I feel that my life is passing me by while my mother is fine watching TV, talking on the phone and smoking 2 packs a day. She is controlling and angry. I love my mom but I think I have forgotten me.

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Perky, I read on your profile that it's been 10 years, and that your mom is only 74. Why would you have to start taking care of her when she was only 64 years old? I guess I don't understand why she just sits all day just because she's afraid of falling? That's what they make walkers for. And I agree with the last person, this smoking thing I hope she's not subjecting you to second hand smoke which is just as deadly. And if she's not, and she's smoking outside, then is she afraid of falling when she's going outside to smoke? If she's living with you, then your house your rules and that would be no smoking in the house. I just think that if she's angry all the time you ought to be giving her something to be angry about.
So if she can get herself out of the house to the store to buy cigarettes then she's well enough for you to have a life away from her. And if she depends on you to buy them, then that's where I would start to give her something to complain about, cause I'd stop being her errand girl. Maybe it's time to take some of the control back, and that's just one little step in the direction.

I can identify with the feelings of life passing you by. Even when you love the person you are caring for dearly someone elses routine is just that...someone elses. If you don't feel like you are enhancing your life in some way, however small, it can feel soul crushing.

You absolutely need to find something that you can do (read, exercise, study, puzzles, computer games, hobby) that is easy to pick up and put down during caregiving.

I moved in to help my mother care for my grandmother because her 24-7 needs were too much for mom to handle alone. My grandma is in hospice for end stage heart disease (dementia is on the ride with us just for some fun). I thought we'd be taking care of her and then it would be over but it will be 2 years in May with no real signs of stopping.

Some days are better than others. I find that I do better on days that I take time for myself first. If I can get my own shower, get dressed and grab a cup of tea or coffee, I'm in much better shape for my day.

Your Mom's smoking must be hard to deal with. Chain smoking in a room can be so hard on the caregiver. What is her health problem?

Flight attendants tell you on airplanes to ALWAYS put your own oxygen on before you help someone else. I think of that every morning when I'm on duty for grandma.

hugs to you!

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