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Got a call from mom's senior apartment complex manager Sept 2014, letting me know that over a half dozen tenants had come to her with concerns about my mom's cognitive abilities. My mother has always been a mean and vengeful person and had written my brother and I off all through out our lives so by this time it had been years since our last contact. I spoke with my brother and we decided to go make a home visit to see what was going on. Her place was disorganized which she said poltergeists were doing...that they were constantly moving her things around. The food in her fridge was rotten, dishes weren't done and you could tell that it had been ages since her shower had been used. She was pleasant. Seemed matter of fact stating that the neighbors and maintenance man were stealing from her when she wasn't home because she couldnt find things. Verbally, she seemed fine, able to carry on a normal conversation. I spoke with my husband and we decided to offer her a room in our home while we got her Medicaid and located an assisted living facility. We offered and she jumped on it. Hindsight-HUGE mistake! I should have called Senior services while she was still living in her apartment so that they would have to figure it out and find a solution for her. Senior Services said she didn't qualify for the Medicaid assisted living benefit. That kept her square in my lap, in my home. We were stuck. So, I put on my big girl panties and decided I was doing the right thing and would do my best for her. We added fifteen pounds to her frail 85 pound frame. We started to see the effects of dementia immediately. She accused us of stealing things which we would find exactly where she had placed them, she refused to shower, she was still driving and ended up lost and slept in a parking lot. She had creditors calling and was going to her bank almost every day withdrawing cash to go gamble(always had this addiction). At this time I called her doctor to see if we could get an evaluation done by a neurologist. Her primary care said she had to be seen by her first and that they would do a test in their office. Their test lasted 10 minutes and they said she was fine??During the visit she was concerned about chest sounds so referred to a pulmonologist and sent us to x-ray. The Pulmonologist said he could tell that she had dementia( his father had dementia and so he was very familiar with it) so spoke with me concerning her results which were severe emphysema in both lungs and a wallet sized mass in the upper lobe on her right lung(nsclc in his opinion), and said she was not a good candidate for treatment which I agreed with, as did she. Her primary care physician referred her to Hospice and we started that process in July 2015. Through Hospice we found medications that helped with the dementia(the aggression, spitting and hitting)with the goal being to help make her 'final days' happier. It was determined that she was early to moderate stage 3-4 dementia. As crazy as it may sound the dementia was the most troublesome of her symptoms for us. She was on hospice for 18 months when they decided to sign her off. The dementia over time worsened but her lung mass and emphysema seem to be stablizing. So now we are on our own with a referral back to the pulmonologist to get a clearer idea of what we are dealing with. In the almost two and a half years she has been here she has gone from stage 3 to 5/6. She no longer knows what day month season or year It is. She now tries to find ways to go home. No appetite but will eat 2 to 3 small meals or nutrition drinks offered to her. If you ask if she is hungry she will say no so we just give her the food. Her gait is unstable, she refuses to use a walker but will allow the wheelchair when we go out. In many ways in our situation the dementia appears to imitate multiple personality disorder. You just never know who you are going to have at any given time. The delusions are more frequent(no UTI). Even though I know I am doing the right thing by her, it is taking it's toll on me, my husband, my family. Oregon health plan will kick in for a memory care facility when she can no longer toilet herself and feed herself. Realistically, that is years down the road. I am sleep deprived, have gained fifty pounds since she moved in, ears ring incessantly, live in a fog with family very concerned. A positive..I have found out who my real friends are. Would I do it again? Sadly, NO!

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Would I do it again? Hmmm, I guess that depends a lot on when I am asked that question. For me, I am only two years in to my XX year sentence. Everything seems to have stabilized right now and I am managing everything pretty well. My husband is a little bitter about how much she has taken our freedom and I know this has impacted the kids but, right now...I guess I am OK with the decision.

But, if you had asked me about two months ago...NO WAY. We were in a particularly rough patch at the time.

Ask me again in a few months and who knows.

The one thing I wished I had done sooner was spend her money on her care. Initially, I was trying to do everything myself and only brought in a caregiver for the 24 hours a week I was working. But then I realized that I was safeguarding her money for what? So that my brothers could inherit what was left? Now, I have caregivers come in 55 hours a week (I work 40) and am willing to bring people in on weekends when there is something I want to do.

So, while I do not regret taking Mom in, I regret the time I spent trying to do it all myself.
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Would I have my mom move in with me if I had if to do over? No. I'm not sorry I tried and I'm sorry I failed, but I was with my mom 24/7 for over a year, did everything for her, and had no life of my own. Resentment was taking over my thoughts and I had no patience with her. I would wake up every morning saying I was going to do better and by 1 or 2 pm (when I was actually able to get a shower myself) was hating myself because I'd lost it again. She had three falls since mid January and the last one put her in the hospital and rehab. She will not be coming back to my home. It's tough when she looks at me with her doe eyes and asks when she's coming home, but I have to stay strong and tell myself this is best for her and me. She needs more care and stimulation than I can give her and I need a life of my own too. If I had continued on wifh her care I would have had a nervous breakdown or worse. I need to be healthy in mind and body to advocate for her while she gets the care she needs.
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I feel no guilt when I say I will not be living or letting my uncle stay with me.

When the time comes that he can't live in his house I will have caregivers stay with him. When that becomes unsafe he will have to go to an assistant living place.

For me it's not about loving him, it's about what's best for him and me. I'm not a caregiver.

Nicole
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My parents live four houses down and have been a declining depressed mess for 6-7 years. They don't live with me, but had I known 15 years ago what I know now, I would never have encouraged them to purchase a home near me! They are a heavy weight around my neck. I cannot drive out of our subdivision without passing their house. They are self destructive and are not the people I grew up with. It's a real drag and likely to go on into the future for quite some time. I have two friends who moved mother/mother in law in to their homes within the past few years. One is in deep regret and marriage is just about shot. The other is in the early stages of this living arrangement and I think it's beginning to sink in that moving mom into the house was not such a great idea....Take care of you, you have the rest of your life in front of you!
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Yes I would. However, that said, my dad had a small pension and I have acreage so together we bought him a Mobile Home and put it in my front yard. He lived there very happily, on his own, with me assisting him and cooking for him. He had Early-onset Alzheimer's but was taking Aricept.
I miss him and his mobile home - but I got to really know my dad in those few years and I am thankful even for the days of, "my remote won't work anymore."
I was lucky - he was never violent or abusive during that time. He was extremely thankful.
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Mamakp, I know it's become almost a cliché but yours really is the case that "no good deed goes unpunished." And it wasn't even doing the right thing by your mother that landed you in this, it was doing the responsible thing by her community! And that's the thanks you get for it - no help when you need it.

I'm so sorry it's turning out like this for you. To answer your question, I'm torn between 'no you must be joking' and 'yes but I'd do it all differently.' But overall we all need to have a fair trial run at it before deciding, and it's... Not Fair! :(
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Mother doesn't live with me, she lives with brother. Initially, both mother and daddy lived there. Daddy passed from Parkinson's 12+ years ago. Mother is still hanging on. The last time I saw her (I do respite care for brother, although mother is still relatively independent, she cannot cook or clean for herself) I really noticed the dementia. And she also told me how amazingly healthy she is (having just been to the dr) Told me he said she'd live another 10 years. She'd be 97.....OMG. She's a hoarder. You can't clean for her since she won't allow ANYTHING to go out of the apartment. She just won a huge prize at Easter Bingo--a basket FULL of CRAP. Body lotions, more scented candles, MORE salt and pepper shakers, 3 stuffed animals, boxes of candy. Her place reeks of stale urine and all this hoard. Now brother's house smells like this.
I asked brother if he'd do it again and I got a resounding "NO!!!!!". It's been OK, and it's been horrible. SIL doesn't even acknowledge mother's presence. Mother has no filter and says what she feels. Hurts feelings, she doesn't care or maybe doesn't get it. Brother is in terrible shape, physically, I can see him dying before she does.
Mother's attitude? If "R" can't have me in his house I'll just move in with "E". Nope, she's going to an ALF if "R" can't continue.
Brother knows there will be nothing to inherit if Mother goes into long term care, and he's counting on the money. About $10,000. In my book, not worth it.
My hubby once ran past me the idea that HIS mother live with us. I said "She can live with YOU, but I'd leave." He thought I was awful--but this is a man who hasn't spent more than 2 hrs twice as year with his mom. And he'd happily dump her on me.
So----no, do whatever you can, but don't move aging, ill parents in with you. I have almost never seen it go well.
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I wish I could say yes, but no. We moved my mom, with Stage 4 Dementia, in with us just over a year ago. It was going okay until my husband and I took a five-week vacation alone figuring we'd return home rested, reconnected, and renewed. Not at all how we envisioned it. Mom came back to our home with a rather poor and argumentative attitude and we are both stressed out more than before our vacation. Her memory lapses are inconsistent and sometimes I wonder if she's pulling my leg. She disrespects my husband's space and when he calls her on it, her response is, "Can't you take a joke?" um, the wrong thing to say. He has been wonderfully tolerant throughout the past year, but now, neither of us has any patience. I find myself dreading her bedroom door opening. I can't tolerate hearing another, "When I was a kid. . ." story. I've been taking care of her in various manners since my dad passed away 10 years. Now, I feel I'm through. There is no appreciation or recognition of anything we do for her, only endless bodily noises, fights to get her into the shower and to brush her teeth, contrariness, and annoyance. It is ruining my health and peace of mind. I am now looking for a place for her. There is a little guilt, but what I've come to realize is that I am not a caretaker--at least not for people who won't put forth an effort to do for themselves. When I feel guilty about my impatience these days, I realize I need to care for myself. I just want to be her daughter again--not her mother. Sorry for venting but this is a forum where I know others will understand.
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No, I would not do this again. I have Ma in my home where I live only 3 days per week. My sister has the other days but can always go home after making dinner. But having an elder parent in your home is tiring beyond belief and affects your relationship with your significant other even though you both recognize and do everything you can to work against this. My Ma was a wonderful mother and I didn't recall any bad stuff. But now I see she is a real (pardon my French) agent provocateur. She can't move without a walker but with a straight face said to me she is "not disabled." She will not go out of the house to take a car ride or anything (only when my sister takes her to the doctor). She is patronizing about what we read and watch on TV and often talks right through the news and other shows we watch before dinner. She is incredibly picky about the food we serve. I'm sure she doesn't mean it but every word out of her mouth sounds like a complaint. I'm thankful it's her legs that went instead of her brain but I can hardly relate to her anymore. Really, if there is another way, avoid taking your aging parents into your home.
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Would I do it all over again? My mom I would. I would have cared for her forever. Would I agree to take in my grandma? I don't know. It's easy to say no because it's taken over my life. I have no job, no husband, never get out, have no friends and honestly no life. It's my whole existence because there's always sickness, hospital visits, doctor visits, and other things going on not to mention the daily routine of getting her up after multiple bathroom breaks throughout the night, convincing her to go the bathroom then take her pills and not chew them or hold them in her mouth, then we do breakfast, she gets a shot from me for her diabetes. Then I breathe for a second before she gets a shower, gets dressed, takes more pills, has a morning snack. Then I breathe again for just a second so then I can do another bathroom break, then more pills, lunch, nap if I'm real lucky, snack, cook dinner, feed her and give her more pills. Get her ready for bed. I do get a 3 hour break in the morning but I'm spending on getting her pils again, picking up pills and setting them up, then getting food. then the night time routine. It's tiring but sometimes when she smiles and says what a good girl I am instead of calling me the devil and evil, it helps make it worth it.

One thing I do know, if someone asks me my opinion on it, I would not recommend caring for someone who has dementia in their home but instead would recommend a good nursing home that they can visit.
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