How can I best support my mother? I work full time and have a family. She has recently made a 300 mile move away from her home of 30 years.

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She has become angry and bitter. She has also been in depression for the last few years. Most recently her pain has become excruciating and she believes she is very ill. Mom’s orthopedic specialist, recommended an anti depressant along with physical therapy, for her diagnosis for arthritis. But, she does not like the way anti depressants make her feel. She has tried several for a few weeks, and then stops taking them. She believes she has made so many mistakes in her life (2 divorces). Now, selling her home and moving closer to myself, daughter, is probably another.

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My parents moved down the street from me 15 years ago while still in their 60s and healthy. Oh how I wish I hadn't let that happen! Their problems became my problems and it only gets worse each year. We had to move my dad to a memory care last year and my mom sits home alone, depressed, drinking, threatening suicide (daily). Every chance for help (a 10-day stay in a senior mental health facility, etc) falls apart and we end up at the same place or worse. I've had to tell her "Mom I am not going to take responsibility for your happiness." It's not OUR job as children to do that. From my perspective, do everything you can to keep your distance and force her to take responsibility for her life and her happiness. If I could do it all over again I would have kept a great distance away from my parents!!!!
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Reply to Upstream
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Can you give us a bit more information? How old is your mom and has she tried to fit in where she is? Is she in an apartment or senior living facility? I'd recommend she start going to your local senior center. I'm in a suburb of Chicago and each community around here has a very vibrant senior center. I'm 67 and not ready for that myself yet, but if your mom is older, it's a way she can participate in activities and make some good friends in her area. She could also consider some kind of volunteer activity - when you volunteer, you focus on someone else and don't dwell on your own troubles as much. She could also join a faith community to make friends. But these suggestions are made without knowing much about your mom. I would also question whether your mom has ever been happy with herself or her life.

One thing I DO know from my own experience with my mom is that happiness is something your mom has to do for herself. You can't make her happy. You can make suggestions to her, but it's up to her to follow-through and take the steps necessary to make a good life for herself. So take that worry off your shoulders. It's not your job - it's your mom's. You sound like a very loving daughter who is working with a mom who is kind of difficult to help. {{{Hugs}}}
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Is there any chance she would consider an Independent Living senior community?

She would have her own place but be among people her own age, and many of them have transportation to and from dr. appts on certain days of the week. They could probably take her to PT appointments also.

You can't force her to socialize, but being in a place like that at least she wouldn't be at home by herself and isolated, which I think would be worse for her depression. She may find that she does enjoy the people and activities too.
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