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help.... I've been caught between a rock and a hard place. My mother sold her home to move out of the town we live in because she hated it so much. Now moved back because she couldn't take it down there. Now wants to move in with me and my family because shes close to not being able to care for herself. I would be sacrificing alot to have her move in even though it would be better for her. Her Anxiety is soooooo bad that she can't even hold a glass. She just wants to be with people but won't follow through with going to sr. centers

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In my opinion you are not at all wrong, jules6j. In fact, to allow her to move in with you would be enabling her to continue avoiding dealing with her illness. Your mother may live another 40 years ... surely you do not want -- nor or you qualified to -- take care of a person in deep depression the rest of her life.

I suggest that you call social services in your mother's county. Explain that your mother, who is mentally ill, will become homeless in a couple of weeks and that although you've been trying to help her you cannot support her at this time. Do everything you can to advocate for your mother, to see that she is getting some help, to make calls and more calls (all of which can be too daunting for persons with severe depression), but stop short of having her live with you, or taking on financial responsibility for her.

I understand your anger, but depression is an illness, like diabetes or congestive heart failure. Presumably she did not ask for it and is not deliberately trying to make it worse. But just as a diabetic or someone with chf needs to make changes to manage their disease, so does your mother. Unfortunately the disease of depression itself gets in the way of taking action. It sounds like you have have been extremely proactive on her behalf. I hope you will continue in that role, but NOT by sacrificing your privacy and your personal space.

You just cannot do it any longer. That is fair. Do what you can. Don't go beyond that.
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Hello. My situation does not quite fit into "caring for your elderly parents", but I am struggling with the possible need to care for my mom. A little bit of background: my sister passed away 5 years ago at the age of 29. She was my mom's best friend, roommate, and they worked together. My mom's grief -- my mom is currently only 56 -- has spiraled into now what I consider a deep depression to the point of her not being able to keep a job, not physically taking care of herself. Immediatly after by sister's death, I arranged for therapy sessions -- which I offered to pay -- for my mom and provided her info on local support groups. Since my sister's death, I have continually begged her to seek help -- to the point where I have physically contacted therapists on her behalf and even scheduled appointments -- , and have also had to help support her financially -- paying her cell phone, car insurance, meds, and car repairs -- each month. I am now to the point where I mentally,emotionally,financially just cannot do it any longer. This evening she called me to let me know that in a couple weeks she will no longer have a place to live and asked to move in with me. I know this may sound selfish to many, but I am so angry at her. She apparently has known about her possible pending "homeless" situation for the past 4 months and has done nothing about it. Am I wrong to tell her that she can't live with me? HELP!!!!
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Unless it is your husband or children do not let relatives, old or young, live with you.
Your home is your life and sanctuary without it becoming someones meal ticket or needed nursemaid duties. Feeling guilty about that choice? Better than having your life torn to shreds!
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SOSA:

I won't talk about your mother. I'll talk about mine because she did something similar. After 3 years of practically being held hostage, I placed her in a senior citizens home here in The Bronx. The gang-banging papi chulos she likes so much couldn't come up and spend the night, so she moved back to the slum of her childhood in Puerto Rico. One year later, she missed the comforts of the City, she sold the hovel in Vega Baja and moved in with my oldest sister in La Cambija, Bayamon, where she had the time of her life until the money was gone. Sis kicked her to the curb. Homeless and penniless, she showed up at my door in the middle of the night with some boohoo story that she had some incurable illness and was a nail away from the coffin. I called my youngest 1/2 sister and drug-dealing husband to tell her she was on her way over. In less than 20 minutes she was in a cab bound for 180 St. near the Bronx Zoo -- suitcases, trinkety presents, ron cana, gofio, pasteles and all "jazz." You get the picture.

If your Mom has any money left from the sale of the house, AL might be what she really needs. Good luck my friend.

-- Ed
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oh, yes, i do like your comment -- I am a little tired of people telling me what a good daughter I am -- the more realistic thing to say is what you have so accurately stated -- how wonderful it is to have your life torn apart, family torn, relationships with siblings strained, and all that goes with it. I don't have a relationship with my nieces and nephews as most of my energy is spent being a caregiver and being resentful. bummer -- i need to work on this
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Dear Jeanne, I truly understand this. My mom is going into Dementia, has depression and is not pleasant to live around. Since you have a family, your 'NOT' being selfish to find other living places for her. I hear people say to others, "Oh your so sweet to take care of your mother and do what you do for her." You never hear them say, "Isn't it wonderful that your family is being torn apart, your children resent this and your husband is trying to stay sane and soon your going to have health problems from all this?" Let's be realistic. We're not all millionaires or Florance Nightingales. I have repeatedly stated to my children to put me in Assisted Living Quarters when I get to that stage and DO NOT try and be martyr's. It would be entirely selfish of me to ask them to take care of me! Your mom would not want this, if she were completely healthy and not a little senile. Do what you have to do hon, your have a life and your NOT bad for seeing that she is taken care of elsewhere. Never, never, ever allow her to give you a guilt trip.
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@Sosad2: my mom won't go to senior centers either and says she does not need people and has never been social. Ok, well although the doc recommended participating in activities at the senior center, ultimately, it is my mom's choice not to. I guess that's really sad but my favorite saying right now is: I can lead a horse to water but I can't make him drink.
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Wow, ok, the co-dependency is what I would address in counseling asap if I were you. (I believe in counseling.) And the guilt as well. She can fantasize about living with you but that is not a reality. When the Director addresses you, set boundaries, you will not be spoken to in less than a respectful manner. If too frequent overnight visits upsets everyone's apple cart, curtail them. If you tell the nurse you are not taking her, and they pack her pills, walk out without her and tell the nurse you want respect...they are NOT to tell YOU what to do!!!
I am learning about detaching relationships and there is a great article on this site. (Haven't figured out how to link that yet, sorry.) Your health is in very extreme jeopardy with this stress so maybe your doctor can be your advocate and talk to the nursing home (especially that nurse that forced you to take your mother when you said NO). Two heart attacks at 61 sounds scary to me. Again, I encourage you to get counseling re: the apron strings...they need to be cut once and for all. That stems way way back and only a qualified professional can help you with that. Peg in San Diego
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My mother and I have been co-dependent all my life. I helped her take care of dad until he died, then moved in with her for six years, and just couldn't take her pill-insanity any more. No one in the family could take her for more than a weekend, and have given up. She wants me to move to a smaller town and take her with me. It was pure hell living with her, but the guilt I've lived everyday for past two years in nursing home is almost as bad. Half the time I'm planning to get a bigger house and just keep her with me. And then I have to come to my senses and realize I just can't do it all. She's very manipulative, and the Director at the home told me off like it was my fault that I took her out overnight too much, but I tell his nurses I'm not going to take her, but they pack her pills up and send her on her way anyway. I just left the home and turned my phone off last time they did that. She keeps asking when we are going to move. I've picked up all kinds of stress and autoimmune disorders, I'm 61 and have had two heart attacks over past several months. The guilt and not being able to lose her apron strings are what I can't seem to get over. SOS, Please.
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Your mom probably feels as though my mom did when she was moved into an independent living facility just weeks after my Dad died last year...she literally lost EVERYTHING in her life that was familiar. Thank God her house didn't sell, we moved back in (I have lived her with both of them since 2004) and she has been a bit happier. Unfortunately much of her furniture and many of her household items were given or thrown away and she has had to redo the house but she is "home" and that's all that matters. Trying days? Oh yeah. Interfering sibling? of course ... what family drama is devoid of that?
I agree with finding resources for your mom, sosad2, but she may be like my mom and not want to utilize them. Her nutrition is important as well. Medications (yes, antianxiety and antidepressants a must if rx'ed by doc) to be taken per prescribed. Rest I am blessed with a mom who likes to go to bed around 8:30 and doesn't stir nor wander all night ... I do get rest ... that's important for all of us.
I agree with jeanne, monitor your relationships! Those are equally important. And always remind yourself that you are doing the best you can do for you! I appreciate this post!
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I agree with Linda22. If you don't take care of yourself first then all the relationships you currently have that give you the strength to continue to care for your mom will be gone. And no one will get the care they need, not you, not your mom either.
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I cared for Mom half of the year from the time my kids were in jr high and regret time taken from my kids, my husband and from myself. Trips we couldn't take, outings not done, and me being crazed from never feeling like what I was doing for her was enough.

After 17 years of this because Mom didn't like being alone, we moved her to a lovely assisted living community two months ago. She's made friends, is out of her apartment most of the day, visiting, doing something. She sounds much better, perkier and she's safe with 24/7 emergency care. I don't expect her to ever say she's happy or that this was a good move, but I have peace of mind.

When my sister and I told family of this decision, everyone said "But you're not thinking about what's best for your mother." Well, caring for a parent doesn't just involve the parent - it involves you, your family as well. You have to make the decision factoring in that you are the only wife and mother they have. That if you let the stress of caring for your mom affect your health, how do you care for anyone. I think my relationship with Mom is healing without the daily struggles, the mental strain and the physical demands. I enjoy spending time with her once again.

Prayers and strength to you in this - it's not an easy decision, even if you know it's the best one.
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Thank you gingergirl 58. yes she does feel so very alone and unloved even though I reassure her and there have been other outside influences that could have made her feel that way. So, now she's in hospital for other issues and i've been there every day. Once her anxiety is in check things will go a little better. I say sacrificing because my time with my teenagers are gone. Its like the scientific water displacement.
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sosad2 Wow, reading your original post, it sounds like your mom has really high expectations about moving in with you, which must be guilt producing for you, especially when alternative living arrangements need to be made. Your key word is sacrificing which is different than helping. It is unrealistic that you and your family take on all of the responsibility for her situation. It is hectic now but hopefully it will get better over time if her anxiety is managed appropriately. Having said that, your mom sounds fearful and alone and may need some reassurance that you love her and will continue to "help" her. Agree strongly with Lilliput, your mom has certain needs which are better left in the hands of a professional which you have attended to by taking her to a psychiatrist. Don't even worry about any judgements from others, it is alway different when the shoe is on the other foot, not to be trite. We do tend to worry what others think which only adds to the difficulty. You have support here. Take care.
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Thank you all for your input. The strain is alot,,,, yes and while I'd like to say congrats for your parents at 90 and 92, i know that you probably have your hands full. It's a wow....
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While my parents at 90 & 92 are still living independently - Thank God! I know that some time soon that will change. Mom has mobility issues and macular degeneration, Dad much better. But frankly, I have already made the decision that neither will come to live with us. I'm an only child, but also know my family's & my personalities well enough to know the strain on all would be too much! I'm fortunate not to have anyone else to make me feel guilty about this decision, my husband supports it too, but in the long run I feel I can provide better care for them if I take care of myself!
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yes, peace is what i long for.... no one understands unless you're in it. and oh, how those people tend to minimize things. it's 7:00 pm and i still need to finish my work day after going to dr. appt. and getting meds, etc. just lovely.
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sosad: You are right, you do not need permission or validation. But I know what you are feeling. The world judges harshly those of us who step up to the plate to help our loved ones then expects us to do it forever, even if it means sacrificing our own health and family life. I have yet to find anyone, outside of this site or other caregivers that I know, who understands how unbelievably hard this job is. We are really taking on the work of a team of people and others will let you go right on doing it until, as you said, you become ill.
Follow your instincts. Your Mom really does need specialized medical care in a safe environment.
Good luck finding the right placement and getting back your peace of mind.
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actually, i was thinking gee -- do i need confirmation of what i'm doing or permission, weird...jeangibbs, yes, it is very sad and we're going to psychiatrist right now, this has been a wow,,,, thank you so very much
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Sosad2, you know this will end badly if you bring Mom in. You have already had a trial run. You don't need our opinions to tell you that. Experience has told you.

Maybe you would like our permission to make other care arrangements for Mom. You have mine.

Is your mother being treated for anxiety? Is the anxiety a component of some broader diagnosis, such as bipolar disorder or dementia? How long has it been since she had a thorough geriatric evaluation? I really feel sorry for your mom. Having a mental disorder like anxiety is sad and hard and frightening. I hope that you can help her get this addressed. I hope you can help her find a setting where that can be monitored and minimized and where she can get the care she needs.

But you are wrong. You do not come last -- you need to take care of you. Your daughter needs you. Your husband deserves your attention. You are not (I assume) a mental health care worker. Your mother needs that. You have enough love to go around. What you would quickly lack if Mother moved in with you is enough energy and stamina and skill in dealing with the mentally ill.

Continue dispensing your love in all directions, including, please, to yourself. Limit your caregiving committments to what you can realistically handle without doing damage to the relationships critical to your well being, including that with your mother.

Best wishes as you struggle with this.
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I moved her out into her own condo as soon as I could find a place. It was sooo stressful. My husband is getting a little tired of it though, but he travels away from home 3 to 4 nights a week. She's more up and down, and she has her wits about her but just very very lonely
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sosad2 What impact has this had on your husband? Am I to understand that she's already moved in? It sounds like your mother needs 24/7 care that a nursing home would provide.
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Actually, I had picked her up from my brother's in January because she was absolutely depressed and panic stricken and would not have lasted more than a few days. She then stayed with me, husband and daughter but was a nervous and physical wreck. It caused major problems within my household and I was torn terribly between a teen that resented all the care that this requires and i've been doing it for severl years now, but it intensified when she was living with us. I just feel bad because I do know that it would be best for her, but not my daughter.... Me -- well that's the last thing, right/// ha
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Can she afford assisted living?

If she does move in I would make sure you know all the pitfalls you can come across (reading these boards- if you are new) and try to plan ahead.

Like who pays, sibbling help all the things that need to be addressed. Unless you are an only child and husband and family has no problem with it.
What will it do you your life. I take care of my mom and i'm very close and love her, but i still do get stressed and miss my life. Things to think about. Don't jump into decision. HUGS
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