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My mother and I were always close. However, in the past few years, she had a history of needing to go to the emergency eoom regularly. This caused a great deal of trouble for me professionally because I am a trial attorney. However, I just dealt with the backlash and took care of my mother. However, the for the past six months, it has become impossible. My mother has been ill constantly. She has had four emergency room visits, three hospitalizations and two long-term stays in rehab. She refused for a lengthy period of time to go to assisted living. Finally, I had to push for it because she now needs to be on oxygen 24/7. This has devastated me professionally and financially because I own my own law firm and can not bill to support the law firm. I have one local brother who can assist, but she refuses to ask him. Her response is "The girl is the one who takes care of these things." and "Men just don't know how to handle these situations." I was finally able to get her into a wonderful assisted living facility and took weeks away from my practice to make arrangements and move her. Now, she is constantly putting my husband and me down when we are the ones who do everything for her. She wants immediate action on minor errands, despite my presence being required in Court. She gushes over everyone else when they do the smallest thing for her. When it comes to my husband and me, the snide comments come out, no matter what we do for her. My husband is now very hurt by this since he has done more for her than he ever did for his now deceased mother. I have lost a great deal of business and my law firm is now suffering financially. Her health care providers guilt trip me when I can't take her to multiple doctor's appointments per week and need to hire a caregiver. I have spent thousands of dollars on her the past couple of months for her care and assistance. I have employees dependent on me for their jobs. How do others deal with these pressures?

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Lkdry makes a good point. When mom first went to IL, she would call us for everything, from ants in her kitchen to blown light bulbs. "Call the desk, Mom" became our mantra. We showed up to visit, not to work.
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I am surprised you have to take her to the doctor when she is in AL....don't they have a shuttle for that?

Do not mess up your career to care for your mother. That should be your line in the sand. When my father lived on his own he would call me for the silliest things and want them dealt with immediately. He'd expect me to leave work to fix his remote. I had to establish boundaries with him. He was not my priority and he needed to deal with things himself. Then he had a medical issue and I did take a lot of time off to deal with that. It just went down hill from there. My mantra is "The more I help him the more helpless he gets". I had to stop helping with anything he could reasonable do himself.

Your mother is in AL. They should be doing 95% of the work. That is what they are paid for. Decide what you can do for her that does not inconvenience your life and do that and only that. Stop allowing her to bully you.

My father is in AL. They take him to the doctor. They take him to the ER. I only need to show up every few weeks and restock his fridge. Again not a priority as he gets 3 meals a day. They also have outings to the store but he refuses to buy snacks as it is too much trouble for him to do so he has to wait for me to take him. My attitude is that if he won't help himself I am not going to jump in and save him. I'll get there when I get there.

Start sending your brother in your place a few times. My grandmother was the same way. My uncle lived three miles away and did nothing for her. She thought he was golden. His wife would take her shopping and she heaped abuse on the poor woman. My parents lived 50 miles away and would come down once a week to help her and it was never enough in her eyes.
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I am a female only child, I run a small business myself, and have a good marriage. I have a very busy life and both personal and business lives run on a tight budget. I have two living parents, not doing well, and I am struggling with "how much to sacrifice?" One or both are likely to live at least another decade. It will eat up the rest of my "middle age" years, which I have worked and saved to enjoy. It's not fair and totally sucks. Good luck to you. Try to keep your old life if you can, the one you've built through hard work. It's not right for someone to steal that from you!
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Great comments and insights so far. I don't have anything to add, other than to tell you to please keep coming back here. This is a wonderful group!
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I agree with all that has been posted, but I'm left wondering, if your mom needs multiple doctors appointments per week, is she possibly in need of nursing home care?

When my mom was in an IL and more briefly, an AL, there was a geriatric doctor on site. My mom was able to see him independently and I was able to check in with him via phone, email or text.

There was also a geriatric psychiatrist who visited the facility. I can't recommend strongly enough that you get a geriatric psychiatrist involved in your mom's care. Anti anxiety and antidepressant meds made a huge difference in my mother's quality of life.
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Hey twoworlds,

Being an attorney, I can bet you've had years of education, huh?!?!
I can tell you, caring for an aging parent will be the hardest TEST you will EVER go through. But I can also promise you, coming here to AC, will be the best "class" AND advice  you've EVER taken!!
I'm very close to my mom too, like sisters, more so years ago, but now I'm more like the mom to her.  It really hurts to see her become frail, etc etc etc! She's now in an AL and loves it!

AC has saved my sanity, and made me quit 2nd guessing myself.  I had to learn to toughen my heart a bit to find proper care for mom. I'm more present for my husband, kids, and my fastly "going down hill" body, mentally and physically.  I feel happier now, depression has lifted, and less anxiety...not always easy, that's when I run here!😉 I will be forever grateful for all the people here...even your "story" too!
I love learning from other people in my shoes or not.  Everyday and Night I am here because of the support and caring hearts!!!
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"Do anything right" in this context means prevent your mother from aging and, ultimately, dying. So no, obviously you can't. But that's why she cannot be serene and contented now: not because of your failings, but because of her situation.

So if the ALF are lovely and the nurses in the clinic make you feel guilty, and guessing at how much time you spend in the company of these people respectively, why are you listening to the nurses?

Have you talked to a priest? You may find he offers consolation and support - being Catholic does have its upsides, after all, and if you're going to have the guilt you may as well seek the benefits too.

Above all, come here and vent. I forgot to say before that what you're going through now and facing ahead completely sucks, and you will find love and support on tap here more or less round the clock. Hugs to you.
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TwoWorlds, you are going through what a lot of caregiving children do. There is one child chosen as the caregiver and the parent doesn't want to "bother" the other one. Strangely enough, the one taking care of the parent gets treated poorly, while the other children are seen as ideal. The caregiving child can get the brunt of bad feelings. It sounds like your mother is starting to get rather bossy and you don't want to deal with her temper if you say no. Sometimes it is easier to say yes, instead of going through the foul mood that comes with saying no. Still, sometimes you have to say no. I have a feeling that you already know that since you're business is suffering.

Our parents can become quite the bullies when they get older. Often they also feel that the caregiving child owes it to them. What the child really owes them is to make sure they are receiving good care. Most AL facilities have vans to take people to doctor appointments or to the store. If she needs extra help, I would get together a care team of you, your husband, and your brother and discuss who would do what. I would also decide how often. You can't let your business go down because your mother is older.

I know how hard it is. I may go to the store and return home only to hear my mother say she needs something else. She says I need to go back to the store because she needs it now. It may be something that can wait until my next store trip, so I tell her I'll pick it up next time. Not good enough. She wants it NOW. It is just a control issue and I've learned not to take the bait. I get it the next time I'm at the store. From the outside it might look like I'm being a mean daughter, but in reality I'm striving to keep my own respect and sanity. (Once I told my mother that if she wanted a slave she should have bought one, instead of having a daughter. It can feel like that at times.)

Your mother and you are close, so I know it is difficult. You really do have to establish a schedule and stick to it, though, or your life gets consumed. Good luck, gf.
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Countrymouse and 97yroldmom have said it all and said it very well. I fully endorse their comments.
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Thanks. It is the nurses at the clinic with the guilt trips, not the AL. The AL is truly wonderful. It is difficult when you are a person normally in charge but now can't seem to do anything right with the person who has been so important. It is also a case of Catholic guilt kicking in.
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Oh wow. You and husband have an incapacitated elder ruling the roost. She needs a geriatric psychiatrist. You need a therapist. Your profile says she has lung problems which can cause anxiety, however this is much more than that. But you totally have control of this. You have brother take her to her next appointment. No discussion. He just shows up. If she doesn't want to go with him, she doesn't go. Search on this web for narcissist mother. Anyone who knows your mother knows not to pay any attention to her comments. You don't have to defend yourself. You are not her servant. Set boundaries. Don't take her calls when you are at work. Tell AL to call you if there is something they can't manage but let them know it better not be trivial. Better yet let them call brother. If her health is so bad she needs multiple dr visits, hire someone to take her or to help brother. Hopefully he can stand it for awhile. She is not more important than your husband. She is not more important than you. Your giving into her every whelm helps no one. If she's truly Unwell then the important thing is that she get to the dr. Not that you drive her. I'm sorry you are going through this and it does happen a lot to others but only you can stop it.
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I think you need to talk this through with someone whose opinions you respect, and try to find some clarity about what exactly is upsetting you. Then you will be able to decide your priorities for this difficult period in your life, and organise your home and work commitments accordingly.

You're a trial attorney with your own firm. You are an employer. You have been in a position to spend thousands of dollars on your mother's care (your mother should be paying for her own care - if you're doing it, that was a choice). You don't sound, that is to say, like the sort of person who slinks around the world feeling put upon or guilty or shamed by other people's passing opinions. So why now?

Your mother tells you that this is girls' work. Doesn't explain why she's ungrateful to your husband; and it certainly doesn't explain why you meekly comply with her opinion.

So all in all, isn't this more to do with fear of losing the mother you were so close to, not being able to solve her problems, and believing that you are somehow under suspicion of doing wrong? Could it be to do with your supportive mother, with whom you've always been close, suddenly being frightened and needy and shrewish?

For example - a wonderful facility where health care providers guilt trip perfectly adequate daughters? This does not add up. Wonderful facilities don't inappropriately blame family members. And I suspect the bit of the equation that's wrong is your belief that they're guilt-tripping you. Doubt it. I think it's more likely you're looking for reasons why you feel so guilty when you don't deserve to.

So basically, my suspicion is that what is really happening is that you and your mother are entering on a very sad and frightening phase, and naturally - it's not like you've ever done this before - you (you, the person in charge, the successful professional, the boss) don't know how to deal with it. Get help. Don't expect yourself to glide unaided and unguided through completely alien emotional territory.
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