My 75 year old mother currently lives alone. She has anxiety issues and hypochondria that impact her daily life (constant doctors, specialists, ER visits, and 9-1-1 calls) and is on various meds, including some psychiatric. Although she constantly complains about pains and various health issues, little has been found physically wrong with her besides weak legs (uses a walker sometimes), frequent UTI's, arthritis, and an occasional skin or other infection. She is constantly in need of company - calls people many, many times a day, and "falls apart" when alone. She is convinced that she can barely cook for herself (she will microwave a frozen meal but claims that is sometimes too difficult), clean the house, and she doesn't always take her meds as she should. She is also a difficult person to be around - has high expectations and expects people to essentially wait on her. The bottom line is she really needs to be around other people, preferably in an assisted living. However, she is very low income, and her home has very little equity and a mortgage that my brother and I have been paying. We have also been paying for a small amount of outside help for her; in addition, she is getting some free help from an agency (qualified based on her low income) but it's not enough. She keeps insisting she really wants to go into an assisted living so she can be cared for. Problem is that all the assisted living facilities we have looked at are very expensive and, because of her low income and assets, my brother and I would have to pay out of pocket for most of the expense, which would involve a large financial sacrifice to our own families future. And living with one of us is an option because we both work full-time and have our own families, not to mention she would drive us crazy because she is very difficult and demands constant attention.
I find myself constantly stressed out dealing with her constant issues/problems, both real or imagined, that fall in my lap multiple times a day, along with my stressful full time job and other responsibilities. She has had several nursing home stays for various rehab issues, but they always release her with the recommendation that she needs someone to "take care of her", but doesn't yet qualify for long term care. Can anyone offer advice? Or am I just doomed to live out my life in a constant state of stress and guilt, dealing with the latest disaster every time the phone rings? Or take a second mortgage out on my own house to pay for her care? Help!