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I'm the primary caregiver to mom (87) who is very bitter with her circumstances. She is difficult to deal with and has admitted to lying to me to get her way about things. Overall, her health is decent and she is able to still cook small meals for herself. Not able or doesn't care to tidy her apartment which creates alot of clutter that can lead to a fall. She's had several mini strokes and fought with us kids about her selling her car. She has been suspended by the DMV which is an ongoing battle. I drive her almost anywhere she wants to go a couple of times a week. She's an extremely independent minded person. She's been prescribed medications for depression & anxiety which is making this a hard road for me because I suffer from the same issue. There is much more I can "message" but this hopefully will be a good start for some responses.... I hope.

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Hello RealyReal, Boasting being a "Nana" for the first time, it's my bright spot :) Yes, I understand exactly what you're saying. My sister has taken that road and is fine with it. She also works full time, I just retired. She has had some negative history with mom so it was a bit easier for her to get to this point. I totally agree that she is draining me and that I have the power to help slow/stop it. But how can I turn off my brain and emotions when I get home and lay in bed at night? I have gotten another post mentioning pursueing outside help to fill in the gaps so that is my next step. I look forward to using this message board and hope to hear from you again.
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"She's an extremely independent minded person"

"very bitter with her circumstances"

You got it. Who wants to lose their independence?

Be empathetic - "Yeah, old age sure ain't for sissies". Then shrug off the misery & move things along. Kiss it better then back out to play.

Her feelings about aging are valid. But also her own. It's not your job to make her happy.
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Nana0606 Oct 24, 2020
Thank you! I just want her to be happy, which apparently is not going to happen. Its heartbreaking to watch.
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It’s apparent that she is miserable. Misery loves company. I think you need to stop seeing her when you become overwhelmed.

Set a schedule and stick to it. Have you contacted Council on Aging in your area? They will do a needs assessment and if she qualifies she can receive help with light housekeeping, preparing light meals and offering companionship.

I has this service for my mom and it relieved me of those responsibilities for a few hours. They bathed mom, fed her, cleaned her room and even played cards with her. Give it a try.

I hope things improve for you soon. Wishing you peace.
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Nana0606 Oct 24, 2020
Thank you for your response. Yes, we are both miserable. Her, for her aging alone and me for feeling the strain of wanting to help and make it all better. I will contact our local Council on the Aging to see what options she has for household help, I appreciate your thoughts. Luckily mom doesn't need any daily grooming help, she would absolutely hate that.
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The wonderful part of this is that you’re not just an adult child of your mother, you’re an adult, one free to decide for yourself what you will and won’t do, and what you will and won’t let into your life and mind. Decide what days you’ll help, decide that if she wants to live in a mess that’s her choice, decide if she’s bitter you’ll not listen to the bitterness and bring your spirit down with it. Talk with her about positive topics, when she veers to negativity and bitterness say you’re not listening to that and walk away. If she falls it’s not your fault, we can’t prevent or change the bad choices of others. I wish you peace
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Nana0606 Oct 24, 2020
Being the oldest child, I can't help but feel "responsible" to help as I have always been. Dad of course made me promise to watch out for her... I know you understand what a burden that promise has become. I do need to find a way to cut the cord so to speak. My sister is able to do all of the things you have suggested and does feel better, but she hasn't had a close connection to mom in a number of years. I'm the one whose always been there. All of this is new to me and it's taken quite an emotional toll. I thank you for your response. There's some options that I have explore so wish me luck.
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Nana, is that your superpower? Being a nana? I think it is.

I think that you have to let things go. Let her live how she chooses, it's her place and she can be a messy housekeeper. It really is okay to ignore that. I know that you worry but, you have to pick your battles at this stage and that is not one worth fighting, in my opinion and my experience.

Set boundaries with her and your time. Maybe one day a week for shopping and appointments. Maybe every two weeks, whatever works for you. You can be in charge of your help to her and you will find it is easier to deal with her when you are in control of what you do for her.

It is okay to hang up or walk away when she is sucking the life out of you.
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