Follow
Share

I lost my Dad in May, he cried every time I went to visit. Now mom is in an ALF and more tears. I spent 7 months visiting my father in the nursing home daily. Each visit was awful, he was tearful, wanted to go home, grabbed me and begged me to take him home. He and I were very close and it absolutely destroyed me to see him like this every day. After I visited him I went to my mother's and told her how he was doing, she cried. I spent 3 months getting her to move to the assisted living with dad. 11 days after moving she broke her hip. We moved her to the nursing home, and moved dad from the assisted living back to the nursing home (I spent 11 days between them, staying nights etc.). Dads condition worsened, he still cried every time he saw me, every time I left, even with mom there with him. He passed away in May. We then moved mom back to the assisted living yet again. Now I am dealing with her grief, her tears every time I leave, every time I come etc. I have had no time to grieve for my father and at this point this has been going on for over a year, and I moved them 8 times in 7 months. I had to pack up their house of 35 years, run an estate sale, make funeral arrangements, etc.

I need to find a way to distance myself emotionally, but as an only child I have no other support from siblings. I am so tired, and I start dreading going to visit the day before I have to go. Wednesday she is returning to her old house for the last time and I already know what that will be like. I don't want to get angry, but after all of this I am at my emotional wits end. I am also her POA and have an immense amount of work from that. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Oh, I forgot to mention I am 66 years old, and my mom is 90.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I was in your place a while back. After talking with folks at alz.org, I cut back my visits. I see Mom every Sunday and we go for a drive and go look at something interesting out in the public. The doctor also got her started on and adjusted some antidepressants. The result is that I actually have a good time with Mom at least for a few minutes of the visit. We go eat apple pie, tour a scenic area, etc. Maybe your Mom would like to get out and about? You are in a tough situation, but you absolutely have to take care of yourself first. My brother died several years ago, and if I die, she will have absolutely no one to care for her.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Have you considered having the grand daughter take over the task of hosting grandma's last visit. After all she has gained a lot with the gift of the house. Perhaps this is time when she could pay back a little here. After that maybe the vunue for Thanksgiving should be changed. Have you considered having dinner at a nearby resterauant. More expensive for sure but maybe there would be a chance of everyone having a good time. it is going to be a very emotional time for Mom in any case. The first holiday without her husband and in her old home with everything different. I would be a total basket case looking at that empty chair however well i was dealing with my loss.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I feel very sorry for your mother. I just want to establish that so that I don't sound like a b*tch when I go on to say that I don't see how you can take another minute of her grief.

Delegate, delegate. No siblings doesn't mean you're the only person in the world who can establish a relationship with her: and if she won't meet anyone halfway there are people who are really very good at this. Ask a chaplain. Find her a counsellor. See if there is a befriending service - I think they're usually run by volunteers - in your area. But however you do it, call in reinforcements. The point you barely mention is that you've had no time for your own grief, and I know what that feels like. You think "later" but the fact is that life goes on being one damn thing after another and "later" never happens. It'll catch up with you if you don't make space for it.

What you're going through is h*ll, and I wonder what you have in the way of moral support. Close friends - or even not that close - who've dealt with their elderly parents? You'd be surprised how generous people are with help and concern if you ask them; the thing is they never put themselves forward because they don't like to intrude. Also, if you've been dealing proficiently with everything, it may not be apparent to others how much emotional weight you're carrying.

The return home sounds like a grand day out organised by Satan. Are you sure you are prepared to do that? I'm imagining how I would feel about it. I might, but I certainly wouldn't do it on my own - is someone going with you? And if, when it comes to it, you can't face it, then cancel it. It can't be a logistical necessity; you are free to say no.

In short, put other people between yourself and your mother to create more space for your own feelings. But don't give her a hard time. It's not like she's making a fuss about nothing, is it? Helpless criers are extremely irritating, quite apart from her rather selfish lack of regard for how you might take it; but all the same. She's 90 years old, she was absolutely dependent on your father, theirs was an extremely long marriage and her present landscape is blighted. She has things to cry about.

And so have you. I'm so sorry for the lengthy ordeal you're going through.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

my renter gal tried boo hooing loudly in my general direction one evening when the eviction of her dogs was becoming evident . i corrected that s*it by firing up a good rock concert just loud enough to reach back to her . ill never know but im betting the phony blubbering dried up in a matter of seconds . her childish attempt at manipulation sealed the dog eviction deal you can believe that .
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

all interesting comments . my mom blubbered all of her life too . im realizing now that it was to get , not her way , just the attention she wanted . when she had pushed dad , later myself , to the point of blowing a steam valve , then she would mellow right out . im inclined to think that the roar from us men in her life helped to ground her in someway .
so , carolpage , maybe you should try getting all " bad cop " with mom . tell her shes pushing you to the point of a gd nervous collapse and its d*m selfish of her and she needs to get her head out of her ass . i think shes playing you for sure but its a known fact that pissing a person off provides an immediate change of gears from self pity . show some teeth . it might be what shes needing .
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I am wondering if mom's tears were a form of manipulation when she and Dad were alone. Did she do it to get her way.
When you visit can you insist that it is at lunch time and that the two of you go to the dining room. After you have done this a few time move onto other residents activities. She probably won't want to be seen crying in front of other people.
You mentioned that you are 66 so you might enjoy some of the activities too and find that a few of the residents are around your own age and share some of your interests.
I do agree that taking her for one last visit ot he house is not a good idea but if she will be going their for a family Thanksgiving anyway it probably makes little difference. try and make sure she has some prescribed medication soon. many of these meds don't become effective for about 2 weeks so she needs to see someone ASAP.
As an aside are you living alone too and have little outside contact for support? You definitely need help and support. you are all mom has left so you need to be strong to get through this. Blessings
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Good points above. Your mom's crying may be a habit or due to dementia or depression. Without testing, it's a guess, but I will say that my cousin, who I am responsible for usually cries for a few seconds when she first sees me. She has severe dementia and did have depression, before she went on medication. She doesn't cry nearly as much as she did before.

I'll watch my cousin,( who's in a Memory Care Unit) from afar and she's fine, then she sees me and starts to cry tears of joy, she says. I hug her and quickly start talking about her outfit, her hair cut, anything to change the subject. Soon the tears stop.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with Rocknrobin. In some ways, your mom gets attention through crying. Simply ignore it and change the subject. I would also not take her back to her old home one more time. That sounds like a way to make herself more miserable - unnecessarily. Tell her you'll take pictures and be done with it.

Get her evaluated for depression. She also sounds a bit manipulative, so you have to set your own boundaries to keep your health and happiness. It's not your job to make your mom happy. That's HER job. You can offer her the means to get help, but she has to choose to take that or not. If she chooses to isolate and you've offered to get her help for possible depression, you've done what you can do. You can't make your mom young. You can't bring your dad back. You can make sure your mom is safe and provided for. But her happiness is an inside job. So take that off your "to do" list. It's not your job!

You said in your profile your parents were showing signs of dementia. How's your mom's memory? My mom cries (she hates being dependent on me) and the first few times it floored me because my mom is NOT a crier. But I've learned that 10 minutes later she's forgotten the whole thing. Your mom may be the same way. Sad in the moment, but much better five minutes later. Hugs to you. As an only child, I'm sure it's difficult. But I have a brother who's no help at all, so even those of us with siblings can feel very alone in navigating the caregiver role.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Please forgive me for the way I'm putting this. Enough is enough! If you have lived next door to this all these years, you need to back off a little. Quit going every day. Mom needs to see a Doctor. This needs to happen soon. After all this time, crying may be just automatic. Let you know that you love her, but she needs to buck up and dry her tears. They are too difficult on both of you. Take her to a few activities at her AL. Go with her to her started. Life is too short and she's coming down the home stretch. She still has a lot of living to do.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Mom has given her house to her granddaughter, and she wants to see it before she moves in. She will be visiting the house again for thanksgiving and thinks she needs to go before that time in order not to spoil everyones day. She does say she cries even when I am not there, she also says she talks to dad and sees his lips move........that is a little disconcerting. Not the talking part, the lips moving part. She will not socialize with any of the other residents at the ALF. Only a couple of people who visit her from Hospice. She has been isolated for 35 years with just dad, and me for company (I live next door). She is the most stubborn lady you can imagine, and has been pampered and spoiled by my dad all her life. He has "taken care" of her. Now she assumes I think that I will fill that place in her life. I just don't think I have anymore to give right now. I appreciate the wonderful advice, it helps just having some place to vent, and to put it down on paper I think.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree. I would have your mom evaluated for depression. Crying everyday and being miserable everyday is not normal. Perhaps she needs some medication to help her mood. And going by every day isn't helping either, so why not try something different. You may benefit from grief counseling too. When every day if filled with pain and dread, you can't help but feel depressed.

When she starts to say sad things and cry, what if you change the subject? Take a project for you to work on like a puzzle or old movie to watch? Explain that you want the visit to be cheerful.

And why would your mom go by the house one last time. That is a set up for misery, IMO. An empty house that you can't return to would cause her undo pain. I would refuse to take her and explain that you want to make some happy memories and not bring more pain.

Does your mom have dementia? If so, you may have to make some decisions for her that are for her own best interest, even if she disagrees or doesn't understand.

It sounds like you need some comforting too. I recently looked into some support group members for Alzheimers' family members in my community. They only meet once per month, but I'm hoping it will be a place to share and get support from other people who have been there. You might look into that, since you have no siblings to help you. Plus, this site is a great source of support too. It's really helped me a lot!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Has your mother been evaluated for depression? If this were "simply" grief, that would be one thing. But this sadness preceded your dad's death, I believe. Does she participate in activities? Does she cry all the time when you're not there?

Why are you taking her back to her house "one last time?" Do you have a plan of what you'll do if she says she's not leaving?

Has she been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist? She's 90, but she has some good quality of life if she's in AL and not a NH. Depression is a disease that can kill both it's victims and the caregiver. Get her help!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

carole, this hurt to read. I know the pain you are going through and there is no easy answer. Your mother sounds very depressed. This is understandable because she has lost everything that was her life. Unfortunately, it is what all of us face as we get older. Do you think she might be helped by talking to a grief therapist or taking an antidepressant? Talking to a therapist or trusted friend may help you, too, so you won't feel so alone.

One thing that we feel many times is that we should be able to make someone feel better. Sometimes it isn't possible. All we can do is listen and understand and maybe share happier memories of the person. When we're dealing with end of life things, it's hard to think of the happier times, because all we are seeing are the crises around us. Maybe your mother and you could share some photographs and simple talk while working through the steps of life. I wish it were easier. I don't know anything more difficult to work through with someone than grief.

I am so sorry that you lost your father and that your mother is going through so much. She is blessed to have such a wonderful daughter. Going through the technicalities takes so much of our energy. There are so many other things we need to be doing. We need to deal with our own loss. You are not alone in how you are feeling. All I can tell you is that it does get better.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

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