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My husband and I recently moved in with my mother. We were living an hour away form her and when my father died 4 years ago I changed my work schedule so that I could go see her on a Wednesday afternoon, take her out and pay her bills. February 07 she was found on the floor of her house by her cleaning lady. I had not been down to see her that week because I had been sick with the flu. I had spoken to her on Thursday and went back to work on Monday which was when the cleaning lady got hold of my son to say mom was being taken to the hospital. At that time they thought she had had a stoke, she was severly dehydrated and was talking very crazy. She seemed to have little movement on one side which was why they thought she had had a stroke. She had ended up with a broken right hip and they inserted a rod. 6 years ago she had fallen while my father was still alive and broke her left hip and has 2 plates in that hip. 3 years ago she had fallen in her bathrooma nd cracked her head open and didn't tell anyone until Friday when she told me she needed a clenaing lady not mentioning that the bathroom floor was bloody and that she was coated in blood. this happend on a week where I had a dr. appointment and hadn't gone to see her on Wednesday as usual. the blood on the floor was there so long there where bugs flying around. When she was found this time she had the phone in her hand but never called anyone. she went to rehab for 12 weeks. When they sent the physcolgist in to see her she told him to get out he didn't have an appointment and when they first wanted to take her to PT hse held the door frame as she wasn't in the mood to go. I believe for 10 weeks she really didn't know how bad she was. My sister and brother both live out of state. My mtoher has 1 brother who she is not speaking to a a niece that she talks to all the time. My husband and I rented our house to move in with her. i changed jobs so I was closer to her house and my husband leaves the house and drives 1 hour each way and doesn't return home until 6pm every evening. My mother is a very hard person, she has very little interaction with people. she sees the same people when she goes out to eat. She now has her cleaning lady coming 3 afternoons a week to be with her and hse finds fault with everything the woman does. My mother is under the impression that she has the answer to everything ansd the rest of us haven't a clue. She has trouble showing emotion and has never told any of us that she loves us even when we were gowing up. she likes her wine int he afternoon and a manahattan before she goes to sleep, all of which I water down. she also will drink a blackberry brandy when her stomach is acting up. I try to water that down also but can't always do it. when she has the brandy she tends to get very angry over something she usuall invents and it ends up with her fighting with me. I try very ahrd not to engage her in any altercations but it is so hard and sometimes the words are out of my mouth before even I know it. Last week was a bad one where she took an innocent conversation with my daughter and turned it around that my huband and I were bad parents and only cared about ourselves. the only time we get away is when my sister comes for the weekend. We used to stay home hwen she came but now we make it a point to go away. We do go out every Friday and Saturday night which seems to make her angry. Mind you we never go out without making sure she has something to eat. And there are times when she won't eat. And I explain to her not eating doesn't hurt me it hurts her. She is very controlling and what she doesn't know about someone she will fabricate. Friends are nto there becasue she finds fault with everyone and no one wants to be around her for long periods of time. i try to keep my self busy doing my quilting or sewing, but I have to do this on her dining room table and this aggravates her to no end. We went from a 3 bedroom house to 2 rooms. There is very little space around the bed to walk.
thanks for letting me vent. Hopefully this will help me with my frustration. I know I am doing the best for her, but she sure makes it difficult. i have told my brother and sister that i will not go to divorce court over her and if my husband acn't take it any more we will have to leave and another plan will have to go into place. Mom always said she was not leaving her house hse would die in it. We are trying to make this possible for her but she seems so unappreciative of our effort

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The way I see it, your Mom is on self-destruct mode and should be in a NH; the cleaning lady should go clean someone else's house instead of being made to feel less-than; and you should go back to the home you rented when the lease is up.

A man's primary needs are food, silence, and a little whoopie every now and then. With your Mom's medical needs, constant nitpicking, and the ragey, tipsy Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde behavior that shows her true colors I'm surprised he's not purchased a Winnebago so he can eat his chicken in peace. ... He's had to endure all that madness because he loves you; even if it hurts.

Before you leave, see if you can arrange a support system for Mom. She's a stubborn woman that'll never admit she needs help ... and doesn't know how to show much affection. Maybe to a pet.
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Handling the negativity is such a tough one-- My mother has become very paranoid to the point where if anything happens she sees it as someone is doing it to her ... We constantly moved when I was a child. Now that I have found a wonderful man she is trying to turn me against him. I work a very stressful job and she is so constantly changing in her moods. I see her eyes change and she is not my Mom anymore. I have to get angry and yell at her for her to stop her stuff... I love art and have no time to do it anymore, I love Reiki healing and became a reiki master so I could do self healing on myself.
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Hi Edrex,

Whatever you decide to do can only be based on your own situation and family members. Not everyone on this board agrees with "never let them move in" - many of us have parents or other relatives living with them. I have noticed that recently most of the venting and posting is by people who are unhapot with their own personal situation or have issues which is why this board is here. Caregiving is hard & can bring out behaviour and feelings that usually are supressed which is what you might be picking up on. So, that said - don't get scared off, just take it all as things to consider. If you are unable to do it, then you should be supported for being honest - it sounds as if you will manage to care for your mom in the best way you know how. The fact that you are on this board should validate that you care and are researching your options. Your mom is lucky - as is your family.

To give you a perspective on caregivers who do keep their parents at home I'll say that my mom lives with me and does require care. It is not always easy and as I am single the 'burden' is all on me. I do not regret it and will continue to care for her at home until the end. I am making the choice to do this and add to my skillset and education to accomodate her and her furry companion. I do not expect any pats on the back, it is just the 'right thing' by my own standards.
I am a professional and have had to make adjustments. But I don't regret it & in many instances have discovered that people are more accepting and inclusionary than we give them credit for. So if you can, and are able, take her with you - keep her involved with her family & grand kids.

I sympathize with you about the cat dander - but you do need to do what is safest for your mom. Your wife sounds like she would be willing to support bringing your mom home temporarily while you decide what to do - so perhaps you might consider asking a neighbor to look after the cat or even put it in a board n care for a week. Allergies aside, if it is something that she loves and take comfort from, there must be a way to accomodate her, even temporarily. There are many animal groups you could reach out to for advice.

Good luck.
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First, thanks to everyone who writes in. Glad I found this site. Especially intrigued by the "Never let them move in" advice. It's seems really heartless... and really smart. Am I a bad son (yes, I'm a son and the primary "go to" caregiver of my Mom) if I don't let my Mom move in? I'm married with three small children (all under 8). Mom is 81, still has all her marbles, but she's been recovering from a broken ankle in a rehab hospital for a month. She's always been independent, but now she's learning (slowly) to get around on a walker. She lives alone in a secluded house with a steep driveway she'll never again be able to walk down by herself. My wife is suffering from a severe possibly life threatening depression. She thinks we should take my Mom in at least temporarily. My mom would only move in if she could bring her cat. One of my children is severely allergic to cats and the cat triggers a mild (but unpleasant) asthmatic reaction in me. My mother believes allergies are all in your head. She got hostile when I told her she was welcome to move in but not with her cat. (The cat also triggers her own asthma but she loves the cat too much to get rid of it.) Even though I'm busy taking care of my wife and children as well as looking for a job, I visit her every day, arrange her doctor appointments, run her errands, talk with the social workers, pay her bills, take care of her cat... (My siblings live out of state.) No matter how much I visit her, she considers me cruel because I won't let her move in with her cat. Reading the comments here makes me wonder whether I should exhaust every other possible avenue before even considering allowing her to move in with us -- especially considering how unbelievably stressed our lives are already. How can I feel anything but evil if I refuse to let my own mother move in?
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My
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grama4 and Tracy, you are both outstanding in the balance you seek to maintain as caregivers. Keep living strong, Ladies. grama4, you cannot make your Mom happy, but you sure do yourself proud!
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Hi, sandyw. I just saw your post and question to me today. Sorry it took me so long to be back online. I took a little break. First, I must say thank you for your kind words, friend. Having spent many years now as a caregiver to my Mom has been a real eye-opener, including about myself. Caregiving is not a one-way street for me. Like any other relationship, I contribute just as much to the caregiving relationship as Mom does. We are both human. We are both vulnerable because we care. We simply have very different ways of expressing our caring. As a caregiver whose health is not compromised, thank God, my physical mobility is neither restricted nor impaired. I do not have to see multiple physicians and face the caregiver "police" force daily. If I were to look at my caregiving experiences and responsibilities solely from a point-of-view of what works for me, I would be creating an imbalance in my caregiving responsibilities making both of us miserable in the process. My caregiving journey is about learning, including how to best be a patient advocate for my Mom. Physical decline does not automatically rob an individual of feelings and thoughts even if some cognitive abilities may be affected. In the end, for me, it is about the golden rule
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195, thanks, i stll am feeling anxious that it would be my fault, we made a promise to keep her home, which i thought i could handle, but i feel like such a failure.. there is going to be a social worker at this meeting for peter and i, my geuss is to help deal with those feelings hope the ribs are mending. nice to know the husband apprichates all you do and give a hand when your down. i also wonder about books, hoping thats not seliction for names and authors.also seem to need a good spelling refresher course
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are there any books out there that may help?
seems like I need someone to tell me what to do
how to act or react
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Greekgirl
I hope the testing goes well they may decide that she needs to be placed for her own good of course she will fight like hell about that but at least you will have someone besides yourselves making the decsions. At this point I am able to keep the husband home-I fixed up my bedroom nice so if things get bad again and they will I can stay in there a lot, and he has been helpful since i fell and broke ribs-getting me drinks and such. The aide we have twice a week will be able to help with the doc visits and shopping, and we wre finally following a budget. This site is so great and I feel I have so many new friends.
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Greekgirl glad to hear you had a great night. sounds like your husband is stepping up to the plate. Get a fan for your room at least that will help when the heat is too high. Most of the times when my mom acts up we think it is beacuse she doesn't feel good or she realizes she has limitations and she is not happy about them. Just because we can figure out what is going on doesn't make it any easier to go through these tantrums wioth her. Mom does not open up about her feelings and you can't engage her in a conversation about it because she gets hostile. I have been noticing that hse is having trouble getting out of her chair and actuall lifts her legs with her hands to get her feet closer to the chair befor she gets up to come to the table. As my sister says she is a poster child for why you need to get up and move when you get older. For the last 10 years she has had episodes where she will just sit in her chair and then she need therapy to strengthen her legs. Now when dad was still alive he would baby her and push her around in an office chair to get her to the table or to the bathroom. He spoiled her rotten. i think she realizes that that won't be happening as I work all day and she doesn't feel the need to have anyone in all day long.
Let us know how the testing goes next week.
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good morning girls, how,d we make it through the night? i actually slept great thanks to peter. he took over with mom all through the night, and i slept great.. minus the fact that the heat in this house as we all know is on like 100 degrees. if thats the least of my worries today i will thank god . i finally received the call from the elder testing services, next wed. is appt. mom is kind of worried i think shes knows some things may be changing. the initial interview was difficult because i'm still not sure were doing the right thing keeping her home and according to the girl at the elder service it didnt seem like she felt mom was in any state to be home either... seems like they will have a lot of suggesting and advice cant wait to share with all of you..hope everyone has a very happy day..
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i want to be more like sunshine caregiver. how did you get there? i need help with a plan. I love my mother, i know this is difficult for her. how do i help her ? i need words of wisdom - th anks
s
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grama4 she will not pay anything lately. she feels because we live in her home (not my choice) that is payment enough. I recently explained to her that i would need to look for work to support myself and she went on a rage about how i would finanicially break her if she had to pay for other care. mind you she owns her home, has a very good savings, and many good stocks. her youngest son was chosen awhile a go that when the time came and she was making bad disions, he would step in and take over... problem here is she will not sign and as i said before she is so not incompatent in most areas seems just the money thing do you or anyone know of ways to accomplish this. lately she hasn't been paying any bills, letting the mail pile up..just not caring ..
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greekgirl
start taking her clothes to the cleaners or laundrymat that has aservice that wahses and folds for you and tell her that you are doing this because she is unhappy with the way you are doing her laundry. O and make sure she is paying for this, bet she changes her tune. Believe me you are not telling me anything I haven't heard. My mother has a girl 3 afternoons a week and the girl can't do anything right, the wash, straightening up whatever. Most tiems when Mom is ranting I just say hmm every now and then and really don't pay much attention. This doesn't happen all the time we have had some blow ups where I have given my opinion and she gets annoyed and says she can't talk to me. Mind you I am supposed to have the same opinion as her. I also have to listen to all these stories about the people that hang out at the restaurant she eats in. Believe me I know more about their lives that anyone has a right to know and I don't really care to hear it. So when she is talking I try to think of somehting else and not really pay total attention.
Rant all you want, that's what this is for.
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cat, my mother-in-law had a very full life. she was a pedea tric nurse, has 4 children, but did live a 50 year life with a raging angry,controlling alcoholic he passed away 12 years ago and for some ungodly reason i believe she stlll mourns him. part of me understands this i have been with there offspring for 12 years who also has some of these behaviors. 13 years ago her only daughter suffered a massive brain anurism. they made the desions for her to have surgery, today she lives a very dissable life in a nursing home.probally why she is so against living in one.herself. strangely enough my mom-in-law has not lost her memory, of course its very selective.and she does lately seem to think she was some wonderful house keeper, which family members say not true. this makes her complaining about me missing a spot or this shirt has a wrinkle in it or this shirt(which is 30 yrs old) was not washed properly and still has stains. Even i am no TIDE guru. she also has enough money to live out the rest of her life comfortably.she is very frugul.saving the money for the children when peter and i are the only ones without money, and here with her. the rest we hardly ever see i feel very frustrated today i'm sorry i'm ranting, thank god for all of you.
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what is it with old people and complaining my dad is the same way. you would think that those of us that do all the work would get some kinda credit but no its always the ones that are never around that are the great ones. my dad will not say anything to me when my sister is with him. she takes him to church and out for breakfast every week. and i live down stairs from him, my family is the one that is keeping him out of the nursing home but do i get any credit, NO i use to do things hoping he would love me that didnt work then i thought well maybe he would like me ,nope, then i did things hoping at least i get a little credit, then it was for the inhearitance, now i dont care about any of it, there are days i wish i could run away and never see or speak to these people again. how it this any kinda life. I really need to work to get out of here. im sure my sister wouldnt move in here i still have bairly a kitchen i have moldy walls and no cabinets (plumbing issue since aug 1 ) but does any one care nope as long as there neat nice homes arent affected who care about me. I dont have a front door knob that works the door is so old that the handle came off and now you have to stick the handle in and turn it so if you leave the handle out side and you sut the door you cant get out. there literealy is no door handle im pretty sure this would be considered a FIRE HAZZARD .my husband works 10 hours a day these thing should be done by some one if he was in a nursing home it would cost 4,000 a month and he has over a half a million in cash so im pretty sure he can afford to fix this shit hole i live in sorry for the bad word.but its so frustrating. that reminds me i should go so i can write up an estimite for the insurance guy maybe by thanksgiving i will have a normal kitch, oh yea thats next week well maybe by the new year. My wish for the new year is a new life. miak
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Handling the negativity is very very hard. My cousin had to go through Alzhiemers with her father and what kept her going was to see everything in a humorous light. Try to make a joke about it. Even if it is just to yourself. Most importantly get out of the house, by yourself and with your husband. Go on a date, a walk something and make it a regualr habit. We go out every Friday and Saturday night, some weeks Mom complains and others she just accepts we are going out. Sometime it's just to go babysit for the grandkids. Will she fuss, of course she will it's a change and they do not handle change well. But she will get over it. Don't lose yourself. Read, do crafts anything that is yours. One of the things I told my siblings was I would not go to divorce court over my mother, my marriage of 35 years was first and she was second. Let the family know if they don't come over to sit with her for a few hours you are going out with them there or not. Sometimes you just have to stand strong and let them know that you mean business. They will be the first to compalin and talk bad about you, but remember that you are doing the best you can in a bad situation. Believe me I have a brother who is quick to make comment and very slow to come and help out. Keep strong.
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Hey Sandy - glad to hear that your husband has read some of the posts & that it has helped you. I hope he will continue to go on the site - perhaps you can start your posting to your own "wall" (its on your profile) and he can go there periodically to read what you have written, as well as seeing what others say when he is alone. I hope that his understanding will make your burden lighter and your marriage stronger.

May I ask what is your mother-inlaws background - - what was her life like & how was her personality before she grew old & needed help? just curious,
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i can't believe i've found people going through the same thing i am..!
how do you handle the negativity?
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grama4 when the complaining is so consistant how do you always let it roll off. lately i cannot go up stairs for 5 min without her yelling for me, not for a reason, just wondering. getting out sounds great with peter we just cant get family to come stay for more than 10 minutes. they all seem to have so much to do. mom refuses strangers in the home, this includes personal friends who she has known for years. i geauss we need to just be strong and let her know our relationship is suffering.
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greekgirl - you need to work together as a unit. I am caring for my mother and the way she treated my father is now the way she treats me. I know nothing, am a terrible parent, am disrupting her house, it's not her house anymore, these are all the things she throws at me. My husband and I try very hard to let what she says roll off our back and believe me at times it is very hard. When we are out with friends it is so hard not to just sit and compalin about her all the time. If she is able to be alone at night or in the afternoons on weekends you need to get out as a couple or as a family without her for a few hours. Make this a important event and something you do on a regular basis for you own sanity. If it means getting someone to come and sit with her - do it.
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thanks for the advice ladies . humor is always helpful. part of my problem is my husband thinks i am crazy that i cant handle an 83v yr old woman.i am her only caregiver, i get no financial assistance from her, which is upseting she does have money and gives kindly to my husband, her grandchildren etc.. for any of there problems. my husband and i cant seem to make her understand i have given a lot of myself to do this and to hire someone here would cost up and around 15 dollars and hour my husband is selfemployed in trade that with the econony the way it is has not been very profitable for us. last night he did ask aaabout this site, he noticed i seemed alittle calmer. i let him read some entries and i swear i saw a hint of compasion for me, maybe thats what i was looking for. for him to notice a change in me is huge and i owe that to this site. it has only been 3 days since i found it and i love it thank you all for being there, love to all.
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greekgirl, if you have the financial wherewithal to do it, consider telling your husband that you need a girls weekend, or a mother-daughter weekend if you have a daughter and tell him that he needs to take care of his Mom while you are enjoying a temporary break, then go for it. He will learn a lot
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Hi Sandra -
The best way to get your husband to help it to jokingly remind him on a consistant basis, the type of care he will get when he gets older just might be the type of care his mom is getting.....but the catch is that if you are too worn out to care, he is on his own. (if you have kids, bring them into the mix too.)

If nothing else, it can be a funny saying that gently gets the point accross. Things are always easier if someone shares - no matter how unbalanced the arrangement. If you can keep em laughing, you have a shot at getting him to understand.

Now wait for all the long-time married ladies to weigh in.......
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hi, i'm sandra.. do all mothers or in-laws feel the need to critize everything a caregiver does? how can i learn to let the little things roll off. I take care of my 83 yr old mom-in-law and everyday seems harder. I am her 24 hr caregiver and my husband doesnt seem to understand i my just be losing my mind.. how to get him to help?
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Thanks Tracy your words are so kind. Unfortunately we had to move in with Mom. She treats my son and daughter good. She seems to forget that she is the grandmother, not the parent and oversteps her bounds. I do have a wonderful husband and he was the one that knew we would be moving in with her sooner or later when she fell and hit her head. I know she doesn't like that we have outside activities, but she could also if she would overlook other people's faults so I have no sympathy there. I know it sounds terrible but if she won't help herslf what can I do. I even joined a gym and go 2-3 times a week after work. that seems to help, even though she doesn't like the time I get home, but she can always get herself something to eat or wait, her choice and she chooses not to get ehrself somehting or when her aid is ther have her get her something to eat. So again no sympathy. My husband and I go out every Friday and Saturday night. Even if it's only for an hour or so. Thanks again and feel free to vent to me also.
grama4
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OH GRAMA4, MY NAME IS TRACY AND IM SO VERY SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND. WHEN MY MOM GOT DEMENTIA AFTER A DEATH IF HER HUSBAND, I STARTED TAKING CARE OF HER, 5 YEARS AGO. ONE SISTER LIKE YOURS LIVES OUT OF STATE, THE OTHER IS NO GOOD AND JUST MOVED OUT OF STATE BECAUSE ITS GETTING HARDER AND HARDER WITH MY MOM AND HER VERY LATE NIGHT CALLS. SHE SAID SHE DID NOT WANT ANY MORE TO DO WITH IT. NOW SHE SENDS CARDS THAT SAY "I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERY DAY" WHAT A JOKE RIGHT. I WAS TOLD THE FIRST TIME I CAME TO THIS GREAT SITE.... NEVER MOVE IN WITH THEM OR LET THEM MOVE IN WITH YOU... OH NO WHERE WERE YOU FOR THAT ADVICE...IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE TAKING GOOD CARE OF YOUR MARRIAG, AND IT ALSO SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE A GREAT MAN STANDIND BESIDE YOU, LIKE ME... BOY WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT THEM TO LEAN ON, CRY TO, AND BE HELD WHEN WE NEED IT. AND THAT BECOMES MORE AND MORE... PLEASE DONT LET ANYTHING HAPPEN TO THAT SAFE PLACE YOU HAVE WITH HIM. TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR SELF ALSO. SO YOU QUILT THATS GREAT THERIPY FOR YOU, I MAKE JEWERY, AND HAVE 3 DOGS, THAT KEEPS ME SAIN. I MOVED MY MOM TO A SIENOR APT ABOUT 2 MIN AWAY FROM ME, BUT SHE THINKS THAT MEANS EVERY TIME SHE CALLS I COME RUNNING, I NEVER DO THAT. IT MAKES ME FEEL BAD BUT IT HAS TO BE THAT WAY. WE HAVE ALSO TURNED OFF ALL OUR PHONES AT NIGHT BECAUSE SHE CALLS ALL THE TIME AND I CANT HANDEL IT. THATS MEAN TO BUT I WANT TO LIVE AND STAY HEALTHY AND I WONT IF I DONT TAKE CARE OF ME FIRST. IM SORRY YOU HAVE TO BE WITH SOMEONE THAT IS NOT NICE TO YOU. HOW IS SHE WITH YOUR DAUGHTER AND YOUR HUSBAND? MY MOM IS NICE BUT SHE CRYS ALL THE TIME AND RUNS TO ME, YOU SEE IM BECOMMING HER MOTHER, AND HATE IT. I KNOW I WAS NOT MUCH HELP FOR YOU, BUT IM HERE FOR YOU ANYTIME YOU JUST NEED TO VENT, OR JUST CHAT. TAKE CARE AND BE NICE TO YOUR HUSBAND AND YOURSELF ALWAYS.

TRACY
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