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so JessieBelle, you admit you did not read all of my post... enough said.. You were not there when I was growing up, and you do not know my mother. you sound like my sisters.. so let me ask you. I live 15 hours away by car, I am also 58 so hard to drive. I was just there, and they refuse to get professional help for her. Let me ask you what I ask them.. 1 what would you have me do? How often is often enough to call or visit?
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It began almost 15 years ago, when my Dad died. My Dad made the ultimate sacrifice, he went into hospital and asked for an overdose of morphine to leave this world with as much dignity as possible. I was angry at first, I thought it was wrong. But after dealing with Mom for the past 15 years, and each year creating a more selfish, narcissistic and demanding creature, I realize the true sacrifice my Dad made and how much he loved us.
My mother and I have never had much in common, she has spent her life ridiculing and criticizing me when I didn't do what she wanted me to do for her. She tried to make me like her, fortunately I was a Contrary and much more like my father.
The past 4 months she has been completely bedridden, and has turned into a stranger who demands I give up my life to serve her needs. I have cried to her asking her to try and understand what she is doing to me, my family but she just looks at me without one drop of empathy and with what appears disgust that I am being weak.
She has a tone of voice that has no love or care in it. If I gag when I'm changing her diaper, she actually ridicules me for being "weak." "My God, are you really that weak?"
I vacillate between anger and determination to stand up for my life and my needs, to thinking that it is better to serve, better to help, and fearing I may become evil like her if I stop caring for her. Will she take my soul by destroying my life or will she take it by destroying my empathy?
I appreciate all the posts, they are helping me but I needed to vent. This might not be the last time I do. Thanks for creating this space...
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CTTN55 - yes, there is a lot of societal pressure - especially if the family is large or everyone is in a small town. My BIL/SIL live in a small city & my inlaws have extensive family in the area - so the pressure on my BIL/SIL is immense. They would have the extended family on them like a ton of bricks if they say "no" on anything. My MIL/FIL are not shy about getting the extended family to make calls and judgements on their behalf. (I have received plenty of these).

My dad/stepmom live in a small rural area and my stepmom faces a lot of community and church disapproval because she wants a few hours a week respite. It would be OK if I were there for these few hours a week, but, to PAY the county to have someone come in - that is seen as heartless and cold to my house-bound dad. I go up for a weekend a month - and once when the Lutheran pastor came to give my dad communion I got an earful about how I need to be up more often, that I am a cold and selfish daughter. I asked the Lutheran pastor if he would cover my bills and take care of my son at his school so I could come? Because I did have a full time job and a child in school. No - that is not his responsibility.

I love the critics who don't offer to help. If all of these busy body relatives would help vs scolding my BIL/SIL - problem wouldn't be so bad!!!
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"She's been told by everyone that it is up to her to make arrangements and whatever she needs to do. " I've been thinking about this recently. I often make small talk with people at the pool I go to. If I bring up the issue of my mother, I usually get the response from other women that it's the daughter's job to take care of the mother. "Oh, I had to take care of Mama." Or they give me a strange look when I say that I do NOT want to take care of my mother. It's really ingrained in our society that the daughters have to do this.

So I hope that you aunt in Texas can remain strong, Evermore99, and not take her mother in.
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This is why we had to say the almighty word no to my grandmother when she wanted to live with us. After her knee replacement and rehab, she started to get a whole lot more frail. She claims that she is eating enough and still doing her rehab stuff even though she isn't in rehab anymore. We just couldn't afford to remodel a first floor bathroom for her and many other things. We knew she would take over our lives with her demands. Fox News would be on 24 hours a day and hollering for us to do and buy things for her even though she has more than enough money to provide for herself. She has always been on the selfish side, she has gotten worse. Our aunt in Texas can't take care of her and why should we dump this on her. She is just finding her feet after she lost my uncle of 31 years. She's been told by everyone that it is up to her to make arrangements and whatever she needs to do. Is this slightly mean? Yes but the needs of one doesn't override the needs of the whole family. In the eyes of the law, she's competent as am I.
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Kimber166, you bring up some good points.

It seems as there is often at least one sibling who lets themselves be taken advantage of by the controlling elder. And then they are mad at the ones who are able to remove themselves from the situation.
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JessieBelle - I see it differently for fedupsister. I'm kind of in the same boat and so feel differently. My INLAWS have completely taken over my BIL and SIL's lives (yardwork, repairs, laundry, house cleaning, running errands) because my INLAWs won't pay for any services AND my BIL/SIL cannot say "no" even though they have full time jobs. Because they can't say "NO" they get angry at me and my husband, who live across the country, because we are not always flying out for weeks at a time to give them a break.

FEDUPSISTER and I have elders who refuse to look at alternatives other than living in their own home and will tramp all over the lives of their children to maintain their "independent" lifestyle. Shame on the parents. Also, shame on the kids for not having the balls to say "NO", set boundaries, but yell at the lucky to get away sibling.

We visit my INLAWS once per year, and while there, we do help. That is all we are willing to do. I also help my dad/stepmom caregive, we have full time jobs, we have a young child, and we also have a house of our own that needs cleaning, repairs, etc. So if we are selfish, so be it.

From reading this site - I become firmer in my determination to help, to help with caregiving, but to SET BOUNDARIES no matter who is screaming at me that I need to give up my life to do more. NOPE. My parents & Inlaw's refusal to change their lifestyle does not obligate me to give up mine to enable them.
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fedupsister, I only read about half of what you wrote. Sorry, but I am not so impressed with you. Your siblings are covering all the parental responsibilities so you can get on with your life, and you thank them by criticizing and looking down on them like they are losers. IMO, your siblings wouldn't be missing anything if you stopped all communications. You really seem to be into yourself and not your family. Your mother might miss you, though.
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I don't know if people are still following this thread, but I'm finding that no matter what I do, I am begrudged because I married a very good man and moved away at 21. The rest of my 6 siblings stayed in our "home town" with my parents. through those years, i lived 14 hours away (by car) and none of them ever came to visit me, though I always invited them. I avoided the family drama, and for my own good only visitedevery couple of years. I kept the boundaries, we lost our dad, Then we lost 3 siblings, including my mentally disturbed brother who had been my mom's caretaker.. Now, at 90, my mother, who was always narcissistic, uncaring, and selfish, insists on staying in the 5 bedroom, 3 bath house, and does NOTHING but sit in her recliner while my 2 sisters spend 24 hours (literally) every day to on her every beck and call. They complain to me about mom, and insist I call her every day. They complain about how they always were treated like "slaves," and how mean and ungrateful mom still is, yet one goes to mom's EVERY morning to make breakfast, stays until noon-ish, when the other sister takes over until about 6:30 when a neice or nephew stays with mom until she falls asleep in her chair. They never take her out in the sunshine, and she never leaves her chair, even at night. She never sleeps in her own bed anymore, even though when I visited once last year, I and a friend I took along for a visit cleaned out mom's room, flipped the mattress, put on clean sheets, etc. Every time i visit, I clean out the hoarded mess. (my brother who lived with my mom, took care of her, then died was a hoarder like my mom.) That is a whole other issue. I was trying to have "the conversation about mom" for years before any of our brothers died. I told them this would happen, and now that they are there, they send me hateful texts and mean guilt-laden scoldings, because i am enjoying my life. These 2 older sisters, in their mid sixties, each have their own health issues, (one is on oxygen with copd and heart issues.) Mom has fallen, had infections three times over the course of several years, going into rehab in nursing, and every time my sisters had the chance to talk to my mom with the professionals there, they let her have her way. They always say, "Oh, she will never change, she will never leave the house, she will always be this way. etc." i was out there jus 8 months ago for mom's 90th , and several times that year, yet they are mad at me for every vacation I take, and every fun post i put on facebook, even though only one of them is on there. They look at my posts and begrudge my life. I have always been active, and they have always been negative, gossipy, overweight, smokers, with kids with money problems, etc.. my kids are well adjusted, independent, and self-sufficient, while theirs are always borrowing money, etc. tonight, after another sister sent me a nasty text, because my daughter and are finally visiting family in Europe, when the 2 sisters and my mom have refused to go with me over the years of my asking. Now, they are mad that I am 'getting out of" taking care of mom.. I've been accused of being non christian, and not "honoring my parent," and I don't even know what they want from me. I finally unfriended every one of my family from facebook, their kids, too, since that is where my sisters see my posts. They don't think I care, because I tell them we need to have mom in nursing care. She really does nothing but sit in her recliner 24 / 7 watching fox news. When I call she is nearly unresponsive, and if she is watching something interesting or eating her meal, she tells me, and basically I am interrupting, so i end the call, tell her I love her, and that is it till the next time. she does not call me, never has , nor has my family ever reached out to me.. except one sister, and she is one of the ones who is mad at me now.. I know they feel trapped, but every time a doctor tells them they are enabling, and that mom needs professional help they get mad. I am ready to just completely stop all communications, and just live my life. all this anger, unhappiness, and defeatism i hear from them is too much. My mother has no health issues.. she could be strong. she just needs balance therapy, to get outside a little, to be challenged to do some self care, small daily responsibilities, and socialization .... the house is a danger with electrical problems, and she is alone every night from 8 or 9 until morning, even though they say she cannot be alone at all... they are doing her more harm than helping.... I am stressing out myself, and though I've never been a worrier, like my mom, I find myself fretting over this situation. My husband is tired of it, and we both saw this coming years ago..
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TrishQ, in hindsight, yours could be a good cautionary tale about getting guardianship when there is a chance that a POA could be usurped like that, and not hesitating to call Adult Protective Services for welfare checks. There is a lot about these situations we do not know about the first time they come around, my own family included.
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CarlaCB. Thank you for your reply. I reposted my comment so maybe it will be seen I appreciate your insight and it is reassuring to hear what you said.
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Shcshl - I think you're definitely in the right place, although you may want to start your own topic to get more responses. People may not be reviewing these older threads as much.

I am wondering how much care your father actually needs given that he's in a facility. What do your mother and you actually do while you're there? If he has genuine care needs and your parents can afford to pay for help, they should be doing that. If it's a question of providing companionship for your Dad, you should feel free to visit him as often as you feel you want to. Your mother can't expect you to have the same degree of commitment to his happiness and comfort as she has. She married him and lives with him; you didn't and don't.

I think parents can be very overbearing with adult children, especially daughters. You mother may feel free to dispose of your time and energy as freely as if it were her own. You have the right to set boundaries with her. The more you do it, the easier it will get. Draw a limit and stick with it. Tell your Mom "I can only visit Dad x times per week ; I have a job and a household to run and other things to do." Good luck and let us know how it's going!
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I am not sure if this is the correct support group, but I am just looking for others in my situation. My Dad is elderly and been having strokes and is now almost completely bed ridden. My mother was his caregiver at home, but now he is termporily in a nursing home as he recovers from an infrection from a bedsore. He is expected to be there for about 20 days. They moved close to me about 4 years ago and it has been a struggle since they moved here. I feel like I am always trying to establish boundaries with my mom --- I understand she is taking care of my dad and it's difficult for her, but she refuses to hire help and expects me to be his caregiver too. I am torn on what is the appropriate level of involvement --- I love my parents, but I am trying to balance my own life with their needs. My mom treats me like a child and makes me feel guilty for trying to live my own life. Now that he is in the nursing home she stays with him all day to feed him and does not want him to be alone. She expects me to 'relieve" her all day on Saturdays, half day on Sunday and then come there after work to feed him dinner so she can go home and rest. I do not have children and my husband died 4 years ago so she does not seem to respct the fact that I do have a ife -- I have a career, I am on a local Non-Profit Board, I have friends and I have started a new relationship. For others in similar situations I am curious how involved you are in caregiving of your parent? (My parents have resources to pay for help, but my mom does not want strangers taking care of my dad and is convinced as the daughtre it's my responsiblity to take care of my dad.
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History plays such a huge part in a caregiver's life. If your history with that person is rock-solid.........the caregiving is uniquely more positive.
I've been doing this caregiving thing for a long time - history is important.

First - my dad. He had a stroke and became wheelchair bound and unable to speak for the final 10 years of his life. Dad was the perfect father! I loved and admired him so much. Always wanted to be like my dad. Caring for him was a privilege to the end. He was gracious even with dementia.

Second - my sweet husband who endured an awful cancer battle. Our history was a love story and I adored him. Caregiving was easy as he was my everything.

Third - my MIL who had combative-type dementia. My MIL was an aloof woman who showed little interest in me or Bill or our kids. She was bitter and spiteful and stubborn the whole time I knew her (39 years). Caring for her was yucky. Her language was down to constant curse words. She kicked, bit and it felt like she just flat out refused to die.

My mom - bi-polar, failure to thrive. I know mom loved us but..................her bi-polar illness was really hard on my dad, brother, and me. Caring for her is okay but not great. She remains very, very needy. Our history was rocky. She is nice to me but whiney and needy.

We are creating our own history right now with our loved ones. I really don't think people change all that much when they get old. I love our kids and grandkids so much and give them lots of time and love. I want to!! Even when caregiving an elder...........I focus lots on my kids and grandkids. We have a lot to give to the young too!! Not just to elders.
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Continued: that we tried not to touch her unless we had to. She started telling her daughter we were abusing her. The visiting nurse and CNA both knew that was not true. Then, one evening I was cooking her dinner and had just told her it would be ready in about 30 minutes. She said, "I'm hungry now." I just walked out of her room. Next thing I know, I hear her on her phone telling her daughter that I was withholding food. So I walked back in and announced loud enough for her daughter to hear that I would most certainly be willing to serve her the chicken she requested raw, but I had heard that that's bad for ones health. It was shortly after this that she called in a social worker to revoke my ex's POA (both financial and medical) and give it to his sister. She still expected to live with us, but having control of the money brought her daughter around more often. That was all she wanted all along. Her attention. It worked. The woman showed up every few days, but she took the check books, etc, and suddenly we were on the verge of disaster. Nothing came in for their mother's care. No help with food, medication co-pays, NOTHING. So this nasty, demanding, arrogant woman in the hospital bed got what she want (her daughter's attention) but was destroying us. She had been given 3 months to live. With us, she had kept going 7 months. The doctors had upgraded her prognosis and we were praised for the job we were doing with her. My ex finally told his mother that since she gave his sister complete control over everything, she would have to give her complete resonsibilty. He informed his sister she had 30 days to move their mother out - to her house or to a hospice facility. We started getting calls from family and friends asking how we could throw a poor old woman out! She was moved to his sister's house. My ex was not allowed any contact. On Mother's Day, 2 months later, my ex received a call from a family friend. Why haven't you seen your mother? Called her? She's in the hospice center with little time left. He rushed over. His mother was in horrible condition, bruised head to toe, a skeleton wrapped in skin. She was barely able to communicate. A doctor told him she had been in ER 4 times in the 2 months. His sister had not stopped working her 10 hour, 6 days a week job and she had been neglected. But there was no proof to legally do anything. And somehow ex was blamed by family and friends. She died 2 days later. He was not there at the time and was notified by text by his sister, with an additional "you need to pay for cremation or I'm donating her body to science." He fowarded the text to a family friend, noting, "she has mom's money and mom planned for this." We never heard from her again. But because he was on all of his mom's accounts, he received final statements. His sister had funneled every dime from the accounts before her mother died. She had a brand new car. We heard about her big screen TV and leather living room set. I asked him what he wanted to do. He said, "Karma will take care of it." Eventually, we separated agsin, more amicably this time. He thanked me for my help in his difficult times. And he called the other day to say he heard through the grapevine that his sister was near homelessness. He was asked if he would take her in. He said he laughed out loud. Karma. His mother reaped what she sowed. She never had respect or consideration from his sister, never heard from her unless she wanted money, and she tried to get it by hurting the one person who gave a damn. She died lonely, neglected and in our eyes abused. And she treated us both like crap. So my BF's Aunt is a dream in comparison. My own mother has told me that she will never ask me to take care of her. She is 78. My father is 74 and recently recovered from a mild stroke. Mom has the beginnings of dementia. She said, find me a nice assisted living and come visit me, call me. Hold my hand when I'm dying. "Pumpkin, your life has been put on hold too many times already. You have a good heart. I don't want you to do it again." I love my mom.
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Wow. I really thought I was the only one in this back when caring for me MIL. I am now caring for my BF's aunt and she's a bit easier, but still leans toward the selfish side as I posted in another thread. Actually, she is a dream in comparison. My ex-husband and I were separated pending divorce when he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer with a 20-30% chance of survival. I dropped the divorce, moved back in and convinced him to fight for our adult daughter's sake. She loves her dad and was crushed. Lousy husband, great dad. So I became his caregiver, along with my mom and his mom and our daughter. He fought, he won. Surprisingly, he was an appreciative and good patient. It was a tough 2 years and financially ruined us with only my income and all the bills, all the unpaid time I had to take off after the paid time ran out. But he's alive. His mother moved in to "help". She took over my home right down to moving everything in the kitchen to her liking and barraging into our bedroom without knocking to give him his feedings (feeding tube). I constantly had to remind her that it was my house and I know what time he needs to eat and he is capable of telling me if he's hungry. I had to start locking the door. She was more difficult than he was. Fast forward to him returning to work. I moved back out, started proceedings again. Then his mother got sick. She was 96 and became a hospice patient. 10 years early before his dad died, he promised his dad his mother would never go into a nursing home. So he became her caregiver, stopped working again (he has his own business with no employees to take over for him) and they were living off of his ss check and annuities. Her money was only spent on what was needed. He never took a dime for himself. Eventually, he got caregivers coming during the day so he could work part time and he was able to secure jobs. But I got a call from him one day. He asked for help. His sister would not help him and it was becoming a 24 hour job. He was getting no sleep. I moved bsck in. He looked like hell. He took the first half of the night, I took the second. We both looked like hell. After the third fall because she tried to get out of bed herself AGAIN, we installed an bed alarm. It went off all night. She was demanding and rude. I remember at one point I informed her that if I didn't hear the word please, she would sit and wait until I did. We were constantly reminded of how much she did for her son. We owed her. Her daughter would visit every few weeks to ask for money from her dying mother and leave angry when my ex would tell her no, he was in charge of the funds and mom was already paying enough of her bills. He wouldn't turn off her electric or her cable but she wasn't getting anymore (both he discovered were in their mother's name). He intercepted a credit card bill a month later and asked his mother how she spent $800 in the last month when she's in a hospital bed and no packages have been delivered. She said she gave his sister permission to use it. He asked her just where the money was going to come from to pay it as we were all on a shoe string budget. She didn't have an answer. At her age,she bruised so easy
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I know this topic is old but I am glad to have found it. My story is different as I am dealing with anger and resentment after the fact.

My mother was always somewhat of a narcissist. I was never nurtured but instead was expected to be the nurturer. When she was younger that meant every "crisis" in her life was to be mine as well. This was to the detriment of my own husband and children. My dad kept his business (farming) going and totally ignored life. As my mom sank into the depths of dementia my sister and I had to step in for everything. Thank God my mom's brother convinced her to get long term care insurance (when it was still easy to get) as that paid for care in the home until she died. Now Dad is 80 and doing just fine but the expectation again is that his grieving, his loneliness is 100% our responsiblity. What is frustrating is that he is "aging in place" so that he can hang out with his own siblings (who he truly prefers to us). Kids and grandkids are just there to be caretakers even though we live 1000 miles away. Recognizing that Dad can't go on forever my sister got a house with a separate apartment just for him but he insists on staying at his current house as he doesn't want to leave "his family" (elderly siblings).

My mother-in-law was eerily similar. Life was always about her and her activities. After father-in-law passed away she soon was wheelchair bound but determined to age in place in a house not conducive to it. When her sons didn't move near her, she did hire help but relied way too much on her neighbors and had a very ungrateful attitude. At one point she would kick her caregivers out of the house and we'd get frantic phone calls that she was not lucid (got frequent UTI's but refused to go to the dr). That's one thing people don't understand, when an elderly person insists on staying in their home there is nothing a care service can do as technically it's the CHILDREN who are legally responsible. So I'd be freaking out that mil was sick and alone and needed care but there was little i could do as we were 1000 miles away. She refused to go into a facility as she would 'never leave her house". She eventually became too ill and brother-in-law put her in a facility. She was furious and died of an untreated UTI a few months later.

It really is true that many elderly are very selfish. Neither my parents nor mother-in-law ever had to deal with this with their own parents. My parents spent all their middle age years doing exactly what they wanted to do with no caretaking responsiblities (my grandparents died young as there wasn't the medical advancements like there are now). I feel like I have lost a lot of time with my own children because of my parents. I know my situation can't be compared as both of our moms are gone now and the caretaking is over but I feel a lot of resentment as I feel like my kids grew up and I had no time for them.
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My sister and I have been taking care of my mother from a social standpoint sinc e my dad died in 1988. At this point she has burned us both out and we cannot stand her. November 2015 she has a stroke and heart attack. Along with being finally diagnosed with vascular dementia....I went to her primary care ...to no avail. She is now in an alf....I don't care if I ever see her and neither does my sister. Sad but 28 years we are done.
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Tired, how about trying a little manipulation of your own: tell him you will take him to his appointment, but make arrangements with the AL to use their services without telling him. When it is time to go make an excuse that something came up and you can't come and get him (car trouble? diarrhea? last minute work assignment?) but you have arranged for the AL to bring him to you LOL :)
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I am dealing with an 83 year old father who was pretty independent until a few years ago. His disease has brought out the hatred in him. He would throw any one of his three daughters under the bus to assume their health. I am 55 and have heart issues but am the ONLY one he will allow to take him to a doctor's appointment. He is in assisted living and the workers will bring him to the appointment to the city I live in (which is around 25 miles away), but he INSISTS that I go pick him up and take him. Its 100 miles on me when all is said and done. He won't have it any other way and if I say no, he starts to recruit extended family members that we really don't want in our business. Neither of my sisters will help either. Its not as bad as a few years ago when he was first diagnosed and spent the better part of the year in a hospital, but he just keeps on getting his way. I am so sick of it. I want so badly to break free of him and his selfish ways. Then, in the next moment, I feel guilty for wanting my own life. I want to run away alot of days. I can't even think clearly about it anymore.
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This is such an unfortunate situation. I think the previous generation was accustomed to having their children care for them at home.
However with all the mobility (that is normal these days) some of the elders have not "caught up" in their mind that they need to downsize, live in senior residence, etc.
And shame on the caseworker who neglected to see that your mother was properly bathed.
I do not have kids and am currently 58 years old - far from retirement age. However, my plan is to put my name on a list for a senior residence as soon as I am of age so that I can maintain an independent and decent lifestyle in a community that supports seniors. This is a realistic outlook for today's living.
As a caveat, some have divorced parents living in different places. Mission Impossible if they are not set up for independent living.
As a note to the woman whose mom wants to make all the Christmas plans, I agree with the responder that suggested she get a ride from someone from the church. When my late grandmother was older and unable to drive, she solicited her parish for a ride to mass. They were very accommodating. When the seniors get older, they can get very set in what they want to do on any given day. They are accustomed to being the boss. It is wise to say "I will think about it and let you know". This way you are not overextending yourself and do not have a knee jerk reaction every time mom asks. Sometimes it is hard to say no to them as they get older. There is often a way to include them without derailing your own life. If not, we all do our best.
I miss my deceased relatives and wish I had spent time with one in particular a bit more, but I did the best I could do at that time.
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My mother after 4 years of hell for my sister and later myself is finally going to a nursing home. It took her falling and breaking a hip but I have to honest for my sister and myself it is a relief.
No one goes into a care giving situation realizing that they will be a captive, their live turned up side down, unable to leave or even take a vacation, all due to the selfishness and stubbornness of an elderly parent. But it comes on gradually. First it's just a visit one or twice a week. Then its cleaning up, then laundry, then mowing the lawn, then doing dishes, then shampooing their hair, then changing the bed, buying groceries. And my God when she got an alarm for falling, she would press it when she wanted someone to come over. And it was never enough. And the criticism and anger.
My mother was abusive towards me and at age 18 I left and our relationship was strained, so I was not going to be her caregiver but it fell to my sister and I only stepped in because she literally was killing my sister. My brother other than borrowing large sums of money to keep his house from foreclosure and live in her basement at age 60 rent free for 2 years, did nothing. He only left when mom became a burden and he had to help out.
When I went down to see my sister (it cost about $800 to fly out) and I am on disability, the first thing I did was disconnect her house phone and block mom's number. Which finally forced my brother to step up. But this was only 2 months ago.
I am angry at the stay in the home case workers because even after my mom was diagnosed with Dementia, they still took her word that she needed no home help. She hadn't bathed in 2 years, was wearing the same outfit for 4 weeks and her kitchen was a disaster and she wasn't eating properly. Even when the nurse at the emergency contacted her and told her our mom was in crisis and need immediate placement, this case worker wriggled out and said it wasn't a real crisis. If they want seniors to stay in their homes, the care should be there even if the senior says no. Dumping everything on the children, who are themselves seniors is wrong. It's done only to save money.
I should have rescued my sister long before and that is my only regret. My sister and I will visit only on a limited basis as my mother is verbally abusive.
Don't wait till you are sick and worn to a frazzle. Cut off ties. The agencies or another sibling will step in and so they should.
A senior parent while they have their facilities must make a care plan that does not include their children. With parents living till 100 these days, it means the children are enslaved to their aging parents for up to 20 years. And if my mom's current situation has taught me anything it's that if you do not make plan for when you are unable to look after yourself, someone else will and you won't like it because it will be what is available.
My mother could have had a nice quality of life had she moved into an independent living center for the past 10 years. Instead she chose to live in a house where she could not move around and not bath and refused delivered meals. Her life was a mess but it was her own choosing. I said to my sister, she is drowning and dragging you down. And someone is drowning, you have to cut them loose or they will kill you.
Something has to change because this situation with senior parents cannot continue this way.
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Igh. I completely relate this this. I have already seen what happens to those in my family who step in to help. When an adult child stepped in to care for my grandfather for 12 years, everyone was appreciative. Gave up time with family, vacations, etc. But as soon as granddad passed away, relatives couldn't kick the caregiver out of his house fast enough and sell. The executor, another one of his adult children, convinced him not to change his will when he wanted to leave more to the caregiver, so the adult child was left with equal share after providing care for 12 years for free...My parents were perfectly happy with this situation. None of them speak now. And in my family the aging parents have never been nor will they ever be wrong about anything or at fault for anything. So when my aging mother broke her hip, her aging body wasn't at fault, someone obviously pushed her. Luckily I was with her, with a friend as witness, but the repeated family history is that I pushed her....Yet everyone wants ME to be the caregiver?!?!? Forget it.
My parents also retired and moved near other retired relatives when their own parents were still active. Having kids at 20 and only have to put 25 years in for a pension will do that. But having kids later as my parents did, and our generation working until 65 or 70...means no one is retiring anytime soon. But the aging parents STILL expect someone to move to their retirement town to care for them! None of their children has ties to their town. My MIL by contrast talks with her children and their spouses about plans. She's planning in advance and is clear minded about all the potential issues. So I KNOW it is possible for aging adults to do this. It is possible for them to show some amount of respect. Some just refuse to let go of what they WANT to have happen! Thanks for letting me vent.
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By all means say "no" to anything you feel might be dangerous. For many people night vision starts to go fairly early so this is a very legitimate reason to not drive at night. At any rate, you really have no obligation to be parents' go-fer.
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KATESL: "Mom, I just do not feel comfortable driving at night. I'd be glad to call the church office and see if they can suggest someone in your congregation who lives nearby and who might be willing to pick you up. Or I will arrange for a cab for both ways. I just can't provide the ride." Be polite, be firm, and don't back down. This is a fairly easy one, because you do have a legitimate "reason" to not do it. So, start with an easy one! Kimber is right that this isn't going to be easy, and she is also right that it CAN BE DONE.

Good luck!
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KATESL - it is called setting boundaries and it is very difficult, but important to do. Tell your mom your plans. When she starts to argue, cry - whatever tell her "this works for me, I love you, talk with you later" and hang up. If you are in person - "this works for me, I love you, gotta go" and exit the situation. It will difficult as she will likely pull out all of the stops of the FOG that worked in the past to manipulate you - but what can she really do? I am learning balance because as soon as I started to say "no" to my manipulative mom - it was so empowering I did it just because I could. Now, I ask for time to think, agree to what I feel I can/want to do and say "no, that doesn't work for me" to the rest. Your life, your choice. As my therapist said when I wrestled with setting boundaries "in this situation someone will be angry or unhappy - you or your mom. Why should it be you? it is YOUR life" Good luck. Remember - you love your mom, you like to help your mom, but you are not your mom's slave. Do what you want, when you want, with a large helping of love - for your mom and for yourself also.
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I am dealing with a mother who insists that we take her to Christmas Eve service. We do not like to drive at night as we are in our 50s. She wants to tell us where to go on Christmas Day. Denny's is not our first choice. But it is her's. Any thoughts on how to deal with this? My current plan is to visit after work Sat nite and bring her food on Christmas Day.
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No one can understand or criticise another carers decision's as they do not fully understand the equation. Circumstances - what stage your own family life is at, timing, depth of elders ill health, relationships, your own personal health and that of your husband and children, employment demands, financial restraints, amount of additional carer's, timings, past relationships with your elder's etc....
Judge and you shall be judged...
This forum ( in my opinion) is about support and exchange of ideas with a view to finding the strength to cope with each new day and challenge. To feel you are not alone. It is not helpful to face criticism or judgement when you are trying your best on a course you have had no training for nor do you know what chapter is coming next.
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Gnarly, I think it's important to notice that the people on this forum are usually the ones helping the parents. These aren't the sibs who see the parents once a year for 4 days. The feelings they express are normal and just being human. Few of us have people in our daily lives that we can say these things to because they don't understand.

I understand that in other countries, other cultures, the tradition has been for elders to remain at home with family. I do wonder, however, if that hasn't been changing as women are working fulltime, smaller families means fewer sibs and families are no longer in a small geographic area (which allows for the whole family to take care of each other.)

As our parents are living into their 90's, it has become difficult to keep them home as was the tradition. We often have multiple parents to care for, with our spouse's parents aging as well. And having parents in their 90's means we are seniors with our own health issues as well. Having our own physical limits, plus our spouse's limits and elderly parents with increasing health needs......it becomes impossible to keep everyone at home and care for them properly.

I used to bristle when someone did the judgemental "I would never do this to my parent". Now, I just quietly think "you don't know what you'll do when it's not a hypothetical thing and you have to live with the real consequences of your decision."
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Gnarly, maybe you have by now, but spend some time reading up on others lives on this site. Look, when I first found this site, I too, thought man folks seem to be ready to push the easy button to put a parent in some other living situation. But then I got the shock and awe of my own reality with my parents and found it quickly firsthand why that is sometimes necessary.

I come from a blended, multicultural family that expect you to take care of your parents until death. However, when I really got to experience how involved care taking really is I realized I couldn't do it all myself. I went to bed one night with my jaw hurting so bad I thought I might not wake up the next morning. I am a Christian and thought well absent from the body present with the Lord, but I really didn't want to die. And I am still fairly young and otherwise in good health. I don't want to die like that anyway.

Sometimes the most kind, loving and merciful thing we can do for a parent or other family member is to get them into the hands of good care they need to ensure the best quality of life at that point in their lives. They need it, but so do we. I'd rather be an advocate in that way than to run myself into the ground and leave this earth before they do. Many, as you have read, come from some horrendous family circumstances that make it even more of a challenge. I commend them for doing so in the face of such pain and hurt many times.

This is not to condemn you at all, so please don't take it that way. It's just to say sometimes we have to step back and see the bigger picture outside of our own world. Believe me, it's a lot going on out there! Be well.
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