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I don’t know where to begin. My mother is 80 and has dementia and COPD amongst other things. I did not grow up with my mother. She sold me to my father when I was 5 and then when she came back to get me he started custody proceeding and got soul custody of me. My older brother is deceased and my younger brother was adopted by a 3 cousin when he was 9. I am 53 now and have been in her life started as a teenager (only because she acted like my friend and let me do whatever I wanted to do) which made it difficult for my father because I was rebellious. Of course I grew up and out of that but have remained the person everything for my mother falls on.


Her 5 siblings have nothing to do with her except call her occasionally because my mother is quick tempered and will cuss you out and hang up constantly for nothing. Over the years she has had to have medical attention a good bit and after the hospital stay will go to rehab but always returns home. She lives in an affordable apt that had a 2 year waiting list. It has emergency strings that go to 911. I work full time, have my family and I go to her place several times a week. I can only put out 2 or 3 days of med at a time and she still does not take that right. She does not know the day, year, month most of the time and sometimes confuses day and night because when she takes naps she will wake up thinking it is morning. I give her baths which she hates, she is in depends which I empty and are heavy (I have spondylitis so have a bad back), pay her bills, get her groceries, take to doctor appts, clean her apt, etc....She had fallen and broke her wrist a year ago and I had to take her to ortho every two weeks. She fell and hurt back after that and took her to urgent care. All her regular dr appts. It is taking its toll on me. I called my husband from work one day about to have a nervous breakdown. I finally calmed down. She smokes and where she lives is a no smoking premises but they really just don’t say anything because she was going outside. In the last about 6 months she has started smoking some inside and I have told her she is going to get kicked out but she does not care because she knows it will be on me to pick up the pieces and deal with it.


She was in ICU last year and I called my brother to tell him in case he wanted to stop by there and he said he did not care if she was dying or not he would not go there. He’s seen shrinks over the year as I have. I mainly have because I want to know why I let her control me the way I do. I could go on and on and on. Recently she fell again and Had to go to the hospital. It was a fracture in her lower back and is at rehab. They have said because she can express herself she can go home even though the doctor says she cannot because not being able to make decisions and dementia. The administrator says they will not keep her against her will but I told him she will be going home alone. He told me to bring the paperwork they needed to file for long term and to wash my hands and they will take it from there. I took that like he was telling me to step back because I go to rehab all the time to visit her. She is on oxygen now too and would still smoke if she went home, Anyways I’ve not been to rehab in 4 days but still have to take the paperwork. She is calling and calling and guilting me, If I turn in the paperwork and for any reason they do not have her declared incompetent her apt will be gone. I get SS and a little SSI barely enough to pay her apt. I pay her cable, phone, car insurance (she has a car but does not drive). This is a very brief synopsis. If they have her declared incompetent she would become ward of the state. She will not voluntarily under any circumstances agree to go to a nursing home and I was told if I got guardianship and placed her in a home they still will not keep her if she wants to leave. I know I am jumping around but let me add, I told her siblings she was in the hospital a month ago and not one has text or called.

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I’ve given the NH all the paperwork for Medicaid. I’ve told her she will be there a long time because she cannot fully take care of herself. She yelled and said she’s been doing it forever. I said no you haven’t; I’ve been doing it and I cannot continue or it will put me in a grave. She was okay. Then the next day I took her a blanket and she said; don’t let me forget this when I go home. I told her again she will be there a long time and she said; THANKS for ruining my day.
I’m sure NH are used to patients having ups and downs. Not all patients are going to be as easy as some.
Thanks for everyone’s responses. It is helpful and to know I’m not alone.
I did text my brother to tell him and he said “YOUR STILL DEALING WITH ALL HER BS”. And basically he wouldn’t bother. As I said she sold me to my dad and later gave him up for adoption. We had different fathers.
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Reply to CindyMay
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The administrator said today they do not deem the patients incompetent and it is a long process so I provided the paperwork for Medicaid the cover the nursing home and I told her if she left she is on her own because I cannot physically or mentally continue to do what all I did for her. I told her she does not realize how much work it was for me. I told her if she stays there, I will visit her daily. I told her I can still take her off and I told her the people there love her. So for today, she seemed okay with it. I told the administer her apt that took years to get her into would be gone if she demanded to leave. January will be paid bc I have to get everything out of the apt. Her check will be going to the nursing home therefore the apt will be gone February. I feel for everyone going through this as there is no easy answer.
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Reply to CindyMay
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First things first, kudos to you! That says a lot about you. However, as my Dad once said, you can't draw water up from a dry well.

As a youngster, your choices were held at the whims of the parent you lived with. As an adult, your choices can now be the opposite of what they wish it to be - especially if the relationship is already fraught with issues and dysfunctional. The fact that you stated your mother "sold" you to your father and then recouped you when it became convenient to her suggests your mother has developed a complex system of pushing your buttons to get what she wants on her time frame and at your expense. Since you are 53, you now have to find the wires that she had set up to guilt you - and cut them.

You're doing a lot for her- she has claimed for her own your wallet, your time, your energy, your health and your sanity - you're paying for car insurance for a car she doesn't use - the power of guilting is real!

Allow me to suggest your power back to you - if YOU wish to remain and engaged in her life; guardianship is something that you should consider - and you need to set the boundaries before she breaks your health like she broke her own. My mother has dementia, but it's tied with Alzheimer's and both symptoms, while similar, means that a dementia patient simply forgets - it doesn't mean they are acting strangely, with anger or being rude because have that diagnosis.

Though I hear the repeated statement of dementia, I don't hear Alzheimzer's. In that respect, I want to be gentle in stating she behaves that way because she can - not because of the disease of dementia. Sometimes the truth is that the person who is our parent is hard core mean - if her relationship with her immediate family is as fractured as you suggest; then you have to consider that in your decision of what you will allow from her going forward - you won't be thanked; you may get cussed out for it, she may call you everything she can think of under the sun - but you have a life that needs you in it. You have family, friends, employment - that's not an excuse; that's reality. Your reality.

The constant calling is easily cared for - one can block a call with ease nowadays or getting a new phone line so all her calls will be on one phone - or filtered to voice mail on your current phone.

I care for two aging parents - I suggest you can feel guilt free on relinquishing all things to her - no well-indention child-adult can be all things to an adult bent on 'self- destructive' habits at their own hands. She refuses her medication, she won't take care of basic needs like hygiene - yes, she needs some assistance, but the resources out there will help you and her. If all you want to do is make decisions for her that will put others in place so she is cared for properly, then do so. But if all you want to establish is making decisions and then being the sole person to carry out all that is required - I don't think that will be in your best interest or hers.

If she rejects the help, that is her option, but make her understand that rejection of her options will mean that you aren't required to fulfill it - it's just a matter of perspective: it sounds as if your own health is suffering under the burden. Whether we like the idea of homes, they offer a full staff of people to care for people - and visiting her there is no different then you running to see her 3 to 5 times a week that you may be doing now - and staff knows who's being visited regularly or not. Not every place is a den of evilness.

You do a lot and thank you in behalf of her - but she either accepts what's left of her options in housing and care or she will need to accept your help and resources (financial, health, time) are becoming limited and drawing to a close.

She may do a lot of things out of spite- but she has a right to do that. You can't make her act the way she should but you can act what's in the best interest of you. I wish you well on your decision.
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Reply to StaceyLM40
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They are wrong about the guardianship I think. Thats why you get it to be able to make decisions for someone who can no longer make informed decisions. Guardianship is granted by a judge and its granted because the person can no longer make informed decisions.

Why would her apt be gone? Doesn't she have a lease? Or is it set up if she is gone so many days. If the later, then make the facility aware that her evaluation is time sensitive. That you cannot have her live with you.

If Mom is placed in a NH, her SS will go to them and her SSI will be stopped. Can't have SSI and Medicaid too.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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CindyMay Jan 5, 2019
You are correct on them taking her check. Her apt will be gone unless I pay for it and if she’s in a NH she won’t need the apt.
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Is the difficult decision you mentioned in your title trying to get your mom into a skilled nursing facility? If so, if she returns home from rehab alone it will just be a matter of time before she falls again or blows herself up smoking while on oxygen. One way or another she'll end up in the ER again and when that happens that's when you begin making arrangements to have her placed in a facility. As soon as you get to the ER request a social worker to help you.

Oftentimes families must wait for a crisis before they can get their loved one into a nursing home and the crisis is usually a fall or some other mishap then lands them in the ER.
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Reply to Eyerishlass
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Follow the advice of the administrator.
There is nothing in that plan that says you cannot visit her, or continue to be her daughter.

Others will be by here soon to give you more thorough and better advice.

So sorry this is hard for you. And likely hard on your siblings, a reason why they cannot cope at all.
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