Both hips fused d/t arthritis. Uses walker, bends over almost 90 degrees. She fell, spent 3 hours on floor with lifeline necklace on, but didn't use it because "I thought I could get up". Has fallen twice before and takes 2 adult males to lift her. She lies about her ability to live unaided. One sister lives in PA, one in Minnesota., brother local and wife both work. Mother lies to doctor and Social worker about independence. I am retired, SSDI. , live near mother and she takes advantage of me and my retired husband. I can't deal anymore. Because she is deemed "mentally competent and a joy", they believe her over my experience with Mom. I'm at my wits end. Sister in PA is enabler, and will not come home to help, ever. I'm just frustrated and am glad I found this site. I'm tired.....

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Lameexcuse- I hear you. You are exhausted and burned out trying to help your mother. She's not independent, but she doesn't want outside help, only you and your husband.

What do you think will happen if you don't let her take advantage of you and your husband anymore? Wouldn't she be forced to face the fact that she needs help? And if you don't come running, and tell her that either she accepts someone else's help or do without, what will she do?
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You'll have to stop helping her, completely. You're enabling her delusions of independence. She has the Lifeline, so she can call for help if she really needs it. Stop taking her calls, going to her house, etc. Eventually a crisis will occur again that will force change.
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"mentally competent and a joy"...that reminds me of when people would tell me how sharp my mother was. And I'm thinking, "What?!" She would showtime at the doctor's, too (and she stopped letting me go back with her).

Everyone could get mad at you if you start setting boundaries and refuse to be your mother's stepandfetchit. But you know what? SO WHAT? I do not agree with those who might say to just suck it up and let your resentment go. You have every right to be resentful! Could there be a meeting of the siblings? Can they present a united front to your mother that things needs to change? Does she have the funds to hire help?
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By whom has she been “deemed”? Has she had a THOROUGH cognitive and emotional exam done by a professional TRAINED in geriatric psychiatry/psychology?

That, FOR SURE, would be my next step. There are different types of “mentally competent”, believe it or not. My LO could converse peacefully and humorously, but had almost no short term memory or ability to plan/organize/make appropriate choices and so on. After having the evaluation done, request a WRITTEN STATEMENT of the results of her assessment.

THEN, if she IS deemed “competent” you have EVERY REASON to back off with providing help, because she will have been proven capable of managing her own affairs, OR ——- you will have justification to begin making arrangements for “help” whether she accepts OR rejects your attempts.

She may or may not be “lying” about her ability to care for herself. She may have diminished ability to predict the consequences of her actions, and THAT behavior MAY be an indication of failing cognitive processes.

Either way, you’ll be on firmer ground with getting her appropriate care moving forward.

It sounds as though none of your sibs are going to help, so forget trying to coax them, it’s just a frustrating waste of your time.

Good luck with this. If she needs to be tricked into an evaluation, consider doing that.
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Lamexcusesibs, I know what you are going through, my Mom also refused outside help except for yardwork and repairs in the house that Dad could no longer do. They were both in their 90's.

May I ask if your Mom has eyesight issues? It wasn't until my Mom had passed that it dawned on me that many seniors refuse help or to move because of their fading eyesight. The house they are in, they know every corner of it blindfolded and where everything is placed. Any movement of item could cause confusing, even if the caregiver was just trying to help with cleaning.

Whenever I brought over groceries, my Mom always got to the kitchen first before my Dad, as Mom wanted to put things away where she would remember where she placed them. She didn't like Dad helping, as Dad wouldn't put matching items together.

Ok, to the fall risks. Both my parents would fall. Dad more so then Mom but his falls were minor, usually tumbling over when tying his shoes. Mom's falls were major. Two trips to the ER, hospitalization. Her last major fall, she had to go live in a nursing home as she could no longer stand without falling due to head trauma on that fall.

Sadly, so many of us here on the forum had to wait for a serious illness or fall before we could get our parent into senior living or have caregivers.... [sigh]
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I understand and relate to your frustration with family not being able to pitch in. I had to force myself to get over it because my energy was being sapped, from anger and frustration —I had no choice but to let it and them go, it was a losing battle, and I was getting resentful too, about being "used", which made everything harder for ME and didn't change anything for them. The facts boil down to one thing: I have to do what I have to do and that's how it is, but it's actually more efficient for me now that I don't waste my time and energy as much with things I can't change, like other people. The work is still hard, that won't change, but I feel so much less weighed down by it because I can't and won't carry that resentment any more. It's hard enough without that.
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I agree 100% with @ZippyZee...

I went through much of the same (my heart goes out to you by the way). I live out of state, and Mom is 88. We went through YEARS of trying to get her to admit she needed help, after numerous falls, major hygiene issues, problems driving. Her house looked and smelled awful, and so did she.

We tried everything -- including an intervention of sorts last summer, after another fall. She refused help at every turn. "I'm fine. You just want me to live the way you want me to."

We finally just backed off completely. We no longer argued. We no longer visited (which was heartbreaking).

Things came to a head in August, and she's now at home with HHA in place, and getting ready to transition to AL next month. She's on board, and I think she's even looking forward to this next chapter. I'm beyond grateful things came together the way they did, but it did take a significant crisis to make them happen.

Let go.
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Torally agree with those that are suggesting you just back off completely and let her live her life as she wants to. There is nothing you can do legally anyway so don't stress never it any longer. My 93 year old MIL recently (after she chose to have a hysterectomy - cancer- this summer, during Covid lockdowns) told my husband to stay out of her business, not talk to her doctors (she lies to them) or to management at her retirement complex (she broke Covid rules 3 times and had to be quarantined for 2 week periods). She insists she is independent. She still drives. So my husband totally backed off. He rarely calls, has only visited her once in the past 3 months, and if she calls he does not engage in much conversation. My husband is 68 and his mother refuses to move closer to us. She is 45 minutes away on a good traffic day. So, he is done with her. She is on her own as she wishes. And my husband is MUCH less stressed!! Please try to let this go and live a happy life. Nothing else you can really do.
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Your Mother can either;

A. Age in Place & accept home help
B. Move into a care setting - AL or NH etc
C. Take a very long cruise
D. Decompose in place: live in filth & squalor

Ask her to try A. first. Tell her she'll be like royalty with her staff to assist her.

Or C. The cruise. You just say your goodbyes & wave her off. (Sorry it's late here & I am tired & silly...)

But seriously, if they don't work, tell her it's choice B as you care too much to see the last one happen.

Sadly reason & judgement declines. Search the forum for Anosognosia (medical term for lack of insight). Start planning for B.
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Folks with Alzheimer's type dementia do not realize they need help. Their ability to make wise decisions is the first "sense" to go. Most folks as they age lose acuity in vision, hearing, and sense of smell so don't realize that things don't look good, smell good... Most people - young and old - in the USA value their independence to the point of lying so that they can continue to make their own decisions about life. Sadly, 75% of people 75 years old or older have Alzheimer's type dementia. Sadly, the family and friends of these stubborn seniors have the heartache of watching lives go downhill,

Thank God that you care about your mom's life and have helped her in the past. To avoid that overwhelmed feeling, I encourage you to read "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud. The authors are Christian counsellors that deal with difficult behaviors and difficult relationships. They have one version for adult children dealing with difficult parents. After reading the book, talk with your spouse about the ways you are comfortable with caring for mom and her difficult behaviors that need management. You are a team and need a plan that works in this relationship. If mom is deemed "mentally competent" by a geriatric psychologist, then back off making decisions for her. You do not need to become an enabler in her difficult behavior patterns. Maybe the best thing to do is to ask everybody in the family to take turns checking in on her daily - phone calls, visits... The goal is to keep mom safe and healthy. Happiness is a personal choice.

Balance caring about mom with caring for yourself and your other relationships. Usually, folks get burnt out when their own needs remain unmet for a long period of time. Make sure to care for yourselves: rest, diet, exercise, time with friends, time with spouse... Your needs are just as important as hers.
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Beatty Nov 2020
That book changed my life.
There are not capital letters big enough to emphasize how much.

It put me back in the driver's seat of my own life - instead of hostage at the back of the crazytown bus.
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