Is it normal to find yourself being resentful of a parent once they move in with you?


I find myself so depressed because I cannot make my 68 year old Mom happy. She moved in with my husband and I in April. We have spent the last 8 months doing so much for her, and yet, sometimes, she is so unthankful. She had previously been in a nursing home due to malnutrition brought on by alcohol dementia. She was dying. She is now healthy as a horse but still has forgetful moments, does the exact thing we ask her not to do, complains we don't do anything with her, even though she is invited to attend gatherings and such with us and ALWAYS says no. She's making us feel bad but we do everything in our power to make her happy. When I discuss it with her, she says she's been through a lot since my Dad passed (last November) but fails to understand, we've been through more! We had to clean out their home and get all their belongings stored and what not! It was a nightmare. Now she constantly wants us to run to storage looking for stuff for her. Its just little things like that, but it's affecting me terribly. I find myself snappy and moody all the time! Now she is saying she wants to get her own place so she doesn't have to depend on anyone else. Well, that means, driving (which she didn't like doing before) and guaranteed visits to bars and liquor stores. I just feel completely overwhelmed! Oh, and I have zero help from other family members. Its just my husband and I! I guess my question is, how do I find myself again?????

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In my opinion, your mother belongs in a modest senior-living situation. It sounds to me you regret letting your mother move in with you and I'm not surprised. Even under the best of circumstances, having a parent come live with you is life altering.

When my husband and I were contemplating finding a bigger house to share with his parents thank goodness my brother told me he thought it was a terrible idea and it would ruin my marriage. At the time I was caring for my inlaws and had this vision of my inlaws having their "wing" and my husband and I having "our wing" and we all would share the common areas. My brother correctly pointed out that my FIL is very needy and would likely not have given us much privacy.

At 68 your mother is a young-ish woman even if she has deficits. Up above under the "Senior Living" tab, you can look at options for your mother in your area with a few miles buffer for sanity. You have done a yeoman's job getting your mother healthy again. Yet it is your mother's responsibility to keep herself up, not yours. Your primary responsibility is to your husband, not your mother.
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Bless your heart! Her calendar age has nothing to do with how old her body and mind have become. My mother has been over 90 physically and mentally for a long time, but is really only 78. She is in dementia hospice because that's what she needs regardless of what other people her age are doing. She should have been in AL in her early 60s, but we were all in denial about what was going on.

So mom is going to need an old age plan regardless of the alcoholism. And it can't be living with you until the day she dies. The dynamics of living with an addict are far too destructive regardless of any well-meaning intentions.

If she can still mostly do for herself she could live in a senior apartment community where she would not need to drive and they have some safety measures in place. The next level is assisted living where the person can get *assistance* (go figure) with meds, showering, dressing, things that are difficult due to limited mobility. AL is not addiction recovery or 24/7 supervision. Every place has rules of conduct and breaking them will get you thrown out.

Dealing with an alcoholic at any age is a pickle. One thing about generic dementia is that it usually doesn't get better. It gets worse. There can be exceptions, but they are very limited. Once brain tissue is damaged or destroyed, it's not coming back. You need to understand your mom's prognosis for the immediate time period and the next year or two if she doesn't stop drinking. It's unlikely she will stop without being in a treatment program, so plan for reality. If her current state of dementia will continue to deteriorate, her care levels are going to go way up really fast. Stay in close contact with her doctor. Don't commit to doing anything you don't think you can do, like take on more responsibility for her. Don't agree to do anything out of guilt or "what will people think if I don't". This is going to be hard enough, so your home needs to be your sanctuary away from her and her problems.
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I'm not surprised you feel overwhelmed. So would I. You only lost your father just over a year ago, is that right? Then your mother falls off a cliff, and then she moves in with you - your whole world's turned upside down in the last year.

The immediate thing to grasp to avoid guilt is: no person can make another person happy. No matter how much you do for your mother, it will not make her happy, not now. That doesn't mean you should down tools and refuse to lift a finger. You should do what you think is reasonable to assist her. But Do Not Expect her to be happy or grateful, because that's not what it's about. You're supporting her in her time of (mainly genuine) need, and stopping her heading off that cliff again.

Longer term, rethink. At 68, your mother is far too young for becoming dependent on your care to be the best plan for her future. It can wait, there's no rush, but just start turning your mind towards next steps.

What's the background, if you don't mind my asking? Was your mother your father's main caregiver for any length of time, or was the bereavement out of the blue?
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Oh Gosh, this is such a dilemma! Your Mom is still so young, and I tell you that there is no way that you are ever going to have a "Normal" life again if she continues to live WITH YOU! My FIL , moved in with us at age 75, just after his wife passed away, and its been 11 + years now of the slow decline, and it's HORRIBLE! Everything you mentioned and more! It will never get any better, only worse if you don't find her alternative living, and the sooner the better! Set your boundaries NOW! Find her a safe place to live, and set a definitive schedule for what you will do for her and when. Her alcoholism, well that's on her, and soon she will find herself in trouble with the law, or in hospital, ill once again, and I doubt that you will ever be in control of that behavior unless she agrees to go to treatment, and then perhaps into a sober house for women, afterwards. But to give up your lives to her in your , what, 40's, is not a good choice for you, your marriage or your family! I Hope you find some good suggestions from others, but you will be making a huge mistake if you don't get control over this situation, and I wish you good luck!
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Part of dementia is also paranoia, delusions, thinking that others have an agenda against them, dependence on their caregivers, unmanageable behavior, poor judgment, inability to appreciate their situation and being demanding.

Providing care in your home can be very stressful. I don't know how people do it. You will read about many people on this site who do it. They will give you some tips, but it's still very challenging. I don't think there are any ways to change the patient. They are who they are and it's not likely that they will become independent, thoughtful, responsible and understanding. Since it is so disruptive to you, I might consider getting more in-home help and/or finding her placement. Taking good care of a loved one can be done in many ways. It doesn't have to be inside your home. Would she qualify for an Assisted Living facility? Checking out the options might be a good start.
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Keather103, what happens is the family dynamics change when a parent moves in or one moves in with a parent..... once again you come the "child" and the elder becomes the "adult".

That is why when we make a suggestion to our elder they will refuse it, but if it comes from a doctor, clergy, or someone closer to their own age group it is a fantastic idea.... [sigh].
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Luckily, Moms Alcohol Dementia seems to be mostly under control. She does not exhibit signs of dementia very often. All of her Dr's are stunned at her progress. In all fairness, she is pretty normal, except she has a hard time doing little things. She can do her laundry, very basic cooking, dress herself and what not. She gets tired easily when moving around a lot and tends to forget answers to questions she's already asked me, several times. Those are the only signs of the dementia. What I'm struggling with is, the constant I wants, you need to's, and so forth. She tends to have slight paranoia. Such as, someone is going to come and take her back to the nursing home if she shows the slightest sign of weakness, the nursing home she was in is going to steal her money and things like that. Just adds to my stress. We do have a companion/homemaker 15 hours a week and she is my salvation! The hardest thing for me is, I have zero alone time! I have no time alone with my husband, as well. So, come weekends, we like to socialize with friends or just go out and spend time alone together. Well, I pay for that! The following day, she is hell on wheels. Sadly, I have a sister that has not seen her in a year and she has no friends. So, its all on me. This is why I reached out here!
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I would read as much as possible about alcohol dementia. By doing so, you will learn how it effects the brain and how your mom is not likely to act normally, though you want her to. Dementia patients don't normally show appreciation, act polite, act nice and show good judgment. That's what the brain damage does to them. If you can adjust your expectations, it may make it easier.

I checked on ALCOHOL dementia and it looks to be different in some ways from other types. I would seek specific medical information and guidance to see what if any treatment there may be. If caught in time, there seems to be some treatments. I'm providing a link about that.

Have you discussed her prognosis with her doctors? I would do that immediately.

Perhaps, if someone around here knows more about this type of dementia, they will chime in. I do know a lady who's dad had this type and his symptoms and progression was very much like other types of dementia. He had progression and it was not reversible.

Expecting to care for her and her to act like a nice person with no dementia isn't reasonable. You aren't likely to convince her of anything.

I would also read a lot on this site. You'll see how the families of dementia patients struggle. It's very stressful and challenging to do in the home, even with outside care coming in.

Do you have Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare POA for her? You'll need that to handle her affairs.
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