I am 34 and never left home. My father passed away about nine years ago. My mother is going to be 81 in a few weeks, and her health is deteriorating. Her mind is getting worse, too -- she has hallucinations, delusions, neglect of personal hygiene, serious balance problems, etc. She has been in rehab for four weeks following a hospital stay for an impacted bowel. She went through FOUR days of incredible pain before I could get her to go to emergency. It killed me watching her suffer like that. She refuses home health -- she won't even let the beautician at the rehab place do her hair because she doesn't want a stranger doing it. It has been at least six weeks since it has been washed.

She is planning on coming home when she is out of rehab -- and one of the nurses worked out a daytime visit home tomorrow without discussing it with me. She isn't safe even with me home ... and is terribly hurt that I was reluctant for her to come home for a daytime 8 to 10 hour visit.

I live with my mom, and I have a professional job that requires intense hours. I am not doing as well on my job as I would like to, and I spent 11 years getting a PhD to qualify for this kind of position. I feel guilty about putting my job ahead of my mom, but I cannot provide the level of care she needs.

My siblings are both disabled, and I am the only one she has that can help. I love her very much, and I worry about her safety and her health at home. I can't be home all the time, and to make matters even more interesting I have narcolepsy that prevents me from driving. If there is an emergency at home, I have to find a ride or wait for a cab to get to her.

My health is breaking, and my emotions are also. I am the youngest child, but she never discusses memories from my growing up -- only of my older brother and sister. Sometimes she does not know who I am .

I think she needs to be in assisted living, but I feel like I am taking her home away from her. Am I wrong for wanting her to go to assisted living? Honestly, I am not even sure I can survive her visit home tomorrow without having a breakdown.

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((((((((MacMac))))))) so glad it went well, and also that your feel your mum had figured out that she needs more help than you can give her. Sounds like a win win all around. Let us know how it works out.
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I survived! My mom came home and headed straight for her favorite chair -- without her walker. She wanted me to help her get her pillows and blankets together so she could fix it up like a bed. At home, she sleeps in her recliner instead of a bed. She uses 6 pillows and about 6 blankets. I turned on her favorite tv series right now -- Pawn Stars -- and she spent most of the day in her chair or sitting on the sofa. Her balance is severely off but she does not seem to sense it. She almost fell I don't know how many times, and just would not use the walker. She went back yesterday evening without a fuss. I am thankful for that.
She also managed to prowl around in almost all the closets ... and tell me how cluttered the house was. :)

The house belongs to her ... I have paid for some improvements on it (siding, bathrooms) and now pay all the household bills. I never left home -- stayed home all through college and helped her take care of my Dad who had Alzheimer's.

I think she has figured out that I feel she needs more help than I can give her, but I wanted to wait until after Christmas to have that talk with her.

Thanks for all the advice and comments, everybody. It has really helped!
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You say that you love your mother, so I assume that you want the best care possible for her. That simply is not living in a private home without professional care. It really sounds like she has dementia. That will only get worse. And as it does progress, 24/7 supervision is necessary. It is also necessary for you to work. And she won't even let a "strange" hairdresser help her. How do you see this working out?

It doesn't sound to me like assisted living is suitable for her, although professionals who know the situation can advise you on that. It sounds like she may need more directed supervision than assisted living provides. At the very least, look for a facility where she could easily transition from assisted living to memory care or skilled nursing care when that is needed (if it is not needed now.)

You'll get through the Christmas visit. Resign yourself that you may not get anything else done but monitor your mother and help her. But you can do that for 8 hours, I hope -- or shorten the visit if necessary. This will be a good chance to see what having Mom come home would be like. Take notes!

Some practical considerations -- has/will a doctor specify that she needs 24/7 care? Is she still considered competent to make her own decisions? Who owns the home you both are living in?

Can she afford to pay her own way in a care center, or will she need Medicaid?

Even if you conclude that for her to have the best possible care she has to be in some kind of care center, you may not be able to simply sign her up for that if she does not want to go.

What you can do is control what YOU do (if not what your mother does). You can say, "I will not provide 24/7 care for her." You can say, "I will not be in the house between 7:15 am and 6:00 pm on weekdays, and also not for any part of the day on Saturday." You can and should make up your mind about the role, if any, you are willing to play in her care. (Keep in mind you want the best care for her, right?) Then be very, very firm about that decision. Tell it to the rehab social worker. Tell it to entire care team in family care meetings. Tell it to the doctors who are working with her. You don't have to justify yourself to them. You have a right to make your own decisions. But be very clear in sharing what your decisions are.

The notes you take Christmas day may be useful in explaining why you don't think your mother can remain alone all day while you work.

My heart goes out to you. You must decide what is best for your mother within the parameters that are possible. That role reversal is so hard!

Come back and let us know how you do Christmas day, and how the situation unfolds.
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I think emjo is correct, your mom sounds like the time for AL has past already. There will always be people that think you should keep mom at home and maybe that is possible with 24 hour caregivers, if money allows.
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No,you are not wrong. It is the wise, sensible and caring thing to do. In my view the nurse had no business arranging a visit without consulting with you. If you feel you cannot manage it, or manage all of it, say so before you take your mother home. Let the nurse who arranged this explain it to her. You have limitations - presumably the narcolepsy can kick in anytime - e,g, when your mum is home with you. You have a demanding job, you are working to care for yourself, and cannot sacrifice that for anyone. It sounds like your mum needs much more care than you can give her. She will be well looked after in a facility you can visit, and she will have company and professionals looking after her. I wonder if she is suited for an ALF or if she needs something which offers more care. She may be developing demetia. It would be wise to get an evaluation and discuss with the professionals where she would be best placed. Good luck to you - I think you are "right on". Look for a suitable placement for your mum. She won't be happy initially, but probably will settle in very well eventually. Keep posting and let us know how you make out. (((((((((hugs)))))))) Joan
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