I am burned out caring for mom. Is there a lower cost facility for Mom?

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I brought my Mom down 14 months ago. She is now 92. She lived alone and was having small strokes. She did not recognize the neighbor when he came to check on her. The Dr in her town said she could not live alone anymore and that she has Dementia. So I brought her into my home. She really isnt happy here. She is having a hard time adjusting to my house. Its colder here that at her house. Its hotter here that at her house. She doesnt know her way around here, and she cant drive cuz she would get lost. I try to tell her that driving is my job. She doesnt come out of her room much. She will eat a meal and then go back in to her room.She likes to watch her Game Shows on tv,and then fall asleep. She is so hard of hearing and I get so frustrated trying to yell at the top of my lungs so she can hear me over the TV. Now I just hit the MUTE button. . She cant get warm enought even though she has a little heater in her room and I bought an electric throw for her. Our electric bill has usually been quite high. She complains that her tea is "just barely warm" so off I trot to warm it up. Then it sits there and goes cold, so I have to trot off to warm it up again. Her food tastes drive me crazy. Her food has to be HOT. Everything is too spicy or too peppery, even though we all try to makes foods bland for her. One day she will eat pizza and like it and the next day its too spicy. She rarely will eat rice or pasta. I usually just open a can of soup for her and she will eat that. I cant even count how many meals she has refused to eat. If I were to ask her what she wants to eat, she will say "I dont care, just not too much. " I will make her half a sandwich and she will say "that is too much, I cant eat that ,just cut it in half." Just make me some soup... I feel like a waitress. Its is very hard on our budget. The Dr we were seeing perscribed an antidepressant and an acid blocker for her tummy. Mom doesnt like to take prescription drugs, she gets liturature from all over the world talking about natural cures. But to her, she can take whatever pill she buys over the counter as long as it doesnt come from the pharmacy. So last week she refused to take her medications, for the second time. She was wrapping them up in a napkin to hide them from me. Needless to say in the next few days her tummy started getting upset, she was burping and spitting up and she started crying and got depressed. Of course she doesnt see any of this. She is living more and more in her past and it isnt a pretty past. Her first husband was abusive to her, Her relatives owe her money. I try to change the subject but she still seems to have a need to talk about it. She is very bitter. I have heard it all many many times, I dont want to hear it anymore. I end up in tears and have to leave the room. My husband says that we are like oil and water, I do lose my patience a lot. Now I know why my husband never spends time in her room. I dont think that I can take much more, its only been one year.. I have been talking to people about large facilities and Board and Care homes. They are sooo expensive. How can I find one that fits our budget? Steph123

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If she likes the soup, just leave it at that. I have found in my situation that when I put in extra work and time for a wonderful meal it usually is not eaten. So, I do not do it any more. Mom would be happier with tomato soup, yes Campbell's and grilled cheese or crackers and cheese or maybe a cup of ramen noodles. So be it, easier on me through preparation, and double bonus I am not disappointed when they don't like what I have prepared. Triple bonus, not as much to clean up either! Do not knock yourself out trying yo please her with different foods, you will not succeed.
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Mom may be at the very beginning of the dying process. Or she may need more stimulation. Is there a senior day care she could go to one day a week? Or get someone in to spend time with her and help her bathe and make meals with her. It's not cheap, but costs a lot less than a NH. If it cheers her up and gives you a break, it would be worth it.

Sometimes we feel like a failure taking care of an elder because we can't make them happy. Well, that's not what the job is. Your job is to feed her and care for her and TRY to keep her safe, and to keep her company on the final journey. Your job is to be there and love her, not to fix or cure her. It might be easier to listen to those old stories if you recognize that it's not your job to change the past, or to bring her to accept what happened. Just to be there.

Don't get me wrong! I have a very dear friend who has genuine tragedies in her life, and after an hour, I have to ask her to change the subject. I'm not saying you are doing things wrong. I'm just hoping that a different angle might help make it easier for you.

It's a very hard job. Do what you can, and come back to vent and tell us how it's going.
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Sorry, Cap, most people that are totally miserable don't 'treasure' the time with the parent that's the one making them miserable. Does not compute.

If all else fails, such as Medicaid if your mom doesn't qualify, do what I did. I abandoned my mom to the state after 10+ years of caring for her pretty much alone and getting sick as a dog myself in the process.... they put her in a great facility, which I couldn't do without POA, she's well taken care of, and I visit often. End of problem, end of stress, end of misery.
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it doesnt get cheaper than living in a van down by the river. my mother would have loved such an arrangement as long as i was there. treasure your time with her, youll be content after shes gone. and yes they can drive you nuts . im post caregiver and wanted to ease mom off the liquid comfort meds just to talk to her one more time. we didnt and im glad. she was dying and in a state of terminal agitation. it would have been selfish to reintroduce her to the dying process for my own benefit. i sure miss her, she was brilliant even with dementia.
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If she is eligible for Medicaid, you may have some lower cost alternatives. My mother is in the gray zone where she doesn't have the resources to go into a facility and has too many resources to qualify for assistance. After much discussion and denial that she needs assistance, she agreed to have someone come in each morning to get her breakfast, stand by while she bathes (in case she falls or needs help), gets her dressed, tidies up, and makes her lunch. While not the ideal situation, it allows me to get through my day without worrying that she may have fallen, may not have been able to get out of bed, or all the other myriad things we worry about as our parents age.
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