Recently Mom has started complaining about everything and everyone...I mean hours on end. She likes watching "Bitchin' Rides" and "Gas Monkey Garage" but complains non stop, while it's on, about all the tattoos the guys have; then asks me to repeat what they said and when I do she starts in again about the tattoos while I'm talking. She then complains I don't let her speak her mind when she asks me to answer while I try to answer in less than 10 words.

When we're out, she just blurts out so & so is fat or has buck teeth or has too many tats or piercings. I'm also playing with getting her to shower' at least once a week; but it hasn't happened yet. It's been 3 months and she washes good everyday but now she has contact dermatitis from not showering. I offer to help her wash, like being a pampered rich woman but she says I'm treating her like she's disabled. I have ordered a temp sensitive color changing shower head (Blue is cool, Green is warm, Red is Hot) that also displays the temp w/extra long hose that might entice her to shower; it will be here in a few days hopefully.

She wants to get out but when we do, she starts to gripe about her back, so we go back and I drop her off then Try to leave to go back to finish shopping, I get this guilt trip. Now that the weather is getting warmer, she is complaining about having the A/C on. If it's under 80 degrees, she wants the heat on but I sleep in the middle of the day (I work from 10p to 10a) and with having to have the windows closed to try and mitigate the noise outside on top of having the windows covered w/black construction paper because I have a terrible time sleeping during the day, It gets hot upstairs. If it's 75 outside at 1p, by 3p it's near 85 upstairs. Now for the last 3 weeks, she's only sleeping maybe 3-4 hrs from 4a-8 or 9a then the cycle starts all over again. We just went to her neurologist and she is starting on Seroquel at night, one after dinner and another 4 hours later and a different pill at lunch which he's hoping will curb her agitation during the day.

A nursing home is out of the question at the moment because of monetary restraints and I only have help Fri-Sun 2p-6p when I need to get sleep for work from a home nursing agency. I'm barely holding it together and I mean barely. I know that because as I'm typing this I'm trying not to get emotional.

I know I have to do what I need to do to keep Mom healthy and comfortable as much as possible I'm starting to have a problem keeping my balance and the last 3 days, it's also literally. After 6-8 hrs of this, I get so stressed I'm getting light headed. Tonight is my only time away from her when I shoot pool in leagues for about 4 hours. I know I'm well past my limit but I have to keep going it's just that I'm running out of ideas and energy.

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Dear Sonny65,

I can hear how devoted you are to your mom. But we all have limits. I was like you working a night shift and trying to coordinate care and deal with issues as they came up. I guess we all push through during the short term, but in the long term it does take a toll.

I sometimes it feels like there are no good options or nothing will work. But I hope you will talk to a social worker and get as much information as possible about what is available in your community.

From what you are writing, I fear you are already burnt out or very close. Sleep is very important. It sounds the lack of sleep is already affecting your health. I hope you will see a doctor too.

Sonny65, some of the complaining could be caused by memory issues, and some could be caused due to getting older.

When you think about it, imagine ourselves at our elder's age. We can no longer drive thus no quick trips to the mall to meet friends.... and speaking of friends, chances are most have either moved away or have passed. When we get up in the morning there are aches and pains. Our eyesight isn't 20/20 anymore, and our hearing is getting worse. Food taste blah because as we age we lose our sense of taste, except for sweets.

Now your Mom might be able to qualify to have Medicaid [which is different from Medicare], thus she could move into a Nursing Home to which Medicaid would pay room/board and care..... or if Mom has too much money but not enough for self-pay at an Assisted Living, you could check to see if there is a Medicaid voucher program where Medicaid makes up the difference. If you think Mom is complaining now, wait until she enters senior living :P But then again, my Dad loved where he lived.

" I am one of those horrible, nasty people who believes you don’t need to let yourself be used and/abused by the one you’re caring for." Me, too. I can't understand why so many let themselves be abused.

Sonny, you have to sleep during the day because your job is 10 p.m. - 10 a.m. Is your mother able to take care of herself while you are asleep?

Is there really no other way out for you? Siblings? Why is is all on you?

Oh, my, Sonny. How stressful this must all be for you. You’re trying to do the right thing by mom and getting nothing but grief for it.

My mother was a chronic complainer and a drama queen. When she got dementia, it was worse. I got a break because she was in a nursing home, but she saved it all up for when I visited.

How much do you know about dementia? Mom may be complaining constantly because she’s just aware enough to know what’s going on with her and not real happy about it. You, unfortunately are her main target. If she’s able to stay on her own, she must be somewhat self-sufficient, right? Somewhat able to understand things. I am one of those horrible, nasty people who believes you don’t need to let yourself be used and/abused by the one you’re caring for. Now, you shouldn’t scream and yell at her, but explain that you’re going shopping and you need to get it all done in one trip. Tell her if she’s not having a good day with her back, you’d be happy to go alone and bring her back whatever she wants. But, you cannot make multiple trips back and forth to the store with her because you don’t have time. Or, go shopping more often and make faster trips. As far as the conversations about other people’s shortcomings, spewing insults about them, when my mom did that I’d come right out and tell her, “Mom, that’s not nice! What if they talked about you like that?” And then don’t respond to any more of her nasty insults. Change the subject.

As far as your room, what about a window air conditioner? I see them on our marketplace sites through Facebook used all the time.

Caregiving is a very, very hard job with no rewards. I now caregive for my bedridden husband. I can get nasty with him, but he’s pretty easy going. And, that’s even worse ‘cause when I lose it with him, I feel like crap. Come back here any time.  Someone is always here to listen and offer advice. 

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