My mother has heart failure which is being controlled, but also multiple compression fractures through her back and hips. The fractures are so painful she can barely move. She is on hospice care and is being provided with pain meds and depression/anxiety meds, but her situation is overwhelming her, and now me. She thought she was facing imminent death, but I don't think she will die anytime very soon. She has to move from her house (where she has had 24/7 home aids assisting her) to an assisted living facility because it's too expensive to maintain the house and 24/7 care and because I live 200 miles away from her and need help managing her situation.

I found a great assisted living facility near where she lives (she does not want to move near where I live). It will be hard for her to move from the house she lives in but I have done everything I can to make this transition as easy for her as possible, including finding a place that will accept and help care for her sweet little dog.

She now treats me with such anger and ugliness. She never did anything to prepare for this situation so now I have to manage getting her car, house sold; plan for the ALF, etc. I am exhausted. I understand my mother's fear and depression but am so tired of her taking out her frustrations on me, her only family member (she has no friends). Help!

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Your mom is facing both a huge life change and loads of pain. It’s natural for her to be sad and look for a place to vent her frustrations and anger. You’re doing a good job in looking out for her and finding her a safe place to live. She may not be in a mental place to recognize that but she’s blessed to have you in her corner nonetheless. Limit your exposure to her anger. When you talk with her try to keep the conversation light and positive, when she starts the anger and ugliness, tell her you have to go, no explanations, and stop the conversation, get off the phone or leave if in person. In essence retrain her on how to treat you, and if that’s not possible, just choose not to listen to it. It’s best for both of you, you don’t need the negativity and she doesn’t need to focus on it
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Would it help to consider that she isn’t taking out her frustrations on you?

If she’s in intense pain, and her condition sounds by description as though it must be horrifically painful, she’s addressing her awful discomfort with “anger and ugliness”, and you’re literally the “innocent victim” that’s become the target.

Although the initial move and the adjustments to her (numerous) losses will all be terrible for her, it may be possible that when the number of changes in her new setting result in a reduction of discomfort, she may be able to relax at least a little more than she can now, and relaxing may help some with the pain management.

The exhaustion is understandably a brutal but transitory pain for you to deal with, so are you intentionally offering YOURSELF little treats, short rest periods, time with congenial friends? You deserve them. It sounds as though you have done a wonderful job, and from a distance, at that.

And having done all that you’ve done, you’re entitled to overlook her current attitude and give her a hopefully temporary pass for the times when she’s saying things that disturb you.
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