My mother has always been a negative person, but in her old age (95) she has gotten much worse.

Visits leave me feeling like I just drank poison. She complains about everything from the food to the sad other residents who struggle day to day.

Today she went on a rant about rude a man was to have wet his pants in the lobby. And when another woman was close by, my mom loudly said "Nobody likes her!"

There is no softening these diatribes. React. Don't react. Doesn't matter. Her hearing is terrible and she refuses to get hearing aids.

I lost my husband a year ago and I need some space to grieve. I am exhausted by her constant complaining and am sad that I don't have one of those sweet mothers that others talk about.

I never thought that at my age I would still be putting up with this. I want my peace.

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I get it. My mom makes snide comments frequently. It’s annoying. You’re absolutely right. We don’t have the power to change anyone. We can choose how we react. But every now and then the pressure builds and we need to take a break.

Sorry for your loss loss of your husband. Take care.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

I wouldn't even visit for hours. Once she starts tell her if she is going to complain or be nasty you are leaving. You no longer can deal with it. You want to be able to enjoy ur visits.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Dear WannaScream,

I can totally understand and relate to how you feel. My two elderly parents (MIL 90 and Dad 88) are quite negative too and it can be toxic. Plus my MIL has lived with us for 4 years, so we get her stream of complaints all day long.

I would say just walk out and make a quick exit when Mom starts to complain. Tell her nicely but firmly that you need to stay positive and that when she starts to rant, it's too much for you and you want to leave with happy thoughts and have a pleasant visit. Or change the subject.... Does she have any hobbies? Does she enjoy talking about old family memories?

So sorry about your husband... take extra good care of yourself. Have lunch with friends. Take walks. Go see a comedy film or watch a stand up comic on Netflix. You need to grieve, but laughter also is so healing. What you are getting from your mom in terms of complaints is the opposite of what you need right now to heal. Sending my love and best wishes for things to be easier for you.
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Reply to sorryselma

You are right about her wanting to feel superior to the other residents. She mocks people and puts herself on a pedestal.
I visit for a few hours a couple of times a weeks. On the off days, she calls me a couple of times a day. But if I want to sleep, I silence my phone.
The staff is wonderful. I don't know how they do it.
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Reply to WannaScream

If you are in the habit of visiting every day for hours, step back a bit. My mother was negative and a drama queen to boot. I visited twice a week for about an hour each time. When she started calling in the middle of the night, I turned off my phone. Nothing could happen to her in those few hours that the nursing home couldn’t handle.

A lot of elderly people, when they reach a certain age, seem to lose all their social filters. It’s ok for you to say, “Mom, be nice!” My mom was obsessed with conversations about sex. Once when I’d had enough, I told her, “Mom, be a lady. Ladies don’t talk like that,”. It helped somewhat. Mom might feel that by disrespecting the other residents, she is somehow better than they are.

When you visit your mother, if she is in a particularly foul mood, tell her you can see she’s not having a good day and tell her you’ll be back later,
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Ahmijoy

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