How to cope when my 85 year old mother visits for longer than a couple of days? - AgingCare.com

How to cope when my 85 year old mother visits for longer than a couple of days?

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Mom lives in garage apartment on my sister and brother-in-laws property. They are due home tonight after a two week vacation. I don't know how I would have lasted must longer. I totally give up the tv remote to her - she is 85 and has hearing aids but has the tv so loud it is frustrating. She complains it is too cold then complains it is too hot. she stays in her winter pj's all day. When she said she was hot I said change your clothes but she did not. She will put on a sweater when she is cold but still complains. Her apartment is about 20-25 minutes away and I offered to take her there during the day then bring her home but no she said she wanted to stay here with me. Is it rude for me just to go in my room to have time to myself. I have no one living with me. My grandchildren come over a lot but they are fun and easier to communicate with and please. My sister and I feel guilty about not having patience with her. When the phone rings she stares at you until you tell her who you are talking to then wants to know everything that has been said. She can fix herself food in her microwave and I want to try to encourage her to stay in her apartment during the day if my sister goes out of town again more that a couple of days. She has a cell phone phone and knows how to use it. I am just so glad my sister will be meeting me tomorrow to get mom. She wants to pay for my meal when we go out and offers to pay for some of the groceries. She just has these obsessions such as when I have fixed a meal then get up to go to another room and come back she has emptied my drink in the sink and thrown my food in the trash. She does this in a fast food place, too. She throws my drink away when I plan to take it with me. These are just a few of the things she does. She does not want me to put my cat outside if it is cold or raining. On and on. Think I may need to find a support group. What are your thoughts?

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Dear OldestDaughter1: Your sister is a saint and you need to get down on your knees and kiss her feet every single time you see her! I am joking of course but now you see how difficult your sister's job is every single day and you do need to thank her profusely for all she is doing to care for your mother.

The other thing I need to say is you need to pull on your big girl panties and get a grip on reality. What you are mentioning is so small and insignificant in the overall picture of life. We all go through this and so much more on a daily basis that if you lived our lives you might not make it.

Sometimes we all have to tell a white lie to leave the room, my room was my safe haven, until Mom decided that she could rip the door open at all times of the day or night, flip the light on and wake me up, wanting to know if the dog had been fed. This same question is repeated a minimum of 50 times a day. I now make signs and tape them to my door and every place else, but it hasn't stopped the questions....she doesn't want to read the sign!!!!

When you have children you learn how to tune out a lot of the stuff you just get tired of hearing....like "Jimmy is touching me!" Well guess what you have to regain that skill with elderly parents too at times. I cannot even tell you how many times I just have to ignore or not answer a question my parent has asked or a statement they have made for the 30th time today. It is called self preservation. If what you ignore is not going to hurt or kill them, let it go! Honestly if you try to address every single item you will drive yourself nuts.

You need to seek education on the elderly and possibly dementia or Alzheimer's or whatever disease your Mom may suffer with. Seeking a support group is a very good idea for you and your sister. You also need to offer to stay at your sister's house and let her go out to dinner or movies or go off with her husband for a weekend. You are still close to Mom in case she needs you and you are becoming a blessing to your sister to relieve some stress in her life.

Being a caregiver is not for sissy's and running away from the issue is not becoming of you and when your Mom is gone you may hate yourself for what you did to her and to your sister by not pulling your weight. If we live long enough we will all probably find ourselves in the same place, how would you want to be treated?

Good luck to you, your Mom and sister on this journey and God Bless You All!
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When someone says they're having trouble coping with the care of their parent, can we just take them at their word? Does it really matter whether they're providing a couple of hours a week of care to a mother who doted on them their whole lives or are living with a parent 24/7 who was abusive to them or vice versa? We each have our limitations and when we reach them it's overwhelming and we need support.

Somethings that may drive me crazy (like when I want to scream at my father when he constantly tells me how bored he is yet resists every effort to engage him in an activity) might be easily brushed off by someone else. And, things that may make one person want to jump off a bridge (like my sibling being unable to just let dad tell them how to get there and where to park when she takes him shopping) don't bother me at all.

This is a very individual journey we're all taking and we can be more supportive if we try to acknowledge that we all have different limits. Offering a 'reality check' is one thing, lambasting someone for being an 'hateful' child is quite another.

I'm often biting my tongue on this site, sometimes just dying to scream "martyr!" at some of the posters who seem to have no limits to what they'll sacrifice materially and emotionally in service of their parent. I remind myself that they are doing what they feel they should do and want to do and so am I and we're both 'right'.
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Sounds like it's just too much togetherness!
If your mom is safe by herself, simply tell her you have an appointment a distance away and that you'll be dropping her off at her place during the day and picking her up in the evening. Put a TV in your bedroom. When you're home with her, just excuse yourself and say there's a program you've been waiting to watch. Or, just that you have to lie down for awhile. Be creative! A little white lie (or even lots of them) is better than yelling "you're driving me nuts and I can't spend 24 hours a day with you!).

I'm sure you drove her nuts when you were a teen, but she got to send you to school 6 hours a day. Fair's fair. Give yourself as many breaks as you need.
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Holy Moley this thread got way bent out of shape and meanings and intents went astray. I was saddened with some of the guilt trips and shaming, for God's sakes we don't need this. This woman is experiencing her mother's aging and decline and it is the start of her journey the one we are all in and on now. How did you feel when you began this, I went through total and unadulterated hell, this stage of life for us is something we learn to cope with and do or learn that we can't cope and don't do, and we perhaps crack up trying to figure it out. I'd say now is the time for the sisters to sit down and discuss how to best meet each others needs and provide safe support for mom without losing their minds, health and sanity. The sister that is closest is under the greatest pressure. I'd say we need to all pull together and help each other by understanding how hard this is to begin, go through and finish.
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you also might see if she'd wear wireless headphone to watch tv
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Wow dlijbohsix, how sad your response. No, not all children take a hateful, nasty role against their parents. Some want a loving relationship too but the parent is the hateful, nasty one. I am sorry if you just want love and attention and no one has the time for you. It breaks my heart. I would love to spend time with my mother but she is a selfish, spiteful, hateful individual. Always has been. I am sorry also your son stole you blind. A pity.

I hope you find someone to love and care for you. I wish my mother would change and love me. Very sad comments.
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Well I will try again! I thought I posted an apology to everyone. I came across just way too hard on everyone, and usually this is not me. (I have been in a horrid turmoil the last month or so,) however no reason to take it out on posters here. We are here to help each other.
I do understand parents being hard on their children. This is usually when I encountered these 'Parents' in the Nursing Home. I am not tooting my own horn by any means as they came in the way everyone has described! It seemed I did have a Knack to calm and settle them into being 'Nice'. Oh I did encounter problems, but I tried working on them harder. Some Nurses would give up on these patients and only do the bare minimum job.
When I stated bay-backs are a bitxx, my meaning was (we may all be at that point sooner than we want or dreamed)
My opinion is they still don't wish to be this way, they simply can't help themselves.
I still owe everyone a heartfelt apology and hope you can now understand me a bit better.
I have had family members come to me stating they don't know how we do it! They have maybe been visiting with the parent for only an hour or so and still getting the 'wrath' of their parent.
I don't think most of us want to be mean to our parents and I know the heartache they can give to their children. I don't like 'heavy medicine' of any kind given to them. I have seen what this can cause.
Please forgive me as I was wrong in my other post.
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I'm sorry, I had to laugh when I read this - because it is all EXACTLY the same as what I go thru. However, I don't have Mom living with me - thank goodness. How does your sister handle it? Is Mom alone during the day/night or what? Now you know it doesn't work with Mom coming to live with you while sis is away, so you will come up with a better option for the next time. One that will keep you sane. good luck.
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You are caring for your Mom for two weeks and you can't handle it? Seriously? Your sister and her family are the main caretakers and they need your help at times so they can get rejuvenated and nurture their marriage.

Your time with your Mom is so short. It's unfortunate that you don't realize how precious life is...When I came to this realization, I found it was my pleasure to take Mom out for drives, coffee, shopping (even to the point when she was in a wheelchair), asking questions about her life and sharing time together...

Be thankful your sister is so generous. I pray you will do some soul searching and forgive your mom of these petty grievances and learn to love unconditionally.
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Some of you need to go back and re-read OldestDaughters letter. Mom lives in an apartment not in the sisters house. Sounds like she can take care of herself for the most part. Now--OldestDaughter, meet youngest daughter. Your Mom sounds a little better than mine but not much. I have mine 24--7. she is almost deaf but has the TV on most of the day--LOUD. She can't hear it but watches the picture. She has an attached apartment on our house with access to the whole house and I can hear her TV. Watch for a time when she is in the bathroom and take the batteries out of her remote. When she can't get it to work take it and tell her you will have to find time to work on it. Will she look at Magazines? Find something else she likes. Mine does jigsaw puzzles and crosswords. She is 97. Mom goes to bed before dark and wakes the birds up of a morning. Also has started coming to my room early of a morning. She has an electric scooter so I am going to put a heavy chair at the start of the hallway so she can't get down it. I don't know why it took me so long to think of that. It is hard because it is your Mother and you feel like you are bad if you can't stand being around her. If something happens to your sister, under no circumstance should you take your Mother to live with you. You are not geared for that kind of head ache. You will end up disliking her or worse. Next time your sister wants to get away go stay at her house and leave your Mom in her apartment. During the day you can spend time with her and take breaks from her when you need to. Just tell Mom you have something you have to do that requires quiet and concentration. You do---regain your sanity. I'd say hang in there, it won't last forever, but if she lives as long as my Mom, it will feel like forever. As soon as your Mom goes home treat yourself. Turn off the phone, lock the doors and relax in the peace and quiet.
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