My mother manipulates us all with guilt!! Please tell me how to respond to her.

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She still lives in her own home and needs daily help - meals, laundry, everything. She craves attention and demands that everything revolve around her and her needs. She has no regard for what any of my brothers and sisters have to do to make that happen. I’m the only one of my siblings that lives in another city from her, but she is continuously asking me to drive over at night and stay with her - no matter what obligations I may already have - and then throws a tantrum and tells me how I don’t care about her when I refuse. She expects me there every weekend to do whatever she decides she wants done. I would never mind helping her do anything or even spending more time with her if there was one ounce of gratitude instead of unreasonable expectation. She treats all like we're servants to her and I dread even having a conversation with her. Every week she has an “emergency” doctor visit, and there is nothing wrong with her - except age. She fakes chest pain and a half a dozen other serious illnesses that she thinks will bring us all running to her side (which happens quite often). Somebody tell me how to respond to her, please! I love her, but her tantrums and crying wolf are out of control.

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An assisted living would be beneficial for her but that doesn't address the immediate problem.

Do what you're comfortable doing. Because she says, "Jump!" doesn't mean you have to say "How high?" That your siblings run to her side when she's having fake heart problems reinforces her behavior. It's the pay-off she gets for acting that way. You are not obligated to do that. Create boundaries and stick to them. Middle of the night phone calls are not OK. Don't answer the phone. Do not go running over there in the middle of the night unless her house is on fire and to make sure it actually is have her put a firefighter on the phone to confirm.

You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. She uses guilt to get your attention. That's not how mature, healthy adults act. And if she's going to act like that don't you feel guilty for not buying into it. She's unreasonable so when you respond with reason it makes her angry. Too bad for her. You can't control how she acts or responds. All you can do is control how YOU act and respond.

Boundaries!
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Reply to Eyerishlass
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I agree; my mom is living with a whole village of (mostly paid) help and me catering to her every need and whim. She's nice about it, but I didn't appreciate being asked to come into town to make her a sandwich yesterday! (Yes, she did get someone to do it, rather than eat something she could nuke from her freezer). We are really trying not to pull the plug on her, but a lot of ALs would take her cat, too.... getting pretty close to the edge, same as yours, Isabelle.  
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Reply to mally1
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Isabelle, it is tough getting older, some people do it gracefully, but many more have complaints.

Put yourself into your Mom's shoes for a few minutes. Imagine if you could no longer drive to the mall to meet your friends.... speaking of friends, bet most of your Mom's friends have either moved or passed away. You wake up with aches and pains. Your eyesight isn't as good and you are slowly losing your hearing. And heck, nothing taste good except sweets. You feel lost. Living alone can be down right scary, thus the panic calls.

And what happens, you and your siblings are feeling exhausted and frustrated, through no fault of your own. Not fair, is it?

You and your siblings need to have a meeting without Mom. Time to stop enabling Mom to continue to live in her home. Time for you all to start saying "sorry, I can't possibly do that".

Try to gets Mom's attention to really nice Independent Living facilities where she would have her own apartment. She can use the equity in her house [hopefully she doesn't have a Reverse Mortgage]. She will have weekly linen service, weekly housekeeping, and 3 meals in the restaurant style dining area... and be around people of her own generation.

Mom will never be alone, as the Staff are just one pendent click away. It could be Mom doesn't know about these places, I know my Dad never heard of them before, and he loved the place he moved into.

Food for thought.
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Reply to freqflyer
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