My dad passed away 3 years ago and I am an only child. My mom and I have never really been close. She is 78 and has never said I love you. She now wants me to do everything for her. I work full time but she wants me to stop and talk everday. She has always been healthy until recently when she complains about everything. She doesn't want to leave the house. I am not sure why. She has no friends. Just me.

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Introverts are not valued in our society, so says Susan Cain, author of “Quiet”.
You might want to take a look at that. It’s an interesting self help that might give you an introduction to how your mom deals with an extrovated world.
Assuming that she needs a sympathetic ear and yours is a little worn, why not look into a therapist for her? Medicare will pay and might help her rethink this phase of her life. She might be depressed having lost her life’s partner.
Work up a progression chart. She walks 30 min every morning and you’ll stop in and visit on a reduced schedule. Maybe you could walk together? Make sure she gets an ok from her primary. If she has mobility issues, ask the doctor for a physical therapy evaluation and PT and or OT to help her get going. Pick up an oximeter so you can monitor her pulse and O2 saturation. This and a BP monitor can give her the tools to monitor herself while she gets moving. I’m assuming here a sedentary lifestyle which might be totally wrong.
I know this sounds like a lot for you to do. Find an Uber driver you like if she doesn’t drive. Get her to come on board. Be honest with her that you are concerned that as you age you won’t be able to keep up with being her caretaker when she doesn’t really need help other than companionship and you are already feeling overwhelmed. The therapist should be giving her some assignments on getting out. Think of the therapist as your partner in helping mom. This might work for a few years until she’s ready to consider an ALF.
About the I love you. I suspect those are words your mother grew up without and are foreign to her and in no way mean that she doesn’t love you. That doesn’t negate your need to hear the words. Give yourself a chance to get to know your mom. It sounds like she’s more available to you now on her own than when your dad was alive. Find a way to let her know you need to hear those words. Give us some feedback so if this is way off base I will try again.
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