Follow
Share

My mother is in her 90's and has fallen 3 times in the past 6 months; each time requiring a hospital stay. Each time, the doctors have recommended a rehab facility but mom absolutely refuses to go into one -- so, we have in home nursing and therapy 3 times a week, and someone come in each morning to make sure she gets up, bathed, fed, medicated, and gets her situated for the day. I come by after work to fix her dinner and sit with her until she is safely in bed.

Early on, mom would only agree to having the nurse's aid come in Mon-Sat, and every other Sunday because she wanted to have one day without any outsiders in the house. It turned out that on the off Sundays, she would end up calling me to get her out of bed, so we agreed the aid would come in 7 days a week. Last night I confirmed the aid was coming and I called this morning to make sure she was actually here. Mom said aid was probably at a neighbor's and she would be fine.

I called her around 4 to see what she did today and what she wanted for supper. It was then that I learned the aid had not come and mom had been unable to get out of bed the entire day. When I got to her house, I found her still in bed, laying in urine soaked pajamas! I asked her why she hadn't called me earlier and she said she figured she would be able to get up on her own eventually. When I questioned her about the incontinence, she said that she hadn't actually wet the bed, but that every time she moved, a little came out. (A lot came out apparently, because her mattress pad was soaked as well.)

I got her up out of bed and into the bathroom and she apparently had a lot of urine left inside. She finally finished using the bathroom and bathed herself, and I helped her dry off and get dressed. She's sitting up in the den now and still seems very sleepy and either not willing or not able to carry on a conversation. She's just reading the paper and dozing off. When I ask her if she was sleeping, she insists she was just resting her eyes.

I'm feeling very guilty for not following up to make SURE the aid was here, and also guilty that my mother was laying in her own urine soaked bedding for the entire day. I'm also frustrated that she didn't think it was necessary to call me, or one of her friends in the neighborhood who know her condition.

She steadfastly refuses to give anyone power of attorney and steadfastly refuses to go into assisted living. She's always been fiercely independent and I know she feels a lot of anger and resentment about needing a little help to get up and get through the day.

Having her declared incompetent would destroy her, but I'm not convinced she is capable of making logical decisions about her health and well being. n She's lucid enough to know the basics... day of the week, time of day, what meds she needs to take when, etc.... but when I ask her about her day.... what she did, who she talked to, what she saw on television or read in the paper, she gets annoyed with me.

Her aid, the nurse, and the physical therapist all think she is so witty and wonderful -- but she treats me and her close friends with increasing hostility and accuses us of being bossy.

I really don't know what to do now. Has anyone else experienced a similar progression?

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
I wish you and your Mom a peaceful day and evening. This can't be easy on either of you. However, swearing at her isn't going to help either you or her AS I'M SURE YOU ALREADY REALIZED. She can't reason well at all times and this may be due to her pain medication and/or issues with dementia. Please make your last days with her be fond ones. I guarantee you that this will will be exactly how you prefer it to be be when you look back at things. I know you're going through a difficult time and not to lose it at times is going to be a huge challenge but someday you will be proud of yourself for not losing your temper with your Mom. It was good that you apologized to your Mom for your outburst and were candid about her becoming bedridden. I bet you feel good about this!!! Good job!!! God bless you!!! I would tell myself that I had one shot to do this right when I took care of my Husband and this helped me to to not scold him when he didn't want to do things for me. I knew that he was exhausted and sick so tried my best to put myself in his shoes. Whenever I reacted this way, I always felt proud of myself for not saying something that I might regret later. I believe with all of my heart that there's a right way and a wrong way to say things. God believes this way too. Your Mother most likely looks at you as her Angel if she says it or not. My Husband would call me Angel and I knew he appreciated everything that I did for him. I knew darn well that if the tables were turned and I was in his shoes, he would do for me just what I was doing for him. May he rest in peace. I miss him more than words could ever say.

You must give yourself a hug. You deserve a hug. Like I have expressed before, caregiving is the best gift of all. SINCERELY, RUBYINRED
(1)
Report

Sorry, just had an afterthought and checked the post after your appt with the oncologist. Best guess is that it's not cancer is good news; but I wish it was better than a guess. If they don't want to CT your mother's head to check for stroke (possibly on the grounds that it's too long since her main symptoms) tell them what the oncologist is recommending and they might think it's best to do it anyway. They need to have a look at what's going on. Fingers crossed it will prove to be a waste of time and radiation - that would be a good thing! x
(2)
Report

Sb - well I think that settles the stroke question - needing an abnormal amount of sleep afterwards is typical. You'd better get her checked out as soon as you can.

You're right that mobility is very important, both for her general muscle tone and for her brain function. But it's a fine line to tread between encouraging mobility and making impossible demands on her remaining energy level. With my own mother things did eventually return (not quite) to normal after her small strokes, but it took weeks if not months.

And another will be on its way - I really wouldn't put off getting her examined, if I were you. Again, report exactly what you've posted - it's all significant. Best of luck x
(1)
Report

Last night I couldn't sleep so I had the TV on (I sleep in the den at the other end of the house). Around 1:30 in the morning my mother and her rolling walker ambled into the den because her cell phone was chirping -- keeping her awake. After the difficulty getting her up in the morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see that she had gotten up completely on her own. After sitting with me for a few minutes, she went back to bed. I checked on her every couple hours during the night and she seemed to be sleeping soundly.

This morning was a repeat of yesterday morning. Initially she said she had a good night, and would get up in a minute. A half hour later she said she'd get up when she was ready to get up.

My fear is that if the time to get out of bed increases by even a little each day, it won't be long before she just decides it's easier to stay in bed and will lose what little muscle she has and become permanently bedridden. After an hour of the aide and I trying to coax, cajole, and bribe her to get up, I finally let loose with a string of profanity that would make a sailor blush. I told her that her behavior was F'n killing me and that I wasn't sure how much longer I could take it. I stormed out of her room and went into the Den. Ten minutes later she was up -- when I left, she told the aide that after that outburst, she HAD to get up.

I know she's in pain but she's on the maximum dose of pain reliever the doctor prescribed, but she sits almost all day (except for a couple walks around the inside of the house). In bed, she sleeps on her side with her knees up (as if she had just been tipped out of the chair sideways onto the bed).

Tonight I apologized about my outburst and was very candid with my fears about her becoming permanently bedridden. She said it was ok... but when I asked her how long a reasonable time would be for us to wait for her to get up when she was "ready", she said 10 minutes. When I told her about this morning, she said she was sitting on the edge of the bed when I walked in. (Completely forgetting the hour we were trying to get her to sit up and get out of bed). She seems to remember what she wants to remember.
(1)
Report

God bless all of you!!! I can't even begin to say just how MUCH it means to me to have others commend me on my caregiving. I believe that I did all that I possibly could for my Husband, Grandmother, and Mom and knowing this gives me peace of mind. It's a role reversal to start making decisions for people who helped you to make your own decisions in the past. However, the adjustment is hard at first and then gets easier in the end. I became stronger when my Husband became weaker. I would tell myself that I had to be there for him because he couldn't take care of himself anymore. I prayed to God over and over for strength. It happened!!! When you feel powerless, please turn to God. I'm telling you that after I prayed to God, I always had more hope. I believed in God and knew that He would do what was best for both me and my Husband. Also, reach out to others for support whenever you can find the time to do so. There are nice people in this world who will reach out and help you. I believe that people in your same shoes usually offer the best advice. Been there!!! Done that!!!

My caregiving days have ended for now. If my brother or sister would need me, I would do it again for them. However, not soon, I hope. I'm still grieving the loss of my Husband. I need time to rebuild. I haven't done much of anything for about 4 years. I went mall walking yesterday. I needed to get out for awhile. I still think of where I once was and miss having a purpose in life. But, I will I find a new purpose in life. I'm not going to give myself no deadline at this point. I just want to say thank you all for your sweet comments. It made my day to come online a few minutes ago and find them. Have a good day!!! Cherish each and every moment with your loved one(s). Sincerely, Rubyinred
(1)
Report

All - thank you for the supportive words and encouragement! This morning was a little challenging getting my mother out of bed; the pain in her abdomen must be excruciating -- but after her coffee and morning meds, she did quite well -- (no sign of aphasia -- but I'm enough of a realist to know it will happen again - I'm going to call her primary care physician on Monday and let her know about the episode so it can be added to my mother's records).

Rubyinred -- I share others in my offers of condolences for your loss. I'd also like to say thanks for staying with this community and offering advice to us newbies! To answer your question, it's just me. no other family in this country, and only distant relatives elsewhere. Mom has a couple friends who provide support and talk to her as peers (bypassing that whole parent-child dynamic). I am also very fortunate to have a simply amazing home healthcare worker who cares for my mother and fusses over her as if it were her own flesh and blood.
(1)
Report

Rubyinred. I am so sorry for your loss it is so recent and so near to the holidays. You did a wonderful job taking care of your husband so do not feel you failed in any way asking hospice to help you. That is what they are there for and they have the resources and knowledge to make the last days as peaceful and pain free as possible. Asking for help is never a sign of failing in fact it is just the opposite. Blessings and hugs
(1)
Report

HI,

First of all my heart goes out to you. My husband just died in October. I had to have homecare from midnight until six a.m. so I could get some rest. I wanted to be with him all his day hours and early evening hours. I knew that I had to have help after his last hospital stay. He was coherent at times and not coherent at times. It was difficult because he like your Mom wanted to remain independent. He had one on one care every hour of the day. It was a challenge but the only way I would have had it for him. I have no regrets of being with him day in and day out. In fact, I cried at the thought of him going to a nursing home. He died the day after his birthday. He just turned 89 years old. Anyway, at some point, you will have to call the decisions for your Mom if she likes it or not. She sounds not capable of taking care of herself and having someone there more often would be best for her. Do you have any relatives who can help you out? I realize that homecare is expensive. This is why I'm asking this. One one one, personalized care like day in and day out is ideal because she could fall at anytime. Keeping your Mom in her own home could be a compromise instead of having her go to a nursing home. However, it will take great commitment to accomplish this.. My Mom had cancer and I had to make changes to keep her at home home but I didn't do this for two weeks or so because it was right before Christmas. On January 2nd, I got the ball rolling though. I told her that she could stay at home with oxygen or go in the hospital. I gave her this choice. She went with the oxygen. She also died at home with the help of family and professional caregivers. Again, her wishes were honored and later my husband's wishes were honored as well. I praise God for giving me the strength to take care of my Mom, Grandma, and Husband. Love and devotion says a lot!!! Good luck to you with your Mom!!! My heart goes out to you because I know it's very hard to make the right decisions. The hardest for me was when I had to surrender to hospice,. I could always fix my husband and in the end, I couldn't do this anymore. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS!!!
(3)
Report

Mom has the right refuse treatment whether it is her best interests or not unless she is declared incompetent.
To me it also sounds like a TIA and Warfarin or Asprin sounds like a good idea but leave that up to the Drs.
(0)
Report

Just read sb23508's second post...I have to agree that vanity and pride play a big part in the behavior of many aging people. But I can understand it. Also, I think you're doing the right thing to make her do stuff herself. I try to do that as well. Sometimes before meals I make her go for a walk in the apartment since she doesn't get enough exercise and I'm concerned about maintaining her limited mobility. All of these little things count.

Re your 3rd post, it sounds like a stroke to me as well, one that would be treated with a blood thinner. I'd take her to the dr. for an MRI, even now. They might recommend her being on blood thinner (though maybe not since she's a fall risk--clearly talking to a doctor is a good idea!).
(0)
Report

Oops! Should be: she _does_ need an aide.
(1)
Report

First of all, you can _never_ trust an aid. That's why most of us do what we do. Always follow up. But you have learned that lesson, I'm sure. Don't indulge yourself in a guilt trip. Caregiving for those of us not trained in it is a learning experience. You can't and shouldn't expect to be perfect at it. You do the best you can.

Re the sleeping/resting eyes--it's normal at that age/stage. My mom's doing it to. Older people seem to rest/nap a lot, perhaps because they don't sleep as well at night.

Re the POA--you need to arrange for your mother to meet with an elder law/wills and estates attorney. He should be the one to explain to her the pros and cons of a POA, and create one that ensures her protection. Not having one is irresponsible of your mother, to both herself and you, and it can make your life hell when you really need it and don't have it.

I disagree with at least one of the posters here--your mom sounds like she is doing fine at home, as long as she has someone there with her. She does not need an aid, but she may need you to go with her to doctor appointments so that you an monitor her care. I feel like people go to nursing homes to die/deteriorate. Being in one's own home is such a benefit. to one's mental and physical health Keep her there as long as you can/it is safe for her.

I don't know much about the personality quirks but I think it's pretty normal for aging people to get frustrated/irritable/ungrateful with their caregivers. It seems to pop up a lot on this site!

Other than that, you just have to learn to take each day as it comes, I think. It's tremendously difficult watching someone effectively fall apart. I've been doing it for 1 year and 2 months and I still have nights where I curl into a ball and bawl. Sometimes thinking of it as a process, the same way growing up is a process, helps me keep things in perspective. Good luck!
(2)
Report

SB, that sounds a lot like a small stroke, and speaking for myself I marched my mother straight to the car and down to ER in spite of her inability to understand what was wrong or why I was worried.

Jinx's point is a good one, but your mother's got a good a chance of becoming physically and/or intellectually disabled unless she gets diagnosed and treated. The ER would need to check whether the stroke/TIA is caused by a clot or a bleed. If it's a clot, she should be on (temporary) aspirin and long-term Clopidogrel to prevent another, but that would affect the surgeon's plans (the surgeon needs to hear about all this anyway, very important). If it's a bleed, and she's already on anti-platelet meds, they'd need adjusting.

This is likely to happen again; when it does, it's straight to ER. Meanwhile report exactly what happened to any doctor she comes into contact with. Best of luck x
(4)
Report

I don't blame you for being worried. If she were 50 or 70, I would have her in the ER so fast....

But she's in her 90's. Something is going to get her, and it won't be that long. Maybe 5 years, maybe more. If she has had that small a stroke, could they really do anything about it? They would keep her awake all night and stick needles in her and ask her questions. She has told you what she wants, and I think you would be wise and kind to accept her verdict.

If she were spouting blood or in pain, that would be different.

It's so hard, especially when it's not clear what is the right thing to do. God bless you with a good night's sleep.
(1)
Report

We went to the OB/GYN oncologist today. After examining mom, he recommended surgery to remove the ovaries and tumors in the hope they are the cause of her abdominal pain. The good news is that his best guess is they are not cancer -- but of course he can't say for certain until they've been sent to the lab. He explained the risks and potential benefits of the surgery and she's decided to go through with the procedure, which will be done on an outpatient basis. Mom was HOPING for a clean bill of health today and I think that even though she maintained a stiff upper lip, the lack of that clean bill of health and anticipation of the surgery next month has her somewhat shaken up (which I think is perfectly normal).

What isn't normal is what happened this evening. Mom seemed stable in the afternoon and said she'd like to have the house to herself for a while so she could just relax. I reviewed the evening schedule with her, laid out her pills, and made sure she had a sandwich in the fridge in case she got hungry before I came back to her house. A couple hours later I called to tell her I was on the way back and ask if there was anything she needed. She said she was very tired and was on her way to bed. Shortly after that call, one of her friends called me. She had just spoken with mom and said she just didn't sound right.

When I got to her house, she had already changed into her pajamas and was in bed. I asked if she ate the sandwich and she said yes. Then she uttered words in the form of a sentence -- but each word was gibberish. When I checked in the fridge, I found the sandwich still wrapped and untouched. I asked her some other questions to check her comprehension and verbal abilities. Except for 3 instances of using a word that didn't fit in the sentences, she seemed coherent, lucid and able to follow the flow of the conversation. The earlier gibberish and those 3 wrong words had me concerned so I called one of those 24/7 ask-a-nurse lines. The nurse talked to my mother directly and, for the most part, her responses were logical -- but again, she substituted a few words with random words -- unrelated to the conversation. The nurse recommended calling 911 and getting her into the hospital for evaluation -- but mom steadfastly refused, insisting she was perfectly OK and that I shouldn't worry. With that said, I ended the call with the nurse.

After the call, I explained to mom that it was possible she had a mini stroke and she might not even been aware of it. She insists she's fine and reiterated her absolute refusal to go to the ER tonight. I told her I was worried about her and *I* would feel better if she got checked out. She told me she was fine and to go to bed.

Each time I go in to check on her, she seems fine and resting comfortably. My dilemma is deciding whether to follow the nurse's recommendation and risk being subjected to mom's wrath for not abiding by her wishes and forcing her to go to the ER -- or just take her at her word and hope she is OK tomorrow morning. In my head, logic tells me that this new symptom of random word selection could be significant -- but it is also possible that the stress of going to the doctor was just too much to bear and THAT is the source of the problem.

Has anyone else faced this issue of a parent exhibiting a symptom which could be indicative of a new problem developing -- but the parent absolutely refuses to go to the ER? If so, how did you handle it? (I know it is too late for THIS episode, but if it happens again, I'd like to be better prepared.

Thoughts?
(0)
Report

The best thing to do now would be to move your mom to an assisted living home where she will be taken care of 24/7. Even you would get time for yourself that too without worrying for her. My grand mother was recently moved to Luvida memory Care and trust me it was the best choice I made for her. She enjoys the company of her fellow residents there and her personal hygiene is also well taken care of.
(1)
Report

Zdarov, I think that with dementia, elders get into a survival mode. They get to be really self-centered because they are so afraid. Of course it makes us angry, though.

Try to let it roll off your back as much as possible. Remember she is a pitiful old lady, even when she's cussing you out or pulling your strings and pushing your buttons.

Feel free to come here and complain. We get it.
(3)
Report

There is so much great insight on this thread. As someone with a non-severe but def. borderline mother, I'm going to agree that sb's mom might only be stubborn and proud. :) However emjoan's words ring for me. Great that the lapse in communication w the caregiver is now solved. I love the insight about anxiety and frustration not being the same as guilt! Gosh, my mom's only 81, you guys have some real oooold mothers! I'm going to discuss the POA thing with mine. About the bell curve (arc), are these women (notice how few posts on dads there are here?) just enjoying being like child brats again... or maybe for the first time, they were seen and not heard as children so want their last waltz. It'd be great to not be so p&ssed at my mother's attitude - I get called controlling all the time. Would love to laugh it off. We can't engage with this like it's a rational interaction, is that right?
(1)
Report

if your mother is dropping weight she may be declining. dying with dignity to me means letting her make her own decisions and try to keep her as safe as you can. falls are going to happen. its declining mobility and body strength, not shoddy caregiving. my mom refused surgery, exploratory or otherwise on a sinister looking kidney mass. as i read on the subject i found that surgery for such a condition on someone her age is futile and just not recommended. so in hindsight she made the best decision even if it sounded crazy to me. you dont get to 80 or 90 yrs old without aquiring some wisdom.
(1)
Report

Sorry, forgot to say - with the wrist fractures, they're keeping an eye on her haemoglobin levels are they? I'm sure they will be, but…

If she got anaemic that would contribute to her fatigue and frailty. Worth asking about, but not worth worrying about as long as you've confidence in her doctors.
(0)
Report

Oh. That's a very sad "oh," by the way. The weight loss doesn't sound good. Neither does Fall No. 2 (1 and 3 could happen to anyone).

From your closing paragraph, I have to say your mother doesn't seem to me to be trying to lay much guilt on you - or at least not very successfully, QED, which is about as healthy as it gets. Guilt is a futile emotion. Either you're doing everything you should be (and you most certainly are) in which case it's nonsensical; or you're not, in which case it's your mind's way of telling you that you should get your finger out and do something about it. Don't confuse the appropriate, natural anxiety and frustration you're feeling with guilt. Your mother seems from what you've said about her to be the opposite of a manipulative drama queen. She's not behaving like this to make your life difficult. She just wants to get on with it, with as little interference and intrusion from others as possible: completely according to character.

I wish you both all the best, and will hope for positive news.
(0)
Report

If an oncologist attempts aggressively to treat significantly advanced ovarian cancer in a nonagenarian, he should be struck off. Sb, I sincerely hope this part of the discussion will prove irrelevant; but in case it doesn't, and you find you've got a gung-ho oncologist on your hands, insist on a second opinion from a geriatrician without delay. Ideally, find one you like the sound of now and brief him/her in advance.
(1)
Report

My mother's been fiercely proud of being at her age and still managing her own affairs, driving when/where she wanted to go; independent to the extent of her physical capabilities. (gardening, but no heavy yard work)

Her first fall was caused by attempting to pick up her significantly overweight dachshund to put him on her bed and she lost her balance and fell on her buttocks. No broken bones (Thank God!) but significant bruising. It was at this first instance that her doctor recommended she go into a rehab facility -- but she refused, so after her stay in the hospital, we had in-home therapy and nursing 3x a week, and a nurse's aid come in from 7:30-5:30 and my shift was 5:30 - 7:30.

The second fall was in church, where she fainted, breaking a wrist and a few facial bones. Again, the same routine: hospital stay, followed by in home care 24/7

The most recent fall was happened when her cane got stuck on the corner of a cabinet at her hair salon, where she broke a wrist.

Each instance involved a physician's recommendation that she go into rehab to work on balance and general strength training. The difference between facility and in-home would be therapy 2x daily vs. 3x per week.

For me, the evening shift is what it is. I'm fortunate in that my employer and co-workers are fully aware of the situation and very understanding. Do I like the interruption in my life overall, having to do my own laundry, pet care, meals and such on the run? I'll be honest-- it wouldn't be my first choice, but I'm managing.

As for the guilt, I've had a discussion with the nurse's aid. Any time she will not be during the day shift -- either because of personal reasons or because my mother told her not to come, she will call me. The break in communications was that my mother told the aid she could have the day off -- but she told ME that the aid would be there.

I think my mother's desire is partially fueled by vanity and a need for privacy. She doesn't like NOT being in control, and she's highly frustrated that she has to depend upon others for things she was quite capable of doing on her own just a few months ago. I get the "I didn't want to bother you" routine almost daily -- but it's issued more as a guilt trip than a desire not to be bothered. (It was one of her friends who pointed out the guilt stuff to me)

In a nursing home, she would be fed, medicated, and given therapy according to the assessed daily needs. At home, she chooses what she wants to eat, and when she doesn't feel like eating, she doesn't -- her primary care physician is concerned about her continued weight loss. For the meds, it is a matter of "take 3 of these daily, take 4 of those daily..etc., until the next office appointment.

By the time I get to that stage, I'm hoping society allows us to die with the dignity we afford our pets.

My mother's neighborhood is very much like they were depicted in Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver -- except none of the women wear pearls and high heels when they vacuum the house. Seriously though, the older women in her neighborhood look out for one another.. if one is going to the market, she'll ask the others if they need anything.

Of course she's tired, and very, very old....But I think the bell curve is very much in effect; we start this life being dependent upon others, we grow up, and eventually -- either from physical or mental frailty -- leave this life being dependent upon others.

(Incidentally -- as I was typing this, my mother dispatched me to go into her room and get something for her. I asked her if she was able to get it herself and she said "yes... but you're here, so I asked you." When I suggested she do it herself, to get a little extra exercise in today, she got up out of her chair and did it herself.)
(2)
Report

Mom knows her own mind but may have a life threatening disease so the question will be to treat or not to treat. Only mom and the Drs can decide that but do not support her in a decision you feel is wrong. if she can spend whatever time she has left at home make that possible if you can. Consult hospice now and they can better explain your options and the likely course of the disease. Mom probably won't agree to see them but she can't stop you having a discussion in their office. if he opts for surgery and chemo it is her choice and so be it. Many oncologists are very aggressive and not always totally honest about the prognosis hey hate to have what they see as a failure. This will be very hard for you but without POA all you could do is seek guardianship and time may be short to go that route. We'll be thinking of you. keep posting your experience help others.
(3)
Report

I just found this site and signed up, and appreciate the questions and answers in this thread. Think I'm going to need you folks :) and will contribute where I can. Good luck with that new resource, sb!
(3)
Report

Good, Emjo! I hope that happens according to the spirit, as well as the letter, of the law - round here we hear too many stories about 'home from hospital' discharge plans being marvellous works of fiction. Expensive, of course; but it sounds as if that wouldn't be a problem for sb and his mother, judging by what's already been happening?

I'm assuming that the practical bases can be covered. What remains is how to make those very difficult decisions about treating/not treating, and where. Very hard on the caregiver, but - in my view - actually for the cared-for to decide, especially when her wishes have been clear and consistent.

I wholly sympathise with sb's longing to help his mother and improve her condition; I can see myself wanting to do the same; but hospitals and nursing homes are not nice places to be and the mother appears to me to know her own mind on that point.

I'm not looking forward to the time when I will have to agree that further intervention would be heroic in my mother's case. I just hope I'll recognise it when it comes and be able to get her home to her own bed, her familiar surroundings and her preferred routine.
(2)
Report

I agree with Countrymouse. Your mom is in her 90s. (Mine is too.) Our moms are going to die, probably within the decade, and perhaps sooner. Nothing we can do will prevent that. Naturally we want them to suffer as little as possible until then. But not everything is within our control. One thing that can help is seeing that she has in-home help. You have seen to that. Mother accepts that. The morning aid did not show up one day. This was not your Mother's fault. Perhaps in the future you will call the agency if the aid is not there when you are expecting her, but her missing a day was not your fault.

Your mom has always been in control. Let her stay in control. If she does need more in-home care in the future, let her control that as much as she can.

Do you admire your mother's independent spirit? Tell her that. Are you glad she hasn't just given up, and she is still trying to cope on her own? Tell her that.

I am sure there are many of your mother's traits you do not admire. You are certainly not going to change your mother at this point in her life. Spend this time maintaining a meaningful relationship with her.

It must be awful, terrible, horrible, and no-good to be a strong-willed, independent person and suddenly not be able to get out of bed. Poor thing. Nothing to be gained by lecturing her or figuring out whether she peed or leaked. Assure her that if she ever does need help, or even if she just wants to talk about whether she needs help or not, you are available to her. Make it clear that you don't want to bother her and that you are available to help.

Good look with this challenging situation.
(6)
Report

cm - in the US I believe that someone who is seriously ill cannot be released to their home unless there is approved care in place, I have been soundly reminded my mother's lawyer of my responsibilities as EPA and potential PD .
(0)
Report

Sb, I'm sorry, I missed your second post. Two things:

1. You say: "She expects that as her son, it is my responsibility to help her. She said that if she really DID need help, she would ask for it." You say she expects one thing. She says - not quite the opposite, but not at all the same thing. Well, which is more true? I'm not sure it's her expectations that are the problem. I think it might have more to do with your very understandable anxiety. But, really, take her word for it. Be there as much as you - and I do mean you yourself, not your mother as far as you can gauge her - can, want, need to be. Don't beat yourself up about not being there when she hasn't asked you to.

2. If the ovarian masses turn out to be bad news, LISTEN to her wishes. If she wants to come home, let her come home.

I do apologise for having assumed above that you were a daughter, not a son: very wrong of me.
(2)
Report

So, to recap:

Your mother has lived independently up until 6 months ago – without requiring any support from you, or actually with quite a lot of help?

Do we know what caused her to fall on the three occasions since then?

Why, specifically, did the doctors recommend a rehab facility? What treatment would she have received there that hasn't successfully been provided at home?

Can you manage your “evening shift” all right, or is it too burdensome mid- to long-term? I'm just asking, not criticising.

Because it seems to me that your guilt – I understand, you feel terrible – is centred on one isolated occasion when a plan fell through. But what's the big deal? So next time you'll know to check. An unpleasant experience for your mother, made you feel awful too, but a) really not your fault and b) no lasting harm done. I'd be more interested in finding out where the break in communications happened that meant the aide didn't turn up as arranged, and putting that right.

I also completely understand your frustration – with my mother, who however is in early dementia, the refusal to use her alert nearly drove me to drink. As I said to a care manager “My mother wouldn't ask for help if she was on fire.” It was at its most stressful for me when my mother kept telling me she “didn't want to bother me.” Magically, once I realised that the truth was she didn't want me bothering her, it all made a lot more sense.

It may be that your mother is slipping away. She's in her 90s. She's entitled. Why does she have to do it in a nursing home instead of in her own home, as she has always wished?

The thing is, if you were getting to the stage where you'd had enough and you wanted to be allowed to let go gently, in peace, how would you handle it? Give POA to someone whose natural concern would make her whisk you off to an institution? Stir up a fuss with the neighbours when you didn't feel any real need to do so? - and she was right, you know; there wasn't any real need. Different if she'd fallen or been taken seriously ill, but she just needed to go – it could wait.

I don't think your mother is showing signs of dementia. I think she's tired, and very, very old. Is it impossible, in the practical sense, for you to let her do things her way?
(5)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter