At my wits end.

Started by

I don't even know if this is a question. In April I got my mother to move to assisted living after a hospital stay for a bowel obstruction in February and a short rehab in nursing home..Unfortunately no rooms were available in the regular wing, so she and a couple others were placed in memory care to wait for an opening. She was belligerent, demanding and rude but was slowly adapting. Then 3 weeks ago another bowel obstruction landed her back in the hospital. The social worker suggested a short stay back in the nursing home. Her temper is worse. The nursing home doctor hats tried changing her antidepressant and added anxiety meds to help smooth the moods. She is refusing to take the meds. Now she is calling me and speaking to me very angry. " I want my house keys, my coat my purse. They belong to me and no one else. I am not going back to ALF" I am not staying here." She is implying I am up to something. If I wanted her bloody house and money I sure wouldn't take her to ALF or NH where her resources will deplete in no time. They say she doesn't have dementia. I have POA but that isn't the same as guardian. I am exhausted and tired of fighting her. I have helped her stay in her home for 16 years.

9 Comments

If she has not been deemed incompetent by a court, then she can decide she doesn't want to stay at ALF. She can decide not to take pills. And if she is not incompetent you will not be able to become her guardian.

What you can do, of course, is control your own actions and reactions. You can decide how much, if any, help your will provide if she moves back home. You helped her for 16 years and she probably is counting on that continuing. Be VERY clear what will change, so she has realistic information to base her decisions on.

"Mom, you need to understand that I cannot continue the same level of support I've provided in the past. I will take you shopping once a week. I won't be taking you on other errands, like the bank or beauty salon -- you'll need to arrange your own transportation. I won't be helping with meals, or with cleaning. You can hire those things done with the money you save on ALF. I will do .... I won't do ... "

Think it all through and spell it all out. There is a reason you wanted to see her in assisted living. Whether she decides to go or to stay, you can and should decide how your own life is going to change.

By the way, it is unfortunate she is in the memory wing. That is NOT giving her a true taste of what ALF will be like, and the other people she will be interacting with. How long is the wait expected to be? Maybe finding a different facility would be the solution.
I agree it is bad she's in the memory unit. However her room is right by the exit to the other side. She has all meals in the ALF unless she wants one in her room, attends programs in ALF and has a lock on her door. She knew going in where shed be. She saw it. I also took her to another ALF....beautiful place with a lake view but she didn't want to go there. Said it was ugly. She chose this place.
How were they able to place her in Memory Care if she isn't in need of it? Who is "they" who say she doesn't have dementia? I would figure out if she does or she doesn't. It certainly sounds like something is not right. Is she competent to act on her own behalf and self interest? How is her judgment? It depends on the state, but a court may likely examine if she is able to make decisions for her own health, safety and welfare. It's not necessarily about memory in making that determination. I think I would consult with an Elder Care attorney her your jurisdiction.
She has had memory assessment in nursing home but they have not done a complete assessment. I am requesting one tomorrow at the care conference. She ended up in the memory care section because it was the only room available in her preferred AL. She was aware of it before moving in. She is supposed to move when a room opens up. I don't think it was a good idea at all. I am talking to the other AL now.
I would think that a proper assessment would be helpful. It can help place the person in a facility where their needs can be met. If it's not a good fit, it's generally not a happy situation.
Wow. Just wow. I had a care conference scheduled today to speak to all my mother's care team. She got wind of it. Rolled in and completely took over. I dont feel bad about my inability to control her after watching 10 professionals try and fail. She insisted she could go home. When she was told she had to be able to use a walker unassisted in her non accessibility house, she just bitched that she had not been able to practice except in therapy. She was told she should buzz for an aide to help her get safely to the bathroom and practice with the walker. She says i have to go too fast. They come too slow. Asmed how she expected to deal with that at home..... anyway you get the idea. She refuses antidepressants. Refuses antianxiety. Says they juust want her to be quiet. When the nutritionist started taking she criticized the food saying how greasy it is....Finally a doctor came in and managed to calm her down. After the battered staff walked out, she turned to me and asked how she did answering questions. I said she wasnt there to answer question. I was there to learn how she was doing and plan an eventual discharge. I said i learned almost nothing except that you can make more excuses than a 12 year old girl. What did you learn mom? Nothing i didn't already know. Yup.
Rosy, as Jeanne says, you have to decide what you can and can't do. Your mother can't force you to do anything you don't want to.

If she's refusing psychiatric meds (man, she sounds depressed and anxious to me!), that will make everything harder.

"Mom, I can........." I can't........" This is your choice, where to live and what help to get. But I can no longer........"

what I said to my mom? "Mom, I can't do this anymore. Moreover, Brother is going to have heart attack running to rescue you from your emergencies. Neither of us can keep running up here to do for you. You need to be somewhere where there is staff to help you".
Rosyday, I think Jeanne had wonderful advice. If she wants to come home, it doesn't mean that you have to be her slave. I know how you feel right now. It is so frustrating. Our parents can get so angry and lash out at everyone around them if they don't do exactly what they want immediately. Grr.
Yes. This is what i have to do. I have decided i must write a letter. She uses her hearing loss to talk over when anyone needs eds to explain anything. Then she denies she was told. I might even write it in sections and make her initial. One good thing came out of that conference. I saw that she is scared to death. I have only seen the anger and agitation. This gives me a road in.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support