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My mom is almost 77, she lives alone. She’s independent but we do help her with big things like mowing the lawn ect. I have helped her with household chores and but not on a regular basis because she is physically able to do her own housework. And I think she should do it. She still drives. She recently had a fall which resulted in a broken arm. No surgery required. She will have physical therapy. She stayed at my house for the first few weeks after the fall and I was miserable. I feel terrible for saying that but she sat around wanting to be waited on and stayed in her pajamas all day just on her phone mostly. It drove me insane. That much time together under the same roof was not good for our relationship. I can see clearly it would not work for her to ever move in we us. I have one sibling who used to live with her for about 5 years. Never paid rent or helped with ANYTHING around the house. We eventually had to evict him due to alcohol and drug abuse. He no longer speaks to me but acts like all is good with my mom. Whenever she needs something she calls me and my husband. She knows my brother will not do anything. She can be very demanding and impatient about us doing things for her. And I often feel like it’s expected and not appreciated. Sometimes she makes hurtful comments like “I don’t want to burden you more than I have to....” or when I caution her about not doing things that aren’t safe she lashes out saying “stop treating me like I don’t know what I’m doing!” I realize she’s struggling with feeling like she’s losing some independence or control. But I would think the negative comments should be directed at my brother and not me considering my husband and I are the only ones who help her. I struggle with not reacting to her comments, it’s hard because she REALLY pushes my buttons. I have started saying no to her sometimes when her wants are not convenient for my husband and I. I’ve tried convincing her to sell her home (it’s too big) and downsize to a small apartment with no less responsibilities and little or no maintenance. She won’t agree. So here we are....her living “independently” but becoming more “dependent “ on us as we go along. No sure where we go from here.

I think I understand what you are saying, your situation sounds a bit like mine. My dad is controlling and says nasty things at times. He doesn’t want help but needs it. My MIL banged her shoulder while we were on a family vacation and acted like she broke it. Our family members don’t mind helping but resentment builds when it is expected, not appreciated, and when you feel you are being taken advantage of or manipulated. This makes it hard to help and to be nice to them. Resentment and anger builds and helping becomes a chore and you become angry.
You will need to put up boundaries and stick to them. Don’t get sucked into arguments and their self pity. Life is life and we all have to live every part. They need to live their elder years with grace. If they can’t or won’t you don’t need to bend like a pretzel to make them happy. GoodLuck!!
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elaineSC Jan 13, 2020
I like your statement about elders needing to live their remaining years with grace. I have seen seniors just be so uncooperative with their adult children who are struggling to help them and have good intentions but the parent(s) fight them tooth and nail over everything including the mail. If their adult children have any sense, the parent should smile and let them help with most decisions regarding their care and welfare. Yes, they can have input but when it gets to important decisions, they need to allow help without barking and acting ungrateful.
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I found with my parents that the child they trust the most is the one they get most upset with. My brother was the favorite, and had moved across country for years now. However when they grew ill (Mom) and dementia (Dad) did not want to have anything to do with him, it had to be me and my husband. It is hard but you are doing the right thing saying no when it is not a good time for you and your husband. You do have to take care of yourself too
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Almondjoy, have you told your mom that she is actually costing you guys money by using her SIL as a free lawn maintenance guy. He could be out earning money and you guys really need that extra income.

So starting now you will be paying $$ for my DH to do your lawn.

I don't understand why people don't care about their loved ones well being, if I earn a living doing xyz what is loving about asking me to do it for free. If you loved me you would pay me and generously.
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AlmondJoy72468 Jan 12, 2020
You’re right. Before summer gets here this year I plan to tell her my husband will continue to mow her lawn but for a fee from now on since he charges everyone .
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I think it really depends on personality & brain health.

My Grandma (greatest gen) organised lawn moving & all she needed herself & years later accepted a wait listed place for AL & put her house up for sale - before telling her adult children. Her daughter downsized herself to IL once a widow. Another daughter indended to downsize but had a stroke - she now wishes to remain at home forever & is trying to refuse all help for services & personal care (stroke brain changes).

So I guess the best way is to plan but to execute that plan BEFORE the planning & judgement part of brain is shrunk away by dementia, stroke etc.

If only everyone had a crystal ball.
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Im in my 70is, hire someone to mow my lawn, use a handyman at times. And by gosh I don't consider myself DEPENDENT on anyone. I used to be a perfectionist as far as cleaning my house, I have more enjoyable things to do with my time. I don't expect my kids to wait on me, they have jobs and lives of there own. When the time comes i can't get out of bed, can't clean myself, etc Ive told my kids to put me in a home but come to see me. It's our responsibility to take care of ourselves and plan for our old age. But just because someone doesn't mow their grass, or do things they did when they were younger does not necessarily mean he or she is dependent. A 50 year probably sees this as an a lack of Independence. I don't.
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TXGirl82 Jan 10, 2020
@Betty, I'm 50 and my dh and I hire out all kinds of stuff. My neighbors are in their late eighties and hire out their LAUNDRY for crying out loud! They are quite independent. Your situation sounds very different from the one described by the OP.

(Incidentally, waiting until you are unable to get out of bed or clean yourself to move into a care facility is not really a plan, and will result in a TON of problems for your children. Maybe you were just simplifying your instructions for the sake of brevity.)
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Set the boundaries as to what is acceptable behaviour that you will tolerate. Start the topic of downsizing or making her home more elder accessible. I've already started thinking about that process for my own elder self, knowing that I will need it.
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Start lining up folks to handle regular tasks like mowing. Find a service and get on a regular schedule - every other week in winter and weekly in summer. Let her do the daily cleaning (I agree, let her do it as long as she can), but hire someone to go once or twice a month to do some heavier cleaning like ceiling fans, thorough bathroom cleaning, heavier laundry days like curtains-sheets-towels. If you get someone in place now for household chores, you can add to it later on as needed.

I recommend a service like Home Shield service for repairs. You can get it to cover appliances, heat/ac, water heater - I think they even do repairs on things like ceiling fans, garage door openers, etc. I pay $75 service call when they are needed and they do the repairs. Beats trying to locate a service man or anticipate what kind of 'show up' fee you're going to be paying.
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BettyMG Jan 10, 2020
The mom is only 77, and according to the post doesn't seem to have health issues other than the arm. I don't think the daughter should even be scheduling and finding anyone to mow the lawn. And the more she takes control the worse it will get. If the mom doesn't have the financial means to take care of her home it's time to move
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I think all the answers have pretty much covered this one. But I would just like to remind ourselves that while we are negotiating this strange world of caregiving, we need to acknowlege that it is also new territory for the person having to rely on assistance. It is a strange feeling to be losing ones independance, almost like grieving.
My mother is now in permanent care and my husbands health is pretty steady at the moment after many years of problems, but still becoming less physically capable of doing a lot of his chores. I am 70 with a number of health issues and having to accept assistance with some traditional responsibilities. So we have reached a kind of cross road between being the caregivers and becoming the ones needing care.
I always yearned for someone to help with household chores, there never seemed to be enough hours in the day. Now I have that assistance, courtesy of government programmes (Australia has a good aged care system compared to most other countries whereby it strives to keep people in their homes as long as possible)m. But I am resenting the loss of independence, and so is my husband. Like another poster said, we can see it from both sides now.
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I took care of my Mother until she passed away in 2015. Now 'I' am 72, and i can see both sides. Of course..Communication & patience ...is good. One idea i would like to offer is for Mom to make a list of things that she needs done. You can plan a time that you both can go over it, and at that time let her know what you can and cannot do. Then either do it at that time or let her know when you can. Both parties need to go into this arrangement with a healthy agreement that no one is to get mad or feel as a victim. Always try to keep it light & be able to laugh about it afterwards. I know sometimes it's easier said than done, but independence to an older person is all we have sometimes...lol. I Know that i need to downsize into a smaller place, only it's going to take some money for me to make that happen.
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Your mother should hire help for the things she can no longer do, like mow the lawn. It is nice of you to help when you can, but your mother should not plan on you OR your brother pitching in to take on more and more of her chores. If she cannot afford to hire help, it may be time to consider other living arrangements. I speak from the point of view of someone your mother's age who also lives independently and cannot always manage all the physical chores a house requires. I do not have any family who helps with any chores. I hire help for what I cannot do. If that becomes impossible, I will need to re-evaluate whether or not I can continue to live independently.
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AlmondJoy72468 Jan 9, 2020
Thank you I agree
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People tend to take for granted those that are always there and helpful and can get verbally abusive.

Your brother is not there and helping, so he becomes the "favored" child. Because he's not there, he also isn't making waves or telling Mom she cannot do.
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AlmondJoy72468 Jan 9, 2020
Very true
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Please try reading the book "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud. They have written several books, including one for dealing with parents. Seems like most of the situations you describe they have covered in their book. In the meantime, discuss with your spouse which tasks mom needs help with (unable to do physically or financially) and that you wish to help with. Decide when and how you would be able to complete them. Then, tell mom what kind of help you have decided to help with and when. If she balks, then rescind the offer. DO not give in to passive aggressive behavior. However, realize that passive aggressive behavior is somebody desperately asking for attention in negative ways.
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Supooh Jan 9, 2020
Agree- very helpful info in book Boundaries! I found a support group for caregivers in my county, and it has been very helpful. Having ppl to talk to that aren’t emotionally connected to situation with my parents has helped. They challenge me but it’s good! (Mom will complain about u and not brother because she KNOWS you are there for her. She can count on you)
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you need to consider her long term care. If she is a home owner she may not qualify for Medicaid assistance. They have like a 5 year back rule. You need to look into these matters now to govern yourselves in the next 5+ years.
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worriedinCali Jan 9, 2020
Being a homeowner doesn’t affect Medicaid eligibility. Hones are an exempt asset. The only way it would affect her eligibility is if she owns more than 1 home.
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It is difficult when they haven’t planned. You essentially become the adult and have to make hard decisions for them. They want the impossible, but it’s just not their reality.!
i had to move my Mom from an independent senior apartment, because she would call me every time something broke, and I was expected to call the front desk.
i finally realized she just couldn’t function normally on her own.
even laundry was an issue as her Alzheimer’s had her confused on how every day things work.
she is now in Assisted Living and the facility deals with her day to day needs.
her happiness within this living situation is all up to her. I finally had to release the guilt over putting her in there. It was killing me..
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AlmondJoy, you had mentioned your Mom has a bathroom upstairs that is not being used. Someone needs to go up there and flush the toilets and run the sink/bath with water on a regular basis.

Call a plumber for advice on what is the property thing to do with an unused bathroom to avoid major problems later on. The plumber might suggest "winterizing" the toilet, but I would keep the toilet functional as having an extra toilet comes in handy when there is company.
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Not nearly as "independent" as she thinks she is.

And you do not have to give up YOUR independence to make it look like she is independent.

Maybe push back on her to hire her OWN people to do the work that needs to be done. If she wants to be on her own, she needs to do things for herself. Once she realizes the reality that she can not handle all this on her own she will become more realistic and see that she can not really do this on her own.

She is likely not able to handle this on her own. She needs to come face to face with her aging and that she can't do the things she used to be able to do. It is not your responsibility to do more and more and more while she does less and less and less.

Tell her when she's ready to sell and move into an apartment, you'll be there to help her but that you can't help her stay in a house she can't handle.

Good luck.
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Katsmihur Jan 8, 2020
And hopefully Mom won’t be ‘taken’ by repair people, as my Mom was. She’s 79, extremely independent and used the yellow pages (she’s not on the computer) to find a garage door installer. They installed it incorrectly and she cannot open the door all the way now.

All this while not asking my husband, a retired carpenter, to either find someone or do the job himself.
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Yeah . .I'm in that place once again with my mom. She's in the hospital again at this time.

She lives alone, 89, in a large 2 story home. She refuses to downsize. She's extremely miserly (she's got some $$). She won't hire help through an agency - only under the table and only when she sees fit.

No POA, No Trust, no will.

Her hearing is shot. I can't even talk to her on the phone any more.

I've taken a 'stand back' quasi no contact approach since her last dance with her hospital/ rehab stint last year (broken hip, afib, ulcer, incontenance). She's called the police on me, (took her car keys away from her), tells horrible lies about me to others. I had no control. I couldn't even get her to a doctor for an evaluation. I spent two months traveling back and forth, $1500 of my own money for gas, supplies, and retained an elder attorney. My husband was furious at the way she treated me after I had done so much to get her to return to her own home. So we both decided it was best to just let her be and let the next crisis hit.

She had become a shut-in. Lost all her friends. She still manages to drive herself to the store for groceries - up until a few days ago. She never calls me, and rarely picks up the phone if I should call to check on her.

I'm her only child/daughter and family.

For the life of me, I can't understand why some elderly don't plan or put affairs in place before it's too late. I'm my husband dPOA, successor trustee - etc. Directives are in place should he become incapacitated or myself. My husband and I have LTC policies and even a plan to downsize and live in a home that is manageable (currently a rental property we own) . I realize that not all can afford certain things however, that still doesn't excuse for the lack of planning old age.

You don't live forever, and you can't take it with you. Not to decide is to decide.
.
My mother is afraid of me or anyone to take control. She's a mean ,nar·cis·sistic, delusional and accusatory to anyone that comes in her sphere. Always has been.
Now, I'm just waiting for a call from her doctor at the hospital to see if they will perform an psych evaluation. I won't step foot towards her until I get legal control. I don't want it that way - but it's my only option at this point. She won't love me any less or more whatever I do.


If no evaluation is performed - she's on her own. The state can have her. I don't care how much money she has or doesn't have. I refuse to be taken down by her.
Besides, I have my hands full with my husband - he comes first.

Fun ride. :(







.
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Katsmihur Jan 8, 2020
I’m sorry for your hurt and the way Mom is towards you. I’m the only child, too, and understand how you feel.

Mom didn’t take her meds and ended up in the hospital. Hopefully she’s taking them NOW, but I know she’s not testing her blood sugar. Doesn’t want my help or be told ANYTHING . . .or even to suggest something to her. We live 10 minutes away and she lives by herself.

Not a fun ride.
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We were in a similar situation with my MIL. She had a huge house she couldn't keep up with, and wouldn't downsize. So we had to wait, because she was otherwise competent, and hubby didn't want to call Adult Protective Services. She fell last year and broke her hip. That's when the doc finally told her she couldn't live alone. Hubby spent 6 weeks up there cleaning out her house, getting her settled in a AL facility, getting the POA, will, etc. (They were 'filed' on her bedroom floor...), and selling her house. Her lack of wanting to make a decision to downsize, was, essentially a decision to abdicate responsibility. She got lucky...it was either live with the nuns or this other place, there just weren't any other beds available. She's in a good place, and other than wanting to be home for Christmas this year (mind, you, she has not decorated for Christmas in over 25 years, so I'm still trying to figure that one out), she's adjusting. It's hard watching them do this for themselves, but by choosing to not move when it's convenient to something smaller that will let them age in place, they're making the choice to roll the dice when something traumatic does happen. Good luck, it's not easy. Thank goodness for FMLA!
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AlmondJoy72468 Jan 8, 2020
Yes I’ve told her “mom, we have to have this discussion. There needs to be some plans made fir the future.” She could continue to live on her own for a good while with a little assistance in a small apartment with no upkeep or yard work. When something breaks, call the land lord. But I’m afraid we’re just awaiting that next fall and then she may very well wind up in AL weather she likes it or not.
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I can totally relate. My sister lives with my Mom and her kids, and as a result is part of the sandwich generation. I live 2 hours away, and find myself there almost every weekend with my kids. If I don't go there's all hell to pay. If I don't call 'often enough' there's hell to pay. She was abusive when I was a kid, and us kids all had way too many responsibilities - my mother was also in the sandwich generation with her parents living with us. Yet she still works! Living in a 3500 sq ft house, and saving every piece of paper that comes into the house. She even volunteers extensively on top of work, but at home it's 'do this, do that.' And my sister and I are both far sicker than she is. So how do you force a parent to sell a house they can't maintain (her electricity doesn't work in about half the house and my sister and I do ALL the maintenance despite working full-time and raising kids with disabilities). My mother keeps saying 'I want to downsize in 2 years' but it's been about 20 years since she started saying that, and there is SO much junk she won't let go of - how do you deal with that? I think you say well, if you're independent, then you don't need me. If you don't need to downsize, then take care of your house. If you can't afford it, I'm sorry, but we work, have kids, and are unable to take care of your home for you. I know, there's no nice way to do it. I wish my sister could afford to move out, but she can't. My own son lives with me to 'help out' and also can't afford to move out on his own with his wife yet, however, I don't just sit on my ass - I have cancer and I'm still cooking meals, baking cookies, cleaning, taking care of my younger kids. So I think I'm coming from a place where I can definitely say that if they ARE capable, they should be doing it on their own. I really, really don't understand how she has all the energy to put into helping others but can't help herself to the point of straining my sister into a nervous breakdown, and ignoring her very serious medical issues, and straining my health and my kids' wellbeing. I think someone in the comments above said it best - prioritize. Not that I have all the answers (or even the answers to my issues with my mom) but hey, forest for the trees - I can at least say I feel SO guilty about the nights when I CAN'T make dinner because I'm too nauseated or spend days in bed because I'm too tired...but I can also say that I make an effort when I AM feeling well. The irony is that she's fine. I think a lot of parents prefer to ignore all the heavy lifting of life in general, and prefer to put the burden on others. I hate to say it, but sometimes I wonder if it's just too easy to have someone else do EVERYTHING in the house while my Mom (and other parents) divert their energy into doing what they LIKE to do.
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Beatty Jan 8, 2020
Firstly, please do something nice for YOURSELF today. Enjoy quiet cuppa, take a walk, listen to some music you like. More chill - less drudge.

Do you want to visit every weekend? Is it to help others or supportive to you too? What does 'hell to pay' look like if you don't go.

If you don't want to go - don't. Inform family you will not be coming this weekend. Scale the trips back to make room for you. Get some breathing room. (Say the car is broken if you can't just say no).

By the way, my sister lives 2 hours away. She visits for Christmas, Easter, significant birthdays & maybe 1-2 random visits - so 4-5 a year. She NEVER does hands-on care, maintence, housework of any sort. Just brings cakes.
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Parents! Tired of being ignored by your children? ACT NOW. Downsize, organise your own services, pay for your own care before entering your dotage.

(No offence intended - my own are... auggghhhh).
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Someone told me once that if I felt resentment, it was a warning: that I was giving too much. Time to re-assess.

You are doing a great job of re-assessing & have already highlighted some big issues lurking
1. the independence charade
2. resistance to change
3. refusal/reluctance to use non-family labour
4. lack of insight or concern how this affects you
5. pressure to be at beck & call

As Barb said, critical thinking skills (executive functioning) are a part of this picture.
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AlmondJoy, that inability to prioritize and recognize what's important and what's not? The critical thinking part of brain functioning? It's called Executive functioning and it seems to be the first victim in cognitive decline.

Your mother will pass those "mini mental exams" in the doc's office (my mother scored almost perfectly until a few months before her death) but a real neuropsych exam will show the deficits.

My mom's regular doctor insisted she was "fine". It took a geriatrician two visits to send her to a geriatric psychiatrist. It took the geripsych two visits to insist mom needed a cognitive evaluation.

My brother insisted mom was having a "pity party". She was not. Her brain was very broken.

An MRI showed a previously undetected stroke. 6 hours of pencil and paper testing showed significant, although technically "mild" cognitive decline.
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If she doesn't have health problems I see no reason for you to be waiting on her hand and foot. Stop. I see too many seniors acting like your Mom. I'ma older than your mom and I'm the one waiting on everyone else.
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I suspect your mom came from a time when it was just expected to be able to use (and abuse) daughters, but not sons.  You will have to set boundaries, firm ones, and keep them. Is it a question that she can manage activities of daily living, but not trying to care for a big house? Would her safely be endangered if you and your husband simply and consistently refused to do activities like lawn mowing, housework, etc.?  I know of no rules that says children are obligated to tend their parent's bricks and mortar. As long as you keep helping this way, she can cling to her fantasy of independence. Think carefully what you are willing to do (and not do) and act firmly and consistently within those guidelines. Nagging and guilting are very tiresome but you can learn to just tune it out - like not being on the premises to hear it, hanging up the phone if it stats, etc.  Look at it this way - if you let things continue on, your relationship will be destroyed.  Is that really a good thing for you or for her?
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AlmondJoy72468 Jan 7, 2020
Thanks. I will work in setting boundaries. She’s fully capable of doing simple housework like dusting, dishes, laundry ect. However in the last year or so she’s just stopped keeping her house as tidy as she used to. I don’t mind helping with big chores occasionally but I certainly don’t feel like she should expect me to come be her maid. She is sort of living a fantasy of being independent when in reality she depends on us quite a lot. I have started saying no to her requests sometimes and she pouts. But hopefully she’ll see that eventually she’ll need to downsize to a smaller home or AL at some point. Thanks for your advice
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I'm from the school of thought that you lead your mom to the conclusion that she is not really independent (but in a diplomatic way) and how does she envision this increasing care/help need to unfold as she ages? At 77 she is young enough still for this conversation.

What is the definition of "independent" for any senior? In your first sentence you say she is independent but then go on to list all the ways she is not. This means you yourself need to rethink reality and change how you see your mom in her current and future state.

I agree with the other commenters that your mom is, at best, semi-independent or mostly dependent. How much help / time / money is required to keep her in her own home which she clearly can't maintain on her own in any realistic capacity? Even if she has a full recovery from her broken arm, you know her needs will only increase as she ages and changes. I would sit down with her (and any willing and trustworthy siblings of yours) and just have a calm discussion about reality and expectations:

- for your mom to be safe, kept as healthy as possible, and do what she enjoys in life without family providing the majority of care to make this happen.

- for someone (your mom's assigned durable PoA) to manage her care in her best interests and that of the PoA.

- for family to not have the financial and physical stress to maintain 2 homes (each of their own plus mom's).

- that mom will be realistic and wise about aging and her future.

You can create a list of things that she used to do when she was actually independent. Then put check marks next to those that now require others to do (or pay) for her. If it's about half the list, then mom is semi-independent. If it's more than 50%, well then she is mostly dependent. How does she wish to move forward knowing what the stated expectations are?

Unless your mom has cognitive decline she should be able to participate in this exercise and it will be healthy for her adult children to all be there for this discussion. Your mom should have a say in how things unfold, but only in the context of the others' expectations.
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AlmondJoy72468 Jan 7, 2020
Thanks I totally agree with your advice. I did have that conversation with her about downsizing her home and pointed out to her that as she ages she will become less independent and not be able to maintain her large home by herself. She said “I’m not ready to do that yet” . End of conversation. She just won’t talk about it. Very stubborn. I have decided that I will say no to her requests sometimes when it’s not a convenient time for me or my husband and she’ll just have to get over it. I don’t mind helping her with tasks that are too much for her to do but at my convenience not just because she thinks it’s got to be done immediately. Thanks for your help
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I see a couple of issues here 1) the situation when your mother lived with you after her fall and 2) her on-going need to "live independently". For the first situation, having your mother live with you, you now know that that can NEVER, NEVER happen. That is a very good lesson that people don't often learn until it's too late. That lesson is behind you and if she ever brings up the possibility just say "No, that wouldn't work for me." Don't try to explain why it wouldn't work, or bring up any of the problems you had while she was there. Just a simple "No, that won't work." is the final answer.

For her on-going need to live "independently" you need to let her live independently. Set more boundaries. I like the earlier idea of having a list you keep of what you will and won't do. Don't get involved in on-going help like yard work, she can plan and hire people for that. Don't get involved in cleaning, she can do her own or hire someone to clean. Do be available to do a special chore that is within your time constraints and skill set. Her needs are only going to increase with time so you need to keep your list of things you are willing to help with very short. Until she is inconvenienced by her home and "independent living" situation she's not going to see any reason to make a move to an apartment. Recognize that she doesn't see any of her requests of you as problems and won't understand that you don't want to take care of her and her house in addition to your family and your own home. Her perspective is that when she asks you, you do it, so it must be fine. Lovingly firm boundaries are your friend.
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AlmondJoy72468 Jan 7, 2020
Thank you. What you said makes so much sense.
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Keep her as independent as possible. A broken arm will heal. Your Mom is not old. Maybe a little slower but capable of doing for herself. I can see helping with "Spring" cleaning. But the dusting and running of a vacuum can be done occasionally. Those swifter products are great. How dirty can one person be as long as you pick up and clean as you go. Mowing the lawn, if she has money she can pay to have it done. I never even considered mowing my Moms lawn. First, I don't mow, second Dad did it, when he couldn't Mom did and then she paid someone. I am not saying if she asked my DH wouldn't have done it, just never came up.

You have seen what happens when there are others around. She will take advantage of you. Keep those boundaries up. I also "do" when its convenient for me. That could be your just reading a book. When she has those "negative remarks" tell her to call your brother next time she wants or needs something done. She does have 2 children. When she gets nasty, call her on it. Tell her you don't have to do what you do for her. That you deserve some respect and appreciation for what you do do.

The house. I have a 4 bedroom house. I have gotten rid of a lot of unwanted/unneeded stuff. But I am still here thinking, how am I ever going to really downsize and I am 70. Maybe broaching Mom with "I know downsizing seems overwhelming but DH and I are willing to do the heavy work. Explain that the upkeep on her house is going to become more and more and she can't expect you and your DH to do it. You have your own home and responsibilities. That she could save so much money selling the house and moving into a nice apt. No taxes, no upkeep, easier to clean. She can use her SS and offset other costs with the proceeds from the sale of the house. Making sure she realizes that living with you is not an option. And you are not caring for two households.

You know why my Mom asked me to do everything...because I was the closest and I never gave her any gruff. Yes, I did set some boundries if you wanted to call them that. My Mom was not demanding and there were times with my brothers she should have been. Mom was independent until she could no longer drive. We set up one day a week for food shopping and errands. We lived in a small town, TG. Dr appts were made around my schedule. I was working p/t so they were made when I was not working. If she needed a script picked up, I did it when I was going that way. Never anything she needed that minute. Have her take advantage of what is available. The longer she does things for herself the better.
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AlmondJoy72468 Jan 7, 2020
Thanks. She definitely could keep her home tidy because basically she only lives on the first floor (2 bedrooms and a bath upstairs not being used) but she lets things get out of hand....things pile up and she constantly says things like “ I need someone to do my ironing or dusting”, ect... this was BEFORE she broke her arm when she was fully capable of doing those chores. I feel like she has plenty of time to do those chores. More time than me. Or sometimes she will state “ I guess I’m going to have to hire someone to do my yard work “ as if she’s dropping the hint that we should do it. My husband does mow the lawn in summer but sometimes doesn’t get over to do it every week. Right now she wants her leaves to be gotten up. It’s a huge yard so that’s an all day job. I’m not sure why she expects this work from my husband or I instead of hiring it out. I will never expect that from my children. I have tried poi out the advantages of living in a small apartment (less maintenance/ responsibilities, more ways to socialize and people nearby in case of an emergency....ect) but so far she won’t budge. And I agree until SHE’S inconvenienced by her home and it’s demands she will continue living “independently “ with us doing most everything for her. I must set boundaries for sure
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When you stop propping her up she will start to see how much she needs help.

That is really the only way to get some stubborn people to face reality. Let them fail or succeed on their own.

I am sorry that she doesn't show any appreciation for all you do. I think that they really become entitled and they don't think that they should be appreciative, you own them after all. You just have to know that you are doing what you feel like you should and not worry about any acknowledgement from her.
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AlmondJoy72468 Jan 7, 2020
Thank you. It sure would be nice to get some acknowledgment for all we do. 😕
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AlmongJoy, the only way to handle this, in my experience is to have some boundaries and say "no" when you need to.

My mother was meticulous about keeping a list of stuff she needed done on a non emergency basis, and whenever one if visited she would say, "I need you to..." Nothing arduous, getting stuff from the attic, moving something to the basement.

My brother made it very clear that he wasnt going to do yardwork and I that I wasnt going to do housework, and mom hired those tasks out.

There came a time, however, when everything became an emergency. I sat mom down and said "I cant do this anymore". ("This" was leaving my job 3 days in a row and driving am hour one way to find her hysterical about some minor thing). She actually had no idea that what she was asking was unreasonable.

To make a very long story short, a cognitive evaluation showed that shed had a stroke and had lost significant cognitive skills. She wasnt being purposefully unthoughtful.

Be clear in what you wont do. Be polite, but tell her "no" clearly that she'll need to hire help if she wants to remain in her home.

You've offered her a reasonable solution to the issue (a smaller home). Findbout why she wont consider that.

If she needs help with moving and relocation, that's a project worth doing!
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AlmondJoy72468 Jan 7, 2020
Thanks. When you said your mother began to act as if everything was an emergency....wow! This is my mom! Everything is a crisis. I never know when there’s a true emergency because of how she overreacts to everything. This isn’t something new or suddenly occurred it’s been this way for awhile. And she too has a list of things needed or wanted for us to do. We don’t mind helping but those things she wants us to do aren’t things that require immediate attention but in her opinion they should be done right away. It’s just really frustrating. And seems selfish of her. I find myself feeling unappreciated and taken for granted.
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Your mother is not 'independent' if she's dependent upon YOU to do all sorts of things for her, let's face it. It's a charade lots of elders love to play; the I'm Independent But Relying On My Children for Everything game, which you're getting quite familiar with yourself. Tell your mother you are only available on thus-and-such a day for thus-and-such hour(s) to do thus-and-such things for her. The rest, I'm afraid, is up to YOU mother. Let me know when you are ready to sell the house and downsize to a more manageable apartment in Independent Living. Find her an IL community with a continuum of care so she can segue from IL into AL when the need arises.

It seems to me that the child that does the most for the parent is one that gets the most hostility and the least credit. The golden child, which is usually the son, no matter HOW much of a good-for-nothing he may be, is the one who's applauded loudly and carried around on chairs.

Wishing you the best of luck!
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AlmondJoy72468 Jan 7, 2020
Good advice. Thank you
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