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As an only child, I am feeling the stress of dealing with my mother. She is fine one day and then horrible the next. Of course, I am to blame for her living situation! Help.

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I'm not sure there is a way to avoid it. I was lucky in that most of the time my LO was pretty happy with her MC. (Things were a little rough at her AL, but, once she moved to MC she was fine.)

Does she say why she's unhappy? Do you think there is any validity to her complaints or is she just being grumpy? Sometimes, if she's sitting next to someone who is unpleasant in the dining room, it might make her unhappy. Could you speak to them about that and ensure that she's okay at meals times? Are there any staff members who she has a problem with? I'd likely investigate to see if there's something that can be easily fixed to make her happier.

If it's nothing really......I'd try to downplay the negative and focus on the positive. And, I'd likely not visit every day, though, some people do.

And if she's blaming you for something that you have no control over and it is baseless, then, I would know that my mom was not thinking clearly, because, my mom wouldn't do that if she were and I'd chalk it up to some mental glitch that she can't help and I'd not tolerate it or entertain it. So, I'd change subject, redirect, or leave.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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She is 95, change is not that easy. She has moved from what is familiar. A broken hip is very serious in the elderly. Some don't bounce back. Maybe she has pain. Maybe going under has brought on Dementia.

Look at it this way, she is safe, fed and cared for. You don't have the stress of her doing something she can't or shouldn't in her home. Maybe the RN can sit down and tell her that she is where she needs to be at this stage of her life. Or even her doctor. It is better coming from someone impartial. This is now what she needs not what she wants. Enjoy the good days and ignore the bad. Cut your visit short when she is grumpy. Maybe say to her "looks like you are not feeling well, so I will leave for now"

The Caregiver always gets the flack. Your convenient.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 17, 2019
JoAnn.

You are right about pain. Not everyone handles pain well. Depending on the severity of pain too, sometimes a person can be kind, other times, they can’t help but be grumpy.
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You cannot make your mother happy. You can make sure she is safe, with good care and an opportunity to enjoy her good days and hours. Your mother gets to choose whether she takes those opportunities or whether she decides to cling to bitterness about the losses declining health and old age have brought into her life. Expressing anger toward others is usually just a form of denial, or maybe one way to cope - it's not old age that's the problem, it's some family member or care taker that isn't doing what they "should".

My approach when dealing with a difficult LO was to bring some treat (usually a favorite food) with me, check the LO had everything they needed, and to leave if the LO was in a bad mood (had somewhere else I needed to be). There's no point in staying just to take someone's emotional and/or verbal abuse and as the elder often gets upset, just leaving is often better for them too.

Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself. Forgive your mother for not being the perfect sweet old lady. Forgive yourself for not being able to reverse her health problems. Let go of the guilt and regret and you will be able to let go of a lot of the stress too. Don't feel guilty about enjoying your retirement and your family.
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Reply to TNtechie
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 17, 2019
TNT,

Keep reminding everyone of these important things. I love your answer. You are sensible and kind, kind to others and yourself. I am trying to strive for balance in my life. Your answer inspires me.
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I'm also working on letting go of useless guilt. Its pointless. We do our best, as daughters, and make sure the major stuff is squared away. They become a bit spoiled, and child like. The roles do certainly reverse. I just try to put myself in her shoes, and imagine what they really go through. When I'm finished with that, I am quite amazed and admire the pure strength and will power my mom has!! I bet your mother has a lot of that old fashioned will power too!! 95 is quite the accomplishment! So many, get nowhere near their nineties!! Are there activities, she can still do? That you two could possibly enjoy together? Look at old photos and reminisce! Or TV shows you could sit with her through an episode? Distraction can be great tactic to get them forget, why they are unhappy and may just enjoy the moments together. Space out visits also. Its best for both of you. Just not every day. Then they look forward to the visit more, and you stress less!! I know and relate to frustration:) Best wishes.
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Reply to Dianne38
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Are you just a target or is she really unhappy.

My dad groused and griped like I was a scratching post, everyone else told me how great and happy he was. The truth was somewhere in between but not the doom and gloom he poured on my head.

Check with staff to find out how they perceive she is doing and figure it's the middle of the 2.

If she is ugly, just stopped in to say hi, I love you, gotta go! No reason to accept her venom, you didn't do this to her, life did.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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When my mom would talk about not like living in assisted living I would listen for about a couple minutes and then I would change the subject to something else I took her out of assisted-living a lot for dinner and shopping and walking around and just doing everything possible I could to get her out of the place while I was there and then the evening I will drop her off and stay with her for a couple minutes but I find that if you listen little and then you change the subject to something else they forget how miserable they are there just an idea good luck and God bless
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Reply to Scarlettrene
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Lots of good advice. It may also be a good idea to see if you can watch her for a little while when she doesn't know that you are there. She may be saving her problems for you, and is much happier than she says or you think. Check with the staff about their take on it.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Sometimes they just like to complain because they have nothing else to talk about. When my father moved into AL (his choice BTW) he started telling me about all the problems there. I told him I would look into it and he swore me to secrecy. He didn't want me making waves.....they why complain to me if he didn't want me to do something about it? I'm glad I didn't go and complain because I later found out a lot of what he was saying was utter BS.

All you can do is change the subject or visit less. You don't need to visit or call every day, that might be part of the problem. She needs time to adjust and adapt to her surroundings.
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Reply to lkdrymom
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