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I am heartbroken for the families who have lost a loved one to the virus. And my condolences go out to you all. I have been caring for my mother who is physically impaired NOT mentally and she lives at an assisted living house since 2013 because I still must work. While working, I have been running my self into the ground every day, week and month taking care of my moms wants and weekly Dr appointments. Since March 13 I have not been able to enter my mom's facility, I take items to her weekly and leave items at the door and I talk to her daily but this has been a wonderful much needed break as I have no family, friends who care or siblings. I feel bad that so so many have lost their lives but, I have been grateful for the much needed and well deserved break. Anyone guilty but grateful?

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Amen to Covid restrictions.
March 16th as my brother was loading the vessel of evil into the car to take her to the AL they called me and said they were going on lock down! I said she's on her way. I'm dealing with the movers to get her living room and bedroom packed up and sent to the AL! There was some arguing for a few minutes and then they saw it my way and let her in.
It's been amazing since then! I didn't realize how depressed I had become. We tricked her into going. Told her the house had to be fumigated with very toxic chemicals and she had to be out for a week (thanks to this forum for the idea) she is doing very well. Gained 20lbs.
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ZippyZee Jun 2020
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Wow. Just wow after reading your profile. Good lord, this woman has done nothing for you and now dangles you like a puppet! Now that you are on "break", you need to cut those strings! Do NOT resume doing what you were doing before the lock down. Despite not being able to walk, you should not have to do all that you are doing for her. If you think doing all this will make her grateful or will change her or make her love you, think again.

Ex became best friend and has walked away. Hospital, NH and several facilities have ditched her. See the pattern here? It isn't you, it is her!

"I pay 200 a mo to store her clothes." Why? She has funds, if she wants to keep all these clothes, SHE should pay the storage fees.

" My mother doesn't like the food where she is so I bring soup and snacks." If she doesn't like the food she can order food. Hunger is a big motivator - you don't bring food, she doesn't like what they have, she'll get hungry.

"I buy so much for her." Again, WHY? You say she has several decent sources of income, let her buy her own things. She'll either have to give you the money or order whatever it is she wants to be delivered. Stop subsidizing someone who doesn't need it!

"I am an only child and I hate hate caring for this woman." Stop caring for her. If you can't stop completely, at least cut it WAY down. She doesn't deserve any of what you are doing for her and you shouldn't be spending your money on HER needs, esp since she has sufficient income. Now is your time to see that cutting all this out hasn't changed anything - so why bring it all back when the walls come down? She's survived and YOU are better able to breathe and have a life!

"...did you tell her she looks wonderful." IF she asks, don't answer, change the subject or speak the truth.

"The clothes in storage are expensive and I take her to storage so she can get summer clothes." Buy her some porta-closets and "store" them in her AL place. Cuts out the cost AND you won't have to take her there.

"I take her to the doctors." Most AL facilities have some kind of transport. Let her use them. I would do it that way, but my mother has severe hearing loss AND dementia, so someone needs to be there. Why so many appts anyway? At most, unless she has some condition that needs monitoring, every 6 m for doc and dentist, maybe even every 12 m. No transport? Have her call a taxi or outside transport for those with disabilities. They are out there!

"I do it all. And I hate it. I feel like I am in hell." You are, but it is in some ways a hell you made. Unmake it (unintentionally it is temporarily unmade now - DON'T remake it !!!)!!!

"In order to keep my mom calm and not cry to be with me...I tell her she is going to come live with me when I retire in 7 more years." I would stop telling her this too. With dementia you could get away with telling her that, with no intention of doing it, as they forget and/or have no concept of time. You can tell her that if she works to get better she could get her own place, but don't promise your place and DON'T ever follow through with that promise!! If you think it was bad before the lock down, think how much worse it would be LIVING every day with this! DON'T DO IT!

Stay strong Jetcitygirl. You have been way too kind and this woman, despite being your birth mother, does NOT deserve what you do for her. She is in AL, they help her with her immediate needs, the rest needs to be negotiated. SHE pays for whatever it is SHE wants. YOU get to schedule if and when you visit or pickup supplies that SHE pays for. SHE can pay for storage, reduce the amount of clothing or store it in her own space.

Fly my little pretty, FLY!!! You deserve to enjoy your life. You owe her nothing.
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AndreaE Jun 2020
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Believe me, you are not alone! Not having to decide when to visit my Mom on, at least, a weekly basis, which has been taken away from me because of the Covid restrictions, is a very welcomed respite. Since I have no control of whether I visit Mom or not, I really do not feel guilty. I have set up a time on a certain day that the facility, in which Mom resides, is to call me for a facetime phone call every week. They have not done so in the last three weeks. I'm know I can't blame them as they are probably too busy and shorthanded to find the cell phone with which to make the call. I know, tho, on my part, I should probably call and try to connect. Which will probably happen this week. However, I'm really in no rush. So trust me when I say.....you are not alone. Good excuse and also a viable one.

You are just as human as the rest of us.
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You are not alone in your relief. My malignant narcissistic mom is spending the pandemic alone, at 93, 1600 miles away from me. I haven't seen her since January, and I typically travel monthly to visit her. I talk to her daily on the phone, and I have been secretly grateful for these months "off." She has expressed that she is afraid she will never see me again, and I suppose that could be true. However, the fact that the entire world is upended by the pandemic eases the guilt tremendously. I don't think it's a bad thing to find some enjoyment in a little breathing room.
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I think the changes in the way we live and interact during this lockdown period have offered all of us a chance to take a good look at what we have been doing (and why) and make some decisions about what we want or need to do going forward. But beyond that, it has been more quiet, the pace has been slower and (at least in my neighborhood) people are able to be out walking and talking with each other (although with masks or across the street). Awful that it took a pandemic for us to be able to have the time to read, reflect, exercise, meditate, bond with the dog, rest, pray, do some home projects, but it’s been an eye opener. Of course it is horrific for those who are ill and those brave warriors who care for them. But for some of us, this has been an a time of new clarity.
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Your mom has you well trained! Being away from her has shown you the illness in your relationship with her.

YOU are paying to store her clothes? WTheck?? Why isn't SHE?

This is a good time to 'cut and run' so to speak. Set boundaries and if she doesn't like them, she can figure out a way to get the things she wants.

She can hire CG on top of what she gets from the ALF. They do not have to be you!
I feel so bad for people who live their lives for their parents--leaving zero time for themselves. My mother would run me ragged if she had half a chance, instead she bullies YB into doing the things she wants. He is sooooo tired, and yet she won't allow anyone else to 'do' for her. I am truly afraid he is going to die before she does and my SIL will NOT let her live there, should that happen.

I've learned the hard way that what I did for mother was NEVER,, EVER enough. I didn't clean well enough, shop correctly, say the right thing---I'd put my own family on the back burner for her and then find she was criticizing me to the other sibs.

This COVID thing has given a lot of us the space and time to really look at our relationships and to make the changes to make them healthier.

I wish you so much luck. Be strong and firm with her.

My mother would be mad at me no matter how hard I tried to 'get it right'. Now I don't even try.

You are NOT alone.
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Jetcitygirl, you can now see what type of running around you need to do when the quarantine is lifted.

What a blessing to be able to set and enforce boundaries based on actual needs and not wants.

No need to feel guilty for enjoying a break from the running ragged that you have been doing for your moms wants.

Edit: I just read your profile. Oh my! You do not need to be her scratching post or step and fetch it. She can live with the consequences of her bad choices. You have already paid more for them than anyone should expect. Sucks to have to say no, but you can't forfeit your life for her and her choices. Great big warm hug! You deserve so much better than what she has and is doing to you.
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Wow, after reading your profile I totally agree! I think I would have shaken her dust from my heels a long time ago and let her figure it out...she does not deserve you, and you deserve way better
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I agree with daybyday27 about the lockdown making me take a look at what I was doing before and what has changed. I used to visit my Mom just about every day. I would make sure she had her socks on, her hair was combed, she was drinking enough, etc. Well, that stopped abruptly and she's actually OK! Yes, there was a time when she became very dehydrated and the staff realized they had to push the fluids and monitor her intake. Her hair looks terrible but so does everyone else's (and she doesn't really care). I still call her every day but it's more for me as she probably won't remember after we hang up.

I always had a wonderful relationship with my Mom but it was still very stressful for me to visit every day. I can only imagine what it must be like for someone who doesn't have the same good memories of or relationship with their mother. I think my stress came from believing I had the responsibility of ensuring she was OK and having to be a pain-in-the-a... if I saw something I didn't like. After 3 months though, I see that Mom has made new friends, really likes the staff and mostly seems happy. There have been a few times during the shutdown that she wasn't feeling well or she was crying on the phone and, before, I would jump in the car and drive over. Since I couldn't do that, I found that she was still OK the next day - even without me being there.

Once we can visit again, I will now limit the number of times I go over every week. I know that her needs are being met, the staff are good to her and really, who cares (other than me) if she doesn't have her socks on?
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I think this just goes to prove that we are doing way too much and denying ourselves time for resting and reviving our souls and bodies. So I see no need to feel badly (or guilt as some call it). She is getting care and is surviving just like you are.
my father was in LTC and I felt much relief at having a break. Who knew how long it was going to go on. He did enter hospice two weeks ago and died just this past Tuesday at nearly 99. Not from Covid but just age. So that made it sad that this is when he died and I could not see him until that last week. I saw him 2 days before he died.
I had him here 7 years and have been through so much that no one will ever know. But I am happy he is at peace finally as he was so miserable.
Enjoy this break as you know it won’t last forever. And when it does open back up, reevaluate things. You do have the ultimate control to set a schedule and to set boundaries. And for Pete’s sake lose any shred of guilt. You’ve done nothing wrong to be guilty of. Be proud of what you do and only do what you can.
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I, too, am grateful for the break. I'm 71 and retired, but taking care of my mom's physical and emotional needs was driving me to exhaustion. Don't feel guilty. Enjoy the respite while you can.
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I feel just like you do even though I'm only 57 soon to be 58. There are still many things for me to do plus I do the "window visits" outside her memory care apartment. That in itself is enough since we live in a very hot climate and I'm literally dripping with sweat by the time I leave!
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