Dealing with mom.

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My father died 2 months ago. I promised dad I would take of mom. She doesn't hear or read or write or drive.. She is very health and 83 years old. I am responsible for her finances, social entertainment etc. she lives alone and does not want to live with me now. My siblings gist and call occasionally. So basically everything is on me. My life now includes her in everything. I no longer get Saturday naps because she wants to go go go. All the time. If I say no she starts crying and says she is stuck in the house (not true) she gets out way more now then when dad was alive. And now she keeps telling me she wants to find a man to go out with. And she is going to walk to McDonald's 2 miles away if I don't come get her.. Insists I take her to Sunday breakfast. I find myself lying to her about what I do when I am away from her so she doesn't make me feel guilty for having a life. I promised dad but I don't think I can do this..oh and she thinks she is rich and just spend spend spend. She lives on social se unity only and barely makes it. I will be having to make up the difference shortly if she keeps spending. When I tell her no she gets upset so I just give in and say fine be broke then. I want my life back..
My husband wants to get an rev in a couple of years and travel.. I don't think I will be a part of it because I have mom..

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Is she in an assisted living program or elderly housing? That might be an option, she can socialize without having to have you cart her around all the time. I find that the best thing we can do for ourselves is to try not to feel guilty. I feel like I have a child who is 2 in an 87 year old body, my money is getting tighter having to pay for someone to come and sit with her if I want to do something.
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True that $ are an issue for most!
Excellent point from purplesushi that "assisted" doesn't have to be a formal thing -- anywhere with a social life sounds like an improvement (well, maybe not a bar or casino...). DO check to see if your Mom qualifies for veteran's benefits as a widow. Where I live there is a non-profit that matches people on limited income (or looking for inexpensive housing) with seniors who are looking for someone to live with them, sometimes paying rent, sometimes providing some care. Some matches work out great, some not so good ( "reality" check & needs to be fair )
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I would like to comment that "assisted living" is not financially possible for a LOT of people - especially those who are skating by on Social Security alone, like many seniors. I would suggest checking into any programs that offer discounted senior housing, since your Mom is physically "healthy" other than having hearing issues. That alone makes it more difficult for her, but not impossible, to live on her own again. Check with your county's Department on Aging or whatever it's called in your state - they should have a list of senior housing complexes where the rent is a percentage of her income.
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I'm seeing a lot of members suggest assisted living for her, and I agree. In addition to keeping her safe and giving you a much-needed emotional, financial and physical break, it would give her a built in social scene. She might even find a man with whom she can socialize.

There are a lot of ways you can fulfill your promise to your dad without killing yourself in the process. One of those ways is to look for and put her in a facility that can meet her emotional and social needs in a way that you can't.

You have to keep living your life.
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It sounds to me like the BEST way to take care of your Mom would be assisted living. Even if she has no money there are ways and places for her to live and they can be just as nice as the more expensive ones. She needs people around and activities. You can't provide what she needs and maintain you sanity so turn that part over to an assisted living facility. Be sure to pick one that has levels of needs so as she ages she can remain in the same environment. You are not abandoning her by doing this you are really doing what is best for her. My Mom would be so much happier in assisted living but my Dad is with us also and he won't even discuss it. He sees "nursing homes" as a place to go to die. I can't get him to even consider it. You may even find that once a week going to a bingo night or majhon game with Mom can be great fun for you also. The RV Plans must continue for both you and your husband!! Taking care of Mom can not become your sole purpose in life or you will loose your life and your sanity.
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Momhouseme, your solutions for entertainment are wonderful. In my Dad's case, he would corner passersby into talking and then I don't know what would happen. I would feel like I need to save them from him no doubt. Or get caught making polite conversation with strangers to keep Dad entertained, sometimes fun, but not always, and not sleep time.
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IsntEasy,

You are so right.
OTH, it is impossible to get any control over finances, without other family members helping present a united front to keep the elder in tow.
One sibling told me "she's been so poor all her life, she deserves to spend it however she wants--just let her".
That was the last straw in trying to help Mom live on the monthly stipend, or getting any of her money into an interest bearing account to help that stipend.
After that, it was constant undermining of any measures to get our elder to stop hoarding useless stuff--trailers full, acres full.
This elder "disappeared" over $200K in about a year.

Some of it may still be rotting where she buried it, as she firmly believed burying it was safer than banks never mind her experience with money literally rotting in a jar she'd buried previously.
She takes exceptional joy in destroying a target person with accusations of theft, while letting cash rot or gifting it to others.

Ain't life grand?
Yep...do whatever you can to keep money accounted for.
Do whatever you can to get POA for finances, to prevent elders losing their resources---
DSHS takes a dim view of elders getting rid of money in that 5-year look-back....or at all.
The IRS takes an even dimmer view.
PROVING the elder was the one who got rid of it, will always fall back on the family in charge, as if they had any way of preventing it.

Just beware of money disappearing or being used for things not really needed.
Beware of hoarding habits in elders.
All those could cause elders to be denied services from DSHS/Medicaid, if they suspect anyone deliberately got rid of money that could have been used to support the elder in need.
Virtually NO officials consider that the elder is willfully getting rid of cash, and deliberately lying about family members taking it.
Family caretakers have little to no protections from accusations and abuse of them by their elders.
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Word to the wise – stop at nothing to control your mother's spending. Use every tactic you can think of. I thought I was, but I didn't do enough. Now dad is still spending at exactly the same unrealistic rate and my siblings and I are footing the bill (while I'm paying college tuition and our own expenses, all from our recession-shrunken paychecks!). It's sad to admit, but I can't wait until he has a diagnosis that will get him admitted to a nursing home. How awful is that?!
People will say "let them go and they'll find out the consequences," but unless you're strong enough to stand by and watch your parent move into government housing (which in our area is really substandard), the aftermath of their actions will all fall in your lap. And, lets' face it – you'd wind up having to deal with the move!
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Alemap,
I promised my Mother's mother, I would be there when Mom needed help, as Gma kept wringing her hands over who was going to take care of her daughter once she herself was unable/gone.
I promised her I would be there for Mom.
Repeatedly.
How stupid.
But then, back then, I had no words or understanding about what was really going on with Mom, only that she was different, and, being around her was dangerous to my health.
But she was still my Mom, and I felt loyal and supportive, and wanted to make sure she didn't come to harm...
AS-IF I could ever prevent that, considering her lifestyles, choices, and her mental/emotional issues.
It wasn't long until Mom needed money every month...so I sent money for years, and that helped some.
Well, the time came when she herself begged me to take her and her current spouse in, under catastrophic conditions; other family were not acceptable to her; she dramatically stated her discomfort at thought of staying with them, and I suckered for it.
Things went downhill from there, until after 6 years of her generating divisive drama among family while under our roof and care, and becoming increasingly abusive and slanderous towards me and my family, she HAD to be moved out to protect what was left of us.
But to other family, she's sweet as sunlight on a meadow.
My advice: IF you think you cannot deal with your elder's behavior --now--, find a more appropriate place/staff to handle her care, because the behaviors will likely get more intense as her condition suffers w/ age and infirmity.
Hold tight to any good memories you have w/her, and try not to let current behaviors destroy those, .
As for "finding a man"...at this point, is more likely one more example of poor decision making [executive brain function deficit] ---although there ARE elders perfectly capable, that is less common---they're usually showing slippage of executive function in that kind of statements.
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While many may agree having a mother doesn't mean giving up your life to her, your life with an elderly parent over 85 yrs does change. They do become a top priority or as I called my father "my project" in jest. If your parents were always independent until they passed away or if your relatives tend to die young (before 85 yrs) you haven't experienced it. The upper 80's and 90's are not the seniors who need no help. They are the fragile elderly. There are exceptions when seniors remain independent above age 85 but they are the exceptions.

If your parents are below 85 and still need no help from your, count your blessings but remember times will be a changing if they continue to age. Aging is a process, and the decline does begin. Be prepared for it is coming as sure as the sun rises each morning.

Elizabeth
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