money, blah blah blah. I know she can't help it but I'm 63 retired to have a better life then got this. I need hip replacement and I'm in constant chronic pain.

I'm now calling and making several doc appt's for me and will start working on plans for my surgery. She's been there 11 days and I've not went to see her. AN UNKNOWING case aide called me today wanting me to talk to her to "calm" her down as she was begging for me and TO GO HOME !! Most of the others knew that would not calm her down at all but make her worse. I told her. JUST TELL HER I'LL BE THERE LATER.

Before the dementia - she always had little criticisms about my life, my son's and she nagged my Dad til the day he died - her whole family was like that - nag, fuss, complain. Yes she loved us all and would have laid down and died for us (not now). I'm the child that stayed close all these years to them. The rest took off. I have been taking care of them in some ways since I was a teenager - both were functionally illertate and I had to handle all their business transactions, etc. I took off work to take them to dr appts - the works when we were all young. Trips to the store for Mom and with her when Dad passed - the beauty parlor, everything she needed done or for her home I arranged. I'm worn out.

Nope I refuse to feel guilty and don't you guys feel guilty for normal resentment feelings either.

Brenda
(3)
Report

Your comment about their not wanting to wear clean clothes hit home. I had yet another "discussion" with my Alzheimer's mom yesterday about the need to wash clothes. It's been weeks since she put anything in the hamper. "I don't sweat," she says. She now firmly argues that wearing socks & underwear many days in a row is no problem. I've tried distracting her with the vacuuming & then running into her room and gathering every bit of socks and underwear and throwing them into the wash. It worked, sort of. But every time I bring up the laundry issue, no matter how carefully *& light-heartedly, she gets angry and says disgustedly "All right MOOOOMMMMM," and confirms that she doesn't think it's her daughter's business at all. I'm at wit's end; it does smell bad! I'd say that your mom may be depressed, but more likely has a vascular dementia coming on (given her high blood pressure). Definitely time to give info to the doctor; he'd never know otherwise, and listening to you give info doesn't violate her confidentiality.
(1)
Report

Helpme, first of all I wouldn't have asked her or told her you needed to take her to the doctor about her blood pressure, I would've just called 911 and let the paramedics make the decision. And I agree in that, you didn't say as to why you and your sister are living with her in the first place. Has this been a long standing arrangement, or something you did for your mother after your dad died? I understand her not wanting to go to the doctor whenever she has an ache or pain, but uncontrolled blood pressure is a silent killer and has to be dealt with. Sounds like your mother is and has always been a control freak, there's no changing that I'm afraid. Maybe it's time to sit her down and tell her that when she has a stroke or heart attack because of her unwillingness to address her health issues, you'll need to know what to do with her. What hospital does she prefer? What about a DNR? My point is, she needs a slap in the face (metaphorically speaking) to get her attention as to how serious you and your sister are. If she's wearing the same clothes day after day, it's probably because she can't remember that she is. And that, in and of itself, needs to be looked at too.
(0)
Report

I think with you and your sister working, it is best that you make sure she eats. So you are doing the best you can do. A dementia patient is the hardest to be with when it has taken hold and they know something is wrong, but they always try to blame others. It is just like that. My mom is past that phase and much easier to handle now, sometimes downright nice. I really don't mind being around her now. She talks a lot of gibberish, but isn't combative like she use to be. Good luck.
(0)
Report

Helpme~You didn't mention why you are all living in the same house. Is your mother no longer able to cook, clean, etc., for herself? My suggestion is that you change your approach toward her. Only offer assistance, let her make decisions with you and your sister instead of you and sister insisting she do it your way. Have you ever heard the expression that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again with the same results? Do you have POA on her medical? If so you can talk with her doctor privately. Make an appointment and tell him/her what your concerns are for mother, tell him/her about her behavior. If your mother has always been difficult as far back as you can remember, it may be best to make other living arrangements so that everyone can have some peace. I hope you find something that works for all of you.
(1)
Report

It does sound like at least the beginnings of dementia. But high Blood Pressure,
clogged arteries can cause behavior problems as well. I agree to make appointment with Dr. for info session. Will go over better if he is "bad guy" telling your Mom to let you and Sis help. Sometimes having this coming from an authority figure (rather than from "young" children) really makes a difference.
"Obviously you don't know anything" but since he is authority figure elder is more apt to go along with treatment plan he writes out.
(2)
Report

My dad was getting confused...and my mom already had alzheimers. For 5 years and 4 months I did thier errands, shopping, appointments,then I had to start to hire 24/7 care because dad could not be left alone. HE would get beligerant with the care, and also me when they could not come. He was quite scary...he would get right into your face and yell....(kinda like when I was a kid...so I have anxiety issues about this). He said he would never go into a nursinig home. He said he never wanted to lose mom. Since the round trip drive to thier place was 50 miles, and I still had 2 kids at home, husband worked second shift, it was getting unbearable. The stress was enormous. My uncle who shares POA but lives out of state said that if I did not get them into a nursing home next time a room for them together became available, he would no longer help with the accounting side of their care. That also caused me stress because dad was so beligerant about even discussing it. I had all the hands on grunt work. But, I did it. I moved both of them into a home. We still have problems...but at least I don't have to worry about not being able to make plans anymore with my own family. Or taking my kids to lessons, or band practice, appointments etc. I still am anxious because each time I go there he seems to play the guilt card. I limit my time there to save my mental health. I deserve to have a life, and my kids deserve to have their mom available to them while they grow up. My parents are both 78, and their youngest is 44. I am 54, hubby is 59. My youngest is 13. Who do you think I am going to chose? My dad would apologize also when he would get snotty. But it was the first time I ever heard him apologize to me for anything. But, I still had to do it. It is hard to do, but we all have choices. He will lose his house and all his assests, but I don't care. Money isn't everything. But my kids are everything to me. I need my turn to live my life, and watch my kids grow. Don't let anyone make you feel bad. You are doing the best you can. Make the best choices for yourself also. Good luck with your situation. You are not alone. Deb
(2)
Report

Ask to see your mother's doctor. Tell them you aren't asking for information, you want to provide information. Tell them about her behavior and ask they screen her for dementia. Be forceful and don't take no for an answer. Alternatively contact your local Office for the Aging, explain the situation and ask for advice. Don't try and cope alone.
(10)
Report

I understand what you're going through. I have a similar problem with my father.
He's always been a controlling person and now at his advanced age it continues even more. I sold my home and moved in with him when my mother passed away. He was lonely, crying and did not want to be alone. It didn't take long for him to become nasty and insulting. I do all that you do with grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, doctors visits etc. He tells me it's my job to this. I have one brother who lives 3 hrs. away. He only comes to see him 2 times a year, sometimes 3. He usually calls once a week. The grandchildren are all adults, working with their own families. They rarely visit. My father all his life placed great importance on his friends and most of the time he prepferred being with them. Now that he is in his old age they also don't bother with him like they used to do. So I'm here doing everything for him plus having to deal with his nasty attitude. When I speak up and get upset he will get weepy and say he's sorry. I fall for the tears, but also know it will happen again and it does.
It's good you have each other to deal with your mother. I hesitate telling my children, friends and even my brother because I sense they really don't want to hear about it. Sometimes when we think were doing the right thing it back fires on us. For me, keeping active and being around up, happy people really helps. Then I can better deal with my situation.
(1)
Report

Are you sure that your mom doesn't have the beginnings of demetia? My mom was also initially unwilling to release any type of control over her medical/financial issues. It took her actually hearing that she had Alzheimers and that she would have to let her children assist her from several doctors for her to finally allow us to help her.
Is there anyway that you can show her that she can remain "in charge" of decisions being made but you and your sister need to be in on those decisions. This is what we did with mom, we would go to appointments with her and even though we knew she didn't understand much of what was being said, we asked what she thought.
(2)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.