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I care for my mother - she does not have dementia, but seems to have every other ailment under the sun. Diabetic for over 40 years, rheumatoid arthritis, congestive heart failure, thyroid & gallbladder removed when she was young, atrial fibrillation (now reliant upon a pacemaker), osteoporosis, diabetic foot ulcers, rectal cancer in 2005 which has left her incontinent, etc. etc. - the poor woman was dealt a really sh*tty hand in the health department, that's for sure. She broke her right hip earlier this year, and had that replaced in september. She was gone for 3 months at a SNF for rehab, and I felt like it was the first time I could breathe in a long time.

Now that she is back home (she lives in my home), I immediately noted how different I feel. I am chewing my fingers again, my temper is short, I'm anxious, I feel like I am a snarky smart-assed 15 year old whenever I respond to her...and I'm going to be 50 in July! To put it bluntly, I DO NOT LIKE the person that I become when I am around my mother, but I feel like I am powerless to stop it!

Obviously she is frail and she needs my help - am I resentful of that?? Am I trying to push her away, or prepare myself for what I know is to come down the road??? I just don't get it. She has never been the most positive person - always complaining about something & making comments about people's appearances that aren't exactly complimentary, but she's always been that way - it's not like it's news to me.

I know she can't help (to some extent) the position she is in, but there are days where I feel she COULD help me out a bit more than she does. Sorry for being graphic, but when she gets poop on the inside of her clothes because she didn't make it to the bathroom on time & the diaper leaked....she can certainly rinse them out or at the very least say something instead of just rolling the clothes up, poop and all, into a ball & leaving them in her room until she has a full washer load, can't she??? I have stuck my hand into god-knows-what more often than I care to admit, and I get SO PISSED OFF. To me, there is no excuse for that behavior, whether she's embarrassed by it or not. As a result, I have ruined a few of her articles of clothing by soaking them into a bucket with bleach water, but what does she expect me to do??? Just put her crap-filled clothes into my washing machine????? She then turns around & yells at me for ruining her clothes. UGH!!!

Instead of enjoying time with her, I feel like all I do is bitch & moan about every little thing she does to everyone. My huband & my oldest daughter are around her enough to sympathize with me for what I put up with, but everyone else looks at me like I'm a raging bi*ch for talking about my mother like that. I guess I need to be more cautious of who I vent to (THANK GOD FOR THIS BOARD!) but seriously...she brings out the worst in me and I just don't know how to handle it. (((vent over...whew!)))

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@Peg - Ugh - no easy answers for sure... vent away! :)
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Our parents install those buttons that makes us feel that way,I believe.My mother is a challenge also,she won't take her meds,throws dirty tp in the wastepaper basket instead of the toilet,won't shower and hoards food fro her shopping expeditions with my sister.She then eats junk all day and is sick.However,I have come to realize its the dementia,and I am not angry at her.She would never do this in her younger days,well most of it,lol.You need more time for you,out of the house,or maybe get her out so you can be alone:) My sister is supposed to be helping me and she has not been giving me any time alone.We all need it! Big hugs to you
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No, they don't want to see me or anyone else. That would be fun if they did. My brother visited two weeks ago and my niece went yesterday. . .all I hear on the phone is "we're glad they're gone", so I suspect they are happy when I leave, too! Many conversations have been made about moving them closer, but where I live it would cost them 3x's what they are paying now and financially that is out of the question. They did live 45 minutes away from me and 10 minutes away from my brother, but my step-mother had a dispute with my sister-in-law so they sold their home and moved 300 miles away from all of us! All you have said would be excellent advise in a normal situation. My brother was going to visit them one month, then I was going the next. It costs me $700 everytime. . .so that is off the chart. Gas, hotel, food. . .money that I don't have every other month and neither does my brother. I know there is no answer, just happy that I have somewhere to vent my issues.
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Oh wow, Peg - sorry to hear about that! You definitely have your plate full, don't you? I don't suppose there are any family members that live closer to them that can check up on them once in awhile for you? I don't know what type of retirement village they are in, but near us the only senior apartment-type complexes are all in name only - the only qualifications are that you have to be 55+ to live in one, and self-sufficient/independent. They don't offer any help beyond providing housing. It sounds like an assisted living complex would be better for them & would provide you with more peace of mind. I suspect they just want to see you, so they "create" issues that force you to drive down there & visit with them? Other than encouraging them to either move closer to you, or into an assisted living facility is about all you can do. Maybe have a standing date with them would help alleviate their drama (the 3rd weekend of every month, etc.)? good luck!
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Well, I was looking for someone that understood what I am going thru and WHAMMO. . .there you are! I have an elderly father and step-mother that live in a retirement village. They can go on to assisted living, then to skilled nursing. No, they want to wallow in self-pity and send me running 300 miles. I contact the head office to see what the guidelines are/and liability on their part to continue living in their apartment. The problem is - they "fake" many ailments for attention. . .a perfectly good wheel chair is in the second bedroom - unused, but so needed that it was imperative to be purchased. Now my step-mother only uses it when they are in the facility. Most of their problems are real, but we are having difficulty determining when a 300 mile trip is to be made or if a day should pass before we pack and rush down the highway. They need friendships, etc., but isolate themselves. I feel that the retirement center should have some responsibility in encouraging them out of their apartment. . .if they can't, what can I do from afar? I call them - find out the social scene - tell them to take a nice walk in the sunshine or join in activities (such as the great gym four doors down), give them a new recipe (because their eating habits are terrible), and pray they attend church services! I don't get anywhere except a headache and more problems than I can face. I am also the sole caregiver to my husband that has Alzheimer's! Double whammy!
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@Imabarbiegirl, Welcome! That's exactly what this site is for! This is about the only place where you can ask for advice on things you never thought you'd be asking for advice on, vent your frustrations and say what is on your mind and no one (usually) will judge because we've all been through the same or similar situations. Everyone has a different level of tolerance when dealing with caregiving for a parent, and I have found out mine is fairly low compared to some of the saints on this board (and I mean that in the most respectful way possible...they are saints for putting up with and handling what they do!) I do get frustrated easily and have never been good at keeping a lid on my emotions (I'm italian..what can i say? lol) but I am trying to get better at it. There are days I bite my tongue so often it should be bleeding, and others where I think "well that wasn't so bad...why can't more days be like this?" I guess the best word that describes caregiving in my opinion is "rollercoaster" - you just never know from day to day which way it's going to turn or whether you're going up or down, but you hang on for dear life and try to survive the ride! :)
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Purplesushi & Wits end...Today was the first day I actually opened up this site in my email. You are both life savers!!! I have been a caregiver for my mother for 2 years now after my best friend my Dad passed. I moved my husband and 2 teens into my mom's house to keep her happy and comfortable. I have had many pity parties for 1!! in last 2 years. I can relate to practically every thing you have mentioned. I'm not ALONE!! I guess I need to tune in here more often for some support. Reading some of the other threads even made me chuckle a little yet some brought me to tears. I knew it wouldn't be easy...but never imagined it would be like this. She is 84 with Parkinson's but basically healthy in ever other aspect. I was always closer to my Dad being only daughter of 2 children. Mom was always very critical of me all my life...has not changed. And I love who ever said if they do try and go out for some "me" time you end up paying for it when you get home! My husband is a Saint and has more patience with her and situation then I do! My children have adapted better then I thought they would. I will be checking this site daily for some inspiration and comaradery:) Thank you:)
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You might want to pick your battles. Some things, like physical therapy, are more important than others (like bleach on the clothes).

When I start acting ratty because my elderly handicapped mother is bothering me, I try to change my own reactions to her actions. At some point I just have to accept the reality of the situation (the deafness, the confusion, the exhaustion, the endless doctor's appointments, the poop) because my goal is to lead a happy useful and fulfilling life and to provide my mother with the best and happiest, healthiest life possible as well. This doesn't include too many arguments and strife and hard feelings. I'd like to preserve the cordiality of my home.

The most trivial example is that I will say something, and she says "What?" and I say it again, and get the same reaction, and after a while I get the impression she really isn't trying very hard to hear me and I raise my voice, and she looks so offended and says "Well, you don't have to yell at me..." and this goes on every day. I say "You're going deaf, and you can't hear me, so of course I have to raise my voice" and she says....well, it goes on and on. You get the picture.

So I am trying to find an alternative to getting frustrated. Because they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results... Perhaps instead of repeating myself I will take a deep breath, look her right in the face, smile and repeat myself gently while she is looking at me (instead of staring at the floor, or having her eyes closed, or looking in the other direction.

It's worth a try.
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SUSHI:

The reason our parents push our buttons so easily is because they installed them. They know exactly where they are and what it takes to make us flip at the drop of a hat.

Needy people = entrapment, and it sounds like you are a prisoner in your own home because you've allowed her to rent space in your head and take over your house.

As gently as you can, let her know who's in charge and that she needs to "get with the program" lest other living arrangements are made. ... You're certainly nobody's doormat.
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@papadoc (and everyone else!) - thank you so much for your response. I was at my wits end the day I posted that question (obviously...haha) and things have calmed down since then. I have had a LONG talk with her about her laundry issues as that has been one of the biggest sources of frustration for me. She has been a lot better about rinsing things out when needed and before I put any of her clothes into the washer I will ask if there are any "surprises" in the basket for me I should be aware of. If she says no, and I find out otherwise, I bring the article(s) of clothing back in & ask her to take care of it. So far that has only happened twice.
I still have issues with her going against orders and doing things she shouldn't be doing as far as her hip recovery goes. I spoke to her orthopedist about it, and he said "all we can do is suggest she follow the precautions, we can't force her to follow them - the responsibility lies with her at this point." I told him that if it happens again, to please know that I have done everything in my power to prevent it - she's just not working with me. He said "I understand completely - I have to say that your mother is one of my more challenging patients" haha! Challenging..I like that word. Needless to say, I am learning to choose my battles and trying really hard to take a deep breath before arguing with her over the "big stuff". Thanks for the suggestions.
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Purplesushi, it's not just a mother daughter thing. We men can have the same issues. It's a parent child thing, and I've noticed it with my kids when they come home (they are all adults now). I notice that many of the same factors that were a part of our relationships then are part of them now. We all revert to them. I see it happening so I really go out of my way to avoid my instinctive behaviors. My wife on the other hand does not. My kids see her do it, but they don't see themselves doing it until I point it out and say, we're all adults now, so let's not do this. I will cook for you but mom and I are not your maids.

There was a tendency towards that with my folks as well, and after my Dad moved in here and we had to change directions on that before we got into personal conflicts. I will say however, that my Dad was the sweetest guy, always anxious in his dementia to please others and thank us profusely, and really would try to change. He just couldn't remember to change for more than 3 minutes, so it had the same effect as him being unwilling to change.

The point is to take concrete steps to change whatever relationship you have, one step at a time. Do not buy into the baits and do something to get the behaviors you need changed. I don't know if this is going down the right path or if some or any of these things would be a good start, but:

1) Mom, if you bend over and dislocate that hip, it's going to cause you a lot of pain and trouble. We are both adults so I'm not going to tell you what to do, but if you do it again, you will cause yourself lots of pain and again spend lots of very lonely time in a recovery facility - your choice.

2) Mom, I don't have time to rinse out your clothes today so I need you to do it... or... Mom, neither of us like it when I ask you to do things for yourself and I know you don't like being treated like a child, but I need you to be rinsing out your soiled garments. I know it's unpleasant for you but it's also unpleasant for me.

3) Mom, I know you have a lot of health issues and appreciate that. But I suspect and am very happy that you will probably be here with us for a long time. However, I'm not 20 yrs old anymore either and don't have the energy or time that I once did. I am glad that you are here where I can help take care of you, but I need you to be as independent as you can be for as long as you can be. Here are some things that you can do that will help me and that I need you to do.

4) Mom, I'm not looking for an argument. I'm just looking for some help and I know you can do that for me. Can I count on you?

Don't wait for her to volunteer to take care of herself. Tell her what you need from her and treat her like any other adult. The parent-teen dynamic is an automatic thing that kicks in without intending to. Change isn't easy and will take time, so be patient. And remember that your mom has been in the same personality rut far longer than you have and may take longer to change those habits.
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purplesushi, if there's any chance of getting your mother into an assisted living facility or nursing home, i'd do it if i were you. sometimes it's the best option for ALL involved.
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Hi. Reading your dilemma, Purplesushi, prompted me to drop a post here also. I have a long story getting to the point I'm at now so I wont go into that, but at present I have both elderly parents, (Father 92, Mother 87) in rest home care. They have been there for nearly 4 years in a room together, with their own toilet. They have had to use a 'shared' shower down the hall from their room, and they go to a dining room for their meals. Basically, they have hated every moment of being there. My mother has Alzheimers disease, and is not happy to be there, but she manages to be reasonably cheerful at times. I guess she forgets all that brought them to the place they find themselves in. She is relatively spritely and faster than my Dad to move around. My Dad on the other hand, is very frail has a pacemaker and prostate cancer. He also suffers from a deep endogenous depression with paranoiac tendancies. Although he has been on medication to try and help stabilize his mood, he remains dark and his attitude is quite frankly selfish (yet in saying that, I still admire that he has stuck by my Mother, and continues to want to be there with her despite the fact they don't get on too well anymore). He hates being there the most, out of the two of them. I feel that I have had a great level of patience and tolerance for him since being in there, because I know it is totally not his nature to be 'around people'. They were both very private and independent people and going into this situation has upset them greatly. My Mother still keeps asking every time we talk when they will go home or referring to "When we get out of this place". Many alternatives were suggested to my Father, but he refused every single alternative which might have given them some sense of privacy and independence back. Would not accept home help etc. Where I'm going with this, is to say that I too find myself thinking the same sorts of things that you have. For me, EVERY time I pick them up to take them out for the day (which I usually do at least once a week - bring them to my house, give them lunch and dinner, then drop them back, so that they have a 'break' from institutionalization) I have Dad in my ear complaining about every single thing. At first I use to listen deeply to his concerns, and try to fix anything that could be fixed, but soon learned that absolutely everything I try to do seemed to only cause him to feel worse, when in a 'normal' situation, it would surely make a person feel good that someone cared and was helping them. Not my Dad - he felt trying to fix anything would incite staff to hate them (paranoia!). I use to make mental 'excuses' for him, saying to myself that being there was so foreign for both of them, plus he's having to cope with seeing my Mum slowly deteriorating with her Alz. However, it's been nearly 4 years since they first went into care, and nothing has changed. If anything, it seems worse now. I had him referred back to the psychiatrist to see if they thought a change in meds might help stabilize his mind. He does a lot of repetitive vocalizing with a couple of phrases over and over, and this drives my Mother nuts (and wears me very thin too), but the psychiatrist seemed to think that may be caused by a failure in his aging brain, which mean's certain thoughts become almost like a reflex reaction. So we are really no better off. My main point in relation to your post is that I find it so very hard to try and remain reasonable, kind, calm, and understanding. I have done my very best to always try to see things from their perspective and perhaps be more tolerant because of that, but I find lately my ability to be that way seems to fade in and out. I have moments when I verbally 'snap' at my Father, because he frustrates me so much with his negativity! I just want an ounce of co-operation or even a smile to start the day, but no! When I do lose my cool, I feel so very bad afterwards about it! I say to myself, how can you 'snap' at a 92 year old for god's sake! That is so wrong! It just seems he's always down on everything, and I hear the same barrage of woe and despair over and over and the same complaints over and over. Whenever I turn up to pick them up for a day out, you'd think I might get a cheerful hello and a sense of them looking forward to their day away, but the first thing I get is a string of negative comments about the rest home or anything else that comes into conversation I get the same thing throughout the day and then again when I drop them back in the evening. I have always listened carefully to what they tell me, because I've read of horrible stories of folks being in rest home care and being sometimes physically or mentally abused by caregivers in institutions, so I have been very 'tuned' and observant of how things are run and what is being said. However, my Father just seems to 'hate' everything and distrusts everyone. It has worn me right down to my 'sensitive bone', and like you commented, I too hate the person it seems to have made me become. I'm normally upbeat and cheeful, but my life seems to have this negative cloud that sticks to me now. Where I use to spend time talking and laughing with them both, it seems my Dad can't even string a coherent sentence together now and that makes me sad. All he does is sit around going "oh my god" over and over, yet when he focuses on something, like a book or the news, he seems fine mentally - he is able to make a sentence when he needs to, but for the most part it's just a couple of words then nothing. It's all so hard because my heart wants to take him out of care and let him have his much loved privacy back but I know the reality is they would not cope, so this is pretty much the last league of their journey they are on, and I came to a realization that it's myself that needs to somehow adjust my thinking and perspective in order to cope with both of their mental declines and their moods. I use to think ...If I do this, or do that....they will feel better. But I think I recognize that, that's not going to happen now. If only there were a way of coping better with the sense of loss that cannot be avoided. It's the hardest journey to watch those you love declining at the end of their lives and to know there is nothing more you can do to help them. My kindest wishes to you, and anyone else trying to understand and cope with this sort of situation. Each one is unique, and I guess each way of finding the solutions and mechanisms to cope are different. There's not a 'one size fits all' answer I'm afraid. :( Hugs to you all regardless! Hang in there!
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We are never going to change them, so I guess it's pointless in trying. What we ARE able to do, however, is break that pattern with our own kids and grandkids and hopefully they keep paying it forward from this point on. Maybe in a couple of generations, our families won't be dysfunctional anymore...haha! :op I'm just glad I found this board so I can vent about it...it really does feel good getting stuff off your chest instead of keeping it bottled up! BTW - My mom has been remarkably mild-mannered this week and I have actually enjoyed her company at dinner AND she didn't complain about the food tonight either...hmm...she must not be feeling well...haha (just kidding).
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Purplesushi- good for your husband! Yeah- MIL seems confused and annoyed by our desire to spend time wih our children. We have some friends we go out with regularly, and the young adult children from all families usually go out with us. She was completely confused by this. Told my my husband that she would never invite her children to go out with her friends (I have never known her to have any). Not only would they not be invited, they would not be welcome. So sweet.
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Well they say as parents we either mirror our own parents behaviors, or we parent in the complete opposite direction...thank goodness I went 180* the other way. I remember hearing "you'll spoil the baby" comments from both my mother and my grandmother. My grandmother had 14 children (the duty of an irish catholic wife) - none of them were "wanted" -they were looked upon as another mouth to feed during the depression. I suspect this is why my mother behaves the way she does - she doesn't "get" being close to your children or WANTING to spend time with them. My kids are over here all the time - my grandsons are here at least 3 times a week - I love spending time with them. My mother, on the other hand, sees them as an annoyance. Always telling them to be quiet...find something quiet to do. They couldnt' even enjoy their Christmas gifts because they were being too "noisy" (i.e. - excited and happy). My husband finally told her that if they bother her so much, he's sure his (deceased) mother would gladly trade places with her just for the chance to spend time with the great-grandchildren she never knew...he said "you don't even realize how lucky you are". That shut her up.
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Purplesushi- it is sad. I am sad for my children as my mother passed away when they were young. This is their "grandmother experience", which is so different than my own. I feel sad for my husband, who tries so hard to please someone who will never be pleased. On the positive side, her emotionally absent parenting resulted in him being a very involved, enthusiastic father. He is 1000 times the parent she ever was. When she critizes his parenting and is so condescending to him, I want to scream. I assume she is borderline, or more appropriately- over the line :). I wish I could feel sad for her. I know something must have happened in her life to cause her to be so miserable, but there is nothing I can do about that. I am not willing to continue to subject my family to the negative atmosphere she seems to enjoy, especially minor children. This is their home, and it is feeling more like a prison. JessieBelle- you described her parenting philosophy to a T. I remember when we had our first. She scolded me for holding our 5 day old baby too much as she said the baby would think she was the center of my world. I never took any of her parenting advice seriously after that. Thanks for letting me vent.
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It isn't so uncommon. My own parents went for 10 years without calling me. Before then, my mother would call on my birthday. If I questioned them about it, my mother would have some excuse -- nothing to talk about, didn't like my husband, too busy. One time when we were living in separate cities, they were 30 miles from my house on a trip, but didn't even call or come by. She still doesn't call my brothers unless I push her to do it. This is one reason I am not upset with my brothers about not being involved. The parents were not involved with us beyond feeding us when we were young, why should I expect them to be involved with my parents?

There are some people who never figured out what it meant to parent. For many it meant give birth and feed, but they didn't learn about nurturing and loving. My parents were actually relieved when my oldest brother died, because he had become a thorn in their paw. This is a mighty icy family. I hope when I die I am given a chance to come pack and pick out a Walton family. I would love that.
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Wow, mywitsend...that is really sad. I don't know how a person can be so cold - is she bipolar or borderline? I forgot.
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Lavender123- no worries. I do understand the loss of control and loneliness. For some though, they are reaping a lifetime of selfish behavior. It is hard to muster up a lot of compassion when one has been so nasty and neglectful of others their whole lives. It makes it that more infuriating when they show zero appreciation for what you are doing for them. MIL has never had any interest in her children or grandchildren. She is down right mean to the grandchildren, and always has been. One of the siblings died in an accident, leaving teen children with no parents. Understandably, a very troubling time. MIL's only reaction what to reclaim some family items she had given sibling (mostly junk). No hugs or I love you's for the children left with nothing. She has since not even sent a birthday card. They are now young adults and doing well, but we were the ones who helped them through it- without even moral support from MIL. So, when she boo hoos that none of the grandchildren call her or are interested in her history- who could blame them. I really wish I could be more sympathetic, but I am not. A lifetime of narcissistic behavior has caught up with her.
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Sounds like we're all in the same boat. I too get the 3rd degree anytime I go anywhere - it drives me insane. She ALWAYS makes mention in the morning of what time I went to bed the night before - as if I'm a child who is in trouble for staying up too late??? I often wonder if I were caregiving for a complete stranger, if the same questions would bug me as much - if they only bug me BECAUSE it's my mother, you know what I mean?? Something to think about I guess.
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MyWitsEnd - I guess I was just trying to make myself feel better. My mother is a controlling person too. Now she is having to accept that I am in the drivers seat. Today, she "allowed" me to go have coffee with a friend of mine. When I got home she asked me why I was gone so long. I had a flat tire on the way home and had to get a new tire. Oh well, she says one thing and then changes her mind right away. ALL THE TIME!!!!!!! Take care there and I will do the same. Purple sushi - When I was working full time I spent my only weekday off taking my mom to the doctor. I hated it but did it for her and resented it at the same time. I feel the same now that I am not working. When I try to take care of myself I pay for it later. Please take time out for you. I do as much as I can.
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Deep down I think we all "know" why our parents/inlaws/whatever act the way they do - it has to be hard to accept the fact that you really aren't in control of your life anymore and need help...their body has turned against them and they can no longer care for themselves completely. I am sympathetic to that, and that part of the equation has never been the issue. The issue is that suddenly there is a person who is living in my home that doesn't make the effort (in my opinion) to adjust to OUR household and our routines. She wants things done the way she has always had them done in HER household, and fails to realize those were a lot of the reasons I married and moved out over 30 years ago. Since she has been here, I find I have regressed emotionally to the teen I was when I left her home, and I don't like it one bit. I don't feel that my entire household should have to bend to her will when it would be so much easier if SHE could bend just a little to ours, or at least make that effort. I feel as though my life has been placed on hold so she can have a full-time housekeeper, cook, chauffeur, laundry service, and errand-runner. I spent years at home raising my children (who are all grown and married now), and I NEED to be out in the working world preparing for my own retirement. I guess deep down I am resentful of the fact that seemingly overnight my life's plan changed in a direction I didn't see it going, and I'm not happy with it and I'm not dealing with it as well as some on here are. Obviously she is my mother and I'm not going to throw her out on the street - she is sick and frail and needs me....but I don't have to be happy about that either. Where do I go from here? I don't know. My husband told me I should just keep submitting resumes, get a part-time job to where I have a day or two a week reserved for my mom's doctor appointments and what-not, and go from there. He doesn't go to work until 1 pm, so he will just have to deal with her in the mornings until he leaves for work. That just might be the direction I have to go for my sanity's sake.
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Lavenar23- I can definately appreciate that, but this is a life long behavior of being extremely controlling and just plain mean. This is very hard to take when she is living in our house and trying to control everything. We have teens in our home, and she is not in control of parenting. No amount of telling her this helps. We are all hiding in our own home. That just can't go on.
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MyWitsEnd - I know it is hard but I know that my mother just feels that she is losing her independence and she wants to do things the way she likes them done. My mother has a problem with the way I clean her house so she doesn't let me do it. She wants to do it but she cannot anymore. It took me two weeks to clean her bathroom because she wanted to do it herself and believe me it needed it due to the fact that she has incontinence and recently had diarhea. I finally gave her a little task to do in the bath and was able to clean it with her help. They just want the old days back when they could do for themselves. Take care and have a great new year.
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PurpleSushi- same issues here. MIL definately sees herself as queen of the castle. She is constantly complaining about things not done her way. Tonight was an incident where she claims to know our teen son better than we do. This is laughable, as he stays as far away from her as possible. I don't know of any way to dethrone the queen. We are starting to pursue assisted living options. It seems like the only way.
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Oh she does push buttons - definitely. For instance, she waits until we're out of sight to do stuff she shouldn't be doing, like bending over while sitting in her wheelchair to pick up something off the floor - something she was told specifically not to do so she doesn't dislocate her new hip again (forgot to mention she's already dislocated it once by ignoring her precautions). She has a grabber thingy, so she has no excuse. Some days I just ignore those types of things and others I say something. If I say too much, I'm treating her like a baby...if I don't say anything at all, I don't care. I can never be right no matter what I do. Today, for instance, is a "patient day" for me - she hasn't gotten on my last nerve and we actually had a pretty nice conversation about the family, etc. I wish more days were like that. Don't get me wrong - I'm probably not the easiest person to live with either and she probably has a list of gripes about me as well - I guess it's that whole mother-daughter dynamic ("2 cooks in the kitchen") that is the biggest hurdle to overcome. She is living in my home, and not the other way around...but she still feels as if she's the one that calls the shots in how this house is run. Maybe it's more of a control issue than anything? I don't know. What I do know is that either I'm going to have to learn how to be a lot more patient with her (easier said than done), or she's going to have to learn that she is no longer the "queen of the castle" so to speak, and let me have control of my home (that I have had for 30 years now) and to keep silent on the criticism when things aren't done the way she would do them if it were her house. Boy this is not easy...not at all.
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I might be wrong, but I wonder if your mother isn't pressing your buttons so to speak which means needing some emotional detachment with love. Glad to hear your husband is a saint, but I hope you can find some ways for you two to have some time together.
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We do have a PT & home nurse come about 3 times a week (the PT due to her hip, and the home nurse due to the ulcer on her toe that hasn't healed in over a year), but they don't really give me a break of any kind as I feel like I need to be here when they are here because my mom doesn't hear well so I need to be there to make sure she's hearing what they're saying. The podiatrist keeps talking about removing the ulcerated toe, but my mom is fighting him on it...I guess she's waiting until her entire foot is involved before she takes him seriously.

Mom finally "qualified" for Medi-Cal, but because she makes 100/month "too much", her share of cost is over $650/month. Absolutely ridiculous. We have changed her insurance over from Medicare HMO to a Medigap plan instead (the premiums are higher so it reduces her income). As for IHSS she was in the SNF for 3 months, and so they denied her that because they said she didn't "need" the in home support, so now that she is home we get to start that process over again. I swear, it's one thing right after another - it's enough to make a person want to scream.

I think if I weren't going through perimenopause while all of the above is going on I'd probably be able to handle it a little better, but boy these mood swings and hot flashes are killers!!! My husband is really a saint for putting up with me lately, I'll tell you that! haha!
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I know how you feel. I feel so guilty sometimes about how I am with her. I am trying not to treat her like a child but that what she says she feels like. I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop and walking on egg shells but then it really has always been this way with her . I finally called her primay care doctor and he ordered a PT, OT and a medical social worker. Hopefully, it will get better, Now we are enjoying exercising together. I hope you will have a great new year. Take care of yourself okay. Take a bubble bath they help me a lot.
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