Caring for VERY depressed mother, history of alcoholism and extreme dysfunctional relationships, and now dementia. Advice?

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Hello everyone! I found this forum yesterday and I'm glad to be here, it is nice to see that I'm not alone in this.

I am 49 and I live with my husband and nine year old son. My mom is 86 and living alone in an apartment nearby. Both my parents were alcoholics, my dad died from alcoholism in 1984 when I was 19. My mom quit drinking a year later (for which I give her tremendous credit!) but she has been severely depressed her entire life. My parents had a horrible relationship and my childhood was filled with screaming, fights, and suicide threats. Mom attempted suicide when I was 13, and has threatened it many, many times ever since.

My mom is very passive aggressive and demands lots of attention. She has the emotional maturity level of a four year old. Her parents were cold and uncaring, and she has never gotten over this, nor has she even tried (despite years of counseling). She put me in the parental role very early in my life, and it remains this way today. She even calls me "mommy" at times.

Mom cannot maintain a relationship with anyone, she's totally closed off. She will make a new friend, and within three weeks she finds a flaw with that person and ends the relationship. In the case where she doesn't end the friendship, her selfish demeanor turns the person off and it ends anyway. Then she turns back to me and tells me how lonely she is and how she wants to die. She makes this kind of comment in front of my nine year old.

Mom is in good physical health but recently she has developed dementia. We hired a caregiver for her, someone to come to her house twice per week to help with tasks and keep her company. As usual, after about three weeks mom was tired of having this person come in and asked us to cancel the service. The very next day, she again called me to say how lonely and depressed she was, and asked to come over. When she comes over here, she only talks about her depressing childhood. Often she will bring photos. She typically doesn't even ask about anyone else, including her grandson, my nine year old.

When mom comes in the house, her negativity is like an enormous, smothering black cloud. I count my heartbeats until she leaves. After she leaves, I feel tremendous guilt and sadness. There is nothing I can do to improve her mood, yet the childish part of me still hopes somehow I can do something. It is up to her to find a shred of happiness, but she refuses, and now that she is getting dementia, I fear she can never have that "aha" moment. This leaves me so terribly sad and if affects my family too.

Mom is on Paxil and Klonopin, and just got Buspar too (after insisting to the doctor that she is STILL depressed/anxious). She can't keep these medicines straight and often takes too many or just lets them run out over the weekend when she can't get a refill quickly. Then she makes one of her crazy visits or phone calls to my house.

I quite literally cannot stand her anymore. I'm engulfed with guilt and sadness but I can't stand the sight of her or bear the sound of her voice. She won't let us do anything for her (hire help). Yet she insists on continuing to vomit negativity over us all. Ironically, despite the suicide threats and spoken desire to die, she still asserts that she wants to live to be 100, and she is careful about what she buys in the grocery store, making sure the ingredients are healthy.

She is a walking conundrum and I am a mess. Advice? Thanks so much if you've read this far! I'm glad to have found this forum.

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Robin, when adults truly cannot care for themselves, they sometimes need people to make decisions for them and care for them. Is it always officially recognized when it needs to be? No, but someone should probably try. Are there time when adults are legally competent but still make terrible decisions? Of course - but they have no right to force others to collaborate with those decisions or to endure their effects without limit.
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Well she is an adult. And now she has copd. She says she is lising her hearing and memory
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Try your Area Agency on Aging. I guess your mom only knew the police and not the APS hotline number, or you would have met a social worker rather than a police officer when she complained of being beaten up by you. Bear in mind, she may believe these things happened (versus just trying to be mean and hurtful) as if she wants to stay home, her turning you in for abuse would hardly accomplish that. I would think her disability is more than her bladder. And how is she still managing to get alcohol?
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Robin why would you want to care for her? She sounds like a very difficult person to deal with. Find employment for yourself, take care of yourself, while your skills are still fresh. Check with unemployment office in your area they do all sorts of free training. There is a program through the Veterans Administration if she or her husband were vets. In some states Medicaid will pay a family caregiver a small stipend, I have heard about $1,000.00 a month. I do not know if that is actually correct. If she has resources she could pay you, but she woyld become an employer with all the financial responsibilities that an employer carries for taxes disability, medicare, workman's comp, the list goes on.
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Can i get a check from dissbility for taking care of her. I had to quit my jobs
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No help. She needs a rehab for mental and alcohiluc depresdion. She gets disability for her bladder. She makes upthings. I even had cops come to me saying they got a call i was beating her on x mas eve once. Not true. But she has made up some very very hurtful lies and is aeful
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Ive never heard of them. Thank u. I calked around last night. Ni hel
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Robin, have you called APS (adult protective services) and have they not been of any help - they might see her as unable to care for herself, more so than the police? It sounds like too much for one caregiver to handle and maybe at this point, she does not have an unlimited right to refuse other help....you might have options for getting guardianship, for example.
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I read your post and it hit home. My mother has Alzheimer's and dimentia in family she wont bsthe use bsthroom on hersrlf yells and never sleeps longer than 20 minute intervals i know i should b there but i left a week ago and cant bring myself to go back i csll her negativr nancy or debbie downer all she talks about is bad and the lies she is only 62 and hasnt been off the couch for three years the more i help the worse she gets she having a poor me party and everyone but me falls for ut and they look at me like a hesrtless devil i cant get no help the police have drove her to pkaces several tines only to b released three days later
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Please have compassion and not guilt for her - you are doing your best as is she.

Get to a 12 step ACOA meeting and work the steps.

Your mother is locked in her own hell and deserves help, too. Please get her to therapy ASAP.

Please do not turn your back on her - there is a chance for peace through compassion and family recovery. It did not get this way overnight and takes time to heal.
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