Mom lives with me, she's fine physically, some dementia, but very capable. It was financial, she could not afford to pay live on her own any more. She wants more of my time and attention than I want to or can give. If she needed me to for tasks or care, I can handle that, it is the emotional demand I cannot handle. She wants us to let her know when we are leaving and coming home. She wants my kids to come back to her two rooms and see her, instead of just coming out to our living room and seeing them. They are busy with homes and lives of their own.

She thinks she has to help financially around the house. Focus should be on paying her bills and her needs, not ours. On my birthday, my husband was taking all of us out to eat...she had the waiter bring her the bill. She cannot afford it...I was livid.

Does anyone else have these same kind of issues?

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She is feeling the losses that her aging brings on. Now she is dependent on you and is a combination of over-giving and over-demanding of your time. This is a hard transition.

Perhaps you can, if you haven't already, make up a "bill" each month and tell her the rest is your responsibility as it's bills for your husband and kids you yourself. You can make it what she can afford, but having a bill may feel more like she is paying her way.

Also, does she have friends? Did she move out of her home area?
I would concentrate on getting her involve in senior groups or adult day care, depending on her capabilities. She will drag her feet, but she needs peers to interact with. Then she may be a little less needy with you.

This will take time and none of it will go away. I hope time takes care of some of it.
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Mommap1, many answers in this thread address your situation, too.

Yes, your mother cared for you. Did she give you absolutely everything you wanted? Did she provide every bit of your entertainment. If you whined two weeks into your summer vacation, "There's nothing to dooooo," did she drop everything and play with you? Or did she make a few suggestions and expect you to either do one of them or not complain about being bored? And if you were bored, did she allow you to whine all day, underfoot? Did she take you absolutely everywhere she went? Did she never have any private time with your dad as long as you were living at home?

So, if you are basing your behavior toward you mother on the fact that she cared for you for many years, please really think through exactly how she cared for you. If she was a sensible mother, I'll bet she didn't feel responsible for your entertainment 24/7, and I'll bet she maintained a life of her own, including time as a wife. Go and do likewise!
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I took care of my mother for five years in her home. She had a lot of emotional needs, was always concerned about the grandchildren and my sister, and expected a lot of them also, wanted them to be telephoning her or writing letters and spending more time with her. However, mom had a way of being controlling and gets upset with thinks don't meet her expectations. As a result, the grandchildren don't want to come to see her, don't want her in their home, and was the one that had to try to satisfy all her needs, calm her down when they didn't come and visit or call, etc.

She had a close boyfriend and they had wanted to get married, but he died last year. He had gradually gone downhill, and mom was wanting more and more of my attention to fulfill her emotional needs. We moved her to the same town where my sister lives, thinking it would help her to move on, but she was still hanging on to old memories of her two deceased husbands and her boyfriend. She also was calling her friends and running up big telephone bills. She was demanding 100% of my attention and I finally got worn out from trying to help her. She started falling in the apartment and then would wake up in the night, think one of her husbands was out in the parking lot to meet her, or think she received calls from them during the night. She is now in the nursing home, I am still the one trying to fulfill her emotional needs. We have narrowed the phone calls down to Sunday afternoons now using my cell phone, as she does not have a phone in her room. I am still the one having the explain away why my other family members don't come to visit very often and giving me and my family members guilt trips about not doing more for her. My sister got guardianship last week and mom and my sister had a big fight over it, hope this doesn't all blow up tommorow when we have her over for Thanksgiving dinner. This sounds a lot like what my mother has been going through, she was always a very social person and needs a lot of support from others and now that she is in the nursing home she is really upset.
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It does help to vent now and then. And I do understand your frustration and that feeling of hopelessness, because you feel like there is no solution. I always feel guilty that I feel trapped and depressed a lot of the time. My husband and I are Christians and go to an evangelical church. My MIL is Catholic. We have invited her to our church and even told her we would drop her off and pick her up at a Catholic church, but she refuses to go. She has always made comments about my husband changing his religion for me. Yet, my husband is active at our church while she has no interest in going to church anywhere. So there you have it. That's another reason I always feel guilty, because I feel as a Christian I should have more compassion. But we are only human with human emotions. We can only do the best we can.
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Your e-mail to sbil was nothing but a sarcastic lecture, that I was even taken back by it when I read it!!!
Apparently you have never been a caretaker of an elderly parent and if so well then alls I can say is I am glad it wasn't me you were taking care of with that uncompationate razor sharp attitude. People don't come here for that! We come here to support on another, not tear down one another!!!
So on that note Ms Insensative I think you should do one of two things, either get off this site or appologize to sbil for this horable act of such unkindness.
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sbilyeu, we have the opposite problem that you do. My mother-in-law is very passive and won't talk to us at all. She has decided that she doesn't want to be a bother so she will just sit in her room and not talk to anybody. It used to bother me, because it is very awkward when someone won't even make small talk or make eye contact with you. But now, we just let her do what she wants and go about our business as though she is a tenant in our home. My MIL has lived with us for almost 7 years. She has dementia and was forgetting to take her medication and ended up in the hospital. We had to make a very quick decision to fly out to where she was living, pack her up, sell her house and bring her home with us. It was very difficult for her to leave her home state after 83 years. We thought since she was alone, that she would be happy to be near her son and grandchildren. My husband is an only child, and my MIL has the attitude that because she is his mother, that she should come before me. She also resents that he moved away from his home state when he married me and didn't live near her. So I have never been her favorite person. We had a fairly good relationship though as long as we lived in 2 different states. Now, it is just awkward and uncomfortable with her living with us. We are very good at taking care of her physical needs and she is in good health considering she has a lot of problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. But emotionally, it is very hard to deal with and has caused problems in our marriage.

One of the things that has helped is having her go to senior daycare. She seems to like to talk to people her own age. It helps us with our guilt, because we know she is out socializing, getting exercise, playing games and not sitting in her room. Our local Area Agency on Aging allows for her to go 3 times a week and even picks her up in a van. Check in your community. Every state has this organization and a social worker will come to your home and explain the programs that are available.
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Dixieborn, I think your confusing not being a doormat with abandoning people. There is lots of setting boundaries and tough love that ends up having to happen in some situations. That isn't abandoning people. Nobody should end up a doormat or completely give up their lives and their sanity for anyone even their elderly parent. That is exactly what is being asked of many people.

Some people completely ignore their parents, some have distanced themselves because they really had to due to manipulative or abusive behavior. There are clearly lots of situations, you can't lump everyone together.

If I let my mom have her way I would have abandoned MY family and kids, completely given up my job and personal life because she wants me to be on call or doing things for her 24-7. She has lost the ability to be thoughtful, respectful or even aware of other people's needs or ability. She would literally run me into physical exhaustion if I let her. She almost has. I re-injured my back doing things I know I shouldn't be doing because she wanted them done. Now I am going through treatment trying to undo the damage I did to my back. I went through years of treatment and rehab, I would really rather not do that again and I am of no use to anyone if I get in that state.

I make sure my mom has proper care, she has multiple people who come to her home to assist her with her needs, she has social activities too. At some point people do have to put their foot down when the situation becomes abusive.
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There are a lot of answers to your question here, so I may be repeating something you've already read. I have very nice parents with lots of good qualities, BUT my dad has been a challenge. Besides being generous, kind, sympathetic and even helpful, he has also been extremely pushy (just ask my husband). I've gone from loving him, to being frustrated to feeling like I actually hated him at times. My brothers have had some of the same problems.

Finally, I started seeing a therapist. I cannot tell you how much that helped me. It gave me a chance to vent. My therapist also helped put things in perspective and ALSO helped me learn to set some limits. It's really hard to do that sometimes. Not only that, my dad was interfering with my marriage. It wasn't that he was doing it on purpose, but he was so pushy that my husband would get upset and I would feel caught in the middle. I wanted to be the good daughter and the good wife.

As a child of my parent, I wanted to be respectful. I wanted to please my dad and it was very difficult to set boundaries. But having the ability to talk to a professional really helped me see what was going on and that is was okay to say NO. I wasn't mean about it, but I did set some boundaries. And guess what, it wasn't the end of the world.

We love our parents, don't want to hurt their feelings and still feel like a little kid in a lot of ways. However, that doesn't mean we don't deserve some R-E-S-P-E-C-T! If you haven't done it already, seriously think about seeing someone.
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I can relate to what you're saying. My 87 year old father and I have been enmeshed all my life (I'm 58). We have had a very close and wonderful relationship, but it's also had it's load of troubles that come from enmeshment. I came to their home 5-1/2 years ago to help my father take care of my ailing mom. She died 3 years ago. Since then it's just been my father and I. For the most part, my father has been pretty self reliant: driving, getting around, able to visit a friend of his who lost her husband the same year as mom's death. My father used to be a dynamic man, but had some things happen to him about 20 years ago that caused and still causes him great shame. He can't forgive himself. His outgoing personality has always been a front for a very insecure person. Now that he's older, with dementia setting in and my mother gone, he's becoming more and more depressed and needy. He's a drama queen and seems to thrive on emoting. He's becoming more and more self centered and selfish. I live with him and don't work because of physical disabilities. I worked horticulture for years and have some spine damage, although I can get around and lead a "normal" life, I do so with pain. I'm able to do a lot for my dad, but the physical lifting if he falls is the one thing I can't do.

Just before Christmas he was walking our 1 year old Labrador, who Dad gets so much enjoyment from, and fell, breaking his pelvis. Since then he's been in the hospital and in January moved into a local rehabilitation home. Everyday since then all he can concentrate on is coming home. His dementia has gotten worse due to the pain, stress and confusion from being there. He can't seem to be able to understand why he has to be there. He thinks he can get the same care with me at home. He's just now being able to use a walker, but still hasn't gotten the OK to put "weight as tolerated" ok from his surgeon and is only allowed to put 50% weight on his leg. Being a "doer" he keeps thinking he's supposed to do something to speed things up, yet if he pushed himself too much it will delay his leaving. Meanwhile, I get phone calls all day long with him begging to come home, crying and telling me that no one likes him and everyone's mad at him (meaning the nurses and the other residents). His friend visits him for hours each day. I'm going to school so I visit him once a day for an hour or 2, but my visits seem to upset him as much as help him. I bring the dog down to visit. I try to interest him in watching golf or the Olympics with me. I play memory games with him because he's terrified of losing his cognitive abilities (his brother has severe Alzheimer's). Yet it always is a battle to get him to understand why he's there, how long it will take and when he can come home. I find that a lot of my childhood buttons get pushed as I watch him either try to manipulate me or get angry with me. I know he's scared. I know he's miserable there. I know he wants to come home. I try to empathetic. But after 2 months of this constant neediness, of needing only me yet being miserable when I'm there, of calling me up to 22 times a day, I'm beginning to get really burnt out. I've stopped answering the phone most of the time. My sister, who lives with her family in CA, is doing what she can to support me and Dad. She was here for 3 weeks when he fell and helped get him settled into the rehab plus got the house ready for his return. She's coming back in the middle of March to help me get things ready for his return home. The best case scenario is Dad will be home by the end of March. Until he gets an OK from his surgeon to be able to put weight as tolerated, the PTs can only do so much. My sister and I will set up home care and get help from the neighbors.

But what I'm struggling with is his neediness, his whining, his depression. Dad's doctor and the nurses tell me to step back and let him adjust to the rehab, to not be as available. But he's not adjusting, he's getting needier. He starts calling at 6 am most days (I don't answer the phone before 9, but it still rings over and over, waking me up) and can call as late as 12 or 1 if he's having a bad day. I tell the nurses when this is happening. They give him seroquil as needed to calm him. The bottom line is that my dad's a drama queen, he has a personality that is used to the world revolving around him yet he doesn't feel worthy, he's scared, and all he wants is to come home and have me take care of him.

With my mom, I got to a point of being grateful for the chance to take care of her, to make a living amends. I keep trying to get to that point of gratefulness with my dad, for I'm grateful that I can be here, but he's sucking me dry. I do my best to have my own life. I have a great support group. I'm a recovering alcoholic and I work my program and go to meetings daily. During good weather, I take breaks to go visit a friend in the Berkshires or go off to the woods alone to camp. But this is a whole new game. Dad's neediness is driving me more crazy than my empathy can handle. I'm doing what I can but I dread him coming home.

Thank you for letting me rant. It's good to know that there are others out there with similar problems. Oh, I forgot to mention that my dad is a very solitary person and doesn't like to socialize although he does with a few people. He has a reading group who visits him twice a week. He has a friend come and give Eucharist on Sundays. But he's pushed most people away and doesn't want to have people in his life. As he told me, the only ones he wants around is my sister and I, not even his friend.

So each day I get up and do what's in front of my face, taking time for myself yet still do what I can for my dad when I can. One thing I'm learning is I definitely do not want to be a miserable, lonely, desperate, clingy old person - it's too hard on those who love you.

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I'm having the same problem, I'm single and 53 and every move I make results in Where u going? Where u been? Who r u talking too?? What have u got planned for the weekend? My mom is in fairly good health, stays home by herself when I work, but wonders "What am I supposed to while u r at work?". I have never been good at speaking my mind, fear of hurting someone's feelings or causing any kind of drama and would never think of being disrespectful to either of my parents but my attitude is going to have to change for my own sanity. I ramble on, I do everything including many things I know she could do dishes sometimes, some little things, anything, instead she sits in her chair and watches TV while I am at work and then wants me to entertain when I get home, can't even read a paper or play games on tablet (which for me is relaxing) without her saying I'm rude and not paying attention...drives me crazy. Well I've rambled enough and I could go on but I'll give u all some breaks. Lol. Thank God for this sight and letting all of us caregivers vent :-)
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