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I am 64 years old and having been living with her for seven years after my husband passed away and left me in debt. She doesn't drive but expects me to get her out at least three times a week even though she is on a walker and can barely stand for five minutes without having to sit down. She is able to do little things around the house but refuses to because she thinks she is the center of the universe and everyone, especially me should cater to her every whim. I have brought up the subject of an Assisted Living arrangement which would certainly give me my life back and mentioned she would have other people her age to talk to. Her answer to that was " The only way I'm leaving this house is in a body bag!!" How do you react to that??? I am so stressed, depressed, angry and cannot sleep through the night anymore because of her constant nagging the demands she puts on me.

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What I found with my own parents I had enabled them to continue on with their own lifestyle while needing to change my own. If only I would have known about this forum seven years ago, I would have done soooo many things differently.

My parents [who were in their 90's] had stopped driving but expected me to pick up where they had left off. No problem.... until I found out they liked getting out of the house 3 times a day. Kinda hard for me to do while I was working full-time, so that meant I had use to all of my vacations days, sick days, and days without pay. Eventually I had to tell them only Saturday afternoon, and only one grocery store, not 3 or 4 because one store had a sale on soup, another a sale on ice cream, etc.

Another thing happens, you once again become "the child" and your Mom "the parent" and what she says goes. They are in denial that you, yourself, are a senior citizen with your own age decline, aches and pains. Even waving my Medicare card and AARP card in front of my parents didn't change their thinking.

My Mom also refused senior living as she felt she and Dad could still manage on their own... she died trying to prove herself right. Dad quickly moved into senior living and loves being there. The house was too much work for him.

Have Mom visit some of the Assisted Living places... I know, easier said then done... many offer free lunch and a tour, they understand how stubborn an elder can be, so the Staff will fuss over your Mom... and will fuss over her even after she moves in :)

If Mom says again "The only way I'm leaving this house is in a body bag!!", ask her what color would she like that bag :P
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What you seem to have forgotten is that this situation is in your control. She can decide that she won't leave the house except in a body bag...but you have the ability to choose not to be her caregiver. If she wants to stay at home, that's fine...she needs to hire help in order to do so. I think you may be so deep in this situation that you don't see that you don't have to be her caregiver. You did this in the beginning probably because it helped you financially and she was much healthier. Things have changed. You cannot do this alone any more. So her options are, hire help, or go to a facility. You being the 24-7 caregiver is off the table.

No is a complete sentence.

Angel
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I've seen it said here and have personally experienced it - seems many of our elderly loved ones with dementia - and some without, get to a point where all they care about is their own existence and what you must do to facilitate and enhance it - keep it as they want it - "independence" at any cost - to you! They either can't see or don't care how it is effecting you and the toll it's taking. If this is sounding familar, the only one who is going to save you - is you.
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After I wrote this I realized that many elders with dementia begin thinking of their family caregivers as domestic employees instead of their children. When they talk about leaving something in the will, it is like saying that they'll pay us for our time if they don't spend it first. :-)
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Why don't you move out? If she is independent - no reason for you to stay. Sometimes that will force the issue. You too deserve to have a life.
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Just a thought on the inheritance....she is likely past the point of competence and any lawyer worth his salt would not change her will with her deteriorated capability. This may make you more sure of your decision. Let her try to change her will, you can challenge it.

Angel
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I might try to hang in there as long as possible. Maybe, she will grow a little more mellow with age. If she is incompetent or becomes incompetent as Angelkw says, she won't be able to change the Will. A red flag goes up with the Courts when a person who is very old changes their Will disinheriting the natural heirs.
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I am in a similar situation and kind of stuck because I will inherit the home - but not if I am not living in it ( if they have to go into a nursing home). I don't own a house myself. I also have bad health and my parents do, like JessieBelle's, treat me like an employee. EVERY little thing requires my attention. My aunt says that they are spoiled. The only way that I got them to agree to put some money in a bank account ( which is maybe $100 a month for all the care) was to tell them that if they thought so little of me that they could simply get another caregiver.
My mother fusses to high heaven if I don't jump and drive her to the store at the drop of a hat (and she can barely walk) She told me that my sibling - the GOOD child - would do it, so I relayed the message and let her go with the good child to get her makeup ( she buys new lipstick every other week - and then leaves the top off so it melts) The good child did not enjoy the trip, but seems to be able to placate her better than I can. When you only deal with someone about two hours a week, it's a lot easier to have patience. I mentioned that perhaps she should move in with them, and that was not acceptable. In other words, the good child would have a different lifestyle , than they are accustomed to, why not just let ME deal with all the crap. My wants and needs do not matter.

The only way to get her into assisted living is to walk out. My father has said the same thing about being 'carried out' of the house, even though it is killing me trying to simply maintain it. One of my aunts hated her son until her dying day because he put her into a nursing home. His marriage was on the rocks because of his mother. It's sad that you have to hit people over the head to get some common sense and courtesy out of them. Especially when they are related to you.
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I feel for all of you. I am in the same situation. My mother was always narcissistic and dementia has made her a lot worse at hiding it. I am constantly irritated with her but I try to hide it but I still feel guilty. I took a part time job to try to have a reason to live and she complains whenever I leave the house. When I bring her food after work she says how great it is when I'm home, but it's really the food!!!
I have no answers as I wish she would realize how she is taking my last years away from me but I am encouraged to hear that I'm not the only one living with someone so self-obsessed. Good Luck to all of you, hopefully there is a special place in heaven for us all...
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It makes me sad and then glad to see so many other people with similar situations. I don't feel so alone, but it makes me realize that getting old just makes a person bitter, needy and confrontational. I know they hate to lose their independence and rely on another person for the little things that they use to be able to handle and didn't give much thought to. Now I see that even having a sensible conversation takes such a toll on me and I know now that you other caregivers have it much worse that I do. God Bless us all!! We definitely need all the prayers for strength and peace of mind that we can get!!!
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