Follow
Share

She moved in with me and we've not lived together in 20+ years. It's really hard living with her (I'm sure I'm not that easy either) but I'm a glass half full kind of person and optimistic...she's the opposite. If she has back pain it's can't just be back pain, it must be a tumor. If she her arthritis is bothering her, it must be cancer, if her stomach bothers her it must be an ulcer...you get the idea. It's so hard to remain positive and upbeat about things. Her attitude effects me and I get so frustrated with her I end up snapping at her. I have a demanding job as a consultant so I work from home, so I'm here all the time. How can I find time for decompression from the stress when I feel like I'm tied to her routine...she has to eat at certain times, take meds at certain times etc. Not to mention we just moved into a new house and I'm doing all of the unpacking. I'm unpacking her house and our house. Sorry for rambling on....

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I know your anxiety as I experienced some of the same things that you are. Stress levels do become higher than expected, but I did make it and I believe that both my mother and myself were able to be winners. Since I work with these kinds of situations on a daily bases, one would think that when I was dealing with my role as caregiver that I would know exactly what to do. So I really feel that I can offer some sound good advice.
First, I realized that my mother was angry at getting older and having to give up her independence. Once I "got it" I was OK and begin to listen more. I always realized that my mother was really not ready to die--just was afraid. So she found comfort in going to the hospital almost every month with a major illness. So I let her have back her independence and a real reason to keep living by moving her out of the house and into her own little place where she could putter around--she still drove as that was something she was not going to give up. But she drove only to the grocery store and MacDonalds, which were a few blocks away. She lived far enough away and yet close enough that she drove over for dinner every night. Her aches and pains were there, but less now that she was able to have some of her dignity back by being independent.
As I have grown older, I do know some of the feelings that she had--She was a tough lady and didn't want to ever give up and that is really not a bad trait. Actually, I am her daughter so I might be the same when I really get to the same point in my life. Take her by the hand, I give her the last chance to feel alive and the chance for the two of you to be friends. Look at this situation as a learning experience for when you go through the stages of aging. You will see and understand so much. One more thought about this situation--learning from our families as they age helps us to learn about our own aging process--look to learn so that you can grow old gracefully. Peace.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The wise advice from this community constantly amazes me : )

I agree that fear is behind much of VictoriaP's mother's behavior. Growing old is hard. Of course, there is always the chance that the mother has leaned in this direction her whole life which could mean that there's a great need for constant attention, as well. Still, at the base of the need for constant attention is - once again - fear.

Taking a deep breath before coping with her, not taking "the bait" and trying to remain compassionate about the losses of aging are all good ways to handle this.

Don't feel guilty, Victoria, for feeling impatient. You are human. Just try to do what you can to cope with a difficult situation. Please keep checking in with us. This community understands what you are going through.
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

By the way, when you become caregiver for somebody it is very common to become tied to their routine. It is common to also be impacted by their safety requirements -- no throw rugs, hand rails, etc -- until you feel you are living in a nursing home. And it is very common to resent this, at least at first. Give yourself time to accept the inconveniences and limitations that go with caregiving. Come here and vent. Complain to us. We understand. Try not to take it out on your mother.
Helpful Answer (15)
Report

I may be in a little different situation.Mom moved in with me and my wife 5 months ago. She has dementia and all the trappings that go with it. Asking the same question, bathing, taking meds,hygiene issues, yadda yadda you all know the drill.
Anyway, I too work from home. The only way I can function is that I take my mom to an adult day care Mon -Friday that is geared for dementia patients.( Nurses on staff, part of a hospital,activities, bath her, etc.) I also go church and pray for patience and understanding...I talk with a priest and ask for guidance.)
Even though she is gone for 8 hours and day I have her the rest of the time which is very stressful indeed.
Helpful Answer (13)
Report

I call this Queen Bee Syndrome. Have you ever noticed there are never two queen bees in a hive? There is no middle ground with two alpha females in the same kennel. So who will be in charge?
Helpful Answer (10)
Report

If your mother's primary ailment is depression, it seems to me activities would be good for her. What can she realistically be in charge of? Can she do laundry? Set the table? Empty the dishwasher? Do some meal prep? Why can't she do some of the unpacking?

Is your mother being treated for the depression? Some people are just naturally pessimistic in their outlook, but I wonder if her meds need tweaking?

I guess it is not a capital offense to snap at Mom once in a while, but leaving the room may keep you calmer. "Mom, it bothers me to keep hearing such negative thoughts all the time. I'm going for a short walk. Let's talk about something different when I get back."
Helpful Answer (10)
Report

Hi, I get it, I suggest the following, it worked for me: take a breath before you enter the house or her area. and whatever you do, do a quick check and don't take the bait. She is fishing for attention. which is fine…I always excuse myself, " gotta go, have to make a phone call" if it is a mood I am experiencing. Attention is good, we all need it, but her frustration shouldn't be taken out on you - talks are better when you both are rested and calm.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

normally i like pams straightforward advice and wisdom, but in this case i dont think its a matter of a struggle for power. its mental illness and a more healthy brain flipping out trying to process this pretzel logic..
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

i agree with what jeanne said about leaving the room when theyre trying to drag you into the depths. dont come back into the room in ten minutes trying to reason with them again. theylle spin you around and youll bite yourself on the a** again.
instead try to get yourself educated online about mental illness / dementia. when you can begin to visualize a dying , shrinking brain when you look at the person, only then will you find understanding and genuine compassion -- even peace of mind and patience..
i dealt with extreme bipolar too in addition to dementia and eventual schizo disorder / hallucinations. you can do this and become a h**l of a wiser person by conquering it..
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Sometimes you just have to give up the ghost as it were.......My Mother and I never really liked each other that much. She harps--all the time----you can't just make a statement you have to make the same statement over and over and over again. When my brother and I brought Mom back from Ca. to Minn. after a stroke-----(just a tiny one) we both realized neither one of us could take her----in both ways----literlly and figuratively. Assis. Living was the best thing for everyone......we got her into "the penthouse". Did it have a happy living situation--no not really but my Mom and yours could be sisters the way they think.everything is bad bad bad. in their own attitude--.there is so many wonderful things to do in those places....movies, dances outings, even a style shows...church meetings---and it goes on which most happily take advantage. You have to think of yourself once in a whlie---this probably would be the best for both of you---at least you could look into it before you "really have to"---(insert a big hug from me to you here)
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter