Moving Mom to Assisted Living was a huge help, but....(rant)

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It doesn't give me nearly the break I expected. I don't know how 24/7 caregivers do it! I admire you so much! Mom calls me at least 6x a day and if I don't answer the phone, I have the *pleasure* of listening to a 10min long voice mail. I try to visit mom in the ALF every other day, but the days I don't visit (and even the days I do) I get bombarded with calls from her asking "when am I coming to see her?"

I do her laundry, my laundry, her bills, my bills, her housekeeping (until home is sold), my housekeeping, etc,

Yes at least I get a break from full-time caregiving, but not nearly as much as I had thought. Argh! Can anyone else relate?

(Again, apologies to full time caregivers. :) )

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Thank you both for your replies. The members on this site are so supportive and understanding. :)

jeanne, you are correct about me needing to set boundaries. I am a slow learner. lol But I am going to implement some of your suggestions. I had a doctor's appointment this week and for the first time in my life I have high blood pressure and am going to have to take medication for it. I have no doubt stress from mom is a contributing factor. So something has to change and the sooner the better.

Gayle: Omg I know exactly what you mean! It's exhausting and draining and never ending. I am sorry your aunt is unwilling to let the staff help. How frustrating for you. Sometimes I want to walk away from it all. But of course we love our family so we keep on doing what we can. But please take care of yourself too.
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I too have an aunt in AL....I take care of all her outside needs as in trips to the store to get her things she needs, toiletries etc....the huge problem is that she refuses any and all assistance fromt he staff at the AL facility....she won't allow them to clean her kitchen or change her bed linens....she will not allow them to help her shower...she insists she does these things herself and needs no help....um, no she doesn't....her sheets are filthy and I bring home her laundry and do in when it piles up (she won't let them take her laundry either)...I am at my wits end........they of course can not FORCE her to do anything.....she calls me at least 4 times a day sometimes as many as 35 if I don't answer or call her back......requesting me to make another trip to the store.......I am thinking maybe a nursing home will be in order if I can not convince her to cooperate with the staff.....
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You posted just fine. Welcome!

I have two observations to share:
1. Caregiving is a big responsibility no matter where the loved one lives. The nature of the responsibilities generally change when the residence changes, but they don't go away. People who haven't been caregivers generally do not "get" this, and may think now that your mother is in assisted living you are home free. Ha! So I can see how this can be a big disappointment to you. Who knew?
2. It sounds like you really need to set some boundaries, for your own sanity, and also so that you mother can settle in and get the most out of her new living quarters.

Advise your mother that there are often periods in the day when you will not be answering your phone. Tell her in a true emergency to notice the ALF staff. They will give her immediate help and also get in touch with you as soon as possible. That ought to make it a little less anxious for you to ignore

Did you know that you are not required to listen through long, unwanted phone messages? You can fast forward to the end and delete them. Ain't technology grand?

When elders get to the point of repeating the same question over and over, it is OK and even advisable to repeat the same answer over and over -- politely and with no sign of exasperation. "When are you coming to see me?" "Tomorrow, after dinner." "When are you coming to see me?" "After dinner tomorrow." Repeat as need.

Maintaining her home until it is sold is a drag, but it won't last forever. If it really is a burden, arrange for lawn service and whatever housekeeping the real estate agent suggests.

Likewise, look into the services that are available at AL. Maybe Mom should have her laundry done there.

Minimize the bill paying by putting as much as possible on auto-pay, then monitor her account on line. (Maybe to the same for your bills!)

Caregiving on any level is hard work. Give yourself credit!

Setting reasonable boundaries is necessary.

Good luck!
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Oops! This is my first time starting a topic and I am unsure if I posted in the correct forum or not. Meant to post in Q & A. Sorry!
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