Hello and it's my first time on this forum. I don't even know where to start, it's all so complicated. Just knowing you're all here gives me hope that I'll find help and understanding when I'm ready to put it all into words. My mother is 98 years old and still doing not-too-bad in an independent living facility. I moved into the same building that she's in, 6 weeks ago, to give her the extra care she seemed to need to keep her from having to move into an assisted living place, which she was dead set against. We're constantly locking horns. I overheard a conversation just this evening between her and my brother (yes, I was eavesdropping) that shocked me. And hurt my feelings. And now I'm thinking I made a huge mistake in moving halfway across the country to be of assistance to her, and to give my 3 brothers in town a bit of a break from the mother-care they've been doing for years. I was thinking it may have been a huge mistake before I overheard that conversation, because I was already so frustrated with things. Like I said, long story, but at least this a start.

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If you lived "halfway across the country" I imagine that your relationship with your mom has been limited to phone calls and occasional visits for a long time. I think there is nothing inherently wrong with your urge to reconnect with her, but your expectation that she would welcome an absent child who swoops in to change a system that (to her mind at least) has been working just fine is a little bit of a naive fantasy. She doesn't want a bossy new minder. You are suffering culture shock from the move, from giving up your job and friends. You don't say what your brothers think about any of this.

My advice - give it some time. Back off a little, be there for her, but just as a good neighbour and friend. I think you may be filling your thoughts and time with her care and perceived needs because you left a full life and now have a void to fill. Take time to settle yourself and find things to occupy you separate from your mom and sibs, when you have outside supports it will be less hurtful to be rejected.
Helpful Answer (27)

W/o knowing what she said, the relationship between the two of you before you moved, and now, as well as the relationship between you and your siblings, it's really hard to give you advice.

But it sounds as if you were very disturbed by the conversation. Can you put it in perspective in relation to your mother's condition? Did you discuss it with your brothers, and was the conversation of a nature that they had experienced as well? What were their thoughts? How long has it been since you were involved with her on a more regular basis?

How do your brothers feel about your moving here? Were they aware of your plans before you moved?

I think you really need to give this a chance so you can put it in perspective before making a decision. If you haven't seen her in years, any changes, and anything she might say that's negative, need to really be put in perspective.

And ask yourself what your plans would be if you do feel that moving was a mistake? Would you move out of the same building or back to the area you left?

These are big decisions; give the situation some time to figure out more about what might be going on.
Helpful Answer (21)

You may not be experiencing burnout but are having second thoughts and regrets. That was a big decision to move but nothing says you have to be wedded to that decision if indeed you feel it wasn’t the right one. Reality has hit you and the "honeymoon" has worn off. You and your brothers could also hire a "carer" to do what assistance you feel is needed. Now, if your mom says NO to that as so many do, guess what, it’s your life and your choice. She can’t dictate to you how to spend the rest of your life. She’s been fortunate to have 98 years on this planet and stay independent. So my advice is come to grips with why you are there.. ask the social worker at the place where you are to come in and have a sit down with the two of you and get things ironed out. If that doesn’t work, then my suggestion is to move out unless you want her to control your life. This will not get easier.
Helpful Answer (19)

Sending you a great big HUG of empathy & compassion right now. The hardest thing in the WORLD is trying to take care of an elderly woman who insists on 'independence' and is nasty & mean in the process of you trying to help! I've been looking after my mother since I had to move her here in 2011 and it's been one helluva burden, period. Try to have your OWN life and think about moving OUT of the same building she lives in. My God, that's too much for anyone!!!
Best of luck, dear woman.
Helpful Answer (17)

We hear people talk about how sharp granny is at 98 or 101 but the truth is most are not very sharp at this point. At that age even without diagnosed dementia, old folks can be very hurtful and not able to reason.

My mom is 87 and still pretty "Sharp" but I'm amazed sometimes by things she will blurt out.

You have to grow a think skin. Consider the source and take it with a grain of salt.
Helpful Answer (15)

It sounds to me as though you've had your feelings badly hurt. Different from burnout, but painful all the same. Don't think it makes you an inadequate caregiver!!!

Apart from the mother angle, are you happy with the move?
Helpful Answer (9)

How old are you,,, I am 68 be watching my mom for 6 to almost 7 years,,,, she is 95,,,, Brother died 4 years ago and my sister 3 months ago none of them helped or even would show up,,I am totally burnt out get an aid 3 times a week for hour and half all that is time to get to the but I take it,,, get away any chance you can,,, pus I get up at 4 to have 3 hours or 4 to myself
Helpful Answer (8)

Personally, i think when you're overhearing some that you did NOT share with us in this helpful caring forum, it made you feel a little bad, or think differently.I think that you are not really burned out (Just my opinion here) I think it is a regret feasibly, (after) hearing whatever it is you heard.TAKE time for you. I do know it helps so many i've read here.
-If you are really feeling so burned out, get OUT.Meaning move to a different, however close by location/area.It doesn't have to be the "same"building.Not at all.I am 1 who am grateful i am here for both mi parents, as long as i am since dad fell ill.(Recovered beautifully/thank GOD from a light to mild stroke.)After he was not ever ill for 82 years. He is and my mom early 80s,but doing well, 

as i am keeping both,and dad i get out much,and then at night relax, watch tv, a nice dinner laughs!I am not one to get burned out.I love each minute i have with mi parents and staying here for a while now my dad always remind me and my mom is a blessing. I am also the youngest out of five. I am also VERY  happy to hear your loving mother living in mid to late 90s and still quite capable/doing well i am sending a prayer her way and yours. If i was you?
 I would do as others cite, "Take time for your self."I am guessing if she is that age you're in your seventies/and or early to mid upper 60s,so still lots of life hopefully to live and enjoy, by just taking some time for YOU." I wish you good health each day and hugs and blessings going your way today.adios..God bless you both.
Helpful Answer (6)

Hello my dear. I too moved across the country to be near my mom and ended up actually "taking charge" of her. If you are like me you are in culture shock. You have given up your life, your nest, your freedom. I came to think of what you are experiencing as "mini-burnout". The joy and comfort that comes around being near my mother alternates with claustrophobia, anger, helplessness. I disagree with Harpcat. Things will get better. Learn to make adjustments in your life to make it work out. Talk to your brothers, talk to your Mom. Go find something else to do, find a good friend or two, get involved in the "old folks system". If she uses Humana insurance, they will have a center there in your town. People of all ages and for all reasons go there -- mostly to talk. You do not have to be a member. Definitely talk to her social worker. Reach out for supporting arms. Remember your mother is in shock too to have you suddenly in her life so close. Sign up to get the daily email on this website. People write in about everything you can imagine dealing with growing old. And take into consideration the fact that these are just people writing, every one is different, has different experiences, some have grown bitter, some have grown heavenly. It's a "sharing" thing. Good luck and bless you.
Helpful Answer (5)

Moving to a new area is difficult and takes time to adjust, even with no family involved. Making new friends, finding new doctor, stores, spiritual practice, time and places to rejuvenate, etc. Give yourself time.
Helpful Answer (5)

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