She’s been caring for my dad who has dementia for several years. They’ve lived a very co-dependent relationship. She has disconnected from friends and thinks I should be able to hear her venting. I live nearby but want to move away from her. She’s taking a toll on me. I ignore messages like “ I haven’t showered in a week” “I haven’t gotten the mail in 6 days” “your dad talks nonstop” “ he’s driving me crazy”. That’s just the tip of a very lengthy text that also listed all she needs to get done.
I have told her to stop texting me these things. Especially the mean things about dad. I ignore most of them. I just don’t want to even see these texts.
I’m realize more and more that she is emotionally trying to manipulate me. We recently hired outside help which she is never satisfied with. She’s “wasting away” and I feel some guilt but it really is do to her choices over the years. They are just magnified now. Ugh!
My mother has never been satisfied with one thing in her life, one day in her life, ever. It's who she is.
But I am her daughter and her only remaining immediate family. Even though I don't want to hear what she has to say *and I especially did not want to hear all the mean things she had to say about my sweet dad*, I realize that she's hurting. She's scared and she sees the end of her life approaching very quickly these days. She too is 'wasting away' mentally and physically too, having taken 65 falls over the past few years.
If I were to cut her off and block her calls, she'd have nobody left in her life but the caregivers at the Memory Care. I couldn't live with myself if I did that. Could you?
If you can live with yourself and feel that your mother is 'manipulating' you by venting her fears and frustrations with your father, then by all means block her from contacting you.
If you think that your mother is overwhelmed and scared to death, not knowing WHAT the heck to do with your father and his increasing dementia, then perhaps a heart-to-heart talk with her in person is in order. Ask her how you can genuinely help her through this mind-numbing situation she's facing. Can you help find a Memory Care AL for dad? Go see what dementia looks and feels like first hand before you decide that your mother's texts are mean and manipulative. Make sure she's not losing HER mind before you make such a determination. Make sure she's not really wasting away and feeling like a prisoner in her own home, trapped with a man who's talking gibberish all day long & making her question her own sanity now.
I don't know what's happening here, do you? I'd find out before I blocked her, though.
Wishing you the best of luck getting to the bottom of what's happening to your parents.
Use them! It’s very easy to block someone. If a person is blocked, you won’t even know that they called.
There are no texts, no notification of a missed call, no voicemail, essentially no nothing 😊 and it is wonderful!
If she calls on regular phone let it go to voicemail. Don't even listen to VM.
If she continues this then tell her you won't listen. If more continues, tell her you are getting a new phone number and not giving it to her. Then do so.
Offer to take dad for a week or two so that she can get a break and a full night's sleep for multiple days. Better yet, tell her to book a spa retreat and you will come stay with dad at their house so she can get a well earned and deserved break.
She matters in this situation too and it sounds like she is burned out and dealing with a very difficult illness all by herself. Encourage her to get in home help weekly so that she can get out and breathe and take care of her own needs. But 1st, give her the above break, it will help her decompress and help you see how hard dealing with dementia 24/7 really is and hopefully, you will have more empathy for her and not just dad.
As others have said, offer to help her find memory care placement for Dad, or if she, too, isn't able to live on her own, look into finding a place where they can both live.
I don't know the whole history of your relationship with your mother, but the thought of moving or blocking her just to avoid helping is kind of appalling to me. To me, the job of a child of an elderly parent to to ensure they are safe and cared for. It isn't their job to be the one to provide that care, but they are responsible for making sure that care is found. Elderly people have a very hard time making decisions, so having an adult child who can compassionately take charge and help make things better is the best thing to do. If you don't feel up to the job, I hope you'll ask one of your siblings to step up. If there are no siblings, please dig deep into yourself and find the strength to be the adult she needs.
If she refuses to listen to your suggestions then it’s on her to figure it out.
I would do as others have suggested, you can block her number when you need a break.
I think it may be time for Mom to place Dad. Medicaid allows for splitting of assets. Mom will be given enough to live on, she will not be made impoverished. She becomes the Community spouse. You may want to speak with a lawyer well versed in Medicaid.
My very needy, immature and dysfunctional MIL was married to a jerk but would just not leave him even though he was taking her into financial ruin. Over the course of 30 long years when she would complain to us (often) we would offer very rational and reasonable solutions for her life. She never acted on any of them, telling us she "should have to do that". When I finally told her to stop calling me with complaints about problems for which there were solutions that she rejected, she stopped calling us at home but then started calling my husband at our office to cry to him during business hours. I finally also had to tell her the same thing and to stop calling us at work. She finally did. Then, when both she and her husband started the landslide down financial impoverishment and aging decline and the poo was hitting the fan for real, she then mournfully said to me, "This isn't the way I ever imagined retirement to be!" and I told her, "No, it's the retirement you planned for." She never complained to us again. I wish you much success in erecting healthy boundaries and peace in your heart no matter where the journey takes your family.