Is anybody else dealing with a parent who refuses to help themselves or improve their situation and expects you to do it all for them? - AgingCare.com

Is anybody else dealing with a parent who refuses to help themselves or improve their situation and expects you to do it all for them?

Follow
Share

I have a 73 year o!d mother who has made herself almost completely immobi!e by refusing to take prescribed pain medication for arthritis as directed and refusing to stay active. She is over weight and all she wants to do is sit in her chair and watch TV and wants my family to take care of her, clean her house and do her household chores. I have a husband who works 10 hour days, a part time job myself, and a 10 year old with Autism and an 18 year old at home. I am frustrated beyond belief with her "can't do" attitude and refusal to put any real effort into helping herself remain independent. She says she cannot afford assisted living and I don't think she wznts anyone in her house. Looking for options on how to help without "enabling" her victim mentality and keep myself sane in the process. I have already gotten the huge guilt trip for not calling her every day to see what we can "do for her today." Suggestions anyone????

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
22

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
Thank you for your reaponses. I appreciate it. Let me start by explaining how it came about that we decided for MIL to move in with us. I have known my husband since 2010 and we moved in together in 2011. We only got married in 2016. I have 2 sons from a previous marriage aged 18 and 16. Early February this year, I started with health issues. We did not know if it was temporal lobe epilepsy or severe debilitating migraines. I used to work for myself making wedding gowns and prom dresses etc. I used to do bridal fairs and help brides get ready on their big day. I had to close my studio at home because I could not work with the machines anymore. To be honest, I did not have medical aid and here in South Africa our state hospitals and clinics is the last place you want to end up in! I paid out of pocket as far as my finances would allow for my GP and a specialist to do tests and even one night in casualty at one of our private hospitals to try and figure out what was happening to me. To be honest, we still dont know what it was. I became lonely and depressed as hubby and kids would be at school most of the day. Not having contact with people and just being at home cooking and cleaning became too lonely. Also the loss of income really hit us hard. So I started to think, MIL has been doing well for such a long time, no incidents of psychosis, and why pay an old age home to look after her when I can do it.... Hubby and I spoke about it and decided to let her move in with us. It was going well for a good few months. Still is for the most part. I just get those days when the little things get on my nerves. Moving her back to an old age home will cause her to fall back to the way she was. She is so sensitive to rejection as no-one has ever cared for her or her well-being the way I do. My husband - her own son, never believed that she would be able to achieve half of what she is doing now. Told me I am wasting my time. But I saw through her cant do attitude and made an effort to show her she can and praise her when she does. Maybe I am being impatient or selfish with the way I feel about her sometimes... I dont know...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

CarlaCB: "Still, I'm wondering why you brought her to live with you and if there's any way to reverse that decision."

Yes! And why are YOU doing most of the caregiving. What about her SON? Only four years into marriage, and this is what it's already come to?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Disheartened77 - I hear you and I totally empathize, and I'm sure there are lots of others here who can also. You have a lot going on besides the fact that MIL doesn't want to do for herself. You have the loss of privacy and her intrusions into every aspect of your family life. You've done a great deal to help her rehabilitate herself and regain her stability physically and mentally. Still, I'm wondering why you brought her to live with you and if there's any way to reverse that decision. It seems like a situation that could go on a long time and can only get worse over time.

I would suggest that you start your own thread in order to get more responses from the posters here. A lot of people aren't following the old threads anymore but will respond if they know the person is new here.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I know this is an old post, but hoping against all odds that someone can relate or give me some advice on how to handle my mother-in-law... Her husband used to do EVERYTHING for her, she retired from working in the bank long before retirement age. I guess the reason why he did everything for her was because of guilt - he used to have one affair after the other. Shortly after his death in 2007, she completely lost her mind to the point where she had to be admitted to a mental hospital. She has since been on medication but still gets those episodes where she hears voices, talks to the voices, has this "fantasy" that an old family friend is coming to fetch her in a hovering limo and that God is going to come down from heaven to marry them (this person almost had her institutionalised a few years ago because of this), and the list just goes on... Before she had a mild stroke in 2013, she claimed she could not do anything for herself. Now bare in mind, I only came into the picture around 2010... I used to help her with any and all bathroom related things. I used to undress and dress her, make her coffee, food, take her cups and plates to the kitchen etc.... This was only when she was visiting us as she was staying in an old age home. She has been living with us for the past 6 months now. Even though she had a mild stroke in 2013, I have decided enough is enough. One person, still so young - only 63, surely can do much better than being so pathetic by their own choice! So, I arranged for her to see a new psychiatrist who changed her medication, refered us to a bio-kineticist, and she is now doing exercises everyday, undressing and dressing herself, helping herself in the bathroom, etc.... But when I dont keep an eye on her, she still smokes one sigarette after the other like a chimney - once she smoked a packet of 20 in just under 2 hours!!! And where she sits, she sits. Where she lies down, she lies. Our furniture is sat through where she normally sits. I know she has come a really long way in such a short time. She has even lost some wheight due to the exercises. But I cannot help getting extremely frustrated lately that she does not want to do anything with her right hand which we are busy working on. Also, everytime I have a conversation with one of my sons or husband, she starts talking about something completely off topic to turn attention to her again, everytime have to run an errand, she wants to know where I am going, when I get back, she wants to know where I have been. When hubby and I stayed at a local resort for one night just to take a break, she threw a tantrum by making such a mess on the toilet when we got back. Now, she wants to go with everytime she hears the car engine start. It is as if she does not want to give us time to ourselves. Look, she is quiet and easy to care for, but in small ways she is trying to take over. I guess it is those little things that is busy adding up and getting to me... I am a gentle and compassionate person with a caring nature. I cannot believe that these little things is getting on my nerves. How can I handle these situations better?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yes, all pts that I've ever worked with are the sort who, when you say " that hurts " say " yes, let's do it again".

That being said, the hospital fischarge folks need to know mom is SAFE. which she won't be if one of you isn't there round the clock for several days.

You need to let them know you won't be there.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Becky. Make sure all the family is together on this decision so mom doesn't cause discord trying to get her way. After the rehab, keep the pt going. Take some of the private care money she was prepared to spend and get her house cleaned while she is away. If you and brother don't have DPOA for financial and medical it's time to get that done. Your post sounds right on. Home health can come in and keep her checked out going forward. Find a housekeeper to come on a regular basis. She needs to come back prepared to pick up her own mail and have pt and occupational until she can pick up and fetch for herself. She will be amazed at how much better she will be able to care for herself. Therapy really works and circus hard but so worth it. Come back and let us know how it all goes. 18 months is long enough to be an invalid. If she gets busy she should be in great shape in 90 days.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I completely agree that this is the right course of action. I have one tiny twinge of sympathy for your mother - those PTs can be tartars! Add in a word of encouragement along the lines of 'no pain no gain', maybe?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Becky, it is very important that you tell the hospital discharge coordinator that you are NOT picking her up or doing the 24/7 care. I can tell you right now that she is lying to them and telling them family will care for her. Talk to the discharge coordinator and the social worker. Make sure they have the correct information.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Becky, go talk to the discharge planning folks at the hospital and tell them than you are NOT going to be "in house" for your mom. They will not release her if they can't guarantee her safety. Good for you for pushing back!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Newby here - I Googled support groups for children of aging parents and found this. I am amazed at the similarities. My mom is in the hospital today - had her 2nd hip replacement (both hips replaced within 18 months). She lives at home, but her house is dirty. She drops stuff and can't/won't pick it up, etc. She's incontinent and uses lots of pads, but the floor around her toilet is bad.
After her first hip replacement, she went to rehab, but checked herself out after a few days over the advice of the PT's. She's lived the last 18 months in her lift recliner. She depends on her children and grandchildren to come over to take her trash out, clean her house, get her mail, get groceries. She'll leave the house for hair and doctor appointments.
So, back to today and why I'm here - she called me from the hospital this morning. She'll be discharged tomorrow and wants to go home (not to rehab). She says after her PT this morning, she's back to where she was before the surgery, but without pain. She wants someone to come in (paid professional) during the day and either my brother or me to spend the night with her for a few nights. I told her I don't feel comfortable with that. We left it that I'd call her back later today. I think she was shocked at my push-back.
My guess is that she doesn't want to go from the hospital to rehab, but directly to home and this is her work-around. I'm going to her room after work and ask her if she's really willing to settle for her very limited mobility (albeit pain-free) that she'll have now if she doesn't do the rehab and the exercises (like she didn't do after the last one).
My brother and I (and our spouses) are at that point where we're not willing to do anymore for her than we are now. She'll have to decide whether she's willing to live in squalor going forward, hire someone in, move to an assisted living apartment or step up her game and push herself to do more for herself.
At any rate, I apologize that I don't have any advice for the original poster, but I hear what you're saying. My plan is to determine what I'm willing to do, let her know that and stick to my guns. I'm married, work full-time, have a part-time business, a child in college and a child in her last year of high school.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions