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My mom lives alone and has totaled 2 cars within 7 months of each other so she's not driving anymore. 2 years ago I wouldn't take her to get another car because both accidents were her fault and very serious. She's hard of hearing and her reaction time is very slow even though she's only 79. She moves like she's 90. She is also getting very forgetful and doesn't remember what street we're on sometimes. I've been taking her to all of her doctors appointments, shopping, errands, picking up prescriptions, taking her for her weekly hair appointments, etc. I am a full time student and have 2 daughters and a husband. My husband owns his own business and my kids play sports and take music lessons. My studies are difficult and take up most of my free time. I have tried to ask her to use a service to help out at least few times a month with some of these errands for when I can't get to it. She refuses even though she has plenty of money. When I asked her why, she simply said because I don't want to or I don't want to spend the money. I've tried to explain to her that I can't do all of it. There have been times where I wasn't able to get to her for a week and she'd rather have no food in the house and starve then pay for someone to help out. I cannot afford to pay for it because I lost my job last year....The reason I'm back in school. She doesn't have any major health issues but is very stubborn and difficult to deal with. In addition to being very selfish. Often times, she asks for things that are so inconvenient and out of the way and I'm not sure why she does it. I've tried everything to pointing out the benefits to her....to telling her how stressed out I am trying to have enough time for everything. My house hasn't been fully cleaned in a month. I even mentioned looking into assisted living so she could have a social life and be taken care of. She turned it down flat out. Wouldn't even research it. Had one reason after another why she didn't want to even look. I'm stressed out and feel guilty when I have to tell her no. She has no friends because she refused to go to a senior center for social activities. She says she's happy with where she is living and being alone, but yet complains to everyone she sees how I won't let her drive and she's stuck in the house all the time. She complains about how bad it is for her to have to depend on me to take her places. I think she's being difficult because she blames me for taking her car away and feels that I should shoulder the responsibility. One time I got so upset with her that I told her to just go and get a car. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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i enlisted my father-in-laws dr to tell him he could no longer drive. when it came time to tell my mother, my brother and i took her car and sold it. she was mad for a year or so and told me that my brother and i ruined her life-oh well, better that than kill someone else in the process. my brother told her he could not live with HIMSELF if she happened to injure someone knowing that he could have done something about it. If she is so selfish about her money, remind her that if she injures someone in her next accident, she won't have to worry-they will take all she has. believe me, i went thru all the guilt and am now comfortable with our decisions. it was not easy, especially since my sister sided with my mother and told her all the time. i would do all i could to get her license away.
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I think that it is cowardly and irresponsible of medical professionals not to address this issue. When my husband was diagnosed with dementia his doctor said sympathetically but firmly, "I have to report this diagnosis to the state, and they will cancel your driver's license." And that is what happened. To leave it to family members causes unnecessary risk and trauma.

But, stepping down from that soap box, since a doctor hasn't done it, you're it. Notify the department that issues licenses of your concerns and suggest she be asked to take the written and behind-the-wheel tests. Think of how you would feel if you do nothing and next week she hits a mother pushing a stroller across the street. This risk is not just about her, as of course you know.

If you think it would do any good, you might try enlisting her doctor in this cause as well.

Good luck to you in this very difficult task.
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So my Mom just called me and said she went out and bought a car. She got tired of waiting for people to drive her places. What a bad move! She hasn't driven in almost 3 years. I think the person that took her is an idiot! I wish they would re-test her driving skills. This is bad...really, really bad. My husband said at least now I don't have to worry about getting her around....I'd rather that ...than worry about her getting killed or killing someone else. I'm so upset right now....I can't even type. She should have went with a service rather than drive herself. I told her she's an adult and I can't tell her what to do, but not to call me if she gets into an accident. I showed up on the scene of her last two accidents where she totaled her cars and it was very traumatizing for me. She had to be cut out of the car the first time. Any more advice?
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My boundaries have been set, I told Mom she needs help 24/7, no negotiation allowed, I will not discuss her cutting back on the help. This is her decision if she chooses not to have someone at night, she doesn't want to pay for people to stay at nighttime. I now calmly respond to Mom, "that's your choice, whatever you feel comfortable with." I used to overreact, but not anymore. It doesn't make me feel less guilty, but I have established with Mom that my life will also continue.
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Lisa, Just disregard the negative post. There are good parents and bad parents. Just because you Mom is a problem does not mean you have to throw yourself under the bus and be a martyr for her. Listen to the other 99% of information you have received and things will be better for you. Take care.
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Your Mom sounds like mine. Would we let our kids get away with this behavior? She doesn't want to spend the money but she would have you kill yourself for her. I suspect she has always gotten her way. Just say no. If she runs out of food, oh well, if she runs out of whatever she needs, oh well. She will get the picture. It is a test of wills with your Mom. Mine has done the same things in different ways, she thinks she has won. But, she has not. I will do only what I feel like and she will pay for the rest or do without. These people do not care about your feelings, so protect yourself from them and their demands.
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Judy, did you read the same post I read? The one at the top of the thread? Lisa doesn't live with her mother -- her mother lives alone. Her mother is in good health and can do many things for herself. She just can't drive. Her mother is not "helpless" and does not have to depend on her daughter as much as she does. She has other resources she refuses to use.

Lisa is trying to look at all her responsibilities, to her husband, to her kids, to her future ability to support herself, and to her mother.

Maybe you are responding to some other post.
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sounds to me the one with the problem,/ issue/complaint is you. Your mother is helpless. she depends on you. Perhaps you should move out until you are able to take on the responsibility. Good luck.
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Lisa, was the timing great or what... and isn't it amazing how she stayed calm.... she may try to throw a few things in there just to see if you mean it, but can't tell you how proud I am of you for following thru.....and sometimes when it is the right time to do something, everything just falls into place....Let us know how things are going, and you will be in my prayers about this and your therapy..... hugs to you...
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I've been reading everyone's comments and I wanted to thank all of you for opening my eyes. You are all so right. I'm going to stop feeling guilty. You would be proud of me. I had a talk with my Mom today and set boundaries of what I'm willing to do and what I simply cannot do any longer. I told her that if she needed help finding outside help, I would get her in contact with them. I think she might have known this was coming. She didn't argue with me and just said she needs to think about what she's going to do and make some decisions. I also just found out that I have a bulging disc in my lower back that is pinching nerves down both my legs. This will require therapy every other day for the next month or so. It's been extremely painful. I explained to this to her as well. I'm going to stick to my guns so she will have no choice but to get outside help. I really have no choice now because I'm just stretched way to thin. Again, thank you for your comments and advice. I'm glad I posted my question. It has helped me tremendously.
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I think that guilt serves very useful functions in society. I'm not among those who think we'd be better off without it. I don't think there is too much guilt in the world -- I think it is distributed incorrectly. Those who do wicked things should feel guilty and should stop and should repent! Hey, no more insider trading stuff that ultimately costs all investors, eh?

BUT people who are doing their utmost to do good, who have no evil intentions, and who are not careless about who gets hurt by their actions should stop hogging up all the guilt. Leave that for the insider traders and muggers.

You feel guilty for saying No to a parent, even when saying No is what is best for them, for you, and for your whole family? What kind of logic is that? I don't think that you need your guilt mechanism removed, but it sure as heck needs a tune-up! Guilt is for when you do bad things, or contemplate doing bad things. It is designed to help ensure you don't do them or don't do them again. But when you are trying very hard to do good things and then you feel guilty about it, that messes up the whole guilt system. If you are going to feel guilty for doing good things, heck, you might as well go ahead and do bad things -- do you see what I mean.

First get your guilt meter adjusted, then set boundaries. :) And good luck!
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I second Lilliput's advice. Until you set boundaries in place, you will be at your Mother's beck and call. Your own family and you individually will suffer.

Many elderly people have trouble with paying today's rates for services such as errands, household help, etc. They will find every excuse why they can't or won't. The child who always comes running enables the parent to avoid other options. Remember too that the elderly often become demanding somewhat like a toddler.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but this could go on for years unless you set clear boundaries on your abilities and availability to help. Your lack of availability will set the stage for other options. Good luck. I've been in your spot and it's not fun.
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I am on the other end of this.. I AM the paid caregiver and she still runs her family into the ground.... I watch these dynamics and like Jeanne, just do not understand why the kids contiune to run and fetch.... makes me nuts.... as her caregiver I have had to set boundries with her , and of course she got mad, I just look at like if she is going to be mad all the time anyway, what difference does it make....I may as well say what I will do and not do and in some instances just do what needs to be done...I wouldn't put up with this from my own parents, and just because I am being paid does not mean she owns me......
If this helps any, I do see that when the kids put thier foot down, or get upset with her, they always go back to old behaviours...... so unless you really think things thru, about the changes YOU need, and STICK to it, nothing will change... it seems to be the only power they think they have....I don't even get into the "why's " of it anymore, just do what I think is best... I stay in communication with the kids, so they always know what is going on, things I have refused to do, and things I insist on doing... the worse that has happened is she gets mad.... better her than me..... I know what I am doing, have been at this for many years.... I don't need a "director" wailing in the background..... but if you do get outside help, please take the time to explain how she is before hand... some can handle it, some can't.... but mine has been told if I don't work out they are going into a NH... she doesn't want that... she isn't going to change, but I do not have to jump when she says "froggy" either..... so the family will just be her verbal punching bag until they grow some b***s , but I will not put up with it....
So good luck in finding that place inside to give you the strength to do what ever it takes to tell her no... yeah you might feel guilty, but everytime you tell her no , it gets easier..... believe me, the lady I take care of would under no circumstances have given up HER life to do what she expects from otthers... and I know that guilt is not love, so you have to ask yourself would you do this for anyone else out of GUILT..... probably not.... hugs to you, and let us know how things are going...
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I can't say I know how you feel, because my mother is a less forceful personality. What Lilliput says makes sense to me.

I've read other posts like this, so I suppose it must be common. The part about this that I don't understand is when you (any of you with this problem) say "My mother insists: or "She won't accept that," or "My mother won't pay for help," etc.

I suppose when we were 9 our mothers could insist. But as adults, how can our parents "make" us do anything without our cooperation and permission? Is Mother going to ground you if you don't do what she says? If she'd rather go without food in the house than pay for some help, she can go without food in the house. How long do you really think that would last? She wants things that are inconvenient and out of the way, perhaps to "punish" you that she can't drive, and you go fetch them because ...?? She complains to others that you won't let her drive and that bothers you because ...?? (Do you think there are many people who can't see through that?) She refuses to participate in social activities and then complains that she is lonely and this is your problem because ...??

I just don't understand the hold some parents seem to have over their adult children. I can't imagine how my mother could "insist" that I do something I didn't want to do.

Love your mother. Continue to help her in reasonable ways. But it sounds like setting some boundaries would be a real good idea.

You are not the reason she is not driving. Her failing reaxtion time and memory are the reason she can't drive. You do not "owe" it to her to run all her errands whenever she wants them done, let alone ones that are designed to be inconvenient to you.
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Your instincts are correct on all points. When my Mom first moved near us I literally did everything for her. I treated her as a guest rather than another adult who is capable of acting appropriately. We have "enabled" our Mom to get greedy with our time, make us their only social contact, and blackmail us into responding when we try to draw the line. It took me a long time to figure that out and an even longer tto try and set boundaries. If your Mom has the money, she should be paying for her care - the more you do, the less respect she will have for you. Switch your role to that of a "care manager" that way the guilt trips will not effect you.
First, your Mom needs paid in-home care or an ALF (which I think would be better for her.) Get a recommendation for a few ALFs in the area and gather information. Speak directly to the directors and have a spread sheet with questions about the care they offer (not all offer the same things and if they promise you the moon, get it in writing.) Then approach your Mom calmly and when she is receptive. Tell her again that you are stretched thin and can no longer provide her all the services that you have been. Give her two choices: in-home care for housekeeping, errands, appts., personal care or an ALF. Then stick to it. When she calls, set a date to talk about her decision. (Also, in the meantime, are your children old enough to drive and help you out? They should...it is a good experience for their and your future.)
Do you have her financial POA and pay bills for her? Perhaps you could contact a local caregiving agency and make an appt. to see them alone. Explain the situation and your mother's personality because they usually try to match the caregiver to the client. I usually prefer older caregivers - the 20-somethings just do not have enough life experience and need to be "trained." The company I first used was great. The owner came out to meet Mom and found the perfect person for her. After a few appts., Mom got used to her and look forward to her visits. It gave me a few hours a week to catch my breath.
At some point in everyone's future we will have to get used to someone other than family helping with our care. The sooner your Mom gets used to the idea the easier it will be for her and you.
Please do not wait any longer before you take action.
good luck
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