Over 10 years taking care of parent.

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I've been taking care of my mother for 10 years now since I was about age 16 and she started getting older.,I dropped out of highschool and got my ged and still taking care of her,she's 300 pounds and 63 years old,suffers from incontince due to butt surgery and she's absolutely frightened of outside world, she suffers from agoraphobia and hasn't been outside the house these last ten years unless it's with ambulance people . I love her to death and over the years I didn't mind taking care of her as with it I had a roof over my head,warmth,food, a somewhat stable life I run the house,pay bills,cook,clean,pick up her pills,dishes,laundry,everything . a therapist I visited once told me I had unhealthily codependency and I had a bout of very bad depression and so I tried to come up with hobbies to keep me going, bike riding,reading, spending lots of time online. About a year ago she threw her hip out and couldn't walk the distance to the bathroom anymore and thus had to start using a commode chair which I cleaned and would wipe her butt and change her diapers , again I didn't mind, it was depressing though and I felt burn out massively . Then not to long ago she developed cellulitis leg infection was admitted to a hospital and that infection turned into sepsis. She got better but sadly she came home to soon and thought she could do simple rehab at home. Once here though she discovered that she just didn't have the strength to stand at all, so now she sits on the couch with a bunch of underpads under her and when those pads get dirty I try to sorta tilt her and put new ones in, but I'm a 25 year old woman clocking in at a weight of 174 trying to move around 300 pounds by myself. I'm also now wiping her butt every single time she poos , I have her lean forward and I use baby wipes. It's so exhausting and my back hurts and i put icy hot on at night to sooo my joints. We had home healthcare services out here and since my mother can't stand they've declared her unsafe and won't come out anymore, I've been in contact with department of social services aging and they are looking for a nursing home place for her but they say because she's on Medicaid, is 300 pounds and incontinence, the available places are slim and right now there's nothing available and some places just flat out won't take her.i feel such a burnout, I know I'm depressed, I don't have anyone else to help with this , I'm all by myself and have no other family, I know we can't afford a caretaker program to come in because at her size she's going to need atleast two , i miss the days when she could stand, it was so much easier then, I cry at the drop of a hat these days and then we argue at the fact I'm crying when she's the one who can't get up. We nitpick and argue and then we cry and apologize to eachother. I got accepted into a college but I don't even know if I could dedicate any time to it with how she is now. I just needed a place to vent and whine and not feel so alone in this.


I feel badly for you, trapped in this seemingly unsolvable and somewhat desperate situation. I really don't have any suggestions at this time, but I'm sure others will.

Normally Medicaid could be a solution in finding a placement but if her weight and incontinence are issues, I don't know what any alternatives are.

I feel for you; it's very difficult and depressing to feel trapped in this kind of situation.
You go ahead and vent and whine. You are not alone and most of us understand.

Are you still seeing the therapist? Does it help?

The fact is, you MUST get out of this situation, for your mother's sake, and for yours. It is, indeed, unhealthy (for both of you). Is she on a waiting list for the facilities than can handle her? That would be a good first step.

Can you go to college and support yourself? Where will you live? At 25 you need to be self-supporting. Student poverty is a suitable lifestyle for now, if you can manage it.

You are facing two practical issues: how to get mother placed where she will get the best care available for her, and how to manage to get your education.

And you have a huge emotional challenge. A therapist can help with that.
Obesity is a disease just as any other. Call the ADA AND ASK FOR HELP TO PLACE HER. THEY MUST ACCOMODATE HER
anonymous, it looks like you're new, and is this your first post? I'm glad you found this site and I hope you'll keep coming back, and put a little more info in your profile. Maybe you haven't reached the right municipal agency yet, please do some more Google searches and calls about support services in your area. You're such a good person, you've learned some amazing human skills that leave many of your peers in the dust!
Oh, also it sounds like your spot-visit to a therapist wasn't so helpful or positive for you, hope you'll find another one and go again. Labeling you is not their primary function, it's to build you up and help you gain perspective, tools, and strength.
Poor Honey! This is such an awful situation for you. You need to take care of yourself now. Your Mom has taken the best years of your life and left you near breaking point. She has made poor decisions that made her end up where she is today. No loving parent would burden a 16 year old with such responsibilities. Put yourself first this time. Make the phone call today and say you are not able to care for her any longer. They must place her. Don't let anyone give you any nonsense about waiting for a space to open up. They can find temporary placement for her. No facility wants the burden of taking care of her but they don't mind placing that burden on you. You have waited long enough. Please call today and start putting yourself first for a change. Don't feel the least amount of guilt for placing her in a home. You have kept her out of a facility for ten years. This is the time for extreme self - care. Put yourself first from now on. We love and support you, Honey. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
Also you probably are eligible for grants that exceed tuitionamd books. You can probably get your housing and food covered.
I will pray that they find help for you. Cheryl is right. If you left, and poice were called to do a wellness check, they would not be allowed to leave her there as she was.
Hi, I feel like I'm reading about myself here. I'm 38 but I've been nursing my mum for 6 years - my dad is 80 and he helps so much however so it's better, I identify with u in arguing and crying and feeling guilty. It never gets easier. I'm supposed to do a master I already postponed it one year and this year I can't do again but I don't know either if I have time to dedicate . I'm completely depressed to.!my family dynamics are a mess of other siblings resent my help but do nothing to help situation. We can't help each other but maybe you'll want to know there are others in a similar situation ... your too young and it shouldn't be this way but as we all know 'should' is not what is and we have to deal with it. You sound very loving and caring, your mum is lucky to have you and I'm sure she feels terrible you are losing your young life too. Be very proud of yourself.
What an increbible person you are! You have provided care for your mother under extremely difficult circumstances for a long time. Now, it's time to care for yourself. I understand how difficult it is to navigate the system. My mother in law also has agoraphobia, and didn't want to go into nursing care. She fell and broke her hip, and also didn't want to go to rehab, but we wouldn't give her the choice. We told her she had to go and that was that. It's much easier to transition to a nursing home once someone is in a rehab unit. Those social workers do placements every day.

Something to consider if you haven't already yet is getting a "court appointed guardian" for her. If you google it, and your state, there is information about what it is and how to get it done. You have to let people know that you are no longer capable of providing care for her, because your own health is poor. Mental health is equally as important as physical health. Just because you can physically provide care, doesn't mean you are healthy enough to continue. Long-time caregiving can cause a kind of post-traumatic stress like syndrome. You need to really consider seeking mental health care for yourself for this. You're not going to be any good for your mother if you have a breakdown or develop other physical health issues from continuing to care for her.

It sounds like whichever social workers you've dealt with don't understand the breaking point you've reached. You have to decide that you're not going to take no for an answer, and not leave them alone until they find placement. Social workers are often overburdened with cases, and if there is a family member who they believe can provide care, it's easier for them to just leave it up to you. I would become incredibly persistent. I would tell them the situation, exactly as you have told it here, I would tell them that you are no longer physically or mentally able to care for her. I would call them every day to see if they have a placement for her. Out of sight, means out of mind. You have to make yourself a consistent presence and let them know you won't stop until they place her. It sounds like nonsense to me that they can't find a bed for her. Nursing homes care for incontenent overweight people all the time. They are taking their time because they lack a sense of urgency. Tell them that if they don't find a placement for her by the end of January, that you are just leaving and will call adult protective services. Then call them every single day. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

If she has Medicaid already (home care option), then she may qualify for respite days in a nursing home. See if you can take advantage of that. Sometimes, once you are in a place, it's easier to transition to the long-term care section. If the home care agency you dealt with has determined it's unsafe for her at home, then they have to find a placement for her somewhere.

If that doesn't work, the court appointed guardian would be the next best route. It may be a good option for you anyway, because even if your mom gets placed, you will still have the burden of managing her financial situation. A guardian can be appointed to do all of that. This may be the way to go. Then you can be free to care for your own needs and work on your own health.

My heart really goes out to you. The hardest part may be examining yourself and figuring out how you are enabling this situation to continue. What have you said no to that you could have said yes to? What have you hidden to show you are capable of caring for her, when you no longer can? How have you been emotionally manipulated by your mother to keep her in her current situation? You have to be real with yourself and ask yourself these questions. Then, you have to claim your power in this situation, and move forward with determination to create a new one.

I understand the guilt and obligation that can keep you stuck. You have to gather your courage and fight for what YOU need to be healthy. I have a good feeling that once you decide to do this, the way out will become more clear. Be persistent. You can do this!
First, know that I am praying for you, and I will keep praying for you, and I doubt if I am alone. If one day you were in a car accident and were killed, what would your mother do? I am not saying this to be an alarmist but, instead, to point out what a 25 year old might not think of but what a 66 year old like myself would. Things happen. Since you are young, I am going to assume that your mother is not old either. Nevertheless, try seeking out an Office of Aging in your area an ask them if you could meet with them to simply ask for some advice. They work with difficult cases all the time and might have some ideas. Another person posted that obesity is a disease and must be treated. Has your mother sought out help for this? Remember, this is her problem; not yours. You can help her, but she must be willing to agree to help. It should be obvious, but you yourself must take care of your physical wellbeing and not let yourself become as your mother. Get outside and walk every day! You have done an amazing thing taking care of your mother like this, and to the point of sainthood. But sainthood is not all it is cracked up to be. Again, you must ask the question...what would happen to your mother if something should happen to you. Keep that question before you at all times as you seek out your solution, and I believe you will find the answer. Be kind but be tough in your resolve to find an answer. If your mother does not agree, then ask her if she has thought of a solution, especially if you are no longer there. If she is totally resistant, then start making plans for yourself. If those plans are to go to, let's say, an out of state community college, then explain that come next September that this is what you will be doing. Her response may not be an easy one for you, but always say everything in kindness. She will either have to agree to help or face living alone and dealing with the consequences. By the way, I went to a community college out of state, as it was cheaper. Also, I did not go to college until I was 30. So hang in there. Be strong. Get the answers. Make decisions based on facts only. Be kind. But, move on with your life.

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