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Flavia

Immigrant mother completely dependent on me. Been 10 years.

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I moved to the US 10 years ago with then husband and mother. Ex and I no longer together, but my mom (59 years of age) is still here. We used to live together for many years. Now we live separately but within a 10 minute walk.

She is completely dependent on me, financially, emotionally, for day to day errands... She has no friends here, barely speaks English and can't drive. The worst part is, she is making no attempt to address this situation. I think it's pretty comfortable for her, and there is no reason so change the status quo and get outside her comfort zone.

She used to be abused by her parents in childhood, and was told that she is a burden. She has PTSD and depression -the meds seem to help somewhat.

But every time I bring up this subject, her depression flares up and she shuts down. I have no idea what to do as I have this huge responsibility to take care of an able-bodied parent, which saps me completely of time and energy. 

Anyone dealt with this kind of issue before? What would you recommend?

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You might need to try some tough love. The situation is draining for you, but it's also not healthy for your mother. You could start by helping her sign up for some English as a Second Language classes at a local community college, many of them offer them at little or no cost. That would get her out, meeting people in similar situations to her own. I would also gradually start giving her more responsibility for things- be "busy" all the time. She's gotten into this routine, but a little at a time you need to take your life back. Good luck!


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Well, she is your mother, so you gotta take care of her. I don't know what else to say. Have contacted your county's health Department? Some mental health patients may qualify for some sort of help/relief. It is tough, no doubt. 

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It really depends on your relationship with your mother and how much you are willing to do everything for her. If she is still able and capable to to learn to drive, I'd force her to learn for her own sake. That way she can at least go to a store if she is bored, or go just drive around, meet people, go to school, whatever she finds interesting. If you have time, or your kids/ neighbors/ friends then get their help to teach her basic English, so she is at least comfortable to get out of the house on her own. Find out what people her age do in your area, maybe some sports or camping, picnicking, cooking, pottery classes or whatever, and sign her up. Go there with her a couple times until she makes some friends and then she is on her own. 

I think there is a little of your fault int here too, when you immigrated with your mother, you should have known that older people adapt slower, or don't adapt at all. So years ago, you and your husband should have helped her to learn the language and drive. Maybe by now she would even have a part-time job just to get out of the house. I can see why it can be draining but you are responsible for her now, unless you want to give her to a care house or something. 

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