Here I am, again. I don't know why I am not coping better. I just had some kind of mental meltdown because I do not want to see my mother every day. I'm sick of it!

The expectation on her end is certainly there. I mean she eats at my place 80% of the time, and if I'm not already at her place she thinks nothing of calling me to announce she is coming over. Me: Why? Her: I'm bored.

WTH is wrong with me that I can't make and enforce boundaries? In my life I have not been a weak person, but in this situation I feel so weak and so depressed.

If I make plans and go do something for myself, I feel guilty that she is in her place all alone. I know she is dealing with this terrible disease and knows this on some level so I feel terrible for her, and it makes it impossible for me to enjoy time away.

My husband tried reminding me that my mom has been a widow for almost 25 years. According to him she is "used to being alone"... IDK, maybe he is right? But why is this so hard?

How can I get rid of the guilt? I don't even know why I have all this guilt. I feel guilty that I don't enjoy being around her, but I can't stand the thought of her suffering. This sucks!

Find Care & Housing
Hello Piper-
One thing that struck me was your comment about asking people to send you some “big girl panties.”
To me, this is implying that you don’t feel that you’re acting maturely, and I think you need to be kinder to yourself!
I, too, am in the EXACT position you’re in, and feeling miserable and tremendously guilty about leaving my mom alone at the care home I just moved her to.
These mother-daughter relationships are fraught with power struggles, competition and age-old wounds and resentments.
Try to understand that you are NOT a bad person for wanting your life to be normalized again.
Is it possible for you to hire a companion to ease some of her loneliness? The burden shouldn’t be on you 24/7.
Do you have Power of Attorney? If not, I would suggest getting some Neuro-Psych testing to assess just how much dementia is present so that you can make a plan to move her into a safer, more appropriate setting. If she is deemed incompetent, then hire a lawyer to become her POA, or assign that duty to another sibling or person if you’re not comfortable in the role.
Hi- I just read through this lengthy thread and see that you are doing just that in May- Excellent!
I also read your post about her financial picture. How old is she?
You might consider an Adult Residential Care Home (ARCH) as your first step. I had my mom in one for 3.5 years, at a cost of $6,800/month. (Most are far cheaper.) We had to sell her house to afford it.
Most Assisted Living, Memory Care and Adult Residential Care Homes are hugely expensive and don’t take Medicaid funding. There ARE exemptions to the rule that Medicaid will count her property as an asset depending on the home’s value, so I would look into the Medicaid rules in your state, especially since you have a shared asset. Once she outspends her $100,000, she will become dependent on Medicaid funding, so it is imperative that you place her condo in a Trust. If done before 5 years of a Medicaid claim, you may be safe. There are laws that state that if an adult child resides with the parent for 2 years, that may save the house from a Medicaid lien. (This was information I gleaned from the website in the state where my mom lived. It may differ in your state.)
My biggest piece of advice is to consult an attorney who specializes in Estate planning.
These are very emotional, difficult times, and I’m just learning to navigate them myself.
I wish you all the best!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Kristen3

I'm the fresher of this group.Hopefully my ideas will be help to you.For my opinion that's sympathy and love of yours mom.Sometimes or may be all the times if you are happy with your are partners ,yours mom left home alone so you'll be feel guilty and you feel how is my mom going through in home .Also eating best food or somekind of everything you doing but yours mom don't.For my opinion I can give you a few advice that will be hopefully useful to you.
First .Talk with you're mom and imagine what'll be help and feel happy for your mom when you feel happy .No need to stay around her all the time.
Just imagine when we was baby, we had two things to do 1.drink milk
At those time ,our mom try to make us happy and smile.
In this time we need to get back them who we are . Now we are parent they are child .
We can't ignore them and try to make happy like what they did.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Aungkophyo

when you arrive at that state of exhaustion and guilt, there is no amount of time that will satisfy her or you.
How much time is reasonable? Weekly, for sure, that seems reasonable. And no, you do not have to see or visit your mom every. single. day.
Does she have dementia? I can't quite tell from your letter. Is she able to care for herself? Is she still able to live by herself?
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Rabanette
ExhaustedPiper Apr 23, 2019
Hi. Yes she does have dementia. It's mild.... probably getting close to moderate. She lives next door to me in my condo building, so very close. She is able to live alone, and still drives. She moved here last October.

It's rare for me to go a day and not see her. She doesn't know anybody here and isn't forging new friendships and has zero interest in the senior center. So I'm the one she calls for everything.

I'm trying to work on having some boundaries but it's hard because of the dementia. I don't want to miss something important because I was enforcing a boundary... it's hard for me to explain. She was here last eve and she seemed more confused to me. I felt a sense of panic like maybe the dementia got worse since the day before. Then I wonder if I'm imagining things because in the next moment she seems to have clarity again.
Piper, just assume the will is MIA. So mom does a codicil to the will and within it places you as Executor with bro as the back up.

Why, codicil basically makes it be a new will. These are common cause wills get old and assets in the will get sold , or heirs named die. You as executor as mom lives in your state. Bro is in another state, right? Well that may be an issue to begin with, like it’s placed as a dependent administration and he has to put up a bond. He’s out of state, not easily within the purview of the judge. it would be better suited by proximity to the court to be you. Use that to sell it to your mom.

and use this as a way to get her to an atty before midsummer.
New codicil.
Then some sort of memo of understanding or promissory note regarding the house next door purchase / mortgage hot mess.
Dpoa for you & done Allowing all financial.

The summer place, get it sold. Let Bro take the lead on it. Get it inspected and then it gets appraised - mom needs to pay for this out of her checking account.. The duo will give the most accurate property specific value. It could turn out to be a much more conservative value than what Realtors think they can sell it at or that it’s tax assessor value has it at. Right now is perfect time to put the place on the market. If property is solely In her name, its only her $. I’d suggest you have her put the $ into a fresh new bank account in a bank that is in your state and your brothers state with the account to be POD to both you & him and you both are signatories on.

That house will keep her fromever being eligible for Medicaid if she should run out of $. It’s not her homestead PLUS in another state.
Sell it, via a Realtor with MLS on the open market. No FSBO nonsense.

knowing there’s emergency $$$, will be a good thing. I assume you can trust brother to not touch the $?

Let atty try to figure out how to deal with threading out how to possibly have mom pay you for property costs. Doing stuff retroactively doesn’t work, but id bet atty can figure out what to do now to pay from now on.

how is your hubs feeling about your mom and the financial situation?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to igloo572
ExhaustedPiper Apr 6, 2019
Thank you so much for all of this.

I plan to have the talk about getting a durable POA after my mom has her neuro-psych eval as I think that would be a good lead in to discuss "just in case" you go completely nuts. That is on May 2nd.

As far as the cottage- her plan is to go there again this summer, starting at the end of May. My brother is not thrilled, but I absolutely can not wait. I need the break so bad. I know it will be her last trip there. I don't care if he is inconvenienced for a month or two.

It will be easy to sell as there is already a family friend who has wanted to buy it for years and is just waiting for her to make the move. He'll give her a fair price and she will be able to bank that money. Now- how I will be able to convince her to put my name on it... I'm not sure how to do that yet. She's very protective of her money.
BTW- when the decision is made that I get the DPOA, I plan to have an elder attorney do it. My plan is to talk to the attorney ahead of time and ask them to bring up other things to her that need to be done, that way she will not get mad at me. Things like my brother living out of state- I never considered that but what you said makes sense. So... getting an elder attorney is on my to-do list.

The condo that my husband and I now own with her is deeded to all of us with rights of survivor-ship. We did that so we would never have to worry about probate or will issues. We invested far too much and when she passes it goes straight to us, no legal hassle involved. As far as the rest of her estate/assets -- she can do whatever she wants. There probably won't be much left if she has to go to a facility. My husband was okay with us investing in her condo, because in the end we will make a profit when we sell it. He considered that when we took the money out of our retirement account. It stung this year when we had to pay 10K on our taxes because of that early withdraw from the account, but what's done is done. We knew it was coming.

Thanks again for your detailed response.
I agree that talk therapy will probably be the most beneficial to deal with your own feelings and resentment toward your mom. It's not easy when you feel like the parent to your needy parent, I know.

Just remember though when dealing with her that "No" is a complete sentence. You are grown, and you don't owe your mom an explanation. Also, her feelings are not your responsibility. She may be lonely, but it's not your fault nor your responsibility to fix. There are options available to her for social activities that she's chosen to turn down.

I know it's hard, but you can tell her, "No, Mom, I'm sorry, that won't work for me today. I'll see you on (day and time of your choosing)."
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to FrazzledMama
ExhaustedPiper Apr 6, 2019
Thank you. Everything you say is true. I made arrangements for talk therapy that will start the week of the 15th. Luckily my insurance will cover it.

BTW- you hit the nail on the head. Why should I feel guilty that my mom is lonely when she refuses to help herself. And her excuse- she "doesn't like to be around old people".... just shut up already. I know plenty of older people who love senior activities and flourish in the socialization. My in laws are like that. But my mom? Nope. She would rather sit home and watch Judge Judy and have me fill her social needs. It's nuts and I'm relieved that I will soon be starting therapy.
Your mom's emotional hold on you comes from having groomed you to be that way from childhood. She is playing those buttons of Fear of making her angry, Obligation to be her obedient girl, and Guilt for ever thinking about living your own adult life as an adult. That's called F.O.G.. It's emotional blackmail and you need to work with a therapist to get out of this emotional dance. She will not stop trying to dance, but you can stop being her dance partner. I wish you the very best.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to cmagnum
ExhaustedPiper Apr 6, 2019
Thanks for your response. I see I missed several good responses in the last couple days, I AM in a FOG! This is not normal! It's especially not normal for me. My career was taking care of people. I cared for my dad through cancer and NEVER had these feelings. So yeah.... this is from childhood/adolescent/ young adult abuse until I could get the hell away from her and I did. My entire adult life I stayed away. Why I made the decision to move her here is in-explainable to me right now but I regret it with everything in me.

So... now I'm reacting to this frail old woman like a scared child. I can't believe I could still be feeling this way at 56. I want so badly to be healed of this... I think it's some form of PTSD. I don't mean to sound dramatic, but that's the only way I can explain my extreme emotional response to her for something as stupid as a bad comment on her end. I should be able to brush it off as the musings of a demented old narcissist and just not care. Instead I practically have a panic attack. And the feelings last for days. Not normal.

I know I need therapy and more than what I get from the psychiatrist. I started looking for someone yesterday and sent an email to a woman who had a link through Psychology Today. She is local to me. I was happy to get a response this morning that she can see me the week of the 15th. I was impressed with her profile. She's been doing therapy for a long time and the credentials looked good.

I'm going to let her guide the way, and I'll do the work, even though I don't know what that will entail. A lobotomy would be nice to just forget all the shitty things my mother did and didn't do to me and my siblings. But obviously that won't be happening, so I'm hoping this therapist can help me put this behind me for good and see my mom for what she is now- old and declining in a scary way. I mean scary for her. I'm able to have empathy for others, I need to learn to have it for this person who is my mother.
Please go see a therapist, psychiatrist or a good medical doctor. In the least the therapist can help you understand why you are so willing to ruin your health and life for someone who may not return the dedication. If you have told her how you feel and she doesn’t listen, you need help . Your post is so full of anquish you need someone impartial to help you see what’s going on inside you.
Its funny how we are so used to a situation, we just don’t see it. My husband always( married over 40 years) hated the way my mother treated me but I seriously never saw it until I went to a therapist. Then he was like “ well, duh” but it helped me so much
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Jannner

I think we recommended a therapist last time you wrote. Yes you need help with boundaries and someone to help you sort out how. You said you’re going to a "shrink" so by that word if you mean a psychiatrist then yes there job is to diagnose and write prescriptions but they aren’t that good with cognitive behavior change therapy. So you’d be better off with a psychologist, a LPC, or MSW for help with your behavior issues that you mention. My guess would be you don’t respect yourself enough to say no and it’s easier to say yes so you will be seen as a "nice daughter". It’s ok not to always be liked. Hope therapy will be of help for you.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Harpcat
ExhaustedPiper Apr 6, 2019
You're right Harpcat. When I saw the psychiatrist we discussed my mom, but more in medical terms. And also my depression/anxiety but also in medical terms. I really like him but I agree with you that I need more of the talk therapy. I will be seeing a therapist the week of the 15th. I should have done it sooner, but glad it's finally going to happen. The one I'm going to see is a MSW.

BTW- I talked to the psychiatrist about taking gabepentin for anxiety instead of Xanax as a few suggested on this site. He was fine with that and gave me a script. They are 100 mg capsules and he said I could take them as needed. Haven't tried it yet, but glad to have an alternative to Xanax.

Thanks for the advice, it is appreciated.
The guilt card has been removed from the deck - "Mom, I have a doctor's appointment, a church meeting, anything of the like. I will NOT be available." End of discussion. Because if you don't do this, you will fall ill.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Llamalover47

This is from another poster, CMagnum in response to another poster.

"In setting a boundary, you are seeking to protect yourself, not change the other person. Just tell them calmly how it is going to be and leave it at that."
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

This is a situation where your husband might be able to help. You are finding it hard to make and enforce rules with your mother. Your husband wants you to do just that. Can you find a story that means your husband can be the one making the rules, and you say that you need to go along with what your husband wants? Something medical may be the best option. Perhaps the therapist could help you with a story.

I can of course come up with all the reasons why you should be independent yourself and not do what you are told by your husband. But you and your husband are a team, and sometimes it is easier to shift responsibilities between you. If your husband could help you to get things less oppressive for you, it would give you more space to get your head and your conscience into a more reasonable place.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

hi piper. my gosh, i could have written that post heading myself. let me tell you that i know exactly how you feel- it IS like a black cloud, lol! good way to describe it. unlike you, though, my mom doesn't live next door, but she does live five minutes away with a caregiver, a wonderful russian woman that really doesn't speak english. they don't drive so i am their only source of going anywhere or doing anything and whenever i'm not taking them somewhere or visiting i imagine them just sitting in the house, trapped. i don't enjoy the time at all, but i am over every day.
i don't have a heck of a lot of advice for you but i did want to let you know you certainly aren't alone. mom also won't go to a senior center or join a book club or do clubhouse activities... i've been bugging and pressuring her to do so for years, and i've given up.
does your mom drive?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to neeniedith


Not easy. I hope you will find a solution and find peace in your life soon. You deserve to be at peace.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Just wanted to say that you’ve been an amazing support to your mom even though it’s taken an enormous toll on your own life. I’ve been in a similar situation as I live with my elderly grandma and even with boundaries set she tends to overstep them. It’s the mother/daughter or granddaughter relationship that seems to complicate things. The dynamics are complicated and guilt is unfortunately part of that because we love them and want them to be happy. But ultimately we are not responsible for their happiness.

I would say if you see a therapist and need meds then by all means! Caregiving is one of the toughest jobs and honestly self care is important. It doesn’t mean you’ll be on them forever but it could help you get through this difficult time in your life.

Take care of yourself and know that you’re doing your best job for your mom.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Gbprincess

You can talk to your doctor about methods to alleviate your depression that are not pills. Healthy diet, regular exercise, meditation, and sunshine are all things that, along with a procedure and antibiotics, my primary care doctor prescribed for me when I got sick from burning myself out taking care of my inlaws. I was sick, severely depressed and sleep deprived.

Confide in and work with your doctor. If he or she fails to comprehend that their prescription pad isn't only for drugs, see another doctor.

In my opinion, the depression that results from caregiving is secondary due to the stress associated with loved ones making unreasonable requests, having unreasonable expectations, and being unwilling to change either because they are stubborn or mentally incompetent.

You need coping skills as did I. For me, I chose coping skills that weren't in the form of a pill, liquid, smoke, or food. My choice was based on the fact that certain drugs cross the blood brain barrier and my depression was not due to a chemical imbalance but rather due to lack of sleep, high stress, and foolishly putting the needs of my inlaws above my own.

It took me a year to recover my health. And this forum helped me build the coping skills necessary to make it through caregiving for my late MIL and now for my FIL. Caregiving needs to work for everyone involved.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
Jannner Apr 3, 2019
Nope, not necessarily. It depends on the type of depression. MDD is due to brain chemistry being off. It is a different animal from what people think they have when they say they are “depressed”. You NEED medication to treat MDD. Much of what people do to self medicate ie abusing drugs, alcohol , crazy exercise is because their brain chemistry is off. It’s inappropriate to tell someone to ignore doctors ‘ orders if they prescribe an antidepressant.
You've gotten some good suggestions here, so I'll focus on another aspect of this discussion - giving up and seeking diagnosis/medication for depression and "covering up with drugs." If you do, indeed, have depression, there's no shame in recognizing it and dealing with it - through a combination of medication and/or other therapies, such as talk therapy.

This is not "giving up." Depression interferes with your ability to make decisions, in addition to just being an unbearable condition to deal with. I speak from experience, though everyone's experience is different. And the medications I'm aware of for the disease of depression don't cover up anything; they alter the chemical balance in your brain, bringing you to a state of normal.

Self-medicating with alcohol, food, illegal drugs, etc. - that's covering up. That's not a good choice and we all (probably) know that, though I'm willing to bet a good number of us do that on occasion, too. On occasion isn't the problem - using those methods as a perpetual way of escape is. But you're smarter than that.

I would suggest reframing your thinking around taking care of you, whether it is through diagnosis of your own illness (depression) and suitably treating it. Be good to yourself and appreciate your husband's support. I wish you good luck.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to shb1964

In answer to your financial question, my mom's care facility is part of the Brookdale group, which is nation-wide. She pays about $6300 a month for memory care. This includes meals, cleaning, laundry service, medication dispensing, activities, and a room with a private bath. This would probably vary according to state. (We're in NY, where even breathing costs more than anywhere else. ) You also have to consider her physical health and how long you can reasonably expect that she will live without needing a nursing home (those average about $10-12,000 a month around here). You might look into selling her cottage and investing that money into an interest bearing account earmarked to help finance her future care.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to lablover64
Judysai422 Apr 3, 2019
6300 a month is a steal for MC. I am in AZ and the places I have looked at are $8000 a month if private bath.
I’m answering with the idea that if you get some perspective for how you want to live your own life you’ll feel less overwhelmed with all that’s coming your way. Not with the intention of ramping up your anxiety. So I’m sorry in advance if this is too much information and seems like more mom chores rather than distancing yourself a bit.
Your dh may be right about your mom being alone for 25 years but her ability to manage her life on her own has decreased.
Good move on the therapy. Would this also be good for mom to see a geriatric psychiatrist.? You might even consider family therapy where you both check in with a therapist to have support with some of the tougher issues that need to be addressed going forward. A third party who is knowledgeable can really help ease your burden.

With this diagnosis you need to get her legal paperwork in order if you haven’t already done so. DPOA for medical and financial at a minimum. Find a certified elder attorney well versed in Medicaid in your state just in case it’s in her future. Let the attorney explain the need for these documents to her. You need to understand where she is financially so you will know how to plan for her future care.
Discussing her will can flow into making her funeral plans.

To keep an eye on how she’s doing, study activities of Daily Living (ADLs). I started out going over these at least quarterly for my aunt (92-Vascular) now monthly. . I would note where she is now and then the next time you check compare to the last time.
Also have her professionally assessed for level of care needed now as a baseline. It will help you realize when she needs a higher level of care as in having an aide come in to help with meals and help with bathing, managing her finances, stop driving etc.
You don’t need to tell her all your concerns but she needs to understand that she will need more help going forward and that you have to pace yourself as a caretaker.

She will be less and less concerned about what you need as her needs increase so it’s good to make her conscious of her situation before she looses that awareness. Not to be insensitive but to have more cooperation on next steps while she can still reason.

As we age we all can become disconnected from what we think we can do and what we can actually do if we don’t stay on top of it. Quiz the therapist on what he sees as her limitations. Check out Teepa Snow to learn more persuasive ways of gaining her cooperation.

You need to decide if you want to MANAGE her care or be a hands on caregiver.

When you manage her care you can still be her daughter. When you manage her care you can have a life of your own.

She needs to understand that while she is young and able she needs to get things in order. Because she IS young relatively speaking. If you aren’t careful you’ll have her in a one on one ALF called Pipers ALF.

If you haven’t already, read the book “Being Mortal, Medicine and what matters in the end” by Atul Gawande.
There are five questions he asks for end of life but that are good to ask ourselves and for your mom to consider now and later. Modified perhaps for her ability to answer. These questions were originally intended to help people decide when chasing medical treatment might not be in their best interest. To me they are good questions to ask at any time.

“We need to know:
1. What is your understanding of where you are and of your illness?
2. Your fears or worries for the future
3. Your goals and priorities
4. What outcomes are unacceptable to you? What are you willing to sacrifice and not?
And later,
5. What would a good day look like?
Asking these allows everybody to understand what the goal really is — what are you really fighting for? It’s for a life that contains certain things.”
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to 97yroldmom
ExhaustedPiper Apr 2, 2019
Thank you for the very detailed response and suggestions.

Here is where I am:

Already have a document an attorney drew up for her that names me her medical surrogate. She did that prior to carotid surgery following her stroke in 2014. At that time I believe she also did her will but I have no idea where that is, or even what's in it. I know she listed my brother as executor. She did not list anyone as a POA for financial.

My mom has always been very protective of her money and handling her own financial matters. Part of it now, I think, is clinging to independence. This year she made plans to get her taxes done at a local tax place. My husband who has a background in finance offered to go with her and she declined. She manged to get her paperwork and get there and the taxes got filed so good for her on that one. However I know I need to get a durable POA, so right now my plan is to bring it up after she has her neuro-psych evaluation which is May 2nd. If she refuses then I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm hoping she will cooperate. What's frustrating is I don't even want this job of having a DPOA, but I know it will be necessary at some point.

Also, we have a financial issue that I will probably have to talk to an elder attorney about, because I'm now entangled with my mom on real estate. Honestly I could kick myself for doing this, but when my mom wanted a place here, the place next to me came up for sale and I thought it would be perfect for her. She loved it! Of course back then I had no clue she had dementia, and I assumed that she could live there the rest of her life. I felt confident I could help with any physical ailments. I've now learned dementia is a whole different animal. Anyway- my mom could not have afforded the place next to me. My husband and I took an early withdraw out of our retirement account to purchase the place along with a mortgage on our own place. We did the closing and put all three names on the deed, with rights of survivor-ship. This was done with the understanding that when she sold her old condo she would use that to pay us back for the mortgage we took out, and that is what we did. We did not get paid back for the other money, and knew we wouldn't but also knew down the road we could sell the condo and get our money back plus a profit. I'd say our contribution was close to 2/3 of the total cost. It was significant.

If only I would have known then what I know now, I never would have bought real estate with her. Now I have no idea how that would affect medicaid, if that should ever be needed. I also know my husband and I can't afford to lose what we put into it. That was money for us to live on in our older years.

My mom also owns a small cottage on a lake in my old hometown where my brother still lives. She would go there each summer to get out of the Florida heat and still intends to go this summer. My brother of course is already dreading it, and I know this will be her last trip to the cottage. I'm pretty sure she won't make it all summer and will want to come back here and my brother will help with selling the cottage. The cottage is nice and she should get about 125K for it.

She gets about 2 thousand a month from pensions and SS. She has about 20K in a retirement account.

Let's say she had 100K in savings and the 2K she gets per month.... is that enough to pay for facility care for the time that would be left in her life?

Manage her care or be her hands on caregiver?- that honestly depends on how bad it gets. Believe it or not my career was in nursing. I never dealt with dementia patients though. I'm willing to work and also utilize aids, but if it gets bad like some of the horror stories I read about when hands on care becomes 24 hours a day I also know I won't be able to do it.

These are the thoughts that keep me up at night.

Thanks for the book suggestion. Those are good questions. I plan to start these conversations after her neuro-psych evaluation.
What is wrong with her? Can she drive? Could she go to a senior center? Bingo? Etc? Can you get her involved in something if she can’t go out? Puzzles, games, reading?

You deserve a life. She lived hers, right? I assume she lives nearby so I’d become busy. Do you have anything you can use as a valid excuse? When my stepfather was pretty far along with dementia, my mother was nervous taking him with her and couldn’t really handle him alone. I had a specific day a week I would cart them around. It gave her a break , fortunately I watched my grandkids so had to be home for them after school etc. After he died, ( he was protective of me so she wasn’t as verbally abusive to me when he was alive) I shamelessly used my granddaughter’s preschool schedule to avoid going there except one day a week lol.
I think it’s important to deferentiate between a need and a want here. You need to , or get someone else to help you to, keep her safe and provide what she needs ie food , laundry, housekeeping etc but you aren’t responsible to supply her wants ie keep her free from boredom. She has a responsibility for that.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Jannner

It’s easy to slip into unhealthy codependency. It happens gradually. You probably didn’t notice. Is it only boredom or does she need actual care?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Stop guilting yourself would be step #1. Your husband's right. She is used to being alone....but from the sound of it, you may not be. That has to change if you're to survive this overwhelming feeling of guilt!
Your mom will always be your Mom but that doesn't mean you have to feel guilty about taking care of yourself. If she's bored, give her something to do at her place like a puzzle, gardening or other activity she might like doing. Letting go is the first step in helping both you and your Mom. Hope this helps.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to mmcmahon12000

Take small steps. The longest journey begins with a single step.

Stop eating dinner with her 5 nights a week. Nicely explain that you and your husband have things to do before and after dinner. Invite her over for "family dinner" on a night (or two) of your choosing.

Also, change up your evening routine regarding dinner. Preempt her coming over to your (side of the) house by going over to her place and warming up her evening meal. Also, go over with information about a movie that's on television that night so that she has something to keep her entertained.

Your mother is needy. Recognize that she would benefit from being around other people her own age. Take her to the senior center and pick up a schedule of activities. Ask the senior center director to help "sell" your mom on participating in (at least) one activity.

Doing things differently takes time. Establishing new routines and new habits takes at least 3-4 weeks. But I believe that during those 3-4 weeks time that you will start to feel better and the black cloud will start to lift.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
ExhaustedPiper Apr 1, 2019
Thank you for the suggestions. I agree small steps to establishing a routine that works for her and me.

By the way, she refuses to even consider the senior center. I talked to the director myself and got a calendar of activities and she wouldn't even look at it. I think I'll keep revisiting the idea though every month or so, there may come a point where she will be willing to try.

In the meantime I'm going to stop internalizing what I imagine to be her loneliness and boredom when I'm not with her, and let her figure out some things for herself. She has a very nice place to live that is safe and accommodating. (for now) You're right I don't need to be there every single day and doing so many dinners together. That may need to happen in the future as things progress but for now it doesn't have to be that way and I can adapt to this without making it harder on myself.

Thank you for the encouragement and advice.
Hi, Piper. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with this and hope visiting with a therapist helps you get a handle on it.

I'm just wondering if what you're dealing with is really guilt. I'm not a therapist so take what I say with a 50-lb block of salt, but I think what I'm hearing you describe sounds more like resentment. When you moved your Mom in next door to you, you expected her to have a life that touched yours only incidentally and occasionally, and much more at your convenience than has proven to be the case in reality, is that right? Instead, she has become pretty much all-consuming, which you did not expect. Shock and resentment are only natural responses to such a sudden and unexpected change in your life.

If I am correct, these responses are completely natural on your part and there is no need to feel guilty about what you are feeling. Of course, that does not mean anyone can wave a magic wand and Hey Presto, all these unpleasant and stressful emotions will just vanish like morning mist! Would God that such were the case! But perhaps it will help to some extent just to know that a) you are not alone in these distressing and conflicting emotions, and b) they are completely normal. Oh, and c) they don't mean you are a monster or unnatural child! Just that you are dealing with a baffling and difficult disease that is not easy for anyone.

Do whatever you must to maintain balance and sanity in your own life. Your mother will not die if you take some time for yourself. Take a deep breath, grit your teeth, and go out for coffee with a friend. Turn off your phone for an hour. Go get your hair or your nails done. Breathe. It'll be okay. And hang out here when you can. Good people will comfort you. God bless, and (((hugs))).
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to DesertGrl53
ExhaustedPiper Apr 1, 2019
Thank you. It is resentment, but it's resentment over old wounds and issues. I'm going to work on getting over that so I can deal with the here and now.

Thank you for being one of the many comforting women on this site.
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I don't know if drugs will give you the gumption to do what you need to do.

I think talking to someone and owning the fact that you moved away many years ago because mom had a personality disorder and then you were bamboozled into moving her nextdoor and that you resent the hell out of her and her disrespect, ungrateful, entitled attitude would be much more beneficial.

I don't like either of my parents, they did that, not me. I spent a long time getting over the hate I had for them and the way they dealt with or didn't deal with us kids growing up. That was the game changer for me. I had guilt because I hated them and it gave them power, once I found love for them I was able to enforce healthy boundaries and not let them control me. My point is, make sure and deal with the issues at the root of this instead of covering them up with drugs.

You can do this, start writing down what you want to see happen and start telling yourself that you can do it.

If you believe you can or if you believe you can't, you are right.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
SparkyY Mar 31, 2019
I'm missing the part where the OP said anything about drugs? I read it three times and I still don't see any reference to them.
What am I missing?
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Your hubby is correct. Mom has been on her own for a long while and unless it’s dangerous for her to be alone there’s no reason for this overwhelming guilt you’re imposing on yourself. It’s going to make your other relationships suffer. Therapy may help, it’s never a bad idea. It’s hard because she’s a mom you love and care for, but you’re not good for her if you’re not taking care of yourself. You know what needs doing, the boundaries, the limits, but you have to give yourself permission to lose the guilt to practice it. You’re doing good care for mom, time to do some for you
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Daughterof1930
ExhaustedPiper Mar 31, 2019
Thank you. The rational part of me knows that everything you said is true.

I think the main reason for my vent and big source of frustration is that she moved 8 hours away from all her friends and a town she was very familiar with. At the time I didn't realize she had dementia and I assumed she would make new friends here and be able to cultivate a social life for herself. Now I know she is never going to do that, I don't think she is capable of forging new friendships. She has zero interest despite my attempts at introductions, and refuses to even consider the senior center. She told me she "doesn't like being around old people". So... her isolation is making this extra hard. At first it really made me angry, at her, because I felt she was just being stubborn. But now I think she really just doesn't have the capacity anymore which is sad. But it doesn't change the fact that I myself am going nuts.

Thanks for letting me vent, again.

If anyone has an extra pair of big girl panties please send them my way!
A reasonable amount is whatever you are comfortable with. It does not need to be everyday. I recommend talking with a therapist if you haven’t already, even when we have support from our family it helps to talk to someone who can be objective. Maybe try setting up a schedule, tell her you are going to see her x,y,and z times per week. Pick days and times you know will you’ll get the most out of each visit. Make sure her needs are met on other days (hire a caregiver or set up times for other family or friends to check in). There will be an adjustment period but it will be better in the long run. Just my two cents, hope this helps!
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to BillieWO
ExhaustedPiper Mar 31, 2019
Thank you. I like the idea of a schedule, but not sure how to approach her on this as she just assumes I have an open door policy. I'm only a few steps away. Maybe this living arrangement wasn't the best idea... but too late now.

She has some kind of psychological hold over me that I can't explain.

I have a shrink appointment on April 2nd. I think I am going to give in and go on an anti-depressant. I didn't want to as I haven't responded to them well in the past but I have to do something. It's bad when my coping skills are so poor I can't even think about how to approach her about a schedule. But I need to so thank you for the idea.

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