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I am an only child. My parents became late-in-life alcoholics and the past decade has been ugly. Now dad is in a memory care facility and mom, at only 76, uses a walker and is heading toward dependency on others. I have to deal with her daily (she lives a block away). She is extremely negative, still drinks (yes, she can still drive herself to the nearby convenience store) and can become very nasty with me and others. Now her main topic of conversation is all of her regrets, going farther and farther back in time. I am responsible to oversee my dad's care at his facility and I also run a small business. Everyday I have to tell myself "Their problems are many years in the making, and they are more than I can solve".

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Uupstream, you are probably correct that no agency will deal with a mean, ugly drunk. Is it possible to schedule all of her assistance in the am?

Sounds like she is one that will have to a have a tragedy before she will change anything.

I am so sorry for you, nothing more difficult to deal with than a drunk.

Boundaries will be your only way until something awful happens to change it all for her. I find it so heartbreakingly sad that she only cares about getting drunk and not having to deal with life. We have to be careful what we wish for, we might just get it.

Keep up the good work, you're in my prayers.
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I have a similar situation. I am 51 years old, an old child, and my father (who lives alone - clearly says he doesn’t need any help - and has no Intensions of moving) is bored to death and calls me every day asking what I’m up to and can we go to lunch. If I say I can’t (I have my own business and have a high school daughter) he’ll call later in the day and ask if I can have dinner. Did I mention that I live an hour away??? I usually make a point to see my father 3 times a week. There’s very little to talk about (except depressing news) so I try to find things to do (for my own sanity) like food shop or straightening up for him. The problem is that this father daughter relationship is all new to me. My mother and father divorced when I was 5 and although I spent weekends visiting my dad, he has been an alcoholic for as long as I can remember - and involved very little in my life. Ever since I got married, our relationship consisted of talking once a week (usually a sunday morning) and him driving to my house for dinner that same day. It’s not that I don’t love my dad because I do love him, but he won’t accept any suggestions I give him for what I think could be a better life. I try to be there for him whenever he needs me but I’m afraid of enabling a problem tht is ultimately going to consume me. I’ve tried introducing him to senior centers, book clubs, anything but he isnt interested. I wish I had an answer for you (and me) but I’m also at a loss of what to do...
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Upstream Sep 6, 2018
I am also 51 and run my own business. My mom shoots down anything I suggest to make life better. She's lived in our town since 1975 but has NO friends, knows NO ONE. I have had to set my boundaries and inform her that I will not be responsible for her happiness. Her refusal to engage in positive things has lead us to this point - it is not my fault and I can't fix it. All she wants to do is sit in the living room and dump her negativity on to me. Then I have to transition back to my business, my husband, or whatever with a smile on my face. Thank you for your response! There are no easy answers except I guess walking away...Set your boundaries and live your best life. The one good thing that has come out of my situation is that I strive to keep a positive attitude, appreciate every day, and am working harder to maintain friendships!
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Okay, so she doesn't want help. That is how it is.

So let's get you some help so she doesn't cause you to have a medical issue. Can you hire help to lesson your burdens? Someone to clean, prepare meals, do laundry? Are there volunteer groups that would send a friendly visitor so your mom has someone that can maybe let her reminisce about the woulda, coulda, shoulda - didn't! regrets?

The very sad thing about regrets is there isn't much that can be done to change decisions made years ago. If she is talking about relationships, encourage her to reach out, say she's sorry or whatever she regrets.

Boundaries for her use of your time will help your frustration, I believe that it is okay to tell our parents that their behavior is unacceptable and that you can not subject yourself to the same nonsense day after day. Will they get angry, yep, oh well, you have to protect your time and it has to be used productively so you are able to do ALL the things you do for them.

I hope and pray you find someone that can help you.

Hugs!🤗
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Upstream Sep 5, 2018
Thank you for your suggestions and support!! I am looking to contact a senior help agency but so far she says "No!" The alcoholism makes things tough because by Noon she is pretty much drunk and can be nasty, and I don't think any agency will put up with that!
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Just know that you did not do this and therefore you can not fix it. As you said, many years in the making...she is still creating current problems by drinking to run away.

Set boundaries and stick to them. 5 minutes of regrets every Wednesday and off to something positive, she can only do this to you if you allow it. I know, easier said than done.

For your own wellbeing being you need to find help for her, AA, counseling, drug therapy whatever will slow the cycle.

Here's to happier days for all involved.
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Upstream Sep 4, 2018
Yes, I finally got her admitted to a senior mental health clinic for two weeks earlier this year. They discharged her with weekly visits to a psychiatrist and they set her up with daily AA meetings very close to her house. Also, outpatient physical therapy at a senior wellness center where she was supposed to join as a member and start working out (she was formerly a fitness addict and I thought maybe that would replace the alcohol). It seemed like the perfect trifecta but after a month she quit ALL of it. In that time (4 months) she has gone from walking pretty good to needing a walker now. She used to complain that she could not run anymore. Now she says she just wishes she could walk.
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Upstream, that's a good approach, I think. My mom too looks back with regret at things that happened 40 years ago and I just say ,"uh..huh" or change the topic to the present. Like the others say here, you have to do whatever it takes to override her negativity so that you can still care for her.
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Upstream Sep 4, 2018
LOL I just say, "oh" or something like that.
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My hated my mom most of my life due to the abuse of drugs, alcohol child abandonement and allowing abuse of her kids to be raped and molested by family and her close friends . My siblings left the state to get away to run away from the pain. I am the oldest of 3. I tried to give up on my life many times but God kept me safe. So much pain at one time I stop believing in God and questioned everything. After some self searching I learned to pray realized their was a God and that he was the only source of love u had or needed. I went from wishing myself dead to enjoying everday new life. There was a time I could not stand to be in the same room as my mom or even hear her voice. Last year I got a call from a stranger a woman claiming to be my big sister found me. She said we have the same dad the girl sent pics and u dropped to the floor she looked just like me better than that I would finally see the face of the man that made me and hear the story of how my mom was before her life crashed. September 29 2017 my dad got on his 1st plane and came to my house. I thought I would be mad or feel angry but to see who I look like and know where I come from wS more exciting. My anxiety was eating me up he stayed for 3 days I took my 1st daddy daughter picture my kids talked to their blood grandpa my dad approved of my husband and he told me how he looked and looked for me. He thought I had died in hurricane Katrina. I told my dad of all that happened to me growing up he cried and blamed himself. He told me nothing bad about my mom only that he owe her an apology. I explained my mom lifestyle and who she use to be had changed my dad told me all the bad things a out himself and what led to him leaving. He grew up without his dad and was married at the time I was conceived his mom died and that sent him into a drug using reality he beat his wife and she left with the kids my 2 sisters that made him chase after them leaving the state and my mom cut off all communication seeing that he was not coming back. My oldest sister and I are the closest I have ever been to anyone other than my husband. I went from having noone to having everything I ever needed in life. I will be facing my fears of flying and getting my 1st plane s
This month to see my family for the 1st time. Only God can do this. My sister is helping with my book to talk about the pain, the rape and overcoming it all to help young women that don't have a voice to speak out when your abusers are your caretakers and there is a code of silence you cant break on family. As for my mom I forgave her but can never forget but we are working o. Replacing the bad memories with better ones she us disabled she lost both her legs but she can fully walk with no canes. I had my dad to apologize to her then she did ask him for 41yrs of child support🤔😂 everyday is a new laugh something I never did as a child.
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