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My mother is 55, congestive heart failure, pace maker/defibulator, diabetes, copd, the list goes on, along with depressive disorder, factitious disorder (she hits or picks at a skin graft she had 3 years ago creating a constant wound) and borderline personality disorder. She has three main doctors, two are MD's and a Psychiatrist. She hit herself causing an infection which landed her back in the hospital in late August, after she was released I was able to get her admitted to a nursing home for wound care/med management because her home health care agency dropped her due to liability issues, (we've been through several) and cannot find another. She has been living with me and my 16 year old son, but I am exhausted working full time and my son is frustrated. She has made accusations of people hitting her leg and has generally become manipulative. She is in a wheelchair, on oxygen, but is still able to get around (especially if she doesn't realize anyone is around). All three doctors agree that she needs to be in some sort of supervised setting with nursing skills. All three will not give me a definite answer on how much skilled nursing she needs and we live in a rural area so our choices are limited. The nursing home is too restrictive, but the living centers (few) might not give enough supervision. The social worker has been no help, and the family expects me to just take care of it, many feel that due to her age of 55 that I should just bring her home and let things go on the way they have been. I can't do that. So, who do you turn to when you are exhausted, work full time, single parent, caregiver, money is tight, no family backup, a not quite senior mother who is in denial, an no idea where to start.......

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Hello, I read all the posts and decided to add my own thoughts. Your Mom is not acting responsibly and therefore can't take responsibility for her own care. It sounds like the NH may be a better place for her than the ASL facility. ASL requires that they do some things for themselves, but if she is falling and continuously hurting herself an ASL probably won't work. That being said, in order to stay in the NH she will need to go on Medicaid, so definitely hire an Elder Law Attorney if she has assets worth more than $2000, or what your state allows her to have. If she owns property then yes, you need the attorney. If she does not have more assets then she should qualify, and the business manager may be able to help you get her on Medicaid. She can also answer some questions for you if her "estate" is simple. As for all the conversations and guilt trips on you, you need to remember that your Mom is not in her right mind. there is no sense arguing because you not only upset yourself but you upset her too and prompt her to continue to push your buttons. Just agree with whatever she says or try to redirect her if you can. Show her you love her, by touch, smile, etc. There is a lot of material on the internet, and books about Altzeimers and Dementia that may help you relate better to your Mom. Also you need to take care of your family first before you can help other family members. Your family is your son. So family first then others (Mom). You will be doing what is best for her as her caregiver. I also would not force your son to see her, he will just resent it. Mom will pick up on that resentment and more problems will ensue. I have learned all this because my husband has dementia. Many times he tries to make me feel guilty because I cant be there all the time for him. He just scowls at me, says something like, oh you are finally here. I just look right back at him and say "are we going to start this again"? If he presses the issue then I just leave and come back another time. Most of the time he calms down and we have a pleasant visit. But yes I had to hire an Elder Law Attorney, and she will set up an estate for me, take my husbands name off everything and put it all in trust. My husband will then qualify for Medicaid. After that he will have a lot of benefits, not only to stay at the NH either. they have a transition from NH to home and he will qualify for many things such as items to make our home safer for him, and also some nursing care at home. One parting thought. Look to God for answers. Pray for your Mom. Despite all the heartaches that go with these illnesses, I can say I feel God's presence, and see it the direction and help I am receiving and will receive from others, whether it be knowledge, or help with equipment for my home and to take care of my husband. Most important, take care of you! If you get sick who will take care of your Mom? Hugs and God Bless!
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siz, I can only imagine how difficult this all is for you. my girls are all grown up and left shortly before I needed to take my mom in. and I have let my work go to the sideline. I am an "artist" so I could close my studio down slowly.
my goodness, your mother is a year younger than me! I know it is easy for me to say, but I feel the natural order of things is to put your son first. bless his heart. it sounds like he is dealing with this as well as he can. and you? let me reiterate. I just can't imagine how you do it. I wish I could help. I haven't had time to explore this site, but perhaps there is a way for people to get in touch depending on their location. I just don't know.
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DaredToCare, welcome to the site. Don't worry about accidentally clicking Report this Post. I'm sure we've all done it once or twice. The moderators read the post and decide whether to delete it or revise it ... nothing happens automatically, so all is well.
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I accidentally reported a post in this thread. Just fat fingers on my ipad.
I couldn't undo it. So, this is my first post. I have been reading for two days, it has really helped my own depression and lonliness.
The woman who started this thread... just wow. Her situation makes mine look like a walk in the park:/
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Well first i would sincerely pray to the Lord to give me direction. Then I would call your area agency of Aging and disability. Call local agencies for in home care choices and utilize every one that will help you. Get ahold of S.S. and find out about Omsbudsman program who can take over her care. Keep looking, even out of town, for an assisted living facility where you can place her. Call Alliance of Information and Referral Systems 1-703-218-2477 or www.airs.org . Also there is :Homes and services for the aging 1-202-783-2242/www.aahsa.org, Family Caregiver Alliance @ 1-800-445-8106/www.caregiver.org . There is a book for caregivers named: The 36-Hour Day for those who care for loved ones with dementia, alt., or memory loss. It's authored by Nancy L. Mace, M. A., and Peter V. Rabins, M.D., M.P.H. I hope this helps you and God Bless You. Meka/caregiver
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SIZ:

It's going to take a miracle. Until then, "care-front" her without coming across like a Marine Corps drill instructor. You say she's manipulative and gets around when no one is looking, so she's not completely helpless and the brain seems to be working adequately despite chronic ailments. In a nutshell, if decisions that fundamentally impact her life are to be made it's only fitting she be in on them -- and share some of the responsibility.

Consult with her doctors to see what kind of activities -- and chores -- she can take part in. Becoming useful again might get her out of the apparent helplessness so characteristic of people in denial.

Good luck my friend.

-- Ed
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It sounds to me that your mother needs the more restrictive environment of the nursing home. She is clearly hurting herself and that is more than you should be expected to take care of on your own. What she also needs is a different doctor, it sounds like. I understand you are in a rural setting but this isn't the Middle Ages. Are there any Naturopaths or Homeopaths in your county?
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I, too, have children who refuse to visit my ma. I think, and this is just my opinion, that he's already had enough of her negativity in his life. Why force him to endure more? It doesn't help your mother for him to go. He's angry with her, and, until he wants to put some closure on it, I think it's best to give him some time to focus on his own life.

As for my kids, I tell them it's all right to be angry, but then I reinforce that she's an old lady, scared of dying, and what she really deserves of them is compassion. However, I always validate their reasons for anger. I am Mom, and I will always kiss the boo-boos, no matter how old they get. lol A hug tends to go a long way, even with a boy who is too old to want his Ma hugging him. ;)

Now, for the leg thing. Yeah, my Ma has been falling a lot lately. She's been in and out of the ER, and I stopped going with her. I think she's doing some of this on purpose to get my attention. The NH should be calling you each time she has an issue like that, and especially if they send her to hosp. Heck, they call me if she sneezes, it seems like. lol but I'm glad they do. That way, I know when she's exaggerating the situation.

What I believe will happen with the AL place, is that, if her injury needs more care than they can give, she will remain in the NH until well enough. They won't refuse to take her unless she permanently needs more care than they can give, and then the best solution would be to leave her where she is, IMO. I don't know about it being that obvious that she needs to get out of the NH. I think she'd probably have the same injury issues no matter where she was, and right now, she's got the care she needs. The only thing I'd do is get after them to notify you immediately if she injures herself or needs to go to hosp.

When my Ma was first put permanently into the NH, I decided with her psychologist that I wouldn't go see her for a week or three. I took two weeks off from her, and that helped her to adjust to the NH better. It seems to me that your ma is adjusting now. If her spirits are a little better each day, that's a good sign. She'll backslide, of course, but it won't last as long each time.

As for the brother and his POA: if he doesn't respond, then you need to do it anyway. Does everything require his additional signature, or can it be either one? It just seems to me that you need to tell him what needs to be done for your ma, and, if he has any issues with how you're doing it, he needs to give you an alternative. And, if he's not willing to discuss this over the phone or in person, you just won't notify him of your decisions. Don't let him pull that passive-aggressive crap. It's childish. Be assertive, yourself, and tell him he either needs to help or get out of your way. If the trust you're setting up is from her money, then he needs to be told it's her money, not his, and it is to be used for her care. If you need to get a lawyer in order to get things done, get one for her, and let the lawyer deal with brother dear.

Just to let you know, my Ma has so far suffered a concussion, and a cracked tailbone from her falls. But, when I stopped getting hyper about it, meeting her at the hosp, etc, her falls have essentially stopped now. If she hurts herself now, I merely acknowledge it, and tell her to be more careful. Ask for help if she needs to, and move slower when she gets out of her chair. I do not baby her. She hates it, too. lol calls me insensitive. Yup. That's me, who spent hours crying over the phone at anyone who could help the situation when she was living alone. So insensitive and uncaring. ;)

Keep up the good fight. It's worth it for the peace of mind when things settle down.

Lisa
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thank you for all your responses. it's been crazy, to say the least. I've been scrambling between work and my son to get everything set up for the ASL, new oxygen provider etc. My brother is supposed to be contacting the accountant about a trust to pay the bills, but .......hasn't even tried to contact her. I mentioned a lawyer for elder care management to him (email of course, as you know he screens his calls) and he...did not like that idea, too expensive. So she is paid up at the nursing home until Oct. 31. I have everything ready, except his financial input. He is the other POA listed. Today I had an hour free time after work before heading to my sons football game, so I stopped by to see mom at the nursing home. She of course went thru all the normal, well if we could just find someone to do my pills, I could come home...explained calmly that she had run thru those options, on and on. I noticed that her leg wound that still hasn't healed from late August was wrapped all the way down to her foot. Long story short, she gave me a couple of stories on how it happened, but basically she fell on that same leg, sprained her ankle and has swollen nuckles. I took it for what it was (not good, I know). As I was driving to the FB game an hour away, I got a call from the head nurse at the nursing home who advised that the xrays had come back (from the ER visit mom didn't mention) and that mom had dislocated her ankle (no kidding, I looked it up and it is possible). She said that when she had talked to my mom she had given her the same stories but basically what the nursing staff from 2am yesterday said was there was baby powder all over the floor......that the nurse had almost slipped.....mom had been putting powder under her arms/areas that were irritated.....and nobody knows how it got all over the floor. When she explained it to me, she did mention the powder, and she wanted to unwrap the bandage....almost proud. Now she is going to need to go see another dr to have him examine the x-rays and see if she needs surgery/rehab/you name it. Same leg, the one that she always injures. She's in much better spirits though, compared to the day before and the day before that when I saw her on my lunch hour......?? My worries is that this is going to throw everything into a tailspin and fall apart. She needs to get out of that nursing home obviously, on the other hand I'm beginning to wonder if she needs 24 hour monitoring.....and I'm worried the ASL won't allow her to move there due to her newest injuries.....and once again it drives home the fact that she cannot come home and be alone all day. I told my son about it (with as little frustration in my voice as humanly possible) on the way home from the game - mainly because we were/are? going to go visit her this weekend.....his reply was, huh imagine that......he still hasn't visited her, and he's hardened to the situation, is it wrong if I don't try to "force" him to go see her? And I can't imagine why ...for the third time since she has been in there (and this time seriously) she has managed to injure that leg! I just don't think that I can make him go there....sorry, couldn't sleep, it's 3am, hope some of this makes sense...
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whew, what a situation! I feel for you. I had some issues with getting my mother placed that might help you figure out what to do. First, you have decided correctly. You do NOT 'owe' her anything. No one owes their parents for normal help, of which I believe college should be considered 'normal help'. Certainly, the government believes it is, or you wouldn't have to include your parents income on the applications for loans and grants. Seriously, your brother has his own issues, and it isn't up to you to make him feel good. If anything, isn't 13 years of giving everything you have to your mother payment enough? It is not worth the emotional health of your son to pay back a non-existent debt.

Second, use the facility where she is currently at to determine what level of care she'll be needing. They may have ideas as to which place is best for her situation. My mother was in need of simple assisted living; med care, help with housekeeping, etc, but there were no openings for those who are on medicaid, just for the self-pay. And Ma didn't want to give up her independence. I stood firm, said she was not going to live with me, that they had to think of her as living alone. It took a year to get docs to listen, and four or five visits to the hospital ER, only to have them send her back home alone with Home Health, even though she was clearly in a state of septic dementia. I had to fight with the docs just to convince them that I was not capable of helping her, having an invalid husband at home to care for. She did live alone, which is different from your situation, but I'll get to that point in a minute. Finally, she was placed in an NH after a hospitalization, mainly because I called 911 to have her admitted to the hospital, and started making noises about litigation if they sent her home in the same condition as last time.

The new doc (I fired the old one) found an abscessed tooth that was causing the sepsis, and that cleared up mostly. However, the NH said she did need some kind of assisted living. Once again, where to place her? No openings, etc. So, we worked on waiting it out while she remained in the NH.

It's been about two years now, and still there are no openings anywhere within a hundred mile radius, and I'm unwilling to go further to place her. So, she remains in the NH, which she alternately hates and loves. mostly hates. lol

So, my thought is that you might want to state in no uncertain terms that, if they release her from the NH that she will have to find alternate living arrangements, as you are not equipped to handle her medical needs anymore at home. She is, in essence, living by herself. You may feel this is abandonment, but, it is not. You are truly incapable of handling all the emotional and medical needs of your mother. Your son is at risk.

You may have to wait until there is sufficient space in an assisted living, or, as my mother has done, let her acclimate to the facility she's in now. She, of course, will hate it -- will call you names -- will push every guilt button you have, but this is because she is emotionally unstable herself. Borderline is a serious diagnosis.

I would also recommend counciling for both you and your son. If the first one doesn't help much, then find another one who does. I've gone through five in the last few years, and have finally found one I can respect, who respects me, and doesn't need to pull out a book on depression (which I already read) and quote at me. In fact, I have an appointment with her this afternoon, and am looking forward to it.

now, to let you know, my ma is not exactly easy to get along with. she has no friends because she feels more intelligent than everyone else, and the few friends she had she drove away with sarcastic comments. my own children will not have much to do with her, unless I rope them into going with me to the NH for the monthly karaoke. I visit her once a week, mostly, although I missed last week due to illness of my own, and, of course, she thinks I got sick just so I didn't have to go see her. guilt buttons don't work on me much anymore, but I still do get a little twinge over missing a visit I'd agreed to make.

So, I suppose I just want to encourage you to stand firm, and do not take her back into the home. Your only true responsibility toward her is to see that she is placed in a safe environment, and it does not have to be your own home. You are not a 'bad daughter'. You are a good daughter who has given her mother 13 years of non-stop help, 24-7.

Good luck, and my prayers are with you.
Lisa
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I've always taken care of her, she's been sick all my life. She had a tumor removed from her stomach when I was 3, went into remission, cancer again - luckily her Dr.'s always caught it in time. She's had 6 surgeries on her knee, the dr. butchered it, has no knee cap and her leg hyper extends, the dr's said she was too young for a knee replacement (mid to late 20's) that they don't last (or at that time they wouldn't last long enough and she would probably have to have it replaced couple of times, no dr. would touch that. I remember missing school to go to chemo appt's with her to make sure she didn't crash, at that time her dr. gave her a standing order for morphine shots at the clinic, I was probably 8. My dad, I'm not sure why he stuck around, probably for us kids - their marriage was unusual, dad slept on the couch. I had my son when I was 18 (senior year, he was at my graduation - his father abandoned us - good thing, turned out to be a drug addict. My mom was in relatively good health at this point (considering) and my parents agreed to watch my baby as long as I went to college, etc. When he was 18 months old mom had her first heart attack, managed to get someone to the house to watch my son, then called the ambulance. I quit school to care for my son and her. My family has always said "we take care of our own" period. Pounded into my head. My dad absolutely bonded and adored my son, they were inseparable, he even started working closer to home to be there as much as possible for him - he was a huge influence and one of the only male figure my son had. Then she broke her back, had a lateral/bi-lateral disc fusion...(these were a couple years apart, I worked, but didn't go back to school) she was of course on bed rest....I did heprin shots to her stomach, emptied her bucket from her medical toilet that was in her room (can't remember what it's called right now)...at one point I did pic line injections of (can't remember what), flushed the line, etc. On, and on. My brother just kept telling me that I had gotten myself into that situation, that I chose to accept their help (when went to college) and I although I can't remember his words basically it was, tough noogies, you owe her. BPD, never crossed my mind. I knew she was demanding, manipulative, she often said if you ever put me in a nursing home I'll die. I've never known any different, neither has my son I'm sad to say. I did get him into therapy after he saw my father pass from anaphylaxis due to bee sting last August. He did three sessions and said he was done with that - offer has always been there for him - he found a mentor in one of his teachers (good male figure) that has become his therapist also.....things that he doesn't feel comfortable talking to me about, and I am very grateful to that man because he has made a huge difference, I was relieved that my son had found someone he was comfortable talking to - they spend a lot of the school day taking care of the network/computers as my son has taken every college course they offer. He is beyond extremely intelligent, and has sooo much potential, and a bright future - he is my pride and joy! Someday, when he is ready, I am betting that he will try therapy again, I hope.....what he went thru I can't imagine, I know how hard it was when I saw them bring my dad into the ER that day....I thought he would be complaining about the bill for the ambulance, but he was...gone, purple, swollen. My son won't talk about that day. I have nightmares, tried therapy also, but didn't care for it. My brother and I sheltered mom from all the details, I identied him at the morgue, took care of the cremation, my brother helped with paperwork. Point is, yes, my son has been thru and seen way too much in 16 years. Things changed after that of course. My son and I started to become less and less tolerant of moms demands. If I was not home from work by 6 she was calling me to find out why so that she could get her meds. Constantly yelling for us to get her a snack, juice, ice although she was capable of doing it herself. We put up with it for a while, I suppose because I felt that she was grieving, my son out of duty and my constant reminders to respect his elders. But her constant hitting herself, including with soup cans....my son picked one up and found blood on the rim.....the home health care nurse sitting me down and giving me a reality check on the fact that our home life was not normal ( I have never known anything different, so I guess I was in denial about the effect on my son, I don't know - will have to live with that for rest of my life) and that since mom was accusing people of hitting her causing the wound not to heal, on waaayyy heavy narcotics and lying that she couldn't do it anymore. I hated to see her go, great lady, but understood completely. A few days later mom went to a dr appt (my aunt drove her, the only one that has helped) and they admitted her for an infection in the wound. I saw my chance and took it. And here we are. My son hasn't called her/won't, I told him we were going to go visit her together this weekend, he isn't looking forward to that.....he flat told me he doesn't want her to come home. So, I'm not sure he feels abandoned. He has had enough and that is that, he loves his grandma, he just knows that we can't take care of her. And he won't let her manipulate him, he will just walk away. I tried to shield him from the programming that I experienced. Yes, he will definitely need therapy......I didn't mean for him to grow up in such a dysfunctional home, everything just snow balled and once that happens when your care giving it's hard to get out, as I'm sure you all know. I am going to check out those books, lawyers, etc. Thanks and have a great day everyone
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siz9caz, I gather that you have been taking care of your sick mom in your house for the last 13 years. I am glad that she is not in your house anymore and should not return there. You have gone beyond the call of duty in taking care of someone with so many mental and physical disorders, the worst of which I would consider the borderline personality disorder.

I feel very sorry for your son having to have his grandmother with borderline personality disorder living in your house since he was three. Seriously, he might need a therapist himself after that ordeal. Poor dude, he probably feels like he's been abandoned. I also feel sorry for your being trapped by her and it sounds like she made you the chosen one with fear, obligation and guilt which blinded you for a while. People who live in close proximity with someone who has BPD very often catch BPD fleas and thus need therapy to set them free.

How in the world have you survived a borderline mother living in your house for 13 years? How did your dad manage to stay married to her for most people with BPD have unstable marriages that don't last or have a slave for a spouse? Have you read understanding the borderline mother or surviving the borderline mother or stop walking on eggshells? Those a three great books for anyone with a mother who has BPD (borderline personality disorder).

Frankly, I can understand why your brother does not want to deal with her, but still he should help you deal with her. Mental health professionals do not like dealing with persons who have borderline personality disorder either. Borderlines need although they don't like restrictive boundaries for they own safety and the well being of others. So, I think the nursing home is a good idea. She might however at some point need the extreme care of a psychiatric hospital.

I wish you well as you get your life back and your son's life back as well as your relationship with him back.
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siz9caz: You go girl! This is hard, hard, hard, but you are doing great! Hang tough.

You may not be able to force your mother into an ALF, but you can refuse to let her live with you. Then what is she going to do? With all of her impairments you may be able to invoke the POA and require the move. You do need a lawyer, and that is a legitimate use of your mother's money.

Thanks for keeping us updated.
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siz9caz....thoughts and prayers with ya; know what your'e going through. My daughter just graduated college, so please be sure to spend time with your son, and make sure he understands the situation and be at his games when you can. My mom will push my buttons as she has always done in the past.... I find myself getting defensive, then I remember my brother explaining narscissim, etc... and it's all about attention, me, me, me.... my dad passed away in Aug. 2010 (God rest his soul, that man was a saint to live with her so long, sad to say), but I have seen her dementia symptoms appear in 2007. Facing the same thing you are about placement, but there are no clear-cut answers unless they really cannot take care of themselves anymore. She gets Meals on Wheels, can make sandwiches, does dishes; but I do everything else... bills, personal hygiene, laundry, housekeeping. Took the car off her long before the doc made that official. Tried to get her to adult day care and/or senior citizens activity center, but she refuses. Lost my job shortly after my dad passed, and been taking care of her ever since, and looking for something at least part time.... just hang in there..... tomorrow's a new day!
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You all have wonderful ideas, and I am putting them to use. After the psychiatrist on Monday (who was of no assistance - due to the fact that she is not an imminent danger to herself, he would not write any orders). We argued most of the way - up and back, approximately200 miles round trip. She worked on me half way up about coming home, which I tried to tell her that there is no home health care agency that will touch her with her medical/psych issues and the extreme amount of meds shes on, she shouldn't/can't be home alone for 9-10 hours a day 5 days a week with me being 35 miles away working, that the constant bickering, leading to yelling was not healthy on any of us, etc. She quit..until we were done at the appt and headed back to the nursing home. Needless to say, I was so emotionally drained I dropped her off, made sure she was comfortable and haulted tail out of that place. I decided that as late as it is getting in the month I had better check out some of the ASL's in our area - at the expense of one of my son's JV games, he understood, but I felt horrible/sad for missing it, but I have to get this done. The next day on my lunch hour I went to an ASL which was the best one I found, etc...I stopped by the nursing home and tried to delicately approach the subject that I had found an ASL she would love....she said that I had broke her heart and was abandoning her, I left in tears and went back to work. I called her later that night and she was just gloriously happy and acted as if the conversation had never taken place...not unusual, and frustrates me, which she is well aware of, I let it go. I told my son (16 ;) after dinner that night, told him that I had found a great prospect, had talked to the administrator, had all of the information and we were making progress, he looked at me and said....mom, I don't want to hear about it until it's absolutely certain, I don't want to be upset if something goes wrong and it always does. I was speechless. He's right, seems like something always comes up at the last minute....a home health care nurse will magically appear, the ASL will find something wrong when the evaluate her......reality check. Not the greatest response, but honest, and I shouldn't have said anything without knowing for absolute certain that this will work. I did manage to contact my brother, who of course wanted all paperwork faxed to him...specifically the resident financial preliminary worksheet (nope didn't sign anything, just had a dollar amount figured up) - sent the info, advised him to contact the accountant and the ASL administrator for follow up questions...not a word since. I also advised him (thanks to all of you) that we should contact a lawyer and also set it up so that someone else handles the financial aspects....a care manager. Her nursing home stay is up on the 31st, I told him that since he wants to know all aspects (whether he responds or not) of the finances, that he needed to get me an answer before the end of the week, because I wouldn't be bringing her home....I spoke to her primary physician or rather his assistant that I always deal with (nice woman) asked her for some direction/if the dr. would write an order to have her go to an ASL in case she refused.....no on all counts. He could advise her that it would be best, but that was all, and options would have to be discussed with her. I hate to sound paranoid, but I feel like...everyone wants me to just go away and take care of it. I got angry, decided that if I didn't hear from my brother by the end of the week, that I was contacting an attorney and he could deal with it (seems like he hates to spend money (what little there is) that he might inherit.....too bad, it's her money, not his. Sorry, feel bad for bashing him, he can't defend himself, frustration is ugly I guess. I called mom today rather than visit her, had a bad morning at work and didn't want to go in there with that attitude. First thing mom asked over the phone was - do you still have my dog? Told her, of course we did. She asked what sneaky plans I had to keep her away from home. Told her we have gone over this, it's just came to that time that you need more care than I can give. Her reply - you don't love me and neither does your brother, both of you want to get rid of me......I didn't answer that one. I told her I would take her for a tour of the ASL this weekend, she asked if her bratty grandson who has not called her (this conversation illustrates why) was going to come and visit her. Told her that he would come on the tour with us, that she had crossed the line calling him a brat, that he has been busy and that I know she is frustrated with going to an ASL, but lashing out at my son was not acceptable. If she wants to lash out at me...I can handle it, but take it out on me not my son. She then started to sniffle and said she hadn't decided whether she was going to an ASL or not, that we can't make her and she's coming home. I told her the same thing I have said so many times, you need to look deep inside, realize this is what is best for you and your health, and the family (mainly my son, but that doesn't hit a cord with her). On, and on, I'm sure you can all imagine. I know her fake cry. Then perfectly normal voice two seconds later. I explained that I could not talk to her while she was trying to be manipulative and that I would call tomorrow. I cried, felt guilty, I'm still convinced that this is the absolute right thing to do...but, she's my mom, she knows how to get to me, and she made me feel like I was abandoning her. I have Durable POA along with my brother, but I don't think that's enough to move her to the ASL unwillingly. I'm going to have to call an Elder Law Attorney....between my brother and my mom....this could get ugly. I would ideally like to avoid signing a contract with the ASL, in my moms state it's hard to say how she might act out....but my brother won't come back home to help, and probably doesn't want to sign anything either. Can you refuse to sign a financial contract with the ASL? Will they refuse her? I wonder if she can sign for herself, seriously doubtful......and if worse comes to worse could I just refuse to pick her up from the nursing home? Someone mentioned that might be considered abandonment. Yep, I need a lawyer....would an Elder Law Attorney cover all the bases? What if she refuses, absolutely refuses....
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I also was able to get a Durable Power of Attorney and an Advanced Medical Directive (or a Do Not Resusitate) prepared for my mom through LegalZoom.com. Very affordable and the Elder Law Attorney I hired for the Medicaid application said they were very well done.
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sz9 - Don't let yourself feel guilty, you've done your share and more. Totally agree that you & your son need to come first. He's what... 17? That's not too much more time that he'll be home so take the time to spend it with him, be involved with his life. As others have said, please keep mom in whatever facility she in in now, the hard part is that she is young for Medicare, so you and admissions need to be creative. Medicaid will be your route to go and each state is slightly different in how it's run.

Yes I'll agree that you probably want to seek legal advise, for you with your mom's age it's not so much elder care but more for an attorney who is familiar with guardianship or conservatorship in your state.

If push comes to shove and you seem not to be getting anywhere in finding, qualifying for funds for her care and she really doesn't have assets and you simply can't do more, you just can't sign financially for her care then she could become a "ward of the state". It's not that uncommon for those with significant mental illness that are young to become a ward of the state as it can just be too overwhelming for the family. This is a big deal legally with a court hearing with medical & family input but sometimes that's what needed in order for them to get the care they need. You will still be involved with her life but the responsibility for her care and paying for it become the state's. Good luck and enjoy those fall school football nights!
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she (mother) is in an assisted living/ Nursing Home RIGHT? that's where I would keep it at. good luck, keep in touch.
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Scrape together whatever you can and consult a Medicaid attorney. That is the only way to get a relatively quick response and also will help you shelter any income/assets you don't want them to seize. This worked for me. Also consider hospice. I believe the patient has to have six months or less but if they survive they can be put back on hospice later. It is covered 100% by Medicare and Medicaid. My mom was on hospice while in a nursing home and we got incredible care and support. Heart To Heart was the one we used and I cannot recommend them enough. Good luck and remember to take care of yourself.
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Wow! You've done a wonderful thing. Your Mom may or may not know it, but the love you have for your family is evident. And importantly, you made difficult choices at this time in your Son's life. He will be impacted with the importance of family and care forever. Well done! :)
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I appreciate all of the support. My son and I were actually able to go to dinner last night out of town (he said he wanted to treat me and that if we couldn't take a vacation yet, then at least we could go out to dinner now)! I have to tell you Pizza Hut (not my fav) never tasted so good ;) These are the moments that I realize I have missed and more importantly that he has desperately longed for....as a teenager he could have spent time with his friends, but wanted to spend that quality time with his mom ;) I received a phone call last night from a nurse at the nursing home that mom had bumped her wound/skin graft sight again. Second time in a week. Mom told the nurse that when she was "sliding" out of bed to go to the restroom, she hit it on a metal piece on the bed (wound/skin graft sight is on her calf). She immediately went into the restroom rather than call for a nurse and stuffed toilet paper down inside the bandage (medical tape on all four sides) that has been on there since she was released from the hospital well over a month ago. The nurse had a terrible time describing what it looked like....said it almost looked like an indentation and that the toilet paper had made it irritated and it was bleeding. They finally put a soft cast/brace (haven't seen it yet) around her calf to protect her leg.....something I have been asking for for a long time, which would make it a lot harder for her to justify any injuries if they did occur. I wasn't angry at mom for the first time, normally I would have called and confronted her about it, called her out on two accidents in such a short period, but all I felt was a numbing resignation that, yep it happens, advising the nurse that putting that protection around her leg was the best solution, and that I appreciated it. I'm taking her to get her haircut this morning and then to the psychiatrist, an hour and a half drive one way.......I am going to talk to her about assisted living, and I am going to talk to the psychiatrist, and see what his recommendations are. I emailed my brother a list of things that need to be done/checked into on Saturday, since he won't take my calls at this point, and let hime know that we needed to split the responsibility and what I felt he could take care of over the phone or internet from where he is at. I haven't heard back from him....but with reassurance that I have received from all of you, I'm not going to let him off the hook. I will keep you updated, I thank you for your ideas and support and I will definitely google elder care management ;) Have a great day everyone.
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First, I would like to express my admiration for all that you are doing for your family. I can share your joy at being able to spend time with your child. I hope you are finding other small moments for yourself. I know family members who live far away think they know what is really happening, but they don't if they don't live it. You have tough decisions to make, but I can honestly say that your mother appears to need a supervised care situation. Your son deserves to be your priority at this time, and your mother needs medical care you cannot provide. If someone in your family thinks differently, they need to provide the in-home care.Dealing with one or two health issues is one thing, but the dedication required to take care of someone as ill as your mother is overwhelming. If you feel guilty, remember that your mother needs medical care beyond what you can provide. Best wishes and please stay in touch. We are here for you.
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hello again, if she will be enrolled into medicare when her cobra runs out then don't worry about medicaid. Once you have the Psychiatrist helping you with the recommendations he/she should know of some facilities and help with that. If that doesn't work there are private agency's who provide help with elder care management. I would google your zip code and elder care management to see if there are any available to you. If I were you I would also talk to the doctor treating here where she is and tell him that there is no way you can bring her home with you and personally give her the care she needs.. once they know this you should see them act to help you help her. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Keep us posted. XXOO
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You both provided me with more support than my entire family have and are absolutely correct, I appreciate that. My brother is 500 miles away and screens my phone calls, just doesn't want to deal with it, refuses. One of her siblings helps out with transportation to one of her Dr's so that I can keep some sick/vaca time at work (yep have FML) but I dream of my son and I taking a vacation some day so I am trying to build it up. I've taken care of her for 13 years since her massive heart attack. My son absolutely comes first, and I didn't realize that....he wasn't until he told me that if grandma stayed, although he loved her, he was going to start sleeping in the library at the high school. At one point he said he wanted to run away. I realized that our situation was ...unhealthy to say the least and I had to act fast. It took two weeks after she was discharged with that infection in her wound to get her into the nursing home, psych evals, social worker evals, it was a fight....I taped ever wound bandage I did. Since she has been in, my sons friends have started to come over, one stated that she "kind of scared him" and I have been able to attend all of my sons football games for the first time .....because I don't have to rush home from work (35 miles) to give medication and dinner to mom. I can head 35 miles the other direction, get home at 10 pm and have my son happy and eating french fries sitting in the passenger seat next to me after winning a game. He is much happier, we are spending a lot more time together, and there is a whole different feeling/vibe in our home. I love my mother, but I love my son more. I know there will be responses to that, so be it....if they don't understand, that's their issue. My father passed away unexpectedly a year ago, he was only home on the weekends, but he was a huge source of support when he was home. She received some money from an IRA and gets a widowers annuity due to her disability.....one thing that my brother and I do agree on is that the spend down of the IRA has begun....but it won't last maybe 10 months at the avg facility and less than that where she is now. Her Cobra will be up in 24-36 months and the RRB is automatically enrolling her in Medicare in August 2012. I haven't had time to research medicaid, I know that after the spend down she would qualify, should....no assets, they have always lived in my home since dad traveled. Wow, I never realized how much I was bottling up. It's hard to get all of this done on your lunch hour....trying to figure out what kind of facility that would be best for her in our area...trying to work with the insurance company to exhaust all home options to alleviate that guilt....getting the run around from a social worker....and here I am rambling, it's dinner time, time for my boy :) time to stop worrying about mom for a while and relax with the big guy....have you ever heard of a lawyer or advocate that will take care of all these details? I'm exhausted...
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One option would be to go see her Psychiatrist and tell him this whole situation, what your circumstances are, that your son is 16 and you are a single parent. Tell him you need him to help you find some kind of living arrangements. It's obvious to me from what you've told us that your Mother does have psychological issues in addition to her health issues and needs care. This situation requires that she get the proper help and certainly isn't the type of environment you want to raise your 16 yr. old son in. I'm not saying just dump your Mom off in a psyche ward and forget about her but rather if this is what she needs have the doctor help you with setting it up, then go visit her and oversee her outside care with love. You owe it to your son to be there for him first right now to help him transition from a teenager to a man. If he is neglected at the expense of your Mom it could create an environment for him to become very unstable. Good luck to you.
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She needs to be in some sort of supervised setting with nursing skills. You have to select from what is available to you. She is in one now, as her wound is being treated. See how that goes. That may be your long-term answer.

Do what you need to do. Disregard family expectations. Your mother is very sick. That is not your fault. There are limited choices of care for her in your immediate area. That is not your fault. You cannot meet her extensive needs and also take care of your son and yourself. That is not your fault. You have tried repeatedly to bring the care your mother needs and home care agencies cannot handle it. That is not your fault. Your home is not a supervised setting with nursing skills, in spite of your efforts to make it such.

Sounds to me like she should stay where she is. If she improves in that setting, and other options become available in your area, such as an elder foster home, consider a change at that time. If nothing improves, she is in a safe setting.

You will probably get answers that say you have a duty to care for her, she cared for you, she's the only mother you have, etc. I agree. You need to take responsibility for her care, which you are doing. She deserves your help, which you are giving her. But her specific medical/psychiatric needs are beyond your personal ability to provide for, so you need to see to it that they are met in a professional setting.

You will not be abandoning her. Visit frequently. Try to encourage those family members who have certain expectations for her to visit, too. Become her advocate and make sure she is getting the best care available. That is not a minor task, but it is one you can learn to do well.
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siz9caz, your situation with your Mother has got to change. Can you get her on Medicaid and into a NH? She is way to much for any one person to handle and you have a son that needs you mostly now at the age he is. I would call the Social Worker up again and tell her you want to apply for Medicaid and NH for your mother and then I would call my other siblings and tell them you will be bringing your Mother to them that it is their turn. I wouldn't give them a way out. (Assuming that they are close enough for you to do this) I would just pack up her bag and take her over to one with all the information and lists of what she needs, then tell them after the same amount of time that you've had her it's their turn. Don't allow them to say no. If they do, show up anyway. (unless you think they will abuse or neglect your Mom). It's kind of hard to give you clear cut advise without knowing the whole situation.

You love your Mom and can see that her needs are met in other ways. You do have options and most importantly you will never again have your son at age 16 where you can make a great impact on his change into manhood.
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