Why do I feel so resistant to the needs of my elderly mother as a caregiver? Ever since my stepfather passed away my mother has come to rely on me and my husband more than I would like. I wish I did not feel this way considering I always enjoyed tending to the needs of my children. I am a empty nester now and love my freedom and independence. The thought of taking on the responsibility of my mother at this stage of my life makes me feel I am losing the life I wanted when my children became adults. I am not resistent to helping her, just to becoming her caregiver. She has a very emotionally needy codependent personality.

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You've gotten some great advice here. What you feel is natural. You've finally gotten to the stage of having an empty nest. You enjoy your independence. Your mom sounds like she is acting more needy than she really is, which doesn't bode well for the future.

Don't feel guilty. You'll need to help her make decisions as she ages, but she sounds like a prime candidate for assisted living. In such an environment, she'd have the social outlet she needs and wouldn't just depend on you for that part of her life.

As ifnorotic said, cargiving is "easy to get into but hard to get out of."
Also, it is true that becoming the caregiver changes your relationship forever. If she were in assisted living with friends and activities, you could still be her daughter without so much day to day caregiving - at least for now.
Take care of yourself,
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Why do you feel this way? Because you are sane. Who in their right mind wants to take on this burden, and a burden it most certainly is. Do what you have to do, but don't feel guilty about it. You owe her nothing. None of us do. We do it because either we have great hearts, too much guilt or aren't that bright. I'm still trying to figure out which category I belong in.
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If you mean that you don't want your mom to move in with you, or be totally dependent upon you for her care, I totally agree! At least in my mom's case, it is FAR FAR better for her to be in an independent living facility where she gets meals, exercise, intellectual stimulation and a little "push" to be more independent. when she lived alone at home, she was emotionally needy, frightened and isolated. The change in her has been remarkable; I highly recommend it.
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We must share the same mother! My mother is the very same way. Unfortunately, not all of us have the money to place our parents in assisted living and must look to the state for help.
My mother has been an emotional drain my entire life. She has mental health needs that make her emotionally unstable. I don't know how many times she's had to live with me because she had no where else to go.
I have already talked with my mother and told her that she could no longer stay with me; it's entirely too taxing on me and my family.
I too am an empty nester and just placed my father in a nursing facility. We are tired, my husband suffers from PTSD and severe depression and we also care for our grand daughter 4 days out of 5. We love having her around, but we need our time too, thus a 3 day weekend. Next year she will be headed to preschool.
It's not wrong to feel this way AT ALL. You just need to figure out what's best for both of you and stick to the plan.
A body can only take so much before you the caregiver needs caring for themselves. Don't place yourself in such a position.
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My first question, does your mom have dementia or anything similar?

Either way, you will lose your life if you take her into your home and you have every right to fear it. It is a real fear. But the fear of guilt can often outweigh the fear of losing your freedom. It is a horrible place to be.

I moved mom in with me but it was a result of strokes and dementia (crazy talk). I often think I could take care of her needs if she were in her right mind, but the dementia (chronic repeating and disorganized thoughts) is eating me up.

My mom is with my sister right now to give me a break. I dread her return and I have always been close to her but caring for her is a slow death for me.

Absolutely NO FREEDOM. You cannot just get up and run to the store--you have to make sure someone is on duty and when you do go to the store (just one example of trying to leave the house), you are sick with worry. The resentment and guilt associated with resentment will kill you sooner rather than later. If my mom were in her right mind (I keep thinking this would make a difference but I am really not sure), I might be able to survive it, but when your mom is sick and you live with it day in and day out...24 hours, 7 days a week, you see yourself in your old age every day, all day, and you believe that this will be you some day. It is not healthy. It is undoubtedly unhealthy and then you cannot be there for your family the way you once were. You start to hate yourself because you see what it is doing to them and then you will hate your mother because she is making your family unhappy.

My sister and I do not see eye to eye on most things in caring for mom, BUT, I felt like I was sinking into a dark hole. I had to have help. I tried to bring people into my home and pay them but my mom hated is either the dementia or she is just hateful and I never saw it growing up.

I want to tell you to not do it from the bottom of my heart, but that is easy for me to say--I am giving you advice I did not give myself. If you do not have help, I strongly suggest that you do not take this on.
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Nobody previously answered why I resent having to be the caregiver.. that is that my relationship to my folks changed!... going from that of a DAUGHTER to that of the CAREGIVER while my siblings remained their children. It wasn't fair! I am not an only child, but may as well be since my sisters only call or come at special times and do not give me a break even though I have asked for help and a "day off." You must do what is best for ALL. It is much easier to do the best thing FIRST even if you dont feel comfortable with the decision. For me, caregiving is the right thing, even though it is a tough thing. Feeling resentful is a natural part of caregiving. Taking care of my kids was not as difficult as taking care of my folks because being a mother was "natural." Being a caregiver to parents or spouse is not in our picture album of life because they never get better. They used to say "Old age isn't for sissies!".. well neither is caregiving! Do the best for everybody!
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Something I never realized until too late was this: Caregiving is easy to get into, and nearly impossible to end. And if it ends in a nursing home or assisted living, you will likely get the blame from some people. It's a thankless, difficult job that I feel most people don't understand.
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If you already feel this way before she moves in, then please don't take her into your home. If you are dreading it now, and she is still not living with you, imagine your life while she is there. I regret so much that I "allowed" my father in law to live with us, even though for months and months before hand I kept asking my husband for us to please make other arrangements. Now he is here, has ruined my home life, destroyed the family connection, and is hell bent on destroying my marriage, and I am beyond angry and resentful at how much I have lost because of him moving into my home. Nobody is happy, least of all him. Don't do it: to your husband, to your marriage, to your mom ... but most importantly, don't do it to yourself. Rather make the tough decision up front, than have everything destroyed and then STILL have to make the tough decisions.
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Debralee, There is nothing wrong with you not wanting to take care of your mother and feeling this way you should not become her caregiver. If you feel you can , you might help her to set up a caregiving situation that meets her needs. If this is too much, you might hire a geriatric care manager to take over the management of her care.

This is not being selfish but rather brave. Caregiving is very difficult even in the best circumstances. By acknowledging your limitations and the limitations of your relationship with your mother you can find solutions that work for both of you.
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Don't do it! It will change your life and not in a positive way. I brought my mother into my home over two years ago. There has not been a day that I haven't regretted it. She is mean and unappreciative beyond belief! I have no help from siblings or any family members which has caused a lot of resentment. Feel no guilt, Do what is best for you. Caregiving is not my problem. I was a caregiver to my husband. I had no problem {because of the type of person he was). As Dunwoody said, "We owe our parents nothing". My son owes me nothing. What I do for him I do as a loving mother-not for payback down the road. I know that there will come a time when I will need his help. Keeping this in mind I want his help out of love-not obligation. No one has the right to treat another person unkindly and expect that person to just for-get and come to his/her rescue. Do what you have to do for you.
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