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The home was getting to be too much for her (and us). But she is constantly complaining about the apt complex she has lived in for a year. She has a beautiful apt, but is unhappy. Financially, it is too late for her to own a home again and I don’t think that is the answer. But what can I do to make it better for her? She made the decision to move, but I certainly didn’t dissuade her. So I feel somewhat guilty and want to help make it right. Any suggestions? (She is 88 and lives independently. Plus she still drives!)

They are right when they say getting old isn't for sissies. I would just commiserate - yeah it sucks getting older doesn't it, it must be difficult having to give up x, y & z. I'm sorry.
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What she really regrets, I think, is that she's gotten older & ill, no longer able to care for a larger home & THAT is where the sadness lies. You can't do anything to make it better for her.......happiness is an inside job. She will either come to terms with the new lifestyle or she won't, that's up to HER, you know? If it were me, and I was 88 years old, living independently and still driving, I'd be thanking my lucky stars every single day and wondering how I'd gotten so lucky! It's all in how we look at life, isn't it?
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Tillymcgee Aug 1, 2019
Thank you for your words of encouragement.
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Tilly, from your profile your Mom had moved into Independent Living? At a senior facility? Is that correct? Did your Mom tell you what is bothering her the most about the facility? Friendships are so very important, I wonder after a year if your Mom had made any new friends.

I also noticed in your profile that your Mom has Alzheimer's/dementia, it it isn't uncommon for a parent to say that they want to go home. But please note that "home" usually means their childhood home, so keep that in mind.

Your Mom made the right choice, as an elder parent living at home by themselves is so nerve wracking for the grown child(ren). Every time the phone rang, my heart went into over drive. I was so relieved when my Dad sold his house and moved to senior living, as he also had made a wise choice like your Mom did :)
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Tillymcgee Aug 1, 2019
My mom is living independently - not even in senior housing. The apartment complex she lives in is mostly seniors though and it is quite lovely. From what I gather, she doesn’t like paying rent; says it feels like she is living in a hotel rather than a home and doesn’t like that my dad, who has been deceased for 20 years, has never seen it. She has made some friends there, but when asked, she’ll tell people she hates it there. I guess I feel guilty because I was the one most instrumental in helping her to move there - hired the movers, made sure she could afford it, went with her to see it. But as I said, she slept on it and called me in the morning to tell me she was ready to move there. So your words have helped tremendously to assuage my guilt. The advice I’m getting here is helping me to realize that no matter what your age, we are all responsible for our own happiness.
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Thank you so much for your kind and insightful words! It has helped more than you know.
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And again, hon, it isn't all about "happiness in life". I would never divert someone from unhappy thoughts. I just wouldn't make them my responsibility to cure, because unhappy is PART OF REAL life. There is no reason we cannot give voice to our grief and our heartbreak. To deny it is to deny the reality of our life. You are not responsible for her happiness, no. But she doesn't have to BE happy all the time. Not everything is about happy. Not everything can be MADE happy. She made a good level-headed choice, and to my mind the RIGHT choice. That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. She has a right to that pain, and a right to express it. If she continues to dwell on it too much tell her she may need to seek counseling with a licensed social worker skilled with change of life issues, as you cannot help her and it hurts you deeply to hear it, makes you feel responsible though you understand she may have done it because she knew it was right. Tell her to try to limit the time she spends grieving on a daily basis. And then move to something else.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Life is full of regret. And the end of life has more regret in it as it does constitute one loss after another. Not everything has a happy answer. You are not responsible for your Mom's grief. Her grief and loss are part of the normal life changes we all go through, and there is no responsibility on others to "fix what cannot be fixed". Try not to take this personally. Your mother is grieving a loss. Unlike other losses this is not something that will "get better" but will constitute the long slog to the end, and there just is no way to make that all OK. Acknowledge her grief and her loss. Thank her for making a decision that will ultimately make your life easier in dealing with the changes that are coming. Tell her you know her heart is broken. Ask her if there is a way to make it easier. Would something help divert her from so much thought about it or does she WISH to think about it, perhaps create a scrapbook with you of memories, and discuss things as she can. It is great that she drives. But she knows that will soon go as well. This is a major life loss. You cannot make it pretty. It isn't your fault.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Thank you for your insights. I need to remember that she is still responsible for her own happiness.
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Reply to Tillymcgee
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Only have a minute but....

Change the subject... every time she starts in. Talk about the weather, sports, books, or the baby shark video on YouTube.

Shorten visits and lessen phone calls. She may or may not get it, but you will get some relief and be able to extricate yourself from the mesh of her unhappiness.

You can’t make it better, and you will be jumping through many hoops for a very long time if your mindset is that you can fix her life. I say this from experience, and I am sure others will chime in as well.

You can be a a good person and love your parent (and even feel sad for their problems) without having to jump every time they express displeasure. You say she is in a beautiful apartment and drives even... does this sound like a situation that needs to be fixed?

Let it go.

We are each responsible only for our own happiness... we cannot make anyone else happy. If she chooses not to be happy, let her have that. Do not pick up that burden. It isn’t yours.

If you try to look at it from that perspective (which is hard... fixers are conditioned to fix, empaths are conditioned to “make someone happy”:), you may find some relief.

Elder care often requires a paradigm shift... looking at things through different lenses than we would otherwise. Good luck to you.
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