My mother is very independent and either doesn't understand what is truly going on with her or is in denial.

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I have just recently began 24/7 care for my mother a few months ago. Although I have always managed her medical and dental treatments, she has always been independent. After her hospitalization for congestive heart failure, she returned weak and with poor memory and judgement. She already had a few other conditions where she was under a doctor's care. She is in control of all her hygiene needs but I need to dispense all medication and serve her all her meals. If I don't, she will not eat or take meds properly. I also have to make sure she is getting in her walks and exercise routines. That is where the 24/7 care is needed. My problem is as I said before she was independent and either doesn't understand what is truly going on with her or is in denial. She now lives with my family and although we have made accomodations for her and all pitch in to help, she is not comfortable around us and wants to return to her previous living situation. I feel I have a very stable routine for her as is both her doctor's recommendations but she keeps telling everyone I won't let her go stay with the relative she was living with before. I hope someone can give me some advice on how to deal with this so I don't feel like a prison warden


Dawnone, hang in there. You are entering one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. I just started posting here, and found that people are very supportive. But also make sure you ask any siblings for help. And try to always make a little time for yourself. I did find some help at But hopefully you will find some good sites to help you. You didn't say if you mom has Alzheimer's, but if she does the Alzheimers association has lots of free stuff that can help.
good luck.
Dawnone, you never mentioned about the relative she was living with before. I'm assuming that the relative is also not in good condition. I would perhaps ask her questions that would allow her to think for herself and make some choices. Like "If you don't get assistance with __ this may happen and this ___ will result." And then give the other choice that "If you live with us, ___ this won't be as likely, but then the other may not happen, etc"

Presentation is sometimes hard to do, because this is life changing for everyone. Sometimes our elders get that choice, others do not and then its having to deal with that type of a scenario.

Perhaps her doctor can help intervene if you discuss valid concerns with them. For some reason doctors are always the professionals that seniors listen to, so possibly use it to your advantage? I guess it all just depends on the situation, but definitely a lot of ideas around here to help you.

Keep in touch!
Dear dawnone, I know exactly how you feel, we share something in common. I moved my Dad out of state to be with me and my family, only he didn't realize it was going to be permanent, even though we packed up several things which should have been clues. Anyway, after 4 months, he still insists he will return home someday, even though he has been told he cannot. I too have been made to feel like I am the prison warden. He has told people, including a social worker, that I have been holding him hostage. If I do not put food and drink in front of him, he will not eat or drink, except to rummage in the kitchen for whatever junk food he can find. I too, have set up a stable routine for my father as best I could, but he still insists on telling everyone he hates it here. I live in a rural mountain community which has beautiful scenery, wildlife, etc. But he still insists that I have made his life miserable. I wish I had all the answers for you, but as you can see, they seem to have their minds made up, and resist, and deny. This is understandable, as we would not want to be in the same situation, and would also feel the same way, not wanting to be a burden, etc. The only advice I have, is that you do your best at making them comfortable, safe, etc., and pray lots. However, mitzipinki is so right, when it comes to physicians, they seem to listen more. Try her physician first, but keep coming back to us who understand for support, good luck to you!
Hey Dawnone,

welcome, this is a good place to come to get differing opinions insights and options on how to handle your caregiving issues. Having a mom with similar challenges I feel for you and it sounds as if you are doing a good job. I would like to bring something up that may help you.

If she was debilitated and has multiple problems, concentrate on providing nutrition to build her back up. As the doctor to run a blood panel to see if she needs supplemental nutrition whether it be B-12 or the full spectrum. Also check her frequently for UTI's. Both those issues make a person confused, fussy and bring out more difficult behavior.

Now another thing you can do is listen to her and watch her to see what really makes her uncomfortable. It could be the routine, it could be the privacy, it could be anything down to lighting or missing a personal item....remember when you were a kid and you felt homesick? It may take time honesty and adjustment...but don't give up. Find some things you both like to do together and please don't become disheartened.

You are not the warden - you are the caring kind daughter. One of the best things about this site is that it gives you a window into what everyones relationships are with their elders and family - - so you get to choose how you want to guide yours. If you feel good about your self and are not harboring issues then your ability to inflluence and care for your mom will be easier. Fighting and issues is never productive - and although venting is fine, when you read through these posts pick and choose the reality you want for yourself - your personal experience is your own.

I have given up alot - but I also tend to be a positive doer - so if there is a problem I try to analyze it and find a solution or negotiate a compromise. It works for me. My mom can be pretty definite or feisty, but a hug beats angst anyday...

Good luck, all of us have expertise and good wishes for you!
I really need to vent and to think things through, The husnand fell yesterday and the police woh responded to lifeline were smart enough to call an ambulance eveen over his protest the EMT said he needed to go to the ER so they took him at first they said he fractured his leg and possibility ribs and his w count was way up we got to the er at I pm and by 7: 30 he was still there and since I had not eaten all day having taken the car to be fixed and was tired and he was verbably abusing me I went home. When I saw him today he was confused about what test he had done either axray or MRI or Ct scan and was in a bad mood so I stayed about 2 hr, and came home. This morning had to go to the docs for another speciam for pre-op on Mon so that is a worry also if they kick him out of the hospital this weekend without being able to walk I will not be able to handle him with my back fractures I put a call into the social worker brcause if she saw him he would tell her we are doing fine at home- he has in the past-if I can keep him there 3 days our insurance covers 100 days in rehab-I am very stressed and those who know me I usually do ok-guess it is time for xanaxLOL thanks for listen my cat just does not understand me-yesterday he fell in love with one of the cops-he was kind of cute.
Austin, what was hubby doing to do that much damage to himself? You should take advantage of the rest while he is in the hosp. if you can. You are a dear! The verbal abuse is the hardest. You have a lot on your plate to deal with, we are thinking of you, and take care of yourself.
I want to thank all of you for your reassuring words and sound advice. To answer some of your questions, her primary diagnosis is congestive heart failure. She has an ulcer which she had several severe bouts with a few weeks prior to her heart failing. Obviously the stress was too much for her heart. She also has high blood pressure, as well as arthiritis and high cholesterol. Her doctor has given her a diagnosis of Alzheimers although I do not know if it is due to her age because she has not been prescribed medications and with all of her immediate problems, I haven't asked her doctor. She does have memory loss and when she recounts past events, the stories always change. Might just be due to her age. Once she stabilizes a bit, I will ask her doctor.

The relative she was living with is older than her and has her own medical problems. My mom served mostly as a companion, but she would also make sure she would eat. After her hospitalization, my mother's judgment has dwindled quite a bit. As I mentioned before, she would be incapable of taking her meds correctly. She also opens the door to anyone who knocks on it. This in itself is very scary to me. Last cardiologist visit I brought up the issue of her wanting to return to her relative's house. She explained to my mother in great detail and various ways so she would understand that it is not possible. That is where the stubborness comes in.

As far as my siblings go, it is one of those situations where they do not talk to me. At this point, I no longer wish to have anything to do with them. They tried to block me from bringing her home and were going to put her in a facility. Wonder who they think would pay for that! Sometimes, I have to laugh at those things so that the thought of them won't upset me. One of my siblings tries to force contact with my mother, but she always ends up yelling at my mother and upsetting her. This is when I have to explain to my mom that she shouldn't feel she has to talk to my sister and that if she keeps yelling at my mom, I will have to intervene. Shortly after my mother came home, my sister slammed open my house door and started calling out my mother's name. My mom went out to talk to her but after I overheard what she was telling my mom, I told her to leave which resulting in a knock down cat fight and my mother fainting. For this reason, I don't want to speak to them. Unfortunately my mother doesn't feel the same. We got my mom her own telephone line so it is hard for me to stop my siblings from having contact with her. i do let my mom know it is not my mom but my siblings that make me uncomfortable. She seems to ignore that anything is wrong and carries on as if we are this one big happy family.

From all the comments, I am reassured that I am not alone. Each one had something I am going through. I very much appreciate your support. Thanks again.
Nausated- he was just getting out of bed- I had him all dressed and had gone into the kitchen like always all he has to do is sit up on the side of the bed and reach for his platform walker then get to him closeby motorized wheelchair and go to the kitchen but he had the hosipital bed up too high or too low and somehow he fell- he has a history of not being careful.
Austin, sorry, ouuuuuch! Poor guy, that must have been so painful. I would worry about you, and your back though. Hope you have enough help so you can recover and heal yourself. You take care! Big Hug! Naus
Naus-thank you I am going to try to talk to thr social worker this morming by phone she should have seen him by now in this state they start discharge plan as soon as you are admitted-she may have seen him in the past they take his word that everything is fine and dandy at home I am going to try to get him bavk in rehab for a while esp. if he can not walk he was so confused yesterday and angery I could not really talk to him and they are loading him up with pain pills. Thank you for your concern it is such a comfort for me.

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