Dealing with a parent who says she wants to live, but won't get out of bed without a hassle.


I guess I haven't recently started being a caregiver, but the demands have gotten to be more and more. I moved in m-with my mother when I became a single parent. She helped me take care of my son and I helped with rent, housework and more. That has never been the issue. Many often asked how I could live with my mother. I always responded that my mother and I were close and were friends. We had our separate lives and helped each other as needed, so it worked. Five years ago, she was diagnosed with lung and throat cancer. She courageously went through chemo and radiation treatments and did better than anyone expected. She then ended up with Hypothyroid, which kind of pushed her over the edge. She did 'get better', but never has completely regained her endurance, strength and her independence has decreased gradually. I do have 4 siblings - three in the area; all who have helped as needed. The primary burden falls on my shoulders as my mom lives with my son and myself. We've made it work so far, but now I feel a greater burden and feel myself becoming more resentful. My son is progressively having a harder time dealing with his grandmother as well. Trying to balance the care of an ailing parent and the life of a 14 year old leaves me tired and worn out by the end of the day....oh and there is myself to care for as well, but this usually is pushed to the side. I guess the biggest issue I have now is trying to know when to push her and to when to let everything go. I give her her meds when needed, I prepare her food and assist her with dressing and care as needed. But every morning I have to ask nicely, then beg and then get mad to get her out of bed. At times, I do just walk by her door and let her go, but then I feel guilty to not get her up and make her eat and drink because ultimately, I have to deal with the repercussions in her fainting or falling. She has recently ended up in the hospital twice, with one 2 week stay at a rehab facility (of which she did not take full advantage!). She hasn't broken a hip yet, but it is always on my mind. Today, when I finally got her out of bed, she just gets mad and says that I have to be nicer....and then I feel my blood pressure go up. On top of it, because she did not manage her financial situation ahead of time, we are trying to find ways to limit huge losses in the case if she needed a nursing home as she would then need to spend her savings and then her house (which is also my house, but not in name....). So now I am facing the anger at myself for not having thought ahead about my own future and the future of my son. Like I said before, I am a single mother who works in a school district (which has been fantastic for flexibility) with no child support (another issue on another site!). Oh geez - I am all over the place with this question/topic, so my apologies. I guess I am looking for those who have dealt with taking care of an ailing parent in their home and have not completely gone crazy or have ulcers because of guilt. Oh - one more siblings are helpful, but then I even start to resent them as they walk into my mother/ my home like it is theirs....and then they get to walk out, alone and head to their home which is quiet and their own routine! Any words of advice or encouragement would be helpful. i guess I am happy to have come across this site...and having read many responses certainly know that I am not alone and may have found a place to vent to people who really understand the facts!

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Thanks for your is certainly comforting to know there are others going through similar situations and totally understand. Sometimes I feel like I am nuts because no one seems to fully understand - but now I see that there are those that do. So - as a continuation of the saga....My son and I went to a friends house tonight for 2 hours just to get a change of mother would not go get ready for bed as she was fine and could 'manage on my own'. So - we went - knowing that she does have an alert button if something 'serious' happens. SO - I get a call from my sister (6 miles away) say I need to go home because my mother put the dog out and can't get her in....but my sister was not going to come over to help (as she obviously had been on the phone with my mother) the sibling scenerio. So - I call my son and say we need to leave - which he does so fine. I get home and my mother is all upset, says she fell in the garage (now mind you - she has an alert button that picks up on falls - that did not go off - so a little drama is given and then she claims she cannot be left alone let alone with the dog so now we have to do something with the dog. So then - my son is now upset because it is his dog. Good gracious - what is one to do. Jeanne - thanks for the financial info. We are in the process of trying to figure out how to get the house out of her name...but do ti in a way that I could afford it. Mom does have some savings which we can use for her care. I do have POA and am the health care proxy. It all just gets so overwhelming and stressful. My mother is a controlling personality which has created some of these scenerios. I feel torn between the care of my mother and the care of my son...and then myself. I feel guilty most of the time and can relate to those that wrote about the thoughts of their parent dying. I am thankful to have found this site and to read the wisdom of others. Thanks to those that have written and validated what I was feeling....that is greatly appreciated. Bless you and all that are experiencing the challenge of ailing parent(s).

I'm commenting on just one topic in your post -- the financial aspects of the situation.

Planning sooner is better than later, but it is too late to go back and do things sooner. That shouldn't stop you from doing what you can, now. If you haven't already done so, consult with an attorney specializing in Elder Law. Make sure the important documents like POA and health care directives are in place. Consider a personal services contract, that spells out what mother is paying you for your caregiving help. Learn about if/how she'd be eligible for Medicaid. Find out the status of her home. (Since you have been living there and providing care that has kept her out of a nursing home for a few years it probably won't be subject to recovery should she need subsidized long term care. But find out for sure, and put your mind at ease.) Mother has some savings, for her old age? This is it --she's old! This may be the time the funds are needed. Discuss with the lawyer the ways to make them go the furthest for her needs, and how you can/should be compensated. No point in wringing your hands and wishing you'd done something earlier -- do something now!

Hi there, i thought i was alone too, i've only joined tonight because the guilt i feel about my mum going into a care home is unreal. my mum lived with me and my husband and two kids and the stress i have felt is terrible, i have many health problems because of this and putting her in has lifted alot of this stress. my marraige was over if things had of went the way they were going. But after saying all that the guilt i feel over the care home is really overcoming my day to day life. She kept asking to come home today and i didnt know what to say to her, i was trying to distract her away from the subject, i dont know how we are gonna explain that this is it now for the rest of her life, and i completely agree with the whole thing of when your sibling s come in and go home to their lives without any stress or feeling of guilt about their mother, they know your there yousee so they dont have to worry.!!!!!!!!