I’m new here & I’m already tired | Caregiver Action Network

I’m new here and I’m already tired

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Tiredalready75's picture
I’m new here and I’m already tired

Hi everyone, my name is Lynda and I am 57 years old. I am retired and caring for my 92-year-old widowed mother.  I moved down here in May 2021 to care for her full-time.

mom doesn't need much assistance with things, but because she has dry macular degeneration, heart issues, diabetes, and uses a wheeled walker she needs me to help her with writing checks, paying her bills, getting her food and drinks, groceries, etc. I really don't mind doing any of that. However, what I DO mind is the times that she acts like a spoiled, undisciplined two-year-old. It's almost like she's got a Jekyll and Hyde personality.

She has a tendency to say rude, sarcastic, hurtful things to me. If I refuse to accept her comments, or try to defend myself, she goes into a rage, accuses me of everything you can think of (except stealing or trying to murder her LOL), tells me I will not let her talk, or says I "have an attitude but [I] don't think so."  I have tried very hard to be reasonable, firm, and loving in the times she has criticized me.  But she complains about that too. 

She insists she still has her mind, and will go out of her way to convince everyone of it. She refuses to be tested, doesn't want to go to a nursing home or assisted living facility, etc.  i'm not 100% sure she does still have her mind. Because she can't see very well she easily becomes confused. She also misunderstands things, & misreads/mishears things. She wears hearing aids but often you have to raise your voice to make her understand, as well as enunciate your words.

I live with Mom at her home, and have offered to pay my portion of the bills. However, she and I agreed that in lieu of payment for my services, she would instead pay the bills.  I try to make her understand that I absolutely Will not accept money from her. I tell her it's because I do not want to be dependent on her, but it's really because she equates money with love and thinks if she helps you financially, she's entitled to tell you what to do with your life.

we live out in the country, with limited resources. I recently had to trade in Mom's 12 year old car that was beat up and beyond repair for a 2015 one. I only received $2000 per month from my pension, and I pay bills on about 60% of it. I'd like to move out, but I just can't afford a mortgage payment. 

i'm sure some of you can relate, and I hope none of you have to care for a Jekyll & Hyde loved one. I think my mom might be a narcissist but not 100% sure, because she is not an overt type. She will constantly say that she is not perfect but she acts like she does nothing wrong.

She will stop at nothing to

She will stop at nothing to persuade everyone that she is still thinking. She won't take the test, won't move into an assisted living or nursing home, etc. I'm not sure if she really does still be thinking. She easily gets confused because she has poor vision. She also misreads, misunderstands, and misconstrues things. She has hearing aids, but you frequently have to speak louder and clearlyer than she can hear you.

apontem108's picture
RE: I’m new here and I’m already tired

I know exactly how you feel. I moved in with her to help my mom as well. except I work full time. At least, I telework, so I can take care of her meals and her care. I tried Visiting Angels, but all they did was to sit there and listen to her and feed her, her lunch. Except for one of them who tried to give her a bath, but after just one experience with mom. she called in next day to her agency that "she had a family emergency and would not be able to help my mother." My mother has always heen a difficult person; and in retrospect, she has had mental issues since my teens.  I had to Baker Act her two years ago because her home was awful. Her hoarding was absolutely digusting. There were even roaches coming out of her toilet. She would refuse for my brother and met to come in and help her clean out the place. She kept getting lost and we often got phone calls from police officers who found her here and there. I tried calling local resources here in Orlando, but they wouldn't return my calls. I even tried calling the elder abuse line and that seemed to work. They came in to do an assessment and because she answered his questions correctly. they said they couldn't do anything. It wasn't until an officer Davis of the sherrif's department told me what to do that I finally was able to get her taken to a hospital. They diagnosed her with Dementia.  My brother and I placed her in a home, but that place turned out to be a nightmare. She developed a serious rash and I couldn't really examine her myself because of the COVID quarantine at that facility. It seemed like someome got infected every month or so. It wasn't until she showed me the rash on her body through the glass window that I saw she was scratching her skin off. So. I moved out of my own place to come care for her, but only after having her place renovated. We threw away so much stuff. You wouldn't believe the amount of crap she had in this place. You couldn't even walk in the bedrooms. She slept in the lving room, surrounded by roaches and a total mess. At least, I have the support of my brother but he too is overwhelemed with his own family problems. At least he is the POA and I take care of her healthcare needs. The problem is now her paranoia is getting worse and refuses to take her meds, or bathe on a daily basis. The nights are the worst. She gets worse after sundown. I could care less about her negative comments. I have lived with those since my teens. The problem I have is that she is not cooperating with her healthcare. And it is now becoming a health hazzard. I rarely sleep myself because I fear she might get hurt while I am sleeping. So, if I hear the slighest noise I am leaping from my bed just to make sure she hasn't gone down the stairs or crawled into the shower. Getting help from a nursing service would devour her pension. I pay for the bills and food and her medicine, clothing and my brother pays for her bills since he is the POA. Believe me, I would love to put her in a home, but it would not be the best, and I will not pay extra for a "luxury place" because the experience was awful. We were paying an extra $2,000 a month and we chose that facility because they claimed they were all about safety.  There are days that I just want to get in my car and keep driving until I leave the State. The only thing that holds me back is that I don't want ot throw everything on my brother. I am beyond tired at this point. it does feel better to just be able to type this.