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My 94 year old mother needs 24 hour care with meds, meals personal care, dressing, etc. She refuses to go to a small group home and is not happy with the home care being given. As the only child(son), I am being blamed for everything that has happened. She is doing her best to make me fell guility because I will not move in and take care of her. At the age of 61, having looked after her for many years in increasing degrees, I feel it is time for my wife and I to have some time for ourselves. How do I deal with these behaviors which are being used to put me into a guilt trip?? I should add that she has very competent and caring people looking after her. Any suggestions would be appreciated as I am a rookie at this.
Thanks for your consideration.
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Hi edwjr.. ...and welcome...

What you are going through with your mom is soooo common..For so many different reasons a lot of parents do this to their children.
You did not mention what her health problems are..Perhaps some of it is fright, anger and frustration at herself for losing some of her independence, or it could even be compounded by some meds she is on?

If you are set in your decision to not move in with her then you must convey to her this, in a loving way, explaining why, and as hard as it is, not let the guilt get to you too much. My father is good for his guilt trips(I am an only child too), but I try to handle with with a sense of humor, and usually by doing that, I win out..lol.
It is hard to make someone feel guilty when they are putting you in such a good mood.

Some of this too comes from the generation they were brought up in, where parents ruled the family, no ifs, ands, or buts. When they became elderly some family member would take them in and that is where they would live out their years, way back there was no such thing as Home Care, etc.

It does take a bit of perserverence to overcome this guilt feeling, mine still creeps in there at times, but I know my dad knows I care, and most times he does it just out of frustration and boredom.
Our relationship seems a lot better now too, now that he can see I am going to stand my ground, he knows I would never let him down with anything important, but he has come to accept that I have my own life too, which does not mean entertaining him on a daily basis.

I think there are some caregiving articles on this site pertaining to guilt..they might help some too...But you must somehow work through your feelings or have them eat at you forever...

Let us know how you are doing...
Take care....
PrairieGal
Hello Edwjr

Welcome. I am sure you have seen in the postings under caring for an elderly parent that you are not alone in your current situation.

Prairie Gal has touched on much of what I would have said. The most important concept you might want to focus on is that your mom cannot make you feel guilty. What you choose to do; how you choose to react is you accepting guilt into your life. There are so many dynamics that take place between a parent and an adult child. Many of them are patterns that have run both your lives since you were a child. The truth is that they probably didn't work for either of you all along but they have gotten you to where you are at this point. Awaress is 90% of being able to shift and make changes in your perceptions, your beliefs and attitude towards your mother and the situation.

I am not quite sure that you are a rookie to this. You have probably been there for her all along in siutations that may not seem as huge as this one. Perhaps even enabling her in the past as well.

There are some wonderful articles in the Experts area here at the site as well as in the caregiving articles area. There are also some excellent journal exercises that can help you in processing what you want to in order to change the situation and be able to set boundaries.

Researching and reading them does take time. Time is something you give to yourself to do your own inner work to heal, let go and resolve old habitual patterns and beliefs that have bound you. It is a committmant. You may get it in the instant of one article or phrase and you may also find that if you still have difficulty, that you seek some professional help so that you can resolve it once and for all.

We are all children of that higher power. We are all here to live our lives more fully. Living life fully means the ups and downs. Most of us live the downs real fully, but when it comes to letting, joy, peace, and love fill our lives with more completeness, it becomes a different siutation. The good news is that any given moment we always have choices. Choose to live your life more fully in love.

Please keep us posted.

Richest blessings
Gail
I am also an only child. My mom's cancer come on quickly and as a big shock to me. She is only 63 yrs. old. It started as colon cancer and metasted to her liver. Her doctor says she has time to get her things in order....she is not only puts guilty trips on me...but saying hateful and hurtful things...I can't do anything right anymore and if I question anything...she gets offended and very upset with me...I can't get her to tell me things I need to know about. I feel the burden of needing to know the status of her business...she is not one to allow this information and approaching it is something I don't know how to do at all. One day she is loving and seems to care, the next she is like an enemy ready to jump me out of nowhere...please help me....I am so tired of this....judy please email me with anything to help....desperately seeking help...jseale9819@aol.com
Hi katie..and welcome...

I am so sorry about your mom...
Some of her attitude may be due to the frustration of having cancer..any life threatening disease is so hard for the person who has it and the family to deal with...
Are there any cancer support groups in your area you could attend?
And yes, you are right...you should know what is going on with her financial situation, etc, if you are to provide and help her with the best possible care. If she should become too incapacitated and you will need to do it all for her it certainly will make things much easier.
I think if you cannot talk to her alone about this, try getting in touch with a social worker, or trusted clergyperson to be there and help you through it.
Having a social worker step in and assist me with my stubborn father made all the difference in the world. In so many cases the ill person takes everything out on the ones who care and want to help the most...
You also must not let the guilt trips get to you...it is just something they do out of anger and frustration...especially the frustration of becoming less independent and having to rely on their children for assistance...you KNOW you are a loving and caring person who is doing the best you can, so focus on that whenever the feelings of guilt are present...
Please keep us posted as to how things are going....and if you would like more support and a place to let more out take in some of the chats at this site...
Take care...
PrairieGal
Dear Edwjr,

When I mother, who has alzheimers, came to live with me, made me feel guilty about so many things despite the fact everything I did revolved around her and I also have very good help to care for her while I work.
At a point, I just had to set back and survey the things I am doing for her and say to myself, I am doing a good job and doing the best that I can and that's all I can do. After I did that, then her remarks didnt' bother me as much. You must just try and overlook the remarks and know that you are doing a good job. And know that you and your wife deserve a life too. I take my Mother to s senior citizens center 3 days a week. Does she like going? NO! but I desperately need the time to myself. If you don't take care of yourself first, then you will begin to resent her. Linda
Dear katie,

As a nurse, I have seen many stages of grief that patients go through. My sister who has ovarian cancer and doing well at the moment. When she was first diagnosed, she went through the stages of grief as did I for her. First you are shocked, then disbelief, then anger and sometimes and then sometimes not acceptance. Your Mother is going through the stages of grief and it sounds like she is in the anger stage. When my sister was there, I waited for her to start talking to me and eventually she did. Maybe, all you can say to your Mom, "Mom, I am here when you want to start talking about everything." This is very difficult for you also and you are going through the grieving process right now, whether you realize it or not. And when you are around your Mom, then she hopefully, will start talking to you about her feelings and her business. As a nurse, with my sister, I just wanted to fix it for her and heal her, but I eventually realized that I couldn't cure her, but I could be there for her when she needed me and that's all that you can do. Unfortunately to a certain extent, your Mom is going to have to take this journey alone, but you can be there at every stop, to let her know that you love her and care and will be there for support, and that won't be easy for you either. Linda

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