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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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