I hesitated to pose this question, but after clicking through the forum I feel there must be a few caregivers out there going through similar circumstances. My 85 yo mother has been an unhappy person as long as I can remember. She's never done any of the work necessary to discover the value of self worth and self love, and has blamed other people for her unhappiness her whole life. As a martyr personality, she has chosen to be miserable in her emotions of grief, disappointment, and loneliness.
Over the years me and my brother and sister have consistently suggested counseling/therapy, but she has always claimed no one can help her, that "God is punishing her" in some way for her horrible life. She has consistently chosen blame, shame, manipulation, passive aggressiveness, and martyrdom. Besides severe depression, we actually suspected bipolar or some other condition. She would simply forget anything she said or did that was emotionally charged. As children we were emotionally and sometimes physically abused and gaslighted. I've actually healed all that...am not emotionally attached to my mother, and have been willing to intensively help my mom the last year since she was diagnosed with Alzheimers and vascular dementia. My sister helps as well. We simply don't want to see an old lady suffering.
Aside from her mental/emotional state, she has been fairly strong and healthy. As sometimes happens with dementia, she doesn't eat well or get the exercise she used to, and I expect her to decline physically as a result. Being her caregiver is challenging and can be highly frustrating if I let it... she lives alone still but we don't let her drive. (The battery died and she can't do anything about it.) Over the last several years she has become a recluse, with social anxiety and a fear of strangers. She doesn't want to go anywhere, yet complains constantly that she is stuck in her house. Not driving has been absolutely devastating for her, and it doesn't matter that we've been more than accommodating by offering to provide her rides. She's afraid to spend any money. Basically, she's mired in poverty consciousness, fear, and intense sadness that isolation brings. On top of that, we have the dementia which has skyrocketed her anxiety and she's often psychotic and paranoid. Luckily I was able to get her to a geriatric psychiatrist who could prescribe meds to take the edge off of that, so the fear factor isn't so intense. Because she's physically able to get around ok, she thinks she is fine and can take care of herself, and doesn't need any help. She can still take care of basic stuff, but I suspect bowel incontinence from time to time. Her house is a mess and she refuses help cleaning. She refuses any strangers in her house, making it impossible for us to hire outside help to check on her and give her meds or a warm meal. (Only microwave oven is operable.)
She has needed to be moved to AL for several months now, but we are somewhat concerned because she doesn't have much more than a few years resources to pay for that. My sister and I considered for a while that she might do better in AL, but, and now leading to my question. I'm convinced she will not engage. It will be a nightmare to move her. But she already hates us. Still... I have to consider..are we prolonging her misery by over-caring for her? Aside from an occasional good day maybe once every couple months, she's miserable and talks about just wanting to die and killing herself. She's outlived any friends and relatives besides us, and she wants to die. She tells us everyday. Even when she was in her right mind she refused to seek help or improve her outlook (never been one for change or proactive behaviors.)We brought in a therapist who works with dementia patients and even she couldn't help. She actually had never seen someone so miserable and abusive and unwilling to seek any joy at all. Her spirit is broken, her will is gone, and yet her body hangs on.
Anyone have any thoughts?