Hard-of-hearing Mother has become rude, complains, questions everything I do, and does not listen to explanations. Any thoughts?


Every day, either in the morning or the evening my mother and I have a tiff over something. I have told myself that I will not engage with her because I don’t want to be sucked into her vortex. For example this evening I gave her the medicine I have given her for the past week, but she has been saying that I am giving her the wrong medicine. It is a white pill, not a blue pill. I offer an explanation but she does not listen and starts off with the wrong medication again. Finally after three or four tries she takes the medicine. Then it is on to another issue. Too much heat is coming out of the vents. I try to explain that it is frigid outside and the heater is working. If she is hot I can open a window. She does not answer and starts up with the heat again. I know that when I go into my mother’s room she is waiting to tell me some problem. She does not want to listen to my explanation, she just wants me to wave my magic wand and make everything okay. I wish I could do that but I can’t. I feel incredibly frustrated listening to problems and then having her get angry at me when I try to explain. I should know she doesn’t want an explanation; she doesn’t care about facts. She wants what she wants and no “back talk” from me. She even makes a sign for me to zip my lips.
She is on a lot of medications, including a pill for depression. She has always been a negative person, but since she has gotten sick she has become very intense. Also she is hard of hearing. I have caregivers attend to her needs seven days a week. I am not cut out to be a caregiver. I don’t have much patience. The way I look at it, I have taken my parents into my home and tried to make it very comfortable for them. I also have a husband who resents all the attention that they get. So I think I am doing my best. I don’t discount her complaints and try to solve problems ASAP, but some things I just can’t fix.

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demstress, getting old is very tough on a person. They get grumpy because they no longer can do the things they did 20 or 30 years ago. Many have lost the love of their life and now they feel so lost. A grown child cannot replace a spouse. So once in awhile we need to slip into our parent's shoes to see life from their side.

I wish I did that with my parents, I think I would have had more patience. Like you, I was not cut out to be a caregiver. I wasn't one to argue with anyone, but as my parents aged, I found my voice rising. My Mom was also very hard of hearing, thus there was a lot of confusion.

Your Mom's pills sounded like when I would do my Mom's grocery shopping and heaven forbid if one of Mom's favorite products changed their design of the carton, well it wasn't what she had on her list.... yes, Mom, same item, new carton. No, it is not. Around and around we would go. Then later I would hear that it didn't taste the same.... [sigh].

And let's not forget, to our parent, we are still that teenager and Mom or Dad knows best.
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This sound very hard. I'd be tempted to say to agree with her, and see if that spikes her guns.
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