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Elderly mom with arthritis wants to remain in own home and care for Dad by herself. How do we r4spect her wishes and also be sure she and Dad are safe and helath issues monitored?

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GOGURLZ, I see from your profile that your Mom is 88 years old. Oh gosh, she is of that generation where the keeping of the house and taking care of her husband is "her job" and no one else.

My Mom [98] was that same way. I tried professional caregivers and Mom promptly shooed them out of the house on the 3rd day. The first evening, Mom grabbed the dinner bowl that Dad was eating from and threw out the contents... it was like how dare another woman cook for my father [she also cooked for my Mom]. This went around and around. It became so very stressful that I decided it was best for the caregivers to leave and we will figure out something later.

I also tried to bring in a cleaning service but Mom was insulted that I thought her house wasn't clean enough. Such a generation gap... if the cleaning service came to my door, I would be holding the door opened welcoming the crew in and doing a happy dance :)

Sadly we sometimes need to wait for a crises to happen.... talk about the stress of waiting for that, every time the phone rang I panicked. Two weeks after the caregivers had left my parent's house, my Mom had a major fall which put her into the hospital and then into long-term-care, she never came home. In the mean time, I got the caregivers back for Dad whom he appreciated and welcomed them into the house.

Eventually Dad wanted to move to senior living, so I found a wonderful complex and he was happy as a clam living there for almost a year. He wishes he would have moved there years ago.

GOGURLZ, what does your Dad think about the situation? Or has his dementia got to a point where he unable to make decisions. If he still have a clear mind, could he convince your Mom to bring in caregivers or to move to IL? Or is Mom the ruler of the house, like my Mom was? My Dad just followed what Mom wanted to do regarding this situation. It was easier then fighting with her :P
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I am having this problem with Dad. he wants me, his daughter, to tend to it all and his daughter is very drained. he has dementia and yes I have become the drill sergeant in the military around here. Then I started sharing my experiences with people and I came to accept this is how things are going to be when dad refuses help. I told him he needed to take a bath and I was very blunt about it because sometimes you have to come up with different words to get the point across. Yes.. he struggled a lot more than usual to get his bath and gave completely out trying to get dressed and he finally fell asleep in his chair half dressed because he tired himself out. That's when I woke him up and finished dressing him. I told him, your daughter has about 10 other things to do everyday to run a house, maintain a yard, pay bills, etc. and sometimes she can't be everywhere. I also told him if the bathing gets to be too much for him. At least I have an option to take care of that. I can pay a private caregiver/aide to come in for a couple of hours to bathe and dress him if things got too rough around here and if things get really rough and thank goodness it isn't yard maintenance season, then I could pay someone to do the yardwork to help me out too without going broke doing it that way.
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You can let her be the general but still call in the troops. If they have the financial resources they can pay for a lot of helpful things to take some of the burden off your mom without her having to give up total control. Home and yard maintenance, weekly housecleaning, meals on wheels, sitters that allow her to get out to the store or to religious services or just coffee time with friends, a friendly bath aid, an nurse who can pop in when ever there is a need so she doesn't have to take him out to a doctor.... these are all things that can assist her without taking over her ability to make decisions. If she resists, start small. If she still resists point out that it isn't about what she wants, it is about what dad needs, and she must either accept help for him or he will have to move to a place where it is provided.
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