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My sister moved in with our mother 7 years ago and it was her plan to care for our mother up to her death. However, circumstances changed and my sister died August 2009 and my mother became incapable of being on her own about 4 years ago. I assumed responsibility for my sister both medical and financial in April 2009. In May she was diagnosed as terminal and was placed in a nursing home until she passed away. I spent time with her there almost daily. I was still working full time and caring for my husband and son. Then my aunt who was like a mother to me was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer September 2009 and given 4 months to live. Two weeks later my mother had a heart attack and it was determined she needed a quadruple bypass, she was 83. She had the surgery and recovered in rehab center. Her sister, my aunt died December 2009 just days after mom came home to my middle brother's house to be cared for until she could return to her own house. Less than 3 months later his wife ordered her to be moved back to her own house. Mom was good to live on her own by this time. However, she progressively failed in her ability to care for herself because it was not safe for her to try to cook her own meals. At this time I started to do more for her each week. Although I gathered my three brothers together in September 2010 to inform them that I was not emotionally strong enough to care for mother and the responsibility would fall to them. I was wiped out by the care for and loss of my sister, the major surgery for mom and her journey back, the loss of my aunt and then the brother who took mom in told me I could no longer see his two younger children whom I had babysit every week on my days off. These children were like grandchildren instead of niece and nephew and I went into depressed state. It took me months to get out of this condition and by this time it was increasingly obvious that mom was going to need a lot of assistance. Then an incident where mom fell and ended up in the hospital for a few days. The day after a major storm which knocked out all power and brought down trees around our houses, she needed to leave the hospital. My younger brother agreed to take her to his house for a few days. Four days later his wife told me to come get my mother that she was no longer welcome in her house. My mom had been intentionally peeing the bed, in the hallway and making messes for my sister-in-law to clean after. This was just spite on my mother's case. She does not like this sister-in-law. So two brothers with a home will no longer invite her in. The oldest son is dying of stomach cancer and can barely care for himself. Now my mom is becoming increasingly abrasive to me. She will not do things at her house that she is physically capable of doing. Picking up a tissue if she drops in the floor, not making coffee because she doesn't remember how, etc...the only time I get a break is when second brother is available to fix her breakfast or supper. This is not very often. My brothers do not help by driving her to any of her appointments, grocery shopping for her or even picking up any of her prescriptions. I have since retired in January 2013 thinking that maybe taking care of her would not be so difficult. That is not the case. I am now short with her, do not want to spend any quality time with her and although I have intentions to help her keep the house spotless she infuriates me so much with her attitude that I OWE her this that if I spend a total of 30 minutes at her house it is a miracle. Since I am not getting any assistance from my brothers I have told them I feel the time has come to consider putting her in assisted living. She is physically capable of caring for her hygiene, showering with minimal help, can still change remote to her favorite shows and does a little light housekeeping and dishes. However, it is hard for me to make the decision alone and carry out with moving her out of her house.

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Veenee, i assume you are depressed because your mother is in decline and no longer the vibrant person you knew her to be. I think we all go through a kind of premature grief" when our parents teach a nrw stage of decline. Be well.
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put my mom in a memory care al on Monday I am so depressed
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Notice we never see commercials on t.v. that say "Ah, misplaced guilt, does a body good" Think about it.
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blannie - I wonder that too. Her behaviour seems just a little far out, hence the suggestion to have an in depth evaluation by a geriatric psychiatrist, not just a mini-mental by her GP.

pbandi - she may be on a slippery slope down and it helps to have a proper diagnosis so she can get treatment
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This is called false guilt and has nothing to do with you doing anything wrong. True guilt is felt when you have done something wrong and usually people correct that. False guilt comers from not living up to the expectations others have laid on you - possibly including yourself. You cannot keep this. Your mother has alienated her other children as well as you by her behaviour. Sounds like assisted living is about the right level for her at present. Does anyone have POA financial or medical? You have had a ton of loss and need time to yourself to process that, and, in any case, you do not need to be involved in her day to day care with her attitude and mental problems. Cut yourself some slack and start looking for ALs for her whether your sibs cooperate or not. Could her doctor help with the decision that she cannot live alone any more? To me she needs a complete exam by a geriatric psychiatrist to determine what her mental problems are. Good luck!
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I would wonder if your mom has more cognitive decline than you or your brothers recognize or admit. I find it hard to imagine that someone would purposefully wet or defecate in the bed out of spite. I guess it's possible, but it sounds more likely to me that you're seeing your mom decline mentally before your eyes and you're not recognizing it. Read up on dementia on this site to see if that sounds like it's possible.

In any event, you've got two brothers (if I count right in your long story above) who have washed their hands of her care. She's not able to live on her own successfully, so what other choice is there? Is she entitled to take you down with her? Destroy your health and your marriage? Is her happiness more important than yours or your husband's or children's?

You've already gotten some good answers about the whole guilt thing. You're not required by society to destroy your family unit to care for mom. Put her into assisted living and get on with your own life. You can still support her and advocate for her, you just don't have to be her 24/7 caregiver.
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The whole guilt thing comes up so much in these discussions. My folks have told me time and time again they don't expect me to take care of them at home or in my home, but I know d*mn well when I move one or both of them to care the tears will roll from mom, dad will have to be restrained from getting his gun (I disabled it last year) and it will be the worst experience of my life. And I'll might feel guilty for about 5 minutes. Maybe only 3. But this is the way it's going to go. I'm not going to end up broke, nuts, depressed and writing ten thousand word essays on this site about guilt. Of all the good stuff I have learned on this site, the most important is to not let myself get into these caregiverh*lldisasters that we all read about. Sorry for venting, I know there are many situations worse than mine but we all need to lay some track earlier on so that things don't get out of control.
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The thing with guilt is: be very sure it is justified. Don't get taken in by sentiment, cozy feelings, what cultural norms are, etc. Guilt is only justified when you have done something actually wrong, not just something another person doesn't like, you hurt their feelings, etc. That is sentimentality and is not a basis for legitimate guilt. Put emotion aside and look at the situation rationally, if in doubt about the morality of complicated issues, ask an expert. I avoided a precipice only because I happened to talk about some family problems with a priest who was an expert moral theologian. Turned out I had a lot of false ideas of what my moral obligations before God actually were. I am so thankful - you cannot imagine! The truth will set you free.

As for your mom, she is being spiteful, ungrateful and disruptive. She would be better off in a facility. You and your relatives would be better off too. That is simply the truth here. No one needs to enable bad behavior.
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This is my problem I have guilt . I appreciate all your replies ,
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How does a caregiver get past the guilt of placing a parent in nursing home or assisted living? Think of it this way, placing Mom in assisted living she will be around people of her own age group, thus they all will have a lot in common... she could develop new friendships and enjoy being with those new friends every day giving her a reason to get up in the morning.... she can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the dining hall which makes it feel like she is eating at a restaurant... and she could enjoy all the activities. Makes me want to move there :)

Plus if she is living at a facility, you can still help her out by driving to doctor appointments, shopping, etc. You now become her "daughter" once again, instead of her "caregiver" because no one can do both. And your brothers can visit with Mom instead of having her over to the house.

It's a win-win situation for everyone !!
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