My Mom won't move closer. Any advice?

Follow
Share

My mother lives in an assisted living facility 200 miles away. I go to visit her once a month. Since her condo sold, I have to make the trip down and back in one day. My mother gets upset when I am not able to attend all of the events at the assisted living facility. She calls to tell me about the other daughters who come to visit their mothers all the time. I try to explain that I don't live close by but she gets very upset and says well if that's all you care about me and hangs up the phone. She refuses to move closer to me because she says it is to cold where I live. I am an only child and have to travel by myself to visit her. I am the only one who goes to visit her. I feel very guilty about only visiting her once a month but I'm not a spring chicken.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
18

Answers

Show:
We do not like to think we were born selfish, especially when you look at those sweet baby faces, sweet little things that you think would never become unbalanced in life. But the first thing we do when we open our mouths at birth is to usually let someone know we are ready to be cared for. It might be a strong whimper, or a shrill crying out. Their way is usually cry out for attention. So someone must be ready to comfort them. Yes, here I am, says the little one, I I need attention and care, Now! Sometimes that may be constant care until the adult is in full bloom. So it goes with individuals through life, we thrive on me-ism. It is either producing things, working and keeping busy at things we like to do or working to purchase things we'd like to have., or sometimes just controlling others thinking they know best. Many try to make life meaningful through their children, then when the children grow up and leave the nest, there is the empty nest syndrome. If one builds their life around a child or children, nurturing and caring for it, which is good as long as needed, but then they find it a very big re-adjustment to turn their life into other directions when things change. When one becomes old or disabled in some way,they are more or less forced to face the fact they cannot have and or do what they once may have been in position to do and have. Many times one reverts back to children ways, of course depending on the personality and circumstances of ones life, which may produce a form of temper tantrum, if one does not get their way every time they want. (refusing to be reasonable) especially If one has been in charge controlling others and wanting to do everything their way, thinking it is best way of all their way, will have to come to a rude awaking when things change and do not go the way they wish and possibly have been used to doing for years. It is hard to turn loose, let go of others, and realize others have a life to live and must choose what is the most reasonable way to be a responsible person doing what they feel is necessary to carry their assignments in life well. It is difficult for some older persons to face the end of life with dignity , and respect for others well being. It is a time pointing to less activity . As with a child, it takes patience and work to train them to re-adjust being considerate of others and function in a productive form of life. So when one sees through the elderly eyes, that they are telling themselves they do not have anyone who cares about them, and if they do care, it is not enough! They may become frustrated and try any form of tantrum in order to get their way. So it is a whole new ball game to work with an older person who is starting to display childish thinking. Sometimes they are just not aware of the real situation and will need to be patiently directed to be as constructive in the limited life they have, in order to be happy. To have some kind of mental or physical activity that they can become happy with, may be a partial solution to help fill the emotional thought patterns to be re-adjusted to live and let others live their lives. Making the best of a changing situation. I had a young child once that had to be worked through with due to temper tantrums. The doctor told my husband and I that one thing we must learn to do is be consistent. We had to set balanced rules, and stick with them. His example was, if you tell him it is to be one way or the other, stick with it. It is frustrating for the child to have you give in, to his frustration. Why is he frustrated?
He indicated, you cannot tell him to do things one way one time and expect it, then turn around and say do it another way. Example: It is time to eat a well balanced meal, the kid wants to eat a bowl of candy 30 minutes before the meal is served.
You say, no son, you must wait until after our meal then you can have some candy.
You are the one expected to be the decision maker at that time. So you follow through. Next time a meal is ready to prepare and son comes up and says he is going to eat the candy ahead of time, he is hungry now. So you think, well maybe it won't hurt this time. So he indulges. Next time around same scenario, Son wants candy before the meal. No you say, it is not good for you. Then the tantrum. Frustration! He Does not understand why he cannot demand and have the candy. He had it once before the meal, why not any time he wants. So it goes, we must set boundaries and stick to them, or no one understands why not.
One has to have lots of patience with young children coupled with love, and on the other side of the line, even more patience and love while making major necessary decisions for our elderly ones. For in many cases, the old body is regressing while a young body is progressing. We do what is best for the issues involved to help things run as smooth as possible, while continuing to look for ways to coop to the best of everyone's abilities to be balanced and reasonable and in turn happy. Here is a Hug your way. joylee
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You can look at the available assisted living options closer to you and present your mother with other options. It may be difficult for her as she has adjusted to her current home, however stress how much more often you would be able to visit and/or participate in facility activities. Change is difficult, put a positive spin on homes closer to you, discuss it with her and let her know you would love to spend more time with her but the 200 miles is a big barrier.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Indeed Pam. There are 60 residents in my mother's nursing home and any time I visit, no matter what day or time of day, there might be one or two cars in the visitors' lot and often none at all.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Both stay where you are. Once a month is good, and you can check with the head nurse too during the visit. Don't believe the fairy tale about all the other daughters. If it was true, you couldn't find a parking spot when you got there. YES take a look at that parking lot next time. No cars? Nobody on the porch? Nobody in the common areas? Where did they go?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My mother refused to move as well. For the ten years after my father passed I made the 400 mile round trip once a month, shopping, cooking and hauling along all the food for the weekend too as she didn't "like" cooking :(
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

starshine14, great idea about the greeting cards. I use to do that on a regular basis for my elderly aunts who still lived out-of-state at their own homes [my cousins could never get their moms to move into any type of retirement home]. I know they enjoyed getting the cards, and it let the aunts know I was thinking about them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Definitely explore staying over at the facility. Also, ymcas, inexpensive motels, families of other residents might have a room to let on an occasional basis. Airbnb? Driving 400 miles in one day? Probably not the best prescription for a pleasant visit.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi Caregiver99, I am thinking should her mother eventually become mentally unable to make decisions or she has a surgery or something that keeps her from managing her finances, someone needs to take over. And as an only child, she would be "it". Without the POA, she can't do that. It's always wise to have that in place when a parent is elderly.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

If your Mother will not move closer to you, then she will have to stay where she it.

The 'Teflon' idea [see above] sounds like the best proposition for you. You can only do what you can do.

Re what harpcat saus: It is doubtful that you can 'take over' after your Mum's death if you have a POA. A POA gives the grantee the right to make decisions for a living person, not for a dead one. However, I see you didn't raise that issue, so I wonder what prompted harpcat to raise it.

Just do your best. It seems that you are. Your Mom might never understand that, but it will not change them fact that you are.

:)




:)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Also, be sure you have POA, because if something were to happen to mom, you need to be able to take over as the only child.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.