How do I resolve issues with mother who refuses to talk about them? - AgingCare.com

How do I resolve issues with mother who refuses to talk about them?

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At 52 I have graduated from raising my son to raising my parents. Both of my 84+ year old parents have lived in my home for the last 5-years as a result of my mother's purposeful financial negligence. They lost everything in a lottery scam and went into bankruptcy because she refused to listen to reason. To date she has never apologized or even accepted responsibility for this and my disgust with her self-centeredness has gotten to the point where I can barely stand to be in the same room with her. She continues to be wasteful with their limited income and numerous attempts to discuss this and my frustration with her behavior have only resulted in her refusing too talk and ends in misery for all concerned.
My gracious and very support wife tells me they are too old to change but ironically enough my parents taught me to take responsibility for one’s actions and it infuriates me she seems to think she exempt. Fortunately they are both still mobile but unable to take care of themselves either financially or physically. Is it unreasonable or senseless to expect an I’m sorry from a woman who significantly and negatively changed her family’s lives? Writing this I’m afraid the answer is yes which means the question should have been how to make my parents move out of our home. The sad thing is my Dad is a great guy that has to suffer through all this fighting and would be welcome to stay. I am a first time poster and basically a private person but have tried counseling and cannot seem to come to terms with this issue. Appreciate a sanity check.

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Yes, your mother is probably too old to change, and may be cognitively challenged. Getting geriatric assessments for both of them is probably a great idea. Yes, you should move them out of your home. Who is doing the caregiving? Your wife? With you coming home everyday and not being able to stand being in the same house with your mother? This is a recipe for madness if I ever read one. Find senior housing for your parents, or contact your local council on the aging...maybe, just maybe, being in a supportive environment may be better for your parents. With regards to money, it may be that your mom's "carelessness" is actually cognitive loss. No less costly or painful, but someone may need to get POA sooner rather than later.
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One question I would have is whether your mom has always been this way or if this lack of personal responsibility is only in the last 5-10 years? If it's more recent, I'd wonder about the possibility of increasing cognitive decline. If you read the threads on here, you'll see a lot of people become aware over time of their parents' dementia because of changes in their behavior - sometimes drastic changes that make no logical sense to their children. If that's at all a possibility, I'd get her checked out by a gerontologist, or a doctor who specializes in elder care medicine, or a neurologist who has some knowledge of dementia.

If she's always been this way (won't listen to reason, self-centered), then I doubt you'll get your apology. Have you directly asked her for one? Is it possible she feels ashamed and so puts up the big bluff of avoiding talk about it so she doesn't have to acknowledge her shame? Have you talked to your dad about it? What's his take on this whole situation?

If you move your folks out, I just feel badly for your poor dad. He's kind of the innocent party in this and will again be hurt by your mom's behavior.
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It may be reasonable to expect an apology, but it is not realistic.

It is what it is. Accept that first.

Mom is responsible for her actions, but Dad is responsible for his, too. How did it happen that Mom alone had control over the money she lost?

You can barely stand to be in the same room with her. That is a sad way to live, and it might last another 10 to 15 years. Assuming that is not acceptable, here are some options. Other posters may come up with other ideas.

1) Make peace with the fact that you are not likely to see much change in your mother's attitude. Accept it. Minimize contact with her, drop all discussion of financial matters, be pleasant, and continue living together while you get on with your life.
2) Charge your parents room and board (if you are not already). That would probably reduce the amount she has available to spend wastefully and therefore reduce your stress.
3) If your parents are willing for the four of you to have family counselling, try that.
4) Set a deadline for your parents to be out. Learn the requirements for eviction in your area and set them in motion, if necessary. Help them find and qualify for suitable housing, apply for Medicaid, locate the services they need, etc. Do not abandon them, just help them in a different location. Take Dad out for a beer once in a while, to a ballgame, bowling, etc. Be pleasant and helpful to Mom, but have only as much contact with her as you are comfortable with.

Your parents are responsible for their behavior. If you do not approve of it, you do not have to tolerate it under your roof. You are responsible for your behavior, but not for theirs.

Discuss your options with your therapist.
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Sorry to say, likely you won't get the apology or gratitude you are wishing for. Good for you for going to counseling -- hope they are helping you learn to let go on this before it eats you alive which I know it is already doing.

It is sad when we have to become the parent and are sandwiched between our own kids and our folks.

They have rights to make their own decisions, unfortunately even bad ones. You want to help and rescue them, but ask yourself what you would do if it were your own children? Would you continually bail them out, let them live with you, or would you set boundaries? Unfortunately, you can't make your elderly parent go out a get a job, but you can go examine their expenses and financial situ and find apts or living situation they can afford on a sliding scale if necessary.

Getting them out of your home will let you be a son vs their full time caregiver. You can still visit, bring groceries or treats, hire some help for them if that is needed. Point is, you have choices and have obviously been a great son and made sacrifices.

But for your emotional health, maybe it's time to let go and put your marriage and family first now.

Know it's ok.

I'm sorry you won't get your thank you or I'm sorry, my brother and I have been there. He walked away and has totally disconnected from mom, I have let go and take one day at a time. I love my mom, and tell her so but have stopped fighting her on a number of things or ever waiting to hear I'm sorry...
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