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I am at my wits end. My mom has been in and out of the hospital, rehabs and staying at my house in between so I could care for her because my 3 sisters would not commit to a schedule this past year. I have a family with two teenagers and a husband. I also work fulltime. My mom finally has recovered to come home from hip surgeries, cdiff, UTIs, stroke etc. She also has both Covid vaccinations but is considered high fall risk as her bones are fragile and frail. She’s pretty independent with dressing and toileting. However she can’t bathe herself or keep up with hygiene. She can’t take out trash, do laundry or do much around her apt. She can’t go outside either as she’s too frail. She is not showing much motivation to cook. Her doctor arranged two aides to come in, one in am and one in pm, to help with light cleaning, bathing, trash, heating up meals I’ve prepared and anything else that may prevent a fall risk. My mom has been rude to the aides. Refuses to have them help her and just sits there. I’m so mad. My sisters don’t help, it’s just me.


I handle her bills, banking, medical papers, SSI papers, every piece of paperwork. I’m her contact person (proxy) so doctors call me and I arrange appts, transportation etc. I can’t do it all. I’m so upset my mom can’t see this. Her homecoming from 3 months away has been awful. I dropped meals off last week, cleaned house, set up medication delivery, and did her laundry but have since stayed away. I’m too upset. I can’t handle that I am treated lower than the 3 sisters who don’t call, come see her or help. I’m actively looking for assisted living because she really can’t live alone without a lot of help and she’s isolated and I just can’t keep running to my mom's house everyday. It’s been a week and I’m waiting to see what happens. I want her to see who actually helps. So far nobody has been at her house. I have no idea if this is a wake up call to her or not but I’m tired of being used and taken advantage of while my sisters all drink and live totally dysfunctional lives and lie and make up excuses. Any advice appreciated.

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"Mom, I can't do this anymore" is the hardest conversation I've ever had.

But I told my mom that I could no longer respond to her increasing needs and that she needed to be somewhere other than home to get the level of care, socialization and help that she needed.

If mom had pushed back and said "I'll be fine by myself" we ALL would have stepped back and let the chips fall where they might.

As posters before me have noted, YOUR family is your priority, especially those teenaged children, who need more care and guidance than you can imagine right now.

Please remember that this arrangement needs to work for everyone, not just the care-receiver. "That doesn't work for me" and "I can't possibly do that" are perfectly acceptable sentiments. You are not your parent's servent, ever.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Moe, I don't know if any of us have said this explicitly, but don't expect your mother to "come to a realization". You have to say "Mom, I can't keep doing this. Either you let the aides do their job or you will need to move to AL. Those are your choices".

Hickjacking YOUR life is not on offer and that needs to be explicitly pointed out to her.
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Moejie Mar 13, 2021
Barb, it’s been one week. My mom has not called me. I will not bring her meals or do anything again this week to prove my point to her and my sisters. I’m so fed up and realize I probably have been enabling everyone. I still have a lot of anger and hurt fir various reasons.
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You’d be doing yourself a huge favor if you get past the anger and resentment toward your sisters. They are adults and free to make their own choices about being involved in mom’s care. They may or may not be right, but it’s still their choice and being mad about it only hurts you. You’ve clearly stated that mom needs more help than you can provide and it’s great that you’ve backed off in an attempt to help her see that. Decide what you will and won’t do going forward, prioritize your own family and health. I wish you peace in this and am glad you’re looking for alternative living arrangements for your mom
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Moejie Mar 12, 2021
Thank you. I do speak to a counselor as of recent and she says same thing. My sisters have made their decisions and I can’t change it. I do have to work on myself. Stop caring who helps and who doesn’t. My moms quality life is awful right now. AL will add some socialization and opportunity to go outside. Plus help and safety.
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You have a "sit down talk" with mom.
She either accepts help from the caregivers that come in 2 times a day
and
you stop doing all the tasks the aides are being paid to do.
or
When next she falls she will not be able to come home from rehab. You will tell them prior to discharge that she is unsafe at home. You can not take her into your home so they will have to help find placement for her.
(that is IF she recovers from the next fall. Let that sink in a bit and see how she responds)

the problem with looking for Assisted Living is that you can not force her to move. she must be willing to make the move to AL.
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Moejie Mar 12, 2021
Thank you. Dr has told us that my mom prob won’t survive another fall/break/surgery and hospitalization. She has now been post op delerius a few times. She gets c diff, UTIs, dehydration, low blood blood, blood loss etc. it cyclical at this point whenever she’s had surgery. I’m terrified for the next fall. She has fallen 3 times in past 3 years. She uses a walker for her baseline so doing stuff for herself is challenging with walker.
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I agree with other posters about putting yourself and your family first. I understand your stress levels are really high at the moment and that you don’t feel ready to “have the conversation “ with your mother. I went through a similar situation late last year when I had to speak to my mother about moving out of our house and into supported living. It helped me to write down how I was feeling, what I could and couldn’t do for her, moving forward, and finally I put together a kind of script I could practise and then use for “the talk”. This also allowed me to calm myself beforehand. It wasn’t easy but writing it all down got the swirling thoughts out of my head and allowed me to stay focused on what needed to be said and done. It was also worthwhile for me to think about and write down what I would do if she said “No”. Thankfully we didn’t need to go down that route, and although the talk was difficult and I met with some resistance, I suspect things would have been even more difficult without this preparation. Maybe this approach could help you?
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Reply to Chriscat83
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Wow, that's a lot on anyone's plate, both for your mom and you/your family.

No where in your post did I see the words "dementia" or "Alzheimers". You have described someone with one of those 2. But she may also have other medical issues going on, like a UTI or thyroid or over/under-medication, etc. and these should be discounted as well as getting her doc to give her a cognitive/memory test (if you can manage this -- and the forum participants can suggest how).

Your own family is a priority over your mother's care. This can be very difficult to internalize but you must. It sounds like your mom needs more care than you can give, and your sisters are in no way obligated to participate so I would not pursue it with them any more. Also, they don't sound like reliable, responsible adults anyway.

Who has PoA for your mom? This is the person who should now be looking to activate this authority by reading the documents and moving forward with a realistic care plan for your mom. If no one has PoA and your mom refuses to get these documents into place, then you would either need to pursue guardianship (which takes time and can be very expensive) or do nothing and wait for an "incident" that warrants a call by you to APS or one that lands her in the ER (and then make sure they are informed she is an "unsafe discharge"). The hospital social workers would then put the wheels in motion for the county to get guardianship and get her placed. If the county has guardianship then they control all of her life, including medical and financial.

Please choose your family over your mother. This does NOT mean you don't love her. But there is no sense in sinking your entire family while trying to keep your mom "afloat". She needs AL or some other form of a care arrangement, for her own good, and yours as well. May you gain peace in your heart as you come to understand some difficult realities.
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Moejie Mar 12, 2021
Thank you. My mom doesn’t have Alzheimer’s or Dementia but her dr did say she has declined cognitively but not enough that it would seriously affect her yet. However the stroke she had affected mood. So that could explain some of her changes too. I do think I need PoA at this point. Her dr agrees with AL. It’s just telling her but right now I’m too upset to even talk to her because it will not be pleasant and I don’t want to say anything I will regret.
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Multiple hospitalizations have put her in a new reality which by your description she seems to deny. You are at that point where it takes a village. You are discovering that some family members cannot fulfill any responsibilities. Keep working on getting her into AL or MC. My brother did the same and defered to me for all aspects of mom's care. I knew he could not do it and I was to shoulder the responsibility which I accepted.
You will soon discover what a relief will come when all aspects of her personal care are taken care of. There will be a 43% tax write off from her rent. Meals prepared. General doctor care can be handled right at the facility if you choose the right one. So ask about it.
Do realize that there is a 2 month adjustment period an do not let her try to hoodwink you. Keep a strong backbone and she will adjust. Falls will still happen and you may still need to take her to specialist appointments. She most likely will progress to SNF in the future. Consider looking at nursing homes that have those multi levels of care such as AL, MC, rehab, and SNF so that any sequential move will be just a hallway away.
If she refuses a move, then go for guardianship or wait for the next hospitalization and notify staff of an unsafe discharge. So far you are still enabling mom.
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Moejie Mar 13, 2021
Hi Mac, I agree with everything you’ve posted above. I see I’m enabling mom and I’m putting foot down here. My mom has one AL in area she can afford. That’s where I hope she gets approved. There are vacancies only because COVID kept any new residents moving in last year. Usually there is a wait list at this facility. Her doctor agrees that place is a good fit and she’s place her mom there too. So I patiently wait for the letter that is hopefully coming soon. Her lease is up on May and she has no other choice. If she’s not letting aides help she’s not living alone.
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"Then I discussed AL. She is actually open to it. Admitted siblings are if no help but she’s their mom and still loves them. I said I wouldn’t expect anything less as I’m a mom myself but it’s not fair to me. So we are off to good start."

Well, that was good news! Hopefully she won't change her mind, but you've already had the "talk", so just repeat it if you need to!

Also good to acknowledge her care for the others, even if they don't help or don't call or visit, etc. I would not really discuss them with her, at least not what they do and don't do.

"Siblings keep criticizing me. However they offer no other suggestions."

If they aren't part of the solution, they are part of the problem. Clearly they are NOT part of the solution. I wouldn't take calls from them. If they email or text, don't bother responding. Archive their nasty messages, just in case you ever have to take further steps to stop them. They have their opinions and criticisms, just ignore. You can't change them. If the calls continue, block their numbers. If that leads to nastier emails or texts, you can block those as well.

Once she is safely in the AL, you can be her daughter again ( with a few duties on the side) and visit. You won't be doing all that other stuff so you will have time to visit (and some time for yourself, the kids, hubby.) If mom balks about the AL, use this as another incentive - she missed seeing you, but if she's in AL, you won't be running around doing errands, you can come and have NICE visits together!

Hoping it all works out!
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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I think you had best write off your sisters like a bad debt. They are not going to help and hassling with them is just hard on you. Some people are, to put it bluntly, just dead weight. You are wise to look at assisted living. As long as you prop her up, she will have no motivation to consider any other living arrangement. Sometimes all you can do is let the bad times roll, notify APS about a vulnerable adult and wait for it all to crash. Then placement.
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jakki12 Mar 16, 2021
What do you mean notify APS? What actually happens when that is done??? Would appreciate more details.
thanks!
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You are looking at and treating your mother as if she was the same person that she was before she began to decline mentally and physically. Instead of trying to punish her into appreciating you more, you need to sit down with your sisters and talk about responsibilities and issues about your mother. If your sisters will not do it then get your mother’s POAs in order and take charge.
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