We both work, and she is far from an easy person to deal with.

She is financially able to pay for caregivers, and we have had several good people with her, but she runs them off. Mom is 93 and while there are signs of dementia, she is still mentally aware of the money being spent, and she is a control freak. As the only daughter, she believes I should move in and take over her care full time. I am married and my husband comes first. I make sure she has good caregivers, take her to all appointments, and keep her stocked with the groceries, medications, and other things she needs.

Find Care & Housing
"Mom, No".

"Mom, I absolutely cannot do that"

Or, a more modern approach:

"That's never going to happen".

Allow your brother to speak for himself.
Helpful Answer (31)
Reply to Sendhelp

Time to place her in a good home. At 93, she needs more care than you may even realize...

I know because my elderly mom lived on her own for over 20 yrs after Dad died. She had to give up driving after getting lost, driving over curbs, etc..Her nutrition got bad because she wanted potato chips and ice cream. After fighting with my older sister for over a year, we placed her in memory care. She is good there, very well cared, we can go see her and actually visit with her instead of cleaning and gathering laundry and taking food. She is now 95 and physically healthy, but dementia is bad...she should have been in this home five years ago.
Helpful Answer (31)
Reply to janerides

Just say "NO, not going to happen.  Avoid trying to explain or justify - to some people this is an indicator that you could be pressured into changing your mind.  You are doing a great deal already, she is being selfish.
Helpful Answer (27)
Reply to rovana

You could always play her game, "mom, I have decided that I will not be taking you to any more appointments or providing any care because you refuse to respect my decisions and you continue to run off the caregivers I work hard to find, so, you want control, you now have it."

Let her stew on what that looks and feels like for a few days.

She may come to appreciate all you do for her, if not, next stop a facility.
Helpful Answer (25)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

if Mum is 93, I am sure you are between the age of 50 and 70. Why have you not disavowed your mother of her idea that you will care for her sooner?

I made it abundantly clear to my parents years ago that I would not give up my life to care for them. I will set up supports, but not provide hands on care nor financial support.

No is a complete sentence.
Helpful Answer (24)
Reply to Tothill
JoAnn29 Nov 19, 2018
Thats how my brother and I feel. Our responsibility is to make sure they are safe, clean and fed. But we don't have to be hands on.
See 1 more reply
Dear Guilty,
That emotion (guilt) is EXACTLY what she is using to get what she wants.
Bravo for you that you put your hubs first. That's the way it should be.

Mom is throwing a tantrum (by running off caregivers). She needs to suffer the consequences of her actions. Only then will she see how important they are to her. Whatever you do, do NOT give in.

Like Tothill said, "NO" is a complete sentence. Not "I'm sorry" with a big explanation because she will use your reasons against you. "I can't." End of discussion. Walk away if she nags or whines. This is a tough love situation. You being her solo c/g is not a healthy decision. You are an adult (her peer) and should make decisions based on what is right for you and your immediate family. No parent should "guilt" their child into giving up their life to cater to them (in my opinion).

You are doing plenty for her. She will be forced to accept your decision. She is fortunate that she can afford good help. Maybe you could bring up going to a nursing home. I'll bet the c/g's would look pretty good in comparison to that.
Helpful Answer (24)
Reply to SueC1957
DetiaO59 Dec 3, 2018
We are dealing with something very similar here. Thanks for the great advice!
Imhad a grand talk with my mon, age 91, and told her it was not in my plans to be her caregiver. I told her that I had saved and planned for an active retirement that did not include being her errand girl. I explained that I wanted her in a safe, healthy home with 24/7 care givers who worked 8 hours and then left to have a life (and were much younger than my 64 years!)

She was reluctant but after staying with me for a few weeks after a hospitalization and seeing my on-the-go life, where she spent most of the day and evenings alone, she agreed to a trial stay in AL. It was a revalation, 3 meals a day, laundry, housekeeping, on-call assistance, etc. and she decided that was the life for her.

We visited several facilities before settling on one near me, her friends, and other family. It’s been 3 weeks and she is happy and healthier than I have seen her in months. She can sit in her room and watch TV or go to the common room and socialize if she wants company. And at 91 she one of the oldest and most physically active residents.

its a journey and there were moments when I felt guilty but stand your ground. One of the directors told me "now you can be the daughter again." Instead of doing chores I can sit and visit with her.
Helpful Answer (23)
Reply to Frances73
igloo572 Dec 3, 2018
Frances73 - you’ve brought up a really good perspective... that often our folks truly have NO IDEA of what their kids lives are like. They see us through their prism which is based in their past & that they had control over. That we actually have very full schedules within our own lives, families and work BEFORE taking time to do for them does not enter their prism.

My late mom & I lived states apart. She would come visit abt 3 times a year for 1-2.5 week sets after dad died. I’m a freelancer so I’d visit 5-6 times a year solo or with kid & hubs (working remotely) in tow. Whichever way, we did not drop everything cause she was visiting or we were visiting her and center on her. We both knew what our lives were like other than being together for an event. The visit kid & I arrived and the gas was on the stove unlit and mom was in her bedroom happily watching TV & folding clothes, I put her on waiting list at ILs. She very well knew we had full lives & I wasn’t going to become her live in caregiver. Day of the move she was frozen in fear, in tears, dramatics. Next morning I called abt 8 AM to see if she was up and remind her to her apt tag hung outside her door by 9 AM for daily staff hallway check. Day after ditto. Day 3 answer, waited 15, no answer, again, no answer, it’s 9:30 AM I’m getting dressed to rush over, death scenarios running thru my brain & call one last time..... she answers totally out of breath,
me: you ok mom? I’ve been calling.....
mom: yes thought I heard the phone ringing, had to rush back to get in, have to go, the van is taking us to Steinmart.
We all can learn to adapt & adjust.
If she can afford care then let her do it, don’t get sucked in. It will suck the life out of you and your marriage. I am there.
Helpful Answer (22)
Reply to GwenKaiser
Ragged Nov 23, 2018
We are there with ya! God help us all!
See 1 more reply
When my Mom asked and expected me to do the same thing I simply asked her, "Why didn't grandma (her Mom) come to stay with us then?" Mom answered, "I had my own life and family," then said, "Oh." Another word was never said.
Helpful Answer (22)
Reply to AimlessMe
pattigreene Dec 5, 2018
See 1 more reply
Do not give into your mother’sdenands, your are correct your husband comes first.
Tell her I am married my husband comes first. You have good care givers, if you continue to run them off we have no choice but to have you move to a care facility.
Your brother must be present and back you 100 percent. If he doesn’t then tell him you will suggest she move in with him.
If she gets upset then say I am sorry you are upset but my husband is my priority. Then walk out the door and don’t look back.
Eleanor Roosevelt said it best “ you can only be a doormat when you first lay down”.
Helpful Answer (20)
Reply to Baileyparker
bigsun Dec 3, 2018
See 1 more reply
See All Answers
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter