My mom is 90yrs. old and is a sweet and loving soul, although she can be very stubborn and has become extremely sensitive to any perceived criticism, whether it's real or imagined. I spent three weeks with her in November and the beginning of this month and the strain was very difficult on me by the third week. My sister lives close to her and visits nearly every day, shops for her, and cooks dinner for her. I wish I could be of more help but it is very hard on me, and my sister and I are not on the best of terms which adds to the stress. I feel guilty about not being there for at least a couple of days per week just to help her with things that need to be done and every day health concerns. In truth I really feel I should be with her daily because she says she's lonely living alone. I feel very guilty about this and wonder if others struggle with this as well.

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salutem, time to step back and re-evaluate the situation. Your Mom is thankfully still of clear mind, thus she is able to make her own decisions as to whether she wants paid caregivers or not. Your Mom decided not to move to Independent Living, thus it isn't your fault your Mom feels lonely.

I had a similar situation, my Mom refused any type of caregiving or even cleaning crews to enter her house. In her mind she felt my Dad could help her. But she was forgetting that the both of them were in their mid-to-late 90's. And that I was a senior citizen myself. They still viewed me as their "child" who could do anything to help them.

What was tough was trying to explain to a parent that you just can't do certain things anymore. Driving my parents for 7 years took a major toll on me. Telling my parents this, the only reply was "who is going to drive us?" Talk about a guilt trip !! So on I forged but I became quite ill from the stress. So unfair.

If I had to do this all over again, I would have set boundaries at day one, telling my parents what I could or could not do. If they wanted more, than they would have to pay someone. I know, not easy to do.
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