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Mom has a pretty good mind although she is forgetful. She reads and writes, Makes up her bed and washes her clothes. She has congestive heart failure and diabetes but manages well. She has arthritis and uses a cane and sometimes a walker. She was a teacher for 40 years and was very independent. My dad died 23 years ago after the flood. Their house was flooded during that time but it really hasn’t been right since. It’s falling apart and she can not afford to have it repaired. Fast forward...my wayward 60+ year old brother went to jail and lost his job. Then he moved in. My dad would have never allowed that. He doesn't work. He asks mom for hundreds of dollars at a time claiming he has to pay child support. Yes he had a 6 year old and grandchildren even older. He only uses the money to buy drugs. He never helps around the house and I even had to pay to get the yards done every month. He’s my mom’s first born and she thinks he can do no wrong. She just says that he’s less fortunate than my younger brother and me. My brother and I argue all the time. Sometimes it is actually scary. I had to call he police a few times. I got tired of living in a stressful situation after 24 years. So, 3 years ago I told my mom I was moving out. She had a fit. Crying and asking what was she suppose to do. I told her that she seemed to be perfectly happy with her 1st born and that they could stay there together. Of course, she wanted me to stay but that was a definite NO! I found a place. She became very depressed. Before I left she told me that she’d go with me. I told her ok but that my brother could not come. Now mom has become depressed because she cannot control what happens in my house. She has a fixation on moving around the furniture in her room. She says her room is too small but she keeps asking for more furniture. I can’t seem to get her to understand that she already has to much in her room. I’ve had people to move that furniture at least 10 times in 2 months. She is never satisfied. Then she gets mad with and says that I’m mistreating her. Now everyday she’s crying and say she wants to leave because I won't let her move the furniture the way she wants too. Lord knows we’ve moved it very which way but out. So today she says she wants new furniture. Really? That furniture is only 3 years old. Now she sits up and draws plans on how she wants the new furniture arranged. Trust me the furniture that’s in here now is already arranged like that. Buying new furniture is not going to solve this problem. I know it’s all in her mind. But every day I have to hear about moving furniture and buying furniture. It’s driving me nuts and now I’m depressed. What do I do? I love my mom and will do just about anything for her but some of her request are just UNREAL.

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Independence to dependence, control to not-in-control, are the hardest transitions we go through as human beings..but some people have a MUCH more difficult time going through those changes than others.. actually some never accept their limitations and new circumstances.

We as children that love our parents join this “hamsters’ wheel” as I picture and refer to it, and just keep going and going and going trying to do and say anything possible or even impossible to make our loved ones transition a little easier. Yet, what we fail to realize sometimes is that in our restless desire to make their lives better, we might not be helping to the best of our abilities; and then even unreasonable behaviors become just the ‘new norm’ and we get bothered and concerned..but simply adapt to it and keep going, catching up with the new demands.

All this is to say that I respect your decision to keep your mom with you as long as you can, but I don’t think she’s receiving the type of care, medication and medical attention she needs. The whole situation with the furniture is simply a symptom of something wrong happening, way beyond her having trouble adapting to her not so new status quo. I think she needs to be seen by another doctor to identify what is REALLY the problem. Then get her to take the correct medication.

What does not seem “normal” is likely not normal! so pay attention to that type of behavior, and seek help for her..and for you if you feel depression is winning the battle!

God bless!!
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Thanks /alibobali! I will!
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Darol, consider the support threads on this site, too. An in-person support group is GREAT! There are virtual support threads on this site and you can jump right in an ongoing support thread and post/comment anything and everything. Some people talk about their situations, some vent other things. I'll link a couple threads for you. Feel free to stick around on here, too, if you want!

https://www.agingcare.com/questions/no-one-ever-asks-how-the-caregiver-is-doing-146661.htm?page=1&cm=810433#810433

https://www.agingcare.com/questions/my-whine-moment-today-168013.htm?page=1&cm=810672#810672
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Thanks to all for your responses.
No my brother is no longer living in the house or asking for money. I have power of attorney over all of her business. He’s getting social security and is living on his own. We are leasing the house with option the buy.

My parents lived well. He was retired military / postal worker and she a retired teacher. Mom has been living with me for 3 years. Moving from a 4 bedroom house with a white Pickett fence in the suberbs to a 2 bedroom apartment in the inner city was a HUGE adjustment for her. After about a year she was fine with it until about a month ago. Then came the constant complaining and the fixation on the furniture.

Mom still goes to church and biweekly senior activities at the church. She has regular doctor appointments (every three months). She’s been through several evaluations as well as checked for hardening of the arteries (Alzheimer). I have been told that she has slight dementia and she has been given meds to improve her memory and Zoloft for depression.

Her doctor seems to think that because she was so independent until about 4 years ago that she’s having a hard time accepting that she’s no longer in control. She’s constantly telling me that I’ve taken away her independence.
Her psychologist also thinks the furniture is a way to gain control over something in her life. So I’ve conceded to let her have her way even though that changes often. He also thinks that mom is deeply depressed because of her health issues and dependency on someone else.

I guess because I am not use to seeing my mom like this it’s really overwhelming and it’s breaking my heart. I’m going to keep my mom as long as I can. I don’t feel it’s necessary to put her in a home. I’ve signed up with a caretakers support group that I will start in January. Hopefully I will learn some strategies for dealing with an irrational mom who is fighting the aging process.
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Well, you can't.

She doesn't WANT to be pleased, she doesn't understand anymore what's going on...the ability to do laundry, make the bed, that's all good, but the obsession over furniture, bad choice re: your brother and the arguing--all signs of dementia or some kind of mental failure.

I'd have her get a thorough evaluation, physical, psych, the works. Go from there.

Trying to reason with someone who is not with the program--pointless. I'd MUCH rather argue with my 4- 4yo grandkids that try to have a conversation with mother.

Once you have a baseline on her health, mental and physical, maybe you can begin to understand why she is the way she is. You need to take care of you first, and being angry at mom is kind of pointless.

Once you have an understanding of WHY she's so cantankerous (and being 90 is a good reason) then go from there to either changing your attitude or moving mom to an ALF or something. You really are never going to change her, nor please her.
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If I was living in a house that was falling apart with a son who is on drugs, I would be paranoid too. She needs to either go to nursing home or live with you. If she lives with you, she will still have dementia and it will probably drive you nuts.
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Has your mom been checked for dementia? Her obsession with her furniture seems to indicate that she is irrational. Repeatedly rearranging the furniture and now wanting to buy new furniture and creating sketches of how it's going to fit....something doesn't sound right.
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Darol, your mom lives with you, in your house, is that correct? She left the old house for the bad bro to stay in, is that right? And now your mom is depressed often and unsatisfied living with you in your new house and wants more and new furniture, but that isn't the real issue.

Other than possibly still inhabiting the old house, is your bad bro manipulating your mom at all, still getting money from her, or do you think your mom is sad/depressed over his life choices? I take it you all live in the same town or city.

If you could describe the living situation a little more clearly, that might be helpful. Ultimately, I think your mom's depression is typical in elders who are losing ability and independence and there isn't much you can do, unfortunately. Does mom have church interests/friends or other social activities to help fill her time? Would she be open to talking to a doctor about trying small dose of anti-depressant medication?

How long have you two been moved on to this new place?  Do you think it might be that mom just needs more time to adjust?  It's a big change after a lifetime (sounds like) at her old house.  
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Darol; In your shoes, I would call Adult Protective Services in mom's area and ask them to find out if she is being abused financially by your brother.

At the end of the day, mom has made her choices and you don't have to enable her wishes and desires. Stop trying to please her. Get the authorities to figure out if she needs help that they can provide.

It sounds as though mom has dementia and needs ALOT more care and supervision than she currently has.

This is NOT your job.
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