How do I get adult treatment from my mom?

7 answers | Last updated: Nov 08, 2016
Soupcon asked...

How do I get adult treatment from my mom? My mother has MS & is no longer able to care for herself & her home. I have moved in & am doing all of the housework, caregiving, etc. The trouble is, my mother is now treating me like I'm a teenager again...demanding to be told where & when I'm going out, disapproving if I have an alcoholic beverage, and she thinks my job is to be totally at her beck & call 24/7. Also, since it's "her house" she insists on being in charge of how everything is done & even what day the food shopping is done & what is purchased. I also have a 4 year old girl to take care of. Between the two of them they're driving me crazy! Help!


Expert Answers

Dan Tobin, M.D. is the CEO of Care Support of America, a national service providing telephonic and local nurse counsel to adult children caring for aging parents. Dr. Tobin is the author of books and articles focused on the practical and positive aspects of family caregiving.

Hi. It is important for you to have a calm conversation with your mother and explain to her that the two of you have to work on your new relationship and that she has to treat you like an adult. It may help to have another family member of counselor involved if you think she will not be able to hear you or the conversation will become a battle. In other words, it is clear that you are going to be helping your mother for quite some time and you have your own life to live. Often family member revert back top treating each other like they did years ago. When adult children come home to help and live it is important to have open communication and point out old patterns that are not healthy. Don’t let this simmer. Address the issues with your mother sooner than later and get help if the conversation is not productive.
All the best,
Dan Tobin
 


Community Answers

Wellspouse answered...

One other thing to consider: in many cases, MS as it gets worse brings with it cognitive problems. If there has been a noticeable change in your mother's moods or memory, or an increase in anxiety or depression, a neurological examination may point to those underlying problems -- in which case you as the caregiver will have to change your approach and expectations. As a spousal caregiver myself and member of the Well Spouse Association I see this with some spousal caregivers whose partners have MS, and who post about their situations in the WSA Online Forum, http://wellspouse.org/forums


A fellow caregiver answered...

When I was in a caregiver group, the most important things I learned is that "I" couldn't change my parents BUT I could change how I respond to them AND to take care of myself! They are ailing, angry, confused, resenting losing control of their life and having to depend on anyone and will tell others that you are not doing a a good job taking care of them. All very "normal" for aging folk. They are angry at themselves too and you are handy to beat up. Family is suppose to understand that they don't mean what they say and just need to vent. No one LIKES being needy. Wait till they spit their food at you, accuse you of stealing their money or tell you to get out!  Just do what you need to do and then go to another room and cry or blow off steam. They may have never had to take care of their parents or have bad memories about doing it. Now is the time to make sure all their paper work is in order. THIS IS VITAL.. You need a power of attorney, general and medical and a DNR order,  take over the bills and pay them, the Bank should have you down as an Authorized user AND PUT THE HOUSE IN A  family TRUST with you as executor. Make sure you have 2 original copies of everything in case of a panic and you can't find one of them. With extra notarized copies for the bank, family or other people that may request them. a close friend of mine found that as soon as he said the "A" word people were willing to help get his father's affairs in order. The Dr should have a noterized copy of the Medical POA & DNR in her file, you should carry them  and if she goes by ambulance pin them to her for the people in the ER until the file is brought to them.   Check with an attorney for what is required for where you live. You must keep yourself well to be able to take care of them: check into a group and get some outside help if only for 8 hours a week,  long enough for you to go to the group, the store, get a pedicure, make calls that you don't want them to hear or just sit and stare out the window. I have walked this walk twice and my affairs are in order. At 73, I hope to be here for another 20 years or so but my son will have none of the worries that I had with my parents. I get my rest, eat well, take only supplements and herbs NO RX of any kind.  I make changes in my home with idea that I will not be able to go to the 2nd floor or down in the basement and have to live on the first floor. I am prepared to care for myself for as long as God will let me. 


A fellow caregiver answered...

I could use you as a friend for advice. Wish you were near me. I think you've been where I am or close to it. I'm not looking forward to what is to come. I've had to claim anxiety in order to get help and I'm just beginning. My doctor told me it would be acceptable in society for me to have problems but not my spouse. He prescribed a pill for me; but I tried taking them and can't. Probably because it's how I can get insurance to pay for therapy.


Bianca answered...

Several people here have written good advice. I will add it may depend on how long this behavior has been going on and what kind of relationship you all had in years past. If this behavior is new then maybe meds or therapy can help. You might want to discuss this situation with her doctor. Good luck to you. Remember you are a good person.


Punkersad-sharon midlothian, il answered...

There are examples of what to put into a caregivers contract that you might set up with your mother. If she is in her right mind that she might be reverting to the past. Set it out. I will shop---. I am free to do what I want ---- I will be available ---. I will work so many hours. You are not her slave so dont act like one. There is direction for writing a personal care contract right at this site so you might look into it. I know that it seems cold but you need to protect yourself and protect her.


Mswolfedog answered...

Dear Sopcom, You have my sympathy.This probably won't be helpful except to let you know that you are not alone. I was in a very similar caregiving role until three weeks ago. I lost my Mother October 20th. I like you moved in to her home giving up my job, my home and most of my posessions. I also have a son with Schizophrenia who is in and out of trouble daily. I had it double fold. For the first two years she was very controlling. I became her live in maid. Her house is like a collectables retail store with fourteen display cabnets over filled to capacity. The first thing she did was let her housekeeper of 20 years go! I became a caregiver to her posessions. Couldn't do anything right. She complained about me to everyone that walked into the door or called on the phone. She hated my son because she didn't want to share her time with me. I cooked, dusted, washed windows, cabinets, scrubbed floors and polished to a mirror finish. Shampooed carpets monthly. Chemo and follow-up trips to the hospital almost daily., Manicures, pedicures, hair and sat with her during her game show marathons and horders programs. Her TV blasting full volume. She treated me like she hated me and resented my even being there. She showered family with lavish gifts and I was lucky to get even a card. I painted most of the enterior of her home and landscaped her back yard and patio, Beautiful. Couldn't go anywhere and dissapproved of any and all friends or phone calls I was lucky enough to get. The transmission in my car went out so she quickly gave her car to my nephew, now a 3 car family! After 2 years of verbal and emotional abuse I broke down. I cried and cried. I finally told her I loved her and I was here to help her in every way that I could to make her happy and take away her struggles. I told her I wanted to treat her like a queen. And I told her I wanted her to be happy I was there with her. (We both lost our husbands) I told her exactly how she made me feel, how she treated me an expecially how it made me feel when she would put me down in front of everyone that walked into the door. That maybe I wasn't the best at what I was doing but it was the best that I knew how. I told her how much it hurt me to see her unable to do the things she loves but that I as there to help her do the things she still could do. I was reaching out to her begging for her to show me love. It woke her up and our relationship changed to the best, the closest I could ever have hoped for. We became friends. We had fun together and went places together. We even played a game of Monopoly! My Mom sturggled with Ovarian Cancer for over four years, two surgeries, five rounds of chemo therapy. It went into her lungs and pneumonia took her in less than a week. I was at her side holding her hand telling her it was ok and how much I loved her. And I would gladly doit all over again if I could. I miss my Mom. Be honest with your Mom. Tell how your feeling good luch to you.