Ask Tia Juana

     Tia Juana will cheerfully provide advice for anyone that asks.  Just mail your questions to “Ask Tia Juana” at PO Box 8, Van Horn, Texas 79855.  All questions will remain anonymous unless there is a chance for extortion.  Disclaimer:  Tia Juana is not a licensed counselor or therapist and none of the advice should be considered professional.

Dear Tia,

I am lucky to still have my mother, who is 88 years old, but she seems to be getting meaner and more unreasonable every time I see her.  My brothers and sisters all live out of town, so they don’t see it every day like I do, and so they think I’m exaggerating when I tell them that Mom has become unbearable.   She lives alone, and although I visit her every day, I worry about her and feel guilty every time I leave her.  I have tried to get her help and have hired countless providers only to have them quit in a week or less because she is behaves so horribly.  Mom is not in good health and I am trying to make what time she has left as good as possible, but she will not cooperate.  Any suggestions?

At wit’s end

Dear Wit,

It is not unusual for people who are caretakers to bear the brunt of insults, anger and poor treatment by the people they are caring for…usually a close family member.  In most cases, the family members are simply lashing out, not because they hate the caretaker, but because they resent the fact that they are no longer independent.  Every time the caretaker helps with simple tasks, the family member is reminded of their helplessness, and attacks. 

Be patient and realize that their anger is directed more at themselves than at you, and continue to care for your mom.  You can look back after she is gone with a peaceful heart, knowing that you did the best you could for her.  Good luck!


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