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My Mom is 83 years old and acting up.

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This topic is seven years old, with a few more recent comments.

I want to respond to "Why do aging parents become so hostile and angry?"

Not all of them do! My father mellowed as he aged. My mother was a sweetie all her life. As a widow, with mobility issues, after she developed dementia, while she was in the nursing home -- in her entire life she did not become hostile or angry.

My husband (who was father to several adults) had bouts of anger over his dementia, but not that he took out on others. I don't think any of our 5 kids would ask, "why did dad become angry and hostile as he aged?" He just didn't.

I know that anger and hostility is a reality for many, many people. I'm just here to attest that it isn't a universal condition; that it isn't everybody. There are some good explanations on this thread of why it often occurs.

Those of us who have not had to deal with it can count ourselves very lucky -- and be very sympathetic for those who experience it.
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Its so tough with aging parents. And even when the parents live close some adult children just don't make the time or don't want to depending on their relationship with their mom and dad. It is hard when they start to get angry and grumpy. But like another poster said, if you think about it, who can blame them? Their health is declining, they could be suffering mentally or physically or both, their losing their friends and family members...it all takes a toll. I tried to be patient with my dad but it was hard after his stroke.

Dear kidnumber 2, Thank you for sharing your story with us. I know what you mean. We all do the best we can and sometimes we just can't win.
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I have a mom who is quite disabled and who moved 1,000 miles away for better climate. None of our family lives there.
I expressed to her before she left that I would not be able to visit her there. I am not rich and her apartment is too small to have a guest (filled with medical equipment and helpers coming and going all day).
So now she is very angry because she is in pain and no one comes to visit her. It would cost me $1,000 (I cannot afford it) to spend a 2-3 night visit.
She yells at me when I call. I am far from retirement, have no property or partner, and am just barely keeping it together.
The commentator who spoke about boundaries is absolutely correct.
It is nice to help others, but it is foolish to sacrifice one's own personal welfare to try to meet the needs of a parent who has a never ending need for attention.
She has a lot of help down there, but no family. I am not a martyr and I am not going to sacrifice everything I have to look after her. She is so angry I can barely have a conversation with her anymore.
I have always tried to call and be empathetic. I cannot afford to travel there. She is just angry because she thought her whole family would visit her regularly. That is not within the economic capabilities of our family members. I suggested to her that she would not see her family if she moved so far away. She said "no one comes to see me anyway".
So now she tries to send everyone on a different kind of guilt trip. "My kids never visit because they are selfish".
No - your kids never visit beacause you live too far away and they cannot afford the money/time to do this.
I always suggest to aging parents - stay near to where your loved ones live. If you move - that's on you. She knew what she was doing but expected family members to come anyway.
It's not happening and she is angry.
Every time I call her she yells and cries.
I cannot do anything about this anymore.
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Do believe that parents act that way mandy48 when they feel that they are losing control of their own life. JessieBelle is correct about you starting a new question.
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Mandy, why not start a new thread. This is a very old thread so a lot of people won't be reading it anymore. There are many people in the same circumstance, so will know what you're going through.
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I would love to talk to people regarding this ungrateful parent being verbally abusive to the child that does everything, and I mean everything for them. Its hard to help when they treat you like crap. I can barely tolerate it. I am hanging on by a thread. She was my best friend, not just my mom. Somehow along the way she lost respect for me and almost seem resentful towards me. She is like a child, with a sense of entitlement. I'm just lost. She has even, just recently, gotten physically abusive.
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This is an old question. I doubt the people are around anymore to read.
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Dear N1K2R3, Even though one sees stupidity and laxicity around them, comments can be made in a courteous, rather than snide, way. I agree that it's abominable that a caregiver would not wash her hands after handling bathroom equipment, but a gentle reminder would be appropriate. As for dehydration, I have done everything known to man to get Mom to drink more water. The more I explain the benefits to her, the less she will drink. She thinks everything I say is BS. She's going to do what she wants and then gripe about her condition. All I can say is, old age is h*ll.
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There are many answers to this question. Health related issues often take the lead in this frustrating issue. The realization of an 'unfulfilled" life and regrets seems to garner a fair amount of attention as well. The sad reality in many of these cases that is often overlooked has to do with a simple, yet complicated act of forgiveness. We encounter so many people on our journey through life that we may perceive as a contributor to our pain and shortcomings. This pain resonates into our psyche, which creates a desire to point the blame toward others and away from ourselves. The anger becomes our weapon which is always at the ready, and seemingly something we can control in a world gone out of control. Forgiveness is the most powerful "tool" in our survival box. The sad truth is, very few will find it, and even less will use it properly.
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My mother has asked me to give her checkbook back to her. She was not paying her bills and taxes. I am Co-owner on her checking account and I make sure the bills are getting paid. Should I just give her the checkbook register so she can see where her money is going. She has taking her checkbook out of my car once while I was in the bank, I asked her how she got it and she said that I gave it her. She has already blown threw a large inheritance. I don't trust her to not get more credit cards so she can buy more "stuff". She hides her bills from me.
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I have found that sometimes being nice even when it's hard, helps a little. They are in pain, having to depend on someone else for things, and honestly just having to ask for everything can make a person feel really bad and put them in a terrible mood. My grandma looks at me as a child. So she expects me to do everything for her since I'm so young and she's so old. She is polite dont get me wrong but sometimes she is so demanding and yells and complains constantly. She doesn't want me to do anything unless it's with niceness so when I am up every 20 minutes because she has a UTI and I even show one ounce of being upset by it, she jumps down my throat stating that I am the meanest person she knows and that I have such a bad attitude and always am yelling (when I'm not really always yelling. i swear. It's just she only remembers the few times in the middle of the night when I am upset and speak harsher to her stating, "Get up. Go sit down." instead of the normal, "Let's get you tucked back into bed where it's nice and warm" that I usually say.

Keep in mind, they can't always help the way they are. Imagine being in their shoes, depending on someone else for every need, being constantly told you can't do anything because you are too old, feeling aches and pains and sick and not understanding why. It's easy to say you understand and a lot harder to remind yourself of that when your emotions are high and they are sitting there insulting you. Just try to remember you are doing this because you are a good person. You are taking on the impossible job of caring for someone for free, just because you care about them.

It's not easy but if you concentrate on trying to make yourself feel good about the job you are doing and stop listening and focusing on what they want you to focus on (which is making it about them solely making you feel like its something you have to do rather than something you are choosing to do), then it will help.

Good luck and keep up the good work and remember they aren't doing what they are doing on purpose but instead can't help themselves.
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Oh JessieBelle what a great post and advice you gave Boreinbama. Everything you told her is true about strings being attached. I wanted to hit the helpful button 1000 times but the site would not let me. I am 61 and my husband is 66. We never needed anything from Mom & Dad. (Mom now is 91 and Dad was 90 when he died last year) Mom was always buying us stuff and insisting that we take the stuff that I did not even want. Only took it because believed it made her feel good. Mostly the stuff was a pain in the a--. Well now she is telling me about all she and Dad did for us. She has dementia and is very nasty. Says horrible stuff. Puts us down constantly. Nothing we do deserves this disrespect.
Sorry it took me so long to figure this out. Guess I was kind of slow!! Discovered it when I was 55!! I hope I never do this to my daughter or let lighting strike me (us) dead.
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Boredinbama, this is one reason I have rejected any kind of money from my mother for such a long time. It always comes with strings attached. The strings can be telling me I'm not so great -- remember the time she had to give me money. So no matter how poor I was when I was younger, I would never ask her for anything. It was something I was proud of, too. It even bothers me now when, in her dementia, she claims to have given me money, since I know she is trying to attach strings to me that I don't deserve.

Something that is important is realizing it is her. It is not you. You can try to get away from accepting any money from her, even if it makes life easier. Concentrate instead on two things -- doing the things for her that she needs and, most importantly, liking yourself. So many of us who grew up in toxic environments do not like ourselves. We find fault and misery in ourselves. And if we get mad at someone else, we feel we can't strike out at them, so we think of harming ourselves. If we like ourselves, though, we won't have any serious thought to harming ourselves.

Think about the things you do for her. I doubt that you do anything that brings on this disrespect she shows. It may be that she is trying to make you feel worse to make her feel better. Shame on her. If you think that is what it is, just let her words bounce off and know that you are a good person.

I would try to get by without accepting any gratuities from her. Those can always come with strings. I hope you'll talk things out more here. I know many here know what you're going through. Bipolar can be unstable feeling, but a lot of people live daily with it and do fine.
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I am disabled and my 86 yr old mother gives me some financial support. She seems to feel this gives her the right to disrespect and use me as her emotional whipping post. What can I do. It is causing my bipolar disorder to worsen. I'm having thoughts of killing myself. Please help1
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I recently purchased an IPad and downloaded an aphasia app - his living facility suggested it and hopefully he will use it. He cannot write and can only say about a half dozen words (the ones he doesn't have to think about). I can only imagine how frustrating it must be so I take that into consideration all the time. Some days it's just harder than others.
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KitKat, my mom has aphasia from a stroke also, but she has been helped tremendously by speech therapy. Has dad had any therapy? And if he's regressed, can you get him re-assessed? Therapy techniques that my mom uses are not looking directly at the person she's talking to, coming up with an alternate word for things, describing the thing rather than naming it. She gets VERY frustrated when we try to finish sentences for her.

Can your dad still write at all? My mom keeps a note pad and she will sometimes be able to write down a word or two, or even draw a picture of what she wants to tell me. Aphasia REALLY SUCKS!
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I have been dealing with my dad's anger issues for over three years. But to make matters worse, he has aphasia - all his mental faculties (very intelligent man) but cannot speak (except for yes, no, and his favorite curse words) or write. I had to move him from another state after he suffered a stroke 3-1/2 years ago and I feel like he hates me for it. He's nice as he can be to the care workers at his assisted living facility but every time I visit or bring him to my home for the day and then take him back, it's always the same - a 20 minute session of him trying to tell me something and he ends up angry at ME! This weekend he even grabbed my arm really tightly and pointed his finger in my face. I was so upset I just walked out. My siblings don't live close and don't get to visit often, so mostly it all comes out on me. I know it's not his fault and I know he cannot appreciate how much I do for him - shopping, doctor's appointments, paperwork, etc. Occasionally we have a good visit, but mostly they all end with me sitting in my car crying.
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My parents are 89 and they act the same way. Anytime you help them they get more and more angry and nasty. This is an old post but still very current for today.
Might start up again.
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Worked as a home care provider and observed many adverse behaviours that are temporary.
Would this be helpful- tell your self that your mom is not herself?
Lots of support groups around for those willing to attend
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Wow I thought I was alone until I researched this topic today and I see I am no way alone in this. It is so hard to tend to aging parents when they do not give you respect any longer. I challenge anyone to tend to an ailing parent and come back and tell us how you survived it. I am at wits end myself dealing with this. We were raised to obey and honor our parents and that is what I do but when it gets intolerable at times it is all you can do but gently tell them you love them and understand what they are going through. I have had to do just that lately.
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I don't know why they can be so hostile and angry, but they sure can. Mine takes delight in belittling me. To tell the truth, I do not feel welcome here in her home. It is like she carries this anger at me that is ready to erupt at any moment. I have considered leaving many times, but don't know what she would do.

Sometimes we hear advice about how we should just keep being nice and understanding. If others feel like me, it is not what I need to hear. I need for someone to recognize that I am being wounded by all these hateful words. I just need to be in a place that I can call home and not somewhere I feel like I'm walking on rough gravel all day. This evening was particularly bad, so I am particularly teed off about it all.

What I would really like to hear is someone to say just to tell this to take the anger and stuff it. Instead of saying "What's wrong, Mom," and talking it through to just ask them what bug got up their butt today.

But the anger passes for me fortunately. I just wish I could find that nest of bugs and exterminate them.
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I feel so bad because at times I cant stand my mother she askes me the same question over and over. At times I feel its because she has memory loss but sometimes I think she does it to piss me off. My brothers ans sisters are no help. Im the youngest of them all. I have asked for help but they say when she comes over she just wants to go back home, but when she is home she is asking me where im going non stop.Then she makes me feel bad when I leave. I am a young women I desire to be married but im unable to bring people to my house because she often has accidents, and will walk out the room w/o colthes on. she is really rude to people and cusses alot. She was a such a nice women, always had mean things to say about people but never to their face, oh but now she has no problem. she tells me all the time she wish she was dead. I am trying to live a worship filled life but I always feel bad because of the way I feel towards her. At times I dont feel irriated, but then when time goes on she starts pissing me off again. I need a break again I always come back refreashed. Last time i left I asked my bro/sis to watch her she didnt take a shower for 4 days. i just get tired but I feel bad because I feel like im supposed to be doing this and with a smile on my face. I feel like god is watching me be mean and it bothers me. i try to be nice but its fake most of the time,I love her and wont let anyone be mean or hurt her im just irriated with her all the time.I need help?n or just to know other people deal with these feelings to.
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Dear "Trying"-There is a term in psychological circles called "chasing rejection". It would appear that this is what you are doing.Your parents are taking you for granted.Perhaps they rely on you hanging in there no matter how much they dish out. And they are dishing out plenty.I would encourage you to make yourself scarce.Really scarce. Make them question what is going on.And they won't stop until YOU stop allowing them to treat you so poorly.Get yourself to a codependents anonymous meeting.It's based on the 12 steps like Alcoholics Anonymous or Alanon. It's a great place to get support for having healthy boundaries and getting focused on appropriate self care. You need to take care of yourself and put energy into people who appreciate you as well as give back to you. You deserve it...but only if you believe you do...
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Sorry about my comment. It should have been entered as a seperate topic.
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What do I do? My parents are 83 and 86. My dad has always been difficult, obcessive compulsive and verbally abusive. My two sisters have moved away, admittidly because of my dad and my brothers does nothing to help. My mother is afraid to do or say anything afraid that it may upset my dad. I do everything for them when they allow me too but am ready to give up. When my other siblings are around my parents tread on pins and needles trying not to affend them often at my expense. I could give many examples but here are a couple from just recently. I had waited until the Friday before Fathers day to invite my parents out for dinner. I always wait to invite them so that if my brother decides to have them in, then I can just have them during the opposite time of the day so that they can see us both. We do no holidays together as an entire family except Christmas and then needless to say that is always at my house. Sunday afternoon on Father's Day my Mother called and told me that my brother just called and invited them to dinner and that they wanted to go..."could we get together some other time." I was upset. We were out of town and would not be back till late in the PM. just in time to do dinner. We came back early and did an ice cream outing instead of dinner. Needless to say I felt second rate. A little while back my Dad told me he could not see, eat or walk and could not get a doctors appointment. I got him into my doctor immediately. I was concerned. I went with him to the appointment. I spent 4 days taking him to tests and doctors. He got upset with the doctor for all the "needless" tests he did and for the doctor wanting him to go on different medication for his depression and mood swings. He refused to take other medication. And he was furious with me for taking him to that doctor. He again refused to come to my house for a holiday but was going to go to my brother's. My Mom then forced him to come out to apologize. He has the same complaints now and is going to another doctor. I simply cannot go along and be treated like he did the other time. I have talked to this new doctor and he says there is nothing wrong with my Dad. The list goes on and on. Someone needs to help them because they simply cannot do many things for themselves any more. But too many times when I help, they end up angry at me. My mother was very sick for a while and my husband and I offered to til up part of a huge garden and seed it to grass so she would not have so much work to do. At that time she said she would see how she felt and let us know. She now feels better and tells people we want to tear up her garden, the one hobby she has! Every time I go in I tell her how beautiful her flowers are. Her comment is: "And you are not tearing it up!" No matter how many times I tell her that we just offered to help so it would not be so much work for her she still says the same thing. Any suggestions? I cannot let them continue to treat me like they do and I have tried talking to them but it makes no difference. I try very hard not to be upset and continue to go in and visit and help and it is getting worse. I love my parents very much and if this situation would just be something that has developed as they have aged I may be better at handling it. But is has been this way with my dad as long as I can remember. My mother has just started doing some of these things but has always favored my siblings at many times. I think she is doing this for fear of alienating them further and she knows I am going no where. I know I should be able to let this go but it is starting to bother me so much that I am afraid it will soon affect my life and my family. My children have often told me they do not know how I do it and now I am not sure I want to keep doing it.
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I know the frustration that my mother felt every time I have to ask my darling to "open this bottle for me please" or any other help I now require because my arthritis is getting worse, or I am not as strong as I used to be.

For most of our aging parents, THEY were the ones doing it all, and now they must rely on someone else to 'do it for them'.

At 57, there is MUCH more that I wished I had done with my life, and MUCH MUCH more I want to do with my live, yet I am thankful for all that I have done. Imagine being 83 and not remembering WHAT you did with you life, let alone how long you have 'left.' It's scary thinking about it.

I would listen to my mother complain and complain, and at first it just made me so mad, then I realized that SHE wanted to do more, but couldn't remember how to, or SHE wanted to do something she could no longer do (drive) and it made her MAD as hell!! So I asked for the same wisdom that she once gave me, and here is what I CALMLY said to her, '

"Mom... you have every reason to be anger. There is so much you can no longer do, but there is so much more you can STILL do! Lets be creative and think of those things together, so we can accomplish them together!"

OH.. that didn't work all the time, and when it didn't I would just tell her to get all her cussing and swearing out here on earth, because there is NO room for that talk in Heaven!"

Or when she would say: "WHY is God doing this to me??" My answer was: "It's just one small test Mom, one that GOD is sure you will pass"

And when I asked myself "WHY do I have to put up with this from my mother? My answer to myself: It is one small test to see if "I" am worthy of my rewards.

Try to see good in the bad. Use your experiences to help them through the trying times of growing old. After all, God willing, we will be old one day too (soon).
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I would say most of the anger is frustration, she isnt able to do the things she used to be able to do, and that is fristrating for her!!! put yourself in her shoes, and think how hard it must be, especially if she was totally independant, like most of our parents were..........Its a very BIG tough pill to swallow, feeling like she has to rely on others, and ask for help, that probably isnt her nature! she wants to be independant, and that has been snatched away, and that in itself is fristrating and annoying all in itself, with time she may come around, and maybe not, now that u have her though, u can work at trying to make her feel as useful as possible.... It may make her feel needed again, and give her something to do, where she wont be as fristrated anymore, she at least feels comfortable enough
to take it out on u for now, u cannot, let her do this indefinetely though, you must set boundaries, and insist on respect!!! the saying goes, treat others the way u yourself would like to ne treated!!!!
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IvoryR::to me this sounds like you are caught in the 'sandwich generation', and stuck between a rock and a hard place...This question has been asked several times--and here are some tips from me to you_
Put Yourself First—Because you’re both a conscientious parent and a dutiful child, you may be tempted to put your own needs after those of your aging parents and adult children if you find yourself in a sandwich generation scenario. Don’t.
The only person who can save for your retirement is you. To avoid many sandwich generation problems--and help your parents and your children--you first have to keep your own financial house in order.
I sure hope that this is of value to you-and good luck!
Hap
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ivoryr,
Was she evil before? Mine was but I was too blinded by my love to see it. Now I'm getting to know the real mom and though it's vain, it's not pretty.
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Gee, I'd be thrilled if my mother noticed anything like that, snide comment or not! How angry a caregiver gets after saying each time and every time to really really really wash their hands...cause you know where they just stuck their fingers and a rinse under the faucet isn't going to cut it. And heck eventually you just end up washing their hands for them and then wish they'd understand enough so they at least knew what that meant.

Anyway, IvoryRose, the OP, didn't give many details of her own situation, and may not have checked off the "notify me when others respond" box, so we'll be blathering away here in generalities until she comes in for more info.
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