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I find myself so annoyed and irritated with my mom... and it seems like for no valid reason. She’s not demanding or super needy— she really just sits there and watches TV. She can’t really take care of herself with a broken shoulder and being a huge fall risk, so she does need some assistance... but I find myself getting so upset and angry with her. Mainly when I’m asking questions about how to handle her past due bills or what’s going on with this account or her house payments... and it’s like she’s not even worried about it. And it’s like she’s either not listening or can’t follow what I’m talking about. I’ll ask a question and she’ll respond but it’s like she didn’t understand what I asked or when I tell her she needs to find out something she instantly say “I don’t know “... I know you don’t know, I’m saying I need you to find out”. At this point I’m infuriated and I catch myself raising my voice... it’s like dealing with a toddler some days. It’s not every day but still.... And I don’t know how to handle it!! Why am I so angry and hateful?? and annoyed?? Why do I not understand that she’s 71 and aging?? What’s wrong with me???

I'd like to offer a different perspective on the response "I don't know"...

I have a family member who will default to this whenever she feels pressured or backed into a corner; it can be a way to buy time or a way to disagree without actually coming out and saying so, a way to deflect confrontation.

If you think your mother isn't dealing with her bills competently then rather than trying to force her to do so you can either shrug your shoulders - que sera - or you can step in and take over. "Mom, is it OK if I contact the power company about this bill? I'll need you to sign this form giving me permission if it is" (as you hand her the pen....).
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anonymous828521 Sep 25, 2019
True, CW...agree, that makes good sense.👍
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Maybe it's just me, but I think we're not really annoyed with our mothers, ...but we're generally upset with the situation: of not having a connection anymore. (Some of us never had those connections). But looking at them in this condition, seeing them slip away before our eyes, & knowing this could go on for years....uugghh. (She's there, but not there). It's wretched.
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NeedHelpWithMom Sep 25, 2019
True Tiger, but I can look back and be honest. I get what the OP is saying. I was annoyed! In fact it was past being annoyed.

I burned out and I don’t even think I recognized it completely or even saw it coming. I kept thinking that I could handle everything.

It wasn’t until I was away from caregiving that I saw the true destruction that it caused in my life.

I am relieved it’s over and working with a therapist to settle things in my head and heart.
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I now declare you "normal". Absolutely normal.
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anonymous828521 Sep 25, 2019
Lol, 👍Alva
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I’m the same with my mother. She recently entered independent living and does quite well without me but when I am around I feel like I am her “brain.”
It’s like she automatically gets lazy as soon as I show up and she expects me to do everything but when I am not around, she can handle things with ease. It can be very frustrating.
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LizzieG Sep 27, 2019
This is my mother exactly and it’s beyond frustrating
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My heart goes out to you because we have all been there.

I have ave a couple of suggestions. It sounds like you may need some help. I’m sure you thought you could get through this temporary situation with the broken shoulder. But, you discovered all these other financial issues and it is overwhelming of how much needs to be done. Others have provided good recommendations on POA’s and just getting your Mom to sign versus asking her things that may be beyond her now.

It it sounds like your Mom has some Demetria. Is she taking any pain medication for her arm? Even mild medication can really take the elderly to another world. Has your Mom been checked for a UTI? Now that she is less mobile, she may have an infection and not be aware. They can cause confusion. Whatever the cause of Mom’s dementia, it sounds like this has been a big shock to you. Before the accident, I’m sure you talked with her and checked in on her. Early dementia is easy to hide in everyday conversations. But, you weren’t asking her to make decisions or give you answers on finances. So, it may take a moment for you to accept that Mom’s mental ability has changed and you didn’t realize it.

Third, I pray every day for patience, strength, and guidance. If I have a bad day and raise my voice at my husband, I say that prayer from my knees.

Its hard. It’s all hard. Cut yourself some slack. Make a plan and just handle it one step at a time. I don’t make progress on my plan everyday, but having the list helps keep me focused.

Good luck!!!
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I am going to say something that many people will saw is awful but there is a reason it needs to be said. Taking care of old people with physical, and especially mental problems can be horrific for the caretakers. They are the people who have to put up with the messes and behavior and abuse from the elderly when they go "off". Sure, it is nice to redirect what they are doing or be Mrs Nice Guy and be sweet and pleasant as they don't know what they are doing. Well, I don't care. Caretakers are human and have a right to live in peace and should have the right to be free from being "destroyed" by these people. They are human and have emotions and feeling and are most likely exhausted. Why shouldn't they explode and really let loose. It may save their sanity and just maybe help stop the behavior at least when it happens - not forever - but until the next time. It might make the difference of caring for someone at home vs. dumping them some place. I think caretakers have a right to explode when they are extremely upset and near the breaking point. Why not? It can be come very unpleasant and possibly dangerous if they are not allowed to blow up and get rid of the steam occasionally. Doesn't anyone see that side of the picture? I had an elderly friend and I took care of her for 28years working full time until later she went into a nursing home. There were times she was just "off the walls" and I could take just so much. It did not happen very often but once in a while, I thought I would explode - and I did - and walked out slamming the door so hard the building shook. It calmed me down and it made her think of her behavior. It was not long before she was begging me to come back and I did go back and she was sweet as pie. So we were both saved when I had enough.
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elaine1962 Sep 28, 2019
lockett2166 I hear what you are saying. I’ve been there done that. I slammed the door so hard I thought the roof was going to collapse on my mother sleeping in her bed. That was 20 years ago when my father had cancer and was left all alone by her for 24 hours and he didn’t have anything to eat because she was out gambling. She snuck home and went to bed. When I came over to the house I fed my father and he said your mother hasn’t come home yet. I said she never gave you dinner last night or breakfast this morning? He said no she’s not home. I said her car is in the driveway and she’s sleeping upstairs!!! I ran upstairs where she was sound asleep and screamed at her!!! How could you? How could you leave him alone like that?? I slammed that bedroom door so hard I thought the roof was going to cave in!!! I was enraged!!! Over the years I have still blown up at her and slammed doors but now I am at the point I just want to walk away. For my own sanity. Let someone else take care of her. When it is non stop ongoing blowing up at an elder it is not healthy. Now it’s considered abuse. I have started to walk away from it all but my conscience won’t let me completely break away.
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Lori; What leads you to say that your mom doesn't have some cognitive decline? I second a previous poster's suggestion to look more deeply into what is going on with her.

Has she seen a geriatric psychiatrist?

Back before we had any inkling that anything was "wrong" with my mom, she was panicking about all sorts of stuff....storms that were no where near her location, burned out light bulbs...stuff that she used to take in stride. We brought in some help in the form of "visiting angels" and mom couldn't stand that--they'd break the washing machine, she felt she was entertaining a guest. It was getting exhausting and very annoying to have to constantly to respond to her non emergencies. My brother started blowing up at her and telling her to stop the "pity party".

We finally ended up moving her to a facility, because we couldn't physically keep up what we were doing. Once there, the geriatrics doc on staff referred her to a geriatric psychiatrist who insisted on a full neuro-psych workup.

Mom was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (it was also discovered that she'd had stroke that none of us knew about) and the testing showed that she had the reasoning ability of a 6 year old. I should point out that mom continued to get perfect scores on those mini-mental tests that they do in doctor's offices (her memory remained sharp until her death) but her REASONING ability was gone. MCI progressed to vascular dementia after another stroke.

So, her regular PCP might say that she's just fine. My mother's regular doctor certainly thought so. He was SO very wrong.
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NeedHelpWithMom Sep 27, 2019
Barb,

Thanks for explaining this so well. Sometimes there are things that are wrong and we simply don’t realize what is going on because as you say they pass the simple cognitive tests. A more detailed test is in order when behavior changes.
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I am 79 and have 24/7/365 care of my 96-year-old mother. She can take care of her personal hygiene, but that is all. Otherwise, she is the same as your mom, and I am the same as you. I wish I had answers, but it helps to know that I'm not the only one with the anger and resentment. I have no siblings and only one child, so there is no chance of help unless I can afford $25/hour or $1,500/wk for respite care. I really need a vacation, and I think Mom could do with a break from me, also. Unless one is wealthy and can afford the help, or is destitute and the government can help, there IS no help. I notice that I am older than your Mom!!
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PowerOf3 Sep 30, 2019
Peggy
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I amassuming that Mom has some sort of dementia. Therefore nothing is wrong with you. It is simply that you are in the learning phase of the disease. It taakes time to learn. As to what is wrong with Mom. No one really knows. Nearly all of us have gone through the same or similar events and learning. Mom doesn't realize how important the things you mentioned really are. to her they are of no concern.
Her brain just has lost its ability to understand the impact of what she is or is not doing. And it will probably get worse for her and you.
If you can, I woud suggest that you take charge of of reding and planning on how to pay her bills. Develope a plan and try writing the checks and have her sign them.
You may eventually have to do the same thing with her shopping, dressing and bathing.
My experience with the TV and sitting was that she is engrossed with the animation of the TV. Everything else is sitting still except the TV.
If she is still capable of signing a POA for fianancial and medical, get it now. After she reaches a certain point you may have to take over everything for her.
And when concidering the POA be sure to visit her bank and find out just what they may require. some will not accept a POA unless it is on their forms and conditions.
Start looking into social security about being designated payee or whatever they call it.
Just remember that there is help and information available here whenever you may need it. Even if it just to blow off steam.
I would suggest that you begin now to plan for the future. Just about anything you can think of may happen.
This will include planning time for yourself. so start looking into companion care for her so you can take a break for yourself.

Finally we could tailor our responses if you could provide more information about what has been diagnosed with? What are her needs and how do you handle them?
Have you inquired about how to help her without injuring yourself?
There is just so much to learn and here is the best starting point.

Good luck and keep us up to date.
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I think you have received alot of good answers regarding advice to possibly take as well as how to handle the emotions. I have to say that when I found this site over a year ago I felt hopeless regarding my mother. I then read alot of posts. I learned alot from so many who know a great deal from their years of experiences. The other aspect that has helped was to really listen as I read. I have great empathy for so many. It can seem overwhelming and I feel greatly for them although there is nothing I can do. What that has done for me is provided me with a different perspective. I am fortunate to not deal with what many have to. There have been decades of exasperation I have had in being my mother's only child. However there are always those coping with more and doing better. When I get the creeping feeling of feeling burnt out I try my best to remind myself about that. This has helped me with the perception I experience at times and I have found that the frequency of negative emotions have lessened. I hope you find some solutions and relief.
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anonymous828521 Sep 25, 2019
👍 Riverdale
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