Elderly parent cooperation in their own care and planning.
My mom is 79 and at what appears to be in a health decline. She lives alone in the house she built with my dad 40 years ago. A house with stairs and considerable financial upkeep. She has enough money to sustain her current lifestyle for I estimate about 3-5 years. Not including any home health, etc. Sale of the house has been discussed but she always shuts discussion down because it is not something she wants.
She generally handles her daily routine but lately has been slipping. She fell a few times, leading me to purchase lifeline system for her house. This once resulted in an ambulace call. She recently lost vision in her left eye due to what they believe is temporal arteritis. She has been taking increased doses of prendisone, which I understand makes her weak and is hard on her system. She has RA and Moves slowly. she does manage her day to day tasks for the most part. If slowly. She spends most of her day organizing her house or hanging out with her dog while watching tv. She bowls on occasion with a league when she feels up to it. She goes out to eat or to the movies with my aunt. I would describe her current situation as marginal. Leading to concern for the immediate future. She is still marginally active when she feels up to it.
I'm 42 and an attorney at a job that REQUIRES me to work at least 70 hours per week to keep it. I live 40 miles away in the city. I am single and my salary covers my life plus any extras my mom needs to try and help her conserve money. I don't really have savings due to a massive student loan I'm still paying on and my own mortgage. I dont have a car. As a result, It costs me $50-70 in car rental, cabs and public transportation to get to my mom each time I visit. I cannot live with my mom. Personality wise as well as just my life does not allow it.
I am the youngest of 5, only girl. 2 brothers live out of state and I have to beg them for cooperation, which usually doesn't even work. One brother we have not seen in 7 years. Another brother lives in town about a half hour from my mom and is marginally helpful when asked for help. He is better with patience than I am. he also has a job. He tries.
My aunt and a cousin drive my mom around during the week as needed. I visit as often as possible. Usually I spend Saturday night through Sunday with her unless I have a Saturday plan, then all day Sunday. I do her shopping, spend time with her and pick up the house when I'm there. My brother also tries to visit one day a week. He tries to help with household chores.
My mom isn't and hasn't always been nice. She has believed that I owe her because she cared for me as a child. She puts it all on me but doesn't ask anything of her sons. She belittles a job I work hard at and begrudges any personal life that I do have. Its always been this way. She has hated every boyfriend and refuses to even learn my friends names. She bad mouths me to family members who believe that I am a horrible daughter who lets her rot in the house. My aunt thinks I should do more. I talk to my mom literally 10 times a day by phone. I visit as often as possible. My mom apparently complains about me to my aunt and cousins, who begrudge me even a dinner out with friends. I work 80 hour weeks, I go to an exercise class three times a week and I let myself have one night out. Hardly glamorous. Also, Im ALLOWED to have a life. I'm bitter and have been for years. Which doesn't help now. I've eeked out some freedom from my mom in the last couple of years. Now, all I see is everyone demanding I change my life when my mom refuses to alter hers .
The big issue now is her independence. She currently cannot drive but one of her doctors, the eye doctor if you can believe it, told her she could drive. She can't even see the door handle. I said no way, not until ALL her doctors give her the ok. She says she is going to TRY and that I cannot make her dependent. I offered to pay for a drivers rehabilitation program to evaluate and assist her. She hung up on me and told me to F off. I asked her to look at single level condos in my neighborhood, where she could be a part of my daily life. She won't even consider it. She just wants us all to stop "picking on her" and leave her alone. She wants us to visit more but we really do our best. She is critical and mean. And I'm at my wits end. I end up yelling at her and telling her to stop acting like a child. I simply don't know what to do. All my solutions are shot down.
Added problem- when I bought my condo 14 years ago, I needed my parents to co sign the loan. Her name is on my mortgage and the title though she doesn't pay anything for it.. I never even thought about this until just recently. (I'm working on getting this changed now.) I'm worried my house would be attached as an asset if she does end up In a home. Her continuedh independence is obviously important for a lot of reasons. Help!