My mother lives just up the road. She was a professional woman and is fiercely independent. However she has had six falls in six months - four of which were caused by alcohol abuse (which she denies - but there is red wine spilled all over her kitchen, her clothes, her sofa - and she often has black lips and teeth. If you arrive without warning she has a mug of red wine that she tries to hide in the cupboard. Last week an online "food" delivery arrived with 6 litres of red wine and two garlic baguettes. I think she thinks this is the Mediterranean diet!)
She is now becoming very frail, but is in denial about this too. I understand and have some compassion for this - it must be so hard to be this old and infirm.
I don't want advice, just sympathy really.
The problem is I have arranged carers for her but she refuses to let them clean her or change her clothes. She sits in soiled clothes day after day. I felt compelled to change her the other day. She will let me do it if I insist but it's not great as she complains the whole time. Sometimes she completely loses it and can be really nasty to my face. I had to leave one time when she screamed at me in front of the family. (I would say this might be dementia but she has always been like this, alas. She can be extremely unpleasant if she doesn't get her own way, and then switch on the charm equally easily.)
The other day the carer found feces in the bathroom sink. This has happened before but she denied it. I was going to get a plumber but she shouted at me to stop interfering. In the end my husband (disabled but mentally well) insisted. It was really shocking. Horrible really.
I am trying to distance myself emotionally as we have a difficult relationship. She was emotionally and physically abusive to me in childhood and beyond, and I believe suffers from narcissistic personality disorder (I could explain why I think this but that would be a separate post). This makes her expert at manipulation - which I have had help with identifying and resisting, though I sometimes get caught out.
How do I keep the boundary and protect myself whilst keeping her safe? The social work team say she is within her rights to refuse care as she has "capacity" - and I understand that - but it is so painful to watch, and I am sick of being at her beck and call.
I am thinking of contacting Al-Anon as I believe they help adult children of alcoholics, and I can see signs of codependency in the way I react to her ... but does anyone have any other suggestions?
I feel very sad that she is choosing to live out her last few years in this way.