I am 31 my mother is 59. She has been in bad health the majority of her life (but does nothing to change her situation) and really went down hill at 50. She is very over weight and has bad knees. She smokes like a chimney, drinks at least a 2 liter of coke a day while having type 2 diabetes, only snacks no real food unless I cook it because that would evolve work on her part. She don't move off the couch. The doctor got her signed up for an in home caregiver which she gave me, mind you I told her I was not wanting it because I just want to be her daughter. I've already been taking care of her for 8 yrs before this happened and one day she is really going to need me and I'll be so burnt out she will end up in a nursing home. She don't drive, never has, she don't clean, half the time I have to remind her to take a shower. She plans my weekends for me which is coming here to cook clean and grab her laundry to take home with me. If I say anything or get upset she reminds me I am her caregiver. I am introduced as her daughter/care giver. I have begged her to please find someone else to to do. The small about of $300 a month is not worth living two lives, well actually one because I can't live my life. I work 45 hours in 4 days at my job, Friday is her appointment day Sunday is her grocery day and when I date and I have to travel to spend time with them I get asked "Well what about me?" The problem is my mother has helped me. I was in an abusive relationship for 6 yrs. She helped me get out, let me live with her when I was younger without paying rent so I could work, save money for a descent car and I went back to college and got my degree. I feel indebted to her so I suck it up and give her my life. I don't get to enjoy my mother. I want to go shopping with her and do crafts and finish her family tree book but to take her to the store it like taking 3 babies and a wheel chair. She don't help at all and refuses to get her knees replaced. I'm at a loss as to what to do, I don't know how long I will have left with her but I don't even enjoy when she calls me because I know its because she needs something from me. The big kicker is she has a son who does nothing, he mooched off of her for 3 yrs just before I moved her into a one bedroom home hoping it would knock her out of her stuper and get her up and moving because its easier to take care of but it was a failure now I just have a smaller place to take care of. Yet she cries to me that my brother don't even call her now that he don't need her anymore. I'm at the end of my rope and have no clue what to do.

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First of all, you are not a caregiver, you are an enabler. Stop it! She is only 59 and completely self-destructive. She needs psychiatric help. She urgently needs to straighten her life out. Maybe someone on this forum can advise you on how to get her on a sane course. If she is not willing to cooperate, you should not feel compelled to ruin your own life for someone who isn't worried about yours.
Helpful Answer (14)

It's really easy for me to tell you to just stop doing all those things for her. It's really easy for me to tell you that you don't owe her anything but love. It's easy to say turn over to brother some of tasks. That's all easy to say and very difficult for you to do. And I am so sorry you feel "you owe" your mother. I am of the belief when we are given a gift, it should be just that, a gift. It shouldn't have strings. Did your Mom tell you when she was helping you.."Oh, by the way, when I get sick I expect you to give up your life and take care of me to pay me back for this gift"? When my mother was alive she hated going to the doctor. She began having pain in her leg. I kept trying to get her to go and have it checked. She wouldn't go and frankly I was tired of hearing her complain about it. Time went on and one day I had taken her to get groceries. While we were sitting in the car she said "I am so worried about my leg. I'm worried about a blood clot". To which I replied " You're not too d*mn worried or you would go to the doctor". She made an appointment and learned she had restless leg syndrome. After 6 months with the pain, 2 nights of medication stopped the pain. I had to learn to accept her decisions and not nag her to do otherwise. However, that didn't mean I had to pay for her decisions. I would venture to say until your Mom has consequences, until you are healthy enough to set boundaries, and until you get therapy to get rid of the guilt, NOTHING will change. You can't make your brother do anything. You can't make your mother do anything. YOU are the only person that you can change. When you change, your circumstances will change. God bless you.
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Quit the caregiving job. Call an agency. Hire an aide to do the cleaning and shopping.

Find yourself a therapist so you can figure out why you allow yourself to get sucked into abusive relationships; you're in one RIGHT NOW.
Helpful Answer (10)

I was thinking about this same topic last night after leaving my moms house.

My mom NEEDS me, but would never ASK me for anything. I go and do, because that is what your adult child does when you need it.

For many years, I was proud to say that my mom was my BEST friend. I mean in ADULT years. My mom knew me better than anyone in the world and vice versa.

Now...she doesn't even remember my childhood. We can't talk or reminisce anymore because she just doesn't remember.

I don't RESENT her....I MISS HER.

Some nights I get home and wish I could just go over there and hang out and LAUGH. Stroll down memory lane.

Last night as I laid in bed thinking, I thought "Dear God. Please do not let me resent my mom OR feel like this is a chore."

I love her and would do ANYTHING in the world to help her and to keep her safe and to make sure she knows she is not alone.

Every time I go to is more of a chore. I have to sort out her meidcation for the week. I have to go through her mail and make sure no bills were skipped. I make sure she has milk in the fridge. You know....all that stuff.

I don't know where I am going with all of this, but I would like to just once, go over and have dinner and laugh. In reality....I know that will never happen again.
Helpful Answer (9)

There's something seriously wrong with this picture! 59 is NOT old, and at 31 you have most of your life still ahead of you. There are so many things that your mother could do to improve her situation; but that is up to her to choose. Back away, let her make her own choices.
Has she been checked for depression? Sounds like her doctor isn't really helping her to change her lifestyle.
Ann Landers used to have an expression; No one can take advantage of you, unless YOU LET THEM!
Move on with your own life, and enjoy it. . .without feeling guilty!!
Helpful Answer (8)

First of all, please give yourself a BIG HUG. It sounds as if you are wearing yourself out trying to please your Mom because she helped you through a rough patch. But you've lost sight of the fact that this is her job, as your mother, to help you. It doesn't mean you have to turn around and help her. In fact, it doesn't even sound as if she needs help. If she chooses to live in a dirty apartment and eat poorly... well, that's her choice. For your own sake, take the small caregiving fee and find someone else who is willing to do the job. Do it in baby steps if necessary, but start moving towards a solution before you ruin your life while trying to save hers.
Helpful Answer (7)

So why don't you just stop? You are enabling her. Stop feeding into her lifestyle and use "tough love". If you do not, you may die before her. She has a death wish by not treating her body like a temple, and that is not your fault, it is hers. Stop.
Helpful Answer (7)

Trevor, I am rolling on the floor laughing over that one!
Helpful Answer (6)

I have many of the same feelings although my mom isn't self destructive. All her issues stem from cancer. But the calls, the expectations, the no good brother...I finally hired an evening and afternoon caregiver. She didn't want it but I did it anyway. It has helped me a lot. I still dread the calls. She called me at midnight the other night to tell me to come get her glasses she dropped on the floor. I couldn't believe it. I live right in front of her but still. I have started not answering my phone because if it is a reall emergency she will keep calling or leave a message. I go over daily and visit and get her up and ready most mornings.
Helpful Answer (4)

sky, I know where you are coming from and I know there aren't any answers on how to fix your mother. The only thing you can do is figure out what role you will play in her life and how much you can do for her.

Something I thought about right away was the grocery shopping. Whoever buys the groceries has a lot of control of the situation. Does your mother go to the store with you? If not, buy some sugar-free, caffeine-free sodas and maybe sparkling water. The sugar free may not be the best thing, but at least it doesn't pack on unneeded calories and extra blood glucose. She may yell at you and try to bully you into doing what she wants, but you can make yourself into a rock. You'll know you're doing the right thing. And you're lucky that you can leave and go home.

You can't make her accept a caregiver, but you can decide what time you have to devote to her. I realize that you feel obligated to her for the things she did for you in the past. This doesn't mean you have to obey her and clean up her messes while she continues her destructive path.

A very hard thing about being a caregiver is that we are faced every day with medical and psychological issues that we have no training for. I imagine that since your mother has what looks like uncontrolled diabetes and obesity that her brain is not working quite right. The depression is apparent. I wish she could pull herself up enough to realize she needs some positive thinking in her life to help herself feel better. Maybe if she could grab a positive line of thinking, she'd see the sugar and cigarettes were making her feel worse.

I wish I had some answers. Parents don't listen much to children, particularly daughters, even when the children are right. I think I would try to trick her into seeing a psychiatrist, maybe saying it was a requirement for her Medicaid to be evaluated. It would be nice if you could transfer some of this load to a good professional.
Helpful Answer (4)

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