My mother engages in attention seeking behavior. Any advice?

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My mother lives independently and is 90 years old. She needs outside help but refuses to accept it from anyone but me. I live an hour away which means that any trip for any purpose involves at least two hours on the road. She lives near a major metropolitan area which means traffic congestion and accidents on a regular basis. I work full time and would like to spend some of my free time with my husband and children. I call my mother every day and sometimes a couple times a day. I visit her weekly and do her grocery shopping, household chores, bills and take her to doctors. She visits me at least six times a year and stays for 5-7 days each time. She has been an anxious and obsessive person her whole life. She is very demanding and controlling and wants everything her own way. Until my father died she had him to boss around. Now its me. So she will constantly buy and return things, complain about trivial things in her house, complain about minor health issues, etc. Most of the time I try to redirect her or solve the problem for her. But I have finally realized she doesn't really want the problem solved. She wants to manipulate me into spending my time with her. I realize she is lonely but she has refused every attempt that I've made to get her out and about with others. She even refuses lunch outings with my aunts and cousins. She says she only wants to be with me. I'm really burned out. REALLY REALLY burned out. I have been putting up with this for 9 years now. I've come to the end of my rope.

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Explain the facts of life: if you are 90 then it is almost certain that you will run into a medical disaster, any money you have will be spent down and then you go onto Medicaid. No point holding onto money for a non-existent inheritance.
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It's often a combination of "my kids should take care of me" and thinking we're still energetic 30 year olds. An elder relative of ours is in the processing of downsizing and moving 3 hours away. He asked his son to oversee packing and moving, drive the UHaul to the new home, see about getting it all unloaded. The problem is the son, while being 20+ years younger, has been undergoing cancer treatments for the past several months. His dad is completely oblivious to how weak his son is. I think that our generation of 60-70 year old are more worn and have much more responsibility than our parents did at this age. Parents don't realize how exhausting it is to keep their lives from changing.

Time for Mom to start spending the inheritance.
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I can totally relate. Every time one of my kids takes a turn doing something for my father to give me a break the first thing out of his mouth is "where is your mother (me)?".

Kimber is right, you will not change her you can only change yourself. First decide what you can and cannot do and live with that. If she doesn't like it, too bad. I found this great lady that would help my father and take him to appointments for $15 an hour. The problem was he refused to pay for more than one 3 hour day YET he wanted her to be 'on call' for whenever he needed her. One memorable time was when he called me at 6am asking if I would call her to see if she would take him to the doctor and he expected me to call her right then at 6am! I refused.

You 'home' family needs you too. Your mom has the ability to pay for services, not your problem that she doesn't want to. Saying she wants to keep her money to leave to you is pure manipulation, my father does that too. Don't fall for it.
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At the root of most solutions is money. Grocery/medicine delivery, help from a service or teen, transportation to and from stores or senior centers. My mother has the money but REFUSES to spend any of it. This is also why she wants to return things. She regrets spending the money or (if the item was a gift) she wants the money instead. Also she has money. She is not struggling at all financially. Her excuse/reason for not spending money you may ask? "I want my children to have it after I'm gone." "I'm saving it for you kids"
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Its a shame our parents are living into their 90s. They have lost family and friends, no wonder they are lonely. They get needy. But, you can only do so much. See if there is a grocery store near Mom you can order on-line and have it delivered. Do u have family in the area that maybe a teen wouldn't mind some extra money to clean for a few dollars. You need boarders. Tell Mom the weekly visits will need to stop. You work and need to spend time with your family. Mom is going to go out with relatives. You also need to explain that you no longer are taking her abuse. You r her daughter not her slave. Tell her if she buys something you r no longer returning it. Hope for your sanity and health u can get her to understand.
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Her attitude may be hurting her in meeting/making new friends (no pun) who live near her , hence her wanting to be around you most/all the time. She could
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She will not change the situation - only YOU can. Her refusal to allow anyone else to be with her does not mandate that you fill the gap. Decide WHEN you want to see her and WHAT you will do - stick to that & spend time for your self, your husband and your children. Why should they not have time also? Boundaries!!!
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