Am I also responsible for my mom's entertainment?

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MY 86 YR OLD MOM LIVES ALONE IN SENIOR VILLA NEAR ME. SHE HAS MACULAR DEGENERATION BUT RELATIVELY HEALTHY CONSIDERING. I TAKE CARE OF ALL THE USUAL THINGS..SHOPPING,CLEANING,DR APPTS,ETC..BUT SHE WANTS TO BE ENTERTAINED TOO, DAILY, OR SHES SO BORED. I ALSO HAVE A SON IN A WHEELCHAIR THAT I CONSIDER MY PRIORITY. SHE HAS A NEGATIVE PERSONALITY AND WE HAVE NEVER BEEN CLOSE. (I AM TOO MUCH LIKE MY FATHER, WHO LEFT HER 50 YRS AGO AND SHE HAS NEVER FORGIVEN HIM). FEELING GUILTY THAT I HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME WANTING TO BE AROUND HER! I HAVE TRIED TO GET HER INVOLVED IN CHURCH AND OTHER ACTIVITIES BUT SHE FINDS FAULT WITH EVERYTHING. ANY SUGGESTIONS???!

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In short, you are not responsible for her entertainment in addition to all the other activities you do for her. You are only one person and need to have a life of your own (or go nuts, just ask me). There are senior groups everywhere that she can get involved in and needs to be around people of her own age group. If she refuses to participate, don't feel guilty about it. It's not your responsibility to control her reactions and choices. It's hers. (This is one of the areas where caregiveing is very hard on the caregiver.)
I had the same problem with my Mother. She expected me to provide everything for her, and no one can do this, no one. It takes a team of people like the teams found in a good caregiving facility, independent living, assisted living, whatever. But, I tried to do all for a while because it was her wish to stay in her own home until the end. But it just wore me out and badly affected my health. When she fell, and I couldn't get her back up and had to call 911 have two burly guys pick her up, I knew the change point had been reached. She now won't be able to stay in her home as she wanted--mainly because she would not do her exercises to keep her physical abilities up so she can function unless I stood right there every day and did all the exercises with her. This is all about just wanting constant attention. Can't do it! Not with all the other necessary duties I have to do to take care of her. So, when she was transferred to a rehab facility, instead of feeling guilty for not being able to keep her at home as she wished, I was SO RELIEVED! She has physical therapy, meals in the dining room with other seniors, all kinds of activities, movies, etc, and she is happier (but doesn't realize it yet). This is the kind of stimulating environment that she needs. But, she still is focused on "when will I be able to go home?"
I mention this because I'm in tatters and now have time to build myself back up to good health (which I had before starting caregiving) because I don't want you to allow yourself to get to this miserable point.
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Well be thankful she is living in a senior villa near you and not with you! Get her involved with a senior group, yes they have people who have macular degeneration, wheelchair bound, all sorts of issues, but they get out of the house and bitch together, it is amazing how it helps them. She'll get hot meals, have some senior activities, sometimes they take trips. Look into this, if she is entertained by other activities she won't rely on you to be her full focus. So to answer your question, yes make sure she is entertained so you will be sane.
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OMG - I have one of those mothers! I have a couple of caregivers/companions to entertain her, but it's always whine whine whine ... never enough ... I am setting limits bc she is an empty vessel and no reason she should drain even more out of me. Of course, I still overdo it for her, but I am learning ...
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I just want to remind everyone that guilt is anger turned inward. It is the minds reaction to what its feels in inappropriate anger towards someone or something that you are doing. It does not mean that you are or have done something wrong it is just a reaction of the mind. Understanding this is a way to free us of the guilt and understand that it is OK to feel relieved. You need only to do the best that you can do and to make sure that you take care of you first. If you do not take care of you, then you will not be there to take care of anyone else. Take care and be good to yourselves.
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We are caregivers. Our first priority is keep our dependent safe, clean and fed. We are NOT responsible for their amusement. I do the necessary for my Mom as best as I can, and if she has a fun day out every so often, that's a bonus! Let's be realistic. We also need to care for us.
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Linda -- yes, please consider Madeaa's suggestions. I have some similar parallels to your descriptions. If your mother can live on her own in a Senior Village, this is a good start. Please re-check the sources of "entertainment" at the villa and ask for help from Senior Support Groups in your area. Don't give up at the first refusal by her. If she is "bored" sometimes, but is safe and cared for, then you are doing a good job -- please do not be hard on yourself.

Sometimes, for our own sanity and to keep our focus for many responsibilities, we have to turn a "deaf ear" to minor complaints, like "boredom."

"Madeaa" your comment about them "getting out of the house to bitch together" cracked me up. Thanks, I needed that chuckle.
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THANK YOU ALL FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT. UNFORTUNATELY HER VILLAS DO NOT HAVE SOCIAL ACTIVITIES. BUT THERE IS A SENIOR CENTER THAT HAS BINGO AND LUNCH..SHE WENT ONCE, DIDN'T LIKE THE "OLD" PEOPLE THERE AND HATED THE FOOD! LOL. SHE IS OBSESSED WITH MY LIFE AND THINKS SHE SHOULD BE INVITED TO EVERYTHING I DO. SO ABOUT ONCE A WEEK I WILL BRING HER TO MY HOUSE FOR DINNER. BUT SHE WANTS ME TO SIT WITH HER. BUT THATS A CHALLENGE SINCE SHE ONLY TALKS ABOUT ALL THE BAD THINGS SHE REMEMBERS..NEVER ADMITS TO A HAPPY TIME! IF I CONFRONT HER, SHE GETS ALL "BUTT HURT" AND POUTS! LORD PLEASE GIVE ME STRENGTH..I DON'T WANT TO FEEL GUILTY WHEN SHES GONE, FOR GOOD.
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Hi Linda - Thanks for telling how u are doing!!! My Mom used to be that way too. I had to lay it on the line with her. I said "I am a ve,ry very busy person trying to juggle a lot here so ur just going to have to understand if I can't spend a lot of time with you. Also, I won't pick u up for church anymore if you don't STOP telling how great my useless other siblings are and complain about Dad nonstop!!!" I told her to call my sister and complain to her because she was killing me. What I'm saying is you have to lay the law down. You call the shots. Tell her won't pick her up from the Villa anymore if she doesn't change her attitude around you. When she's on the couch talking about all the negative things say to her, STOP with all the negative talk Mom or you can't come here again. See how that goes!!! and Let her pout!!! Who cares??!! She'll get over it and you'll have made a little bit of progress that day. That's one angle.

I also know that I cannot change my Mom. What I CAN change is how I process all the shit she puts on my plate. It's what I can control. And If I can just not absorb all her shit and complaining, I'll have a better day. It's kind of a survival technique and easier said than done. But if you focus, you can do it. Keep us posted and yes, pray from STRENGTH!!

xo
-SS
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MOM is just like yours except she lives with me and I can't escape. Lol. I am it. I have a companion who comes three days a week and that has helped some. My husband and I can at v least go somewhere. She really can't go anywhere without close supervision but I figure she can see, read, do puzzles, watch TV, watch the birds at the bird feeder. Lots of things, but she sits like a bump on a log if I don't suggest things for her to do. I don't even like her which is sad and very hard to vote with day in and day out. My life want supposed to be like this at 64. I'm trying to make the best of it, though. So, I get it. I really do.
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Linda - for four years now I have done EVERYTHING for both my Mom and Dad, who live down the road AND DON'T DRIVE (Dad actually in NH now), just like you. I was errand girl, exhausted and resentful and then my negative, self-medicating mother would complain, "I'd like to go out to dinner or shopping.Why can't we do that more often?!" I would think, I can't possibly be the entertainment committee too!!!! Pa-lease!!! With no help from either sibling. My mother has got involved in a social group here in town and met friends at church. She's doing better keeping busy. And I'm doing better saying no, I can't do that for you right now.

Stay strong. Don't feel guilty. Really.

xo
-SS
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