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My mom resided in a different state and had a stroke back in July. I moved out of the state 2 years ago. I recently moved her to the state that I live in. She currently resides in an assisted living facility. She had a rough transition. She broke her hip about 2 weeks ago. She has been released from rehab and is now back in the assisted living place. My mom is difficult to handle. I do not have a close relationship with her (we were never close to begin with but our relationship became worse after my dad passed away nearly a decade ago). She thinks the medicine that is given to her is for dogs and often refuses to eat (unless I give her the food). She has also refused showers, to be touched, and numerous other things. She is in an assisted living place but idk if it’s a good fit. When she broke her hip, there was some talk about dementia and I can definitely see some of the symptoms. I have requested psych evaluations due to her mental health. However, most doctors have dismissed this stating that this is from her stroke (I don’t believe it is). She has a diagnosis of depression. However, I suspect there is something more than depression (and more than dementia). I can’t bring her home to live with me. I believe this would cause trouble in my marriage with my husband (due to my relationship with my mom and my mom refusing to do things at times). She has her good days and bad days. But it takes a toll on me. Other family members have stated to take her home with me and to watch her all day but this is not possible. I have a job and not to be rude, but I am in my early 30s and would like to enjoy life. I really don’t want to have a relationship with my mom. The only reason I’ve done so much lately for her (making her home made food, being on the phone when she refuses meds and/or therapy, refusing showers, etc) is because of my husband who believes I have a “moral obligation” towards my mom. I guess my question is, should I be doing more? I feel like I do a lot already. I’ve had to take a lot of time out for work and answering phone calls throughout the day. I barely have time for myself and for my health. I don’t want to be selfish but at the same time I can’t help it. I’m overwhelmed and just frustrated with everything. I am also an only child and my family has proved to be not helpful at all with any of this. They have not called me or visited her since all of this has happened. My other concern is when I have children. I won’t be able to put this time and effort in as I am now. I apologize for the long post but I would appreciate some advice. Thanks

You are absolutely doing the right thing, and you are right to put your marriage and mental health first! You have every right to live your own life.

She is getting better care there than you could give her in your home.

Note that the people who tell you that you should bring her to your home and watch her 24/7 aren't stepping up for the job themselves. Until they're willing to do the same, they need to shut it.
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PowerOf3 Nov 29, 2019
Yes, it’s a tough job and one person cannot handle it, especially while working. Period. She will get better care in a professional facility than you can provide. There’s nothing to feel bad about, just convince them she’s in better hands with trained care. Plus it’s not really their call, if anyone would like to step up to the plate then they can speak now. Otherwise I think you’ve made your decision 😉
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You are doing the best thing you can for her. You are ensuring that she gets the care she needs, moral obligation met.

I would consider that she may need a higher level of care. The nonsense of not eating or showering, anything to get you dancing to please her needs to be shut down. The AL is supposed to be trained in caring for humans in her situation, if not, I would research other facilities. If they can't do their jobs, then find one that can. But you really need to set boundaries with her, like no phone calls that interrupt your work, no meals delivered except as a special treat on (insert day).

Honestly she is manipulating you and you are the only one that can put a stop to it.

Your husband needs to realize that you can only give your mom so much and to try and guilt you into giving in to her manipulation is not helpful. Why would he do that to you?

My mom and I don't and never have had a good relationship and I believe that it was always her intent to not have a mother daughter relationship. It is truly on a parent to create that loving bond as they are raising their children. If they are to selfish or whatever to do that, well they created the situation and you can only do so much. I would never move my mom into my home, I would lose my mind dealing with her and her nonsense, she made it abundantly clear that I was a burden that she never wanted, now she needs me and wants things different. Sorry, not gonna happen, I will make sure she is in a facility that meets her needs, her wants are not even part of my thought process, I will make sure that she is treated as well as possible and that is all I can give her.

Set your boundaries and tell your husband to stop making this harder on you. She created the relationship and this is what it looks like. Professional care and it is more than she should honestly expect.

Never bring her into your home, you will regret it.

Hugs and strength! You can do it!
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Don't you DARE move your mom into your house! It will absolutely take a toll on your marriage. This website is slap full of stories of people who deeply regret bringing a loved one into their home. Dementia is a beast in itself. If the money is available for her to be in AL, keep her there. Visit often to ensure she is being cared for.
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Your moral obligation to your parents is to make sure they are cared for. That is it. Not that you give up your life to care for them yourself. Not to give up working to care for them if you need and want to work. Not to put aside the goal of becoming a parent . Not to put up with abusive behavior (and your mom is abusive through self-neglect and manipulation). Decide what kinds of care you can provide for your mom that you are able to provide while maintaining your well-being: phone calls, visits, bringing occasion treats. I'm not hearing that these "other" people are willing to do anything to help care for your mom.

Dementia can be cause by strokes as well as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Frontal lobe strokes can cause all kinds of unreasonable behavior that can be difficult to live with or manage. It seems mom is being cared for the best she will allow and that you are showing her love and support the best way you can. When other criticize, ask them to visit mom and give them a task to do to help her. Either those folks will step up or they will stop being critical.
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cetude Nov 2, 2019
I do NOT agree. You do not owe your parents anything unless you WANT to do it. The fact we were NOT asked to be born does not obligate us as adults to do anything for our parents unless we WANT to. Now I took care of my mom for over 10 years and the last 5 I was forced to stay with her 24/7. I did not mind because I truly love mom, but I never felt "obligated". I just plain love her.
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I believe you are doing MORE than enough. I concur that you need to ask hubby to please tone it down on the "moral obligation" thing.

Yes, sounds like she is manipulating you and is, for whatever reason, making you jump through hoops. Well, not making you but guilting you into doing too much for her. She is somewhere safe and they can take care of her basic needs.

I'm trying to learn about setting boundaries and having a hard time of it, but that's what I suggest for you too. What are you willing and able to do, without feeling all used up and resentful? Err on the side of YOU and you husband and future children. You deserve to have to time and energy to take care of yourself.

Do NOT bring her into your home. It will ruin what is left of your relationship and potentially damage your marriage.

My mom lives with us and my husband is a freakin saint. How he puts up with it all is just amazing. Other people are not so lucky and I don't know how much I could take if the shoe were on the other foot. It's too much to expect of our spouses, really. Unless they are 110% in and even then the reality of the situation is not usually what we think it's going to be.
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bmillerhanna Nov 2, 2019
Bless you for your response! I'm in a very similar situation and needed to read this. My marriage is going downhill and my wife has made her mom the #1 priority. Her best friend told me that. It makes me more sad than angry. We had such a good thing going before her mom moved in. (Parkinsons). I do my absolute best, including about 95% of the household chores, but the resentment is definitely building. It's been a year today.
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I think your doing fine. But, its time for Boundries between you, Mom and the AL.
If Mom has a phone and your the only person she calls, lose it. (make sure staff knows u took it) If she calls ur landline, let it go to the answering machine. Then u can pick when ur ready to call her back. If its a cell put urs on "do not disturb" so calls go to VM.

Speak to the AL Administrator. Explain that u feel Mom needs to depend on someone other than yourself. She depends on you too much and is not adjusting well because of it, u feel. Calls to u from the AL should be emergency based or to set up a care meeting. Tell him you are going to do what you can at your end to block Moms constant calls to you because it disrupts ur job. You would appreciate if staff not call or let Mom call because she is not eating, not taking her meds, not bathing, she has a complaint...ask that they find ways to get around this. You would really appreciate it. You realize there are laws in place but you are sure they can do a better job than u in getting her to do what they want, (my daughter, RN, says there are ways to get residents to do what you need them to do without going against laws) (ex: Mrs. S wouldn't it be nice to have a shower and fell fresh and clean.) I find aides tend to "ask". And by asking the answer is no. I think they can be more direct. M"Mrs. S, time to get a showerer".

Doing the "moral thing" does not mean your at Moms beck and call. Does not mean you cook her meals because she won't eat what is served at the AL. (usually ALs have a couple of choices) She will eat when she is hungry. What is moral is making sure she is cared for, fed, kept clean and warm. Not to give ur life up for her. She is young but the AL is what she needs. And thats where we r, what she needs not what she wants. She has to realize this is her life. That its up to her how she does. You can't do it for her.
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This type of situation only escalates.... people rarely get “better” and suddenly become fully functioning adults who are 100% independent. Unfortunately, this gets worse.
You have already shown that you are looking out for the best interest of your MOM by seeking a placement to keep her safe and healthy. It’s not an easy decision, nor is it a selfish one... it’s the ONLY one. I’m in the process of transitioning dad from hospital to rehab, to a “placement” based on his ever-growing list of needs. I’m sure he wishes to be home, but I cannot physically care for him any more, and he is not safe to be living alone with only my assistance for a few hours after work. This was a hard decision but it is necessary for both of us.
And you’re right in understanding that when you have children, you will not be able to do everything by yourself.
Best wishes!
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I think, as an only child (as I am), we're involved with our mothers, one way or another, whether we want to be or not! There is NO family that's going to help us, let's face it! My 2 children avoid calling their grandmother if they can, until I call and hound them. We're all alone in this game, I'm afraid. So we need to conserve our energy when and where we can. As far as moving her in with you, FUGGEDABOUTIT! You're doing more than enough caring for her in Assisted Living. People don't understand when they tell you to take her in your home..........if they think it's such a great idea, then THEY should take her in!!!!!! Uh huh.

Anyway, it sounds like your mother has dementia going on, maybe from the stroke, maybe from anesthesia, maybe from both. Regardless of where it came from, she may be too much for the Assisted Living Facility to handle, and she'll have to be moved to either Memory Care or Skilled Nursing sometime soon. After breaking a hip, it can be hard for an elder to recover, and they can start on a downhill roll from there. This is something you'll need to discuss with her doctor to get his/her feedback about how to proceed. The good thing about Memory Cares and SNFs is that there is less of your time required......there is a lot more care provided for the elder in these establishments, which is helpful. When I had to transfer my mother from AL to Memory Care this past June, my life actually got easier. They have a lot more care givers to tend to her there, which frees ME up.

So, we still care for our mother's while they are in ALs or MCs or SNFs, it's just not 24/7 or inside of our homes. It's enough, trust me.

I wish you all the luck in the world dealing with this stressful situation. Sending you a hug.
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Pripat Nov 4, 2019
Thank you so much. Your comment resonates a lot with me, especially because “you get it” since you’re an only child as well. I looked into SNF and I’m not sure if she would be eligible to enter. However, a memory care unit would be more appropriate for her. No one has been willing to diagnose her properly and I keep asking for an evaluation, only to be dismissed. She sees a doctor at the Assisted living facility but that’s about it.
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I heard a great parable on the radio last week:

There was a great flood in a valley, and a tree with a nest of baby birds was going to be swept away. The mama bird came in and picked up the first of three baby birds to carry it to safety. While in flight, the baby bird said, Mama, I'm so thankful to you for saving me! I promise when I grow up, I'll take care of you forever!

Mama bird dropped that baby into the rushing water and picked up the second baby.

This baby bird looked up at mama bird and said, I thank you for your sacrifice and I promise I will sacrifice everything to take care of you!

Mama bird dropped that baby into the rushing water as well, and turned to pick up her last baby in the nest.

The last baby bird looked up at Mama bird and said, I am so thankful that you are taking such great care of me that you would rescue me. To honor you, I promise I will take care of my babies as well as you have taken care of me!

Mama bird set him down safely in a tree top, far above the rushing waters.

It's not our job to take care of the past, it's our job to take care of the future. I'd talk to Adult Protective Services and tell them your mother needs to have the state take over her guardianship since she can't take care of herself and no one in the family can either. The Bible says to honor your parents and that means finding the right people to tend to their needs. You are not trained or equipped to do so. Be at peace.
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i read your story and I ask one question: How and why on earth would you even consider bringing her into your home and allowing this to ultimately destroy you and everything near to you? DO NOT BRING HER HOME. There is too much at stake for you and you will be the loser and I doubt you deserve this - never. She is difficult, you had no relationship, you have a husband and you have a job, and you want to live life and have kids. For God's sake - there is no question whatsoever. DO NOT DO IT. Think of yourself first - it is YOUR time now - take care of yourself and husband and job, etc. and live life while you have the chance. YOU owe her nothing based on her personality and past relationship. I don't know his culture or background but he is an idiot if he feels you are morally responsible for her - perhaps you might be if she was a different kind of person and had been a mother to you (loving) - but that is not the case. Don't listen to him - you will be destroyed if you don't put a stop to it now.
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