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I've posted before about my mum's condition deteriorating, but it's getting to the point where she won't even try to do things for herself and starts shouting at me if I don't do it the exact second she asks regardless of what I'm doing. I could be on the toilet and she'll start shrieking as if she's fallen over and hurt herself over something as unimportant as "I dropped my bookmark" which is usually right by her foot where she is not incapable of reaching and doesn't even need because she's still reading. It frustrates me so much because I don't even get time to do any of my hobbies: I pick something up, she shouts for help, and she doesn't stop until I'm doing it. It makes me so angry because I don't receive any thank yous or apologies and she shows no interest in what I want to do. She won't even play board games with me. I just want to scream and shout but I don't know how to; something always hold that back and makes me cry instead when it feels overwhelming.

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Hi Namelessvirtue, I truly understand the lack of appreciation or even just a simple thank you especially given that you have out of love for your mum given up things that make you happy. I too have given up practically everything I love to do everything that my mom cannot do, which is most life issues that many other parents can do without putting it all on their kids. I would love to see you get some in home care even just for one day for your mom while you go pamper yourself!!! You deserve a break and spoiling for being such a kind, caring person! And, believe me, my anger turns to crying alot too, you're not alone. Wishing you all good things in life 😊
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Hi there!
I would love to see you get a state sanctioned caregiver to come into the home! I think that's what would give you back your life and independence! You can call DHS and find out more about it! Can't hurt! God bless you and I hope this is resolved! 😊
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What the others have said, I can't improve on; except to offer this - When my boss got on my very last nerve, I would go to the ladies room, stuff my mouth with paper towel, and scream !!! It helps. If you can't get outside to scream, try screaming into a pillow. It will muffle the sound, and the result is the same. Sending you a huge virtual hug.
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Imho, what a frustrating dynamic you're in. It must change by your mother moving.
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NamelessVirtue,
I've read your posts and don't like being the one to tell you. There's no such thing as a two-household separation rule if anyone had a living situation involving an elderly parent or grandparent. If it's your house the elder is living in sometimes they behave a little better. If it's their house that you're living in, forget it. That's their leverage and control. When an adult child moves back in with an elderly parent to "help" them it always goes way beyond that even when an elder can still do for themselves. Their adult child in their home then becomes a sort of slave who must be at their beck and call 24 hours a day. The agreement both people make in the beginning is that the adult child will live with them to help out and keep up on things like housework, doing the bills, cooking, and generally looking after their parent. It is never just that. Elderly people get needy and bored very often. They also become jealous and resentful of their adult child living with them when they have any outside life that the elderly parent isn't part of and doesn't control.
That's when the abusive behavior and unreasonable demands like drop what you're doing and pick up my bookmark start. It's also when the 'performances' start too.
The performances are usually fabricated health crises, staged falls, and working themselves up into hysterics for attention. They can get taken so far that the 'actor' (usually an elderly mom) will go so far as to insist on going to the ER.
I'm willing to bet that you get a performance when you're looking forward to doing something that she isn't part of. Anything from a planned dinner out with friends, someone's birthday party, or even just going to work. I can't tell you how many "emergency" calls I used to get at work from my mother.
You have to learn to put your foot down and take back some of your control. Ignore some of it. You have to learn to keep parts of your life private and secret from her too. Otherwise she will take those over too. You have every right to enjoy your hobbies without her, or to have a life outside of your live-in care situation that mom isn't part of.
Let her rant and rave and carry on because you stop being at her beck and call. At some point it will quiet down because mom will realize that she is only a part of your life. Not your entire life.
Then you will likely get something from her that you (like me) have never experienced in your life from your mom. Respect.
Trust me, you'll love it.
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purplebadger Mar 29, 2021
YES!!! What Burntcaregiver said! Bravo! Described my situation to a tee!
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Being a people pleaser is exhausting and rarely appreciated by the people you try to please. Take it from a recovering people pleaser. I tried to make everyone happy and found no one was happy, especially me. That doesn't mean you are unkind, be kind and take care of your mother's needs; she takes care of the rest. As it is, you are enabling her to continue to behave the way she is. Unless the stroke has affected her mental faculties, she is still an adult responsible for her own actions. You deserve to live your life also. If she starts screaming, remove yourself from the situation and taking a deep breath. Return after she has settled down.

Set boundaries and post rules of the house. Assign her tasks she is capable of doing. While you are a caregiver, you are not a maid nor a doormat.

Good luck to both of you.
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Heck when you find out, let me know. Right now it is BEYOND anger it is rage. JUST ONCE do you think I could eat MY dinner in a variation of hot to warm? Yes I do use the micro to rewarm, but I am sick of it. TONIGHT...well let's see, I think I'm lucky because I see her filthy body in bed under the covers sleeping. SO at least as I make the dinner she will not be trying to get in the kitchen and I won't have to listen to my deaf father constantly telling her to LEAVE ME ALONE. Because he watching the blessed news for the 5th time today. Dinner done, only my own plate needs reheating and I get my pup upstairs and grab my car keys so I can get a can of coke out of my car. On the way I spot pup's white water bowl on a small bench on the landing...but I did not put it there. WHich can only mean one thing: that my mother has been in OUR SPACE and could have gotten into anything including my CLOTHES. She is still wearing the white tshirt on her filthy body that has not come off...it will be 2 weeks tomorrow. Inside our room, I cannot find the white bowl for food. I find my mother's blue sweatshirt jacket and throw it into the hallway. But still we have the missing bowl. Which had dry food in it. I find it in my mother's bathroom, EMPTY. INside it: a small container with a fork in it of macaroni salad nearly empty. It had significantly more in it when I left it from my lunch. She had filled it with water for it to "soak" no doubt. Although it was going to be tossed out for having been unrefrigerated for hours. But where did the dog food go???? I didn't have to look far...flipped open her jewelry box on the dresser top and two sections were filled with it. She had also taken out of our room a fresh bag of pita chips. You'd think this woman was being starved to death but she is regulary fed or feeding herself. We get meals on wheels and she eats those. It's her entertainment...to eat. And me the MD says the best thing I can do to help myself is keep my BP low. Right.
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BurntCaregiver Mar 24, 2021
gdaughter, the best thing you can do is stop being mother's caregiver and move out of your parents' house and have a live-in caregiver move in. Many can be found on caregiver websites and their wages can be negotiated because room and board is included.

It is obvious that you do not want to be the caregiver to your parents, especially your mother. You don't have to be and it's okay for you not to be.
If your mother is eating the dog food and putting it in her jewelry box then for her own safety she needs to be living in a supervised, controlled environment. She is not getting the care she needs at home now.
I understand and hear where you're coming from. Your situation is very high risk for elder abuse. Please for your own sake stop being the caregiver and move out. Or find a care facility for your mother to go to.
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When the situation, as you described happens, and you can ascertain that there is no serious problem with her, just do not respond, and do not help her. Just let the situation be until she gets tired of calling out. When she is through she will wonder why you did not respond to her call for help. You need to quietly explain why. If she over reacts to your explanation just walk away until she ready to listen to you. Be firm and calm, you will change her behavior over time.
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NamelessVirtue,

Sorry you're having to deal with your mom's worsening deterioration, but sadly this is what caretakers often face: a parent behaving like a child who, rather than growing up, continues to regress, dementia or not. I wouldn't expect much from her in the way of apologies or gratitude, and it's unlikely you'll ever be able to "get through" to her about needing the time to meet your own needs. As the years went by, Mom become more and more self-absorbed and insular, disinterested in anyone or anything but her own wants. I hope you'll take the time to explore alternative living arrangements or bring in help, because your mom will continue her decline. Establish and maintain very firm boundaries, not for your mom but for yourself. Otherwise your physical and mental health will likely suffer the consequences. Self-care isn't selfish!
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Seems that her frustration level has declined a lot. Talk to her doctor about anti-anxiety medications to help calm her frustration level.

Being at "instant beck and call" can be nerve wracking. I would suggest asking for more help so you have some "time off". Ask family, friends, members of your faith community and paid help (sitters, home health aides...) to watch mum for a couple of hours daily and for more extended times weekly.
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I would like to make a suggestion. As with a toddler, you are like home base. Even tho they may not be clear who you are, you are still the most prominent person in their world. Try moving your hobby into the room with them or at least place them where they can see you. This way they don't feel lost or look for excuses to get your attention.
I have found my mother is also jealous of anything that does not focus directly on her. These times I include her or give her a favorite activity that requires her attention. It sometimes works but later will be resentful that I did something for our church instead of her. I just try to turn the conversation to a positive like she can brag that she was there to helping.
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Thank you for your answers xxx
I never even considered ignoring because I've always been a people pleaser and hate not doing something if someone needs help. If she's manipulating that then I definitely need to take a step back.
I mean, she's supposed to be shielding but that hasn't stopped her from breaking the two-household support bubble rule. I can't see my partner, while she's inviting different people round every day when I'm at work! They always leave before I get home leaving me to deal with her in the evenings, but if they're okay with disobeying the rules I may talk to them about staying longer. I already stay late at work, finding untaxing jobs to fill some time before I leave, but it's clearly not working.
Hopefully, with your suggestions, I can start to get through to her.
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disgustedtoo Mar 21, 2021
?If you're working all day, who deals with her "inability" to do things for herself? I doubt these people she invites over are there all day every day, kow-towing to her whims and shrieks!

Nanny cam. See what she actually does during the day when you aren't there. If she can get around and do for herself, then step back even more!
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Definitely some good ear plugs, noise cancelling headphones, music through a headset, etc. Once you have those, respond on YOUR terms, not hers. IF she's in the same place all the time, set up a camera, so you can, at a glance, determine if her needs are more immediate. If not, let her wait and shriek all she wants - turn up the tunes!

As others suggested, do hire outside help with her funds for some needed time OUT for you. This might be good for her as well. Some people behave "differently" when others (non-family) are around. But, it's also good for her to have interactions with others. Once a routine is established, use that time to get out, do something for yourself, run your errands, whatever, just to be out of the house.

IF she's very low income and can't afford home caregivers, perhaps explore Medicaid - they do provide a small amount of in-home care hours (varies by state.)

Headphones and/or earplugs first! As with plane safety, where you put your oxygen mask on first, you block the obnoxious, then think about attending to others!
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You need some time to yourself. Bring in a companion to sit with your mother a few hours a week.
In the meantime, stop living your life standing at attention for when your mom starts yelling about something. Make her wait. Yes, this will get on your last nerve for a while but you have to do it.
She will learn to be patient and she will actually begin to show you some respect.
It's like with a baby. Mom can't go running to them every time they squawk a little bit. Sometimes you have to let them do it for a while because it's good for them. Otherwise they will never be able to be alone even for short periods of time. If she has totally given up and refuses to have any level of independence, this can mean just sitting and waiting patiently, then she is beyond the level of care you can give her. When this happens it's time for her to be living in a care facility.
Being a caregiver to someone does not mean you become their slave. You do not have to cater to every demand she makes of you. Stop doing that. The only time caregiving is successful is if it's done on the caregiver's terms. Not the care recipient. Start making some rules and setting some boundaries. Then stick to them. You will see a big change happen for the better.
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It’s pretty clear that you need some privacy and space.

How old is your mom? Have you ever thought of getting a sitter once in a while for a few hours so you can have some time to yourself?
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Are you at all considering long term care now? How long do you suppose that you can continue living this way? I am so sorry that you are going through this, but over and over again we hear of people on this Forum just completely ruining their mental health.
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First you must start by setting some much need boundaries like Grandma1954 suggested. When she calls you, even if she's screaming you finish what you're doing first, and then when you can, you respond. It sounds like she has you trained quite well to be at her beck and call at the drop of a hat. That must stop.
Secondly, you must hire some outside help(with mum's money)to come in to give you much needed breaks, so you can once again start doing the hobbies you enjoy. That is the most important thing a caregiver can do for themselves, or as you are discovering, it leads to burnout.
And of course you always have the option to place her in the appropriate facility, where she will be around other folks her age, and just might thrive.
So you are not stuck in this situation, you have some good options. Your care is just as important as mum's, so now you must do what is best for you and your mental health, and only you know what that is.
And of course when all else fails, you can do what a seasoned caregiver in my local caregivers group said she did when caring for her mom, and things just got to be too much, and that is go out on your back porch/patio and scream at the top of your lungs. I know you said that for some reason you can't do that, but if you would just give that a try, I think you would be amazed how cleansing and freeing that is. I know, because I did it while caring for my husband. God bless you.
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If your profile is correct your mom is VERY young, you say 56.
She might do much better is Assisted Living or possibly Independent Living where there will be more activity and more people around her.
If that is not an option set some ground rules. What caregivers call Boundaries.
Stop doing things that she is capable of doing. If she shrieks for something that she can do...let her shriek. Wear earbuds, or earplugs if you need to. (Just be sure you can hear her if it is truly an emergency.)
If she can pay for it hire a caregiver a few hours a day for a day or two a week and LEAVE the house. (the more hours, the more days the better but 3 or 4 hours 1 day a week is better than none)
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