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My mother moved in with us about 8 years ago while we lived in Washington State. She lived with us a year and went to visit a relative in FL and stayed. 2 years later, we moved to FL and my mother moved immediately in with us. He health was good then, relatively speaking, and she helped with housework and loved working in the yard - she would be out there sun-up to sundown and had grown beautiful flowers in our yard. As the years have passed he health has deteriorated and now she rarely leaves her room, let alone the house.

She smoked for 50 years, so naturally, she has COPD and many other breathing issues. A year ago, we bought he an e-cigarette and she has not smoked a 'real' cigarette since. But the damage is done. She has stomach problems and throws up OFTEN. In the trash can. Beside her bed. Which makes my entire upstairs reek of vomit. She has had in the past year, cataract surgery on both eyes - successful, too! However, glaucoma has taken the vision from her left eye and she has no peripheral vision in her right eye, she can not see down or up - imagine a nickle and a dot made in the middle from a pencil eraser - that dot is the only place she can see, and it is very very cloudy - she can only see her food if it is on a white plate, and even then, it is often guess work.
She someone, for the most part, keeps up with her meds, though I daily find pills on the floor - so who knows which she is actually getting down and which are on the floor or in the nasty trash can. I am grateful that my dogs and cat do not go into her room often - who knows what meds they would be on!
She can not see, so there are always lights left on, stains on my carpet from spilling the drinks she takes up stairs. I have bought her a coffee cup and drinking glasses with lids. But she takes a regular coffee cup upstairs with her to poor from the lidded to the regular - so there are stains all over the floor under her bedside table...
She leaves messes everywhere and everytime she fixes herself meals and drinks. I daily have to wash my fridge. This morning she had already filled her lidded coffee cup and was still trying to poor into it. Thank God I was there - she would have burned herself.
She showers 1-2 a week, because she is too weak to do it any more often - and if there are no doctors appointments that week, she may not shower at all. (Luckily, she has quit sweating as she has gotten older) She will wear the same clothes for days on end and her bathrobe to my dinner table.

I have had to begin cutting her food. I keep up with all of her doctor appointments and those are the only times she will leave the house. So, out times as a family to go out to dinner are laden with guilt for me because mom isn't with the family.

It has been a stain on my marriage from the beginning, and my husband, bless his heart, has been fairly patient for an impatient man. We have kinda taken to taking turns complaining about it all. As his parents have aged, I thought he would understand a little more, but we come from very opposite families. Mine "takes care of their own" - as a whole, we have never been anything close to privileged, so our parents living with us is just the way we do it...and of course, his parents are very active - even at 20 years older than my mother - my father in law still walks three miles a day..

Mother always said she didn't want to burden us. She took care of my grandmother and another family member or two as they were ill/dying and she knew the stress it put on my parents marriage and family. However, as with most elderly, the thought of nursing homes terrifies her.

Yet, I am left here, not only worried about her, but my (immediate) family. I worry about all of the above things - but find myself complaining mostly about the damage she is doing to my house. This would be why I feel selfish considering it.
She will probably be blind within the next 6 months,as her glaucoma is getting worse, and the surgery if it works at all, will only help from getting worse, not repair any damage that has already been done. (It could also cause her to be blind) I don't know what to do then. We live in a two story house with two dogs and a cat. She could easily fall down the stairs (she has missed the bottom step and fallen on her fanny twice already) or trip over an animal.

Does anyone have ANY advice? She is on medicare, medicaid - neither of which pay for assisted living, and the nursing homes I have contacted take all of her money. I think she still needs to keep some - it would help her to still feel a bit independent.

Money is tight. I have been out of work for a year,my unemployment has run out. I can not get a job right now, I think she needs someone to be with her at all times, and there seems to always be a doctor appt. With so many looking for jobs, it won't be hard for any business to find someone with more availability and flexible schedule than me.
SO, is this more for her or for me?

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It sounds to me like your mother is ready for a nursing home. I'm not sure that assisted living would be enough. Yes, Medicaid takes her money, but that is for her care. She is left a small amount a month, so you could keep some in an account at the nursing home that she could use as a bank. They understand the need to feel some sort of independence.

Your can't keep this up and you've given more than most people could. Your mother may even enjoy making new friends in her own age group who also have health problems. You health, however concerns me.

You can still "take care of your own" as part of the care team in the nursing home. You can be her advocate and visit and enjoy her rather than use your time with her cleaning up and wearing yourself out. Please start looking around in your community. Your mom needs professional care and you need a break.

Good luck,
Carol
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Oh, and I do have family - but they are not an option.
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Go to some nursing homes and speak to the administrator. I have found some that are even rated, on a website. It isn't easy to place your mother, and in fact she will have to agree to it, or it will be even harder. Make certain that you ask what that procedure would be. It is my feeling that your mom would be better off, with professional care. Have you ever talked about it?

My MIL moved to AL, after a stroke and my mother in in a NH. She actually likes it.
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I think anyone would feel guilty putting an elderly parent in a nursing home. I know I did. I always told my dad (when he lived with me) that unless he became bedridden he would never have to go into a nursing home. And I fully believed that....at the time. But we get in so deep and it affects our lives, our families, our mental health, and our physical health and we had no idea how truly, truly difficult caregiving at home can be. But you've done it, you've done right by your mom. I think she needs 24/7 medical care and you can't be expected to provide that. Vomiting all the time is not normal and I'm sure that's just one of many issues you most likely have.

So once the decision is made the hard part comes next. Actually getting your mom into a nursing home and I agree with Carol that AL at this point is not enough care for your mom. There is much planning to be done and once you've decided upon a place it'll be time to bring mom into the conversation. If you let her choose the place she will refuse to choose any and you'll have to do it anyway so skip that step and pick one yourself. Once it become official you'll have access to the social worker who can help you with getting your mom on board. It won't be easy.
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You should not feel guilty, you have done your part. Her MD will probably agree it is time for a nursing home. Assisted Living is not an option for her, she is too debilitated. As long as you visit her weekly, you have not abandoned her. As long as you make sure she has proper care, you are doing your part.
HOWEVER she has to be willing to go, unless you have GUARDIAN status over her. A guardian is appointed by a judge when the patient can no longer make decisions on her own.
The nursing home will take her entire check, give her a small monthly allowance and Medicaid will pay the difference. Do NOT sign any guarantee of payment! Let the nursing home be her representative payee and then you are out of the financial reporting requirements. Let them do the paperwork, you can look it over and make sure it is correct.
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