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10 years ago, after a stroke, my mother came to live with my husband and I. At the time she could walk with a cane, go up and down stairs on her own and bathe herself. She's now 88 and is only able to walk (with a walker) to and from the bathroom. Unless she has an "accident" it's the only thing she does unassisted. I do have a few hours of help each week through medical. I am so burned out I don't know where to turn. I cry a lot, I feel guilty about everything. At this point it's taken a huge toll on my marriage and my mental health. I was a full time college student and now I'm down to one class per semester. We recently took her to her primary care physician hoping he would help us explain to her that it was time for a care facility. I think he didn't want to be the bad guy, he was very vague, and mom's reply was "that is the last place I would want to go". How do I explain to her that I'm done, I can't do this anymore, that my marriage is suffering, I'm suffering. I honestly believe she would be happier and certainly better cared for in the facility. But she harbors a fear of nursing homes. How do I explain to my mother what caregiver burn out is? How do I tell her it's time? I see all kinds of information on the web about caregiver burnout, list, tips, symptoms... but nothing on how to tell your loved one that you personally are burned out. Sometimes I fear I will never be the person I used to be, that I will never recover from this.

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"Mom, I cant9do this anymore. You need ,ore, and betterr care than we can give you at home. We're going to have a social worker come to the house and assess what your needs are. Then, we're going to make a plan for your care.".

You can't do this by yourself. Ypu need to get yourself, asap to YOUR doctor for an evaluation of your physical and mental health.
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DoveSoup, I was going to suggest what Veronica suggested. Book a 2-week vacation and tell mom she's got to go on her own vacation while you're on yours. Of course, you'll have visited a couple of places and picked the one that is most suited to her. Let her have her own "vacation" (and maybe book some kind of special treat(s) for her there while you're gone like a visit to the salon if they have one) and then when you come home, you have the conversation that you realized you just can't do it anymore.

I told my parents the stress was killing me when they lived 3 hours away from me. I wanted them to move nearer to me and they did. Fourteen years later, my mom is still here, but she lives 1 mile away in independent living. You HAVE to take care of yourself! Your life and mental health are just as important as mom's. If your mom is starting with some dementia and cognitive decline (and it sounds like she is), she may not be capable of making any kind of logical decision or understanding what you need. My mom at 96 has lost her ability to do any kind of problem-solving. So I have to be the adult and make the decisions that are in her best interest because she simply can't at this point in her life. You're in the same spot.

It's tough being the adult, but you need to do that for all of your sakes.
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Thanks to the support from all of you a did have a conversation with mom. It was a rocky start, mostly because I really wasn't sure how to open rhe conversation. But after we got to talking it went well and she was totally understanding and willing to give it a shot.
The following day I asked her how she felt about our conversation and to my great surprise she said she felt a little relieved.
I'm searching for a geriatrician and care facilities near by. So we are moving forward.
Thank you
Dove
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Hard as it may be you just have to "do it" Oan you arrange for her to go somewhere suitable for a couple of weeks respite while you and hubby take a vacation or what ever you fancy course she will not want to move into any kind of facility. Can you send her to a suitable facility for a couple of weeks to give you and hubby the chance for a vacation or whatever is most important for you.
Maybe she would agree to go if she knew you were remodeling her bedroom or bathroom or something similar. After so many years I am sure her bedroom needs painting or the carpet changed. You will think of something.
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DoveSoup, the age group that your Mom is in, it is not uncommon for them to remember the nursing homes of very long ago.... those homes were asylums where everyone was put together. Not a cheery place. Thus the fear of your Mom wanting to go into one of "those places".

I don't know if your Mom would be willing to visit an assisted living facility or a nursing home, have lunch there, and see that the places are usually very pleasant, and the people are well cared for. My parents, mainly my Mom, had refused to even preview any place.

Ah yes, caregiver burnout... I had crashed and burned... mainly because my parents still viewed me as their "child", not someone who was ALSO a senior citizen with my own age decline issues. Even waving my Medicare card and AARP membership card didn't sink in with them :P

Any chance of bringing in a paid caregiver? You could tell Mom that the caregiver is there to help you, yourself, because you can't do everything because of your own age. You are becoming exhausted and it is making you sick. Usually Moms don't want their children to be sick. It might be worth a try.
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Did her doctor understand your predicament? Is the doctor new? It would seem to me that a doctor would be on board with encouraging a senior to get to a place where they needs can be better handled. My cousin's doctor was very helpful and told my cousin that AL is where she needed to be. Of course, her case was a little different in that she had dementia and lived alone. Still, you need some backup.

Are there any other family members or friends who can lend you support? Do you know of any seniors who live in Assisted Living that you and mom can go visit? That might be a good way to get her foot in the door for a visit and to see what kind of activities they have going on. It can be quite social if your mom likes that kind of thing. Plus, more friends there in her age group.

Has she bee assessed to see what type of facility she needs? Nursing home or Assisted Living?

You might locate the place you are interested in and find out if they have an entertainment night with some singers. Arrange with the facility to show up with your mom to have dinner and enjoy the singing. Then tell mom that a friend from school has a gig that he has invited you to attend. A little fib, but for a great purpose.

OR you could just tell her the truth, say it's for everyone's good and that you want her input in selecting a place where she can be happy. AND that you'll be able to visit her and give her so much more with your time and energy with her living in AL.

Sometimes we make thing worse in our head than it turns out to be. Just having the conversation may bring you more peace.
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I really appreciate your question. I too am going through that phase right now with both my mom and dad. I have been helping my dad make the right decision regarding my mom and right now the right decision is to put both her and my dad into an assisted living facility. So, we have been telling my mom that she will be going to a wonderful place where meals are provided, she will have her own kitchen, there is a sun room, and all sorts of activities and therapists to help with her therapy. I wish you the best.
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DoveSoup, look up the term " sundowning". Folks with dementia often have periods of delusional and agitated behavior late in the afternoon/evening. Is she on any psychiatric meds?
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I was wondering the same thing only my mom is on a ventilator at night only and I am the only child. I have to work and cannot care for her by myself and besides would be too nervous to. Unfortunately social worker is pressuring me to choose a facility and as my mother is completely in her right mind due to having cardiac arrest and then having this outcome, she is saying she does not want to go to one. I am scared for her and for me. I am past burnout as I am dealing with a callous less than understanding job. I turn 40 in less than a month and am single with no children or friends to lean on.
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anonymous67, this is an odd situation medically. most facilities will not LET you take someone home on a vent without nursing support and without being fully trained in care so mom not wanting to go to a facility may be moot. Go to each facility the SW suggests can meet her care needs and bring Mom back pictures and impressions of each one. You might imply it might be a temporary necessity until you have had a chance or a longer time to learn care.

That said, a lot of people do learn ventilator care by either trach or non-invasive means and manage it at home; especially with someone cognitively OK and not posing extrem demands or behavioral challenges, if they can line you up some respite (can she be by herself at home while you work, BTW?) maybe you can bring her home. The key is to be realistic, not just fearful - and to insist the SW helps you think realistically about what is possible. If you have told her there is no way you can help Mom with the night time vent, and have not had the nurses try to teach you any of it, that's why she is telling you to pick a facility. They do not want to - and should not - keep her in an acute care hospital long term.
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