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My 83 year old mother suffered a stroke 7 months ago, it was in her spine and she has slowly lost the use of her right leg, and is now in a wheelchair most of her days. I was living on the other side of the country but raced to be with her and subsequently took care of her once she came out of hospital, it was hell.

I have never had a good relationship with her and have spent most of my life trying to live as far away as possible from her. But I really felt that this was the end for her and told myself to stop being so selfish and nasty and try to be a good daughter. We lasted about a month before her nastiness got to me, and I took off back home, and I missed my husband, so was pleased to be gone.

She then had a fall which really knocked her confidence badly, I was a little hesitant to drop everything and race over to her again, my sister who only lives an hour away I hoped would look after her, but mum wanted me (god knows why). When I saw her lying in bed she looked so small and old, again I felt so guilty, I decided to give up my job, give up my life, and I made a promise to take care of her, she didn't want to go in a home. She told me it was my duty and that I owed her...I know emotional blackmail, and it worked.

Cutting a very long story short, I've moved her and I into a new house, its been 2 weeks and I think I'm losing my marbles. If I so much as have a bad day or go out or have an argument with my husband, she gets so nasty, and gossips about me to anyone who will listen. She says I'm cruel and unkind to her, when my days are completely taken caring for her cookin, cleanin, showering, and makin sure she is comfortable. I take her out most days and have almost thrown the wheelchair and jumped on it trying to get it in and out of the car. But its never enough. The tears from her are constant and I feel like the most evil person ever. My husband is ready to run a mile as I am just so miserable.

I have one day off a week that I go into town to shop or just sit and have a coffee. I have tried as others have to get her involved in more social activities, but she wont have anything to do with 'old' people, and if I push it I'm being evil again. In 6 months I've been out one night with my husband because she refuses to be on her own, even tho she has a St John life link alarm. If I don't go and check on her in bedroom every 30 mins she gets annoyed. i just get sick of running after her like a slave.

I'm ready to run a mile again, but this time I cant, I need help but have no idea who can help me, friends and my family know what she is like and I think they are so relieved the pressure is off them that they leave me to it...Help...anyone else relate to me????

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Sorry for the typos. I personalized the abuse you're going through and lost a little control.
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RUBY:

You don't owe her squat and there's no reason why caring for her should be your Purgatory. Right now, she's just a smaller, somewhat disabled version of her old abusive self; which explains your sister doesn't want anything to do with her. I wouldn't either.

Her marbles are obviously intact, so she'll keep pushing your buttons until you do something you don't want to do. Then she'll play the victim, make you feel guilty, and until the day she passes you'll be atoning for being such a "bad, ungrateful daughter." In a nutshell, she'll own you; doormat and all.

Make her an offer she won't be able to refuse: either she cooperates and be nice or face or be sent away. For now, get some NH brochures and ask her which one she'd like to go to within 48 hours.

Might sound heartless, but there's nothing like reclaiming your self-respect.
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Mother is very capable of doing many of the things she wants me to do for her. She is a physiotherapist and I remind her that the more she does for herself the better (we grew up with that slogan.) She can talk on the phone when it suits her but can't hear when it doesn't suit her. I have been accused of all kinds of things by my mother and my sister. You are fortunate to have sibling support. Another characteristic is that people are either good or bad - and those positions can switch quickly. My mother has suggested that I see a professional too - but she would not consider it for herself. Unfortunately my sister goes along with her. A psychiatrist who saw all of us once years ago (at my request and mother threw him out after 10 minutes) pronounced me normal and the other two not. She was not interested in his feedback.. You are right about enabling by going along with it. I have cut out at various times over the years for my survival. Now that mother is older she does need some help, but I can oversee that from a distance. She lives in another city by her own choice, and has people there who can do what is necessary. I am glad that you and your husband are making plans and that you are being more honest. It is not OK. Let the fear, guilt and obligation go, do what you need to do to see her safe in a suitable place. You may well find she will be happier there when she doesn't have you around as a whipping boy.(girl).
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Narcissistic that describes her perfectly. I can't even bear to be in her company at the moment. I have warned my husband to stay clear because once she gets her hooks into him she will try and convince him that I am mentally unstable (who wouldnt be after looking after her), and that he could do better. This is the same man who my mother hated with all her passion 8 months ago, who refused to hear his name uttered in her presence. Now she thinks it would be great if I buggered off and he look after her! Because he is so much kinder blar blar. We had a hell of a row over it yesterday, and I said the pair of them are ganging up on me, ridiculous. Once I really stood back from all of this I thought that I am enabling this by putting up with this, I forget sometimes that I have choices as well, a lifetime of my mothers dominance makes me forget that I am an adult and not to be afraid of her. Today she will cry she will accuse me of being mean and horrible, she will suggest I see a professional to help me sort myself out, she will tell me I have always been strange, and then she will ring my sister and tell her how awful I am etc, but unlucky for mother, she has treated my sister so badly that now its like crying wolf over and over again, no one is buying the drama anymore. I've realised that I am in control not just of my own feelings but I can actually say what I think to my mother, yesterday I carefully said that I don't want to do this anymore, rather than I can't do this, that just sets me up for the failure speech from her, and how I've broken my promise to look after her etc. I want to get on with my life now, and not be scared she will dump me or not speak to me or talk about me. She is an old lady now who refuses to accept her age and her stage. This is her problem not mine. My husband and I are starting to plan where we will move on to now, it will take a couple of months maybe more to get this all sorted, but it will be sorted. And she will learn tomorrow that I will not jump and be her secretary as she calls me, I will make her call the dr as she is more than capable, I will take her to the appt, and if the doctor asks me how its all going with her, I won't just shrug and go its ok...because its not.
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(((((ruby)))) my mother has that elitism too. A couple of years ago she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I had made an informal diagnosis years ago. There is no doubt she has narcisissm as well. It sounds like your mum has a personality disorder too. I cannot spend much time with her and her constant negativity. We got her a live in seniors nanny and that fell apart in less than a year. Then at her request we moved her to an ALF a couple of years ago, but the people there were not good enough for her and there was trouble with the staff so within 6 months I had to move her again. She is a healthy 99 yr old physically (doctors are amazed at her)and I am now 74 and all of this is hard on me. She seems to thrive on change.This time I told her the next move would be a nursing home if she could not cope with the new ALF. She will not eat in the dining room as she says the service is bad and does not socialize even though she has said people there are a "better quality"! She always has complaints and expects me to "fix" them immediately to the point of 20+ emails a day. Finally I have stopped responding to emails. They are highly repetitive and I find the continual pressure to do stuff for her, regardless of my health and personal needs, is stressful. I have POA and am going to discuss giving that up to some non family member with her financial advisor as she has asked me for help and then gotten nasty when I did what she asked. There is no way to "win". Over my lifetime, I have tried everything. My sister is similar and no help at all though the favoured child. Guilt is one of the biggest weapons they use as well as fear and obligation - FOG - thanks to cmagnum. It is a serious and not easily treatable mental illness. In my mother's case she would never agree to treatment as she thinks she is fine and every one else is at fault. Stick to your guns and look after yourself! People of any age with this type of probem will suck the life out of you. and -as someone here said - they will chew you up, spit you out, step in the mess and then blame you. Good luck! So much of what you write sounds familiar.
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I really did think i was going mad until I read all the posts and realised that my story is so similiar to many on here. I've had the week from hell and I feel like I'm living a war. I am exhausted, yesterday it was another show down because I came clean and said ive had enough. It was time for her to go in a home. I'm tired of day in day out being with her, I can hardly go up the road to get milk because as soon as I say I'm going anywhere, she gets sick, and I know its all to get me to do what she wants. I sat and listened to her tell me that I have issues and that I need counselling, and the icing on the cake was that she was going to talk to the dr on Monday to get tranquilizers to calm her nerves and recommended I take them too. All because I said I not doin this anymore. Her family can't stand her, she has said some of the most horrific things to them, her friends have all but disappeared, one hangs in there...just She feels such a cut above anyone else because she had private schooling don't you know! She refuses point blank to go to daycare where there are horrid old dribbly people who can't hold a conversation. She wears her massive diamonds like a queen wears her crown, and rolls her eyes when someone says they are beautiful. That is why she wears them to let people know she is a cut above, to me I'm embarrassed its just showing off. She needs to be in a home she can't walk and is in a wheelchair, and wants to buy a villa...again to show off. So now we have to find a poncy home with nice old people that will be on her level, you know the ones a bit more upper class than the old smelly ones who can't talk...her words! I'm done now and I will be leaving this place when she is in somewhere, I will visit her when I can, but will not buy into the guilt trip anymore. She is just not a nice person. And now I have to deal with her until she goes in a home....God help me
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It's amazing how many of us are experiencing the same situations and are seeking for some assistance in handling the issues with dementia in a parent. My 93-year old mother is making life so hard for her 3 daughters, even though we are doing all we can to allow her to stay in her own home. No words of appreciation for all that we do, just constant complaining and criticizing and attempting to pit one of us girls against the other. Lately, she has become physically violent and puts herself and others in dangerous situations. Although she is not taking ANY medications at all, I'm at a point when I feel it would be forgiven if I "slipped" some into her food! Or, maybe I should just get on anti-depressants myself and let her be as mean and argumentative as she likes.
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You can't please someone who really doesn't want to be content. There are people who always have to have something to complain about - my mother is one. Maybe is gives some feeling of control? There will ALWAYS be something that doesn't suit them. Sometimes the hospitals have programs for emotional support for elderly, and of course there are senior centers and other programs such as day care, (but my mother is anti sociable and will not attend.) If they won't go, you just have to tell them that you are doing the best you can under the circumstances and that you cannot FIX everything for them. And then just walk away. I have had people in my small town give me dirty looks in public when I do this, and the members of my family who do not deal with her on a regular basis think that I am uncaring when I do this. They hug her and make over her and try to please... you can't keep it up. They would be screaming and running for the door in two days. This is why I would like to move to another town! You have to put your own emotional well being first. I know another caregiver who was so worn down by this situation that he moved to another state to totally start other fresh. Hearing constant complaining is enough to make anyone feel depressed and frustrated. I would like to give everyone on here a big hug. I know how you feel. People can only change themselves - you can't do it for them.
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Except for the stroke you could be talking about my mother. Luckily I have 3 sisters who all agreed that the best place for Mom was an assisted living, but being the oldest she blames me for her miserable existence. She has always been a narcissistic, manipulative individual. With age, 81, she's has increased the petty meanness that has always been there but is now more overt. After the second time she hung up on me, I decided I was done. I told her that until she could have an adult conversation, including agreeing to disagree I would no longer call her.

With the help of a therapist I now realize that I can not make her happy no matter what I do. It's been 5 weeks since I've talked to her and my siblings are ok with this. I check up on how she is doing through them and still handling some things for her with the blessings of my sisters.

I grieve for the mother I wish I had had, but realize that at this late date it isn't going to happen. I can say that she has taught me, though her less than stellar example, how to be a better mother to my adult children and I thank God for that blessing.
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OMG!!! I feel your pain. Our Mom is 83 years old and in her eyes my sister and I never do or did anything right. We try so hard to be good daughters, but it's sometimes just so hard with all the criticism we get constantly. She complains constantly and tells us how fat we are or how our decorating is awful bacause we choose not to have the sterile hospital look she likes. She tells us how our hair should look or the color should be bright yellow white like hers. Our Mom is always right. She's never wrong and she thinks she is 20 years old. She kinda dresses like a young girl. Tight jeans with short tops and big heals. We try so hard for her to start wearing flattter more comfortable shoes, but we are nuts. We are always nuts and always wrong in her eyes. Everyone knows how she is. It's so sad that people know how she is and she chooses to always be mean. I refuse to be like her or treat my kids like she treats us. She can barely walk anymore, but argues constantly with us about her shoes. She thought she was always healthy and never needed to go to the doctor. Just because she takes vitamins and won't eat red meat does not mean she shouldn't go get check ups, We could see the decline in her, but we are crazy in her eyes. So we made a doctor appointment without her knowing and the day we took her shopping we drove her to the doctor. She wouldn't get out of the car. She started biting, kicking and swearing at us. A nurse had to come out to get her. Once we were in the office she was screaming at how horrible of daughters we are and we are so fat that we need a doctor. I was never so embarrased and not just for us, but for her. Sure we can stand to loose a few pounds, but she makes us sound like we are elephants. My sister is crying and between the 2 of us we are extremely stressed. I think I have aged faster than I should because of what our Mother has put us through. Come to find out after many other doctors is our Mom has a bad heart valve, she has a low thyroid and bad dementia, but we are crazy and she says there is not a thing wrong with her. That the doctors are nuts. She tells the doctor she has never had a cold. Yes she has. In July we all took our Mom out for dinner for her birthday and we are glad we did cause 4 days later she had a breathing problem where she lost oxygen and her dementia got worst. It's because of her heart problem. Her valve doesn't open and close properly. After that our Mom could not be home alone so this is when we had to look for a facility for her. We live in Az and found a place called Citadel, but she wouldn't stay there. It was a beautiful place with the nicest people living there, but she didn't like all the old people. She doesn't like to be with old people. My sister and I hired movers and we decorated her new place as close as her house. It looked beautiful, but she hated it. She yelled at us telling us we had no right. She said we stole all her stuff. We know she has dementia, but the old Mom was still there. Dementia or no dementia. She had no clue what she was doing to us and never did. She'd started packing up her stuff. She wanted to go home. We understand it's hard to leave your home, but she needed round the clock care. My sister and I have families also. She got so mean to the people at Citadel that they had to put her in a hospital that was locked down for people with mental disorders just so they can figure out the proper medication she needs and to get her stable.. While she was there we had to find a place that would take her. We looked everywhere. We saw some of the most horrible nursing homes that smelled so bad. We saw horrible group homes. It took awhile, but we found her the most wonderful group home. A doctor owns a few beautiful homes and they take great care of our Mom. Recently the heart problem has taken a toll on her and she now has full blown Altzheimers. She doesn't even know who my sister and I are anymore and has reverted back to being a baby. It's the sadest thing I have ever seen and I just do not like going to see her. It's horrible. My sister and I have gone through alot with our Mom. She was a mean, sometimes evil person to get along with her whole life. She was still our Mom and we tried, but theres is only so much you can do when you have a Mom like ours. It's really sad when her own grandchildren wouldn't even have anything to do with her because they saw what she was doing to there own Mom. There were days I would come home hysterical and couldn't control the crying and my son saw me like that. He never has forgiven his grandmother for treating me like I was nothing. I know I shouldn't say this, but I'm finally feeling better not having the criticism thrown at me anymore. I will always have that hurt in me that will never go away. I do not choose to take after my Mom at all and choose to be the best Mom there is to my kids. I choose to tell them how wonderful and proud of them I am and to always tell them I love them. I didn't learn that from my Mom. I also choose to one day be the best Grandma I can because My Mom didn't know how to do that either. I will pray for each and everyone of you.
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You can't make people be happy. You have to take care of yourself. No matter what you would do for your mother, ti probably wouldn't be enough. I say again, you can't make people, any people, be happy.
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No easy answer, at least that you want to hear.... You can Not make your mother happy... You are responsible to make yourself happy... and figuring out that can be even more chalenging than keeping your mom happy. I know its easier to say than to do but just reminding myself that I am responsible for my own happiness helps keep me from trying to take on more than I (or anyone) could handle... I will say a prayer for you tho..
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Good Morning rubyjkat!

Have you looked into the Local Elder Care Service provider in your area? They are wonderful about helping out in these types of situations to give the caregiver a little more time for their own sanity!

They provide:
Meals on Wheels
Companion sitting
Homemaking (they will clean your Moms room and do her laundry)
Nursing Care
Bathing and Hygiene

Please contact the local provider to help you. They are wonderful and will most certainly be able to point you in the right direction.
I was a caregiver to My Parents as well as my husbands parents for many years ( we actually had all 4 parents living in our home at the same time due to 2- strokes, congestive heart failure and Alzheimers. It was exhausting to say the least, not to mention what a toll it takes on the Caregiver physically, emotionally. Sometimes we have to make the time to re-charge our own batteries so that we stay well enough to care for everyone else. Unfortunately, both of our Dad's have passed, My Mother in Law has live in care in her own home and My Own Mom was just moved into long term care 4 weeks ago due to the progression of her Alzheimers (This decision was the most heart-wrenching for me).

I wish you the very best and please keep in mind that you are not alone. There are so many of us now that are sandwiched in between caring for our children, parents and grandchildren.

Take care of yourself,
J
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DT I hear you!!!! I have definitely worked on a completely new tact this week and that is being in control. It is still harder than anything to be offhand or on your guard all the time, I think this is what makes it so draining. Sometimes I just go and sleep for a couple of hours in the afternoon to catch a break, but this is no life for me. I'm usually fairly outgoing and I have totally taken for granted doing what I like when I like. I am sitting now here with my mother while she patiently waits for me to get off the computer and talk to her, which doesn't sound particularily demanding, but I we have been with eachother all day. But tomorrow is my day off and I look forward to it like you wouldn't believe. I just hope that something will happen and it will improve, I don't want her to die I just want her to let me go, and let me live my life which still totally includes her in it, but to a point, not to suffocate me. And good lord if she could stop talking about the past sometimes and how she has had the worst life ever, I would be so grateful. But for now it is what it is, I am here, the more I fight it the unhappier I become, thank goodness for chocolate thats all I can say!
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Can you do enough to please your mother? Frankly, no. Period. She feeds on it, like a mosquitoe sucking blood. Continue to do what you can but occasionally you will have to tell her to back off! I have had to say more times than I can count that I can only do one thing at a time, though I sometimes do two or three - you have to learn multi-tasking when you are a caregiver LOL. Tell her she will have to wait in a very patient and frankly patronizing tone. Seriously, when someone reaches the end cycle of their lives, they start to feel rage and desperation and they will take it out on the person closest, it is almost a natural and expected thing. Insist that the other family members do their part in her care even if she does not want it, consider yourself lucky if you have them, some of us do not have that luxury. You must have that break, take it for your own sanity. All you can do is protect yourself as much as possible. The more calm you are with shielding yourself from her demands, the more calm you will feel. Above all, do not get sucked into an argument, treat her with some detatchment and just say "Yes, momma", and shed it off. If she is as controlling and smuthering as mine was I just reminded her several times that I am not 12 years old anymore and that I have a life, she can fit into it if she wants, but she cannot be all of it anymore, It is always a good approch to never rise to an insult, but question it, and never, never answer an unkind question with an answer, but another question, like a psychiatrist. Just keep parrying a question with a question and it will wear her out, at least it worked for me. Mom is fading now, but we have had a decent enough relationship for the last couple years, it was Hell for the first 7 until I learned how to control her, instead of her controling me. She now tells everyone how well I take care of her. She still drives me nuts, though, no doubt about it.
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Hi Beatup, gosh your situation sounds terrible. Ive only been doing this full time for going on 3 wks now, but this has been ongoing for 9 months, I can totally relate to what your saying about picking her up, her loss of independence has had a huge impact on her, and she has said exactly the same thing about wait till you're in this positive and noone wants to look after you. I honestly would not want to live with my kids (they wouldn't have me anyway lol). I would be happy to go into care and meet new people and have lots of people look after me. I too have suffered as a result of horrible events this last year, but I have taken this time not working to really take care of my health, at least I have time to take care of me if mum is resting etc. I've cried many days and I don't cry ever! I worry about how long this will go on, day in day out. Its not even having a break that worries me, its just the constant on edge feeling (anxiety like you) about what will happen next. I am not 'stuck' due to financial or changes in the economy issues, although I didn't enjoy the hum drum of going to work, it has certainly given me a new appreciation of how important getting out to work is purely for social reasons, I miss having a laugh with work mates, I miss being invited to social events. It is a huge loss for anyone to give up life as they knew it, even if it wasn't all that. I don't know where I will end up, I take each day as it comes, some are better than other days, which seems the norm for most people. I hope you do start feeling better, I know there are others much worse off than me coping with elderly parents that are a thousand times worse than mine. But to each of us it is important to us to find some peace and serenity in ourselves, how you do that some days...I wouldn't have a clue.
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I can tell you outright that you have to take care of yourself. I gave up absolutely everything to come where I am now and take care of mom. She was very unhappy about losing her independence. I could understand that but all she was able to say was"just wait until you get like this. I hope I am around to see it" and other such nice hopes for me. Well, I finally had to put her in a nursing home because I could not pick her up anymore and she would not stay in her wheelchair or her bed at night. I feel very guilty, depressed and now have anxiety issues. My health has been ruined and because of the economy I am stuck living here. I am not a happy camper and spend a lot of days just crying. It is a crazy thing not to be able to control my own emotions. Take heed. Take care of you and do not burn bridges behind you. It is not a happy place you will end up.
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Ruby, I don't think anyone here is suggesting that putting your mother in a nursing home would solve all your problems. But since you sounded at your wits end we were all trying to offer support. In some instances, old people cannot or will not look after themselves and in my father-in-laws case he was so self destructive and refused any help, refused to eat and started fires, so it became a safety issue. Each case is individual and depends on the capability and cooperation of elderly parent. I wish you the best of luck.
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Really good to hear from you all out there, this is a role I didnt take on lightly, my choice to be my mothers carer was one that was fought with sheer terror at the thought, as we have not had a good history together. Maybe this negative mind set has contributed to the lack of harmony. I think what I see from all the comments and what I have started doing is taking back control, my mother has always been my mother and that role for her involves being fully involved in my life to the point of directing me or trying to. Now those roles are reversed and neither of us know how to cope. Well meaning dr's and others will be very practical and make extremely logical suggestions, this does little to help the emotional side of things...Yeah she's a pain so put her in a nursing home, and that solves all my problems? I dont think so I think it would put a whole new spin of emotional turmoil on it for me. I'm not one to put up and shut up, I will figure a way out, for now just detatching slightly and walking away rather than having confrontation all the time, it works. Seems to me there is no answer, but there is support from others and most of it is really helpful. I will eventually have a life again and I will look back on how I dealt with caring for my mother, and I am determined not to be regretful and wishing I had just tried to do better for my mother and give her some peace in this stage of her life. Now if we can just stop arguing each day it would be blissful for all lol
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Oh my, you are so in my prayers. I feel your pain. I don't know how you have endured that type of treatment for as long as you have. I am no where close to the length of time you have put in this and I already feel the physical consequences.
Good luck and you have to take care of yourself too.
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I have had my mom for 8 years and only the last year has been bad. I am there with you on the nastiness. My mom does have dementia and that is where the nastiness comes from. Still, it is hard to spend any time with her besides giving her meals, cleaning her and her bed and room, especially when most of the time she wants to blame me for her bad hair and teeth. She is constantly saying "look what you did to my hair...look what you did to my teeth" I suggest brushing her hair but she won't let me. I can't even brush her teeth for her. She acts like a miserable troll. She even blames me for HER dirty diapers. I am waiting on a bed at a nursing home to open up for her because I am about to totally shut down. My time is up on the caregiving...I cannot take it anymore. Please say some prayers for me and for the nursing home to hurry up and have a bed so I can rest my sore scoliosis back and pay attention to my husband and three girls.
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It sounds to me that your mother is getting old and bitter and you're paying the price. I dealt with this with my father-in-law who was mean and self destructive. He also said that he didnt want to go into a home only to drive himself 300 miles and try to deed away the house to the Masonic Lodge when he was angry. We asked him for years to come live with next to us in a rent free apartment that we owned so that we could take care of him. He would say yes, then no a few days later. He wouldnt bathe, feed himself, he refused meals on wheels and locked the CNA out when she came to visit. He would call code enforement on neighbours, cancel home insurances and put out for sale signs when he was drunk and angry. Grease fires became a regular thing when he insisted on frying french fries and would fall asleep drunk in a chair. He finally agreed to come live with us and just before we were about to move him, he flew 1000 miles away to his summer home in New Jersey despite being unable to walk. When the neighbours picked him up at the airport they were furious that we "let him" fly. After 3 days of him sitting in his NJ home, drinking and refusing to bathe or eat, they took him to hospital and from there he went into a rehab place and finally a nursing home. They knew the system through experience with their parents but this was all new to us. Even in the nursing home he still tells people that we never come to see him and he threw out all the photos of us from his bulletin board when he was mad. Some people just get mean and nasty as they get older and it is important to remain detached. I would strongly suggest you consider a nursing home to save your own sanity and marriage. What I learnt is that there needs to be a hospital stay for 3 days, then transferred to rehab home for 100 days and then to a nursing home. I don't know your finances or whether your mom is eligible for Medicaid but I urge you to pay for a consulatation (usually $100-$200) with a good ElderLaw attorney who can advise if shes eligible. I think it helps if you think of the parent as crazy when they get mean and nasty. After all, if they were younger and logical they probably wouldnt act like this. Above all keep a sense of humor and ignore people that are critical or judgmental because you are doing the very best you can with an impossible situation.
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I am seeing so many topics about mothers who are demanding and emotionally abusive. I think this is the big secret- most of us do NOT have great relationships with our mothers and are doing this out of guilt, because there is no one else who can do it. I don't want someone to congratulate me for my self-sacrifice. It's not a positive thing, it's not even a choice, it's thrust upon me and I don't want it.
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I have a very similiar situation. However...in the 6 years since we moved mom from CT to AZ to live with us..I am beginning to see some of my positive attitude finally rub off on her. She has always been a negative person and rather controlling. I am a very positive person and get happy over the little things in life. OVER TIME ...and it took years....she seems to be less negative and is starting to appreciate me a lot more. It has been very difficult for hubby and I to take her in but I promised my Dad I would as she really has never taken care of herself. I seemed to spend my entire life trying to please my MOM or get some kind of recognition from her...but once I realized that I can only control myself...I am much happier. When she complains about what others do or do not do ... I repeat..I can only control myself Mom and try to set the example. I refused to let her make me negative and I feel I am making ground . GOOD LUCK ..and dont give up...maybe there is a reason for us getting this chance to bond with a negative parent....and make the latter years be better than the early years. HUGS to all of you who are trying to make a difference.
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Looks like all of us here are caught in a similar situation, to a greater or lesser degree. My mom is starting to look not quite so bad by comparison. But no matter what, this is not an easy situation. As one who does NOT do it well, my advice is take care of yourself first and learn to go a little deaf yourself when she starts in on you. Easier said than done, trust me, I know. But you have to try.
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Sounds familiar. I talked with a psychiatrist about my mother. He really wasn't much help. He said she acts like this because she's afraid.

I moved my mother to assisted living near me. It hasn't helped much because she wants me to do everything. The staff tell me she won't let them help her, and she says it's because they don't do it right. But I don't do it right either.

One thing to say when they get especially demanding is "well your just going to have to be unhappy.". We need to remember that out parents happiness is not our problem.

Things are getting better for me. Assisted living doesn't have to be awful. Though the best ones are expensive. She may enjoy contact with others her own age and activities not related to caregiving. Maybe some daycare would be helpful.
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Nobody is mentioning the help that is available from that kindly old family doctor. There are chemicals(otherwise known as medicine or Rx) to help with that problem and there is nothing shameful in relying on them. Come on now -- who would be happy in a nursing home or being bedfast? None of us would be happy confined to a bed. Your doctor can help. Ask about it.
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Oh sweetie, I can relate. I have a similar situation with my mother. My mother also suffered a stroke but is not in a wheel chair. She uses a walker and a motorized scooter to get around. But, she still complains that she is unahppy and cannot do anything. My mother also makes me feel guilty. My mother was living with a male friend and they had an agreement that my mother would do all the cooking, cleaning, etc and buy the food. While the friend paid the mortgage and all other bills. It was a good arrangement as they both shared expenses and kept each other company. Then, when my mother had her stroke things changed. She lost the use of the entire right side of her body and also has a heart condiiton. She could no longer do her part of the agreement. The friend kicked her out of the house because he could not take care of her due to his own health problems.
So, as the "good daughter" I brought my mother to live with me and my husband.
All of my children are grown so there are no grandchildren. At first, it was not too bad having her around. I stopped working and spent all my time waiting on her hand and foot. We spent time together outside on my covered patio while she smoked her nasty cigarettes. I haven't seen or spent time with my mother in 20 years. We have talked on the phone and kept in touch. But, I have never had the money to go visit since she lived across the country. We had a lot to catch up on.
After a couple of weeks she started complaining that I didn't prepare her food right, or use the right laundry detergent. She kept warning me what I was going to experience when I got to be her age and she constantly complained about her aches and pains and the fact that she could no longer do the things she used to do. I was ready to go back to work; but, she kept saying that I "was too old and once an employer found out how old I was they would fire me." What?!!!! I am barely 50 years old! I am also taking college classes online to get a degree. She told me that I was wasting my time. A college degree wouldn't get me anywhere especially when employers found out how old I was. She was telling me this due to her "personal experience" when she was 50 and looking for work. She always interuppted me when I would talk to my husband and get involved in our conversations. She would talk to me when I would do my homework. She drove me nuts!! I finally had to do something because it was starting to affect my marriage. I love my mother; but, I love my best friend and partner for life more.
I wasn't about to let my mother ruin my happiness. She was not going to live forever. When it is her time and she is gone, then what? I would be all alone and still miserable. My mother played the guilt card a lot to get her way. She used me like a puppet. One of my friends told me that "she uses me like a punching bag" and advised that no one deserves to be treated like that. I finally decided to put my mother in a elderly retirement apartment. Fortunately, my mother can do some things for herself; although, she won't admit it. I go once a week and do her laundry and cleaning, etc. My mother complains that she doesn't like the "old people that live there. They are boring." She won't get involved in any of the activities. But, you know what? That is HER decision. NOT mine. I make sure that my mother has food (she even gets meals on wheels,) personal items, health care ( I take her to the doctore as needed,) and I do her laundry. The only thing she has to do is heat up her food. She still has to go outside to smoke and she complains that it is too far to walk or ride her scooter. She complains about the safety doors being too heavy since she has no strength in her right arm. I could go on and on about why she isn't happy. My family tells me "she will NEVER be happy and will ALWAYS complain no matter where she is." I finally figured out that she is lonely and wants my company and she is miserable because she wants her life back the way she used to be. I can't give my mother her life back, I can't take away her aches and pains. I cannot give her my life! All we owe our mothers as daughters is to make sure they are safe, fed, clothed, clean and get their medicine and whatever other health care they need. Our mothers do need some of our time. NOT ALL of our time. We have a life too. If your mother starts getting upset and using the guilt card....just simply get up and say I don't deserve this and walk away. Don't let her see you get upset, just hold your composure and let her know that when she wants to have a calm discussion, you will be back. Walk away and when you are down the hall, then cry. Do this a few times and she will get the message. You are a GOOD daughter as I am. But, we tend to let our mothers control our lives and emotions. You are NOT being selfish by putting her in either assisted living or a nursing home. Actually, it is best for you both. I have done some work in a nursing home in the Alzheimers Unit. You would be suprised how many family members just drop their mothers off and forget about them.
I was an assistant activity director and I was the one that spent all my time keeping the residents occupied, listening to them cry, holding their hands, laughing at some old comedy movies, etc. We always recognized their birthdays, did crafts, did excercise, etc. A nursing home isn't all that bad. You just have to choose the right one. Of course, your mother will complain no matter what. But, you have to feel comfortable where she will go and knowing that you will be there at least once a week to check up on her care. You deserve to be happy and to live your life with your beloved husband. He sounds like he has been very supportive for you. My husband has been also and very patient. Being a caregiver isn't easy and you need to get involved in a group with other caregivers to talk about your experiences. You will find that you are not alone. Your family needs to support you also. They need to encourage you to do the right thing and put your mother where she will get the best care and give you some relief. There is just so much that you can do. I hear so many stories like this from other families. You are not selfish because you want to save your marriage. Don't let anyone tell you that you are. Your mental health and happiness are worth something. Believe me, I have been ther and still struggle with some issues. Be strong and do what you know is best for you and your mother. She might be screaming all the way to the facility; but, deep in your heart you know it is the best thing to do. She will eventually accept it; especially when you show her that you didn't abandon her. You will still need to visit, call, take over some of her favorite food, flowers, etc. She will do fine,
I promise!!! I know your pain and your guilt. I wish I could give you a hug and tell you that it will all work out. Take that step and get the family involved. You will be glad you did.
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Ruby
My hat goes off to you. Despite the challenge, it sounds like you are on top of it. Even so, I know from personal experience, this is a job that seemingly never ends. Even in my quiet moments, I find myself mentally making plans for mom's needs. I have learned to deal with the ingratitude and anger by accepting that is something that I cannot control for my mom. My mom is in a home, but I make twice daily visits to ensure that things go as they should to the best of my ability.
For some reason, it seems like dementia and Alzheimers brings out the worst parts of a person's personality. I hope a cure is found one day.
Best wishes
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"Please my mom" is the wrong goal, because it leaves the success or failure of your actions in someone else's hands. "Do my best to do the right thing" is the right goal, because when you've done your best you've succeeded, independent of whether the other person is a grump or an angel.
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