I used to laugh. I was able to see humour in everyday life. When others were unhappy, ungrateful, angry or mad; I was always able to bring some relief and bring a smile. My outlook on life was good. I was a happy person.

That person is gone. I cry almost everyday and I cannot see any happiness in my future. I live under a mountain of stress, debt and hurt because of my narcissistic mother who has dementia. I had to take a line of credit to pay HER bills for her & for her couple of rental properties. I had to pay the house & car insurance & monthly bills which are included in tenant rent - .. hydro, insurance, heat, snow removal, yard care, etc. etc. I pay the bills... she gets the rents! She complains that she has no money to live on. I don't know if she really thinks that or it is just her 'regular' lies & manipulation that have gone into overdrive from the dementia.

I cannot access any funds to pay her bills because the doctor won't give a definite diagnosis as my mother (who has some clear & lucid times during the day) constantly threatens a lawsuit. A few weeks back: a health care worker came to her house for a test of her mental capacity - Mom failed miserably. It doesn't matter. In Ontario, Canada - a minimum of 2 tests need to be done and mom won't allow anyone else into her home. She knows what is happening but she doesn't. It makes no sense to me!

I don't think I will/can ever get back to happy. Where is happy? I am stressed out to the max. I tried to walk away- only to have my doctor (we have the same family doc) tell me to go back to my mother as she fell and needed me!!!

I miss being able to smile. I miss being able to see that my life might matter. I am so tired of the abuse. I feel hated, I feel terrible. I feel like giving up!! I don't think I will ever smile again.
I have her P.O.A.'s but I cannot enact them until the doc signs off _ so that is not going to happen.
Therefore, I cannot call anyone or act on her behalf because she does have (and should have … if she is in her right mind) the right to refuse.
Since, her neighbours now get her groceries for her and I had already arranged for her meds to be delivered: things "appear" as if I did the right thing. Yet, there are so many, serious underlying things that are bubbling under the surface.
I have tried to step back and not live there attending to her every whim: but things have gotten even worse.
She doesn't feed her cats if I am not there. I cannot even call animal care as they cannot enter or really do anything about my calls because there is no proof.

She seems unsure about when and what meds to take. So, the drugstore (with her permission) bubble packed her meds. When they delivered them: she gave the poor delivery guy hell! - because she felt that that it was dangerous to any small children that might be in the home (there are none!!!).

I get it! This is the nature of dementia. I am faced with is her constantly calling and degrading me and a lot of people call me : (people that she has spoken to) and God only knows what she has said about me - calling me and disgustedly asking why I am not taking better care of my mother, etc. etc.

It goes on and on.

I just want a little bit of happy back. I really don't think I will ever be allowed to be happy again. I suffer from numerous immune diseases and none of that matters. It is always all about her.

I am sorry to have went on and on. I just don't know what to do anymore.

Resign your POA with a Lawyer letter. Take back your own life. If your mother loses her rental properties and all else, so what? Let the State take care of her. You are sacrificing your life to your mother by your choice. Worse, you are sacrificing money you need in your own behalf for your own care.
Seek professional help so that you can separate yourself from your mother. That will leave ONE unhappy person, instead of TWO.
Remember, no one is doing this to you. You are allowing it to be done to yourself by staying in this situation and taking on responsibility that is not yours. If her doctor says she doesn't have dementia, then she DOESN'T. Leave. If she gets in trouble report her as a senior in need and let the State do wellness checks on her.
I don't know how old your mother is, but she may have decades of abuse left in her. You will need to decide if you wish to remain her abusee.
Helpful Answer (28)
Reply to AlvaDeer
NYDaughterInLaw Apr 26, 2021
Spot on!
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I'm depressed just reading your post. Only you can change your life and get your "happy" back. It's time to let your mom be, and let the chips fall where they may. And shame on your Dr. for guilting you in going back to care for your mom. Next time your Dr. tells you to look after your mom, you tell them no, that if they're so concerned they can look after her.
And please, please, don't be taking out any loans to be paying moms bills. If she doesn't have the money, oh well, then she will just have suffer the consequences. All you're doing by continuing to pay with your money(or the banks)is enabling her. This has got to stop. No wonder you're under so much stress. Give up the damn POA, as the stress it's causing you, certainly isn't worth it. When the time comes. and it will, the state can take over her care. You deserve so.....much better!!! Please quit allowing your mom to abuse you, and start finding the joy in your life again.
Helpful Answer (23)
Reply to funkygrandma59

Please stop paying her bills. Let her pay her own bills. My mother was a severe gambling addict who spent all of my fathers retirement money. Hundreds of thousands of dollars she spent. At one point she had to use her line of credit and racked up 7,500 worth of debt. The line of credit was 10,000.

The only reason she even paid it all back was because she stopped driving and had no car to run to the casino. Let your mom make her own bad choices. Don’t let her drag you down.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to elaine1962

I feel ya. I promise you WILL smile again. It took me a while to learn to say "whatever" to my mom's dementia anger and insults and problems.

Occasionally I cry for a moment to relieve some pressure in my head, but not several times a week like I used to. Your mom didn't deserve her dementia but NEITHER DO YOU. You did not cause her illness and you have no power to fix it.

I had to step back and allow my mom to show her mental illness in public so the police could take notice. Then a doctor took notice and she was finally diagnosed and he told her she couldn't live without 24/7 care. Now she is in assisted living...mostly angry and crying and blaming me, but that's no big change. She was miserable at home too. Grouching makes her feel better anyway. It's like when you hear a baby wailing at the store...don't feel too overly bad for him, he's making himself feel much better.

It was less difficult to get mom into assisted living from the hospital than it would have been to get her there from her home.

Early on, my sister and I consulted with a local lawyer. It was worth his fees. $250 each visit or phone consult. He has kept records of our attempts to get real help for mom. He helped me set up durable POA. A lawyer could tell you what to do with your mom's bills, and will probably advise you to let that be HER debt. Until a doctor declares her incapacitated, she's still an adult human who is responsible for her own actions.
By the way, my mom still has "capacity" even though she acts like a cuckoo bird. Our freedom to choose our paths is protected right down to the ground, even if we are laying on it.

You will get better at letting things go.
You will smile again.
You will feel like laughing again.
You will enjoy life again.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to Otherwise

"...I had to take a line of credit to pay HER bills for her & for her couple of rental properties..." No, you didn't have to take out a line of credit for her. You enabled your mother to take financial advantage of you. As long as you choose to do all the things that are making your life miserable, nothing can change. If you don't put yourself and your own needs first, who will? Certainly not your mother!

Get yourself a new doctor and seek mental health counseling.

"...there are so many, serious underlying things that are bubbling under the surface..." Your mother's needs are only going to increase. Resign in writing as her POA and let Ontario take over. You may love your mother but, clearly, she cannot love you back - dementia, narcissist - and you are allowing yourself to be abused.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

This doc has NO business telling YOU how to run your life when he won't do his own job. Since you both see him, I would make an appt with him and tell him EVERYTHING you've listed under the "NOW" section. He needs to get a clue and he won't if you back down and do what he instructs you to do.

I have no idea what kind of social services you have in CA, but I would start with that health worker who did the testing. There must be an agency she is associated with. Ask them what the "state" can do, as you cannot physically or financially care for her and yourself. IF you have a medical emergency, who is going to tend to her, the bills and her cats?

As for those others that she lies to and then they call to disparage you, the mitts need to come off. You can tell them that you are paying all her bills with YOUR money and doing your best to keep her afloat while you are drowning. Be rude if you have to. Tell them not to call you again unless they are calling to make donations to pay her bills or take over her care. Put up or shut up.

While I understand sometimes there needs to be protections for elders, so others don't step in, take over and rip them off, enough is enough! I think it was ExhaustedPiper who mentioned in FL the courts have to deem someone incompetent before POAs can be implemented. We had POAs in place many years before they were needed. I had NO doctor notes, no test results, nothing. I just used the POAs and no one questioned anything. Could I have taken advantage of her? Sure, but that's not me! All too often it is others, even other family members who do the nasty deeds. Once in a while it is the "trusted" POA, but putting up too many walls can be just as detrimental as not enough.

Take that doctor to town. Lay it all out and DON'T mince words. If she's threatened him with lawsuits, then he's a coward. It isn't likely she'd win anything, not with dementia. SHOW him the results of that other test. Tell him all that's going on, bluntly. IF he still won't budge, can the courts intervene? It would cost some money to hire an atty, but in the long run if you can stop all this, it would cost less!

One other thought - if none of these properties or bills have your name on them, as joint ownership or responsibility, stop paying them. If she is really getting her rental payments, she should be floating in money, while you are floundering. If your name isn't on anything, they can't require you to pay it. If they are like here in the US, collections can try, but you refuse REFUSE REFUSE to the end of time. NOT MY BILLS.

The only ones I feel sorry for are the cats. Do make sure they get fed (and checkups if she isn't doing that.) If they are indoor only, they need regular food, water, and litter cleaning. Indoor cats are reliant on us to care for them. If they go out, vet visits are even more important as they will need to be kept up to date on vaccinations. Poor kitties. =^..^=

Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to disgustedtoo
BurntCaregiver Apr 26, 2021

The poster has the same doctor as her mother. I'd definitely not keep him as my doctor.
Nothing ever gets done for some elder with dementia until something bad happens. It's always like that. Doctors and social services don't want to hear it from family who try to tell them all the time. They usually think it's just one more disgruntled adult child who resents having to help out a little bit here and there. So they ignore it and do nothing for it. That's how it is everywhere.
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You have received so much good advice here. Could you possibly adapt your letter to the doctor and get that information to him/her regarding her mental state. Then could you adapt the portion regarding her animals to an agency dealing with pets. Your points are so strong. I agree to step back and let her fail if she continues to show you abuse. I hope you do not bail her out financially. It seems as though you are her punching bag. Only you can make that stop by stepping away as difficult as that may seem.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Riverdale

What a mess!

Stop paying your mom's bills. Never again.

Stop fighting the fight. Back away and let the chips fall where they may.

Do things for yourself. You WILL smile again. As soon as you start living your life!
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to againx100

Let the Dr know that the next time your mom falls, she will have to re coop in the Hospital because you will not be able to help her then once she's in the Hospital maybe she'll have 2nd thoughts about everything.

Take a Giant Step Back, away from it all.

Only drop in every few days to fill up the cats bowl.

Don't answer any calls from any of them.

Let everyone text or leave a message then you chose to listen or read the message.

Learn to Let Go
It's your mom's life, take yourself out of the equation.

You need a break away from it all, Take It before you are a total wreck.

You need Me Time
From now on, only do what makes you happy.

Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to bevthegreat

Fellow Canadian here.

First you should not have started paying Mum's bills. Now you have a debt that she did not agree to repay and you may never get your money back.

So what do you do?

A few things;
Report her for animal neglect. I know you said she will not allow anyone in, but you are creating a record of her actions.

Although others have suggested changing doctors, I know how hard that can be. So you need to make the doctor your advocate. There are advantages to having the same doctor, the doctor has a relationship with both of you and knows you are the level headed one.

Contact your local support groups.

Get a therapist who works with people caring for family members with dementia.

Find out about the public trustee in Ontario.

Give the doctor a copy of the report from the home assessment. Ask him why he is unwilling to act. Ask him what he would do if it was his mother acting this way. Tell him if he is not acting because of your mother's idle threats, you will be sure to sue him for his inaction if anything happens to her.

If the GP calls you again because Mum fell and needs help, have him put that in writing and also ask why 911 was not called, so she could be assessed in hospital. Now I know the situation in Ontario hospitals is dire, but a 911 call does not always mean a hospital visit.

Talk to the lawyer who prepared the POA, double check that it is springing and not durable.

Now to the people who are getting involved. I had this with my former MIL. I shut them down very quickly and told them no more calls. I do not give a fig what they think of me.

Stop paying Mum's expenses from your funds. I am sure you started because at that moment you had no idea what else to do, but you must stop. Mum has assets and income, she is the only one responsible for her expenses. If she stops paying her bills, it might just get some of the attention you need on her situation.

If Mum will not let you pay her bills from her money, the bills will go unpaid. Not your problem. Tell her she will have to sell one of her properties if she is short on cash.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Tothill
Riverdale Apr 27, 2021
I thought durable POA was much better than springing. When I was going over this with my mother many told me they would not accept springing and I had to file the durable with them in order to accomplish anything important and necessary.
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