Elderly Mom with NPH needs 24/7 assisted living.

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My 76 yr old mother has been diagnosed with NPH. My brother who lives with her and I took care of her 24/7 for 6 mos before surgery. We hired a part-time nurse as he works crazy hours with grave yard shifts and and a different schedule each week. I would go down at 2 am to relieve him, stay evening when he was working. I have POA so I was responsible for all bills, banking, doctors and errands. I also have a husband, 3 children and had to take a 5 mo LOA from work which affected my family and our financial situation gravely. My mom has had a shunt and is now walking, her cognitive skills are back, but she still needs care. She refuses assisted living and is so worried about my brother having to become independent. I have to go back to work and resume my life as I have basically had absolutely no life. I herniated a cervical disk lifting her (I am 120 pounds soaking wet). I need surgery as the disk is pushing on my spinal cord and I have lost feeling in my right arm and am in severe pain. Back at work until surgery, but still running back and forth like a ham pater in a cage. I am exhausted. My mother is financially comfortable and a bit more. The problem??? She refuses to spend that money for her care. I understand her fears and I have done everything to keep her out of assisted living, keep her in her home, my brother employed and in the home. She says she feels terrible that she is doing this to her children, but again refuses to pay for full-time nurses and/or assisted living. Her home is 3 bdrm, 2 ba and a pool. Too much for her and until I was injured I was cleaning it, cooking, hired a lawn service to cut the grass and my husband had to take on becoming Mr. Mom at our home while running a business. I missed all my daughter's award ceremonies at school this year, doctor's appts, family gatherings and every event I needed to attend. I am lucky to have the husband I have to step up, but we know it has to stop. I need some of my life back as this is physically and emotionally killing me just to make their lives what they want. I know I have gone over, above and beyond for my mom and my brother, but the guilt overcomes me. My mom and my brother are going to have to sacrifice now. He is 41 and she needs to cut the cord and they both need to realize that I need to have some kind of life too.


Does your mom have other impairments that are adding to her need for 24 hour care.? Does your brother have impairments? No one can work full time, raise a family and provide full time care. Even splitting it with one other person is hard. You are killing yourself and harming your children. What would happen if you stopped showing up? Mom would need to hire caregivers or go to al, right? Well that's what is going to happen if you become disabled or die. Looked at from that perspective, does it feel different? If you are poa, hire caregivers with her miney. That's what HER money is there for.
First of all, what is NPH?

Second, if her doctor believes that she needs to be in assisted living, then you can place her in one as her POA. You have the authority to pay for it using her money. Place her in an assisted living, sell her house to help pay for it, and use her money to help pay for it.

Third, at 41 it is past time for your brother to live on his own. Why is your mother afraid of your brother having to live independently?

Fourth, she claims that she hates doing what she is doing to you and to your brother? I don't believe it for those sound like the words of a person who uses emotional blackmail to get their way by making others feel obligated, guilty and afraid.

Fifth, you do need your life back and your own family needs you back. You will need to set some boundaries with your mother and your brother so that they will know that you are no longer at their beck and call.

Sixth, I wish you well in reclaiming your life and getting the surgery that you need.
NPH=Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
Assisted Living sounds like her best option. Many seniors have the pre-conceived idea that they will be staring at the four walls in an ALF, but nothing could be further from the truth. Take her on tours, a free lunch and some activities at a nearby facility. Mom met people she knew in high school and after a one-month trial, decided to stay.
I think Mom has two choices: 1) Use her money to pay for the care she needs in her home or 2) Use her money to pay for Assisted Living.

That's it. Her choice. Notice that there is no choice 3) Continue to exploit daughter's love and ruin her life.

Paid In-home care. Assisted Living. Doctor recommended AL. That's the choice I'd back. Just make it absolutely and unmistakably clear that there is no third choice. You love her but you are going back to living your own life, with the family that needs and deserves you.

(Pam's suggestion of visiting ALFs with Mom is a good one.)
Doctor recommends you to stay put in your house for a week to recover and get rest and get better.....Dr.s orders. Don't be available for them for a week. There are agencies that are bonded, and hire someone a few hours a day to relieve brother....

I tried the same thing, Hubby said it was killing me, no rest, family, life, and business..I couldn't do it.
Thank you all for your input and advice. All your responses are what I have been repeatedly told over and over by others.

In response to the questions asked: NPH is Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (build up of spinal fluid in the brain. As we age our brains shrink and the ventricles enlarge. Sometimes when this occurs, there is no real apparent reason other than aging. The build up causes the spinal fluid to put increased pressure on the brain causing motor impairments, dementia and incontinuance. In my mother's case she was unable to move her legs at all, had severe dementia and could not hold her urine or bowls. She also has a brain tumor (Acoustic Neuroma) which is pressing on her 8th cranial nerve causing deafness, but insignificant to any of her cognitive or motor impairments. On 5/7 a shunt was placed in her brain to relieve the pressure. This procedure was nothing short of a miracle. With physical therapy and close monitoring she is now walking with a walker and has regained the majority of her cognition, however; she still needs watching 24/7 as she is unsteady and I had to take her to Shands Hospital yesterday as these shunts frequently need adjustments as they malfunction. She was presenting symptoms.again.

As for my brother, he was born with a mild case of Cerebral Palsy. It is only evident by a slight gait in his walk. He is unlimited, in every area other than his social life which is limited only by my mom. He lives with her and has never had to pay rent and has basically had no responsibilities until she became ill and I began trying to instill them into him. It was amazing how he began to become self sufficient w/in 6 mos. now my mom is back and again reversing all the progression he has made. I do believe my mom feels guilt for his CP, but she has done nothing, but hurt him. I am still ordered to prepare his dinner plate. I have tried as well as my husband, my sister and my aunt. When the subject is brought up she comes back with "you are all trying to get rid of him"!!! My sister tried to talk to her about she and myself working with him to get his own place and gain his independence. She explained that if we don't, one of us will have to take him in and take care of him. Her reply was "that's okay". It is nothing but a huge fight and then she cries.
We do have a day time nurse as I have to work, however she will not pay for around the clock care and my brother goes in 3 days a week anytime between 4 am and 6 am and weekends. I live in a different town and have to get up at 2:30 am on those days and 5:00 am on the weekends. I do work for our family business so I am the on who misses work for all the doctor's appointments. We all know that my mother's reasoning is to make sure the money is there for my brother, however he works full-time, drives a $40,000 sports car and has more money in stocks and 401k then all of us put together. I want to use her money to give her the best quality of knife possible.

To make a long story short I know I my decision to stop enabling will permanently sever my relationship with my mother. I guess I am prepared at this point to take that risk in order to regain my life.

Also need to mention that even though my POA is still in force my mom has regained her mental state other than a few forgetful moments. I have given her checkbook and bills back to her as she insisted. I did asked my brother to be sure she is paying the bills. I really had no control over her writing checks out of sequence or my brother taking her to the bank to make withdrawals. It just made balancing the checkbook chaotic. I also can't stop her from supporting him and handing him money. He should have to be the responsible one and tell her no because she needs the money for her medical needs. Rather than stress myself out I just gave it all back to them. Wrong maybe???? Idk
Kaybee; your mom REALLY needs to see an eldercare attorney. She needs to find out if she can set up an irrevocable trust for your brother's care (there is a special provision for setting aside money for a disabled person, but it needs to be done by a lawyer who really knows his/her stuff). Not sure if there is any reasoning with her, but maybe this one last shot? Because if her money is not being spent on her care, God forbid one day she needs assistance, this "gifting" is not looked kindly upon.

I don't know if you saw your slip in your last post--although maybe it's just auto-correct..."best quality of KNIFE possible". If my Mom were doing this to me, I'd be angry as all hell. She's choosing your brother's quality of life over yours. You need to step away from this; your physical condition should be your top priority right now.
I meant life...typo

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