Mom is making our lives miserable.

by Jane

My 89 year old mother has mild dementia and arthritis and lives in an assisted living facility. She had me later in life, so I am only 45 and have two young children.

Along with my sister, I have cared for my mother and father (now deceased, who had severe Alzheimer's) for the past nine years, since my daughter was just born. I work full time in a very stressful job (I run the company), and my husband is a workaholic who does not help around the house.

Mom has psycho/social issues and suffers from severe paranoia. She calls the banks all the time and tells them that her daughter is stealing from her. She calls our relatives (who do not live nearby) and tells them how terrible the places are where she lives and how poorly she is being treated (but we have her in some of the best rated places in the country).

She lies to them about what she is doing (she says she does nothing) and the places where she lives - trying to make people feel sorry for her. No place is good enough for her - so we've had to move her seven times in eight years. We fear that they will kick her out of the current facility because she is so much trouble. She is also a hypochondriac (has been since I was a teenager) and a chronically depressed individual (boy writing this makes me sound like it, too!).

Anyway, she calls me multiple times a day, moaning or screaming in pain. Yesterday, it was because she was constipated - she was screaming to go to the hospital. Anything to get meds - she lives for them.

It's so upsetting to my children. She calls early morning on the weekends and my nine year old answers - she moans into the phone and scares my little girl. My mother doesn't like children and doesn't want her grandchildren around. She hid all of their pictures. Sometimes I have to get a babysitter to watch my kids in order to take my mother out to the ice cream parlor, because she doesn't want the kids around.

It is very hurtful - all of the terrible things she is saying about my sister and I to the relatives, neighbors, local businesses - anyone she can find to listen. My brother completely disconnected from the situation - he has not helped in nine years, and hasn't even called in two.

I would love to have some free time for friends, but I find myself to tired and strung out to be great company.

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You Are Not Alone
by: Anonymous

Please know that there are many people of our generation in this situation. I am a 55 year old never married man.

My mother was making me miserable often when I was taking care of her. In assisted living she is not always very pleasant to visit. She has un diagnosed psychological issues. I often feel guilty but don't know what to do. I'm tired after work and sometimes my visits with her drain me even further.

by: Anonymous

My husband has durable POA For his sister who is 93 and is assisted living. My husband is 81 and in pretty good heath, but has become so depressed.

She had mismanaged her financial affairs by subscribing to numerous magazines, ordering from catalogs, buying warranties on years old appliances, signed a three year contract for home security with two years left $800.

She is a hoarder, so bought everything on her credit card which had unauthorized purchases on it. She has collectible plates, books etc. etc., which she thinks are very valuable and will bring in lots of money in an estate sale.

She lived alone 'til fell and broke her hip, had rehab three weeks, moved to assisted living.
She was living in filth, but refused to move from her house.

We are going through everything to find important papers, cleaning and trying to prepare the house for sale. It is overwhelming.

I am Almost where You Are
by: Ann

I am responding to your post as it closely matches my situation.

I am 47, mother 84. While my mother is in an acceptable facility, she is needy and I have young children (9/6) and work full time as an attorney. My mother calls and requests things that she needs immediately (!) She has mild dementia, but some long standing mental health issues as well. This results in behaviors that are odd and require management. Physical health is okay, but age-related decline, incontinence, etc.

Many siblings, but only one who is truly involved. Others have "disconnected." I recently put my foot down with my family about paying for some services that my mother needed.

The reality is that not only is my time limited, I am now feeling so much resentment that I have so many peers who are not in this situation and they do not understand my depression and frustration. (I am also consumed with jealousy that they are "free.") Struggling a lot and searching for support.

Create Space for Yourself
by: Anonymous

You need to do something before you breakdown, or get a problem with your health or marriage.
Get away for a few weeks. Don't pick up the phone if its from your mother. Don't give in to her demands. She is already spreading all sorts of nasty things about you so a few more won't matter.You need to create some space for yourself in this situation, for your own health and sanity. Do it without feeling guilty.

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