I come from a dysfunctional family. My father was a mean, violent alcoholic and my mother the typical co dependent. I am 37 and have am still working through issues (PTSD) from my childhood. My father died 2 weeks ago and I've been forced to move my mother 800 miles to live with me because they have gambled EVERYTHING away. They had a nice home on a golf course with money in the bank, life insurance and pensions and retirements. They withdrew it and spent it It's all gone. I had many talks with them about what they were doing and was always told to mind my own business. When my father died two weeks ago they were living on my fathers social security disability which was not much (and they were still gambling and borrowing money from cash advance places). Their apartment was disgusting (I'm talking feces and bugs) and they were both not taking care of themselves and just waiting to die. My mother at the present time has NO income, she has an appt for survivors benefits which isn't enough for her to live on her own. She is only 61, so she is too young to retire and has been turned down for disability. She is young, but acts like she is 90 and has being ditsy down pat. She cannot take care of herself. I had to get her out of the bath tub her first day here because her legs are too weak. She's had multiple strokes and has trouble walking and has diabetes, but refuses to eat right. I feel bad for her because I know that she is grieving (my parents were married 43 years), but on the other hand I am so mad because I have to deal with this. I have my own family and that keeps me busy, I don't have the time or energy to deal with someone that doesn't want to do anything to help herself. I've had a couple severe anxiety attacks this week because I am so overwelmed. Our relationship had been strained over the years and I have a brother that lived nearby them and just watched them do this to themselves and then passed my mom off to me. I never got a phone from any of them call unless they needed something or someone was in the hospital. Now I don't have a second to mom is clingy. She wants to go everywhere with my.... I literally can't go to the bathroom without her looking for me. She won't eat unless I make her meals and get her something to drink. I don't know what I'm going to do. I am really trying to take care of her and not blow up, but I just can't do this. Maybe I'm selfish or just a truly bad person...but this is going to put me over the edge. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read it. I'd love to know how everyone else deals with this.

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I saw this post earlier and absolutely could not answer it. I am 61. I cannot relate at all to your Mother. I feel so badly for her, because she has been asleep for most of her life. I agree with JessieBelle. She needs to develop herself. She could go to Community College, as a displaced housewife, and learn a lot. She can take aptitude tests. Once she starts thinking and doing something healthy, hopefully she will become the real her, deep inside. If she is able to do this, she may become very angry with herself and your father, but I think that's a good motivator for her. Please don't baby her, which I don't think you will do!
All the Best to YOU, wendeelou. :)xo
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You are not a bad person or a selfish person. You tried to find out what was going on with your parents and told to butt out. What else could you have done at the time?

Your mom is only 61. She could live another 30 years theoretically. I echo what Jessie above me said and suggest that you try to get your mom on Medicaid (not MEDICARE but Medicaid). If she is broke she should qualify but it's a process that could take months. But on Medicaid your mom may be eligible for an assisted living facility. An assisted living facility should be your goal for your mom. Go and visit some facilities, talk to the social workers there. They can help guide you along this process, that's what they're there for. Find one your mom likes (although she may refuse to like any of them) or one that you think would suit her best.

But while she's still with you see about getting power of attorney. You can download the forms on legalzoom and then sign them in the presence of a notary if you can't afford a lawyer. You will get much more accomplished if you have power of attorney.

If your mom won't eat unless you make her meals and there's no physical or mental reason why she can't make herself something to eat stop making her meals. I mean, if you're going to eat offer her something but from what you wrote there's no reason why you have to wait on her hand and foot.

And again, provided she's competent mentally (no dementia or Alzheimer's) I see no reason why you can't just ask her nicely to stop following you around, that it makes you nervous and you need some space.

Since your mom was co-dependent with your dad I'm sure you understand the concept of enabling. Don't enable your mom to participate in these clingy, needy behaviors. Say something about it! Set boundaries. Her behavior is not ok and you don't have to be held hostage to it. But be nice, have a conversation with her. Explain how her behavior makes you feel and ask that she please stop. If you haven't discussed this stuff with her she may not know that you are completely overwhelmed. I'm a big fan of putting things right out there on the table and discussing things until everyone involved understands. After you've done that, see what happens. If the behavior continues we can figure out other ways for you to cope while you try to get mom into an assisted living facility.
Helpful Answer (4)

Oh, my. I wish I could have written something before you moved your mother. It would have been Don't Do It! My first thought was when they said their money spending was none of your business, you should have told them that your mother being out of money now was also none of your business. We don't like to see our parents suffer, no matter how dysfunctional our families were, but we also don't want to transfer their suffering over to ourselves when we have done nothing to deserve it. Many people suffered enough as children of awful parents. They shouldn't have to suffer again as older adults.

Your mother is only 61. She needs encouragement to get up and start doing things for herself. It sounds like what she really needs is assisted living, which is what she is receiving right now, with you as the assistant. When you're taking care of a parent who was not there for you, it can bring up all the issues from the past. These issues are still really alive, because often you face them again when caring for the person. It can cause so much anger and resentment.

It would be perfect if she could afford assisted living, but I know she can't. I would work to see about getting her on Medicaid if she isn't on it already. She should also qualify for some short-term help from the SS administration. I believe she can collect 1-2 years benefits based on her husband. I don't know if this applies, since your father was on SSDI. It is something you can find out about. Since she is so weak, she may qualify for SSI or SSDI herself. And if she can't qualify, then why is she letting you do everything for her? She is either disabled or she isn't.

I would see what money is available to her through the state and federal government. Maybe it will be enough for her to get a place and pay for a part-time caregiver. Your mother made a messy bed for herself and you shouldn't feel obligated to lay in it with her. There are too many other options for her care that don't require destroying your own life.

Good luck to you. I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes it helps to slam doors and hit pillows -- usually not, though. It is better to try to work it out so its livable.
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