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She is mostly uncooperative. She refuses any help in house. She expects her two daughters to do everything for her although when asked she gives "lip service" to I know you can't do it all.. Well since she refuses to let anyone else address it, we are left to do it all. She lives alone and wants to move in with my husband. We are in our late 50s and close to retiring and downsizing to a smaller home. My husband has said "no way"! I understand and share his feelings. She has financial resources but refuses to spend them. I even have to plead with her to buy appropriate food and medicine. When we go to the Dr. she denies all of this and puts on her jovial, pleasant, personality. I'm so frustrated with her most of the time. It's basically ruining my life. I love her and want her to be happy but she has openly said that only living with me in my living room and having me tuck her in every night will make her happy. She can still handle money, bills and shopping with assistance. The problems I see her having seem like age-related decline (she is 90) but not sure you could call it dementia. How do you know? She will absolutely REFUSE to any evaluation by a psych. The primary care just keeps saying she is fine. SHE IS NOT FINE. WE ARE NOT FINE. No one will listen. I'm at my wits end. FYI-I've been doing this for 10 years. 6 years since my dad died 4 years before due to his lack of driving.

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A year from now you'll be the one giving advice on a situation like this:)
In the mean time take care of yourself and start planning that retirement!
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sue888 - Thank you so much for your response. It means more than you know to hear someone that has gone through this and understands. My husband and I have just visited many of the AL facilities in our area for his mother. So I am familiar with most. I will continue to trudge along with mom until the crisis comes. It's just so hard.
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Stay strong. Limit your visits. If you're there all the time why should she consider independent living. Stop doing everything in her home. She'll either have to pay for help or if it gets bad enough you can call for a welfare check. Then you'll have proof for the doctor.
My mom is like yours. She's a princess and thinks everyone should take care of her and entertain her. When my dad passed that job fell to me. She lived with my husband and I for 18 months while she waited for an independent living apartment that was being built. Even though I knew it was temporary it was the longest 18 months of my life:) I had multiple health problems caused by stress. They all went away when she moved out:)
She's now in independent living. I only visit once or twice a week which has forced her to make a life for herself and not be so dependent on me. We too are in our late 50's and want to enjoy our upcoming retirement years. Go by yourself and visit independent living communities so when the time comes you'll know the best fit. Look for places that have continuing care so that if things get worse your mom won't have to move again.
You're not going to "teach" your mom anything. She is not going to change. You have to be the one to change. Good luck. I know it's hard
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Thank you. I come back here often to the forum mostly for affirmation. I think those of us in the FOG need that. I love my mom so much. And I want her to be happy but not enough to destroy my marriage and my own life. She has a warped view of mother daughter relationships. She believes that I should do anything for her and that I should want to be with her 24/7 because she is old.
Barb - Yes, she has always had this sense of "I'm the mother and everyone should bow to me". I don't know where it came from because she grew up poor with no special treatment. In fact, I would say she was probably neglected somewhat by her struggling parents.
Country - Yes, I am trying to show her special attention. Everyone wants some TLC sometimes. Trouble is my mom wants it all the time. But understand and lately have been more patient and understanding about that. But this usually leads her into manipulation, fear, guilt, obligation spiral. I just have to keep my cool.
Freq- I know!!!! I am not old but getting older. I definitely can't do what I used to do. And seriously, I need to teach her that she can't use me that way. She has the resources to pay someone. I did make an apt for us to have lunch at one of the AL near me. She canceled saying she was "too sick" and couldn't get out of bed.
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One thing I had noticed with very elderly parents [mine also were in their 90's] is that they still see you as a person in your 20's or 30's, filled with energy, instead of seeing us as knowledgeable successful adults who are pushing senior citizen status or are senior citizens already.

I still remember when my Dad wanted me to go to Home Depot to get 30 bags of mulch. But I was dealing with my own age decline being in my late 60's. Dad just couldn't understand why I couldn't do it anymore. He refused to order directly, as he didn't want to pay for the delivery fee.... [sigh].

My folks also refused to hire anyone to help them out. If Dad fell, he stayed down until my sig other came home from work. My parents didn't want to call 911 to get help.

Start guiding your Mom to the senior retirement communities. These places usually have a tour plus free lunch. You can pretend you are doing research for a friend and wanted Mom to come along to give her option. Independent Living would be great, nice size apartments with full kitchens, weekly linen service, weekly housekeeping. Even saw people my own age.  My gosh, I was ready to sign up :)
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Your mother wants to be looked after. She misses your Dad (was he her chief looker-after?). She's lonely. She wants to feel cared about.

Unfortunately, that seems to have given her the mentality of a five year old. I wouldn't call it dementia, but I wouldn't give in to the emotional blackmail either. You can sympathise with her wants - don't we all have them? Though we don't all express them! - without complying with her demands, you know. What she really needs is the right kind of facility. If she won't consider it, that's up to her - but there's your answer and that's what you need to tell her *when she asks.*

Love her very much, be ready with information about good places when the inevitable emergency happens, stop worrying about her diet and let her eat as she pleases, but don't move her in. Pretend to yourself she won't physically fit through the door or whatever you have to do, but her moving in is Not An Option.
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Your mom may have cognitive decline. But we certainly has, in spades, is a sense of entitlement. Has this always been true?

Most people don't become self centered overnight.
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You are at a stand-off. Unless you buckle- which you absolutely shouldn't due if you value your marriage - the only other option is to wait it out until the crisis occurs that lands your mom in the position where she'll have no choices at all.

I don't know if it will help you at all to say this to your mother. Some of the time I'd get small concession from my mom using this line of reasoning - but mostly not. Because - there is no reasoning with dementia.
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