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My mother is 92 and in her own home with wonderful, paid caregivers present all but 5 hours a day (to allow her a little independence at times when she is not usually up and about). She is in good health other than severe arthritis and has just started to show more signs of dementia. Most meds have side effects that make her miserable and create nightmares. Money has always been her biggest concern in life (Depression child), and she cannot stand to see the money she is spending on home care. She routinely cries and screams that her family does not care about her because we will not "look after her." I see her at least 5 days a week, do all her business, shop for her, etc. Unless I am sitting in a chair in her 80 degree home listening to her complain or watching her sleep, I "am not doing anything for her." I retired early and now work 24 hours a week, but she tells everyone I retired to look after her and now do not do it. I have two brothers, one of which helps, and the other who does nothing yet complains about how much money we are spending on care (his inheritance is disappearing he says). Mother is constantly in need of something that requires me to drop what I am doing to run an errand for her. She is always crying and complaining because having caregivers "is not the same as having family take care of her." It upsets her that my husband and I take advantage of the opportunity to visit the beach about once a month, and she does whatever she can to make me feel guilty about going and not being here for her. The caregivers and my family tell me not to tell her when I am going, but how do I explain the 5 to 7 days without visits? I love her, but I want to maintain my own life, my relationship with my husband and adult children, and continue working part time in a job that I love. How do I get past the guilt she imposes? I cannot believe this is the same woman that did not allow anyone to mess with her daily schedule and plans because she "had things to do."

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Thank you for your kind replies. Kimber166, your are correct. Guilt is something we take upon ourselves, and I have a long history of taking unnecessary guilt on myself because I have rarely felt I was the daughter my mother expected me to be. She wanted a mini version of herself, and I am not that at all, LOL!
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Reply to guiltridden64
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Guilt is something you take upon yourself. Your mother is being cared for and you do see her and help her. She wants you 100% 24x7 which is not reasonable. Do what you can with love but do not feel guilty. Depending on her level of dementia - you won't be able to reason with her.

when my In-Laws and parents ATTEMPT to guilt us - we remind them that when they were 50 they were not taking care of elderly parents - they were going every weekend to their cabin to fish and hike. Grandma's were in assisted living.
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Reply to Kimber166
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Sounds like you are a very caring and helpful daughter. If only she could see how many mothers out there have family members that completely ignore them, even when they are in tough situations such as being hospitalized. I work as a nurse in a hospital and I constantly see neglected patients with family who either rarely or never visits. Then you of course have the parents who are thrown and forgotten into a nursing home. Your mom has it made and if she can't see that, she needs a reality check. Hopefully deep down, she appreciates you as much as she should. I'm sorry for your struggles. Best of luck.
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Reply to Caregiverology
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guiltridden64, your situation sounds much like mine. My brother once addressed the unreasonable demands for help by pointing out that our mother, who's 94, is not living in reality anymore and we still have to, i.e. we can't be there every minute because we have to manage our own lives as well. That helped me some. I don't have any other answers and will be following the answers you receive closely. Thanks for posting--it applies to many of us.
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Reply to Cedarlove
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