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Thanks dragonflower for your response, you are right and I think the next time she gives me the guilt trip I will let her in on what I think. It is only damaging our relationship and that is a shame. Its just hard because I was raised to be so respectful regardless of what my parents did but I'm an adult now and respect really should go both ways.
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IMHO, we do not owe our parents anything except "respect." They chose to create you and bring you into this world - as a result, they have no right to "punish you" for the rest of your life. You have every right to tell your mother how you feel. Your mother is using her helplessness to emotionally manipulate you - refuse to allow this to happen! I am 58 years old and I would never think of "manipulating" anyone and I certainly don't want anyone else manipulating me. I intend to hold a full-time job (or 3 part-time jobs) until I drop dead. Not all elderly people are manipulative - plenty prefer to remain as independent as possible and not place burdens upon their children or other relatives.
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I feel for all of you I cant imagine how tuff it is taking care of a parent. My mother is only in her 50s and already is leaning toward being helpless, she wont work and complains constantly inferring that I owe her to fix her life and take care of her. She tried to be a good mother to me but "dropped the ball" pretty badly in my opinion and it has taken me most of my life just to get my head on strait. I am sick of the guilt trip and the inferences and I'm so tempted to tell her exactly how I feel. I am a CNA and have worked with elderly for 13 years. I can say that there are caregivers out there that can help you as we know the game, you just have to find one :) A big part of it is not enabling by doing things for them they can do themselves, not holding them accountable for their behavior is a no no because they think they have a free ticket to be hurtful and mean. Alzheimer's is such a difficult disease and its always a balancing act between what they are really capable of and what can be expected.
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Is there any way that we can reword the lines of Tina Turner's song, "What's Love Got To Do With It?"? Possibly, 'what's guilt got to do with it, it's just a second hand emotion."?
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Your dad and mother were in a sense co-creaters with God in bringing your body, mind and soul into existence. However, that does not mean that she owns you or that somehow as her adult child you owe her. The only thing I think you owe her is respect and to treat her in an honorable way to make sure she is cared for and safe in her old age, but not to cease your entire life like a slave. I bet she still had a life after you were born.
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Lost,
Your mother was alive when her folks were around. How did she help them? Goose and gander I say.
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It's dark chocolate and Good and Plenty's for me. LOL
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i don't even feel gyulty about that LOL
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neon,
You are so right. Mom tries it because she knows how much I care, but it just doesn't work anymore. No guilt, except for chocolate cake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Ooooooo, isn't that so true?! And pity parties, too. Anything for sympathy.
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Carmen honey Guilt is a usless emotion I found that out a long time ago it is a tool used by controllers to get their way
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Well over the week end my mother has said for the 4th time she wants her own apt. the first time I was all upset considering all I had to do when she wanted to move in with me because she concocted some story sabout the lady next door, so I ignred her. than #2 I brought home papers from 3 apt complexes and the place she had at first they don't want her bac and some boxes and told her to start packing the next day she said she thought it would be better to stay with me

the #rd time I said here is the phone book and I brought her home a paper and said well while you are doing nothing make some calls and see what you can find, this time I am not doing a thing. Tomorrow is herbirthday. Yesterday I brought her some tiny baby roses so pretty. told her it was a pre birthday gift. I bought her some PJ/s and a nice aqua seat suit as that seems to be all she wears and a little change purse and two pair of nice arrings, will make her a cake tonight and asked all my church family to inundate her with birthday cars. so we will see she is going down hill very quickly from all that laying around she can barely walk anymore but she is doing that to herself. I will be kind caring and make sure she is comfy but moving again ain't no way. I know she misses my father but ee will all have to go thru that even me it is the course of life the journey we travel what we do with it is another story I love my husband but if he goes first I am not playing the pity party I will just make other arrangements and NO I don't want to get remarried. LOL tired of taking care of people.
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Rosie,
I am soooo glad that you wrote your post. Too many people think that to honor their parents, they have to sacrifice their own lives. That is just not right. I don't believe that God wants us to suffer, rather be kind and caring and do what is best. That isn't always keeping our parents with us. Sometimes it means providing a safe environment that they can be taken care of by professionals. Respect, yes, owe, no. Thanks so much. Love my mom, but we are nearing the end of what I can do for her.
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If you're a Christian, you know the bible says to honor thy father and thy mother. But, you didn't ask to be born, did you? You don't "owe" her. You are obliged, though, to respect her.
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Interacting with people is something she used to enjoy. We took her to visit a senior center once and she didn't like it. At a church nearby there is an adult day care geared toward Alzheimer's patients. One of the problems would be getting her bathed and ready to go and the other is that English is her second language and she is having more and more trouble with communication. I leave for work at 7 and my husband waits for the caregiver until 8. I'd have to work out the logistics but you've givern me something to look into - thanks.
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If there is an Adult Day Care facility in your area, you might make use of that should a caregiver ever actually walk off the job. Do you think your mother would respond to having other seniors and
day care staff around to interact with?
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Carmen, what a difficult task. We are there, too. Bless your heart in this difficult situation. Don't have any magic answers, but will be praying for you. Take care, and hope you do some praying, too.
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Yes, the caregivers I get come through an agency. The current caregiver is a young woman who is a ClNA. She is kind and tries to accomodate her needs. I think where she fails is that my mother is smarter than she is. I do have POA and my plan is to begin interviewing if this does not work out.

I know that she does not like to sit alone. By the nature of our home her area is split off from the main floor where the kitchen is. We have told the daregiver that if Mom starts to pick on her that she can leave the room and go do something else. We leave a car for her to take her out a few times a week.

We make sure she has someone with her 24 7 and that is shy it is so frustrating to see her hurt like this for no reason. It is almost like a tantrum. she wants to have someone right there next to her all day. I feel I need to wean her from that.

I am trying keep her safe and treated with kindness. I can't be the one to do it. I am a teacher and sometimes when I get home there is not much left of me to give.

Thanks for your support.
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carmen1

Unfortunately, what you see in your mother will most likely only intensify and she will project all of her issues onto others as being their fault. She does sound afraid of being left alone.

I do hope you are hiring caregivers who are bonded liscenced people. At some point they are going to get to where they can't handle your mother anymore themselves. Worst case senirio is that your mother being mean to caregivers could give her a bad wrap and then no one would want to work for her. My mother could not find a new primary care doctor two years ago because she had gained the reputation of firing every doctor that did not agree with her. Also, she never heard what the doctors she did keep who were oh so sweet and tactful. I mean when someone tells you that you are using the ER like extended care, that is a really big hint that you need to go to extended care like the other doctors have suggested and been fired for saying.

What are your plans for what to do next as your mother continues to decline? Are you set up with the needed POAs?
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Thanks to all of you for your comments and support. I am working on my guilt and trying not to let my mother's problems continue to dominate my life. She doesn't like her caregiver and there really isn't any good reason other than she has become tired of her because she is bored. I won't fire her. Yesterday we got a call that she had fallen out of her recliner which I did not understand. We had to go to the emergency room and she got three staples in her head and her face is bruised. how it happened is now clear. The caregiver had gone up to wash the lunch dishes and she decided to try and stand by herself - which she can't and never does. She held on to the food tray and toppled over. I overheard her conversation when she told her friend that she fell because the caregiver wasn't doing her job. She is becoming meaner and meaner to the caregiver. I am taking care of her wound but am trying not to give her a lot of negative attnention. She had three of us at the hospital and it was a big ordeal including an ambulance. A caregiver comes to our house 8 hours a day while I go to work. She wants someone by her side in case she needs something. I think she is afraid of being alone. The caregiver tells her what she is doing and shere she is going. It doesn't matter. Going through caregivers is disruptive and time consuming. I can't just let anyone into our house and I have to trust the person I leave my mother with all day. I am afraid that by Tuesday she will have told the caregiver it is her fault. There will come a breaking point even if the caregiver knows it's dementia speaking. The caregiver has become the source of all of her malaise and discontent. This is not the first time.
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edvierajr, what poignant thoughts!
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If you're happy with the way your life turned out, the only thing you owe is thanks and telling your mom you love her ... still. Bringing children to the world doesn't automatically make one a parent entitled to charge our offspring for it. Our children's lives shouldn't have to revolve around ours, and making them feel guilty for leaving home and not visiting more often is disgraceful. As a parent, sometimes I couldn't wait for my sons to grow up and get out of the house. They are 29 now, but I miss them dearly. The bottom line is this: from the moment they were born, WE owed them. Not the other way around.
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Is someone making this stuff up? How hateful!
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lmw124
yikes, get thee to an elder law attorney. hopefully there is a good senior legal services place that can give you solid advice.

We expect too much rational behavior from irrational brains.

My heart goes out to you that your mom's bitterness and confusion has put you in such a negative and touchy situation.

There are plenty of attys around these days knowledgeable in these areas. Here in CA Len Tillem has a radio show on this very subject. Perhaps you should send them an email. They may be able to recommend a good atty in N. Dakota.
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Yes, I felt that way, because mom expected everyone to be perfect, a real perfectionist. Anyway I am in trouble now for
being too controlling with mom. Maybe I was trying to protect her too much, but she did not realize how much money she had, was calling and charging expensive things, trying to make
travel reservations, that was where I had to take control. And now I am in real trouble, she is challenging all of the control I had over her, going to court and wanting control back of her finances and to get out of the nursing home. The State of North Dakota says they have to place her where she gets the minimal amount of care for her needs. What do they want her to do, fall again or wander off and end up in the nursing home again? I feel like that five years I spent carefully watching over her are wasted now and she is denying that she ever needed help now, but she does state that she is grateful for the care that I gave her. When I tell her now that she needs the care they are giving her at teh nursing home, she just blows it off and claims she can live on her own and take care of her own finances, even though she has not done this for 5-6 years.
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As others have pointed out, you did NOT ask to be born. Your mother chose to bring you into this world.

Don't allow her to "guilt you" into believing otherwise.

People need to plan for their own old age and eventual demise instead of blaming their children.


dragonflower
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Is being "the problem child" something your mother labled you as and uses to control you? A special needs child, which you were from your own description, is far different than a "problem child" It would be helpful if you got "problem child" label out of your head.

Don't feel bad that you had to break away and get your own life for 30 years! That's normal. Her spoiling you was in fact a form of control or what sometimes is called being an over loving parent.
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I do owe my mother a lot, not just from being born and am alive, but she did everything for me posssible when I was growing up. I had a learning disability and the psychologists were about to label me retarded, mom made sure that I got into a school with smaller class sizes, this was in the 50's when there were no special classes for attention deficit. I was her "problem child" and she gave me a lot of special care and attention. However, it came to a point where I had to break away from home, and I did live on my own for about 30 years. Then my father died and I had to get a two bedroom apartment and help mom. I took care of her for about 7 years as she gradually started falling more often and had memory problems. Just last month she had to go to a nursing home. I have come to the realization now that I was spoiled, I was spoiling her, etc., and I needed to have my own life and take care of myself with all the health problems I have developed during my 50's. I do express gratitude to my mother and honor my parents, as they did do a lot for me, but part of growing up in letting go.
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I just took the ringer on my mom's phone and turned it off. She can make calls, but does not hear the phone ring. People leave messages and I get to screen the calls. If a caregiver is here, she can answer the phone and take messages. It works great. When I go out and she is alone, I leave her a cell phone that she can open and say hello when she hears it ring. No one has the number but me. Also, she has a life alert button to push if she needs help. Take charge and take control of a situation. Think ahead and try not to give her any control of these types of situations. It really does help. Sometimes you just have to out fox them just like a little kid!! Love her, but I won't let her control my life.
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Oops I meant to write "quite well," not "quite will." Talk about a Sleudian Frip!
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