I have so many issues with Mom, I just don't know where to begin.


I joined this group in 2014 and joined under the name "tiredofmom" because I was exhausted of Mom accusing me of stealing from her and various other horrible untrue things. I never posted before until now. I learned so MUCH from this group, THANK YOU!! I forgot I had joined and now 3 years later I tried to join again under the name "Concerned4Mom", but was reminded I had an account. I've wanted to post so many times, I needed help and support. I have so many issues with Mom, I just don't know where to begin. I decided to begin today, because things just get worse and never get better. To begin, my mom and dad lived about 45 miles from me for the last 25 years. I saw their health decline and their property was hard for them to maintain, their city was not safe. My husband and I talked to them for years about moving from their town closer to us and they said they wanted to, but wouldn't do it, so hubby and I found ourselves financially able 2006 to purchase nice, safe home for them, 5 miles from our home. They happily accepted. I paid for their move here. They said it would take bout 1 year to get their house ready to sell. My mom decided my 80+-year-old dad should do all the renovations to the roof, etc., on their old home. She did not want to spend money to have things fixed, although they had the money. Dad wasn't up to the work, so their house just sat and they never put it for sale. So for 8 years not only did I provide them a house, I paid taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance on the house I bought them. I never said a word, in fact I gave them $500 a month every month for their first year to offset expenses they had, which I thought would help with fixing up their previous house, but Mom just bought herself QVC gifts. I brought food to them about 4-5 times a week, Panera, Arbys, pizza, home cooked from me,what ever they wanted. My husband would take large sacks of roasts, steaks, chops from a nice butcher shop to them. I've bought tires for their car, paid for their income tax one year because she b!tched so much about the amount to pay. I've paid AAA auto, 3 cell phones and yard service for them, etc. We helped them so much, the list is too extensive to list here. They seemed appreciative, sometimes. Then my pop died in 2014. My mom seemed to develop Alzheimer's/dementia over night. She accused me of stealing from her, I'm wealthy, what would I steal from her, she has nothing I want, I don't steal from anyone, ever. Every day, she accused me of something new. I found this group and began to learn maybe Mom may have Alzheimer's/dementia. Most of you describe Alzheimer's/dementia as having incontinence, anger issues, blaming the closest person of stealing, inability with reasoning, memory lapse and mom has all that. Then on the other hand, many say Mom doesn't have Alzheimer's/dementia if she can drive, make grocery list, do laundry, take care of cats, shower, dress, go bathroom independently, make doctor's appointmets and Mom can. I go for weeks, maybe months without her screaming at me because I walk on egg shells around her, then she goes crazy on me, accusing me of everything, horrible things, telling me she hates me for having interaction with my father, blames me she that she has no friends, tells me she's moving back to her house 45 miles away. She accused me of so many things that are untrue and when I defend myself she tells me that I talk to her terrible, but all I'm doing is defending myself. If I defend myself, then she won't talk to me for many months until she needs us to do something for her. I DON'T know, is she being an a**, which she has always been, or does she have dementia? If she has dementia, then I need to help her, if she's being an a** then maybe I need to let her go back to her home that she misses so much. There's a woman across the street at her house that I think is ready to "prey" on Mom. She and her husband have financial problems and I think they have plans for Mom and her money. This is a long question, I just don't know where to begin, sorry. I've been so angry at myself for doing so much for my unappreciative,hateful, nasty, angry mother for so long, then she makes me feel guilty because she's unhappy. I know there's so much to address in this question, I just am having a difficult time trying to address where to begin with this mess!

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Tired, your mom sounds like one of those folks who is her own worst enemy. There is nothing you can do to fix this. She's mentally I'll. And now that your sweet dad is gone, you're her whipping boy.

I like Jeanne's idea of hiring a geriatric care manager. That person can be a professional intermediary, and might be better at getting the vultures to back away.

I strongly suggest that you get yourself some good quality therapy to help you deal with the damage that's been done to you over the years. It will go a long way towards helping you manage your boundaries and expectations.

Tiredofmom - your mother reminds me, in an extreme form, of a relative of mine - her husband was a really good and patient man, but it seemed that she did not appreciate it at all. I've often wondered if she basically married him for financial security but at the same time hated the "deal" she made and took it out on him. Wanting to be "free" but basically not willing to do what it took to either leave or improve her marriage. But the habit of bitterness, or refusing to see the truth and to take responsibility for your own happiness - this is a moral fault of hers and not your fault at all. I don't think you can rescue someone who doesn't want to grab hold of the life line you are throwing - and you've sure tried. Could I suggest backing off, making it clear what you will and will not do, and then concentrating on you and your husband's health and happiness?

Thanks to all that have replied, I will re-read these answers tomorrow or a few days and reply, I'm so tired, so exhausted now. This is so hard on so many levels. Thank you.

Hiring a geriatric care manager to oversee your mother's care might help by removing you one step from direct supervision. This might be especially helpful if she does move back to her old home.

BarbBrooklyn, I'm sometimes allowed to take her to the Dr. appointment and to lunch afterwards but never allowed into the room. Mom seems to start out liking a Dr, but shortly afterward she keeps twisting on "things he said" to her and before you know, she's talked herself into not liking the Dr. "going to report him" for abusing her or some nonsense. She mostly goes to Dr's by herself and tell me afterwards.

She despised my father and yet he was her everything. She was always so jealous of him and any person he spoke to, couldn't stand me or my sister to acknowledge him or care for him. At times since he died she's almost seemed like she missed him which was odd to me since she professed her hate of him daily, he was her whipping boy and he took it, it was his lot in life apparently.(Dad was a very good provider and good husband & father & Christian). I wasn't that close with my dad until he moved here a few years ago, we grew very close then for 8 years. I loved him very much and wished i had always known him and had dismissed my mothers hate of him my whole life & how she tried to poisoned us against him. The only way I could get past his death was to be glad he didn't have to put up with her anymore. I was very hurt at your first response to my question, I cried for quite awhile which surprised me because i thought I was just about unable to cry any more after so much crying the last 3+ years. I thought your first response was hurtful because I hoped for more insight to what my mother is going through mentally, but who knows what that is really, would take years to uncover what's really wrong with her, known that my whole life, such an angry, hateful, word twisting, untrusting, paranoid, ANGRY woman. No, she would never allow anyone to "help" her, she's the most paranoid person that ever lived. She insisted on going to her attorney 3 days after my dad died to check on paperwork, 3 years later she said I took her there to get an evaluation of her mental status and the attorney said she was fine! Of course that never occurred. She's nuts. I've read the forums over the years and I know your name by heart and you generally give good advise, nmo. After reading your second comment I realize you are trying to help me. It does hurt when I'm the one getting the comments that make me fess up and make realizations that I know … but don't want to admit. So thank you for making not only my brain but my heart step up to the plate. It's just hard, she's been my mom 60 years and I don't like this for her or for me, she could be so lovely…many years ago, at times. To answer you, NO, no one else helps my mom, my husband has been an amazing help, but even now he's backed away, he's upset for me because he knows who I am, he says he's never known anyone to be a better daughter than me and amazed at the abused I've taken in stride from my mom. He says "She eats your brain". I know my husband is right, there isn't a stone i haven't turned to make my mothers life better and she berates me until I'm mush. I could walk away until my father died, but it's hard to see mom just be by herself. My sister lives 6 hrs away but might as well live in China. She's never cared for mom, only what she might inherit. She's never been to visit mom in 3 years since dad's funeral, only makes an occasionally call on holidays or a text on the cell phone I provide mom. As mom says about sis "she keeps her foot in the door so she might inherit". Grandson has NO contact with her. My sister has no interest in me. Mom has no friends, no one stayed in contact with her after her working days. She has no contact with any of her birth family although all the rest of them stay in touch with each other. No contact with dad's family, although dad was close with all his family (at her unhappiness). I tried to get mom to consider assisted living, she CAN afford it, I took her to all the places, she wouldn't get out of the car, I brought the brochures to her, she poopawd all of them. It's just as well, as my dad told me the year before he died, you can't put her any place because "she could NEVER get along any where she is with anyone" and that's the man she was married to for 62 years since she was 16 years old. He KNEW her. I don't wish to inherit from my mom per say, but she moved 4 cats into the house I provided for her, they've made a mess of the house and carpet, its so unlike my mom to allow an animal to mess a house up, but then it's just my house not hers, right? So if she moves away and I've got $20,000 worth of carpet to replace and cats messed up the wall paper & blinds and made a smell there. So husband and I figure close to $60,000 worth of things to replace to get my initial investment out of the house, the heat/air (2 of each) are in desperate need of replacement, needs paint inside & out, so she moves off to her house and leaves me with a mess. Part of me says go mom & part of me says stay here and let's see this mess through to the end, let me help you mom. I think 'she needs help" that's for sure and has no one else but me except those that want to prey. I want to help her because deep down I do still care for her some what, she is my mom and partly because I wish she would leave me enough money to pay for the mess she leaves me with.

You say, "I DON'T know, is she being an a** (which she has always been) or does she have dementia?"

These are not mutually exclusive possibilities. She may have dementia, which eliminates filters, and her basic personality of being an a** has free reign.

Tiredofmom, there are more than 50 kinds of dementia. Most of them come on gradually, and some seem to appear suddenly. My husband was able to use the bathroom for the entire 10 years he had dementia. Except for a short period of paranoia he didn't have anger issues or accuse me of terrible things. But he couldn't remember how to use the remote control. Each case of dementia is different.

Your mom is still driving ... but should she be? Have your ridden with her in the last 6 months? Forgetting that you brought her food yesterday is one thing; forgetting which pedal is the brake is potentially tragic.

I would say that your mother has some mental health issues. Whether they are are limited to issues she's always had or they now also include dementia is an open question. But either way, you can only help her to the extent she will allow you to, and you should only help her in ways that won't be detrimental to your own quality of life.

The first step is to ditch the guilt. You haven't earned it, and you shouldn't claim it. That Mother has mental health issues is Not Your Fault. That Mother has no friends is Not Your Fault. That Mother is greedy and ungrateful is Not Your Fault. And above all, that Mother is unhappy is Absolutely Not Your Fault. You are not responsible for another adult's happiness.

Letting go of that guilt you've been hoarding will help enable you to make realistic decisions and stick to them.

And while you are working on eliminating the guilt feelings, I agree with BarbBrooklyn that visiting her doctor with her would be very helpful. Do you think she would allow that?

I think it is time to set some limits on what you pay for and what you do for your mother. Apparently you are wealthy and she is not, so it makes sense that you are willing to help her financially. I don't know what your mother's income is, but buying tires on a fixed income can be a hardship. And maybe you'd like her to have AAA for safety reasons (if, indeed, she is safe to drive at all), and if she can't afford it you offer it as a gift. That is all very kind and caring of you.

But it may be time to spell out exactly what you will provide. Can she afford to feed herself? Then stop providing meals. Can she afford the property taxes? Make her responsible for them. Or, if that might cause great problems, you pay the taxes and she pays for her cable service. 

This is especially important if she moves back where you think she will be at risk from preying neighbors. She has to understand that you will do X, Y, and Z, but you will NOT bail her out from bad decisions or overspending on QVC. What you've spelled out is what she can expect. You are glad to be able to help her in this way. But she CANNOT count on any more than that.

Keep us informed of how this is going for you. We care!

We think because we can do for another that they will be appreciative. It doesn't always work that way. And I think you have it boiled down to the perfect point. If she needs help, you are there. If she doesn't, she needs to go. And of course, to keep you online, there is the threat of the across the street poacher. The perfect conundrum. By this stage, I'd be thinking 45 miles is just about right. Figure out what the dollars and cents cost is if the neighbor takes her for a ride. Deduct the portion of what you won't be spending. Look at the number that's left and decide if it's worth every penny to give mom an attitude adjustment. Not as easy as that? I know. But we can fantasize right?!
You could repair her original home after she deeds it to you upon her death. I mean that you will repair it now for her immediate occupancy if she will deed it to you for when she is gone. Tell her you are going to sell the home she lives in to pay for the repairs. Once she can no longer live in the original home she's off to elder care. So she has a decision to make. Live in a remodeled home 45 min away or stay put. I'm sure there are other alternatives. Just develop a win win attitude. If you give her what she wants, she gives you something back. When someone has always been a stinker we sometimes would rather think they are demented than just being themselves. It also sounded a bit like she is bipolar?? Have you had her to a neurologist? Do you have her DPOA? Have you consulted an elder attorney to see how to protect her from the neighbor?
Also remember if it's dementia it will advance and change.
You will feel better if you take action.
I'm glad you posted. Hopefully you will get answers that will help you deal with a difficult situation.

Have you ever been to a doctor's appointment with her?

I'm curious, because developing a relationship with her physician, being able to express your concerns to her/him, can be an important step down the road of of figuring out if it's dementia, long standing mental illness or just crankiness. Something to consider.

When I started going to Dr appointments with my mom, I gained an appreciation of what a passive patient she was, how little she would ask and how little she was understanding of what was being told to her.

I recommend it as a first, very basic step.

Your mother should move back to her house.

At the moment she's living five miles away from you and 45 miles from the home that apparently she never left. There can't be any good associations for her in her current location. I'm sorry for how horribly everything fell apart after you lost your father; but did she have support from anyone else at that time? Has she done any real grieving, has she had counselling? - or just poisoned you instead?

All the sacrifices you're making are not helping *her*, and they are wrecking your peace of mind. By all means contact APS, hire an elder care manager, find good sources of support and assistance for her and people who will keep an eye on her. But if this is what she wants, move her back.

Let nature take its course... Why, what's wrong with her? Undiagnosed dementia based on some stress incontinence and a foul temper? You realise she could live another 10-20 years, don't you.

Do you have any idea why she reacted to your father's passing in the way she did? Have you talked about this to anyone else?

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