Mom and I are trapped with and by each other.

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I am the only child and sole caregiver for my 89-year-old mom w advancing dementia. We definitely care for one another but resent each other as well. With others she seems to be very alert, with me she's a zombie not knowing her shirt from her pants and putting depends on her head like a hat! Except for when I'm in a hurry, which is always, I learned to laugh at it and while it really is sad I figured better to laugh than drive myself nuts! She lives in my home and I pay sitters to be with her when I can (8 hrs of my 9 hr work day) but caregiving has put me 10K in debt over the past seven years. She has been denied for just about everything because the government says she has too much money. Someone please tell me where! Medicaid is a joke & wants to take every dime & I come out cheaper paying sitters out of packet as opposed to what they want for spend-down PLUS She has property in trust that must be maintained w her income until I can find a renter so I take care of her personal needs out of my own funds. The debt I can deal with – she made HUGE sacrifices for me over the years plus I'm a hard worker and will get myself out of this hole eventually. What I cannot deal with is her taking her colostomy bag off & spreading feces around the house when there's no sitter available. I work 3 hours in the morning getting her, myself & the house together before leaving for the office, work 9 hours, then return to clean shit for another 2 hrs after only having left her alone for 1 single hour between the time the sitter leaves and I get home. It may put my work at risk but I CANNOT WAIT FOR PASSPORT TO KICK IN SO SHE CAN GET THE H*LL OUT OF THE HOUSE DURING THE DAY SO I DON'T HAVE TO COME HOME AND CLEAN SH*T AGAIN AND AGAIN. I am doing the very best I can by myself w no support other than someone I have to pay. I tried to keep things positive but confess that I am angry that this has happened & that I feel imprisoned. Nothing will change quickly- I guess I just needed to have a little whine session... Even if you don't agree with my choices, Thanks 4 listening :-)


I don't know what Passport is and how it will make you life better. I do know that both you and your mother's health are in danger from her handling feces. Have you talked to an eldercare attorney about how to qualify her for Medicaid? My best to you, it sounds like an untenable situation.
Your mother made a lot of sacrifices for you and you don't mind making them for her. I get that.

Did your mother ever leave you alone for an hour when you were about 3 yo? Did she allow you to play in your poop day after day?

Here is the bottom line: Your mother CANNOT be left alone for an hour. The mess she makes is not only terrible for you, but unhealthy for her. And if her state of cognition is this poor, who can predict what other unhealthy or unsafe things she will get up to?

Believe me, I feel for you. Your situation is untenable and Not Your Fault. You are not intentionally a bad guy here.

But what you are doing is NOT the best care for your mother. A person with her level of dementia cannot be left alone any more than a 3-year-old can. Not even for an hour.

I don't know what Passport is or why you are waiting for it, but if Mom has too many assets to qualify for Medicaid, use some of those assets to get COMPLETE coverage for her, without a one-hour gap. OR do some more sacrificing and pay for the additional hour yourself. But whatever way you need to arrange it, Mom must not be left unattended.
Itgirl, talk to a benefits consultant, because if mom was wise enough to put her assets in a trust, there should be some help available. The ALF referred us to a no fee benefits consultant who was a LOT of help.
I thought the same thing as Jeanne - mom is definitely to where she can't be left alone at all. I sure hate this for you, and her. Medicaid could be your only option, unless you have an option to do some work from home and eliminate the care gap. It is very true that Medicaid is not in the business of preserving assets for spouses or heirs, but they are the safety net for a lot of people who truly have no other way to get care they need. And there are an awful lot of people in that net...hugs, this is tough stuff, and none of it is the way we would have thought it is or should be.

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