How to convince my Mom we need outside help to stay with her while I work?

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My husband,,sister and myself are the only people helping to care for my 87 year old mother. I am living with her but I work a full time job Monday through Friday 9 to 5. Between my sister and my husband they take care of her while I am at work. I cannot leave her by herself because she will get into things and could bring danger to herself. One time I came home from work and decided to take a nap in my bedroom, since she was napping. I was awoken by a slamming door. It was our front door. She had gone out to get the mail. I ran down stairs to find that she did not have her oxygen on (must have it 24/7) only to find she was standing on the front porch steps saying the cat cat got out somehow. That was a fiasco. The cat was injured while he was out and required surgery which cost $700. We have 4 cats that stay indoors. She constantly takes her oxygen off and she's a danger in the kitchen. Once my husband came in when he had arrived late one morning and found that she was putting a half a stick of butter on a piece of bread into the toaster oven. That could have been a fire! She does this kind of thing when we least expect it..during times of the day she is normally asleep. It's almost like she was waits for the moment she thinks no one is around to do it. Just in the nic of time I have the opportunity to bring in additional help from my son's girlfriends Mother. She is a CMA but not working at the moment. My husband has had back surgery recently and is very limited on what he can do for my mother. She has a slew of doctor appointments that she has to go on requiring someone to lift the wheelchair out of a car push the wheelchair and also handle her oxygen equipment. He cannot lift any of this right now. Also I will have a couple of months where he will not be available at all to help. My sister does not drive so she relies on people to drive her and she lives a half an hour away. I have exhausted my vacation time from work. One day this week, my mom has a doctors appointment that will require her to be driven downtown to the hospital were her doctors office is. It's basically going to be a few hour trip. The CMA was willing to go along on the doctors appointment to assist during this appointment. I thought this would be a perfect time for her to get used to my mom and the routines. She can do the lifting and the pushing and my husband can do the driving. mother is arguing with me saying she just wants only my husband to take her to the doctors visit. . She likes the lady very much but she is stubborn and says that she'll get her own help and she'll do it herself and she will go to the doctors herself. She can just get up and walk into the kitchen to get a glass of iced tea. I just don't know what to do. She's not quite 100% incompetent but she's not capable of doing the things she used to do. I handle all of her bills and all of her doctor appointments these kinds of things she can no longer do for herself. She is ungrateful and unappreciative of things we do for her. I could go on and on with the things we have done... She is just impossible and irrational with her reactions.

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Thank you Everyone for your comments. Boy this is the place to go if you want some answers isn't it? I'm really glad that I found this site. I appreciate all of the answers and I've read them thoroughly. I have to tell you that after I had that little outburst with my mom about reminding her what we all do for her and how I have used almost all of my vacation time to make sure she gets to the doctors and that she's comfortable living here in the house AND I cannot see my own grandchildren who live in Alaska because I don't have time to take to visit..... She finally came around last night and calmly asked who is taking her to the doctors today and I explained. She didn't have any thing negative to say. I think that's some days are better for my mom, she seemed like her normal self today but other days not so much. My sister did talk to her yesterday and took up for me, but then my sister told me that she started on her, complaining about things and such. One thing I can say is that my mom has always been he complainer and a very hard person to please. So given the fact she is frustrated about what she's not able to do anymore, she is lashing out. Part of her process of not being able to reason with her is lack if common sense at times. For whatever reason this may be due to her background living in a foster home. quite possibly she has been thinking things through these past couple of days because her brother who is two years younger than her who lives just around the corner, his now being moved to assisted living. He was a perfect example of what could happen to her if someone wasn't living with her or caring for her like we are. Maybe it just took my sister and this situation to open her eyes somewhat. I'm not saying that she isn't in denial of certain things and that she's not in a dementia state, but it all has to start somewhere and perhaps it is starting slowly. I do realize this is only going to get worse. I just have to take one day at a time. Thanks for all the answers everyone I do appreciate it!
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To reason with your mom who has dementia, notice the LITTLE things currently most important to her-- all those little things that take place in the home that she intensely likes or intensely dislikes. Of course we care very deeply about our parents, but sometimes it's SHOWING a loved one with dementia--by helping with the little things that have become very important to them yet some of which may seem extremely trivial to the rest of us--that can help them recognize our caring more clearly. If Mom can see, day by day, that you have her back on the little things most important to her, she may become less stubborn about the things most important to you.

I also agree with the person who suggested telling your mom that it's YOU who needs the care help. Appeal to your mom's love for her daughter and talk about the practical care support that YOU need.

I also agree with Sunnygirl1 that you need to hire people to help if you can. It's nice that a son's girlfriend's CNA mother might be able to help, but a more solid plan is needed, especially given your husband's back situation and your sister not doing any driving. Be proactive.

Anyone who lives with a parent with dementia AND is also employed full time is in danger of becoming less and less effective and eventually burning out completely unless some serious steps are taken. Do you regularly carve out hours each week for yourself and to do the things you most love doing? If not, please do. Otherwise, there is just no way you can continue this pace, and the impact will be both to you and to your family.

Please be good to yourself and remember that like another poster wrote, you are doing an angel's work.
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Interesting what FrequentFlyer wrote; it's what I was initially going to suggest that you do. Except that it's clear to most of here that your mom has dementia and has lost her reasoning ability. she's not "just" entitled and a bit slow on the uptake. She's actually a danger to herself and others. If she were merely entitled, I'd have said, let her try to get herself to the doctor (you COULD do that). But if her reasoning ability is as shot as you are describing, she REALLY belongs in a facility, unless you can bring in 24/7 help without her constantly firing them and making anxiety-provoking disasters for you.

DO NOT THINK ABOUT QUITTING YOUR JOB TO CARE FOR HER. what your mom needs is way, way beyond what one full time person can do.
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juju, your Mom thinks everything is running smoothly, and it is because you and your husband are doing everything. Time to write out a list of everything you do for your Mom... now cross off half of the things.... now cross off some more. Do only what is left on the list that is within reason.

If your Mom bulks at this not being done or that, just say "sorry, Mom, I just can't do that". Do not give in. I know it won't be easy.

I am trying to cut back with my own parents, who still live by themselves.... I should have done that back at day one six years ago. Since I had to stop driving due to an injury, I had to cancel all of my parents doctor appointments for six months [none were urgent]... that's not sitting too well with my parents. "Who's going to drive us?" Sorry, they can't guilt me into driving this time around :P

The other day my Dad finally said he needs to hire someone to do a long list of electrical things that need done, things my Dad use to do when he was more steady on his feet and his eyesight was better. Whew, maybe there is a light at the end of that tunnel.... or maybe it is short lived.
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It sounds like your mom's ability to think clearly is severely affected. Your profile says she has lung disease, but your post describes more than that. It sounds like she is a danger to herself. At this point, you have to move on from trying to get approval or not upset someone. You can't reason with a dementia patient. They can't understand are not likely to see the light, be convinced or feel appreciation for all that you do. It' not her fault.

You have to go into protection and care modes. Getting her that help is really all you can do. It sounds like you really aren't equipped to do that at home, but if you can hire people to help you, then I would do it immediately. If that is not feasible, then I would have her evaluated to see what type of facility that would meet her needs as soon as possible. I would meet and discuss it with her doctor.
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Do what has to be done. Your Mom is clearly not able to reason these things out. She needs to be in a memory care facility. Keeping her in the home is already a 24/7 job and you're going to need more help and more funds as this progresses.
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If your mom wants to continue living in her own house she's going to have to make some compromises and accept outside help. Would your mom be able to understand this? Maybe try a little guilt. Tell her that you need the help in caring for her right now, that sis doesn't drive, hubby is down in the back and you need help.
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"I can't keep you here at home if you won't help me, Mom". "Work with me, Mom". "Mom, help me to help you".

You are enabling mom's "independence". For this to work, she has to be cooperative. Unfortunately, you can't reason much with someone with dementia, and if mom is at base a mistrustful person, i wouldn't even start down this road of trying to keep her home.
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Boy, have you come to the right place, JuJu! A few sentences in and just about every poster on here can fill in the blanks.

First, believe you are doing angel's work...your entire family is, actually. And then realize your concerns are MORE than justified. Mom is no longer safe alone. I don't have to tell you that roles have been reversed with mom. Where she spent years watching out for you to make sure you were safe -- doing things that made you crazy out of her love for you --now YOU have volunteered to do the same for her. Angel's work, I tell you.

Put on your most comfortable 'manipulation/cajoling' shoes and get to work. Do what you need to do...hire who you need to hire...whatever it takes to keep mom safe. Smile thru her protests, cook her fave suppers, buy her little inexpensive pretties -- give them to the caretaker to give to mom -- I can almost promise you that she'll be juuust fine. After a little complaining.

Good luck, Angel.
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