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I am relaxed and level-headed about what she said, but still hurt and deeply. I am a 37 year old woman that has been taking care of her 74 year old mother for the past 5 years. Well, if you want to be technical about it, I've been taking care of her since my dad died 12 years ago. But for the past 5 years, she has been pretty much wheelchair bound and bedridden.


Let me make this VERY clear, since nobody knows me and I want to really highlight this fact. I do not get paid for taking care of my mom. She makes too much money (which is really not a lot though) and doesn't qualify to have me as in-home support. Nurses come in 2 times a week and a Nurse Assistant gives her a bath 3 times a week. Other than that, NO HELP. I do EVERYTHING. Hoyer lift to wheelchair for Drs. Appointments. I'm there by her side when she's in the hospital. In charge of everything. Food, cooking, cleaning, all me. No help. Her personal needs, shopping, etc. Me, me, me. No help from my brothers. No help from anyone. It is ME. I am honestly terrified of putting my mom in a nursing home and thinking about it seriously consumes me with guilt.


So, tonight, as I'm putting a knee brace on her knee because her knee hurts, she says to me "I can put it on myself". I say, "No, mom, I'll do it." She gets mad, "You don't let me do anything." I say, "Okay, go ahead then." She knows she can't and says nevermind. Then she says "I wouldn't be like this if it weren't for you." I look at her and say "what?" She says "You didn't give me the proper physical therapy."


Now, here's the thing. When she started going downhill, the Dr. did order a physical therapist to come to the house. The physical therapist gave my mom instructions on what to do. Exercises she was supposed to do. She did not do them. She has it in her mind that she needs someone to help her. I try to explain to her that I can't move her limbs for her. I remember the slow downhill regression.


So, anyway, I said to her that I know that she has to have someone to blame and it's okay, she can blame me. But I know that I am not the cause of her condition. It is not my responsibility to be her physical therapist on top of everything else.


Deep down I know this to be true. Where are my brothers? Where is her sister? Where is anyone? It's just me. And I have done my absolute best. None of this is my fault no matter what. None of this is even my brothers' fault that didn't help at all. They all have lives to live. But instead she takes it all out on me.


She's not even a mean person. She can be stubborn and headstrong, but most of the time she's not mean at all. And that's why this hurts. I've done nothing to deserve this and I know that I will never just get an absolute sincere thank you from anyone.

Your brothers get it. They have lives, they likely told mom she needed to be in the nursing home, and she likely told them off. They let her be and make her own decisions.

You on the other hand, were the tender hearted girl us daughters tend to be. There's nothing wrong with that until you give up your life for hers. That's where you are. I would strongly advise against having the several days of in home care- she needs 24/7 care with a full team of workers.

Do you realize that the nursing home aide job has a lot of turnover because it is so demanding, and that's only 40 hours a week? You are doing more than 4x that amount of work - 168 hours! It's time for you to take care of yourself, to give mother better care with a fresh shift of helpers every 8 hours, and to become a daughter again. A loving, fresh, sweet daughter who is not changing diapers, lifting a heavy mom, or really resenting the words out of mom's mouth.

I know it's hard to make the change, but it is very much worth it for both you and your mom. Many moms thrive once they are pushed into the nursing homes where they develop friendships and interests they could not have in isolation at home.
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You are a wonderful daughter and caregiver. I too am solo. We may never get a Thank you. I dont know you. I am proud of you and myself for being there for our Moms. I look at it this way. Im giving back to my Mom for loving and caring for me all my life. It takes a really strong person to do what we do and how we do it. 😉🙂💕
God Bless You
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Get her into a Skilled Nursing home that meets your approval. Get rid of the guilt, too. You've done enough. Do you want the next 20 years of your life to look like THIS, and maybe even worse, as your mother continues to decline? And continues to blame YOU for her condition? Come on. Where is it written that a 'child' has to give up her entire LIFE to care for a mother in such bad health and physical condition? It's just too much.

Get her placed, then go visit as often as you'd like to alleviate any 'guilt' you may feel as a result. There is nothing to be 'terrified' about in the least, either. SNFs are a fact of life these days for LOTS of people. My mother lives in Memory Care now and will be going to a SNF if she's still alive when her money runs out and she needs Medicaid. She's 92 now, going on 93. Longevity runs in her family. She's the last of 8 children and will probably live to 100. The SNF she's planning to go to she likes a lot; they have a great activities program and large, airy and sunny rooms with large baths. Put the thought out of your mind that SNFs are such horrible places and OMG, I could NEVER put my mother in such a place!!! Go look around, do your homework, and find one you like.

Or, call your dear brothers on the phone. Let them know what your plan is, and that they can feel free to have mother come live with THEM. You've done your share.

It's time to cry uncle.
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Ive read this over and over..I couldn't look after mom I'm in wheelchair but did get a couple of PSWs then I see mom couple of times a week. You really need a break. I promised Mom I wouldn't put her in home too so this seemed best solution and saved my sanity..I feel so bad for you..call family and tell them you can't do it alone
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I am praying that Almighty God continue to bless you each and everyday​and that he continue to protect you. Have you tried contacting Social Services ( Institute on Aging) in your state. They can provide you with bonded caregivers who deal with care recipients with medical issues. Please try to care of yourself.
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moecam said it best. You WILL break if you don't get relief. Prayers to you
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My father is like that... blames everyone else for his life. He's accused me of wanting him to be in 'perpetual motion' and exercise 24/7, after PTs and OTs gave him exercise sheets. I did the exercise with him... he zoned at after two. He's said that if he could just go outside more, get to stores to walk around... then he'd be physically better. I tell him to work hard so that we can go and have a good time, being as safe and confident as possible... he won't. He claims there's no point in exercising because I'll never do what he wants anyway.

But I would. I want to. I want better for both of us.

I know that you've done your best and I know that it's not your fault.

Thank you for doing all that you are doing for your mother.
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YOU NEED A BREAK before you break - tell don't ask your sibs that you need to get away so you are making plans for a trip & they cover for you or she goes to respite care which you will not pay for rather she or they do

Your family has made you a patsy for dumping all this on you without support so send them all a registered letter outlining the 'NEW NOW' - you need to talk to a professional to protect yourself ASAP - if your family doesn't like then tough toenails because you don't like it either so they need to pony up or maybe it is time to walk -

You don't seem to have any outside life & if you are ever going to get one then start now because you too deserve to be happy & you definitely are not now so a big change is in order before you become the maiden aunt that covers all the problems for the next 40 years
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Have you tried to get professional caregivers to come over and do the cooking, cleaning etc. In my state , IOA ( Institute on Aging), interview my father and my family evaluating what we need. The caregivers that take of my dad are bonded and know how to deal with his condition. I pray that Almighty God continue to bless you each and everyday​.
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AlvaDeers's eagle story. I never heard this before - big sobs - amazing.

My questions (personal, no need to answer) are regarding your life/ your wishes. Are you married, have a sig other? Do you have your own family? Do you want that? What about work? Where you want to live? In another place?

A friend's mother (with advancing MS) moved herself into a nursing home when her care needs increased so her 20 yr old daughter could leave home & travel She also sought a divorce so her husband could re-marry. He declined for many years but eventually re-partnered. I am a mother & have told my daughter to put me in a home if/when I require it if I cannot care for myself. I want the best for her, which is for her to life her own life.

I make no judgement on the life you've chosen. Your Mother is incredibly fortunate to have you - whether you are her 24/7 carer or become a daughter who visits.
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You're certainly correct (thedaughter23), about all that u said, & I sympathize with you. Only God sees how you faithfully support ur mom in everything, & people see what they want to see. Even though you sound well adjusted, I think you'd better put mom in a nursing home right now💟. And DON'T discuss it with her, (cuz ur not asking permission). Just do ur research, visit a few near you, (consult only her Dr, for now)...& when you're ready,...invite family 2participate (& this time contribute), to supporting mom & u in the transition.
(Expect that they will be arseholes about it). You may want to consider becoming mom's medical proxy also, & POA, before u let all this be known. Just a suggestion. Hoping the best for u, you've done all u need to do friend. It's ok.
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One thing is a given and that is that you can't go on like this. You need respite now.
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I am only 3 years into this journey, but have learned 2 strategies in this forum that help. "Gray Rock" and "Detach with love", which are strategies to protect yourself. At some point the amount of care you can give reaches a limit. You are only 1 person...and human.
My FIL told my husband and I that we gave him cancer. My husband was incredibly hurt and mad and every other emotion! My FIL had prostate, kidney and cancer already, but WE gave him lung cancer. It was, I think, eating my husband up. Guilt, anger, everything. We have had to put a wall around ourselves and not let him take us down with him. It has helped imensely!
For us the pattern was the more we did for him, the more he needed us to do for him.
Best of luck to you!
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My father has multiple health issues that definitely make him cranky. I finally told him that if he was going to be a grumpy old man I was going to go home. I had to do it a couple of times...and guess what, he no longer treats me that way.
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hi i also have brothers and call them when shes upset and tell them to call and please settle her down...it works
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Alva just said it all. Your mom's relatively young age jumped out at me as well and I immediately thought, this poor lady could easily live for decades more.

I'm sorry your mother made that comment that was so hurtful. I'll bet she didn't mean it; of course you've been a wonderful daughter to her and she is lucky to have you. BUT I think you need to change your life unless you want to be writing a similar post at age 57.
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Oh, I am so sorry to hear what you are enduring. I went through similar with my Mom. Mom was always a strong person, in so many ways. No one was ever going to tell her what to do or how to do it. Including helping her was never good enough, most of the time. She had been a register nurse in the past so knew it all. Needless to say she was a handful with Alzheimers. Like dealing with a naughty child most of the time, but it was my mother. Oh, did I learn alot. Mostly on how to preserve my sanity.

In my mind, I had to have an invisible wall between us, so that anything she said bounced off of it and did not get through to me to hurt me. My sibling lived out of state and didn't travel, so I had everything on my shoulders. Not easy but I reasoned with myself that at least I didn't have to put up with disagreements about Moms care etc.

Even though I had always said I would not place her in a home, I realized I had to, both for her sake and mine. It was the best thing I could have done for both of us. At the home she had others around her besides me. Activities at all levels of interest. Mom's was the music preformed for them. Was she still a handful for the caregivers at the home, at times, you bet, but they knew how to appease her. No matter what angry things she ever said, I knew I did the very best I could for her at all times.

In the twilight years of one's life, many show anger as they struggle though the loss of mobility, loss of being able to do for themselves, loss of memory, fear of the future. I found what worked for me, besides the invisible wall, was to agree, change subject, or just don't react to what is said. I now use this with my husband who has alzheimers.

Know you are doing the best you can and take care of yourself. I found what MARIANNEM said in her comments was so true. A big hug from me to you.
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Your mother is 74. She can easily live to 94. That is two more decades. You will then be 57 years old. You will have given up some prime years, and you will be markedly changed from the person you are.
For your mother, of course, what she says comes of where she is. She is depressed, sad, bitter. Apparently, and you do not say why, she has been debilitated for some time? She is already in a w/c at a relatively young age and has been ill for some time. I could not be more sorry for and about her; but I do not feel your life is the sacrifice required now for the next 2 decades plus.
You say you would feel guilty? Why? Did you murder someone? Did you visit this illness on your mother? Do you feel you now must mother the mother who mothered you? Because that is not how this works. That's not how any of this works. I will repeat the Eagle story. This time let's make it a MOTHER eagle, because I am sick of telling it.
There is a massive earthquake and flood. The mother eagle must move her chicks from a precarious nest, carrying each across raging waters. She takes the first chick from the nest and starts across the waters. She says to her eaglet "And when I am old will you take me alike across the raging waters" and the chick replies "YES, mother. I promise I will". She promptly drops the chick into the raging waters where it quickly perishes. And she returns to the nest for the second eaglet. She asks the second baby "And will you alike carry me across the raging waters when I am old and weak" and the second eaglet says "Mother, I am sorry, but I do promise you that I will carry MY OWN babes across the raging waters to safety. And if there is strength left in my wings I will return for you". This is the baby the mother eagle saves.
You need now to live your own life. Explain this gently to your mother. See to placing her in the best care she is able to get for herself; visit her often. Not everything in life can be fixed. Not everything can be made perfect. Not everyone can stay well and able all their lives. But the sacrifice of your one life on this altar, while Saint-like, will get you nothing but a wasted life. That sounds so very harsh and I am so very sorry for it. It is the cold facts. If you wish to spend time feeling guilty that you are not a Saint, not a God, not the good fairy, but simply a flawed and inadequate human, then by all means feel guilty, cry a bit. Then go on and make yourself a life, doing what good you are able in our world to the best of your ability. Welcome to the world of flawed and well-meaning humanity. So very sorry for all you are going through.
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Seriously consider relocating her to a small (6 bed) care home. She needs 24 hr.
attention/assistance and a small home can provide this. There is nothing gained by
wearing yourself out; don't ask anyone's permission. Do your homework, check out the local availability, figure out the finances...and then DO IT!!!
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Tell her you feel hurt when she blames you like that. Tell her you are doing the best you can by her, and that she bears responsibility for her mental attitude and perseverance with her physical therapy. Then, you set the boundaries— “I deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.” And if she doesn’t, you push her wheelchair down to the curb and hang a sign that says ‘free’ around her neck. Well anyway, that’s what I’d threaten to do, but I know it’s a bit harsh for most people. But the point is if she expects to live with you, she can show you some respect. My guess is she’s more difficult than you let on— perhaps why your siblings keep their distance? People reap what they sow. You might want to talk to someone about releasing guilt. I would put her in a nursing home. You are entitled to your own life.
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First I say thank you, for loving your mother enough to take care of her. You are a rare piece of gold in this world of me me me people, it is rare to find someone Like You. Don't take her criticism to Heart, she doesn't mean it and in her heart she knows what you're doing and what you're giving up, and a little upset with her sons who don't see her as often as they should and gives you no help. I'm in a similar situation you can't take it to heart.
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Oh Sweetie... I feel your pain. I think you were a saint for your care of mom. Mine is 90 and in similar state but I have no siblings. My experience (won't belabor but similar to yours) showed me a couple things about end-of-life care for parent:

1 It's not your fault
2 Sadly, it's only gonna get worse in every way
3 You can't listen to any rationale of the parent for their own well-being because it is distorted with dementia, guilt, FEAR, loneliness et al
4 Don't try to be responsible for their quality of life (see #2)
5 Kiss your inheritance goodbye
6 Let go and seek an appropriate ALF
7 Check in with your county social worker or veterans liaison (we got $1200/mo from her husband's Veteran benefits "surviving spouse aid & assistance)
8 ALFs are wonderfully prepared for all the conditions and situations you describe. After the initial anger the parent may have about losing their independence they may come to realize that living in a full care situation increases their independence because they are no longer dependant on their children!

A few considerations with ALF that we found useful:

A small private apt so mom has her cute personal items and identity

Choose an "Age in place" facility meaning they keep mom even as she declines AND that takes Medicaid. If she depletes her $$ then they will take whatever Medicaid gives for a shared room (which isn't bad as it is good stimulation whether mom likes or hates her roomate - honestly)

Includes: Medication Mgmt, bathing, housekeeping, call pendant, all meals in dining room (make sure not far from mom's apt), laundry, mobility assistance (wheeled into dining room etc), phone/cable/wifi, a Dr or PA visits the facility weekly (we changed to that Dr.), on-site providers of labs/imaging/prescriptions and OT/PT/Podiatrist. I literally am responsible for 1 bill a month ONE!

Our facility in Florida (Pt Charlotte) includes all this for @$3k month. Remember if she doesn't have enough $$, Medicaid will step in, but only for a non-private apt which usually has a shared LR but private bedrooms.

I am assuming my mom's increased immobility (she has chosen to stop walking for no reason except she is old and giving up) and confusion from chronic UTI and vascular dementia will require her to be in Memory Care ... and that's too expensive so I will choose a non-private room for @ the same $ in our ALF/MC facility.

Honestly, my mom's relationship with me has improved because she's no longer beholding to her daughter for custodial care which inherently seems to make them humiliated and angry (at themselves mostly).

I visit everyday every other month - so I have a break to care for my regular life out-of-state. Even when I am there and she needs to toilet I call a caregiver to allow mom to have her dignity. It has worked beautifully for us. I hope the best for you too.
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I’m going thru same thing. Hang in there. I just hired someone to help me with her. Sure hope it works...if ever need to talk I’m here!
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Look, you are doing an outstanding job of looking after your mother. However, she has many physical and mental weaknesses which are going to get worse. That is a reality you need to face. The time may come when she does need to go into some kind of care home or care facility. You can still visit her regularly and you will then have much more help in dealing with her needs. Do not feel guilty about this. We are all human and do the best we can.

Your brothers and your mother's sister should be asked to help out, both with their time and finances. As long as you are doing everything, all the relatives stay away, and to be rude but honest, "they'll take what they can get." It's worth a try to see if any of them are willing to help out. Also, you need to clarify what is the financial situation in terms of your mother's finances. Does she have a will? Have you seen it? Is there a Power of Attorney in place? Do you have responsibilities there? You will need to be proactive--i.e. take initiatives --to sort this out.

With hopes and a prayer that you can improve your own situation whatever happens with your mother.
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It is not your "fault" that you have given years of your life to supporting your mother since the loss of your father. It must have hurt to hear her say that all the care you've given her has led to her being so disabled.

Let's approach this from another angle: what is your mother able to do? Write a list of everything you can think of that she can do on a good day.
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I am currently working on getting her Medi-cal so she can get into Innovage which is a program where she can receive the same care she would get in a nursing home a few times a week, but can also live at home. It should alleviate our stress and also provide all her needs.

I do Graphic Design online at home. I'm so thankful that I've been able to make an income that way.
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Do you have a job outside of caring for your mom? I both can’t see how you’d have time for one with all that’s on you with her care, and can see the need at your age for self protection of needing to have an income and retirement savings ongoing. It’s very easy to become so consumed with caregiving that we don’t look out for ourselves.
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It sounds like mom needs more, and different care than she can get at home.

You said she got good PT in rehab. Is that rehab also a skilled nursing facility? Wouldn't it be great if she could be there, get PT to maintain her functionality and you could get back to earning a living?

You could visit as a loving daughter, instead of being an unappreciated unpaid servant.
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How many brothers and why no help from them? Do you have a job outside the home?

Your brothers get to work and save for their retirement and get Social Security credits, but what about you? Does your mother have anything to inherit, and, if so, does it get divided equally between you and your brothers? (If so, how is THAT fair???)

Why can't your mother pay you out of her own funds?

Do you lift her a lot (into and out of bed, chairs, off and on the toilet/commode)?

How is your emotional and physical health from all of this caregiving?

How long do you think you can continue?
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Thanks so much. Your words sound so relatable.

I have a lot of empathy for my mom. I don't fully understand because I'm not in her situation, but taking care of my mom is a choice, for the most part on my end, on her end it is not a choice. I can absolutely stop at any time if I really wanted to. But she cannot stop being wheelchair/bed bound. I can't imagine how scary that is for her.

But I also have empathy for myself, which makes me unable to understand how she can lack empathy for me. I think I'm just feeling unappreciated.
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