Can't do this any more...

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I am completely at the end of my tether with regards to my mother. She has narcissistic personality disorder that presents similar to schizophrenia, but she's always managed to hide it. She was neglectful and abusive to me when I was a child, and abusive to my father. My two brothers escaped her wrath.

About 20 years ago she started wetting herself, eventually she had to seek medical help and went through several "procedures" none of which solved the problem. Then abut 15 years ago she started falling over all the time. Around that time my father's health started to fail - he had heart failure. Both of them were now housebound invalids.

What should have happened was this - they should have been referred to a geriatrician and assessed to see what their needs were; could they continue to live alone? did they need home help? family care? or residential care? They should have started with home helps, then gone into residential care. I had no intentions of looking after them, and no one else was going to do it...

Only they were never referred to anyone. I ended up living with them as their carer. And for the life of me I cannot explain how that happened. I didn't set out to do it, I just woke up one morning and I was their carer.

My father has since passed away. My mother's health has declined and she developed sudden onset dementia. Now I find out some information that was never given to me - about 10 years ago she was diagnosed with normal pressure hydrocephalus; this causes urinary incontinence, loss of motor functions (presents like Parkinsons) and eventually loss of cognitive functions (presents as dementia). From what I can tell no one was told about this diagnosis. I certainly wasn't. Again, she should have been assessed at that time, but she wasn't - or if she was, I wasn't consulted.

She's been left at home with me as her carer without my ever being asked "do you want to look after her?" (the answer would have been an emphatic "hell no"). The system has changed now and a doctor doesn't decide that someone needs residential care, instead I have to jump through hoops filling out forms to be means tested (so the gubment can see how much money they can get out of us) and if that part is approved (ie she can afford to be put into residential care) she'll then be assessed to see if she's suitable for residential care.

What happens if she doesn't have the finances? What happens when she yet again fools a doctor into thinking there's nothing wrong with her and she can carry on as she is, and no one bothers to turn to me and ask if I'm willing to continue to care for her?

In a bid to make the best of this hellish situation I adopted two young cats (these are not the first cats we've had), mother being narcissistic didn't want me to have the cats and spent 4 days yelling at me to "send them back", "have them put to sleep" or "throw them out the door". When I refused, she got nasty, she tried to slam a door on one cat's head, and she kicked the other cat in the face. Then she tried to let them escape the house when I was putting the bins out. I had to rehome them before she did them any serious damage - and if she hadn't done something, she'd have gotten one of her 'flying monkeys' to do the dirty work for her. In order to have kept them, I'd have had to lock them upstairs 24/7, which wouldn't be fair on them (an older cat might have accepted the situation, but not two young'uns) and it would be pointless me having a pet that I had to keep locked away from me all day long.

The doctor has once again refused to step in and do anything (what they can't put elderly people into emergency residential care?) I have to go through the system that has failed me at every turn, fill out forms, discuss the situation with my brothers, wait a minimum of 6 months for an appointment to have her assessed, then wait indefinitely for her to be given a space somewhere.

My only option appears to be to pack my bags and walk. Which means mother will sit in the house till she dies of starvation/thirst. Pretty sure I'll get into trouble for that. So I'd have to tell someone I'm abandoning her, and again I don't think I'll get away with that. I can't 'dump' her somewhere, she knows who she is and where she lives, so again, that would get me in trouble. No other family member will touch her with a bargepole...

I could be waiting a year before she goes into a home (IF she's sent into a home), and if she goes into a home, I'll loose the house - which will be sold so the gubment can get it's pound of flesh.

I'm at a total loss as to what to do...

7 Comments

Try calling elder care or agency of aging in your community and tell them that you can just no longer care for your mother and cannot wait for the process for a bed to open up. Maybe they can do something to expedite the situation to get her housed somewhere quicker. Good luck.
I really can't help with advice on getting her into a NH/ALF, but I do know this: You won't lose the house. If you look into it, medicaid/medicare won't take her house to pay for her nursing home care. If it's sold while she's in care, the DO expect the money to help pay for her care, though. Also, when she dies and the house is sold, they'll take a chunk to recoup some of what they paid out, unless a caregiver was living there for at least two years prior. In that case, you can continue living there after her death. If you don't want to take my word for it, find a lawyer that specializes in elder law.
I live in Ireland, as far as I know there are no services other than going via the doctor, we don't have medicaid/medicare here, and to the best of my knowledge I will loose the house if she goes into residential care.
Of course it's normal for people to be kept in the dark as to what is available so that you don't ask.
Ah, well...sorry about the American-centric thinking. Can't help you there. I don't know anything about Ireland. The closest I've been to Ireland is getting drunk as a skunk in San Antonio, Texas on St Patrick's day.
ah well you're half Irish now! lol
I've emailed the Carers Association for advise, but no reply yet...
Yeah, I've had women tell me that before...aaaanyway. I hope you get some good news. By the way, when I read your posts now, there's an accent in my head. lol
BlueByYou, if you are at your wits end and are terribly terribly desperate, maybe losing the house will actually force you to make a new start. I don't want you to think I am unsympathetic. Your story broke my heart. I can't see why you should have to continue to care for your mother if it's killing you. Wishing you the best outcome.

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