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I feel like it's me or her and I cannot let her consume my life.


My mother is 91 and has blocked carotid arteries. I am starting to wonder if she has vascular dementia. She talks to herself and then says it wasn't her talking.She always thinks I am plotting to send her to a nursing home. She is completely deaf and I write everything down for her so she understand but she continues to talk negatively about me all of the time when I am the only family member taking care of her. I am getting annoyed by her accusations and demands for things. She doesn't ask politely for things, she just says "get me this or get me that". I feel a little courtesy and grattitude would go a long way. I have a full time career and I am taking care of her too. A little more background, until January 2016 she was living on her own, then she had surgery and I took her into my home as she could not live alone anymore. My siblings wanted to put her in a home. In any event, they don't check in on her, it's all on me. I would not mind and took her in because I didn't think she belonged in a home yet, but a year later I am wondering what I got myself into. I have no motivation, I don't exercise anymore. It's all about her and she says "it's owed to her". I am getting to the point I may have to put her in a facility because I feel like it's me or her and I cannot let her consume my life. Any advise, words of wisdom etc?

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HI Staceyb, thanks for asking! I am doing ok. Still working on a facility. We came to an agreement to wait until April unless she declines before then. So things got a little better but she was testy yesterday.

My siblings have not stepped up, that has not changed and never will.

How are you doing?  How is your situation?

You take care also my friend! xo
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Logan, how are you fairing? Any progress, finding a place for your Mom? Have things gotten any better or worse? Have your siblings stepped up to help at all?

I'm hoping that you are continuing to seek more appropriate housing and care for your Mom! Keep us informed, as we all learn from one another, and it helps to see how others find their way to better living! Take care Sweetie!
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That's right Logan, it's time to do the best thing for you and your Mom! Don't listen to negativity! It's not constructive, and doesn't apply to your situation. You are thinking about what's best for your Mom right now! You are Just as Important in this equation! Without you being fit and healthy enough to continue to manage her care, then where would she be? Out on the streets? Do the right thing for the Both of you! Good luck Sweetie!
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Thank you Staceyb!

Maren, you nailed it on the head.

Zythr, That is your narrow perspective on a situation. You didn't shed any light on the situation. Maybe some elderly do feel that way about assisted living facilities or nursing homes....but they also feel like that at home too. That is a concern she has no matter where she is. I brought my mother into my home as I thought she didn't need to be in a nursing home yet...a year later I am finding out why I was wrong...She is in no condition to make that decision on her own.
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Zythrr, you are like the Grimm Reaper of Aging Care, and you come on here to incite trouble, in the name of Fun! Why ever do you do that? Are you the Authority on how to place blame on everyone who can no longer care AT HOME, for their Parent? My guess is that you crry an enormous amount of guilt, and are pushing it upon everybody else! Otherwise, you would be sharing Compassion and Concern! Which is what we All need, and are seeking on here!
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Zythrr, Of Course it's the LAST PLACE! Unless you take them out for a trip to Disneyland! Sometimes you come on her and spout off the most derogatory and discouraging remarks, that in No Way, help the OP with their original question!

Why do you do that? Yes, I understand that you had a bad experience! End of life care is Rarely a pleasant journey! We all will one day degenerate and fall into the catagory of decrepit old person! Why not Try, to bolster one another up, rather than pile on the unesassary guilt, in a situation that has become unmanageable?

We all try and or are trying, to improve the situation of our LO's, and often more importantly ourselves! So many of us have been at this for years, and in my case 20+ years!

Get of you soap box, thay Nursing homes and the like, are a place to go to die, eventually! They are, of course they are! We are all going to die sometime, someplace! Hopefully it is a nice enough place, for the person concerned!

The OP is trying to make the best for the better good of All affected.

I'm tired of hearing your Negativity! Its not helpful nor Constructive!
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..., the rest of their lives because it was set up for all phases of the disease until death.
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staceyb

I understand that, Thank you, but sad as it is more than likely this is the last place for OP'S mom. No, this was not the same situation for my parents. In fact my father did not have a chance to get old, since he was killed in the Vietnam War. My mom was a sweet caring person, too much so.

Lest you think I' m not speaking the truth about being the last place, there is a place that recently opened for people with Alz and dementia, where the lady interviewed proudly mentioned, once there, the patient/resident could stay there th
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Hi Logan, you said you were beginning to think that your mom had "vascular dementia". I think the first thing you want to do is have your mom evaluated so that you find out for sure, although it sounds to me that she definitely has some kind of dementia--it could be Alzheimer's like my mother. I also took my mom to live with me in January 2016, and on the 9th, we are coming up on our first year anniversary. I am also looking to put my mom into a residential setting because I feel that I can no longer manage her as she goes deeper into her dementia. She also doesn't say thank you for the things I do for her--she often attributes what I do for her with my other siblings--I am the youngest of 4, have one brother who lives in Texas and 2 sisters who live in within driving distance of us but who seldom come to visit our mom--so it is basically me. I have a friend of the family who stays with my mom when I need to get out, so I do have some relief. But knowing for sure that my mother has Alzheimer's, while not making my situation one bit easier, allows me not to personalize her behavior. Her comments are not always pleasant, I still get angry, frustrated, resentful, and all of the other things we caregivers feel--but I can always come back to know that my mom has this terrible disorder that makes her do, say and believe things that are some times so absurd. And knowing that she has this, makes me focus more on delving deep down and finding the compassion that I need to deal with her. I consider how it must feel from her side to be confused, angry, and so totally lost, even when physically in my home, she's never been in a safer, more comfortable place. This morning my almost 94 year old mother woke up and told me that she wanted to go home to her parents and her brothers and sisters. She is one of 2 siblings out of 9 who is still alive...and needless to say her parents have long since died, and yet she yearns for them. She hates staying here with me, but there is no way I can take this personally. My mom's independence was everything to her and now (in her mind) she must live in a place she hates with someone she doesn't always know. I am a 65 year old retired teacher who has also lived an independent life and so when I put myself in her shoes, it enables me to stop, take a deep breath and keep going.

That being said, you and I ( and caregivers everywhere) have to take care of ourselves. I am a couple of weeks from making the decision to move my mom because I think she needs more than me and needs to be an environment that caters to her 24/7--something I can no longer do. Whenever you make your decision, feel good that you stepped up and have taken care of her this long--many people can't. Don't feel guilty about what you have to do to reclaim your life--you would be absolutely no good to her completely burned out. My grown son who lives in NY told me he was proud of me for taking in his Nana, the only person who offered to do so. I am proud of me too.
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Oops, I hit send. My father-in-law laid all of those responsibilities of caring for his own father on his sister, interestingly enough!

Jessie, I think that you should start a thread with that Header, BIRTH CERTIFICATES SHOULD COME WITH A "PAID IN FULL STAMP" ON THEM, I'll support you, as will many of us, as people shouldn't expect their children to be their mainstay in their elder years! I do believe that there should be governmental assistance and guidelines set up, to streamline people into helping their elderly parents into the proper programs for living and housing. People should plan for these years, not everyone can or do, especially when their biggest wage earnings years are cut at the legs, as you are forced into caring for your Senior parents.

Yes, I do believe that your children should Want to aid and assist in the guidance of getting your parents proper care and assistance, but not at the detriment of their own lives.

There are ways to do this, and I am only just learning to do this myself! We have made many mistakes along the way, as we just didn't know how, plus, we are of the generation who were groomed to do just that! We had no other examples! I wont do that to my own kids!

Plant me in a Nursing home! Ill be the sweet little old lady, who is as sweet as pie to every caregiver and aide, I'll thank everyone, and hopefully I'll be the pet Granny, whom everyone loves to wait on!

Actually, I believe you earn your Love and Respect, and I am quite sure, my kids will be there to the end with me, not because I expect them to be, but because I won't expect them to give up their lives for me, nor would I allow it! If they come to visit me in the Nursing home, it will be because they want to! I hope I can achieve just that! I've certainly made that known.

They aught to teach courses about this in high school! Eventually, everyone is faced with elderly parents and Loved ones!
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Jessie, So True! BIRTH CERTIFICATES SHOULD COME WITH A PAID IN FULL STAMP ON THEM!

We didn't ask to be born, I'm assuming that most (well hopefully most) planned or welcomed their children into this world!

I know that 3 of my Grandparent's all died by the time I was 12 years old, and the one who Did live to be in her late 80's, whom my parents brought to this country to live with them, who cared for her in our family home, is the only one who ended up with Alzheimer's and eventually ended up living in a nursing home for the last three years of her life as a complete blank tape. Those were very hard years on my parents. But my father made it clear to her from the beginning, that his wife would come first, his six children would come second, and she would come a distant third period. My parents never put the struggles of caring for her on any of their children.

Looking at our own situation, three of our parents have now passed away 13 plus years ago, and we have been hearing for the last survivor, my FIL, for those 13 years. Our own children, are now all in their early thirties, and we do not depend on any of them for help in the care of my husband's dad now nearly 87 years old. Who by the way, never spent one hour caring for an elderly parent.
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I don't have any words of wisdom, except that I will say that most people do not really understand what it's like living with a senior who has health issues and who may have declining mental health. I saw that with my cousin and it was really challenging.

The patient can't be blamed, because the brain truly is changing and making them behave in ways that they are not aware or control. And while that behavior may change down the road, other behaviors and disabilities may then arise as they progress. For that and other reasons, I'd make arrangements for your mom to get the care she needs elsewhere. Your duties in the home will only increase, so, I'd do it now, while you have the time to make it a smooth transition and not in crisis mode.

There is good reason that you feel low and unmotivated. Once you get your life back, see if you feel better. I'd also get an exam with your primary just to make sure you are okay. Caretaking can take a toll on your health. See if you have depression and if it's caused by having so much stress. Take care and I hope things work out well for you and your mom.
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Logan, re reading your post. If the home where your mom was placed in respite, is a good place, and they liked her and missed her, I think your plan is a very good one. I don't want to sound callous, but I understand your position, and caregivers often pass before the loved one from stress.
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Logan; If your mother is in the decline you are describing, you need to talk to your siblings and then investigate, find a good place to place her. You did the best you could, if your sacrifice is destroying your life, then let go of the guilt. You tried. If she could comprehend, she wouldn't want you to be living like this. My husband has Altzheimers, I placed him in June last year after 10 years of decline. He's happy in his own way.
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BTW, the uncle and wife who took care of my grandfather had three sons. They never asked anything of them. I don't think it was because they were boys. I think it was because my uncle and his wife were more concerned for their children than they were for themselves. I think it is how it should be.
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maren, I hate those words, too. What the words "you owe me" say to me is "I'm a narcissist." I wouldn't be surprised that any parent that said that to a child had no part in taking care of their own parent. I think birth certificates should come with a Paid in Full stamp on them.

I just considered my mother's family. My grandmother died young (60) and my grandfather lived to 78. He lived next door to my uncle and his wife. My grandfather never drove, so my uncle would help him with food and things like that. Otherwise Granddad did fine until he had a heart attack and died hours later. My aunt and my mother had no part in taking care of him, but they both put a heavy claim that their daughters owed them. Why?? And why do daughters, but not sons, owe them? And how long does it take to repay this imaginary debt?

It was different back in the old days when people did not live long after they lost their health. Strokes and heart attacks were fatal. Few people lived long enough to get dementia. My mother has lived longer than any person in her family. She is now 30 years old than her mother was and 12 years older than her father was at their times of death. The last 15 years of her life have been lived in poor health. The last 7 years have been with my help. She may live 5-10 more years. So I have this huge ethical question for a child -- how much more of my life do I owe so she can sit in her pajamas and watch TV? That sounds like a harsh question, but it is a truthful one. If I consider that only she is important, then I owe her all the time in the world. If I consider myself as important, I know that I am not living in the right reality for me.
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ZYTHR, The Original Poster said that this is a HER OR ME SITUATION, and the Mother here is 91. In my opinion, it seems that the OP has found suitable placement, that even She felt was nice and that treated her Mom very nice. She went so far as to say that even she would live at such a great place, when the time comes.

It doesn't get much better than that, so unless you plan on taking in all of the stay and ailing parents, I suggest you mind your own business! Sometimes it come to the place that you can no longer house them in your home. How long did you care for your ailing parents? Hmmm, afraid to answer that question? Well my husband and I have been housing my FIL for 13 years, try that and say that Your life hasn't been negatively affected! Try libing wkth a Narcissist, whom ylu cannot pleqse, no matter how hard you try. People, especially single people have to know when to Do the Right thing for all parties involved. The OP must think of their own lives, their health, their retirement needs, and that of other family members too! It isn't only one way, and I knits a very difficult decision to make, or else they wouldn't be on here seeking advice!

At 91, I'd like to think that the Mother in this case, would want their own Daughter, to live their life the best way possible. I think shes doing the best for all concerned.

Please, do not make people feel bad about their tough decisions! The've suffere enough!
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I go crazy bonkers when I hear elderly parents say "it's owed to me" for children to take care of their parents when they're old. Seriously? So all of a sudden people have kids so they can take care of them when they're old..?? Get outta here. Bless you for taking it on though. I totally understand the whole gratitude and kindness goes a long way. I hope you find the balance of things soon.
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.. last stop before death.
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staceyb

Many elderly feel moving into these places is the
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Logan

Of course the staff would like her, she is keeping them employed.
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Logan, that is Great News! At least, you have their blessings to get her into a place that you think is nice, who will care for her and respect her well, and that you feel good about! I have only toured on Assisted living place, but man, I would live there Myself!

Why the elderly are reluctant to mive into these types of facilities is beyond me, but they probably haven't seen enough of them themselves!

I sincerely hope that this all works out for you, and your Mom too! I can't think of a better way to go! Good luck! I'm so jealous! Lol!
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Staceyb! I have 3 brothers...none are close but and pretty much have said do what you think is best. Works for me. Interestingly enough...the place she was at for respite care for the 4 days called today, they said she was well liked by the staff and the residents were asking about her! Honestly, I loved the place. I would stay there myself (not yet!). So I think it is worth tell her about what they said and sending her there again for another stay to get used to being there.

I hope all goes well with your FIL. And I hope your husband gets better soon. Please take care of yourself!!
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Logan, I can relate to your mother expecting the only daughter to step up (I'm an only daughter, also).

My mother brought her mother into our home, and it was very disruptive (the dining room was turned into her bedroom). My mother worked, and it was only a (short) matter of time that something else needed to be done because my grandmother was getting out and wandering. So she put her in a nursing home, and my grandmother didn't last long there (she broke her hip) before she died.
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Logan, I definitely know how hard it is, but you've got to put your foot down! You are too young to be saddled with a 91 year old Mom, living in your home! Especially with the way in which she treats you!

How many local siblings do you have, that can help you to look at Independent living places? I think its time to rally the troops and cry UNCLE!

They all recognized that she would be too demanding for them to manage, and it doesn't sound like they have stepped up to help you through this past year. But now, you need their help in getting Mom to recognize that she will probably even enjoy living in a nice place, umongst her peers, even if that is sitting in her own apartment, and going down for meals. Most older ladies will soon find out that they have been missing that sort of friendships, and will soon find her participating in the activities, its all in the way in which you SELL IT!

Even my FIL has aggreed to go and visit some senior living type places, unfortunately, he will probably end up in a nursing home. But I do know, that even as Narcissistic as he is, he can see the destruction he is leaving in his wake, and is realizing it's time. Hes not going to like it, but heck, he doesn't like anything, other than being able to push my husband around to do his bidding, and hubby is disabled himself! Bad backs, and picking him up off of the floor, aren't a good mix!

I'm praying here myself, that my husband doesn't give out before his Dad does!

Caregiving Sucks!
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I want to thank you all for listening, ideas and lending an ear. It does help a lot!!
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JJGood, I checked into that. Having someone come in to my home isn't something I am comfortable with. I think the assisted living would be best. It's getting her to see that.
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CTTN, my mother thinks she is owed just in general as "she took care of her mother, why shouldn't I" type of attitude. I do have the power of atty and she doesn't qualify for medicaid but could afford an assisted living facility.
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Staceyb, I'm 52, the youngest in my family and the only girl which I think contributes to my mother's thought process of it should all be on me. Thank you for your kind words and response. It helps alot!!
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I hired a local company who specializes in elder care, in helping families take care of their elderly loved ones. They are full of contacts and resources, helped to set up tours of facilities etc. I continue to find them an invaluable resource in helping me take care of my Mom.
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