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My mother moved in about 3yrs. ago with us. She does absulutly nothing all day but sit in a chair and read or watch tv. It drives me nuts! She is very capable of doing most anything. My husband, son and I all work, plus rehab houses. In other words we are very busy 7 days a week. There is not even a offer to make a meal, clean the kitchen, or ask if there is something she can do to help.
We don't expect her to be a maid. But get off her butt. The more she sits, the more health issues she has. She has diabetes so being sedimentary is not good. Doesn't walk coz it hurts, doesn't excerise coz out of breath, doesn't watch diet coz it's not enough food to eat healthy. Just sit and do nothing!! The result is I am resentful and crabby most days. I want my home and life back!

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I am an older 'mother'. lost two loves been alone ever since-don't know how to 'move on' at my age; kids grown with familys of their own--was always alone-not a socialite, seems everything out there is for people on verge of dying, I am not on death row-YET. I want to LIVE rest of my days, hopefully shared with one last love ..but LIVING, not sitting on a couch or in a chair wasteing away in front of my children...but HOW do I find that path? HOW do I make that step? Find Like-minded people that will help me and enjoy the walk with me ? ANY HELP OR SUGGESTIONS appreciated.
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Remind her that there are a lot of people her age that would love to be able to still be active. I wish my mother could.
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What would I have done with a mom that did nothing but sit and read all day? I'd be on my knees thanking God, that's what.
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I know how you feel, my problem isn't with my Mom, she is 85 and has dementia and it is difficult for her to stay on task.....my complaint is with my sister (66) and daughter (20) who do NOTHING to help. My sister seems to feel that since I am POA I can handle everything and all she has to do is come home, eat, bathe and go to bed. Sorry to say, but that is about the same as my daughter. I can force my daughter to help but getting help from my sister is not happening. Somehow I have become the unpaid housekeeper, gardener, janitor, cook, laundress, etc. and they literally never lift a finger!

As for your Mom, why don't you sit down and talk with her at a time you are not angry and explain that you are dead dog tired and at your wits end. Explain that you desperately NEED her help....Mom please, I need you to help out during the day, by washing the dishes, run the vacuum, dust, pick up, etc. Explain that you understand that she has medical problems but tell her that you need her to get up and do as much as humanly possible to help you to lessen your load. Sometimes I find that even with my mother, if I approach her by asking for a "favor" or "help" she will get up and help me. Wish that worked on the others!!!!

Best of Luck, I know your frustration!!!
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Many of us have this problem. Do you feel that your parent sees you as a slave? I don't mind the work so much as I do the anger that being treated as a slave causes. Another problem is that the more they sit, the less capable they become. But when we say something there are excuses and more excuses. I could try not doing anything, but I couldn't stand living like that. Sometimes if I'm cleaning something she'll say I really don't need to, that no one is going to care. I tell her that I care and that being dirty makes me ashamed. She doesn't grasp that.
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Our 86 year old tomorrow 87 year old, use to tell me, that when going to her children's she does not expect to do work, she is a guest, but in ourapartment hers and ours, she still thinks and acts like a guest, even though we didn't choose this..The court sold her home to pay for lawyers fees.

We do not know always how other people think, but some people have this idea about aging, (not mine) to sit on their butts and read, something they did not have time for when younger, sometimes they think they are staying out of trouble.

To me and I admit I am weird, I say it is a form of of passive aggression.
Talk about it? Maybe...seek counseling maybe, she is hurting herself.

I would throw dinner into a slow cooker and thank God you do not have to watch her 24/7.
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I feel for you – but you also need to prepare yourself for the fact that things are never ever going to change.
My wife’s mother came to live with us 6 years ago. While she does light housework around the house – she spends her entire life sitting in a chair and watching TV, and occasionally reading. She never goes outside and when this was suggested at one point; she was so upset that she locked herself in her room for 4 months. My wife and I have not had an hour of privacy for the past 6 years.
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How are things going for you? Any new changes? I hope you are coping well. I'd love to hear how you are doing.

Be Well, Sue
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YES, sometimes all we can do is VENT. At this point, to be honest, if she is just sitting and not complaining or attacking you, feel kind of fortunate. My Mom is 82, has dementia/Alzheimer's. She had been taking her own medications, but then she started missing doses, and one morning I found pills all over the place, and she was going to take a double dose of her morning medications. I made an appointment with her doctor and asked him frankly what I needed to do. He told me under not circumstances should she have access to ANY medications. My Dad has stuck his head in the sand (he is 80) and has a major D-Diff infection that had him hospitalized for 9 days,and he still is not well, I manage his meds too.Anyway, he said he would take care of it. He talked to her, but when I looked, her meds were still in the same place, and she was reaching for the box to get something out. I didn't say a word, I took the box out of her hand, got the box with the bottles in it,and put them in my room.I've been dispensing her meds ever since,and she seems to be doing somewhat better now that we know she is getting what she's to take, and when she's to take it. Anyway, basically your not going to get her to move unless she want's to. My Mom basically sits most of the day, but does do some laundry,but I do all the cooking, cleaning, and care taking with the help of my son who moved back in with us 2 months ago. She behaves better when he is around for some reason. I'm on disability, so this is the only reason I can do this, otherwise I'd be forced to try to find work, but my COPD is too advanced for me to do much more than I'm doing now. Make time for yourself, somehow. I see a psychologist to make sure I'm on track mentally and doing the right thing for both my parents and myself. Finding this web-site has also been a God send. Hearing others stories, and being able to try to help others helps me help myself, and myself. Gives me good food for thought. Take care I'll be thnking of you Hugs!
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Jp, your mother isn't even 80 years old yet right? In this day and age, that's still young enough to be self sufficient. I also wonder along with Luvmydad, why did she ever come to live with your family in the first place? Just diabetes and high BP isn't a crippling, can't live on my own disease, as far as I know. Maybe it's time to tell her to move into an apartment/asst living/retirement place, whatever the case may be. If she gives you a hard time, then tell her she needs to start looking for nursing home with you for her. Tell her that when, not IF, her health hits rock bottom because of her unwillingness to help herself, you're going to need to know which nursing home she prefers.
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How old is your mom? Why isn't she living independently? How about taking her to the doctor & have him tell her all the things she is able to do, write a list.
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Sometimes all you can do is VENT! There IS no solution. People DO what they WANT TO DO. And older folks DON'T DO what they DON'T WANT TO DO!!

My MIL's hubby was a control nut - she had to do what he wanted WHEN he wanted her whole life. She had very little freedom. When he died she said 'I am going to do WHAT I WANT TO DO now and 'NO ONE IS GOING TO MAKE ME DO ANYTHING I DON'T WANT TO DO.' That goes for rehab/exercises' after knee surgery, avoiding sweets because she is diabetic, etc.

I have to admit that when her health was better - she did much more. A few years ago while we were remodeling our kitchen and I was working - she would make supper for us 3-4 nights a week. So, when she could, she helped. And she does keep up her own little part of the house pretty well and does her own laundry. I do the heavier cleaning - vacuuming, scrubbing floors, cleaning shower, windows and nearly ALL the cooking now.

Now, I know she isn't able. Her health has failed considerably in the last 3 years, especially the last year. And, frankly, it scares me to think she may want to cook - because she only used HIGH heat and sits down and it often scorches or burns. So, I discourage her from cooking. So, now, she makes soup in the crock pot once in a great while or reheats leftovers (from me) and maybe a Lean Cuisine.

Sometimes, they just don't feel like doing anything - plain and simple. If her diabetes isn't in good control - no doubt she feels lousy. So, It could be physical - it could be emotional. Either way - there's no point forcing the issue.

If you have discussed this with her and she isn't forthcoming with help - then you have her answer and it is 'NO.'
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Thank you for your suggestions. Most of them have been tried. She is very able to drive and do things on her own. Friends have asked her to travel, etc. and she won't go. I take her grocery shopping everytime we go. When I suggest cooking and even have planned the meal, there's the look! Believe me she is not lonely, we all make time for her, we work different shifts.If you confront her, then you deal with her heart and BP issues. Which all falls on me. Please keep the suggestions coming. It helps knowing I'm not the only one dealing with this.
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I feel sorry for you.I kinda know how you must feel. I have 1 advantage over you in the fact that I stay at home with my MIL who is 87 with dementia. Well maybe not an advantage as I gave up my freedom and my Paychecks to be home with her.I put up with the same shit as you do, but you have to walk in the door and see your Mom is her permanent spot, and I see my from morning to nite in the same spot.My MIL isn't as capable as yours seem to be and I still get upset with her not doing anything.I really know she can't do alot, but believe me she can move out of the chair.She really plays the helplessness to the max!!! She sure can get up to get her never ending goodies though. She never stops eating or giving orders.She's miserable but she doesn't have to be.She always says she doesn't go anywhere but she always says "no" when I ask her. I Make her go most of the time so she has to get out of that chair. She also needs exercise but acts like she can't do anything. Theres ALOT she also can help me with. She can fold laundry,dry dishes dust, etc but instead she sits watching me. She even has the nerve to literally point out every little speck of dirt on the carpet as she sits on her throne watching me run the sweeper.She's the 1st to criticize and the last to help.My husband and I are 50 &52 yrs. old, together since we were 13 &15 yrs old and she has always been nasty. None of her old friends or daughter even come to see her now that she has dementia because she was even nasty with them before she got like this.It must really suck for you when your mom can't do anything while your working when she's very capable of helping. Why don't any of you say anything to her?Since she likes to read so much, get her some books on recipes and say something like, " I can imagine how you must get so bored day after day sitting in the same spot all day doing nothing constructive" so I got you this and you can occupy alot of your boring days!!!! Bet she'll love you for sure now!!!!! Get her an apron and a chef's hat too! ha ha... Ask her if she wants to go shopping this weekend and you 2 can go out and buy some rubber gloves,Spic n Span, Lemon Pledge, buckets ,mops, all kind of good stuff to fill her days with excitement . Oh tell her you'll even splurge and buy her ,her very own bottle of Windex to put a beautiful shine on that T.V. that she loves so much. Now I gotta go put some coffee on because the Queen will be rising from her beauty sleep.I hope you don't wear out ole mommy with her action filled days coming soon..........................
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The relational dynamics have been set for some three years now, if you need some changes, I would suggest that all parties get involved in communicating what it is that each one of you can contribute to the running of the household. Then how each of your family members can have their needs met. It is a give and take partnership for all involved, keeping in mind the realistic expectations of each others ability to contribute and of their limitations. Kindness should be at the forefront of the list and used often to soften your daily struggles, joys and family life. Also, have room for quiet time, even if it is a five minute break and use it every day. Remember that life is short and be grateful for your loved ones as difficult as it may get sometimes. Joy to you all.
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JP:

Health issues (excuses?) notwithstanding, the bottom line is that she has to pull her own weight. Give her a list of daily chores. Doing the dishes, ironing clothes, and helping fold the laundry isn't elderly abuse and it's certainly not going to kill her. If being a "maid" every now and then is too much, she can go ahead and do nothing somewhere else.

It's your house and she stopped being a guest on the 4th day. Her mind has escaped into all those pages, so of course she's not going to be able to read yours or notice there are things that need to be done around the house.

Stop negotiating. Flatly tell her to get off her a__ and earn her keep if she's not contributing in any way (e.g., helping pay the bills). She might ask you if you want some fries with that order and try to emotionally blackmail you with "I'm moving out," "I've never been disrespected so," "I'm your mother," etc..

I'd help her pack.
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It would be hard to work 7 days a week. That alone would make me crabby and resentful. It's kind that you have allowed your mom to live with you for the past 3 years. She may be happiest reading and watching TV, but if she is capable it would be nice if she could pitch in once in a while. Have you spoken with her about doing the dishes after dinner? "Hey mom, I'm really tired after working all day and cooking dinner. Would you mind taking on the task of kitchen clean up after dinner?"

Does your mom expect you to do a lot for her? She may just feel that you all are gone most of the time and she isn't bothering anyone be sitting in her chair and reading.

Other than having another person in the house, how have things changed by having your mom living with you? Don't misunderstand, I know having another person, with their own style and habits in your home can be stressful. I'm just wondering if you have stresses from other areas in your life that you don't feel you can change causes you feel more frustrated with your mom than you would be otherwise.

For example, if you had weekends off and could go do something with your husband, maybe that would help re-leave some of your stress. If your mom is always complaining and wanting you to do something for her when she is capable to doing it herself, then that's different, but I don't hear you saying that.

Think about what is really bothering you and what would make you feel better.
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Are you waiting for an offer? What happens if you ask her specifically to do something for you? "Mom, I remember that really good goolash you used to make when we were kids. How about if you write down what you need, I'll shop for it, and then you make it for supper for us on Thursday. We'll all be home for dinner, but with no time to cook, and a home cooked meal would really make our day!"

"Mom, I'll throw a load of laundry in the washer before I leave for work tomorrow. Could you please put it in the drier, and then fold it? It would really be a big help to me."

I'd try a series of specific requests, and I wouldn't give up if she says no to some of them. If she keeps saying no to all of them, then I guess I'd escalate the requests. "Mom, we are all happy to have you here with us, but an extra adult in the household means extra work. I'd like to see you contribute in some way to the running of the household. Here are a few ideas I have. Do you have other ideas?"

If there are obstacles to her helping, work with her to overcome them. It hurts to walk? Do she need a walker? Should she see a doctor and then physical therapist to deal with that problem?

My mother has severe arthritis and it truly is nearly impossible for her to do much. At 92 she still lives on her own but has housekeeping help and laundry help, and meals on wheels. Even her plants are taken care of by a son. If all she wanted to do all day is read, I'd gladly buy her books. She does crossword puzzles and watches tv and plays cards when she has company.

But your mother is not in that shape -- or at least you think she isn't. So I really would encourage her to do meaningful tasks that she can handle. And if she insists that she can't handle them, I'd see if there is any medical treatment that could help.

Another possibility is that she is depressed. It sounds like she spends a lot of time alone. Have you considered finding Senior Center activities or Adult Day Centers, to give her a chance to interact with others? This doesn't get your kitchen clean, but it might be a start toward getting her more active.

Good luck to your family and your mother.
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What have you done for her lately?
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