Learning to cope with parents bad decision not feeling guilty.

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Today, I finalized realized there is nothing I can do to change my mom. She needs care, her short term memory is impaired and should be supervised. I was reminded she is an adult and can make decision for herself, even if they are wrong.


I had gotten my mom to visit some assisted living facilities the past few weeks. I truly believe she did it just to get me off her back about living somewhere safer. After taking a tour of one today, we visited her primary care Dr., as she has been picking at a cut on her leg (which she got from a fall). The Dr. confirmed it was infected and prescribed more medication. To which I burst into tears at. OF course he was confused. He asked what was wrong, to which I said you are offering my meds to which she will refuse to take and continue at pick at her cut and then what. He nicely explained that I am just a Dr. I can give her the tools to treat the condition, but she has to do it, no one can make her.

I hear what he is saying, but it is so hard to accept. He and I know the results will be bad. For the last two months she has had 24 hour in home companions. She refuses their help, they are there to make my day easier to know there is some one around for when she falls or passes out from not taking her insulin. However, we will not be able to keep up with this expensive. This is the why of the assisted living.

Now add on the other fact that she really is not that nice to me, and most of the time after a visit I leave crying and declare I can't be responsible for her. Then I the hour drive home, if not me then who? My brother who lives thousands of miles away and is dealing with the suicide of his son. (He does check in on me, but has similar experience with our mom, she is just not nice to us.) Her friend who lives around the corner who does check in on her most days, but is starting to realize the more she does for my mom the more my mom expects her to do.

So, I can't make her do what she does not want to do, I get. Now how to I just say, OK and let her fail?

I feel for you, i really do, ESPECIALLY because her doctor is so passive and ineffectual.

In your shoes, i would call the local Area Agency on Aging and ask for a needs assess9. Be there when they visit.

Call APS. Report your mom as a vulnerable adult. They may or may not be able to do anything. But you've then put them on notice that YOU see that she can't care for herself.

This is so hard to watch and I think as adults we are used to problem solving and fixing things. I have this same issue - my dad will NOT let anyone help him manage his medicine (he as about 8 daily prescriptions) and he mixes up amounts and timetables. My stepmom spent the 1st year after his stroke trying to argue with him and finally said "enough". We cannot control another person's decisions. But it is hard to watch my dad struggle breathing because he won't take his pills for edema due to them making him have to go to the bathroom frequently.

My inlaws, mid-70's, sold their house of 45 years and instead of looking at senior living options - chose to move to a small town 50 miles from their doctors with very limited assistance for seniors. Fast forward five years - they get upset that my brother in law can't drive 50 miles nearly every day to cut their grass, take them grocery shopping, fix this or that. AND they are starting to not want to make the drive to their doctor's because it is so far. they WILL not consider selling and moving to senior living or an assisted living. When they sold their house, all of us siblings, and even their aged siblings - encouraged senior housing to provide gradually more assistance and care. NOPE.

Babalou, as always, gave great advice about calling the local AAonA. Good luck to you.
Thanks everyone, I have talked to s social worker in her area, actually sent by one of her doctors to talk to her. Mom refused to talk to her or even come out of her room to meet her. This was actually about a month ago. A nurse practitioner also came out and did an evaluation. Their consistences is she understands that not taking her medication is dangerous, so there is nothing that can be done. It is just a difficult idea to accept. I am trying let myself be OK with just doing the few small things she allows me to. However she relaying a lot on her friend / neighbor who keeps telling me she can't be her caregiver. I get that but mom does not.
The hardest thing is the phone calls from family and friends that visit her. They all have the need to tell me the same things. She is not taking her meds and doesn't want to eat anything but junk food. Like I don't know! Then they have to tell me how dangerous that is and I need to be concerned. I am concerned! For some reason they believe that since I am her daughter I can just make her or she has to listne to me. Well the complete opposite is true, since I am her daughter all the more reason to see me as the enemy who wants to luck her away and take away her life. Just Sigh, I don't feel like a caregiver since she will not let me do the best for her, she does not want me to but everyone thinks it is so easy to just make thinks happen. I do not wish this on them and hope that their parents make it easier for them.
She is getting you depressed. If she is legally competent you are stuck, like a doc with a noncompliant patient. You care and you can't make things better that could be better.

Tell those helpful friends and family the truth. You have tried and failed to change her behavior...maybe YOU could step in and talk to her....maybe she will listen to you, she will not listen to me! Then they will either try to help or they will shut up.
Tattoochick, one thing that is very troubling about it is that your mother's actions will most likely come back to bite you in the backside. I think about what might happen if she neglects that wound on her leg, particularly if she is not managing her sugar well. She'll end up maybe losing a leg and probably then want a caregiver. I wish it were different. I know there is only so much you can do. What you can do is look for opportunities to take charge of certain things, like her medication or food. It may be a crisis that makes her realize she has to straighten up a bit. This is a bit like watching a wreck, knowing the outcome won't be good, but being unable to stop it.
T, just remember WHEN the crash comes and she is taken to the hospital, get onto discharge plannong from the get go to get her into a facility. Get her into rehab and then to Long term care. You have my sympathies.
Thanks wvweyuone. That is the hard part the waiting for the crisis, where maybe she will me help.
Lol! When I read your first post I almost replied - I was gonna say "just wait till the phone calls start coming. All the well meaning but totally clueless friends and relatives that start with "you need to... Or you need to have her, get her to..." Like you didn't know, haven't already tried - more than once. These little conversation are on my "top five list of things that make me crazy - looking after my mother". But I see by you second post you already know this one well. Drives ya nuts, huh?

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