I've been lurking mostly here since my dad passed away at the end of September after a 20-year roller coaster illness. I am now the sole caregiver for my mom who has more health issues than I can possibly type here.
My mom is very resistant to everything I suggest: moving her close to me (I live 1,000 miles away but have been here with them since MAY!) but to an assisted living community where people can care for her daily; getting in-home care in the short-term; talking to someone about her grief, her wanting to die, her pain.
All of it falls on deaf ears, and she just wails all day long about everything. She had a stroke in 2002, and it really changed her personality. She became timid, fearful, and her emotions know two speeds: 0 or 200mph. Everything is met with the same level of hysteria: she has the same reaction to telemarketers calling that she does when we talk about missing my dad.
All the advice here points to me continuing down the road I'm on: selling the house, getting her finances in order to be able to pay for the assisted living, and finding her a place to live near me. But on a daily basis, she tells me she doesn't want to go, that I'm "dumping her in a nursing home," that she wants to die before any of that could happen.
I have tried to explain that there are people trained and skilled in taking care of her in ways I am not. She fell out of bed recently, and we had to call 911 to have EMS help me pick her up. I bathe her; I change dressings on pressure sores from her staying in bed too long; I get her in and out of bed with the ring of my phone every single night, multiple times.
She is afraid to have someone else do those things because they'll laugh at her. She is very heavy, and her body has been through a lot. She constantly says things about them taking photos of her and posting them online. The self-hatred she feels makes her believe no one could like her, no one could look at her without that hatred she herself sees.
At the same time, she said she knows she has "ruined my life." But every time we talk about how we could work to make it better, for both of us, she says the answer is her dying, where she can be with my dad.
While she's always been a pessimist, especially as it relates to herself, she truly has taken it to a new low. Every single thing is a doomsday scenario, the worst possible outcome. She watches a lot of TV, so she envisions elder abuse, people stealing her money, me running away with her money.... if it's been on a soap opera or Law & Order, she is pretty sure it's going to happen to her.
I'm an only child, and I have literally dropped everything countless times to come help them during both of their illnesses. I moved back in when we thought my dad was very near to a liver transplant in 2015 (he got too sick to have one, so I went home after a year). I have tried to give back to them everything they've given me as parents, because they did sacrifice to give me the best upbringing they could. I do believe I owe it to them to help, and I love them. I care what happens to my mom, and I do not want her living somewhere where people don't help her or make her feel badly about the body that is failing her. She is a good person who is blinded by her physical and mental pain. I know I cannot fix her, but I also cannot get her to try to fix herself.
I am seeing a therapist here to try to work through my grief, my depression at leaving my own life (I haven't seen my boyfriend who I live with since May), my stress trying to work remotely while being my mom's caretaker... but we're not making much progress. I don't have time to grieve or process my own emotions because I'm trying to deal with my mom's emotions.
I know many of you are in this situation, or have been. Any suggestions are welcome. I think I just needed to get it all out here. Thanks for listening.