My mom has never been a happy person. When my grandma died she inherited about 150,000 dollars and has spent every penny in the last 7 years at HSN. She was a hoarder, and when she got sick and was diagnosed with COPD and Heart failure the social workers and the police who helped her when she fell outside her home told me that I had to get her moved out or they would step in and let the state take over. I stepped in and found a place near my home and moved her in in March. She packed nothing and is very resentful that so many things were left behind. I have most of her things in my garage and she has a nice room at a nice place with 3 meals a day. I have taken over her bills, applied for and have gotten her free oxygen for a year and free medical (no co-pay or prescription costs) for 6 months. She appreciates nothing I have done. She constantly complains that she wants control of her money. After paying her rent she has 200 bucks a month which has to pay her cable bill, her hospital bill from a couple of years ago, and her insurance bill. She has a little bit of money put away that she has no access to, but as POA I take care of her bills and make sure she has what she needs. Every time I visit her she is negative and hostile and sarcastic to me and to my 12 year old son. She lives so close to me that she feels I should be there many times during the week, but I am a single parent and have my life to live too! When she lived in Lancaster I saw her 3 times a year and now that I am close to her I feel that going to see her once a week and taking her to lunch or to the library is enough. She has a van at her home that will take her anywhere she wants to go, and despite being on oxygen she is mobile. Should I be visiting her more, even though she is mean and nasty and complains ( not dementia, this is who she is)?

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How often should you visit? Once a week sounds good to me -- sometimes with your son, sometimes alone. Take her on an outing if that makes it easer for you.

How long should you stay? I think a few hours is reasonable, but I also think it is OK to leave sooner. "Mom, it seems my visit is only upsetting you today and making you think of things to compalin about. I'll leave now, and hope you are feeling more socialable the next time I come."

You are doing a fabulous job looking out for her interests, whether she can recognize that or not. You have your own life to live and your son to raise. Your life should be too full to have time for all her negativity.

You cannot protect your mother from the consequences of her own behavior. She had some money. She spent it. Now she doesn't have money to spend so freely. Not Your Fault. She is negative and nasty and not fun to be around. YooHoo, Mom, that means people will not go out of their way to be around you. Teach4lisa, Not Your Fault.

I can feel sympathy for your mother who has used up so much of her life energy being unhappy. But that sympathy does not extend to excusing her for making other people unhappy. She made her choices. You get to make yours.
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