Stressful caregiver situation.

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My boyfriend and I live with his 70 year old mother who has been homebound for the last 4 1/2 years, has stage 4 COPD, (still smokes 10 to 14 cigarettes a day) stage 3 kidney failure, a irreversible colostomy, heart problems, legally blind, has a brain tremor (due to alcohol abuse), is 5'3" and weighs over 200 pounds, eats continuously, has a white blood cell disorder ( going to s blood specialist) when she has to go anywhere she has to go by an ambulance because she "CAN"T" walk up or down the stairs, has dementia and alsheimers. She does not follow her doctors orders, refuses any kind of physical therapy ( she can barely walk, her legs muscles are weak from lack of exercise) all she does is lays in bed or on the couch all day and eats) everything that comes out of her mouth is a negative statement; " I'm gonna try to do this "IF I CAN". She has to be the center of attention at family gatherings ( if no one is paying attention to her she'll create something so everyone runs to her side, then she's fine,) She moans and groans all the time, she exagerrates and makes her conditions worse then what they really are because she wants people to feel sorry and pity her. I don't mean to sound mean or disrespectful, but since my boyfriend and I moved in here neither one of us has a life. She has panic attacks when I leave for a short time, she treats us like we are both "STUPID". She's hateful and mean and extremely selfish when it comes to money. My boyfriend and I are barely making it while she's accumulating $$$ and always says she doesn't have any and thats BS cuz I pay all her bills and keep her checkbook balanced. " I'll pay you back if you get this for me and she never does, so I quit doing it, She owes me enough money as it is. I can't take care of myself (health wise) because nobody will stay with her if I need to go to the doctors office. (My boyfriend works during the day) She goes to bed at 5:30 pm and gets up at 4:00 am and expects us to get up with her. The weekly grocery bills are over a hundred dollars a week and she tells me to spend 25 to 30 dollars of her food stamps. That covers all the candy, cookies, popcorn etc........ If we don't get it for her she has fits and we don't hear the end of it, so to keep the peace with her (even though we know its not the right thing to do we get whatever she wants) You can't rationally talk to her (BOY HAVE WE TRIED TILL WE"RE BLUE IN THE FACE") cuz she's always "RIGHT" or she doesn't want to hear about our problems. We don't know what to do about the situation, my boyfriend and I (our relationship) is solid. (WE ARE IN THE TOGETHER) Its just so nerve racking and stressfull being hear "ALL THE TIME" that I just want to "SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAM!"


It certainly sounds like you two are having a rough go of it. From everything that I have read above, it sounds like she meets all the criteria from home health, but she also meets the criteria to be placed in a nursing home. All your boyfriend needs to do is call her primary care physician.
She may not get into a NH, as they have to wait for a bed, on food stamps, she may very well meet the criteria for medicaid (I feel she's already on medicare), but the social workers and administrators will assist you with that paperwork. Depending on the state that you are in, it is my understanding (as it was with my father), that she must be in the hospital for at least 3 days, before she will be eligible for NH placement.
In the meantime, speak with her doctor about home health. I'm certain she will qualify for that (under the circumstances) and ask to have her seen by a mental health social worker. They can evaluate her (due to the Alz) and her son can assist in completing the paperwork, so that the two of you can have some "time out." It's not much, but it's certainly better than nothing at all.
If she has other relatives, perhaps they might stay with her for a day or two so that you can get away. I don't have that luxury, but it's worth a try.
I would also seek to find out if she has all of her affairs in order. It sounds as if she could pass at the drop of a hat!
Suzanne Hill
I'm not an expert, but venting (like you just did) can help a lot. Also, it seems that the people on this site are pretty supportive (I'm new myself). I doubt anyone here would judge you if you did just start screaming. As a matter of fact, I bet we could start a group that meets on thursdays to just scream/punch pillows/eat comfort food. EVERYONE here has felt that way.
eseleedy, they actually have some places like that in CA where you can just throw plates, cups, saucers, etc., just to get rid of your frustrations. It's safe of course..............but it sounds like a great relief!
Yes, I've done my share of crying and screaming too, even if it's into a pillow.
Talk to her Dr. about mental health services in your area. They may have an outreach program where someone could come to the house to meet with her.
Mamoogins, dealing with my dad, day after day, (night after night), the childish petulance, the fit-throwing, the "I'm not gonna eat this, I don't like..." (most recently, he said he doesn't like hamburger...and, really, looking at that gut, if he doesn't like hamburgers, bears don't use the facilities in the forest), my "thing" is video games. If I can spend an hour being an awful human being in a virtual world, and get a few chuckles, I can put up with quite a bit of being called a bully, liar, and thief in the real world.

To the original poster, there's another thread here titled "My mom is a mean and hateful woman..." where the person who started the thread had to get a toxic relative out of the house. It's a bit of a horror show, BUT there's a lot of "how to" in the thread.
When my mother finally had to move in with me two years ago, I looked for a house with three locations for her to smoke. That is how much I desired to please her even though I don't smoke. I also enable her gambling even though I don't gamble. I paid her bills even though I didn't have the money to do so without running my credit cards up. I gave up my security and independence for her selfish desires. When she almost died of pneumonia, I refused to buy the cigarettes and she no longer smokes. Guess what? She has not smoked since April 2011 and is much healthier. I insisted she use HER social security money to pay HER bills, especially health care bills, instead of gambling. She is now in independent living and I have my life back. Yes, I check on her daily, see her almost every day, take her to doctors' appointments, do all the responsible things, BUT I no longer enable her bad behavior. She is no more unhappy than before, much healthier, and paying her own way. Why did I wait so long? Don't buy the cigarettes and candy. Don't make her the center of attention at family gatherings. Don't give into her every mean and hateful whim. And don't buy anything for her if she doesn't give you to the money to do so. Amazing how much better MY life has been since I stopped trying to please my mommy. Good luck!

Your boyfriends mom sounds like alot of work. My husband and I are in a similar situation. If you and your beau need time alone or just go out maybe u can call a relative, if u don't have that luxury maybe u can call someone in to take care of her a while. It's so frustrating to know that they can still manipulate us. You have alot on your plate get some help, so u don't go crazy worrying about her. I bet she would be just fine with someone who isn't with her all the time, if not oh well. I wish u well. Hang in there.
Sometimes finding your own peace might be to move out and let someone else take care of her. I know it's hard and sometimes we are enabling them to be who we are by just doing it. So if we walk away..they might find out they have to find other resources. She does it because she can...don't let her. Sorry...but think about yourself and get some help.
Dear Glo830,
Gosh I feel for all the tremendous stress you are going thru with his Mom. Sounds to me like you need a break, a getaway--for a long time. Mom is taking supreme advantage of the both of you and sorry to say this, but I think that the both of you are enabling her, giving in to her every whim just to appease her. Can you just walk away when she gets like that? Walk, close the door and go into another room and blast your stereo system. No need to explain, she won't understand anyway and let her yell and argue with the walls....just walk and do what is necessary for her and no more. A NH sounds like a great idea. Better one person in the hopsital than three--you and your boyfriend and MIL.
Who buys all the cookies, candies, and popcorn? You? If you don't, I know she'll hit the wall, well, let her hit the wall, she can't get up and get to the store to buy them anyway. And also, someone said that she has a food card, well, if that is the case, isn't she eligible for Medicaid and a NH? Is she seeing a physicatrist, sure seems she needs to see one ; get a referrall from her PCP and take her against her will. Let her scream and yell in the car to the air, roll the windows down, blast the radio...but do NOT respond to anything that she says, do something to keep your sanity and your lives. Please do something before you and boyfriend get physically and emotionally sick and end up in hospital yourselves. Stop being taken advantage of and letting her run/ruin your lives.....
She most likely can't help the way she is, or maybe is doing it on purpose. Nevertheless, you and boyfriend DO NOT deserve this. Nobody deserves this when caregiving for a parent. Take back your lives now before something worse happens to your boyfriend and yourself!!!!

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