I wonder how to give up caregiving.

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I am an only child taking care of my mother. She has been diagnosed with dementia but right now only short term is affected. She can remember a few things of past conversation and what she doesn't remember swears it never took place. She is very demanding (has been all my life). Over the summer she became very ill, wouldn't eat and couldn't get out of bed. Hospice was called in and I had to get 24 hour care for my mom. (I was the 24 hour at first) I still have children at home and a husband. I work during the week and trying to find time for sanity. After hospice came in and we found a way to give her medicine, she became better. My mom wouldn't have allowed me to pay for caregiving out of her account so I had to lie and say insurance was paying for it. Now she is better physically and wanting to see bank statements and doesn't trust me to be POA. I realize this happens with dementia. I am so stressed out I cannot enjoy the life I do have around the caregiving for her. She can be so sweet and thankful and then in the same sentence be so hateful and distrusting. I want to give it up, but it is only me and don't have a brother or sister to give it to. I have been trying to get her to go to assisted living, but she wont hear of it. I am in desperate need for help and most of all courage and a huge backbone to do what I know is best for her. She would not understand at all why her bank account has dropped due to trying to save her life and have care givers. I wish this would all go away and I didn't have to deal anymore. If I could get her to move to the facility, I think her life would be better and I know mine would.


I think most people in your situation have faced this dilemma. How did she come to move in in the first place? I don't have an answer for you but someone else may have. Does not sound as though there is anyone else to be POA
Has your mom been discharged from hospice?
Yes, she has been released from hospice and is now on pallative care. Her care giver gave her notice because she needed full time work and my mom only needs someone a few hours a day now. I am now back to the only one. I have a lady that comes two times a week to spend the night to give me a rest. My family is suffering at home. I have a 15 year old still at home and one in college. This is very difficult. I know people who can say "you are going to assisted living"and stick to it and take their parent. I don't have the courage and therefore my family is suffering and I am suffering also. The distrust hurts and I am only doing everything to keep her alive.
What I've seen on other threads is if you can get your mom in the hospital, when she's ready to be discharged, say she can't come back to your home. The discharge planner will have to find another place to put her. I know that sounds drastic, but it sounds like your mom won't go any other way. However you do it, it's going to be somewhat traumatic for all involved.

My heart goes out to you, trying to be a good daughter for your mom. Your mom just isn't able to understand that. But your first priority is your children and husband. Your mom's had her life, now it's time for you to live your life and help your mom as much as you can, but without destroying your family and yourself in the process. Hugs to you.
Thank you so much. My mom is much better physically and wouldn't qualify for hospital stay. I am ready for drastic measures though. I am losing interest in my own life and worried I will fall into a depression. I have always seen the glass half full and loved life. It is amazing how fast someone can drain all the positive energy right out of you. I have been doing this for going on 3 years and I am ready to have my life back. I am in my mid 40's and didn't see this coming. Thanks for the support.
Jeweltone- I think you've answered your own question. You and your family are suffering and that's the only reason you are thinking of alternatives for your mother. It isn't because you don't care about her, or don't want to be compassionate. You are at the point that somethings gotta give and you can't let it be your health or your husband and children. You will know in your heart what needs to change for everyone to be doing better.

I am in a similar situations to you. I have three young children and a husband and sometimes I feel like I'm drowning. I've changed so much. I don't care about life the way I used to. I have to really push myself to go out and see people or to do activities I once enjoyed. I am not three years into this living arrangement like you are but I've made a commitment to myself and my family that we can't end up sick over this. I'm open to things changing when I feel I can't handle anything in my life anymore.

I think you're mom is going to resist at first, but that's what almost every parent does. Most people don't like change, especially as they get older. It's going to be a transition for everyone but you'll all pull through it just like you have before. J
You are in the same pickle I was around three years ago. My mom moved from her home to live with us in another state after my father died. I may as well be an only child as my brother has lived in Germany for 30 years. I am it. All her friends and my three cousins live back in her home state. Her only family is me, my husband and our son.

My mom is also very demanding, basically a narcissist and at the time she lived with us, was unable to stand by herself to get up to use her walker. It was me 24/7 for two months until I finally go her to consent to spend a few dollars a week to bring in a relief caregiver. I had about 6 hours a week to myself and was exhausted. 5:45 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., not mention getting up in the night was my routine. At least my brother supported me long distance in suggesting that she pay me in return for the constant care. Of course she flew into a rage. I was officially now a bad daughter! She said she'd never accept money from her own mother. (When my grandma was dying, mom cared for her at our house FOR ONE WEEK before she died.) We'd get into screaming matches about going through boxes of her household goods that filled our three stall garage and our basement up to the ceiling. She'd only allow me to go through two boxes a day between the hours of 11 and 1 with her watching and approving what could and couldn't be donated or tossed.

My son was 14 at the time and had to witness all this madness. My husband was going crazy as I had no time for him. To top it off, mom's bedroom was in my former office, right off of our living room as all four bedrooms are upstairs and she can't do steps. I'd finally get her settled in and her door shut, TV on low, and I could hear her commenting about how stupid the shows were that we watched. On and on. Couldn't relax no matter what!

I told my brother I just couldn't take it anymore. He knows mom's controlling personality (maybe why he's been away 30 years). He agreed with me that she needed an AL. So even though he hasn't been physically present, he did validate that the situation was impossible. There was that much.

I joined here during that time and all the wonderful caregivers here supported me and coached me in approaching my mom about moving out. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. And her reaction was horrible as expected - maybe even worse than I expected. She fainted, she puked all over, told me she hated me, etc. But it had to be done. I wasn't going to scar my son for life with that kind of dysfunctional behavior or ruin my marriage. My mom had a very good life for a very long time. My family and I deserve a life too. Did you know a lot of caregivers die before the one they care for due to the unending stress?

A very painful week after I told her, we moved her to a very nice AL with round the clock care. You would've thought she was going to the gulag. She had never been on her own her entire life. Married my dad at 17 straight from my grandparents house and never had any desire to be independent. Also she had preconceived notions as most elders do of nursing homes in the 50' and 60's.

After about a month she was pretty well settled in. I visited daily for the first two months, then made it every other day. She made some friends and we actually started taking her out to lunch every weekend and shopping. This was entirely new, as before my dad died, she refused to leave the house for a year and a half. When she moved in with us she said she would never leave again and would die here!

So....things do eventually get better. She totally enjoys her time out, though she is now entirely wheelchair bound. Glad mom is tiny and I have strong boys! We have a loving mother/daughter relationship for the most part, though her stubbornness will always be a problem.

Jeweltone, you do have the courage in you. You just haven't found it yet. Distrust, the suffering of you and your own family...at some point it will break you or make you. How it was affecting my son was what made me do what I had to do.

Pretend I'm your long distance sibling. From everything you've written describing your situation (and for THREE years!), you have my permission to do what's best for all involved.

Hugs to you jeweltone.
Wow! I am overwhelmed with encouraging words. I know what I need to do. Actually my mom lives in her mom's home. My grandmother died at 90 a few months ago and I only have a 3 bedroom 1 bath house and no room for her to sleep here. I have offered to build a house but I need her help. I have told her we could put our money together and bring her home with me..(knowing this would not be a good idea)(but willing to try it). She says I am trying to take her money. :( I am trying so hard to satisfy her and not my own family. My grandmother's house will need to be sold there are three other siblings of my mom's. They are fine with her living there right now, but I am not fine since I have lost caregivers to help out. I know socially it would be great for her to be in assisted living. She wants ME to be the one to take care of her. I know I sound so angry and truly I am becoming that way. My kids and husband want me back too. I am going to need a huge backbone and I have been praying for the courage. Thanks so much, I will keep you posted.
Praying for one top quality backbone reinforcement kit to be delivered for Ms. Jewel Tone forthwith. (I think you can find some good ones on sale here if you keep nosing around.) Hard stuff, but you'll find out you have the strength...it'll suck sometimes...we are with you, and Mom will not be able to have everything she wants the way she wants it but she will have good care and a family that holds it together, and that's what counts.
Jewel Tone, if Mom is not in your home now, why would you want to make yourself and your family miserable by bringing her there? I assume she is not demented, so perhaps she needs to understand that her choices are to manage alone, which she can't, or to go to assisted living. Care fulltime by you is simply not an option! She may prefer that, but so what? Hey, I'd like a Rolls Royce instead of the bus, but no one is obliged to give me what I want.

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