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My 81-year-old mother is a domineering and controlling person. She would think nothing of belittling, badgering, and/or verbally abusing her children to achieve her goals or desires. About 7 years ago she was diagnosed with Parkinson and 3 � years ago started to showed early signs of dementia. At that time I became her full time caregiver, my brother had passed away and my sister lives 100 miles away and was no help. I have basically been on duty 24/7 since that time with very little breaks. If my sister would come in for a weekend, my mother would insist that the family must be together and would badgering me until I would come over and be with her and my sister. Thus no relief from care giving because my mother would look to me to help her even though my sister has there. Her dementia has gotten progressively worse over the years. I have become more depressed and my husband says that I have caregiver burn out. Four months ago she broke her hip and has been in a rehab nursing home since that time. I visit her almost every day (between 2 to 6 hours a day) on her insistences. If I do not show up, she calls me and pulls all her tricks to get me to do things (guilt trips, pleading, begging, badgering, abusing what ever it takes to make break down and agree to her wishes). She has no idea why she is in the nursing home and wants out. Everyday no matter if I am there 2 hours or 4 hours she constantly asks, pleads, begs to come home the entire time of the visit. It is driving me nuts. I�m at the point that I believe I hate her. Every health care professional I ask, says that she is not able/capable to be left alone and must have 24/7 care. I have told her that we would have to hire a person to take care of her if she came home. She refuses and agrees only to a maid once a week and tells me that I can take of her. I can�t give her 24/7 care without leaving my husband. Our home is not big enough for me to bring her home to my house so I have been resisting her constant demands to come home. I have told her why she can�t come home in a positive matter per what counselors and physiologists have told me to do. Nothing has changed, the next visit she insists I take her home. I have thought of staying away from her and not answering the phone for a long period (2 weeks or more), in hopes that maybe she would become dependent on the nursing home staff for help. But I can bring myself to do that. I am afraid that I will eventually be badgered into bring her home and ruining my life. Has anyone had a person in a nursing home who constantly asks to come home? How did you stop the requests?
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Hi Phillie...and welcome..

Yours is a tough dilemma...There really are no easy/quick answers...A lot of your mom's "habits" are probably ingrained from many years ago , a lot also brought on by her dementia...She may also be so insistent to be with you because she is scared and feels only you will do right by her...
I was not sure from your post..is this home she is in now somewhere where she will be staying or is it just for her hip rehab?
If she will be released you are going to have to come up with some plan for her care..leaving a person to live alone with any dementia can be dangerous.
As for the guilt trips she lays on you...I went through the same thing with my dad...I finally made up my mind that I was NOT going to allow this anymore, as I have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. I just could not run every time he connived something up..not only is it tiring, but I felt so used/angry when I would fall for this. I have had several little "talks" with him when he does start in...and have learned to handle a lot of his "crisis" with a sense of humor. Sometimes he gets very pouty, but I have learned to just let him pout...he WILL get over it... ...and the use of humor has been working very well..I can get him laughing and smiling in no time now and he seems to treat me a lot better.
I know you do not want to be mean to your mother, as I did not to my dad, but in the same breath they cannot and should not use guilt trips to maintain what should be a loving relationship between parent and child. Also, and I am sure you are finding this out...the more you give in, the more they want. You have to try to set boundaries, practice them..and see how she handles them. If you do it in a caring way, explaining how you feel to her...it may work...
Please keep up posted how things are going...or join us in a chat...
Take care...
P.G.
Hello Philly and Welcome

Prairie Gal has written a lot of truth. Recently my mother was hospitalized and more demanding of me than ever before. She was frustrated, fearful and in need of constant care.

I must admit it, I lost it a few times..her hospitalization came at a time when my work load was extremely important and heavy...work that had to be completed with time schedules.

I began to wonder to myself. Deep down inside my mother loves me...she has shared it many a time when she was stable and clear. While she doesn't have a dementia, there were her old ways of invoking guilt that cropped up daily.

I listened to what I have shared many a time before with other caregivers. NO ONE....ABSOLUTELY NO ONE...CAN MAKE US FEEL GUILTY AND NO ONE CAN PUT THE GUILT TRIP ON US, UNLESS WE ACCEPT IT.

So once again, I went within myself to seek why I was allowing myself to feel guilt. Was it the old need I had carried so long to be accepted by her? Was it because I had some fixed feelings about my own caregiver's role? Was I just burned out trying to burn all the candles all at once?

There is much to glean from our own interactions and reactions to others and how they treat us, as well as what they demand and expect from us.

I too, would like to know if the rehab your mom is in will become the nursing facility she can remain in. What stages of dementia is she in?

I think that perhaps your hubby who you are so close to is sensitive enough to objectively support you in coming in touch with your own burnout. When someone enters stages of dementia, many a time, their older patterns become more intensified as their illnesses take over their mind.

Somewhere along the line, we must get in touch with the little girl within us that wants to please our parents so much. We are mature adults. It sometimes is a matter of shifting our perceptions and not needing any more from them ourselves. What is it that you are seeking from your mother? You must trust to go within yourself and search for the answers that are keeping you bound to her needs.

If you can shift your perception, you will be able to accept her demands as part of what many older people go through in homes.. wanting to leave and go back to their own homes when they are not able to care for themselves properly. You have had professionals support you, yet somewhere you are holding on to something that you must work through.. when your mom is clear, she may be into denial for her condition and situation...when the dementia is ruling her, she has no control at all...and you are giving your power over to both...

be gentle and nurturing with yourself... rather than beating yourself up.. perhaps you can work with some of the professionals who have guided you to help you come to terms with what is really happening.. and to come into your own by being strong, setting boundaries and not accepting the guilt.

Your heart is big..it is loving... as are most caregiver's hearts... it is equally important that you love and care for your own spirit in the ways that you want to help your mom.

Please keep us posted...come visit with us in the chats...

richest blessings Philly.

Gail
Thank you for your comments. I�m sorry I did not make it clear � the rehab home is also a long-term care facility. Her dementia is at a stage where she has no short-term memory, has little or no abstract thinking ability (can�t tell time, can�t use a TV remote, etc), has �sundowners�. Add to this the fact that the Parkinson medicine causes hallucinations. I have tried humor with her but have been told many many times this is not a laughing matter, that I should stop goofing off and get serious. I wish I could have talks with her but it is always the same topic day in day out. �When can I go home�. I will explain why she can�t come home etc. and she will look at me and say �OK I have something serious to tell you, �you must take me home now, no more excuses, do it now or else�. I start the routine all over again. I try every day to keep the guilt trip from affecting me but it is extremely hard since she has been doing it to me for 47 years. It was good advice to try a find what trigger the guilt feelings. When I have some time I will do some deep thinking. After posting this yesterday, I had my sister (11 years older than me) go to your Website and read it and other postings. She called me and we had a long talk last night (1st serious conversation in over a year). She admitted that she moved away because of our mother and that she feels that she mentally abused us as children and has no intention of helping her in her time of need. She says she doesn�t want to open up old wounds by being around her too much. My mother and sister-in-law have not talked since my mother told her that she feels she killed my brother (who died of a heart attack 6 years old). So my mother's only help is my husband (who mom also has dementia, but at least, he has caring sisters to help) and myself. Off to the nursing home. Thanks again.
Phillie:
You have my sympathy. You are really in
a bad situation. My own Mom had cancer but no dementia; still, her 5 years of illness was rough, even though I lived in another state.
Even now, and she has been dead many years, I catch myself playing the old tapes in my head that she put there when I was growing up. Parents are such a strong influence on their children and I think that, usually, they do not even realize it themselves. I am sure your Mom is probably playing the old tapes in her head from her childhood and from yours. The sad thing IS, we cannot turn off the tape when someone is ill and helpless because of our love for them and our own good concience.
I wish I could help you but I cannot. I try to remember the saying "Sometimes God saves from the storm, but sometimes he just carries us through the storm." I pray that Christ through his Spirit will give you the wisdom, peace of mind, and strength to deal with this storm. Also, I pray that he will help your Mother as no human is capable of doing.
Nina
Dear Phillie....
I take care of my husband and when he was very ill, my oldest son felt the need to move away and was concerned about not being here to help out so that I wouldn't have it all to do myself...my response to him was " don't sacrifice yourself to the Great Mom God "...and that's my advice to all adult children who find themselves having to choose between their families and their parents...

The plain fact is, judging from what I've read, your mother is in need of professional care that is beyond your expertise. You would be doing her a major disservice to allow her to talk you into taking her from a place where she is getting that care.

The other plain fact is, she's in good hands and you've got a family to think of. Daily visits of the duration you speak of are not helping you or her. Maybe you should get an answering machine and let the phone ring. That way you would get the message if it was the home calling and still not allow your mother constantly phone you.

I know this may sound harsh until you think of the fact that you wouldn't allow your children to run the family because they haven't the maturity and wisdom to do so and it would be unsafe. Like wise your mother hasn't the ability to head a family or even make wise choices for herself and must receive professional help.

So, my advice is to love yourself, love your family and love your mother enough to slowly and gently wean her from you so that you all are able to function the way you were intended to.

I realize this is a hard thing to do; but it will get easier as time goes by. Love her enough to let her go and love yourself and your family enough to resume your rightful place there.

God bless and keep you and send you peace...Pat
{{{{Philly}}}

I hope you continue to post and even try and get into the chats. You really have a huge undertaking.

I am glad that your sister was able to share with you what she was feeling towards your mom. Each of us deals with issues of abuse in our own way. It is a blessing when you can work through it while the one who has caused the pain is still alive... letting go of guilt and knowing that you are ok is so important as a caregiver surrounding these issues. Hopefully you can receive more support here and perhaps offline, to help bring more love, joy, and peace into your life. I pray that it will become easier for you and that your sister as well will seek out the support she needs.

Richest blessings in all you are doing.
Gail

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