Follow
Share

I am recovering from years of caring for a sick husband and just as I was beginning to adjust to widowhood my elderly cantankerous mother needs care. She is stubborn and refuses professional help and I have never considered her a "loved one". More so now. I am sliding into burnout, what I call 'twhat next" syndrome where the least hint of a problem becomes a mountain over which I have to force myself to climb.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Birdie8 - no one can force you to take care of your mother. Decide what you will do and what you will not do - and hold firm. If she refuses professional help - that is her decision as a capable adult. You do not have to fill the gap. The best thing i ever did was dedice what i could do/could not do and be firm with my dad and mom (divorced, living separate - both demanding). They found other avenues of help, sometimes with my help. They didn't like it, but i still have my life and sanity. Good luck to you
Helpful Answer (14)
Report

People who are too stubborn to accept professional help sometimes just have to do without any help at all. Don't let her guilt you into giving more than you can, make arrangements for her care and then step back. You don't give us any background on what exactly she needs from you, so I can't give specific advice. There are many others on this site who have had to limit their contact with their parent(s), keep it to as often as you are comfortable with, once a week? once a month? You will find you can coordinate a lot of her care from a distance.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Birdie - I can only say I relate. " If your mother can pay for help/care, she should. Don't let her tell you that she shouldn't have to pay someone because that's what you're for. My "unloved one" can't afford to pay for any help at all (barely covers her bills) so there's not a lot of choice in my case - she'll need to rely on unpaid help until she's disabled enough for Medicaid. If you're not in that situation, you have choices. Don't subject yourself to any more of her than you absolutely have to.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Birdie, thank you for your honesty on how you feel. You can't make your mother do things, but you can decide just what you can do for her. It is easier to let her know upfront what you can do, then stick to your words. After you let yourself get into it, it is so hard to stop doing it. It sounds to me that there is something you can say to her that will soften any hard feelings that she may have -- Mom, taking care of hubby took so much out of me that I can't do it again right now. I have a feeling that it is probably true. Going through a long illness with a spouse is so difficult. I am so sorry that you lost him. You do need a chance to recover and start to rebuild your life. Your mother may not agree, but it would mean that she is not thinking of your needs. We have to watch out for our own needs when it comes to parents, because they can lose site of us as people.
Helpful Answer (10)
Report

JessieBelle is so right Birdie - that last sentence sums up some mothers to the nth degree. My mother whilst in 'normal' mode knows who I am but she also has sometimes quite short sometimes long periods where she thinks I am the carer. She actually believes I (daughter aka me) dont do the care very much and talks about me behind my back to the carer (also me!) saying how I (daughter aka me) should do more. When I (in my carer mode) say but your daughter does do so much and remember you pay carers and you should pay your daughter she has given up her career / life just to care for you.....she does one of several things...

Gets a full grump on and is utterly vile for the rest of the day

Says:
Noone asked her to....I had my granddaughter living here (this is true but my daughter had a full mental breakdown from mothers attitude and I stepped in to prevent her from getting worse)

Says loudly:
Pay her? of course I pay her! she robs me blind never pays for a thing herself. Well this is also somewhat true BUT it cost me all the equity I had in my house over the last 5 years to stay at home to look after her and up until about 6 months ago I was paying all the bills too yet no income - you go figure because I clearly was very stupid.

My mothers 'pay' as she calls it consists of living here rent free and she provides food for the meals. I do all of the rest of the care from shopping on line finding gardeners, decorators etc as well as all POA stuff and hospital etc all personal hygeine, and obviously cooking cleaning washing ironing. She did not buy my car she does not pay the running costs of it sorry went into a rant there.

All I trying to say is please have a look round at the carers in here and see what they are up against. You have to either

WANT to do it because you love your mum dearly - let's cross that one out then!

Enjoy doing it because she's such a sweety - nah scratch that one

You may lose financially if all her estate gets spent on care - I gave to say there is a grain of truth in that one for me but only because I have invested 40K of my own money into the house - new kitch/bathroom etc

You are under pressure from siblings to care for your parent - Erm Hello lets share shall we or she goes into care - then thats up to them

You promised someone you would care - hands up here to that one and if you did get counselling now - what you promised is to provide her with the best care you can get for her - and if that isnt you then by putting her into care you have fulfilled your responsibility. And when/if you have guilt feelings about it,come back on here and join the rest of us who have either been brave enough or wise enough to do it or stupid enough (like me) not to or who are feeling awkward at the mere thought that time is approaching

Try to distance yourself long enough to consider this sanely with your head and lock the door on the emotional gremlin who says you can do it - in fact I would burn his tail right down to the bone!
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

"...You may lose financially if all her estate gets spent on care - I have to say there is a grain of truth in that one for me but only because I have invested 40K of my own money into the house - new kitch/bathroom etc".
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

"...You promised someone you would care - hands up here to that one and if you did get counselling now - what you promised is to provide her with the best care you can get for her - and if that isnt you then by putting her into care you have fulfilled your responsibility. And when/if you have guilt feelings about it,come back on here and join the rest of us who have either been brave enough or wise enough to do it or stupid enough (like me) not to or who are feeling awkward at the mere thought that time is approaching"
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

But Shelly, her mother is not a dependent child. She's an adult who won't do what medical professionals advise and expects her daughter to sucks up her bad attitude. There's just no comparing the situations. Caregiving an elderly adult, especially one with medical and or mental health issues is done so much better by professionals.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Occasionally I enjoy trolls. Shelly is funny.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Babalou, you are correct in that adults are not equipped to handle medical and mental issues. However, there is NO difference regarding AGE and being DEPENDENT on another for your needs. No, it does not, and in this case SHOULD NOT be the children. The poor old woman has enough to deal with on her own without being harmed from a child who resents her and clearly hates her. That is NO quality of life. I myself would choose euthanasia before that. Kudos to the children that are able to recognize their own weakness and know they are not able to provide the proper care and do what it takes to seek it. Anybody that can complain about losing equity in her house to "drop er life" and then complain about spending $40k on decorating and remodeling can most definitely get their priorities straight and put that money toward proper care for their dependent parent instead of using them to take out their anger and hatred on in a vulnerable and needy state. Again, imagine dependent child. No different. Parents abuse their children all the time because they have no idea how to care for a child, never wanted one, but got stuck with one because of nothing more than biology and a drunken one night stand. That is when Child Protective Services comes in. Yes they children get put in a home. Yes the parents DO TIME. It is no different for these children. They are NOT required to care for aging parents, ESPECIALLY if they do NOT LOVE THEM.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Shelly, you have got to calm down and stop the personal attacks or the moderator will be removing your posts and banning you from the site. This is not acceptable.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I think in a way, Shelly represents the little voice in our head that tells us we are bad people for feeling bad, no matter how badly we may be abused or how impossible the job we are expecting ourselves to do and what it may be costing us and our families.

Birdie8, you needed help, and instead you got ranted at, and I am sorry that happened on here.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I think it is easier than that, vstefans. I think he/she is just a troll looking for fodder.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

OMG Shelly, can it already!! The only insanity, vitriol and abusiveness I've seen on this thread is coming out of YOUR mouth!!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Shelly thank you for your comments it would seem you have singled me out for vitriole so please have some back.

There is absolutely no reason on gods earth why when I have taken on a full 168 hour a week role as a carer and have given up my job to do so that I should be expected to do this for absolutely nothing AND PAY RENT AND BILLS which I did for 5 years. I have done so because my mother wouldnt pay for carers - refused point blank and as her POA I have to abiude by her wishes that does not mean I agree with them and I am entitled to an opinon and to voice that opinion. I cannot however live on thin air.

Gets a full grump on and is utterly vile for the rest of the day - this is an English expression which means in this case if mother does not get her own way 100% of the time then she becomes moody and is very unpleasant to me

My daughter's breakdown was caused by my mother's constant demands which left my daughter deprived of sleep and holding down a full time job

I can assure you - not that I personally give a damn whether you like it or not - that I have receipts for every penny I spend and it is totally recorded too should anyone ever wish to see it. My mother thinks that I am wasting her money when I buy her a protective covered mattress or pay a gardener or pay a plumber and that is why she says I spend her money - I have to as she no longer has capacity

I have invested 40K of my own money into the house - new kitch/bathroom etc because the old one would not allow my mum access to either place until it was done and she refused to pay for it so as a DUTY OF CARE to her safety I paid for it to be done - however when or if mum has to go into care the state will take the entire house and I will be made homeless which should please you immensely I imagine

Finally the emotional gremlin who says you can do it is a ral danger to the elderly for if you cannot leave your emotions behind and care properly with your head then you would be a danger because you need focus to and strength of mind not emotion to do much of the caring that is required of you.

Finally Shelly I do have to say that should I be looking after you then I agree euthenasia is something I would want ... FOR ME
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Shelly dear, fill out your profile and tell who YOU are caring for, and what your strategies for staying sane are. I'm sure we would benefit from your insight into what to do when your beloved elder informs you that you may NOT attend your dug her ' s wedding or your best friend's funeral because she wants your company and threatens to call APS on you the caregiver and feign abuse. Do tell us YOUR story Shelly, and then we might be willing to listen to what, on the face of it, appears to be sanctimonious, ill-informed hogwash.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Man, this is starting to sound like shakingdustoff or dustofffeet or whatever her name was. Does anyone remember? Could it be? Even crazier than before, sounds like. Shelly, if you are receiving care it might be better if you weren't so nasty to them. If you are as nasty to your caregivers as you have been to a couple of people here, I don't blame them for not treating you well. You treat people like you want to be treated. I feel sorry for your caregivers if you get in their faces like this.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It is not called euthanasia when it is on YOURSELF, it is called suicide. Your mother would benefit. You are very disturbed, very obviously.
I am utterly delighted to tell you that you are wrong Shelly..euthenasia as defined is the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. It's other name is assisted suicide if I choose euthenasia then I am asking someone else to do the deed. Should I opt to kill myself then that my dear is suicide. I will quite gladly let you explain to my mother that you think I should commit suicide - I am sure she will apreciate your full understanding of our relationship... then you can perhaps explain it to the police for this is cyber bullying
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

No dear I cannot chose euthenasia for another that is called murder. I am the only one who can choose euthenasia for me at this point in time. As I have requested from you formally in my post to you if this continues I will report it to the police for further investigation as I consider it to be cyber bullying
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Smiles and drinks tea
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Smiles even more widely and drinks more tea
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Interesting article Shelly - right folks off to get Mum onto the commode and then give her her 2 am meds in a while so sleep well all night night all I imagine I will wake up tomorrow well today well in 2 hours time to be precise but hey who's counting. Yay its Friday already where do the weeks go?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report


Birdie, the first step is to admit that you can't do the caring at this time. Tell you mom honestly what you are going through, just getting used to the idea you are a widow, and her situation at this time is too much, you will help her find a caretaker or a palce for MOm....NOthing against you, your mom, or anyone else. It's just the situation..at the time
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

I totally identify with your situation! Some of the conversation is identical to my mother's. Two doctors had diagnosed her with dementia which she adamantly insisted never happened! After almost having a breakdown myself, her primary physician, at my request, referred her to a neurologist who recommended assisted living and prescribed medicine that calmed her. Do not assume that your mother's behavior is just being stubborn, as certain types of dementia seem to accentuate personality traits that mimick the symptoms of dementia. I guess my best advice is to seek medical help to the point of being obnoxious if you have to be to get a doctor to help you determine if it is stubbornness or dementia. Sometimes living at home with one's caregiver is not the best answer for either person. Most of all, stop feeling guilty! Ask for help! It does not mean you are a bad daughter or caregiver!!
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Just in case anyone thinks there is something odd with the posts we had a troll in here and the mods have removed as much of the abusive posts as they could hence it not necessarily making sense - Many thanks to the mods xxxx
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My mother is 95 years old and has dementia (starting). She hardly ever says 'thank you' and thinks she' s Cleopatra, therefore, I am to take care of her hand & foot. She doesn't treat me like her daughter, I think she thinks I'm her caregiver.
She still has a real strong heart, it's cause she's never been on medication/s. She wakes up every hour during the night and doesn't remember in the morning. It's hard, but I guess I'm paying back. I thought I was the good kid, maybe I'm paying cause I'm her only unmarried child. I retired to take care of her, but I kind of regret it. Does anybody have ideas as to how I can feel better, besides Praying?
Anyway, it's nice to air out! Right?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Praying is great and I am glad to see it is not on the bottom of your list. Yes, there are things you can do. With Dementia starting, this will only get worse. Sorry, but to be realistic, you have to face that this is not getting better!! So maybe its time for MOM to be in an assisted living situation. This situation is not necessarily good for you!! I applaud your taking her in, I am just not sure how your sanity will hold up. Please know you and your Mom are in my prayers that you will do what is right. And you will!! You are praying! God Bless You!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You kind of have two choices - walk away or get her to agree to terms that are acceptable to you (BTW, only one person has a vote in this matter - YOU).
The current model is unsustainable. Give yourself a raise or find your replacement. The past is over, and the money you spent on the house/bills is gone, never to return.
Chose a good time of the day for her, and inform her that you are broke, and therefore starting the first of the month you will be charging $ (fair rate -- maybe $500/week+ room & board). If this is unacceptable to her she is welcome to hire your replacement, and you BOTH start interviewing agencies and getting price lists (care isn't free! OVER $100/day?).
Either she finds a new care solution (you win!) or she pays you (sorta win --not what you are worth, & you won't regain what you've spent, but you'll earn enough that you won't be bankrupt).
The POA is revokable, so be prepared to apply for legal guardianship in the future (do NOT let any nice, helpful private agency do this and "take care of everything for you"--- as much as you may be "over it").
In light of potential court scrutiny, make sure anything you do with her & money is DOCUMENTED. Paying yourself as caregiver yes, but not extravagantly, and not more than an agency. Trying to get back what you've already spent? NO! Court is likely to take a dim view of that & consider it financial abuse of an elder (ironic, huh! No agency protects caregivers from abuse...)
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Noticed Cargiving43's post -- YES! Agree! My Grandmother moved to a board & care and did MUCH better than with one live-in caregiver (a lifetime friend). She needed more care than she would admit, became depressed, desperately clingy & the isolation ended up driving both of them nuts.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter