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As some of you know, my mom went home from a SNF last week. She has 24/7 care. She begged to go home from the SNF and now she is begging me to let her live alone in her home (as she did for 35 years prior to her stroke). She calls me constantly to tell me she absolutely does not want a caregiver there anymore. It's not because of the caregivers' personalities or anything, she just doesn't believe she needs full time care. There is no point in reasoning with her and pointing out that she is in a wheelchair, can't walk or transfer, can't use her left hand. She simply says she can take care of herself. I block her number for most of the day to avoid the repeated calls, which of course makes me feel guilty. I see a therapist, I'm on an antidepressant, which was working well before this whole stroke episode. I don't know what to do. There is no way to answer her or reason with her on this topic. And of course it's heartbreaking. I know there's no answer, but I have been sobbing all day. I can't handle this.

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When you were asking for advice about your mother returning home I told you she was likely indulging on magical thinking, somehow when she got home everything would be as it used to be and she would have her old life back. Well her tired old body came home and her disabilities were not shed at the nursing home door and she is unhappy with that reality, and who can blame her? You have gone above and beyond in trying to accommodate her desires and she won't be whole again this side of heaven. Life sucks like that sometimes.
For your own sake back away and let her caregivers handle things. ((hugs))
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Xinabess, Captain can tell you all about how to agree with crazy, so as to give you a quieter life and your mother peace of mind.

Rustle up some political skills here. When your mother says she can live alone, agree with her! "Of course you can, mother, *I* know that!" Then explain that:

the caregivers' contract is paid up until the end of the week/month/year/decade so they're making themselves useful in the house; or
the caregivers were a condition of her discharge from rehab, and there's just no getting round those rules; or
you've consulted her GP about letting the caregivers go, and he insists that they be retained for the duration of her convalescence; or
you have taken her concerns on board, and the situation is under review...

But above all, for yourself, stop trying to make her face unpalatable facts. You are dealing with reality so that she doesn't have to, and that is a great thing you are doing for her.
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Xina, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this turn of events. It's so very painful. I know Been there.

Think of when your kids were 2 or 3. Yes, we explained things to our kids. But we did not expect them to reason with an adult mindset. There were times when you said " it's cold out there. The temperture says you have to wear a coat".

" Sorry mom. The doctors say you have to have someone there 24/7. It's a legal thing. I can't do anything about it".

You hang up. You don't take any more calls that day.

You get her to a neuropsych/neurology team to have her cognitive skills assessed. Antidepressant/antianxiety meds may help.

Crying is de rigeur. I do it almost every time i come home from the nursing home.
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xina- One of the worst times during the "old age suck" journey with my mother was the period from when she had The Big Fall in IL through having to place her in a nursing home. We tried a stop in AL along the way but she fell twice in her first ten days and I was told she couldn't stay. Mom was wheelchair bound, fell about once a week and couldn't change her own soiled Depends without covering the bathroom and herself, head to toe in poo. Yet - she was calling me several times a day insisting she could live by herself in a regular apartment- she was adamant about it. It didn't matter what I said, how I tried to reason with her - it did absolutely no good. My mother became rather mean and nasty about it and I guess that made it easier for me than if she had be pitiful. Eventually I was able to get her into see a geriatric psychiatrist, using a therapeutic fib. The psy changed up most of her medications, added some new "mood enhancer", as I call them - and after a month or so my mom was mentally better than she had been in years. Soon even mom was admitting she was where she needed to be. It's tough, tough, tough - and I don't know about you - but I was so unprepared for this side trip off the map of my life - I just never expected any of it, didn't see it coming - at least not to the degree it had become. You just do the best you can, what you know to be right and fair - learn to set boundaries and don't forget to look after yourself.
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xinabess, let common sense rule. It is perfectly natural for patients to beg to go home and then they are not happy when they get there. Then they focus their complaints on the person closest to them. That does not make you guilty. Sure you regret her decline, but do not accept the guilt. You are doing more than most kids would. You deserve a medal for it.
Medicate her agitation with an Rx from the MD. Firmly but kindly tell her NO about being alone. Keep her number blocked, accept only calls from the caregivers phones. Call her once a day and keep it cheery; as soon as she goes negative, end the call. Your health comes first, remember that.
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On Xina, you really have your hands full. So many elders still believe in their mind that they can live at home like they did decades ago, my own parents were like that. My Mom also refused caregivers.... even though my Dad felt we did need them.

Do you think her memory was affected from the stroke? Sounds like it was if she keeps calling you repeating, and thinks she can take care of herself. If that is the case, like you said there is no way you can convince her. I would just say to her "maybe tomorrow, Mom".

Seeing a therapist is good, I also go to one. And am on meds to calm me down which I should have done 7 years ago as one's body can only take so much. I spent many a night lying wide awake the whole night because my mind was running in circles. I was just not caregiver material except for the logistical side of caregiving.
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Perfect timing! I am dealing with this right now. Mom cannot walk but says she can, just not with me "nagging" her. I try all the diversions but she just goes on and on until I blow up, tell her she can't walk, can't take care of herself. Then she goes depressive for awhile, then acts nice for awhile, then starts the cycle again. She has some dementia but it is almost manipulative. Mom has in-home helpers a lot of the time. I am working on reducing my caregiving role more. I am at the end of my rope. She brings out the worst in everyone including me. Medals for all of us!
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I found it easiest to remember that the questions and behavior were coming from the damaged brain...not the person. For surely you realize that if she was rational these constant questions would not be happening in the first place.

Just remember .. This is brain damage you are talking to

Slow and easy. Just tell her each time....you must have this caregiver. And then move the conversation to something else that is happier to talk about,

I can understand crying over the damage and the stress of dealing with it. But remember, you are doing the best for her.
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At some point, Xina, you're going to have to be the one "in charge". Mom, the doctor says that these are meds you need to take.....like little kids with Amoxil for ear infections. Part of her brain is broken, and it isn't making neurotransmitters in he correct amounts any more.
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Xinabess,
I do recall your situation and I'm trying to remember if your mom has dementia. I think it was suspected due to the fact that she has no judgment when it comes to her abilities and care. Is that right?

Do you know for certain how her memory is? I wonder if these repeated calls, repeatedly telling you things, asking to get rid of care givers, etc. is due to her FORGETTING that she already told you these things an hour ago. If she is forgetting, she thinks it's the first time she's ever told you that. It can be very frustrating.

My cousin would repeat the same statement a hundred times in one visit. She just had no idea that she had said it before. She sounded like she just couldn't let it go, but in her mind it was new news. IF THIS IS THE CASE, I don't know of any solution, because you can't make her remember. What you can do is protect your own sanity.

IF she does remember and it's not her forgetting that she already told you, then I would explain firmly that we were not going to waste a lovely visit discussing a matter that the doctor had already decided. Next subject and move on with an upbeat attitude. If she mentions it again, I would ignore her and leave.

Guilt here is not appropriate. You're smart to give yourself a break, see your therapist, take meds, and PLACE YOURSELF on the priority list too. Pity for mother is not very helpful here and neither is kowtowing to her. I'd get a plan and enforce it. Wasted energy on this is not beneficial. I hope things get better.

Have you talked to her aides to get their impressions on her mental state? Does she repeat things with them too?
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