So tonight after speaking, in a Gray Rock Mode, to my elderly mother on the phone, I am running out of things to say to her. She lives an hour away from me. I am 62 and work with a 17 year old student daughter at home. Now that my mother can't drive, all she wants to know is when I have days off so she can ask me to drive to her town and chauffeur her around. Tonight she asked me if I have tomorrow off because she needs a litre of milk. Then she proceeds to tell me how she just got home from the hairdressers with a friend and how she had done enough cooking for about a dozen meals for herself. Duh. Could have got that milk somewhere I think. I live in a gated community for over 55s myself in a small home. I can walk to everything I need. I actually do not need a car. In 12 months my daughter will take my car when she goes to university. Hooray. I will be CAR FREE. I have explained this to my mother in the past. She has a second chance to get her licence next week but I feel she might fail again. She has refused to move either in with me or even to my town. So I went ahead and looked after my own and my daughters comfort and bought into this retirement community. She is so nice and polite in front of her friends but over the phone she runs everyone down to me. I am sick and tired of her complaining and denial of her own problems. I am not going to be driving for much longer as I hate driving now and it leaves me nervous and exhausted. She has no regard for my health or feelings. I am determined to be car free. Anyone got advice for the words to use to get through to her that if she fails her licence a second time she is STUCK? And needs to make some grown-up choices about what to do next. No other family live near her and two of her offspring do not see her. She has never been a scholar or a thinker and its got worse with age. p. s. she does not have dementia.

Beatty, who posts here has a lovely maxim "there will be no solutions as long as you are all the solutions". It is spot on.
You will need to set limits and boundaries with your mother. We are expected to do what we agree to do, and , more importantly, what we DO do.
It doesn't matter her regard or lack of for your "feelings". It matters what you say yes to. Tell your mother in a very nice manner that you will not be able to do these things for her. That she can get a place to live where she is taken care of, or avail herself of your offer to move more near, but that other options are out.
As to hoping she passes her license, when it is more than likely better that she no longer drive I will just tell you that it took my brother lying bleeding in the arms of his neighbor having smashed up his head, one palm tree and one refuse container to admit "I knew I shouldn't be driving; I knew something was wrong". Two months later, one month of rehab and one month of selling and moving to ALF, his life was quite changed.
Do let Mom know that you understand that she has problems, but that you do also, and that she should call you when she has good things to say, or the calls will be very short. Then see to it that you stick to it. There is no sense walking about with a "kick me" sign on post-its stuck to our forehead and then complain when the kick is delivered. You need to let people know what you will accept from them and what you will not. That is how life works.
This running out of a litre of milk thing often comes down to beginnings of fear, loneliness, neediness, because as we all know, it's easy to lean across the fence and say "Elmira, are you by any chance heading to the store today? I forgot my milk". Do know also that your Mom moving near you or worse yet in with you is not going to make anything even slightly better, but will be the beginning of an awful, likely decades long, slow slide downward. Reconsider that offer.
I sure wish you luck and hope you'll update us, but you will have to take this in hand before it gets quite OUT of hand.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Beatty Mar 4, 2021
So so true about the milk!

Shops deliver, there is long-life milk, neighbours to borrow a cup. But the I need milk being code for 'I am lonely or scared'. Yes! Or the manipulative 'While you get the milk, I need *insert here* the week's groceries, booze, chores, this fixed, that done".

Milk. The beginning of the slippery slope 😭
Do not bring her to live with you. Being near may not be a good idea either if u want a life.

I am assuming ur from the UK. We have Office of Aging here that has senior bussing to appts and shopping. I would think England has stores that deliver groceries. Pharmacies that deliver meds. Mom is going to need to learn to use the resources at her disposal. Yes. set those boundries now.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to JoAnn29

You only need a few words, something like “I’m not doing that” or “call a car service” Your mother has confirmed that she’s not listening to reason so having long explanations won’t change a thing. And I wouldn’t keep encouraging the idea that she move closer to you or in your home, it’s an idea you’d likely regret
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Reply to Daughterof1930

Once you know her strategy to get what she (thinks she) wants, you need to take control of the situation BY WAY of your, first: thinking, then secondly: your behavior.

* You need to ask yourself why you allow yourself to be entangled in this web - her web, when you have a daughter who needs her mother? Have you asked yourself Why?

* Why are you afraid of her / reactions to you, i.e., :
1. saying No.
2. saying you are busy now.
3. saying you need to make other arrangements, I cannot do this 'now.'
4. I'll let you know when I am returning. It might be (a) on Wednesday, in a few days, etc.
5. You'll need to ask ____ to help you this time. I am busy with my daughter right now.

If she doesn't have dementia, then she is repeating patterns of behavior in how she's interacted with you, likely for your lifetime. You need to go deep inside and ask why you allow her to control you and your behavior. So what if she's mad and having temper tantrums? She obviously will once you set boundaries. Does this frighten YOU to be on the receiving end of this behavior?

As I say "you teach others how to treat you" -

You must consider your own (quality of) life and that of your daughter, and, of course, your peace of mind and health . . . now and as time moves on. She certainly is not going to change. Whether she drives or not or wants a carton of milk or not, you need to regroup, take a few or many deep breaths and learn that it is OKAY, more than OKAY, for you to set boundaries with her requests / outbursts - whatever you want to call it.
Tough Love is Loving Kindness to Yourself.
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Reply to TouchMatters
Beatty Mar 6, 2021
Thank you TouchMatters,

Truly insightful information, beautifully written. I wish I had read this a few years ago. for me, it sums up exactly the bravery needed to shine a light on ourselves and why saying no can be so painful. But so worth it.
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After several dents were discovered on her car, I took my 89 year old mom's car to be serviced and didn't return it. She has the numbers for both local cab companies in her phone. They have her credit card on file. They take her to the store, library etc. I take food to her or have it delivered. Now that the weather is warmer and the hysteria has waned, I'll take her for a monthly shop... We both had mild cases of COVID in 2/2020 after I returned from a cruise.
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Reply to bowgirl

Daughterof1930: " And I wouldn’t keep encouraging the idea that she move closer to you or in your home, it’s an idea you’d likely regret."

Yes...THIS! Better get used to start setting boundaries NOW. If you have 2 sibs who are already uninvolved, your mother is going to look to YOU as she gets older and needs more help.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to CTTN55

If there is a senior center anywhere in her area, they may have either a bus for shopping or a transportation service or volunteers. Check it out.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to KathleenQ
Frances73 Mar 6, 2021
My parent's small town offered a ride service to seniors. They could each get 2 non-medical trips a week and as many medical trips as needed. It was a life saver for our family.
Tell her to take a taxi or call uber, or offer to call for her. I say this all the time, but nobody can force you to do something you don't want to do. You are putting this burden on yourself. It's obvious she does not want to listen to your concerns, so you needn't listen to hers.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to OkieGranny

I would probably say the car is gone already and that would be the end of that.
Do not offer or let her move in with you. That would be a disaster.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to NavyVet90

No is a complete sentence. Also, do not let her move in with you. She will only get worse.
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Reply to MammaDrama

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