How do you maintain autonomy when your Mom lives with you? - AgingCare.com

How do you maintain autonomy when your Mom lives with you?

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My mother has been living with me over a year now, and one of the hardest things I have had to adjust to (besides all the care issues!) Is her questioning why. As in, "Why is the big pot out on the stove?" (It's clean & I didn't feel like putting it away right now). "Your purse is on the island, are you going out?" (No, I just got back & was busy putting the groceries away and didn't take time to put it where it belongs). "Whose coat is this and why is it on the chair" (See above). In a way that taps into old patterns and feelings when I was growing up in her house, but now it is my house & I want to just BE. I'm a 64 year old adult and I don't want to have to explain why I am doing what I do all the time! I'm not a slob, but if I don't feel like doing something right away, I shouldn't have to answer to my mother. When she moved in I could escape scrutiny by heading upstairs. My OA is such now that I avoid the stairs unless necessary, so we come in contact more. I realize she can feel left out & wants to know what is going on. Especially with her short term memory loss, she forgets what just happened or what we have planned, and her questions give her guidance. I know this is petty in the world of caregiving, but it is my whine of the day. Thanks for listening, and any suggestions on coping will be appreciated.

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In my opinion, this was the most difficult aspect of having my mom live with us. I don't mind caregiving, the doctors visits, cooking meals or doing laundry. I did mind that she pulled up a chair to look over my shoulder every time I sat down at the computer, or commented every time I ate a meal that I wasn't eating enough, or too much or not the right thing, or what I should or should not be watching on TV or when I should sleep, or just followed me around all day. Yes, I realize that she had lost control of large portions of her own life and so was trying to exert control over parts of mine, but it feels ridiculous to sneak around your own house when you're in your 50s! And any conversation about it erupted into her having an emotional outburst along the lines of, "I should just go live out in the woods by myself." I tried to be resourceful and suggest some classes or activities for a few hours a week at a new and lovely nearby senior center so she could have some life outside of mine, she was certain I was trying to put her in a home. That was a major upset that day. When I tried to establish some boundaries like insisting she knock before entering my room, or if I wanted to go to the store by myself, those was also major hissy fits. I couldn't manage to have a life and have her just comfortably being a big part of it - she wanted the whole thing. I don't have an answer for you but want you to rest assured that it is not petty and you are not whining.
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Oh GG, I hear you! I am now on year 3 with mother, I am an only child.It ain't easy. The first year was the worst, I felt like I was sneaking around in my own house even if it was to go to the kitchen at nite for a snack. I would hear the next morning "who was up last night" "why were they up".And how many times did she lock me out of the house because I was out at the barn at night with the horses and doing chores. You would think that after having the cr*p scared out of her because I had to beat on her bedroom windows to get her to open the door(husband would be asleep with his hearing aids out and the Second coming wouldn't wake him up) she would stop but this went on for a YEAR! No dementia,it just wasn't the way she wanted things.Now on yr.3 it's better but it took a lot of being up front with each other to get there. Now I don't have the issue of dementia to deal with, that's another ball game and once that short term memory starts to go it's on y'all.Those on here that are currently dealing with an elder with dementia you are a better man than I. Right now I deal with a NPD on a LOT of morphine,actually the dementia might be an improvement(being sarcastic).I know there is nothing funny about dementia, I have to joke because the heartbreak I read on here can be overwhelming because I can do nothing to help except read.GG, as far as I am concerned , you aren't being petty or whining.This is a great place to vent.It's hard to lose your privacy, my mother lost hers, I know living with me was not part of her plans nor was her living with me part of mine.Life just put us at a crossroads and this was the best plan I could come up with.
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GGsGirl, well we will always be the *child* no matter how old we are.... and our parents will continue to question us and give us advice.

I find it comical any time I get a cold... right away Mom want to send Dad over to my house with aspirin or cough syrup.... like in the past 45 years I never ever had these things on hand in my own house when I had a cold??? I appreciate the offer but I wish I could say to Mom that I know what I am doing :)
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