Daughter caring for mother ... need advice on how to handle emotional abuse by parent.

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Worn_Out_in_OK
Daughter caring for mother ... need advice on how to handle emotional abuse by parent.

I am hopeful that someone can provide me with some advice on how to help my mother, who is caring for my Grandmother. My mother has, for 20+ years, been the "chosen" child - i.e. the one that was just assumed and expected to take care of my Grandparents. She has three siblings - two brothers and a sister - and while they play a passing role in my Grandmother's life, they by no means actively participate in her care.

Over the last 10 years, my Grandmother's health has become more complicated. She is 87-years-old, but for the most part, is in good health for her age. She does have diabetes and that is the main issue for her, but my mom works hard to make sure she always gets her medications. She also has to take injections for low white blood cell counts, but my mother takes her for these like clockwork every two weeks. In fact, my mother has gone to every single doctor's appointment that my Grandmother has had over the last ten years. And with my Grandmother averaging 50+ visits a year to her various physicians, that's a lot of time that my mother has spent making sure that Granny got where she needed to go, that the doctor's orders were followed, and that my Grandmother's health was kept at the forefront of her care.

My mother has basically given up everything to take on this role. And while she takes some time for herself occasionally (maybe once or twice a month when she goes out with her friends), the rest of of life is pretty much devoted to my Grandmother.

And yet ... my Grandmother treats her terribly. Please don't mistake me - I love my Grandmother. But she can be downright hateful and mean. She accuses my mother of stealing money from her when her check book doesn't add up, even though in reality she just spends more than she really has. She accuses my mother of not caring how she feels or checking in on her, when in reality she does (it's just not 24-hours a day). She accuses my mom of mistreating her or treating her so horribly when my mom tries to limit the bad foods she takes, when in reality, my mom is just trying to make sure she doesn't end up back in the hospital. She accuses my mom of not doing enough to take care of her, yet she doesn't seem to have a problem with the fact that my mom's siblings don't lift a finger.

We have tried over and over to have family meetings to address the issue because it becomes absolutely unbearable at times, but that only provides temporary relief. Before too long, things will go back to the way they were with my Granny finding fault with everything my mother does and badmouthing her to her other children. Mom has asked her multiple times if she'd rather go live with one of her other children and Granny has admitted that she can't because they wouldn't take care of her, yet as soon as Granny starts feeling even slightly poorly or just gets into a funk, she starts (what I feel is) emotionally abusing my mother. And, to be honest, I feel like my Grandmother downright pouts.

I'm worried that mom is going to have a heart attack at this point and that is not okay with me. But yet I have no idea how to help. I know my Grandmother is probably scared about aging and I know her memory is bad, so she's probably frustrated about that. But how do I get through to her that my mom IS doing everything she can and to help her be thankful that she doesn't have to live in a nursing home? How can I get her to appreciate that her daughter has given up this much to be with her and take care of her and that, while she certainly isn't perfect, just because she takes time for herself doesn't mean she doesn't love her or isn't caring for her.

If anyone can recommend something, I'd be so thankful. I'm at my wits end and I know my mom is, too.

Tell mom to take a vacation.

Tell mom to take a vacation. If she has long term care insurance consider respite, have her stay a week at a long term care facility to see what its like if your mom stops doing what she is doing for her. Your mom should also consider a long term care facility or assisted living for her. Seems like assisted living would suit her well. she would be independent however have a caregiver available 24 hours a day to assist her with anything she needs. Ask granny what does she think will happen if your mom took sick due to the stress she is putting on her, who will be there to take care of her. Seriously consider assisted living. Granny maybe lashing out because she wants to be independent so try talking to her about that.

caregiver of mo...
This is my world too!

I understand what the your mom is going through.  Reading the blog this could have been written by my own daughters who complain about this all the time.  My mom has cancer, is on dialysis, and has heart issues.  I take her to dialysis three times a week because she refused to take a service where she has to be there between 6 and 6 am.  She has several doctor appointments between that. That includes blood work for being on Coumadin, traveling to different cities to maintain her dialysis ports, a different town to for her cancer appointments.  I maintain her medicine, all appointments, shopping, cleaning of the house, and with the help of an elder aunt who helps me with the care of my sister who has MS.  I am also employed full time. I had to move into her home with my family because it is already has a ramp on it for my sister.  My family is not made to feel welcomed.  My mother is always complaining about everything we do and what she does not want us to do around the house even though she can barely do these things herself.  And on top of that I have to hear that my sister is calling our family out of town that I am not moody and fussy.  I admit on some days I am because I cannot take mama treating me as if I am a live in maid instead of a daughter who is there for her well being.  She gets mad at us for even going to visit our daughters in college. I mean to the point where she yells at me for going away.  It is never more than two days because I cannot get someone to look after them for longer than that because they run them away because they do not want anyone to help them with anything.  Some days are harder than others.  If it was not for my faith and my love for my family I am holding on.  This is a 24/7 job.  I have given up everything I love to do.  With the help and support of my husband I did finish college which I started before mama became really ill.  This is my second care giving tour.  I watched my father pass away from colon and prostate cancer.  Just like you said it could be the sickness that has them mad with the world.  My sister is pretty much the same way since she came down with the illness in the prime of life.  Mama's cancer is pretty much spreading really fast all of a sudden.  The doctors said there is really nothing more they can do.  She is showing all kinds of symptoms.  One of them is she has explosive bowl movements.  I mean it is just all over the bathroom.  She refuses to have a home healthcare nurse come in and help especially on those days I just have to work.  Never mind we have been approved to have someone come in. So when I get home or in the middle of the night I am cleaning and it sometimes takes a hour to get the bathroom clean and together..  As for my sister I cannot even talk to her about things we can get for her dealing with MS.  It is as if mama and my sister are punishing me for not being sick.  I pray not.  My love for them and my faith is why I take the abuse.  I thank God everyday for my husband and my girls.  Their support is everything.  Keep supporting your mom.  Your love and support means the world.  Take it from someone who really knows!

AliceR
To Caregiver of mother

I read your post.hang on to your Faith, God helps us through the hard times.Praying for everyone in this forum.

                                  Alice