My Mom is so negative all the time, no one will call her any more. How do we handle this?

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She complains all of the time. It's gotten where no one in the family will call her any more. Even at the senior apartments where she lives, she complains all of the time about everyone and every thing.

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Sad to say, complaining makes some people "happy." The only way that I can see you handling this with any serenity is to not buy into her complaints (except for legitimate ones).

Try to ignore her negativity and realize that you can't make her happy - no one can. Once you accept that, it won't be quite as hard to cope with. You are not failing in any way. She is just taking out her frustration, anger, low self-esteem or whatever else is in her makeup on you and others.

Good luck. I know it's hard. But this seems like a case of recognizing that you can't change others, but you can change your reaction to them.
Carol
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You are working hard at something very difficult. It just plain IS going to be hard on you to have her in your house for three weeks. Personally I would make as many arrangements as I could to cut down on the time: other places for her to be, other places for myself to be. I don't just mean arranging for her to stay somewhere else (or for YOU to stay somewhere else -- can you go visit a friend during that time?) I also mean within each day, ways for you to get away. I cannot be with my own mother for more than about six hours at a time -- my ability to resist her toxic downward pull gets used up. So I follow that limit as a hard and fast rule, for both our sakes. There are many rules like that in our lives, we just take them for granted so we don't realize it. For example, you wouldn't go more than 24 hours without sleeping, would you? Or more than, say, eight without eating something? Because if you surpass your limit you get a headache, or you get dizzy, or you get so cranky, or whatever, that you don't function well either on your own or in relation to other people. In other words, putting limits on things that become intolerable is a healthy choice, not a failure. It's better for you AND it's better for everyone around you.
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Could write a book about my neagative mum and how it distroyed her life and look at her now and think things could have been so different if she just learned to be content but something happened to her when she was younger and theres nothing I can do now about that or her we cannot give them back thier lives and make it better BUT we can care for them tell them we love them and do whats right I know now after years even before she got dementia that I will never make my mum a happier person she is angry and unhappy about her life and how it didnt turn out how she imagined and that is NOT our problem we cant live thier lives for them OR change thier personalities. What we can do is be thankful that we CAN make our lives happier and comfort in the fact that we will never end up so negative. I used to feel guilty about not being around my mum much or should I say wanting to be around her but not anymore ive tried everything I can to make her life happier but its no use and ive given up I now CARE for her and thats all I can do when she dies she will find her peace and all i can do now is wish her peace when the time comes.
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My mother has also lost many friends and reduced her family interactions due to extreme negativity. She was always a person who saw the glass as "half empty" but with age that has increased exponentially. She lives in an in law apt. and I do not have any siblings nearby to help share the burden. She has many health issues and needs frequent support for these. I think the hardest part is the guilt I feel when I am angry or frustrated with her, when I don't want to see her and hear her complaints. I did go to counseling and it helped me get to a place where I am better able to accept that I can't change her, but change my reaction, but, on a daily basis it is still very challenging to stay positive and I feel sad that I don't have a "loving" attitude towards her.
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I feel for you who are dealing parents who are causing this anxiety in your lives. For me, acknowledging to myself that my parent was not ever a good part of my life helped me to be more objective. Be good to yourself. Remind yourself that you need to take care of yourself so you can be there for those in your life who value you. We only go this way once.
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Throw some dementia on top of this which leads to constantly repeating these negative comments and you're in my world. My mother is so lonely, and I have to constantly hear about it. I have tried so hard to help (suggested assisted living, or roommate, or dog, etc.), but she doesn't want any part of that. I keep telling myself that I can't fix her, but part of me keeps wanting to try. I realize her dementia is just getting worse, but she won't go to doctor, or take medicine, for it. She is in complete denial. She knows she is getting more forgetful, but she says "everyone is more forgetful, it's not just me". I know the time is coming when she won't be able to live alone any more, and it scares me to death to think she may have to come live with me. Then, I feel guilty for just making that statement! Help!
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Seriously, it is time for the MD to give her an anti-depressant. Mom's MD prescribed xanax when we took her car away, and added celexa about a month later. Talk with the MD.
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Ohhhh yes my friend. I feel your pain. At first I agree with her then slowly I move to more positive things then I try to be very positive with MIL till I leave....I always try to leave on a high note.
Little things. You'll never get that in that bag...I'm almost out of medicine you'll never get it on time, I can't do anything I'm 80 years old. The list goes on. So with every negative I agree and look for my opportunity to redirect and stick with it. It takes practice to find out what works. I have found that everyday I have to try stuff to keep things fresh, some work, some don't but I stay diligent not only for her but for my sanity. Tomorrow is my monthly caregiver support group....I can't wait, I always feel new after. I hope I could help......
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I have found with my mother, who had her 2nd massive heart attack and 1st massive stroke before her 59th birthday, that asking what the problem is helps. I asked my mom why she was being so negative. She gave me a long list of complaints. I said I couldn't fix the massive heart attack or stroke, but could work on the other problems.
Ask your mom. If the problem(s) are something you can fix, then fix them. That is what I am doing. I took a list and now am working on 1 problem at a time.
It has really helped my mom alot!!!
Also, don't be afraid to say something to her. I finally had to say something to my mom. She got mad, but when I reminded her that she wasn't the only one affected, but did get the worst of the situation; she realized how much her being negative was affecting me.
So, now we are working on her list.
Good luck!!! You are awesome for being a Caregiver!!!
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I am no expert, but will be happy to share my experience. My mother is very negative too, but not to the point that people don't want to talk to her. When my mother says something negative I always say something positive back. Like the other day she saw a show on TV about a 29 yr. old that has breast cancer. She immediately said that the woman would die. I said...Mom you don't know that. I can name many women who have survived breast cancer. When I said that she got quiet. It really is hard to change someone who is negative. I try my best to maintain my patience and not go along with her negativity. I used to be negative many years ago until I read two books that changed my life for the better. I read a book called "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale and a book called "The Secret". Both books made me realize that being negative only brings you down. It brings stress and just makes you feel lousy in general. I decided that I would stop being that way and start thinking positive. It's like exercising. You have to train yourself to be think positive. For me it's been wonderful life changing experience. My mom has improved a little, but I realize that I can't change her and the only one who can is herself. She has to want to change her negative thinking. I can only share good things when I am with her hoping it will rub off. I wish you tons of luck with your mom. Give her a hug and try to make her smile as much as you can in spite of it all. Keep us posted. :)
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