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Re: Taking care of my extremely difficult elderly mom

Message 11 of 14

Dear Robert,

I did read your response, very slowly, and carefully, and thank you so much for it.

I want to thank you, very much, for identifying what I am dealing with.  I have known, for some time, there had to be some kind of mental disorder, and now I know what it is, thanks to you.

I greatly appreciate your wisdom, intelligence, and most of all, for your passing this on to me.

It has taken me a very long time to realize, that I have really tried everything, I could think of, to have a better relationship, with my mom, and nothing has ever worked, because I was not dealing with normal, and having even a decent relationship with her, just isn't possible.  

She has been using me as her punching bag, for as long as I can remember, and enough is enough. 

It is finally time to let Devine Destiny take over.  I have to let her live her own life.  I can't let her drag me down anymore.  Doing so, seems to give her some kind of perverted satisfaction, at my expense.

She is a survivor, as am I, and I feel, in desperation, she will ultimately seek outside professional help, to take care of herself, realizing that I can't, or won't help her.

Only time will tell.  

Bless you Robert, and I hope you have a more peaceful, better life, with this knowledge, about your parents, as I anticipate, I will have.

Have a Very Happy, and Better New Year.



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Re: Taking care of my extremely difficult elderly mom

Message 12 of 14

Danny ,  reading your story hit home for me. I'm wondering if our mothers could be related ? So I'm 55 and my mother is 75, I to am the ONLY child. Now I can tell you this there is no solution, no fix, no karma, no redemption, no trophey not even a ata boy! I can give you a possible diagnosis on your mother though and if you look into this and understand what your dealing with should at minimum give you peace of mind and know this there are a lot of people out there that their parents were the Cleavers but yet do nothing at all to take care of them.

Sounds like Mom lacks empathy in all shapes and forms of which is caused by not caring which is due to the innability to love. Just a few years ago I found out that narsassistic women which are very rare do excist. Heres a definition and a few interesting traits and outcomes.

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which there is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others' feelings.

When you grow up with a narcissistic mother, you grow up thinking you are never good enough. You can't put your finger on why you always want to be perfect, yet you do. And you try tirelessly. You are studious, happy, cuddly, and kind.

A woman can have several narcissistic traits and not fit the personality disorder. Mothers with only a few traits listed can negatively affect their children.

I felt badly for this little girl, not because her mom said no to her candy request, but because her mom was so blinded by her own feelings that she could not have empathy for her daughter.

A narcissistic parent will trample all over their family to address their own desires without giving much thought to what anyone else needs. Because of this, some adult children of narcissists will actually overcorrect and bend over backwards to make sure no one could ever possibly perceive them this way.

You ask what causes narcissism? As with other mental disorders, the cause is likely complex. Narcissistic personality disorder may be linked to: Mismatches in parent-child relationships with either excessive pampering or excessive criticism. Genetics or psychobiology — the connection between the brain and behavior and thinking.

Anyways Danny I could be completely wrong here but for me I found a lot of answers to my mothers behavior and complete disconnect from empathy. There are different degrees of this disorder and one can exhibit only a few traits and not be considered narcissistic but the effect these traits have on their children are just as devistating.

I don't know if this will help you, hell I don't know if you will even read this !! Regardless you are trying to care for someone whom doesn't deserve it and that makes you ONE HELL OF A HUMAN BEING..

Take care,


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Re: Taking care of my extremely difficult elderly mom

Message 13 of 14

I gave you a kudo for writing all this down!!  I am in a very difficult situation too but it is difficult for me to talk about it.  Your mom sounds really really difficult and you must have had a hard time reaching adulthood if she has always been like this.  Hopefully someone here can give you some useful advice.  Actually your mother sounds like she is in pretty good physical shape for 94.  However, if something bad happens to her, such as a fall, the doctor will probably recommend placement in a nursing home.


I have come to the conclusion that sometimes you just have to grin and bear it.  I am only speaking of my own situation here, not yours.  You are doing a good thing, asking advice here.  I have recently had thoughts regarding a difficult elder, especially when they begin to lose touch with reality, which can happen a little at a time.  They try to control their situation and hold on to their power by controlling those people they have the most access to, usually their caregiver.  This is what is happening to me. 

hoc voluērunt
Gaius Julius Ceasar
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Taking care of my extremely difficult elderly mom

Message 14 of 14

My name is Danny, and I just turned 71 years old.  My mom, Sylvia, who is 94, lives a relatively short distance away from me, and my wife Monica, but too far to walk, and it is difficult to get to her, even though I have a car, because it is impossible to find parking near her, I need two buses, if I go by public transportation, which leaves my only option, to take care service.  My wife and I live on Shore Road, near 94th Street, in Bay Ridge, and she lives on 65th Street, near 4th Avenue, in Sunset Park.

I am my mom's only child.  I have a son, who lives in Arizona, with his family.  I had a daughter, who died in 1996, at the age of 26.

My dad passed away, on June 3, 2009, and my mom has been living alone, since then, in the Towers of Bay Ridge.  My mom goes out each week day, to the Ovington Senior Center, a few blocks away, usually using a public bus, or walking, with a walker, for some socialization, and for their meal.  On Saturday, she takes care of odds and ends, usually going out, and on Sunday she usually goes to the Lutheran Church, a couple of blocks away.  Mind you, she is Jewish, but enjoys socializing, with the members of the church, as well as having their colation.

My wife, and I have tried to assist her, in everyway we could.  We had been bringing meals to her.  I have taken her to doctor appointments, and we have tried to socialize with her.  All of these things have never been appreciated, and she has consistantly found fault, with everything we did.

When I would call her, I would be annoying her, and checking up on her.  When I went to her house, she never had anything for me to do, so we would just sit and talk, often getting into an argument, and I'd leave her.

She is extremely negative, and critical of everyone, and everything, especially me, and my wife, and has been, as long as I can remember.  My first wife, Anne, who I'm divorced from since 1990, could not bare to be with her, and my dad, nor could our kids.  They never wanted to be with my parents, because they were constantly picking on them, for everything, as well as me.  My son is married, with three daughters, and is living in Arizona.  My 2nd wife, Monica, married since 2007, can't stand to be with my mom, either, because of her always finding fault with her, as well.  It never stops.

My son, and I have tried to work with her, to get her to accept having some professional help take care of her, which she would have to pay for, but she refuses, not only because of the cost, but because she doesn't trust anyone, including me. 

My mom, unfortunately can, and often has gotten physically violent towards me.  In my car, when going to, or returning from Doctor appointments, she has grabbed me, while I was driving, and almost caused an accident.  In her apartment, she has a tendancy to throw things, or look to hurt me, usually, any way she can.  In short, I don't, and can't trust her.  She looks to have a disagreement with me, and no matter how I try, I just can't get along with her, and I have tried to keep peace with her.  We had an argument, about a month ago, on the phone, when I was sick, with Vertigo, since she was insisting, that I come over, and take care of her.  Mind you, I couldn't even take care of myself, and my wife was doing everything, and had her hands full, since she has health problems, as well.  My mom didn't want to hear, or understand any of this. 

She has pushed everyone away from her, with her negative, critical, nasty, sometimes abusive behavior, and has no friends.

I can't say it's dementia, or alcheimers, because she has been this way as long as I know her.

I am tormented, because, she does need help, desperately.  The kind my wife, and I can't provide.  She needs someone with her, on a regular basis.  Her doctor recommended she have home care, and agencies have been trying to reach out to her, and they have been calling me, since she hasn't responded to any of them.  With her Emblem HIP VIP medical service, she can get someone for possibly 2 to 4 weeks, which they will cover, just to try it, but she won't do it.

Last year, my wife & I bought a very sophistcated monitor, for her to wear, with automatic fall detection, that was waterproof, as well, that she could go anywhere with, and she would have a person accessible 24 hours a day, for assistance, when needed, for a year, but she refused it, claiming she wasn't ready for something like that.  My wife and I had paid, for a year, for it, but we had to return it, fortunately for a full refund, after 30 days.  This was costly, but we tried, and it would have given us some peace of mind, by monitoring her, so she would never really be alone.  I have talked to so many professional people, trying to find a solution to this mess, and still have none. 

She looks to inconvenience us, anyway she can, just to make herself feel important.  It is very frustrating, and I am tormented by it.  No matter what I do, it is wrong.  I feel this is a lose, lose situation, and I am definitely open to suggestions. 

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Prepare to Care: A Resource Guide for Families download this free guide developed by AARP to help make caregiving more manageable. It includes information on how to have vital conversations with older family members, organize important documents, assess your loved one's needs and locate important resources.
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