Saying no to your dear mother can be hard!!

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First of all I have to say I am very fortunate with my mother and my siblings. I have been reading a lot of the posts here, and I am feeling very lucky. Even so, this whole aging parent and taking care of them is so hard - even with the best circumstances.

My mom has lived in a MIL apartment in my home for the last 17 years, most of those with my Dad who died about a year and a half ago. My husband I own the house, although for most of this time it was a vacation property we shared with my siblings. We only moved here full time a little over 3 years ago. It was good timing because around then my Dad started failing. I was able to take over the stuff around the house as he got weaker, and was able to be there helping during the last few months of his life as he needed more care. He died peacefully at home.

Gradually my Mom has needed more and more help. She had never handled the money so I have been helping her with that, and as she got more forgetful I took that over. She was lonely without my Dad and so needed more and more attention from me, even though I am a real introvert and just wanted to be by myself a lot of the time. Then a couple months ago her forgetfulness started increasing rapidly, till she was at the point where she couldn't safely drive, use the stove, plan meals or take meds reliably. So her caretaking needs increased rapidly. And I have had to deal with a special needs daughter (now independant) for many years, I have a special needs son who is just now getting independent, and a special needs husband (mental health issues are awful) and I frankly have had it with caretaking. I don't want to do it anymore, and maybe for my mental health I CAN'T do it anymore. I have the time, but the mental energy and effort has really gotten to me. After 30+ years of caretaking, I just want to worry about ME.

Fortunately my siblings understand and have stepped in. We have Mom on a waiting list for an assisted living facility that is great and 5 minutes from my sister. In the meantime my dear brother and SIL volunteered to have Mom stay with them for 1+ months and then my sister will have her stay with her after that. Hopefully an opening at the ASF will come up in the next few months.

So mom is now with my brother, she moved there this weekend. I just spoke with her on the phone and things are going smoothly, but she misses her home and doesn't really understand why things have to change. We've tried to explain it, but her dementia and confusion means she doesn't really understand.

It is so hard for me to talk to Mom and have her say she misses being here. My brain says this is what I need to do for me, but my heart feels sad that I can't be what my Mom needs right now. I'm trying not to have that sadness turn to guilt.

I have been seeing a great therapist about this and other issues in my life, but haven't been able to see her in a couple months. I have an appointment on Monday though, and am looking forward to getting her perspective. She has been supportive of me finding alternatives for Mom, although last time I spoke with her it was more a future thing and then Mom started going downhill quickly. It has been good to have an outside perspective, letting me know this is an okay thing that I'm doing.

Through all this my 5 siblings and I have all been on the same page and are working well together. And Mom, even though she doesn't understand, is very sweet and kind and says she trusts us kids to do the right thing. So I am SOOOOO lucky. It is still so hard to tell mom she can't live here anymore.

I just needed to vent about the sadness I’m feeling. My poor Mom!


chdottir, your mother and family sound wonderful like everyone is pulling together to get through this. Fingers crossed that there's a place soon for your mother that she likes. Everything going smoothly points that direction. I think you're doing the right thing. You've not been able to care for yourself for so many years. Everything will be okay and you'll be able to breathe better. I hope your husband will even get better as life becomes more stable. All I can say from what you wrote is Job well done!
Yes, poor Mom. Poor everyone who gets dementia. Not everyone has such compassionate and effective care. You are a wonderful person!

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