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I've been caring for mom (83 with dementia) alone for many years with no help from family etc. etc.. she really isn't THAT much trouble herself, (well sometimes), but the last year or so I have been hit with a lot of other troubles, concerns, and outright problems that have worn me way down.
Things in general have begun to become unbearable. I can't even face opening the mail for fear that I might make some major mistake by not believing the fake "IMPORTANT" stamp on the free hearing test scam thing. (why does everything seem to be fake stamped "IMPORTANT" these days?) I know that I need a rest, but I am afraid of upset what seems such a fragile routine for fear of everything falling apart. I'm afraid that if I do let my gaurd down, to rest, I might just fall apart.

I'm getting very angry about things that are out of my control, like the complete lack of help or even concern on behalf of my siblings. Or anyone really. I don't have a clue when it comes to simplest things like the shopping list or when the car insurance is due, and I'm beginning not to care. It all just seems like too much trouble.

My personal life is just a vague memory and I worry deeply about what, who I will be when this is done. Will I be too far gone to care for myself? Have I thrown away the last of my 'Best Years' to care for a woman who doesn't appear to be aware of my sacrifice, only to end up alone in a state institution myself?

I haven't been able to work (and make more than Home care would cost anyway) in a couple of years, my savings is gone, my sister has stolen my inheritance from my father, and I am going to be broke, past middle age, and an emotional wreck when the morning she doesn't get out of bed comes.

Is this really the right think to be doing?

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Thank you for your answer. I hate to take her companion dog of 11 years away from her, but I think I will have to find it another home unless she starts taking it outside to do its business. I'm going to contact the Department of Aging to see about Medicaid helping with her supplementary insurance.
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The facility cannot, I believe, take her entire income and may be required to have a personal allowance of about $30/ month set aside. Ask for an accounting, unless this is not the case-she can spend that.
Sorry, but her residence at assisted living won't last if the dog uses the carpet for a toilet. They have health standards and other residents.
This must be difficult for you. There are other caregivers on this website that may have better advice.
The only similar circumstances that I know about is. 1) The lady gave away her dog to another resident because she could not care for it. 2) She was soon transferred to a skilled nursing home for more care.
Hoping you get some answers. If not, start a question of your own, in your own words. Newer questions get answered more readily.
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I am glad I found this site, now I don't feel so alone. My mother's problem is that she hates her assisted living retirement home. It is a very nice place, and all of the other residents there love it!

She refuses to eat in the dining room or socialize with anyone. She lets her dog do its business on her carpet because she won't take it outside. She is often delusional and won't take responsibility for her behavior.

She refuses to take her anxiety medicine which makes her worse. I take her to see a psychologist, but she lies to him about everything.

My bigger question is that her meager SS and VA Assistance pays for her room and board, but doesn't allow her any spending money for personal necessities. I live paycheck to paycheck and have a very hard time helping her. Where can I find resources to help with that?

Maybe her attitude would improve greatly if she knew she had her own money for dog food and personal items.
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It's a difficult thing isn''t it?! Many of us caregivers seem to end up doing it all whilst the rest of the family get on with their lives. Feeling at risk of little to look forward to and perhaps on the verge of a meltdown is an oft visited space these last few years however I agree with many who remind us that there are avenues to help us - perhaps your doctor, church or local community groups what they know or can help with? That should put you in touch with the right circles. As far as the question of when is the right time for a nursing home goes I will share my conviction that the answer is never. I say this for many reasons: 1 is that my beautiful Mother would feel abandoned and give up if this were the case, 2: my Mother asked me to look after her, as did my Father just before he died, and I said I would - I like to keep my word whether it is convenient or not, 3: EVERYONE I meet who works or has worked in a nursing home says they would not want to see their own Mother in one as all the staff are rushed all the time and there is no such thing as real quality time. 4: What can compare with familiar surrounds, waking to the voice and hug of a loved one, cuddles from a favourite pet, sleeping, eating, singing, showering etc, when it suits yourself rather than someone else's prescribed routine, listening to your favourite music, having your coffee/tea just the way you like it, your favourite food cooked the way you like it and so the list continues.... I think this point is the one which can serve as a great reminder of just how much you give to those you care for. I find it helps me reaffirm at those moments when it all feels too much. Keep being the wonderful person you are and know that you are strong enough to see this through - you will be all the be happy you did and much the wiser and stronger for it. Another gift of such trying times is finding out who you can rely on at difficult times in life. Bless you
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While I can't answer this question, I can say "ditto". I have asked myself the same question. Is my discomfort enough to disrupt my grandmothers life by moving her to assisted living? Am I burnt out enough to "quit"? I feel like I have run out of options and somedays just want to done with this. Then I visit my other Grandparents in a nursing home and it makes me cry. It seems so cruel. AWWW!!! - Hang in there ... is all I can say. Oh and ... Pray.
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This is a note for everyone who might not already know it ~ the Alzheimer's 24/7 hotline is a TOTAL BLESSING! I have had to call at all hours of the day and night, usually crying my eyes out, when i think i just can't deal with anything anymore, and their response has been SO HELPFUL! I definitely would recommend calling when you need to, because they ARE there for us! (800 272 3900) Thank you folks so much!
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I have been caring for my Mom in my home a few years now. I did in home health, but it's different when it's your Mom & it's all the time. Not just a regular job. I have my personal space which is in my kitchen, with my laptop. It helps me to unwind, but she sometimes makes me feel guilty saying that I am in here & not in there with her. Having a small home, all her things are in the living room. So I got rid of most my things, & my living room now looks more like a hospital room. Hospital bed, table, potty chair, walker, wheelchair. I have a teen son & 2 fur children as well. She says I don't do enough for her..just this month I went & picked out a memory foam mattress for her, hoping it would help her pain & trying to get a motor wheelchair for her. I can't see that I'm not doing enough. I pay the bills, cook, help bath her, take her to doc appts. She has went down hill fast, almost to the point of immobility. I feel your pain. I'm at the point now just waiting & wondering when a nursing home will be best. :(
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Ted, I hope you are feeling better and that the stress is easing for you. It's so important to say "no" to people who would "suck the life out of you" if you let them. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. It is good that you set limits with that old friend of yours. There are lots of people here who understand and sympathize with you. Take care....
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TED:

Your life -- what's left of it -- still revolves around your mother. So much so that the will to fight is no longer there. Did you bother confront your sister about your inheritance or did you tell her to go ahead and take it? It seems your home is your crypt, you're severely depressed, hope is almost non-existent, let alone faith for a brighter future. You've given up. You've accepted this is the way it's going to be for the rest of your life. Unless you're shooting for sainthood, I suggest you take your a__ out of the house for a shopping spree that includes an extra dose of self-respect. Giving in and giving up are not an option for you, so reclaim your life!!!! After all, you're still breathing; you have dreams, passions, all kinds of burning desires, goals that you've never attained because you've been a beast of burden all these years. ...Time to unshackle my brother; set yourself free.

-- ED
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I agree what catsoff said,
"A great number of people will suck the life out of you if you allow it. A generous spirit can get you into alot of trouble at times if you get out of balance. Please continue to say no when you need to.
You are on the right path now. Stay strong & firm to your convictions. Make a few promises to yourself & your wellbeing. As with anything else, give it some time."

I cared for my Mom who passed away last March for several years and the last 3 were very hard on me and i got very little help from my sister who lives several blocks away, I was really disappointed by that. When hospice was recommended by the doctors i thought it meant i would finally get my life back, i was wrong, their support was appreciated for cleaning and bathing her every other day. Well long story short there is a lining at the end of your unselfish service that you perform you will look back one day and remember all the good and hard times that you have spent the hours of pain both emotional, physical, psychological, and your spirit too, all the things your mother said to you both good and bad. I know and understand God puts us in positions he only knows we can bare, to grow us up spiritually. You will make it. keep to your priority's get any social services available to you. Get spiritual help even a visit form your local pastor can make a big difference. There is help for you out there. Keep posting here this is another form of support for you. You are not alone friend, God Bless and stay STRONG.
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Use what ever it takes to get the support and help you need, this is a clearing house of good ideas and experienced and some professional guides that can truly help what can be an extremely frustrating and isolating experience...

i suppose this is the way all life is..if it were easy. or fun..everyone would be doing it right?
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Ted,
Along time ago when I first started having trouble dealing with the constant drama with my parents I called our pastor and he told me something I will never forget and to this day it still helps me and I hope it helps you too. He told me that "I" had to come first, that I should not let my parents ruin "my" life and who "I" was. Please know that everyone here cares about you very much and wishes you the best. Most of us here want to help our parents but I feel when it gets to the point that we cannot do it any longer without serious detrimental effects on us that perhaps it is time we need to turn some things over to the system, a care center, Title 19, whatever it takes. Then perhaps we can again be parent and child. Best of luck to you and know that many people care about you.
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GOD be with you in all your endeavors.
Good man!!!
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Everyone, I can't tell you how grateful I am for your care and concern. I feel like I'm beginning to come up out of this funk a little bit, but I'm determined not to let this all happen again. I am going to make some serious changes that will be focused on MY well-being. I realize now that this in not all about mom. I have to enjoy my life, as much as I can, no matter who I might be trying to help.
I will do all that I can for mom and anyone else who might need it, but I will not be putting anyone before myself anymore. It just doesn't work. It is NOT the right thing to do.
Thank you for helping me through.
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Ted,
From your last post, it sounds like you are starting to take back some control. That's a step in the right direction. You can only give so much until you are empty. Time to recharge you. When you can leave your mom alone; do something for yourself. Take a nice walk in the park...get out of the house...it doesn't have to cost anything. Please use your imagination & whatever you enjoy....breathe deeply & steadily.
A great number of people will suck the life out of you if you allow it. A generous spirit can get you into alot of trouble at times if you get out of balance. Please continue to say no when you need to.
You are on the right path now. Stay strong & firm to your convictions. Make a few promises to yourself & your wellbeing. As with anything else, give it some time.
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Ted, your posts bring tears to my eyes. I absolutely feel for you.
I won't bore you with my situation but let it suffice to say that all of us on here struggle through our lives with heavy burdens.
There comes a point when we have to get tough. You have done it with your friend and siblings. That is good. Could your mom go to a nursing home? At the very least look into adult daycare. And please don't give up on the counseling. Tie a knot and hang on, we're here for you.
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You are all right, I have Hit The Wall, And a part of why I have hit the wall is that I haven't been able to get the Practical, Straight-forward help I need, Not help taking care of mom, but help I, capital I, need.

Not that I am not trying, I have been, and continue to reach out, but for one reason or another (The counselor I was supposed start working with had to cancel, His wife has suffered a stroke and now he's one of us. How's that for irony.) I still fell like I'm the only juggler on stage and I'm about to drop all the balls and probably knock out an audience member or two in the process.

I feel taken for granted, not just by mom, but by the world at large that seems to think "Better Him Than Me" as they go about their care-free day. I know that I have been used and taken for a sucker by people I thought were FRIENDS that I turned to in the hope of some kind of socialization that didn't involved mom staring at me.

But I want to assure you all that I do understand the dangers and pitfalls that I face in this state of mind, and that I am continuing to beg, yes, beg, for help.
I've put a call in to mom's Dr. about the need for respite, and am awaiting a call back. I have been firm with an old friend who has been relying too much on me as she copes with the illness and death of her husband. I have finally decided that my siblings simply have no part in this. Thay are no longer a concern of mine, and they will not be taking up any more head or heart space.

And I am going to continue to rely heavily on you. The posts I read, the advice and concern I see, and just the feeling that that you're out there somewhere are very important.

Thanks.
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Ted,

This truly sounds like an incredible breaking point. You very well might be in the middle of a panic attack or anxiety attack and possibly not be able to identify it, plus you sound extremely overwhelmed which is situational I'm certain. Please get yourself some professional medical help now! The tone of almost absolute hopelessness that I'm reading between the lines concerns me greatly for your own well-being and safety.

I thought that months ago, many of us were discussing boundaries. If that is so, it is obvious to me that you are dealing with some very strong undercurrents of family dynamics which have swept you helplessly off your feet and slammed you to the ground in despair.

Please keep coming back and posting often so that we know how you are doing each day as well as various parts of the day. This will not only give you a place to vent but also a reminder that Ted is not all alone. Keep in touch and stay safe.
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Ted, I hear you and know where you are coming from. If you can at all, I would definitely try having your mom go to respite care for a while. I did it so I could take care of some things for my son so it was not really a vacation, but knowing I did not have to worry about her for two weeks while we ran around looking at colleges was a great relief. I really was calmer and could think. Not that things don't get bad again but at least there is a break in the stress and perhaps some things will be clearer to you when you have time to think.
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TED: I don't have all the answers to your questions, but I could not read this and NOT respond to your cry for help. I wish I were one of your siblings, so I could offer my hand and help you, but I am not. I too know what it is like to 'hit the wall' and wonder if what I sacrificed to help my mother was worth it. AND IT WAS!

For all the times I asked for help, and for all the times I doubted if I was doing the right thing, now that my mother has passed I KNOW that I was doing the right thing. You are too......... but.....

That doesn't mean that you don't need help. If you can please get some help so you can recharge. Don't count on your siblings to help, look for senior services in your area that WILL help. SeniorsFirst provides respite services in our area, as well as local churches or other aging care organizations.

I am hoping that one of the 'experts' will read this and provide more information. But in the meantime, please all the ALZHEIMERs association and talk to a counselor. They should have resource lists that can help you.
800.272.3900 At least there will be someone there you can talk too.

Please be strong and know that there is help, we just need to seek it out.
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TED, YOU SOUND LIKE ME. I HAVE BEEN TAKING CARE OF MY MOTHER FOR YEARS NOW AND I HAVE JUST HAD IT! SHE DOES NOT SEEM GRATEFUL OR THANKFUL FOR ANYTHING I DO, AND IT CERTAINLY IS NEVER GOOD ENOUGH. BUT WHEN ANYONE ELSE DOES SOMETHING FOR HER THEY ARE JUST WONDERFUL.
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