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She is 93 with moderate dementia. She has always been this way coming back from childhood, her way of control, this I am aware of and not wanting to give into that control. It is quite difficult that now I am the sole caregiver for her, my brother, the other sibling, died twelve years ago with cancer and his family is very distant with us. So it is hard to be doing this alone after thirty years, caring for my father who died of cancer in 1987, my elderly grandmother who died in 1997, my brother who died in 2002 and now my mother. I would appreciate any advice or input you might have.

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We're in good shape I think as far as paperwork goes. We are her POA's for medical and financial, she has a will and she actually put the ground in our name over 3 years ago. Her Doctor signed a paper saying she was incompetent to make medical decisions. We will continue to take care of her...I don't have a problem with that. It's just her always throwing it up that we owe her and not realizing or appreciating everything we've done and are doing. To say something to her about needing a break from caregiving would send her through the roof! I'm sure you all go through the same sort of thing. I just need to have more patience and compassion. Thanks for all the advice and words of wisdom. Keep us all in your prayers!
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Judyab - STOP PAYING. STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP.
This is undermining your ability to put away for your own needs and future, and you are not required to do this. The more you do, the more you'll have to do.

I think an indentured servant would have paid for freedom in less than 20 years at modern day rates!

It's time to reassess:

==Did you sign up to take care of her to the end of her days or just until she could be better? Either way, it's time to put the next level plan in place.

==What's a next level plan? It's the plan that will assure both you & husband plus cousin-in-law (CIL?) a peaceful, secure future. Farming this way can make things pretty complicated.

I STRONGLY encourage you to go to an estate planning attorney with farm experience ASAP, to make sure YOUR interests are looked out for. Nobody else will look out for them, I promise.

Even if CIL has a will giving you everything, there's a lot that can take place between signing a will and it being enforceable that affects real property and other assets & investments. Especially if one party becomes incompetent for any reason. This limbo-time can be a super rude surprise to a lot of people as they watch things slip away that were "supposed to be ours" but were never legally taken care of.

Step one is figuring out your current and future legal situation. This will define if or how you can even proceed.

==If neither of you are her durable power of attorney, you have no legal standing in this situation, you actually can't perform the duties of a legal caretaker for her financial or medical decisions while she is alive. The bank and insurance or doctor can't talk to you. You can't sign anything for her. You can't do any financial transactions for her. The farm decisions are something else. Be careful what you ask for if you really don't want to have this burden.

==If either of you are her "attorney in fact" (the durable POA holder), then you have the ability to make sane decisions about her care and keeping mostly regardless of what she says. It depends on what kind of POA stipulations exist. The point of DPOA is to obtain medical care, help, and protect her from herself and others who would take advantage of her person and money.

==If you guys are farming for her, I surely hope there's an agreement in place that specifies what your takings are vs. hers if you aren't part owners. If not, and you plan to stay because it's your livlihood, you will definitely need something to protect your ability to live there and make money if she needs to go on Medicaid in the future. Medicaid provisions only cover spouses and disabled children who live in the home. You will have to research your state's rules about how Medicaid would affect full time farm caretakers who are not legal employees or part owners or something like that.

Medicaid looks back 5 years to find assets that can be sold or used to pay for care, and it's no longer possible to just gift away money & property to hide it.

Good luck and please let us know how it's going!
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First thing, she's not our mom. She is my husbands 2nd cousin. She has no other family and we actually moved to the country 20 years ago to take care of her and her farm. She feels we are in debt to her and owe her everything. (even tho we've worked our fannies off for her all these years) One of the big problems is that she feels like we should pay for anytime she needs someone else to care for her. My husband's brother died and we had to go to Florida for a few days. She stayed with a lady that charged $60 a day but we paid for it just to keep her calm. Oh well, it is what it is!
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Can you get your Mom in some kind of low cost housing or somewhere she can be independent and have her pay for helpers? Even if it's for only a few years before she needs more intense care, it will save YOUR life and your hubby's.
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Yes juddabuddhaboo, I am thankful for this thread also. It helps me to not take all the hateful things she says to heart. I feel like I'm stuck in a situation that I never dreamed I'd be in...taking care of someone who doesn't appreciate anything. Nothing's ever good enough. the more I give, the more she expects. On the other hand, I can only imagine being 95 with a failing body but still a strong mind. She has very little dementia. She's just always lived on her own and doesn't like living by someone else's rules. She has been living with my husband and me for the past year. We're doing the best we can and sometimes I feel the same way you do. Just want to say to h*ll with it all!
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Oops I meant conscience not conscious! ha
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I am very grateful for this thread. Hey judyab, thanks for mentioning the fakey childish laugh. The other day my 93 mom was pointing at her power cord on her laptop and demanding that I need to just talk to comcast to give them the number of the modem. "That's not your modem, Mom. That's your power cord to your computer." Drama queen throws up her head and nose in the air leaps off her bed and dances around the room like a man imitating a gay guy, and with her best sarcastic high pitched voice punctuated with a heinous sarcasm she mocks me and saying, "OH YOU know everything! Think you are so smart!" and junk like that. I should have walked out right there, but I just ignored her and tried to fix her problem. But it hurt me a lot later because she has used that sarcastic drama crap from the time I was born and I can't stand it. Why should I waste my time with someone like her? If she weren't my mother I'd have dumped any association with such a poor characher, sick or not.

It does help to see that a lot of this is dementia of some kind, but I guess I haven't forgiven her from all the abuse of the past and it just makes me more determined to find ways of NOT being there. I have a wealthy brother who does NOTHING. My sister is handicapped and is unable to do anything, and Mom is single. I am like a lot of you: can't leave them in conscious but can't stand their company either.
Some days I think that I've done enough and to H*ll with her but not quite ready to do that either. 85% there. though. Why should I be the one to take this crap?
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Just leave. Why subject yourself to any of this. It will only kill you with stress sooner than later. If nutso is acting out in your house, go outside, sit on the porch with a cup of coffee and continue to leave if she starts up again when you come in. If nutso is in a nursing facility, leave and go back home to peace and quiet. When I would visit my aunt in the nursing home and she would smack me across the face, I would tell her, "This visit is over because you hit me." And I would leave. She never changed her behavior and I never changed mine. I never knew why she hit me. She and I never had a bad word between us even when she was there. You don't have to take this kind of behavior no matter how much you love them.
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I've got the same problem with a 95 year old that I take care of in my home. A couple of days ago she was mad about something...I told her I wasn't going to argue with her or stay and listen to her calling me names. She just started fake laughing really loud. So childish!
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Zdarov - the OP might just be busy with life and managing that mother. Others will read the thread & get help from it.
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My solution was to put mom where her dementia behaviors could be handled. That was not my house. Mom would pull some award winning dramatic stunts my whole life, over the littlest things. After dementia, she tried to cane me in the head, fake a stroke and falling on the stairs, pooped her pants in the store (she is not bowel incontinent), etc. Nothing too dramatic for her.

I stopped taking her out in public completely. Not even for lunch or a haircut. The unpredictability was too much for me. The stress was too great. The whole day it took was too great. I opted out. Every trip we took before I stopped was a travesty. A scene, a public show on her part.

She missed all the holidays, by her choice. We all dressed up and showed up for the xmas party at her residence, and she had refused to bathe, dress, or come out for it. She missed a heck of a spread, but whatever. They were even doing free family pictures by the great big tree. We ate & left. We had a good time.

Recently, she had an epic psychological break, raging for over 24 hours straight. It took several large men, restraints and a big injection of sedative to stop it, plus 5 days in a locked psych unit. Now she's on big anti-psychotic meds and is tame. But I would never take her out.

She hasn't been out for any kind of off-site trip since probably November 2013. And that's the way it is. This isn't my idea of utopia either, but it is just not worth the agony of trying to include her or take her out for diversions. That time has passed.
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Don`t argue with her! I know it`s hard not to,I`ve tried everything I can think of, with my mom.Sometimes it`s by trial &error, until you know what`s right, for you!
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I'm not sure what to think of a thread when the initiator never posts again..?
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"I was so bored, I read the New Yorker," says 93 yr old mother. "I couldn't find anything in it I liked. It was all about young people's problems."
After she was done ranting about it I said, "I guess someone has to start a new magazine, The OLD New Yorker."
She didn't seem to get the joke. Good thing I laugh at my own remarks, if I can get them in sideways.
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I think walking away is more about keeping cool and not returning the hurt in kind. Like counting to ten. Keeping your temper when what you really want to do is to scream back.
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I understand wanting to treat the person with dementia like a 2-year old when they are acting like one. The big difference is that the 2-year old can eventually learn from the experience. The person with dementia can't. In this case, walking away isn't "teaching" anything, it is removing yourself from an abusive situation. In order to be an effective caretaker you have to take care of yourself too.
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ellieG does your mum have dementia/alz? Its harder i think when its thier house thier rules maybe you should have kept her at your house then maybe youd have a bit more to bargain with?? im in mums house so its horrible when you have to run sometimes! if this was my house boy oh boy things would be different!
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Hi, Laurie.

Funny you posted this today. I was just at a workshop for caregivers. I would suggest that you find a respite service to give you a break. From what you said, I see that you have been caring for a lot of people in your family. There are local organizations in your community that can assist you with different forms of help. It sounds like you're overwhelmed, and that isn't good for you, your parent, your family (if you are married or have children), or even for your work. Ask for help! That's what it's there for. Good luck.
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I stopped offering to help my mom with money when she still had her house. Her heater broke and her house was so cold and damp. I had estimates done and a new furnace then would have run about $800. I told her I would buy her a new furnace so she didn't freeze. Nope. She wanted new red plush carpeting. I told her in that case I'd lend her the money and I wanted to be paid back. She did, and man I never heard the end of it. "I paid you back every dime for that carpeting." Yeah, she did, but she could have had a warm house and older carpeting and instead she chose a cold, damp house with red carpeting. Not catching pneumonia seemed more important to me, but what do I know? She thinks she was the envy of the whole town she lived in with her red plush carpet in her $40,000 house. Never mind that two miles up the road there was a sub with $400,000 homes. That's narcissism for you. The whole town is in awe of a little old lady who sits in her house and chain smokes. Doesn't go to church, doesn't volunteer, no clubs or anything, but it's a corner house with red carpeting inside so the whole world is envious.
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We should write a book about the things no one tells you before becoming a caregiver. If anyone had given a heads up I would have run like the wind.Would have never believed my mom could be such a spoiled brat. I just have to leave the room hen mom has a tantrum. She may not remember all the horrible tings she says but I remember all to well. Sorry the last memories of her I will have will all be bad.
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To lat to tell me that now. Hospital bills are already paid off. I told my mother that since I am helping foot the bills my name is going on the title. My brother and his wife are not aware of this since they don't every come over. And I am disinclined to enlighten them of the changes. :D
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LadyForbes, why were you helping to pay your mother's bills? Sounds like a bit of a tactical error.
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Oh yeh my SIL is barred from this house so my brother uses this as an excuse to not spend too much time with mum? lucky they dont have kids or hed never be able to help out i am lucky to have another Older brother who told him to "man up" shes your mother too!
My poor mum she wants to work it that SIL gets nothing when shes gone but i try and tell her to let it go hes married her and yes i wouldnt be surprised if she left my brother and took half his inheritence but thats his problem shes a golddigging )*£"))"£! And god no! do not let your SIL near your mums house who the h*ll does she think she is? a nurse? so what most nurses ive met told me to leave mum that THEY couldnt do what i do?? LOL
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My brother doesn't even claim her as his mother. If he wants to talk to her he texts me asking me to have MY mother call him. And the thing that makes me the most madis that he and his wife ( who is a registered nurse ) live the next block over from her. I was living six hours away. I had to sell my house and most of my stuff to help pay her bills and now his wifeis making plans to sell her house. That is sooooo not happening.
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Ladyforbes if shes ok for 4 hours then take those four hours and "hide out" somewhere!! I have a routine here i get up before mum clean the whole house and if im really with it ill precook the nights dinner then get mum up dressed and make her breakfast at noon when she gets up. I leave a salad or sandwich for her and i run to my coffee shop for a break then i come back and have a bath cook her dinner and PHEW its 7pm and shes tired and at the tv until midnight so yes i have it planned as to not have much time with her as shell rant about the past or someone she hates or moan at the movie or whatever and whoever!
I know this is going to get worse and she will not be able to be alone for this long so im getting my breaks while i can. she isnt really bothered that i go off during the day but if i want to go out at night she throws "huge" tantrums and i will just go and text brother to stay yes i am kinds lucky to have a brother down the road but hes clever he arrives at 11pm mums in bed by midnight then he gets her up and hes gone by 9am. Yes hes got it sussed he stayed here last night OH dear he looked a bit stressed today?? poor baby (golden boy).
Someone once said on here "treat this caring like a business, a job" yes routine timeout and take as many breaks as you can now while we still can!
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If only I could leave the room.... my mother is disabled and needs a lot of attention. The longest the Dr suggested she be left alone is four hours. What I wouldn't give for a full nights sleep.
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so can a person with Alz or dementia still be contolling?
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I have this same problem with my Mom who is 94. She will say that I or someone else said something, and when I say " no they did not say that" she will pull a tantrum. Unfortunately I can't agree with others who say "walk out on her". If I did that Mom would go totally bananas! I have found the best thing to do is bite my tongue, and more or less say "whatever" and try to agree. Then forget about it, and most likely she will in a little while. When Mom throws these tantrums, usually within an hour or two, she completely forgets that it happened.
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My mother-in-law occasionally has outbursts of anger. She has Alzheimer’s. She got mad at me one time for making up her bed by throwing a pillow at me. I just ignore her and let her throw her temper tantrum. She no longer throws tantrums when I make up her bed. We now have a caretaker staying with her. I have observed how the caretaker handles her. She’s very firm, but kind, and scolds and corrects her (as speaking to a child) when her social behavior is unacceptable.

Bless your heart for what you’ve been through already caring for other family members who were terminally ill.

Don’t respond to your mother’s outbursts; just leave the room until she calms down. If financially possible, hire an experienced caretaker to come in and stay with her. They cost around $16/hr, depending on area of the country.
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Goagurl could you use the trick that parents used on us kids when we'd start up -- "If you don't stop that right now, I'm going to turn this car around." Then do it. Go back home. Then leave her alone and go to your room or leave on your own.

After you follow-through a few times with that and she (hopefully) gets the connection and (hopefully) can remember what happens when she acts up, maybe she'll stop? It might be worth a try - particularly on shorter trips out. I'd take her back home and then leave in the car, which highlights that you control the car and she doesn't.
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