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My elderly mother moved in with me 18 months ago. She can be quite over bearing, stuck in her ways and VERY overly critical. She has had a couple of meltdowns since moving in...once just leaving without saying where she was staying. She said when she moved in she did not want me to change how I live. Since then however she is unhappy with most things. The latest thing is the amount of washing we have...she likes to do this herself...I offer, she says no, I don't do it correctly or put it away quickly enough. Now it's too much for her and she wants to move out! She also is unhappy that my partner has moved in and doesn't join in with her nit picking of me. She says she feels awkward and he is lazy when I am not there. He could not be more helpful if he tried!! He is so supportive to me and his financial contribution enables us to stay in our home....I cannot downsize to a 2 bed house because of my mother living with us. The mortgage was a struggle for me. She immediately stated when he moved in that she didn't need to pay rent to me as I no longer needed it. She buys the cleaning products....then moans how much we use, counts the toilet rolls!! She does not like the fact I let my daughter watch tv in the living room in the evenings...yet I told her this is how we live before she moved in. She has a tv in the dining room and her bedroom and can watch her soaps all day while I am at work...but no, she insists on watching them at mega-tron noise level all evening. She says she is too old to change! I really cannot keep persuading her to stay yet I feel guilty that she is unhappy. She has never been happy for as long as I can remember! Sorry to ramble!!

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Thank you everyone. I felt so guilty for feeling how I do. I spoke with her last night as she found me crying in my room. She still wants to move out but has back tracked and is saying its how she feels and she doesnt want to 'blight my life'. I said if she is happy then I am happy but I do agree...she will not be happy anywhere or with anyone. For now I will let her decide and go along with whatever she chooses. Thank you for your support.. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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I am so sorry you are in this position. My mother was always self-centered, paranoid and dramatic. Things went her way or no way. She was not overbearing but subtle. A “quick shot”, a nasty or rude remark and she was on her way. This is why I knew she and I could never live together. She would have run out of hours in the day to make sarcastic remarks and show her disapproval of my lifestyle.

My situation was resolved for me. After a urinary tract infection that turned her combative and kicked her paranoia into high gear, she was tested and it was found she could no longer live alone. I explained her personality and my lifestyle to the social worker and we decided she should go directly into a skilled nursing facility.

My point is that you said your mom, like mine, has always been the way she is now. Expectations of a personality change when she moved into your home didn’t come about. It’s like putting your hand into boiling water when you know you’re going to get scalded but you do it anyway. You had wonderful intentions to help your mom. You wanted her to be happy, safe and well-cared for. It sounds like for a while, she tried. But now, she doesn’t want to pay rent. But although she makes no contribution, she feels entitled to be the Grand Poohba.

Wherever she lives will be her own home. She can have whatever things she wants in it whether it is Assisted Living or something else. (But if she has a tendency to take off, I’d be hesitant to send her somewhere like an apartment where she is completely independent).

Begin your search now, with Mom on board. Let mom have her say about choosing where she lives, within reason. It may not be a bad idea to have her check in with her doc and make sure there isn’t a need for evaluation. Good luck. Keep us updated!
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How old is mom? She must be relatively young - maybe in her 60s or early 70s? Do you live in the US or elsewhere? If you're in the US, look for some subsidized senior housing for mom.

I have a feeling you thought your always somewhat rocky relationship with mom could be improved by her living with you. You've found out that didn't work so well. So now you need to move on to the next step, getting mom out on her own or into a more supportive housing set-up if possible. If she's in senior subsidized housing, she'll be around other seniors and able to mingle, if she wants to. I have a feeling she may have a hard time maintaining friendships if she's so overbearing with everyone. And she'll probably never be happy, wherever she is. But those are her issues, not yours. Get her out into her own place, whatever you have to do to accomplish that. Go to resale shops or ask friends or relatives for furniture, or Craigslist, whatever it takes. Get her out and on her own again. And you can enjoy your own family, which is how it should be.
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"I would love to make her see that she is being unfair but she never will." You are absolutely right. She will never see this. Your history with her should have taught you this.

I'm afraid I agree with CM. You are being unfair to yourself, your sweetie, and your daughter by encouraging Mom to stay. She wants to leave? For heaven's sake, let her go! And it is not your job to find her housing or to decide what kind she looks at.

I'm sure you love her, but you can love her much more comfortably from a distance.
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I would do whatever I could to get her in her own place now while she can still take care of herself. If not it will be almost impossible when she needs more care. I'd even give up some of my furniture to get her moved out! Once she has moved out do not ever let her move back in. You have learned from this experience that it doesn't work for you. Once she's in her own place start looking at assisted living places so you'll be ready for the next step and won't be pressured to move her back in with you.
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Thankyou............That is exactly how I feel..she would love to rule the roost no matter who it upset..as long as we kept quiet. Don't get me wrong, she loves my daughter and me but is so critical I am finding I don't want to be around her and my daughter will not be alone with her. She lived on her own before in a flat and was unhappy and lonely there. She wants to move out now and get another flat but I'm not sure she would be happier and anyway, it wont be that easy. She disposed of all of her furniture etc when she moved in. I do feel like I'm constantly in the middle of everyone and I guess I am a little intimidated by my mother from when I was younger and she was always blowing up over things and not talking to me for days on end. I suggested last night sheltered housing....NOPE! She wants her own home..I doubt this will be possible. I would love to make her see that she is being unfair but she never will.
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Um. Not sure if this is what you were expecting, but...

I'm afraid you are being a bit unfair. To your daughter, your partner and yourself. Is it reasonable to expect the entire family to adapt its behaviour to a hopeless quest to find some way of making your mother happy?

I'm not unsympathetic to your mother. Heavens, I find the world an annoying and increasingly alien place sometimes and I'm not her age and I'm not forced to be dependent on other people for life support. Her life must be full of small irritations and dissatisfactions. They are real to her. It's sad.

But that doesn't mean that you can solve her problems; and it certainly doesn't mean that it's helpful or rational or fair to inflict them on your family.

And the money situation makes no sense. It costs money to live, wherever you decide to go. Your mother's unilateral decision that you can pay virtually all her living costs isn't just overbearing - it's nonsense.

Have you looked at other options? Suppose you didn't conveniently exist to be her life support system - what other arrangements would she be looking at?
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