Mom dislikes everything, why? She used to be fun. - AgingCare.com

Mom dislikes everything, why? She used to be fun.

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My mom was very artistic, we also liked to play word games. My dad passed last July, and slowly she has lost interest in life in general. I gave up my home and career to take care of her because I love Her, so she would not go into a nursing home.She is in good health except for forgetting to take medicine,and not being able to drive . She does get forgetful later in the day ,and really does not like to be alone. I help her keep track of expenses and pay bills. Lately she has just gotten thankless and mean. It is very difficult to live with a person that is negative about everything ! And I mean everything! I try to keep busy during the day ,but she would rather have me watch tv and listen to her tell the same stories over and over. If I like something , she doesn't and my poor dog's they loved her to but they also see the affect she has on me ! My family is not close by so I get no relief, I am with my mom 7/24 for about 10 months now, and I know we are both going crazy.We live in a small mobile home , 1 bedroom 1 bath. Not much space, I sleep on the couch.What to do? She does not like to go out of the house for long and won't even consider going to a senior center to visit with people her own age, HELP.

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Darn. I was hoping I had a magic bullet for you. So sorry for your pain.
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Jinx, she would remember. She forgets what I want her to remember, and remembers what I want her to forget. What is strange is that she called the workers to fix the "problem" with the floor three times. They came out to work on it. I hid their business card from her so she wouldn't call them anymore. When she was talking the other day, I told her the workers had been here three times since they did the initial work. She didn't remember calling them or their being here. She makes up imaginary conversations she had with the owner of the company. I was the only one who dealt with the owner, so I know the conversations never happened.

Today was a particularly awful day here. It was Mother's Day. I had taken away her insulin last night because she was going to kill herself with it. She woke up in mood most foul and spent the day saying awful things and even throwing stuff. I had bought her a new suit and blouse to wear to church, but she didn't want to go. She didn't want to go to lunch, so I went a long way to get her favorite food take-out. Still she was so nasty that I spent some time reading threads on caregiver abuse here. It made me feel less alone. I looked at houses to buy far away from here, plotting my escape. She says she is sorry when she acts like she did today, but it doesn't make life any more pleasant. There is no pleasing people who are determined to be miserable.
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Jessiebelle, What would happen if you told your mother (over and over again) that a man is coming over next week to look at the problem? Would she be with it enough to remember?
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Is she in any pain? I'm always recommending antidepressants and/or pain meds.
How sad for you to see your beloved mother change. I like to tell myself that I would never act like that, but who knows what this disease could do to me someday.

A low dose might ease minor pain that she hardly notices, but that is enough to put her in a bad mood.

If she says she wants to die, I would agree with her that it's sad that she has lived so long and has lost so much. A little sympathy works better than "cheering up."

Also, if she gets really mean, you can refuse to listen to it. "Mother, I don't talk to you like that. I'm going to leave the room now, and when I come back, I expect you to be civil to me." Part of her knows she's not acting right, and that part will actually be relieved when you set limits on the abuse you will take.

You need to love her and try to ease her suffering, but in order to do that, you need to get away from her so you can relax and enjoy your own life and build up your strength. God bless you.
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Oh, and reading Coping With Your Difficult Older Parent , helped me 100%.
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I do sympathize with you. After my middle sister died, my older sister stayed 6 weeks with our Mother. She was hateful and mean spirited. My sister would get invited out to lunch and Mother would tell her that she couldn't go. ?? My sister is 75.
Oh, and she wouldn't go. Now, that we left Mother to fend for herself, she is in AL and actually doing great. We wouldn't have believed it.
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My Mother was also an engaging person, and kind. But as she has aged - she does not engage and does not seem to have any joy. She is on anti-depressants and they make her neutral, better than depressed. I find her behavior to be odd and some what rude, something she would never have been when I was growing up. My Mother also is in good health - for a 91 year old - but suffers from short memory loss and confusion. - She only likes to go to Church - not even restaurants anymore. I can leave her for short periods and go out - or my husband and I hirer a sitter to care for he if it is longer than four hours.(That is the longest we are comfortable with her being alone, she has a medical alert for any emergencies). It is expensive to hire a sitter, but our mind is at ease. I have adult children close by but I do not ask them to care for her very often. I do not think that is good for the relationship. I would rather their visits be to enjoy her company. (That does not happen much either).
Sometimes care givers have to make our parent do something for us. I need my Mother's cooperation because I need to renew my spirit. So I insist that we converse nicely;I insist that she allow caretakers and that she pay for them. Fo you, maybe the senior care center is an insist that will allow you to go get your nails done - join a dance group or book club. But find a social outlet and insist that she give this to you. Live in care takers need to not take care sometimes and you have the right to insist that she treat you nicely. Being nice is easier than being mean.
Lastly, don't ignore meanness that is persistent as it could be a sign of something else -reaction to medicines or cognitive deterioration. Mark the level of her cognition and mean spirited comments see if there is a correlation and talk to her doctor.
Hope you find a solution.
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2woods, I understand better now. It sounds like you are living with my mother. My mother has never been a happy person, though she will tell you different. For the past 10 years, though, she has made a bed of misery that she wants to pull other people into. She is chronically unhappy. It is so hard to live with. Each morning I wake up, saying to myself that I am going to have lively talk with her and maybe things will be better. It doesn't take long for her to throw a wet blanket over the idea. It certainly sucks all the joy out of life, both for her and me. I don't know why we put ourselves through it. If it weren't our parent, we wouldn't tolerate being around this person.

Sadly, the only way I've found I can tolerate things is to live my own life the best I can and leave her alone with the misery. This may sound unloving, but each day around here is like Groundhog Day. My mother has moderate dementia that she won't have diagnosed, but it is apparent. She obsesses on a couple of things. Her obsessions kick in first thing in the morning and she reaches out to pull me into the misery of it. I have to ignore it or get away from it, because I know anger is right around the corner if I don't get up and do something about what she is obsessing on (that the house is on stilts and that we need to get the foundation people back out here to lower it). Since it is an invalid obsession that could lead to expensive "repairs," I can't validate or distract.

But enough about my mother. It sounds like you are doing what you can do to keep your sanity, since your mother is determined to be unhappy at the moment. I wonder if she would try an antidepressant to see if it would help. At her age, she most likely is still missing her husband terribly. For yourself, it is okay to pull yourself away emotionally as much as possible. You don't want to get pulled into the misery. That wouldn't help her and would make you depressed and ill.

Do you think your mother would be open to or able to afford assisted living? It might help her to be around people her own age, and it would certainly help you get back to your own life. I know it would certainly be nice to visit, instead of live with an unhappy person in close quarters.
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Hi 2woods, so sorry you're going through this. NancyH makes a very good point about "sun downers" - I thought the same thing when I read that your mom gets more forgetful late in the day. It also seems she's feeling depressed (lost interest in things she used to enjoy, doesn't want to socialize...even the crabbiness) Not at all surprising given she lost your dad less than a year ago. Do you know if she's taking an anti-depressant? If not that might be another thing to ask her doctor about. If she is already taking one, it might not be the right one for her...not all meds work the same for everyone. Her doctor might consider making a change.
You said your mom was artistic. What kind of art did she like doing? I ask because I'm an artist too, and I know first hand what a great emotional outlet being creative can be. It's so sad she's lost interest. I'm thinking maybe if you were to get a sketchbook or some paints - whatever - and start drawing or painting on your own (without saying anything to her)...if she sees you doing it, it might ignite an old spark...? Just a thought.
I also find it really helpful to keep a journal...write down how she's doing day to day, make a note of mood swings, any other changes in her behavior, AND include your own feelings too - vent! Keeping tack of her ups and downs might provide some valuable information for her doctor, and writing down your feelings can be very cathartic for you!
And keep posting - caring for an elderly parent is hard; everyone here understands what it's like, and connecting with others who "get it" really helps lessen the insanity!
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2woods, when you mentioned that your mom seems worse in the evenings, that's a sign of dementia which they call 'sun downers'. If that's the case, then she needs to be seen by a doctor to get her on something that will at least slow down the disease, like Namenda or Aricept. As for the crabbiness, have you ever asked her WHY? Is she missing your dad so much, that that's what's making her crabby? Or is she cranky and complaining just because she wants to. I'd bring it to her attention and ask her if she sees a difference in her OWN behavior. I figure the only way anything can be done to correct a problem is to first take ownership of it. ♥
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