My mother is 79, and lives in a very nice assisted living facility 20 minutes from my house. She has excellent medical care that is coordinated through the facility, and has transportation to/from doctors, shopping and social events. They have a library with computers, health club, social events, lots of aides to help out, etc. In short, it's the kind of place I'd like to live in when I'm too old/frail to care for myself. She is able to get around (uses a walker) and is mentally sharp enough to enjoy all these things.
My problem is she calls me for everything -- every complaint (of which there are many), thought, and desire. If I don't answer my phone she'll keep calling and calling -- sometimes 6 or 8 times a day leaving nasty messages on my voicemail if I don't answer the phone. She expects me to be her personal shopper to run out whenever she decides she wants something. I don't mind picking up a few things for her when I'm at the store anyway, but I don't like being expected to make special trips to hunt down whatever she wants, when she wants it. She is very demanding and treats me like I'm her slave. If I don't jump whenever she wants something, or take off work to drive her to the doctors, she whines and complains and tells me what a bad person I am. She is miserable to be around and acts like she wants me to be miserable too.
I own a small business and work more than full time to support myself, and have a house and two dogs to take care of. I also have health issues of my own, much of which my doctor attributes to "stress." The rest of my immediate family (father and brother) have passed on so everyone tells me I'm "it" and it's my responsibility to take care of her. My mother has a sister and brother, but they don't have much to do with her. I moved back to my hometown six years ago after my brother died (I was living 1000 miles away), and gave up on my career to move here to take care of her. I manage her finances, pay all her bills, take care of a townhouse that she still owns (I rented it out), coordinated all her medical care when she needed heart surgery (I went to the hospital/skilled nursing facility daily for months) and got her moved into this facility where she has everything she could possibly need.
I feel like I have no life, and that I'm am losing myself and need to get away from her. What is a reasonable amount of time to devote to her? How often should I talk to her, visit her, do her shopping, etc?