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Caring for an elderly parent is not for every adult child. There are so many considerations in making that decision. Obligation should never be a factor. The love and desire to want to is the foremost in the decision. Finances and the state of health of the elderly parent should also be considered. Your relationship with your parent is also important in the decision. Never enter into caregiving blindly.
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Wow, this is the choice facing so many families today. We love them and at the same time, people are living longer and it can take away our lives, as you said.
On top of that, the recession makes things harder, and people need to be on top of their game at work, because jobs are harder to get.
At the end of the day, you have to look honestly at the situation and say that there are probably better ways to do this that are beneficial to everyone involved.
We are in our 40's & 50's with our own lives and families, kids who maybe can't afford their own place, lots of stuff going on, and we don't want illness to become our focus either - depression can impact our own health, not to mention exhaustion taking care of everyone around us.

I went through all this with my dad, in 2001 and 2002. He went into the hospital that last time and the Dr said he'd lost too much weight and had to be in a nursing home (that's a life sentence or a death sentence too often for seniors)
My dad feared death less, so he left us; and I opened a small 6-bed Assisted Living Facility (far from a 'facility' in reality) it's a Home, where up to 6 people live together as a family.
Really a very lovely way to do senior care with a lot of hands on attention, good care, activities, and we are advocates to see to it that they get any extra services they need. Mom/Dad is happy, with friends (even if it's only during the day - and That kind of care can be covered 100% by Medicaid or VA benefits) Then they can be home at night, or with you in a place they feel loved, day and night.
Residential care is the same, they get meals, a house Dr visits, we have entertainment (music weekly, pet therapy, we have a Wii, they take walks to the park around the corner with our aides) meds on time, we monitor them and call dr/nurse as needed.... We even go on outings like to Lion Country (a drive-thru zoo/nature preserve in West Palm Beach) and parties, lots of fun, we go see the lights at Christmas, celebrating both Hanukah and Christmas at our Angel House...
Very nice and nurturing for your elderly loved ones. This is the way the Boomers will want to be cared for and we want it now for our folks too.
I'm sure there is something like this available where you live. I'd check into it and see what you think.
All the best, Doreen
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Bchristy, I'm glad you found this site and now know that you are not alone. I remember when I showed my SIL some of the pages in Understanding the Boderline Mother. Her response was, who has written about my entire life? People who put their children in the F.O.G. do so by using emotional blackmail and they count on their abused children to feel obligated not not betray their parent by talking about them, having much less sharing their own feelings, and trusting their own gut that there is something not right about this relationship. I learned a few years ago that my body's gut reaction tells me very soon, if I'm listening, that a person is trying to manipulate me much faster than my mind figures it out which is usually after the fact. I wish you well in your journey.
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I am definitely in the F.O.G - that says it all and is exactly how I'm feeling. I feel better since I've let my mom know how I'm feeling and the changes that need to happen. I will order the book you suggested, cmagnum. Thank you! It really is great to come on this site and see that I'm not alone and I'm not a Terrible person for needing/wanting a change.
Sglrbl - best of luck to you and you did the right thing by finding care for your mom outside of your home!
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Let the nursing home do its job and you do your job of taking better care of you. You need your life back. Your husband, though maybe not saying this in words, is probably feeling like he'd like his wife back. Your two college age-children for sure would like to have their mom back. (my boys and I have the t-shirt for that one). Possibly all this drama has blinded you with a lot of F.O.G. Fear, Obligation and Guilt? Is so, then I recommend therapy to get the FOG out of your head. I am sorry to learn of your mother's massive stroke, but I'm also very concerned that you get your life back. which is a point that I reached in 2002.
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I just wandered on to this site for the first time, and appreciated the advice you've all shared. My mother went from being a thoroughly independent, active, BUSY-BUSY retired person who lived in her own home, to overnight, suffering a massive, debilitating stroke where she is now unable to do anything for herself, is completely bedridden, and cannot speak (aphasia). Her home is nearly 2 hours from me, but I had her transported to a nursing home closer to me so I could monitor her care, visit more often, etc. I am her Power of Attorney and health care surrogate; I work full-time; am married with two college-age children, and WANT MY LIFE BACK, TOO!! So I totally could relate! I will look into the book "Stop Walking on Eggshells" and think about the other advice mentioned.... if anyone has more words of wisdom, I'm interested! Thank you and good luck, Bchristy.
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Of course she does not take any responsibility for she's created a tornado and then stepped inside of it as if she is its victim. I'd suggest getting the book Stop Walking On Eggshells as well as a book or two on boundaries. You didn't make your mother this way. You can't control how she is. Nor can you fix her. What you can do is chose a healthy path for yourself and for your family. If she wants to come along fine, she can stay, but if she does not fine, then she must go for it is your house. I hope your children can escape not loosing respect for all elderly people because of her.
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Thhank you all! I did speak to my mom about assistive living this morning. She takes no responsibility for my stress and guilt. She says it's my family causing my stress b/c they don't help me out. Which is false, of course. My husband is very helpful and loves me very much and wants me to be happy. I have a 12 yr old and a 9 yr old who also help her out more then I require them to help me. I see a shift in their feelings towards her too. They see how demanding she is of me and how unreasonable she can be at times. I hate to see them lose respect for her too.
I am going to order a few brochures from local assistive living facilities and begin exploring. My mom is familiar w/ this type of service b/c she transitioned my grandfather (her father) to Harrogate Assistive Living in NJ.
My mom is not happy about our conversation this morning, however I do think I have motivated her to do more for her self. I ordered her a basket for her walker so she can carry things and hopefully drinks too!
Thanks so very much for your advice.
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Have you told your brothers honestly what your mom and you are growing through because it sounds like she is not going to tell them. Your mom is a guest in your home and has become accustomed to being spoiled, but if she can't live with your boundaries then she needs to live somewhere else. It sounds from your profile like she has some money that she does not want to spent and she's using you which is destroying you and I would imagine having a negative impact on your marriage and family. Please vent all you want here and keep us posted.
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Do you have durable and medical POA? Does she have any finances or long term care insurance that would help pay for assisted living or a nursing home? Or would she qualify for medicaid? Please take care of yourself or you'll end up in the nursing home as well.
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I'm in the same boat and went nuts caring for my dad whom I can't stand. I finally got him on community medicaid. I urge you to try to learn de stressers and get her help because I just found out I have breast CA and I KNOW it is from the stress. You need to find help for that parent and get away from the situation or like me you will get sick.
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