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Since my mother fell and broke her hip last Sunday, I am trying to take care of her needs while she is in rehab, keep her clothes washed, take care of bills and insurance matters and all I get is
"constant flack" about how much she wants to go home and does not want to be there. I dont think anyone would prefer to be in a rehab center but we would "man up" or "woman up" and do what we need to do to get better. Not the case here. Mom tries to convince everyone she can get better at home. This would be true if she had 24 hour care, however she only has caregiver's during the day. This is such a thankless job. I do not expect a thank you however I do expect so respect and not to be critized for everything I do. I am very frustrated and had a panic attack today. Had not had one in awhile. Between issues with my job, my family and dealing with my mother, I feel that I about to lose my mind. I have no family that will help or is willing to help. I am frustrated to the point of despair. I can tell I am starting to show signs of depressions again. I was applying to return to school when she broke her hip and that has been placed on hold for now. My siblings have moved on with their lives and are living with their families, having babies and not having to deal with the "mom" stuff. I just do not feel I can continue to deal with this all. I have missed so many "firsts" of MY kids that I cannot count. This is something I cant get back. Thanks for letting me vent. My sincere hope that no one has to go through this alone, without support. I do not think anything can make you feel more alone than when you are sitting in a surgical waiting room by yourself and realizing you are the only person in the world this person has. It is not a good feeling for anyone.

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This is a horrible, feeling and you rightly feel it's more than you can do alone. Please do have your depression tended to. Also, you mom will keep complaining. This isn't about you. It's about her own frustrations with the losses she has endured.

You will have to learn to detach from her complaining. Please remind yourself this is not about you and what you are doing. Tell her you are doing all you can, but that there's no choice but for her to be where she is.

You may have to look into assisted living or a nursing home for her. You can't lose you who other life, because you are right - you can't get it back. Your kids need you, too.

While your mom is in rehab is a good time for you to see a counselor for yourself, and to look into better arrangements for her. If she can't have 24 hour in-home care (and few can afford it), then she may have to move to a facility. This could take you down, and then what would she have?

Try your state Web site and look for a version of the National Family Caregiver Support Program. They should be a good source of information for you.

Please take care of yourself.
Carol
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KD:

My post was for you, not Crowe. Buena suerte con tu mama y que se mejore.

-- ED
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CROWE:

Let it all hang out my brother! (Well, not everything.) But find a way to keep yourself together. Otherwise you won't have a job and your mom won't have a home to come to AFTER she's rehabilitated. She's already rented enough space in your head, so tune her out when she starts all that "take me home" talk. She's not ready.

-- ED
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Kim, I read over your profile and see that you have three children and two of them are at home, i.e. 12 and 9. It does sound like you might be a bit angry at your dad for dying so suddenly, but he could not help that. Your siblings not wanting to have anything to do with yalls mother make me wonder more how relationships are with her. If your mother does better at rehab when you don't visit her so much, then don't go so much. Frankly, your children need their mom and not a basket case who is on the verge of a mental breakdown over grandma. Some boundaries are needed to help you take better care of yourself; so that also your mother is safe and well cared for; and so that you can be fully present for your children. I assume that since the doctor ordered rehab for your mother that medicare is going to pay the first 30 days I believe it is 100%. Please use the early part of this break that you are getting with your mom in rehab to take some time out just for you to refuel and get your feet on the ground. Good luck.
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My mother had a stroke in the spring on 2009 and did fine with rehab. However, when she broke her hip at the end of April she gave up just like her mother did. She wants to be begged into cooperating with PT and she complains about PT not doing anything for her when in reality she refuses to work with them. I just listen without fighting. From time to time, she does talk about wanting to go home. I remind her that the doctor has the final word. Plus, I have brought in the social worker to talk with her. If the doctor cannot talk with your mother, maybe the social worker will. One thing residents needs to know and understand is about safe discharge. No reputable nursing home is going to make an unsafe discharge unless they want to risk their license and their doctor's reputation. The most criticism that I get comes from my step-dad who does not like nursing homes, does not like me having both durable and medical POA, and who along with his helper about let my mother die when they claimed they could look after her following her good rehab experience. However, they allowed her to loose every bit of progress that she ever made. One thing about POAs is that criticism comes with having such responsibility and authority. I'm not a therapist, but from what I've read I think going to one would both benefit yourself and your immediate family. I'd like to hear more about your kids. How old are they? What are they doing? What is their response to all of this? How is your relationship with them. I assume by not mentioning a spouse that you are either a single parent or possibly heading in that direction. If not, then tell us about your husband and your marriage. The totally of what I read here leads me to believe that you have reached a point and your immediate family possibly passed the point long ago where taking care of your mother is just completely over your head and that is important to recognize when that time comes. Does your mother have any 'means' by which to help her with such a transition? Does she have long term care insurance? I'm so glad that my mother bought some years ago. If she has none of the above, would your mother qualify for medicaid to pay? There are options and while your mother is in rehab is a good time to look them over. None of these decisions are easy and it's going to be compounded via the burnout, depression, and anxiety that is consuming you. Recognize also that there is a possibility of some F.O.G. (Fear, Obligation and Guilt) operating here that is pulling you down and back into being the emotional little girl that wants to make mommy happy than staying grounded as the adult daughter which though she may complain is exactly what she really needs, you really need and your immediate family needs. I will you well!
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You are not alone! The approach I took was to tell my mom that she had to make a change. After discussing realistic changes, SHE decided that she wanted to be with dad in his Nursing Home. It was her decision and my encouragement that has lead to my rest and peace of mind being restored and she is happier than ever. Sometimes people have to see that the crutch that they are depending on can't always be there...then what? We have our lives too, helping her get settled into a life style that helps you both is only human like. Other's have gone on with their lives and so should we be alowed to do the same. No guilt or blame...I DARE somebody to try it with me.! Take care of you too. Been there, done that, E.R. and all..and the family members say..."ok thanks....let us know what happens" Yeah, thanks.
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My Mom's way of keeping me around has been her anxiety. In the early stage of the dementia I tried to bring her to adult day care. She was panicking the entire time. "Where's Susan,where's Susan?" She doesn't want me out of her sight for a minute! The neighbors call us" Me and my shadow."
We also had a rehab experience. She was scared there and I had to sit with her until I couldn't take it any more and then she had to sit at the Nurse's station or she would keep trying to get up and run out.
At this point the disease has progressed and she isn't as anxious. We had to put her on an anti anxiety med, trazodone, which has helped a lot.
Like so many others, sometimes I think "i wish she would just go to sleep and not wake up", but that's not really what I wish, I wish we could spend what time we have and find a way to be at least somewhat happy. Have a laugh or two.
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Just listen to what your mom has to say. Then let her know what is going on with you, don't hid it from her. She may not even relize what you are going through. Let her know and she will relize just how hard it is on you. Then go home and call your family members and tell them you need their help. Don't let them off either that's why God gave your parents more than one child. We were put on this earth to take care of our parents ,show respect to them and care for them when needed. It's not just your place to help your mom, Ask them all for help. If they give you a sob story tell them yours. There is no excuse for anyone not to help with their parents. Heck I've even travled to Alaska to take care of my mother in-law for three weeks while my three other sister in-laws did what they had to do and two of them lived right there. Let them know you need help. They can't help if they don't know. Good Luck
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I'm SO sorry for all that you're going through!!! It's not fair to you that your siblings won't help in this "bad situation"!!! I read over and over again how it's only 1 child who takes the brunt of all of the caregiving. I'm an only child, but have 1 s-sister who "was" going to help. She's gotten busy with her life now and I'm back to having no help at all. You're so right about going through this without a good support system!!! My heart goes out to you! It's not fair at all that you've been the one who's had to miss so many of the "First's" with your own children! My mom sounds so much like yours. She had major surgery a bit over a week ago and refused to go to a rehab for further healing, strength, PT, IV antibiotics, etc... and told everyone how she was going to really get stronger and do things at home.... Never happened!!! Due to having some health issues of my own, I lost my own home and had no place to live, so I now live with my mom and s-dad. It's not a good situation at all! The stress is enormous! If I were you I'd talk to the nurses and Social Worker, and your mom's doctors and let them know that 'she really isn't going to get the care she needs 24/7 at home', b/c you simply are not Super Woman and cannot do it!!! It's unfair and unkind of a parent to put so much pressure on their own child!!! I remember my mom telling me, when she was younger, that she'd never want others to have to wait on her, take care of her, etc... She took care of her parents for a short period of time and actually wanted to harm her father!!! She knows how hard it is to be a caretaker.... Yet, I think they forget. I'm now the sole caretaker and my s-dad who is in very poor health himself is doing what he can. Today I must find a window of time where my own pain is under control enough to go for a large load of groceries for my own caretakee's... My thoughts and prayers are with you!!! This caretaking thing is a thankless job. I don't mean that to sound mean.... it just is. I pray you'll find the strength to get through all you're dealing with and please...try to do something nice for yourself. You deserve it!!!
God Bless,
Kathy K.
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Thanks so much for all of the suggestions! I now know that this is not personal but a part of the aging process and I try not to let it get to me but it does. There needs to be a better way. I guess I am the selfish one because I am angry for having to do all of these things. I dont want my kids to have to take care of me.............
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Kd, Been there for a long time myself. My mom is 90 now & it's been about 12 yrs that I've been the imperfect servant.
At some point I became the critical one. (My mom is quite lazy, self absorbed and spiteful). She came looking for an argument & got one in me. She is rarely critical now as I have taken over that role to some extent (less now). I gave her a "dose of her own medicine" for a time and the tables turned. Never too old to learn! A narcissist will always be a chalenge but the dynamics will & do change on a regular basis.
I've tried many avenues out of desperation. Some have worked and some have not. It's a question of control...you don't want control but you also don't want to be controlled. She doesn't want to give up her control, but her decision making is no longer rational.
If you want the battle to end you must be the one to take control as much as you hate it. There will always be small skirmishes but to a lesser degree. Allow her as much control as possible but not to her own hurt or yours. Set some boundaries & stick to them. Chances are she does not respect you at all now & will not until you lay down some rules. As the NH worker said, don't see her when you're already having a bad day....walk away when she wants to poke at you. Don't allow yourself to be an aggression outlet.
This won't be easy but is less painful than being walked on constantly.
I wish you all the best.
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As I read through this thread, I see so much honesty and I feel for everybody on it. This caregiving "journey" can be so so hard. There have been times I have thought to myself: "This is a thankless job" and cried myself to sleep that night. Then things get better for a while and I get a "rest period". (Thank you, God, for rest periods.) Kdtiller, you mentioned the words "thankless job" and it is good that you can get that out here. To just openly express yourself. It has nothing to do with how much you/we love our parents. It has to do with caring for a person whose mind and body are deteriorating, and in many cases the elder cannot think rationally any more, or at least part of the time. This is so draining for the caregiver. Just know that you have my sympathy, understanding, and support. You and the others here are wonderful to be so faithful to your parents in their "hour of need." I believe caregivers will be duly rewarded in Heaven one day.
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I had one of those days not too long ago - just over the edge with the constant criticism from Mom - she publicly called me an idiot. It was for bringing her new shoes into the PT area, as apparently everyone should know you can't change into new shoes with other people around.

I felt real sorry for myself and real put upon. I was in tears. Mom then complained that I was embarrassing her.

When the facility admissions director noticed she wanted to talk to me about it. She gently suggested I not come to visit on those days when I was already having a a bad day and feeling stressed. And she listened to me explain that my mom had started criticizing and belittling me when I was about 4 or maybe 5 years old, and basically never stopped.

I tried not to react to what she told me next - she apparently had been through the same thing with her mom - she said "It will be better when your mother dies." It seemed like such a wrong thing to say, a harsh thing to say, but I could not disagree. Mom has always always thought the way to help someone be a better person is to criticize and tell them everything they are doing wrong, and she does not do it as much to others because I am the one she cares about and still feels a duty to make me perfect. Not having a steady stream of criticism in my life will be a relief but I wish, I wish, I wish there was a way for that to happen without losing my mom. If that makes any sense. And as harsh as it is, that puts it in some perspective. If I care about mom and our relationship, and about the quality of whatever time we have left, I must find the best way possible to overlook and limit the effect of the ridiculous criticism as much as possible. Its either that or become just like everyone else in the family who just avoid visiting her until I pretty much push them into it.
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Did I mention my mother was only 59 when she had the first stroke and she is only 67 now? She has had and lived a rough life.
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Thank you all for the comments. It helps alot to know that I am not out here alone. My sister does not speak to me now and barely speaks to my mother. She has seen my mother once or twice in 2 years. My brother just ignores me anytime I ask for help. My dad passed away in 2007 and it was a traumatic situation. It was alot to go through then. I have spent my whole lifte "taking care" of my mother and I am tired of being the one to take care of it all. It is affecting me physically as well as mentally. My mother does better if I am not around with the rehab center and the staff. I feel guilty for not being around all the time however she does do better with strangers than with me..
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The reality is when they get to be this age, they are like kids again and all they can think about is what they want, not what's best for them. That's why we're here. Keep your chin up and try to let her complaints go in one ear and out the other. Been there, done that and hope we don't have to do it again.
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My mother broke her hip about 2 months ago and I chose to leave my job so that I could bring her home and take care of her. My husband and I have had to make a lot of sacrafices, but I just keep reminding myself that Mom has always been there for me. My mother has dementia, so it is twice as frustrating. I know I vent on here a lot, because there are a lot of days I wonder what the heck I got myself into. My sisters promised me help, but I have had both my parents almost 2 years now in my home and I am still waiting on that help. I have had issues with depression and anxiety in the past, so I know what you are going through. In the beginning I worked full time and paid someone to look after my parents while I was gone. I knew when my Mom broke her hip that I could no longer continue doing it all. Luckily my husband is very family oriented and has been great through all of this. I guess you reach a certain point where you have to step back and make whatever decision is right for you. I don't know what other caregivers may say, but caring for elderly is a thankless job. As people age their minds start to go as well as their bodies. I just try to put myself in their place and wonder how I would feel if I got to the point that I had to depend on someone else in order to survive. It must be very hard for them. Good Luck!
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Maybe it's time your mother move into asst living or adult foster care or some such place. But I can address the part where she is constantly whining about going home. My mother-in-law also fell and broke her hip sending her first to the hospital, then a nursing home for rehab. At first when she was at rehab she'd try getting herself out of bed alone and fall again. They had to tie her to her chair till she learned to ask for help first. But really I couldn't blame her for whining about wanting to go home. I would whine too I suppose. I stopped arguing with her, reminding her that she HAD to be there, that she couldn't go home etc. Instead I started agreeing with her. I'd tell her 'I wish you could go home too' or 'I know you want to go home, I wish I could wave a magic wand and make your hip heal'. What I did was just validate her feelings. Maybe that's all your mom wants to hear, is that you ARE hearing her, and you KNOW what she wants, that you wish you could make it better etc. It'd be like going to a foreign country and no one knows what you're saying or asking, then suddenly someone speaks up in your language and you know you're going to be heard. Doesn't mean your mother should be living alone ever again, but maybe it'll stop the whining for now. That's all I help you with. Sorry.
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Allow the 'rehab' center to help your mother, and when she complains about 'wanting to go home' please tell her (calmly) that you will go and speak to the doctor RIGHT NOW!! Then if you can have the doctor explain to her why she cannot go home until she is doing much better.

You really shouldn't feel like you are the only one doing this 'alone'. So many here are doing the same thing, and you should be asking for help from ANY family you can. I have a brother that is just like your sister, and quite frankly, since my mother has passed, I doubt we will speak again. Sad, but true. I have not need for his drama anymore.

So take care of the most important issues and let the rehab center care for your mother. God Bless
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My mother broke her hip about 2 months ago and I chose to leave my job so that I could bring her home and take care of her. My husband and I have had to make a lot of sacrafices, but I just keep reminding myself that Mom has always been there for me. My mother has dementia, so it is twice as frustrating. I know I vent on here a lot, because there are a lot of days I wonder what the heck I got myself into. My sisters promised me help, but I have had both my parents almost 2 years now in my home and I am still waiting on that help. I have had issues with depression and anxiety in the past, so I know what you are going through. In the beginning I worked full time and paid someone to look after my parents while I was gone. I knew when my Mom broke her hip that I could no longer continue doing it all. Luckily my husband is very family oriented and has been great through all of this. I guess you reach a certain point where you have to step back and make whatever decision is right for you. I don't know what other caregivers may say, but caring for elderly is a thankless job. As people age their minds start to go as well as their bodies. I just try to put myself in their place and wonder how I would feel if I got to the point that I had to depend on someone else in order to survive. It must be very hard for them. Good Luck!
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