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Elderly parent living with me

Caregivers | Last Active: Mar 5 11:30am | Replies (32)

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My mother is living with us right now at 87 yrs old. She has severe anxiety... and strong opinions. We also cared for my husband's parents until they passed. So I can relate . It's common in aging individuals
I have discovered with my mother that I react , as a full grown independent accomplished woman... like with my previous small child emotions . Example, I was shopping with her, briefly, and looked for some reas on at a pair of white jeans on sale... her response " dont buy those they'll never stay clean!"
Innocuous statement but as I am paying for them... yes... Paying for them... I found myself saying in my head "you are just buying these because she said not to. Yep , I am. Cant believe it, but I am" . Only wore them twice. Might have bought them because earlier she told me my jacket needed to be zippered up as much blouse was to low. Trust me, it wasn't, lol.
It was a defining , yet hilarious moment as I stood at that checkout. So now I do two things
1) realize that her comments do affect me like no on elses can, because she is my mother . Then I take deep breath and let them roll off my back...just like the sighs, rolled eyes etc
2) realize that she is going to be anxious about something and I can't change it. So I just do what I need and allow her to process her anxiety in as safe of an environment as possible. I always greet her each morning, tell her the plan of the day, listen to her concerns without comments, encourage her with positive and then roll on.
For example, yesterday she has a 1:30 pm appt that is a 20 min drive away . They encourage a checking 20 min in advance of the appt . Target 1:10pm - leave at 12:30 to 12:45... right? She wants to leave at 11:30 , a full 2 hrs in advance of her appt. I remind its only 20 mins , 30 if we have a train ... she dropped the time to 11:45. I just listen and get ready, but tinker around until I want to leave. She'll look at her watch , sigh, stand even at the door with her cane etc, but I just go about what I'm doing talking to her etc. She has never been late ...ever never. But her anxiety becomes unreasonable and I have to choose not to allow it to make decisions for me. And not argue with her or try to convince her different. Its how she feels. We left at noon , way too early, but thats okay. Arguing just increases the friction.
Hard to do but it preserves our sanity for both of us.
Can't change a mind in the swamp of anxiety. Just have to not try to fix it. Safe loving environment is best I can do

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Replies to "My mother is living with us right now at 87 yrs old. She has severe anxiety......"

@lbrockme and others who are suffering from various difficulties of "caregiving." Human nature does not change that much. Many of these difficult people have been that way their entire lives, but it went by somewhat unnoticed. Old age narrows lives down, and the same person who functioned OK with his difficult personality managed to get by with it. When old age causes him to shrink, that is, live with increasing physical and mental limitations, he is left with his difficult personality, and that's all. Perhaps the best route for the caregiver is to ignore the worst of it and try to encourage only whatever good sides exist. Also, assuming the person is not mentallhy demented, some demands of him should be made. After all, he is not an infant in a crib. But that doesn't mean it is easy.