Does anybody else’s parents make them feel guilty for not doing enough. She lives by herself and can do things independently. She has Parkinson’s and arthritis and my dad died 21 years ago.

I go up 3 times a week and stay there all day. Not including if she wants anything dropped off. She tells me not to go up but if I don’t go up she is constantly saying she is by herself all of the time and does everything by herself.

She asks me to book hairdressing appointments then says her hair is too short so she doesn’t want to go then she complains that I never take her to the hairdressers.

She won’t go out by herself and I literally do everything I can for her even though I have my own family and work nightshift. I can’t share any joy with her as she says she wishes she could do that and that she doesn’t have the opportunity. I ask her all of the time if she wants to go out does she need anything, shall I hoover, do you want me to iron all I get is no but then she complains that I don’t do anything. I have an older sister and brother they go up maybe once a month and once a fortnight but when they go they are the best.

I'm just so tired and it’s really affecting my mental health. Just wondering if I’m alone in this or does this happen quite regularly.

I think you are at the poinit where you have to have her medically assessed by her doctor for cognitive and memory impairment. If you have an official diagnosis and measurement you can at have context for what she is saying and doing and needing.

Do you have DPoA? If not, this is a very important legal step to take. I would take your mother to a certified elder law attorney who can explain the importance of having a legally assigned PoA, an Adance Healthcare Directive, Will, etc. The attorney will interview your mother privately to decide whether she comprehends what assigning a PoA means for her. If she seems competent to understand it, then the attorney will move forward if your mother desires it. This is actually should have priority over the medical diagnosis, especially if you have siblings who might create a fuss over who has PoA, etc.

Your Mother is not really independent at all. If she is having cognitive and memory decline, this means she is losing her ability to work from reason, logic and empathy. So, arguing with her (or even trying to reason with her) will be exhausting and unproductive.

You need to decide how much involvement you want in doing her hands-on care, and then maybe consult with an estate planner or her financial advisor about how far her savings and SS will take her each month. This will determine if she stays in her home with outside paid care, or some other arrangement.

If you are thinking about having her live with you, please think very deeply about this since her decliine is only just beginning and her care will become more and more intense as she becomes less and less able to care for herself -- especially if you have a spouse and children.

You are certainly not alone in this dilemma. Keep coming to this forum to research or ask questions about caregiving. It is probably the most emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually challenging thing anyone will ever do. I wish you much clarity and wisdom as you make decisions going forward.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Geaton777
Beatty Sep 15, 2022
"reason, logic and empathy"

I picture them as three wise men/ladies in long robes... Waving from a train... 😆
As I sing "they took the last train to the coast."

Have family members they left - one has them there but started packing 😜
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Me, I may just start going as often as ur siblings and I would not be sitting around if she didn't need me. And...since "they are the best" they can get POA and they can have Mom living with them.

No, your r not the only one. There are many posters in the same situation. Parents treats them awful and the other siblings get all the glory. I would not go as often to visit or stay as long.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to JoAnn29

Why do you keep doing this? All day 3 times a week IMO is way over the top, she is manipulating you and you are falling for her drama.

There will be no joy with her, only stress. Start pulling back, there are senior centers she can go to if she is bored, you are not her entertainer.

Get on living your life, you are entitled to do that, let the other two siblings visit more often, seems that she enjoys their company more than yours.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to MeDolly

Since nothing you do is good enough anyway, or appreciated, why bother doing much of anything at all? That was the attitude I wound up developing with my mother after jumping thru fiery hoops for her and getting a spit in the eye in return. No matter how much I did for her, she felt the need to point out it wasn't enough and she was disappointed, so I wound up doing less and less as a result. Even a dog needs to have his head patted now and then to feel loved and if he doesn't, he'll run away and find a new home to live in where he'll feel love and affection.

Ask mother to call YOU when she needs something next time and you'll check your schedule to see if you can fit her in. 3x a week all day long is WAYYYYYYY too much time to be devoting to someone who's treating you like dirt. Let her see and feel what it's like to have a daughter who "does nothing" and maybe next time you do something nice for her, she won't be so quick to complain and cut you down.

Good luck to you
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to lealonnie1

Stop going 3 times a week...she shouldn't notice since 'you do so little'. And if she does notice, point it out.

My parents would drive 50 miles to check in on my grandmother once a week. She acted like she never saw them. But her other son, who lived 3 miles away and rarely visited was golden because he would buy her something occasionally.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to lkdrymom
MeDolly Sep 15, 2022
Sounds like my story, my brother lived 2 hours away, he visited my mother twice a year, me, 700+ miles and she constantly was putting the pressure on me to visit and handle all her problems. When he visited, she parted the seas for him, and he would only stand for a few hours. It's that woman and man thing.
I’m thinking that you have got yourself into a position where there is not much that you enjoy going on in your own life. Three days of the week with her, night shift work, care for your own family - when do you live your own life doing what you want to do? If the answer is ‘not much’, that’s another reason why you are spending too much time with mother. It’s bad, but what are the alternatives?

All the other answers have to be right. You are ‘disabling’ your mother by doing so much for her that she doesn’t do what she can do for herself. You are acting like a doormat in letting her run you down – it really is abuse. You should make some boundaries and some conditions – she simply must go out on her own (to some sort of activity – there will be at least one if you look), as well as wanting your company. When she’s miserable, you walk out and say that you’ll see her when she’s feeling better.

But as well as all that, find an activity for yourself, and make it a substitute for two half days that you currently spend with her. If you feel worried about it, find an excuse – ‘doctor’s orders’ usually helps, even if you make it up. Fake dialysis springs to mind?
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

I’m the last person to give any one advice as I can’t even sort out the own mess in my head and my home. But I will say this, you don’t win with parents like yours and mine. You just wait for it all to end or go crazy trying to please someone who will never be pleased and never be grateful for anything you do. My father never wanted to come and live with my husband and me, he wanted to stay in his own home but was unable to.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Favegirl1
Geaton777 Sep 15, 2022
Adult children start out wanting to "please" as the solution, but it is really about advocating and protecting our LOs for their own best interests, even when they don't see it or want it. Often it takes time to come around to this revelation.
She sounds as if she is self absorbed. I wouldn't worry about not sharing joy, keep your good times to yourself and relish every moment, it's her loss. Put yourself first, ask yourself what you're going to do for yourself on each one of those three days, and do it, even if it's something small. Then, when this starts feeling good, move on to setting some boundaries.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Onlychild3

Your Mother lives alone.

You think it's your duty to help her, ensure she copes, has all her needs met. We must care for our Mothers afterall!

You feel guilty when you can't meet all her needs.

So you help. But where is the edge? The stopping point? The finish line?

Resentment starts to grow.
More & more you seem to be living Mother's life with her...
What happens to your own life? Your own needs?

Is this kinda right? Or am I on the wrong track?
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Beatty

" I have an older sister and brother they go up maybe once a month and once a fortnight but when they go they are the best."

As others said, why do you go so much? If you're not appreciated, back it down to the frequency of the visits of your siblings. Once a month? Once a fortnight? Why are YOU going THREE days a week?
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to CTTN55

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