My 84 yo mother lives in an attached apt with my youngest brother and his family, and has done so for the last 15+ years. She and dad moved in when dad's Parkinson's grew too much for mother to care for alone. He passed 10 years ago.
Mother has been fairly independent and up until about a year ago was still driving some, taking care of her own shopping, bills, social life etc.
I try to see her a couple of times every week, even tho she does not "like" me very much. My two sisters call her once a month, if that, and my younger brother calls about once a month. To hear mom, you'd think I was coming by to beat her up and mess up her apartment (I clean for her and she gets furious if I move something or, heaven forbid, throw anything away!) Only the brother with whom she lives and I have anything to do with her, really, besides and random call or visit.
She had a hip replacement in March and has really struggled since then. She's had a LOT of falls, won't use the walker-- She thought she'd have the surgery and come home. She had to go to a rehab place for over 8 weeks--and somehow that was my fault. She thinks I collude with her drs and the other kids to keep her down. The other day she commented that she was ready to drive again and I gently asked her how she was going to maneuver the walker into the car and then get herself in the car...trying to get her to problem solve, as it were...and she yelled at me "You just want me to sit here and rot, don't you?" No, I don't want her to kill herself or someone else by driving in an unsafe manner. The state has her license on "hold" and she has to retake the driving test--no way can she pass it, but my concern is that she'll drive anyway. She cannot walk w/o her walker, she is bent over almost in half and she says she can't see much of anything--yet she insists she can drive----sigh.
I am curious as to why she has "picked" me to be the "bad guy" in all this. I'm sure it would be easier to simply stop seeing her altogether, but my brother and his family need respite, and I give it to them. I have cut my visits down a LOT, I go, visit for a minute, clean for a few more and then leave. If I stay longer than a half hour she will start getting mean. More than once I have walked away in tears as she has said something mean to me. She doesn't treat any of the other kids like this..why is she picking on me?
I must add that we have always had a sort of distant relationship...she was very manipulative when I was growing up and put a lot of guilt on me about how depressed she was, or how messy the house was, whatever--she dumped on me. She constantly threatened suicide as a means to get us to stay in line. I guess I am the one who took her seriously...the other kids just ignored her. Sort of what is going on now, but to a greater extent. Still trying to manipulate...mostly, I guess the is just a rant, I am so tired of being the bad guy and so tired of her treating me like I caused all her woes. What can I do to still be a pasrt of her caregiving but also still have some sense of self worth after spending a day with her? (Don't say "make the other siblings get involved"--they won't beyond writing a check for something.)