Without making this a really long post, I have been looking after my mother, who lives alone, for the past 6 years - right after her husband died.
After mom had a car accident, I sold her car as it was then clear to me it was time she stopped driving. That was last year. Mom is now 84.
Before that, I became POA because she was spending what little money she had on going out to eat every day. So I also got on her bank account. This all was eliminated when she stopped driving, but then I became her chauffeur, bought her groceries, dr. apps, etc and this is when I was still working.
I'm retired now, but her care has become more challenging, especially in the past 6 months.
She neglected her feet for years and would lie to me that she went to the doctor and he told her there was nothing they could do. She had a growth on the bottom of her foot and, because it was painful, she over-corrected her walking to compensate for the pain. Now her leg is crooked and she can barely walk with a walker.
She has lost 20 lbs in the last year for lack of eating properly. Because of dental issues, she wasn't telling me she couldn't eat certain things. I even bought her an "elderly microwave" (the kind with just the rotary dial) because she had trouble using a regular one. She has yet to use it without me being there.
She has early stage dementia and her dr thinks maybe Alzheimer's. Her hygiene has suffered, she is either forgetting or refusing to take her meds. I say refuse because she is paranoid about eating, using, or taking anything she deems as "old". She doesn't go by the expiration date as I have gone over with her many times. She quit taking her blood pressure meds, for example, because they had been "sitting in there for a while". She won't even use the body lotion I bought for her for the same reason.
She has promised me she would start eating better and take her meds and bathe regularly many times, but nothing has changed. As far as her eating is concerned, it isn't her appetite. When I take her out to lunch, she eats very well.
Now, I am forced to visit my mom 3-4 days a week to clean, grocery shop, pick up her laundry, prepare a good lunch for her and make sure she is taking her meds (I have started counting her pills), not to mention having to maintain her one acre property. No help from the siblings who live out of town.
One brother she used to visit on a regular basis every 3-4 months. During this time, my husband and I would plan a short trip somewhere for a break. Now, she has cancelled scheduled visits 3 times just saying she doesn't feel like going. So our plans had to be cancelled. However, this last time I put my foot down and said she was going and she refuses to go.
I have brought up the idea of home assistance with her 2-3 times and she refuses that too.
I find myself being angry every time I visit my mother now. I've really been angry for a few years, but it has gotten to the point that I dread seeing my mother, but then I feel bad about it.
This was a little rambling, but how do you get someone to accept outside help? She is perfectly fine with me doing all the work. I have already told her about needing an occasional break. She just wants me to "hire someone to call me".