Caring for my mom is like having a 10 year old child, please advise.

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Here's the sad story, caution be preparred for major run on sentences and misspellings. in 2004 my step father died, who Mom cared for more than me, ever. (trust me on this she did) My mother went through depression and stopped caring about living, she wanted to die and be with him... Still does today. My mother is young, 63, she has an amputated left foot just below the knee, from not taking care of her diabetes.while depressed. She was in a nursing home for months after this for rehab of her mobility. Since then she became addicted to Oxycontin. She was released from the first nursing home, lived alone (except for the stragglers she let stay there and take advantage of her over the years.) Last year she had a mild stroke. She again went into a nursing home, rehab and release. The past year she has been "loosing it" people have told me. At this point I live in PA, she lives in NJ. In April, the whole family got together for a wedding and she had a 2nd stroke there. NH, again. During this time, I realized I had to do something, I got POA for everything, moved home to NJ with my soon to be wife, the greatest woman I have ever met. We made the house all nice and tidy, took control and she came home a few months later. Now, our lives are harder for sure than they ever were. She can barely walk, but she feels the need to make us dinner, when we have dinner planned for her already, shes eating anything and everything she can, not on the nutrition list. Her hygiene is horrible, shes rude and ignorant to the fact that we are trying to help her. We are at our wits end. Fighting with her, fighting with each other. Her medical bills are through the roof, We pay for the house and all the bills, but my mom thinks that there may be a lean on the house from her amputation. So I am afraid to put it in my name, to save it from Medicaid. Her debt is astronomical, her dementia is getting worse by the day and I feel like because she has made some many bad decisions in the past, our future options are out the door. I can see a NH taking her, but I can't seem to do this anymore. I am the only child, there is noone else who will possibly do this. It's getting harder and harder to have to maintain her life, when my girlfriend and I have barely started our own together. I want to marry her and have a baby and get a house of our own, but I am not going to be able to do that if my mother's hygiene is causing an unsanitary environment. or she is wasting food that we have portioned out for the week. I bought a roast to last us all week and she ate the whole thing in 2 days. she has nothing to do all day, She cooks, but then has no energy to clean up, I told her "don't cook! i'm afraid youre gonna forget to turn something off and burn the house down" Shes wasting food, wasting money and it's driving me mad. Every man she has ever been with has resorted to drinking, and now that I am older, I understand why! I was on my way to living a sucessful career and got out of this crappy town she decided to raise me in. Now 10 years later, I'm stuck back here again. Sometimes I wonder why I am even doing this, she was not a good mother, but I am all she has left. People have told me that I shouldnt let that be an excuse, if she doesn't deserve the help, dont give it to her. I would feel horrible doing that. I don't know what to do. Her forgetfulness is driving me nuts, I just had a conversation with her yesterday about wasting food and not making us dinner (we will do it) and I come home from work today and she did the same exact thing. now I have a 20 pound roast and 2 pounds of spaghetti with 25 meatballs, that is all going to go to waste if we don't eat it fast enough. I don't like to live like this, its excessive, filthy and wasteful. I like to run a tight ship on my life. after reading this you people are probably going to think "seriously, this guy thinks he has problems.. riiiight." but trust me, im ready to pull my hair out. Did i mention that we had nursing coming in to help, and she kicked them out? they wont even come back now. I'm about to say screw it, move out and just let her fend for herself with her SS money... but that would be wrong and I can't so that. So now what, other than just "deal with it" it's like having a 10 year old child.''

im also considering just putting her in a NH and moving on, just visiting her once a week and letting whatever hapens to the house just happen, but i have no idea how to do that or if she will be able to be in the NH after her "house money" has all been used up by the NH. I dont want to see her homeless or not taken care of.

sincerely,
my mom is still messing up my life at 32 years old.
aka a horrible writer.

12 Comments

im seriously considering putting a pad lock on the fridge. Is that illegal?
You have not even started your life yet. Don't feel guilty. Get her set up in a nursing home and visit when you can, letters and cards. Then marry your girlfriend and live your life. You are too young to make such a sacrifice.
Caregiving doesn't get easier, it gets harder as time goes on.
You have found the girl of your dreams......PUT HER FIRST.
Ps. Dont put house in your name. Medicare has a 5 year look back. I'm not
Educated on Medicaid, but several on here are and I'm sure they will advise you.
How do i go about putting her into a NH? How do I get started?
How does it get paid for?
I suggest you seek the advice of an elder law attorney. Is the house in mom's name only? What is the source of her income...is it social security, 40k1, other pensions, insurance policies, any investments in stocks, annuities, , is she on medicare, medicaid, disability? Does she have a durable power of attorney name you as the person to make decisions for her? Get all this information together and go see an elder law attorney to advise you on what you can do.






Just put her in a NH and move on. Visit her as often as makes sense. Advocate on her behalf to see that she is getting good care. What happens to the house is not your problem.

How to do this? As Sharynmarie says, gather all the facts and documents you can get your hands on and visit an attorney who specializes in elder law. (The specialty is very important.) Get advice on what has to be done to get mother eligible for Medicaid. If she has assets, they will need to be spent first, and may be spent on Nursing Home costs and other things FOR HER such as prepaying funeral/burial/creamation, getting her a deluxe wheel chair, etc.When she runs out of money, Medicaid will pay for the NH. She could theoretically keep the house but she will have no income to pay the taxes, insurance, and upkeep. The lawyer will explain the options.

Meanwhile, start looking for suitable Skilled Nursing Facilities that accept Medicaid.

This is particularly sad because she is so young and it sounds at least possible that she could live in her own house for a few more decades, if there weren't obstacles in the way -- namely her addiction to pain meds, her apparent early-stage dementia ("losing it") although who know how that would work out if she took care of herself, and her refusal of the help she needs where she is. But there are obstacles.

You will be doing a loving service if you get her settled into a clean, safe, comfortable environment, rather than just running off and leaving her to her own devices (which must seem tempting sometimes.)

I suspect that cooking a huge meal after you tell her not to may not be defiance. It is possible (likely) that she simply cannot remember what you said, even if she agreed to it at the time.

Get her safely settled, and get on with your own life!
As far as income goes, she only has SS which is like $600 a month, no pension, no 401k, no life insurance.
nothing.

assests wise she has a house thats worth about 80,000 (that has a possible 50,000 lean against it) and a car that is worth about 3000, which I am going to sell to myself soon.

then medical bills out the wazoo! That I am afraid I am going to have to pay for in the long run.

speaking of her car, she called me one day while i was at work and was like : Ant, how do I change the channel on the tv.. I walked her through it over the phone. Then she says, thanks, you know I really want to drive again. I said, mom, lets talk about that once your a little more dependent on yourself, you cant even change the channel and your want to drive a car. You can't run before you walk.

as far as cooking a meal goes, i tried a new strategy, i turned the gas off to the stove and hid her crock pot.
oh she is on medicare, and has filed for medicaid once (at the time she had a whole ton of money from my grandfather's estate, that she pissed away. now she has $150) and got turned down, then I filed for her and she got turned down for that as well, because i didnt put her house up for sale, she wanted to come home. thats when i moved in with her. I'm afraid they will turn her down again. then we are gonna be stuck in this situation till who knows when.

i have POA for everything already, also.
Consult an attorney who specializes in elder law. Yes, there will be a cost to this. Do it anyway. Gather up as much documentation of the financial situation that you can find. Have the lawyer help you prepare for applying for Medicaid and also address your liability (if any, and I think there is none) for your mother's medical bills. Get advice about what to do with the house.

I know it is hard to think about taking on another cost when being broke is the issue, but elder law is complicated and you and mother really would benefit from professional guidance.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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