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I haven't been on here in a while, so I apologize. I am at wits end. I live with my 84 year old mother whose is not in bad health but has fallen a couple of times and doesn't move around as much. She can do pretty much everything except drive around and heavy house work, etc. I have 2 sisters and 3 brothers but it seems like I am the one that has to do everything. I my self am diabled from 3 back surgeries and Fibromyalgia. My mother has always been the type wher everthing revolves around her & when she wants something done, she wants it right away. I sometimes feel like I'm supposed to punch a time clock at home. When I had my 2nd back surgery, my sister stayed for 1 night, after that I was on my own. My mother has never tried to understand my problems. Monday, I counld not sleep until about 5am, so I left her a note that I didn't know what time I'd wake up & to leave my door closed. She came in at noon, and shined a fashlight at me just to see if "I was still breathing". I got upset (of course) so she told me I was doing elderly abuse. If I tried to talk to my older sister but she got upset with me because I wasn't understanding that she just had surgery (a hysterectomy) a week before and couldn't deal with this. I pointed out that I've had 4 surgeries. (With no help & still left to take care of my mother) I feel guilty for sometimes wanting to walk away & let the rest take care of her. But I don't make enough to live on my own & the house is mine also. Am I being unreasonable ? Or do I need to see a counselor before I totally lose it ?

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want to give up,is just saying i need,,and its o.k to need .can your ma help you like how often do the two you go some,some times we get all cought up with helping,we forget to injoy like watch a funny show with your ma ,have a friend come over and play dress up,your ma well think you lost your mind,and that o.k so long as its does scare her.do some thing just for you,like take a nice hot bobble bath,its good for pain,and it make you small good,ha!ha!its o.k to give up just dont give in,you are already a winner just for treing.you cant see all the good you are doing.remember this the harder the claim the greater the view!thank you!
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I have sympathy and empathy for your situation. I have had my mother living with me for nearly 10 years. The current situation you describe is about 7 years into my 87-year-old mother entering hospice a couple of months ago with vascular dementia. As she aged, my mother became less able to do tasks she once did and had less patience for them not being done. Dust bunnies and dog hair bother her. Wrinkled bed linens and napkins bother her, etc. Magazines in disarray on the coffee table (where she left them) bother her. She wanted those things straightened up right away. Laundry had to be completed immediately. It seemed as if the more she became less able to deal with things such as the satellite TV, the electronic timer on the stove, and electronic washer and dryer, the more "demanding" she was of me to take care of these things. Looking back, I realize that there were probably two factors at work here. Half of people over age 80 suffer from dementia: impairment of memory and executive functioning. My mother was suffering a cognitive decline and technology was making her life more difficult because she did not have the capacity to learn these new things. I spent a lot of time jumping to her demands and that was okay as long as I felt well. When I was sick (MRSA, asthma, etc.) it was difficult to do the tasks and do the tasks with a good attitude. If my attitude was negative, my mother could feel it and reacted negatively in return. I also worked full time so my mother continued to withdraw from activities during this period of time and her entertainment was left up to me as well. My 4 siblings live out of state and her care is my responsibility, too. I guess what I'm trying to convey here is that your mother may be in the process of age-related cognitive decline. And, a neurological or neuropsychological evaluation could help determine this. I might help you understand where she is coming from and how things might progress and whether psychiatric medication could help now or down the road. Many elderly develop depression with agitation that can be treated so that their mood improves and the quality of their life and their caregiver's improves as well. This is the case with my mother. Each period of decline can be monitored by your family physician after that and they can recommend a therapist for you to talk about the heroic effort you are engaged in. It is nothing less than that. Please don't overlook the medical/psychiatric components of your mother's aging process. Even if you and your doctor never get to talk to her or explain it to her, you might find some relief in knowing that her demands are unrealistic and based upon a cognitive decline that she cannot control but one that can be treated. Best wishes to you. Your are blessed for your efforts.
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Jeanne had great advice. I'm certain her words could help you. Glad your sister is doing something at least. It's hard to hear and hard to actually accept, but most of the time, there is just one child that actually helps a parent and the rest of the siblings, etc. live their own lives. Be proud of what you do for your mom, but also, don't let mom take advantage of you. Shining a flashlight in your eyes is just plain mean; and she is looking for attention. Learn to give her less attention; she can do more for herself from what you have said. Too bad if she doesn't like how things are or are not done on her timetable. You live with chronic pain - and please know - I hear you - I know first hand what that is like and when it comes right down to it.....people don't care; they just care about themselves. Learn to take care of yourself; and hope you get counseling - it does help.

What I do now is think of myself as an only child and take care of everything as I always have. I've learned to accept that I'm the only one taking care of my mother's needs - and I live with chronic pain as well. It can be hell on earth some days; my children and husband are tremendously caring and have saved my life. My mother was in the hospital a couple of days ago and I was crippled with debilitating pain - there was nothing I could do. She managed just fine without me. Please know, I hear your pain and I hear everything you are saying. And I understand and care. Blessing to you and take care.
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Jeanne, thank you so much for you help. I guess I know this but sometimes it helps hearing it from another person. By the way, my sister that I said had surgery is coming tomorrow and bringing dinner for my Mom and me. I am glad my Mom is getting some much needed company. Although she snapped at me before, she is the only one that has understood since she is a nurse.
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First and foremost, get that counselling going.

All this stress is not good for your Fibromyalgia. You have to take care of yourself.

Mother doesn't trust an outside provider? Tough cookies. Seriously, it is time to recognize that Mother may not be able to have her life exactly the way she would like it. Do you have your life exactly the way you would like it? Would Mother rather stay in her home and have "outsiders" coming in to help out, or live in care center of some kind, where all her care is provided by "strangers"? It is a very tough reality of life that few of us get exactly what we want. It is NOT YOUR JOB to see to it that Mother's life goes exactly according to her plan. It wasn't her plan to have mobility issues. That she does is sad, but it is Not Your Fault.

Here is another reality to face: You cannot count on your brothers and sisters to make this all better. You've tried enlisting their help. Ain't gonna happen. They are making their decisions regarding how they will relate to Mother. You, too, can make decisions. If you have some financial dependence on Mother then that has to be factored into your decision. But do not think for one moment that you don't have the power to make decisions.

Tree branches need removing? Call some tree-trimming services. Get estimates. Present the options to Mother. Which one should we call, Mother? Do you want this on your charge or to write a check? Mowing the grass is not something Mother can do, and is beyond your capacity with your back problems and Fibromyalgia pain? Find two possible lawn-care services and/or find a young healthy neighbor who would like to earn a little income. Mother, would you rather give Billy Youngster a chance to earn some money taking care of our lawn, or should we sign a 3-month contract for the Green Valley Lawn Service? Take care of your own health. Recognize what you can and can't do. Do NOT count on your mother or your siblings to recognize this. There is plenty of evidence that is not going to happen.

You need to take care of yourself. I hope that counselling will help you do this more effectively.

I am also glad you are looking into caregiver assistance.

Good luck!
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Thank you for both of your help. I am going to see about going to a counselor and I have inquired into a program for caregiver assistance. One of my problems is my Mom doesn't trust a provider because we had someone but she walked in on her going through private documents (ie, checkbooks). Although she can cook for her self, she would prefer that "someone else do it ". She doesn't understand certain things, like setting the timer on the new stove or the satellite TV , so she'll yell for me to do it. One of my problems is that I have asked (family) many times for help but always get the " WE WORK" excuse. And even if I do get someone to pick up groceries or her medicine, I get told that I'm "pushing it off on someone else." We also live on a farm & she constantly complains about grass not being mowed, branches that need to be picked up, trees that need to be cut, etc. My Mom also has a hyperactive thyroid & is always thinking of what needs to be done but I just can't keep up anymore. It makes me feel like I'm neglecting her but I've never had her ever ask me how I feel & if I hurt. I could go on but hopefully you can see that I just don't know which way to turn.
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You need to see a counselor before you totally lose it.

Why do you need to do things for your mother? Why does she need a caregiver? What kinds of things do you take care of for her? You say that "She can do pretty much everything except drive around and heavy house work." If you went away for a week's vacation and someone came in the "take care of" your mother in your absence, what would they do? Drive her to appointments and do the heavy housework? Or is there more to this job? I think we don't have a full picture. Help us understand.
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I definitely think you should see a counselor, not because you are crazy, but because you need some guidance and support. I'm really sorry about your health issues because I realize you are in physical pain, but also because it does set up a co-dependent relationship.

I can understand that you sister may not have been in the best place to discuss your frustrations just a week out of having major surgery. If what you were going through at the time was not a crisis, it might have been wiser to have given her more time. I understand that you don't feel your sis was very sympathetic when you had your surgeries, but her response was predictable.

When your mom came into your room and shined a flashlight in your face to see if you were "still breathing", do you think you over reacted? If you do then just admit it to yourself and own that you didn't handle it the best way. I don't know what you said, maybe your mom was the one who over reacted.

Bottom line is you are in a very difficult position. You have no one to love you, no one to support you emotionally and no one to hear what is in your heart. Yes, I think you need to go to counseling and find a way to manage this grief in your life. You are suffering and you need to get some relief and better understand what your options are.

That doesn't mean you have to move out of the house, but you do need to get out of the house and maybe a caregiver needs to come in a couple of times a week to help your mom and make both of your lives easier.

Sending you hugs, Cattails
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