I’ve read many questions about what to do with your parents as they near the end of their life.
A thought keeps coming up. Can you imagine if that parent was your baby?
Would we ever say; it’s too expensive, I don’t have time, they’re too combative, etc etc. I’ve had a very rough relationship with my mom for 64 years. We just started getting along in the last couple years. She’s alone, independent, isolated but (even though I’m not the favorite child of hers) I will move in with her if my sister can’t. I’ve worked in nursing homes and will never let my mom be in one. Seeing people alone in a strange place missing their “things”, their pets, etc. Crying because no one familiar is there. And pray you get kind, loving attendants.
I wasn’t planned, I was an unexpected expense, I changed everything in my moms life and she gave up years of her life and lifestyle to raise me. I surely can return the favor.
ps: this is my experience and my thoughts.
its not meant as a condemnation towards anyone.

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I'm 31, have been taking care of my mom for 6 years. She has needed nursing home level care this whole time.

While yes, I did it because I was scared my mom would feel alone, it was not the only "okay" thing to do. My father died two years ago in a SNF and I really hate the places to be honest.

But if my mom ends up in one of them, which she very well may if my husband and I start a family, I will still be there daily to see her, talk to her, bring her her favorite snack (Tim Horton's boston cream donut), and most importantly make sure that the staff is taking care of her (clean diapers, making sure meals are eaten, medicine admin), even if it's not as well as I think I could do.

You may say "HA like you'd have time to go everyday and do that" - I would. I will. I've been advocating my for my mom's health since age 17 and I've become efficient, confident, and assertive in healthcare settings.

My point being...Please do not even put into the universe that if someone has to put their parent into a nursing home they will be "crying for family and their things" - because of course they will, almost as surely as I cried for Mom to never leave me at daycare ever again because I wanted to be at home. THE most important thing is that they are safe.

Throughout Mom's health journey, she's had bouts of 3-4 months in SNF's - the key is to go daily. If you can't go daily, call daily & go weekly. Make sure they know your name. Ask for the same people. Make sure THEY know YOU know who they are. IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

Mom is home with me for now. But when it's time for her to be away, I will not beat myself up. She will be loved the same. And I will still ensure her safety and health the best of my ability.

(This is my first post on this site so I'm sorry if this is super long & unnecessary)

So, you won't put your mom in a place to be cared for by people like you?


Are you suggesting I should have complied with my mother’s demands that I leave my husband and school age children in order to be with her literally 24/7?

My husband travels due to his career. Should he give up his business in order to be home with my now motherless young children? Should he hire a caregiver for our children while I care for my mother? Should have I anticipated her future and never had children?

Now, let’s say I hadn’t remarried after my first husband’s death and I was alone and entirely responsible for myself. If I gave up my career to care for my mother 24/7 (because she was terribly combative, not allowing anyone to help her except me), what would happen to me when she dies (she is now 98) and I, having had no income for a decade, am suddenly reentering the workforce at my age?

Why don’t you serve as an around the clock sole caregiver for someone delusional, combative and prone to wandering for one month, ONE MEASLY SHORT MONTH, and report back on this forum. Maybe then you’ll understand why my mother is in a care home.

Never say never . I used to work in nursing homes as well and thought I would never put a parent in one either . Unfortunately , sometimes it’s the only way . The geriatrician that I took my narcissistic mother to and had her diagnosed for dementia made me see the light . She said my mother could not be taken care of by family because she will never do what we ask her to do . Now having same problems with FIL. And it doesn’t make it any easier on us to have them in AL. They are miserable and take it out on us . You can’t fix old. My grandparents generation seemed to grow old more gracefully . They could be cranky , but they would accept help . This current generation of old people are different . They don’t want to admit they are old or accept help . Meanwhile they act like their children owe them something . My FIL told us he will stay at the facility ( as if he has a choice ) but ordered us to take him to a nice dinner every weekend. He wants us to take him on a cruise too. FIL never paid attention to my husband ( his son ) or our family ( FIL’s grandchildren ). Only saw him very infrequently . FIL traveled for 20 years when he retired. Never suggested a family trip before . But now he wants us to stop our lives and entertain him . The man stinks , hygiene is terrible, he refuses help most days. FIL lived a very spoiled life and is now making my husband and I miserable because he’s old and can’t live on his own . Meanwhile FIL who has dementia argues that he can live on his own and that his independence has been taken away . My mother would blame me . I used to tell her that age took away her independence not me.
If these old people were cooperative some of them would not have to go in a nursing home. It is sad. It’s not easy to deal with at all . These people are not babies or children . They bark orders to their adult children while sitting in their own filth in a stinky recliner . Dementia is an awful disease for the whole family to deal with whether the afflicted person is in your home or in a facility . Dealing with mothers dementia was way worse than taking care of my lucid father with stage 4 cancer . And having worked in a nursing home doesn’t even prepare you for the emotional roller coaster of dealing with a parent with dementia .

Well, you are clearly going to “do you” in this matter, and disregard the very sane caveats (basically: “DON’T!!!”) in the comments, so, good luck with all that faces you.

If you were looking for affirmation in your selfless, saintly quest, well, it doesn’t look as if you are going to get it here on this site. But if you will feel happier, and sleep better at night, then go right ahead and sacrifice yourself on that altar. Your choice, obviously!

I certainly won’t be doing that. My mother was neither abusive, narcissistic, crazy, neglectful, mean, or any other specifically negative thing…well, she was just an ordinary MOM. She basically cooked (rather badly) and did laundry, period. Any halfway competent maid back in the ‘60s could have done the same job for mere dollars a week. My mother and I had/have ZERO intellectual rapport, we do not share many opinions, and the conversations with her have gotten sooooooooo tiresome and repetitive, as she lurches on towards age 100. When I visit her, I feel as if I am visiting a kindly old former nanny, who cared competently for me, but did not engage me emotionally in any way.

My younger sister thinks our mother hung the moon, on the other hand. She is the one who will want the fancy boutique nursing home, costing gabillions a month, and I will be the one saying, “time to apply for Medicaid.” If Baby sister wants to fund it, fine and dandy. She can spend her own retirement savings any darn way she likes.

Our outrageously super-aging population is becoming a giant problem that will only get worse. And I, for one, do not intend to be part of it. Advanced directives, DNRs, and plans to use the overseas Dignitas option, when the old corpus starts wearing out, along with the brain.

Our parents are NOT babies. They have had their day. And I think that most of them, if they are in their right minds, would agree.

All I can think is "never say never". I think it's safe to say many people here at one time may have thought their 1st choice would never to be to place a parent in a nursing home or another type of facility. I toured every memory care facility in my city prior to placing my father. I also consulted with APS, ADRC, and two attorneys specializing in elder law that are familiar with the facilities in my area. My husband and I have been able to visit him daily. My dad acts like he is in hell on earth and complains multiple times per day. You do what you have to do when faced with this kind of situation and hopefully you let love lead your decision making. We also can learn lessons to put our own affairs in order so that our children will know exactly what to do if faced with similar situations in the future.

Do whatever you feel is best in your situation. It’s your decision to make.

Trust me, your feelings may change after you have been a caregiver for a significant amount of time.

No one really knows what the experience is like until they have lived through it.

Best wishes to you and if you need comfort from others, visit this forum again and we will share our experiences with you.

Thinking, would love to hear your comments that are NOT condemnation, but are supportive. This might help give perspective. To me this was a judgement and unthinking post. I reacted accordingly and nothing said here has changed my mind. Would love to hear your perspective on OP's comments.

Such a generalized condemnation. I'm the daughter in law.

Knilja2023, I remember one time I was grumbling to co-workers how tired I was of driving my folks all over hill and dale. One co-worker mentioned that I should remember that my parents had driven me everywhere when I was too young to drive. Yes, that co-workers was right, but my parents were in their 20's and 30's, not in their 60's or 70's [like I was].... big difference.

Too many times we see commercials on TV showing where Grandmother is coming to live with the grown daughter/son.... and in that commercial Grandmother is getting her tennis racket out of her car trunk to go play tennis. Or you see Grand-dad going fishing with his grandson. Said commercials don't show what happens when the grandparents develop dementia, etc.

My Dad [90+] had 3 shifts of caregivers at his house. These wonderful people were 20+ years younger than I, thus they had the energy to do the work involved. It was costing Dad around $20k per month, yes per month. Something to think about if you find you need an extra pair of hands to help.

Dad eventually sold his house and moved to senior living. He did well in Independent Living, he loved being around people of his own generation, and how he loved the meals :) Later on Dad moved to the Memory Care section. Again, he liked where he was.

My Mom [90+] spent her last year in a nursing home as she went from very mild dementia to final stage dementia overnight, due to a head trauma fall in my parent's house [Mom refused strangers in the house]. Mom needed a whole village to help her. My Mom probably was like some of the residents you tended to. Dad was paying $12k per month for Mom's nursing home care.

I am thankful there are nursing homes, not everyone can afford to be self-pay and living at home is no longer an option. I know for myself, I am an only child and never had any children. And if my savings run out, then what? Hello, Medicaid.

Good luck with that.
I used to think of my mom as one of my best friends and I still ended up so emotionally burned out that I lost all my sense compassion for her - who was this physically and cognitively needy woman? Her incessant pleas for help, the bowel blowouts and fecal incontinence, the sheer physical effort involved in lifts and transfers, the daily need to prepare special foods, lack of sleep, my inability to go anywhere or do anything except for brief periods of time, and on top of that half the time she didn't even know who the heck I was....
In my time on this forum I've encountered too many others like you who seem to feel some kind of deep emotional tie to a parent that has never shown much love or parental compassion, and they very often resist any advice on ways to lessen their burden and insist on destroying themselves and their families in order to "do the right thing".
But hey, that's just my experience and thoughts🤷🏻‍♀️

Bundle, EXCELLENT point! So easy to say what we'll NEVER do when there's no caregiving going on to begin with! 😂 After a while in the trenches, any managed care option starts to sound like winning the lottery!

"She’s alone, independent, isolated"

please write again AFTER you have taken care of her for years. then let's see how you feel about it all. (it = i don't mean whether you're for/against nursing home; i mean how you feel about your caregiving situation).

MOREOVER, and to ADD to what I already wrote:
I am 80. My daughter is 61. She is just panting her way through to retirement. She and her husband have plans for that time. Their child is grown and put through college. They have worked their entire lives saving for retirement and their son's education. They are ALREADY on the long slide down, little they may feel it yet. But they have now a decade and one half, if their LUCK HOLDS, to have some of the best, most free, most memory packed times of their lives, traveling, gardening, hiking, enjoying the life they worked toward for many decades.
Are they INSTEAD to care for ME, who have already HAD MY LIFE plus that life in retirement I just described? To me that is putting your one life on the altar of sacrifice. If it is what you choose, then that is what you choose. You may be up for Sainthood, dreadful as THAT job description is. But to judge people who think it is an appalling thought and a horrific waste (me), is not in your purview in my never to be humble opinion.
We on this forum have seen people forfeit their plans, their families, their money, their lives and in fact their sanity in this wise, and it is very tragic.

When a baby 21 inches long and 8 pounds is combative it is far different than my 6'4" 279 pound husband resisting me.
When a 6 month old baby crawls around the floor and escapes to another room it is far different than when my Husband would climb over the gate on my porch and wander away to be found 2 miles away...or the time he got hold of the car keys and was found 13 hours later in the next state...
When I want to give a baby a bath it is much easier than sliding the Hoyer Sling under my Husband, raising the sling, wheeling him to the bathroom, transferring him to the shower wheelchair and showering him...then rather than swaddling him in a cute little towel and blankie I had to dry him off, wheel him back to the bed, change to a dry sling, raise him up and lower him to the bed where I could finish drying the areas I could not reach before I put barrier cream and a dry brief on him.
Adults with dementia...
Not the same.

🙄 Here is a post full of judgment against the Dreaded Nursing Homes which are often REQUIRED with elders, pretending to be something else:

"I’ve worked in nursing homes and will never let my mom be in one. Seeing people alone in a strange place missing their “things”, their pets, etc. Crying because no one familiar is there. And pray you get kind, loving attendants."

I echo what lkdrymom said, Your life choices are yours alone. Please do not make others feel guilty for theirs.

Lets hope YOU are never faced with caring for your elderly "babies " and find yourself UNABLE to cope with adult sized Pampers and the contents therein. 8x a day.

Our parents are NOT our babies.
We owe obligations to our babies, those beings that WE BRING INTO THE WORLD on purpose or by accident. We do NOT owe obligation to our parents. We pay it forward. That is how it works. We should, I do believe, love and honor our parents to the degree that they loved, honored, sheltered and taught us and within our limitations, because our obligation is to ourselves and to our own nuclear family.
I will leave you with the Eagle Story, told by many cultures to illustrate how all this works.
There was a massive deluge in the world and the Eagle was attempting to save his two fledglings. It was necessary that he fly them to safety. He picked up the first fledgling in his talons and began the long flight to safety, and while flying he said to the tiny bird "And will YOU alike save ME when I am old and gray??" The fledgling answered "Oh, YES, father, I most surely will". The eagle let go of this baby and it fell into the stormy waters and drowned. The eagle returned to the last fledgling and lifted it gently into his talons and began again the long flight through stormy skies. While flying he said to this last chick "And will YOU alike carry me when I am old and weak" and the fledgling said "Oh, father, would that I could; but I will be trying to save my own babies when the storms come even if you must perish."
This is the chick the eagle saved.
I understand your thoughts. I hope you understand mine. We are all different. We all have different abilities and limitations. We are all, as you witness here, trying to do the best we can.

You are comparing apples to oranges. Babies/children & elders do not compare. Children become more independent while elders more dependent. She was a young person raising a child that would progress. Now you are an older person trying to 'raise' an adult that will only regress. Hardly the same thing.

I am sure plenty of parents out there have not given their children things they wanted because it was 'too expensive" and they 'didn't have the time". As a working parent I could not take my daughter to mid afternoon gymnastic camps that the stay at home mommies took their kids to. I had to be at work so I could support my children.

It is great that you are able to provide some support for your mother and have resolved your issues. Not everyone is that lucky. If my mother was in need I sure would want to take her in but if she got to the point I couldn't leave her while I went to work, then she would not be able to stay. I know my mother would have tried to be as helpful as she could. But I still could not jeopardize my own future for her. Now my father, I could never live with. And he was the one I had to manage for 17 years after my mother passed. Doesn't make me a bad person because I knew I could never live with him. I made sure he was safe and taken care of. Even though it was not by me personally, it was still a tremendous amount of work just 'managing' his life.

Your life choices are yours alone. Please do not make others feel guilty for theirs.

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