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My elderly 81 year old widowed mother has chosen to live independently at home. Yet she expects everyone else to take on her responsibilities of being able to live independently. Doesn't matter that she is capable of doing a lot of things for herself. She feels she is entitled to this treatment because of her age and doesn't feel she should pay for any services she requires, even though she has the finances to do it. Her expectations are directed at neighbors and family. Her sense of entitlement caused her loss of friendships and now the neighbors and family members are starting to back away. I cannot possibly take on all this responsibility she expects. Any advice?

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Sorry for all the typos. Just got done with yet another vitriolic phone call from Mommie Dearest and just vented with my entry.
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I think it's this particular generation . My grandparents were every independent and willingly went into assisted living when they realized it. My other grandmother who was widowed in her 60s lived independently with the help of workers I set up for her and was very appreciative. I'm 63 now wit humerus health issues and my 87 year old mom resents the fact that I have remarried and now have 4 beautiful grandchildren that i want to spend time with . She hates my husband because it is a symbol that I have my own life and am mot willing to be at her beck and call. She is in good health and lives in a beautiful senior living community with everything she needs and wants at her fingertips. My late father who was very handicapped catered to her every whim and now she expects the same from me . I have frown to hate her due to her verbal abuse and accusations that I am not doing enough for her . I had a sever asthmatic attack while she was in the car with me . After I pulled over to use my rescue inhaler she asked if I was still going to take her to her needlepoint store ! My brother has ceased contact with her so I am in this nightmare alone. No wonder there are so many baby boomer caretakers dying before their self absorbed selfish parents and dream of being free someday if they last that long!
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FIL knew MIL has a sense of entitlement, he made sure I had some small type of compensation in return for my promise to care for her when he passed. He has bathed her since 1987...she is capable just hates to bath so someone has to do it for her. He knew I would be the one to cater to her...and I do now that FIL is gone . I set up her meals, manage and clean her house, bath and moisturize her, manage her health care including dr. appointments. Shop, arrange social schedules....come running at 8:00pm when she can't figure out why the phone is sounding so low...even though we are communicating fine on that phone. I have to figure out the cable box. and so on there is no lack of imagination ........She is so helpless....I am so stupid
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I used to work for an elderly lady who thought like this. She said people should respect the elderly and do things for them. She said that was the way they did things in 1921. Only thing is there wasn't that many elderly people then.
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Oh haha I have been thinking about this phrase a few days "life is hard for them". It sure is. My grandmother used to always say poor Betty ann about my mother. She said it constantly. She meant it too not making fun if her. I think that the wanting crazy things done is anxiety. I hired a lady once a week 5 hours $20 to do her crazy crazy bidding. That lovely woman doesn't argue with her. My mom loves her. I'm sure that poor woman hates me and siblings cause we are so awful. My brother neglected to drive three hour round trip today to get down a box for her. She can't sleep at night for worrying over this box. It has old tax forms in it. She wants to throw it away. She is so angry cause we won't come TODAY and get the box down so she can stop worrying about it. Ya sisters I feel your all pain as well. I says it must feel awful to be worrying about that box all the time. Yup.
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ive had experience with this. an elder trying to create a utopian world around themselves -- at someone elses expense. my dad , when alive would mow that sheer hillside then weedeat it. my uncle " red " would have jacked the mower deck up, cleaned and oiled the underside to prevent rust. all i can say is dad and red should have gotten a life. theyre lawnkeeping in hell now. when i get there its gonna turn back to a weed patch.
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Thanks so much everyone! I love my mom but what I see is that instead of appreciating what I do for her, she just expects more. My sister lives 2 states away and comes quite often. She's the nice daughter because she will do anything my mom wants. I have told my mom - yes, she sure will do anything you want, just as soon as she gets back from her frequent vacations. She'll do whatever you want, then she goes home. I am here all the time. I finally read the book "boundaries" and it was very good.

I don't want to sound bad, I love my parents, but I don't take care of myself nearly as well as I take care of her. The other day she actually said to me "I have cancer, people should do things for me". This is wrong on so many levels!!! She said this after she asked me to fix her phone and I told her I would be happy to, just get me the phone. That's when she called my sister out of the other room to get it so my mother wouldn't have to stand up and walk 5 feet. Now, in her defense, she wasn't feeling well, and she was devastated by bad news about her cancer but still...as an RN, I know that playing victim and never moving isn't good for anyone. It's all so dysfunctional. I know I'm not going to change her at this point, I just have to set boundaries and not let my health and relationships continue to suffer.
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Ahhh, emjo, you do know my mom well. When you said "set up" uh huh, that's right. Five of us are on the same page because we are finally grown up enough and our eyes have been opened up enough times that we are too familiar with Mom's games. My mom's favorite pastime is to start family wars. She gets unhappy with someone in the family who has disagreed with her on a matter or has upset her. She wants everyone on her side. These are ugly battles in which she works hard to badmouth the person she has declared war on. And you will be on a side - whether you like it or not. If you don't agree with Mom, you are on the other's person's side and she will begin badmouthing you. She lives for this sort of thing and loves starting wars between her children. The retirement years she and Dad lived several states away- were the most peaceful years of my siblings' lives. She started several wars in their retirement community .... I still have cousins in their 60's and 70's that dislike my siblings for these past grievances with Mom- if Mom declared a war, the cousins were on her side every time. They are horrified that we don't "take better care" of Mom. They were never victims of her wars, anyone who has been, learns to steer clear of the land mines.

Our youngest sister was never a victim, she always agreed with Mom, and I think she might like the fighting. After Dad died and Mom returned to live near her children, we all predicted she would start a major family war within 3 years. So far she hasn't been able to do it, I think we are all (well except one) doing our best to not let her. The damage that was done in the past wars keeps my siblings from being able to love each other. I think that was part of her overall plan, she only wanted us to love her. Who does this to their own children? Well, you know who does it.
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OncehatedDIL I had to laugh at the oil thing. I wonder if they do it on purpose just so they can get upset and say people aren't doing things for them. When my sis was here and things got all riled up more than usual, mother called and wanted me - age 76 and with a bad shoulder on the side I have a good hand - to help her move furniture, which, incidentally, did not need to be moved. It was another of her crazy ideas. Move furniture!!! I don't think so. Then sis holds it against me as not doing anything for mother, and not communicating with her when I stopped taking the crazy/abusive phone calls from mother and her about this stuff. They try to set you up. You are fortunate that your sibs are all on the same page, or they appear to be from what you write. If my deepest disappointments were about who would not take my garbage out, I think life would be pretty good. My goodness, life is hard for her isn't it? I enjoy your stories - the scenarios are so familiar. ((((((hugs)))))
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Hi Countrymouse:) For several months it was worse as Mom pressured my sister to spend more and more time with her. My sister got a second part time job a few months ago. Now she is only at Mom's 3-4 times a week, before it had gotten to 5-6 days a week. Mom complains constantly that "no one has time for me", yet turns down invitations to family parties, and grandchildren events. Everyone who invites her always offers to pick her up. She does delight in emailing her old friends and other elderly relatives telling them about the invitations she has turned down. She wants them to know she receives these invites so at least they have some value to her.

Hey emjo:) My mom is still deeply disappointed that she can't get my brothers to each stop by once a week to take out her garbage. My sister takes it out for her twice a week, this hasn't stopped mom's complaints. She wants my brothers to do it and won't be happy until that happens. One of my brothers stopped by on his way to a funeral, all dressed up, and she asked him to check the oil on her car.
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robyn - why not start setting boundaries now and detaching. It is never too late. You have put in 5 years of double duty. How is your health. How are your finances? How is your social life? Can they afford help or an ALF? Are there services in their community which would do some of what you are doing? You might check out the website daughtersofnarcissisticmothers - just google the phrase. I think you will find helpful info there. They will drain the life out of you if you let them. Manipulative people also use FOG - fear, obligation and guilt to get what they want. Having a borderline personality disorder, narcissistic mother, I have learned not to respond to those, but to decide what I can reasonably do - taking my needs into account too - and let the flack fall where it may. Maybe it is time for you to start looking after your own needs. I know it is hard, but if you detach from the emotional/verbal demands, you can do it, and every time you set a boundary it is a little easier next time. The sky will not fall in if your mother does not get everything she wants. All that is truly required is that their needs are met, but not all of their wants, which seem to be endless. I am a distance caregiver and recently mother called and wanted me to come down right away, I had made plans to come in a week, so I reminded her of that. She repeated she needed me in a day and if something dreadful happened to her because I didn't come down right away, it was on my shoulders. I said "Sure, absolutely" and, you know if something terrible does happen to her before I go down I will feel no guilt. She is in a great ALF, well cared for, etc, but had wants coming out her ying yang, and would have my life centered on hers. Basically she wants a servant at her beck and call. I choose not to do that and you can too. I hope you are looking after your own retirement.

oncehatedDIL -you have got it! I hope your sister becomes less enmeshed and sticks up for herself. What a bad message to her children. Mum won't even put out the garbage??? Wow what a case, and someone does it for her. I am shaking my head. Huge control issues!!!
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Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. Its the only weapon we have that works. People can only be waited on if there are waiters, right? My mom is down to exactly ZERO people to cater. Lately she's trying the I'm going to kill myself drama. No one takes the bait, she's going to have to go trolling for strangers at this point. The neighbors all around have blocked her calls, she calls them night and day. They already get her mail, take out her one trash bag, etc. She said they don't mind. THEY DO, THEY CALL ME. THEY MIND. She doesn't even say thank you to people, the neighbor who gets her mail for instance I said you should buy her a little something to thank her, she said well WHY she's already GOING THAT WAY it's not a big deal. Yup, no wonder you have no friends lady. Don't wait on these people. Also, no one, NO ONE will think you are a bad daughter, behind your back they are saying oh my god that poor daughter how does she put up with that woman. trust me on this.
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OncehatedDIL, how's your sister doing?! Any wake-up calls yet?

RobynII, if I have it correctly you are working nights, and working days too to care for your parents. What makes you say people would wonder what you have to complain about?
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Its exhausting!
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Are you my sister? I think a lot of parents must have this syndrome. My parents are the same way. My dad is 88 and my mother has cancer and in a perfect world I would be there 24/7 and do everything. I quit my job to help them. I now work nights and do all the doctors, chemo, shopping, etc that I can. I almost feel bad writing this because at first glance people would wonder why I would complain. I have been doing this for 5 years. Today my mother told me 'I have cancer, people should want to do things for me'. She is passive aggressive and I am about at my limit. I don't know what to do. I should have made boundaries long ago. It is very taxing.
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OncehatedDIL.....very well said!! K
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I almost wonder if you are my sister writing. My mom has always had control issues. She won't accept any decision making input from any of us, while she expects everyone to jump immediately when she orders. Her decisions always involve us doing things for her, yet no one is consulted. After my dad died she refused to consider AL. Now she even expects someone to come by twice a week solely for the purpose of emptying her garbage into her condominium's garbage container. (She doesn't like to walk that far and she doesn't want to put the garbage in her car)

She is growing unhappier as everyone is being firm as none of them desire to be at her beck and call - except one sister. Mom wants to be driven to the grocery store and accompanied as she grocery shops. Of course she wants driven to her appointments, taken out for meals - when its convenient for HER. They all work so this is not easy for anyone. She doesn't want to make friends or join any senior groups so they are all expected to be her sole source of social company at the times she specifies. You can't have your own life, if you have her over to your home for a visit she will be rude to any of your friends as she doesn't think they should be there during her visit. Now its all falling on one sister who doesn't seem capable of setting down limits as she feels sorry for Mom. The others are being firm with her, which is reasonable.

The one sister who is doing the bulk of the work was even asked to not bring her children anymore to their regularly scheduled -every- Saturday nights. Mom wants someone to take her out to eat and she is happy to pay (part of how she operates, she must always pay) but she didn't like the company of the grandchildren or paying for them to eat. My sister is a single mom, who of course, now leaves her kids at home per request.

Recently Mom invited several siblings over for dinner - her purpose was to discuss the undone projects she had assigned them and to get them to confirm a time to do their assignments.

Oh, she's a hoot alright.

In my opinion, my sister is keeping my mom from the realization bigkate90 wrote about. I am sure my sister complains to her friends that no one else helps or cares. My suggestion would be that you only do what you want willingly, because doing "what you can" is something entirely different and a good way to end up resenting your Mom and your siblings.
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Sounds like your mom is definitely narcissistic ....she will run everyone off and have no choice but to end up in an assisted living facility. If there is one thing I have learned in care giving it is that its impossible to do everything for someone and especially someone that feels entitled. Do not let her make you feel quilt...do what you can and want....then she will have to realize that everyone does not owe her. Good luck on your journey. K
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