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My mother lives in an independent living apartment. She has all kinds of activities and three meals a day provided and a lot of people to visit with. But does none of it. She has every excuse why she can’t do anything.. and makes me feel guilty about everything in her life. I love my mom, put sometimes I think life would be so much easier if she was gone☹️
that sounds terrible and I feel bad for thinking that! I have a brother that shows up maybe once a month?? And a sister that tries but my mom has issues with her (goes way back).
I see that my mom is starting to lose it mentally, but a lot of it is for attention and not true and that makes me upsets and makes me angry. I am not sure what my options are? Maybe I just need to vent.

Leslieipp.... sounds like you need to read the books on establishing boundaries and what going grey rock is. Google it, there is a lot of good information that you could use. As so many others have stated, we cannot make anyone else happy. That has to come from within....get off that train...,,set the day(s) you want to spend time with her, if she is negative or nasty, then end it with, sorry mom i have to go. Ill come back when youre feeling better. We cant “fix” everything in our elders lives, once we stop trying to do that, you will be much better off managing your anger. All that does is eventually make you sick. Is it easy? Heck no, but it is doable!! Blessings to you on this caregiving journey....
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Reply to cherokeegrrl54
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Leslie you're not responsible for your mother's happiness and you never have been. I'm an only child to a single mother. She moved near me no matter where I went. Now she lives next door, and that's fine so I can keep an eye on her BUT she relies on me to be her entertainment committee. Now she is 90 and has no real friends, just family. It has taken me quite a while to come to peace with not feeling guilty to take her everywhere and include her in everything. She's had her whole life to figure it out. Now in my MIL's case she did the same as your mom: we worked so hard and long to get her into a great facility on Medicaid and she chose instead to never get out of bed. Literally. Now she can't get out of bed even if she wanted to. I think it's partially a function of age, partially of dementia. So sad. In regards to your mom, do less with her and see if she figures out she needs to make her own happiness, if she can. Call her often instead. Peace to you!
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Reply to Geaton777
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Leslieipp Feb 15, 2020
😊 thank you so much.. I am going to do what you suggested. It feels good just to vent and get some great advice. And also know that my mom and my situation is not any different than other people❤️
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Yes, you can do that. But you are choosing not to. You will need to set limits or your mother will continue to treat you as thought there are no limits. It is entirely up to YOU to protect and preserve you.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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I can't do that?

No question about it. No, you can't do that. And you must stop thinking that you can.

When you say "makes me feel guilty about everything in her life." Is she blaming you, really? Or is it more that every time she complains or wrings her hands or dredges up negative memories or just looks miserable, you feel compelled to make everything better?

I don't underestimate the weight of negativity, I promise you. My goodness it can pull you down! But careful adjustment of expectations can really help - maybe that's the thing to work on.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I think this situation comes up a lot.

There seems to be a whole world between living & managing independently: going out using senior transport, arranging lunch dates & hobbies etc at one end & being dependant: requiring lifestyle staff to arrange suitable activities at the other.

Your Mum may have left the shore of independence & is coming adrift a bit. She may not trust she can cope in the social activities she used to do. But she feels comfortable & safe with you & so will increasingly want you to be her constant companion.

But you need a life too.

Does her IL have Assisted Living? Would you consider looking into that? If not right now, for the future? (With the intention to steer her to a more structured type of living, more routine, more staff).

Otherwise the old slippery slope is waiting for you & you both begin to live her life (while yours is sort of pushed aside).
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Reply to Beatty
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Leslieipp Feb 14, 2020
Thank you, yes where she lives you can pay for a (helper) . And I have considered that but she says she is not ready for one, so that is on hold.
the frustrating part is I give her advice and try to encourage her, she agrees with me but then has
excuses about doing anything. And understand being comfortable with me and I do like to do things with my mom and have set up one to two days a week to spend with her. One minute she is really happy where she lives and the next she is not. ( she does not get along with my husband so noway is she coming to live at my house) It has gotten to point I just agree with her on everything and then ignore it. Her new thing is she wants a motorized
wheel chair because a lot of other people have one ( she can walk just fine with her walker). She wanted to paint so I got her everything she would need and has not touched it,
she need plants and did water them and all died. She needed a cassette player to play old music and has not touched it, I could go on and on. She lives in a fantasy would!
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This seems to be a common problem with the daughters (especially) of elderly seniors. We are expected to be their entertainment committee in addition to everything else. Try being an only child in also. Fun fun fun!

Happiness is an inside job, meaning we cannot make other people happy; it's up to THEM to create it for themselves from the inside. Your mother has plenty of opportunities to mingle, socialize and keep herself entertained without relying on you, which means you have nothing to feel 'guilty' about, even when she plays the guilt card hard. Keep reminding her of the activity calendar she's missing out on, of her own choosing, and that you have a job, a life, a family, etc etc, and cannot be making trips over there continuously to entertain her. Get her a magazine subscription (my mother loved People until the dementia got too bad for her to be able to focus on reading) and try introducing her to crossword puzzles and word searches which are very good for the brain. Also pick up a monthly activity calendar from the IL place she lives at so you can remind her of social activities she may enjoy doing.

And for yourself, set down boundaries and decide when you will go over there to visit. Pick a day of the week (or whatever) and a time, and plan an activity to enjoy with your mother. Lunch, a movie, shopping, or something else she'd like. The only thing my mother wanted to do when I took her out was either eat or shop. Nowadays she's wheelchair bound and in no shape mentally or physically to do anything, really (lives in a Memory Care ALF). So once YOU determine what you're willing to give here, then you can calm down and feel less guilty in general. A daily phone call/check in seems to also help with being lonely and having her feel like you are part of her life.

Wishing you the best of luck moving forward and finding a happy balance with the whole situation.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Leslieipp Feb 12, 2020
Thank you for all the great advice
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No one can "make another person happy." No one.  Can you set reasonable boundaries on how much you will do and then just go "gray rock"? (Let the demands just bounce off you and continue on your way?") No guilt here.
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Reply to rovana
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You can’t change your sister, brother, or mother. You can ask the activities director where your mom lives to encourage her toward activities she may enjoy and to direct her toward possible friends there. But it’s up to your mom to do this or not. You control whether you listen to guilt inducing talk from her, if you don’t give her an audience for it she can’t do it to you. When she starts and you don’t want to hear it, get off the phone or leave. No explanations needed, just a quick “see you later” Be your mom’s advocate and help, but don’t be a punching bag for her negativity, bow out of that role, it’s better for you both
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Leslieipp Feb 12, 2020
Thank you
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There is another thread going that the person is having the same problem.

You set Boundries. What ur willing and not willing to do. Seems like siblings are somewhat involved. Has Mom been like this most of her life? Maybe brother visiting 1x a month is all he can do because Mom is toxic?

You cannot make her happy. She refuses to be involved that is not ur fault. Do what u can when u can. Put a day a week aside. Take her on errands and maybe a nice lunch. But keep ur life. Tell her she is where she is so she has something to do. Maybe go with her to some of the activities to help her meet people.
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