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by Abigail Van Buren

Demanding Mom Is Too Much for Six Kids to Handle

DEAR ABBY: We are a family of six children. Our elderly mother lives with each of us three to 10 months at a time. Out of the six of us, only one is a homemaker who has the room and ideal setting for her to live comfortably. However, she refuses to have Mom permanently.

The rest of us have jobs that don't allow us to be with her during the day. Yet we all agreed that putting Mom in a nursing home would be out of the question.

If I didn't have to work, I'd take care of her permanently myself. I admit that she can be difficult to live with. She can cut you down, insist you do all kinds of errands and is suspicious about someone taking her money. I don't know what to do. -- ONE OF SIX IN OHIO

DEAR ONE OF SIX: Has your mother always been this way? If so, then perhaps it's time for another family meeting. To expect one sister to shoulder the entire burden of taking in a demanding, suspicious parent is unfair to her.

If there have been changes in your mother's personality, consider having her be neurologically evaluated to see if there is something wrong with her. A geriatric psychiatrist could give you some helpful input regardless of whether she's ill -- and help you all decide upon a workable, permanent living situation for her.

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