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Glad to have found this forum. I currently have a situation where my disabled, chronically ill mother (67) is declining into dementia or Alzheimer’s (though doctor’s have not formally said this yet—I see it coming). She took a fall in her apt and after 8 days in the hospital, she was taken to an SNF for therapy for being fall risk and the doc not wanting to send her home on her own. She only gives one word responses but can still read and eat, walk on her own sometimes. She is incontinent sometimes and wears adult diapers. I ultimately will NOT want guardianship over her once and if she is deemed unable to make her own decisions. She has Medicare and Medicaid. The doctors did mention she may have to go to assisted living. I also found out 6 months ago (and noticed her declining cognition) she was abusing her pain medication (oxy based) and she was not going to doc appts. She seemed to give up taking care of herself and if I suggested anything she told me to “mind my own business”.


Our backstory is I was extremely parentified by my mother who was an alcoholic and has had Dysfunctional issues all my life. She no longer drinks, but has abused drugs in the past. She also enables a sibling who abuses drugs and they are both triangulated in drama constantly with their older sibling.
I was ultimately raised by other family members who were functional and I left my hometown and made a life for myself in the military. I came back to my hometown eventually, but 10 years ago I TOTALLY cut ties and set boundaries with my Dysfunctional family of origin, including my mother who, despite my continued efforts to assist her in constructive ways, continued to be in triangulation, enmeshment and dysfunctional family trauma and generally make bad decisions.


I, at age 51, have no available resources or willingness as her only child (daughter) to be her guardian or burden/expose my own family with her issues and at present I have NO POAs etc. Before she fell ill, I was planning on relocating with my family for new opportunity and still plan on doing so. Has anyone ever just let the social workers in the SNF take over and have a parent become a ward of the state? After decades of trying to help my mother I am resentful and burnt out emotionally and mentally. I have nothing left to give her except to let the state take care of her and get her the help she needs.


Thanks in advance for any responses.

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i should have done what you are doing. I should have chosen that path. Instead, I wound up being a resentful, anxious mess. Mom had some assets, which at first seemed attractive, but here I am now a year after her death still reeling from the trauma. I got divorced, failed at my work responsibilities as a caregiver, and am now looking for a new career. I almost even lost contact with my own son because I was so busy dating in my pathetic attempt to just have some fun amid the depressing paperwork, management of caregivers, cleaning out an entire household hoard, renting out the house, and moving money around involved with taking over my Mom’s estate.
Luckily, my son readily forgave me, I’m starting up my own business, and I’ve started to get my life back on track. I would not recommend this course for anyone with an abusive and neglectful childhood in his/her past.
I really didn’t have much support; just a string of unreliable boyfriends; no amount of money was worth it, in retrospect. My mother looked the other way when my stepdad was molesting me, and never apologized. She was narcissistic, jealous of my accomplishments, and we never had a solid loving relationship when I was growing up; It wasn’t a solid enough relationship for me to have stepped in and have my life ransacked. You’re making the right choice. Don’t feel a need to over-explain your situation to strangers; they won’t understand or be able to make you feel better about your path. Please update us and let us know how you are doing. My heart goes out to you. I understand.
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Judyskid Sep 13, 2019
Great answer.
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First, your family is the one who raises you. Your mom was basically an egg donor.

We allowed the state of MN to take guardianship over my StepFIL because he blew thru 3 inheritances but never really worked, borrowed money from family but never paid it back and when old and broke and sick would not give anyone PoA or apply for Medicaid. He was never a true, loving participant in our family. He became ill with Parkinsons, and at 6'5" expected us to take full care of him, including to send my husband and 2 of my teenage sons to go pick him up off the floor at midnight during the school/work week. We did that once and that was the last time we did it. Nope. Not gonna happen on my watch. We reported him to social services as a vulnerable adult so that he got on their radar. We allowed them to take guardianship over him. So we knew he'd be in a facility and we would have no say in any of his care after that. We brought my MIL to visit him, which was a huge undertaking since she also was in a facility and had no money (thanks to him) and was wheelchair-bound, overweight, etc. so had to hire a medical van just to get her there. Eventually he passed and the state cremated him and wanted to know what to do with his ashes. And that was it.

If your "mother" doesn't give you or anyone PoA, this is what will happen anyway, so just let it. Right now if she's still in the hospital they probably have a social worker assigned to her so call and see if you can talk to that person to get the state guardianship ball rolling. It took me a while to get over the fact that StepFI died a sad, lonely person but we gave him every opportunity to not have it go that way. He just wouldn't cooperate and he exhausted us. You have a conscience so I totally understand that you still do care about what happens to your mother even though she didn't care what happened to you. No judgment regarding that. Wishing you peace in your heart!
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Windyridge Sep 10, 2019
Egg donor. Lots of em out there. Best response I think I have ever seen on this forum. Tough love. Very good.

My mom was a mom not just an egg donor but I went through hell and high water trying to get her and dad to get help. No way, no how, ain’t gonna.....I called APS and alerted them that I could do nothing more. They told me to call back if I had an emergency.
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I applaud your clear thinking and acceptance of the realities.

There is bound, as you and your mother continue through life, to be a certain amount of tut-tutting and head-shaking from uninformed people that this poor poor lady etc etc. With a bit of luck it won't come to your attention, but if it ever should, be comforted. You are choosing the direction which will result in your mother's needs being met without detriment to your family or yourself; and if that doesn't satisfy popular sentiment - too bad.
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NoGPeace Sep 12, 2019
Thank you Countrymouse. One of the dramatic, triangulating and Dysfunctional siblings of my mother has already tried the proverbial guilt trip on me, but I calmly held firm to my decision and ended the conversation. I have to limit my contact. I’ve been breathing much easier in the last day or so and simply looking forward. My mother will get the care she needs and my family will be intact and at peace without any added burden or responsibilities they did not ask for. Thank you so much for your response. Take care.
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Well, my mother is a real must miss, alcoholic, abusive and just plain nasty. I do not talk to her anymore, she lives alone in NC, the mountain area, 13 steps up, 13 steps down, a death trap for an elderly person.

Over the years my brother and I have talked and talked and tried everything to get her to move...Nope....everything we suggest is subject to a quick response of No.

So, now, we wait, until the inevitable happens, then we will step in.

If you do not want to be her POA or guardian, don't do it, let the state handle her. She could live another 20+ years...my mother is 94...so, it can happen and you will be miserable trying to deal with her.

Sending support your way!
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Reply to DollyMe
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Thank you everyone for your responses. I very much appreciate your input and sharing of your experiences. You have all helped to bring me some guilt-free CLARITY and resolve (and a sigh of relief from DH & kids). We are excited about moving forward with our future and not allowing anything to hinder our plans.
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Janna228 Sep 13, 2019
Bless you for posting this. I too am in your situation and have been tearing myself apart about it. After reading your story, and reading these responses, I have finally come to the decision I've been wanting to make for fifty eight years with my mentally ill, narcissistic and psychologically abusive mother. This group has been such a comfort to me today. May we all be free of guilt and suffering. Although I'm sad to think anyone else has had to walk this difficult path, at least we know we aren't alone. Sending warmth and support to all of you who have responded so lovingly and supportively to NoGPeace. Love to you all.
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My parents were/are awful people and I walked away from both of them after trying for fifty years to get through to them. I didn't leave them to social workers and the state because they had other resources but I would have.

My father had his second wife--she had her own business and took care of him to the end. He was estranged from everyone else and even gossiped about her whenever she was out of earshot. My mother is 92, frail and half blind but strong as a horse and will probably live to be 107. She has plenty of money and lots of people around her but they all use her, which she encourages so she can control them.

Both of my parents have/had personality disorders and were abusive and impossible; I knew instinctively when I was three years old that something was wrong with both of them. I've also completely given up on my mother so she'll have to find her own way through to the end. I tried for so long and wasted so much time and money on both of them that any "guilt" or hope is gone.

So I did walk away--twice. Wish I'd done it years sooner.
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Reply to Davina
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Yes. Sometimes to protect ourselves, it is appropriate to divorce ourselves from our family of origin. I think for you, it sounds appropriate because I can see it would eventually become a situation of resentment and retribution/abuse. The anger is there still. Allowing dispassionate detached persons to assist your mother is probably best for her and for you.
I made that choice 15 years ago related to my own mother. I have no contact. I plan no further contact for any reason. I have no care for the disposition of any property or even a funeral. She will have made a plan and others can carry those out. I just do not care anymore...enough hurts and traumas... I lost my childhood and family long ago...and my attempts to repair the relationship as an adult failed.

I now like my life away from my family of origin and have cut all ties forever. God is big enough to watch over that, and I surrendered that to Him years ago. I cannot love her enough to help. But God can.
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Reply to missmacintx
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You have no obligation to become guardian to ANY parent, much less one as abusive as your mother.

Allow the state to take control.

Ultimately, she will actually get better care because there won't be the emotional enmeshment issues she has with you. Even with guardianship, she STILL will tell you to mind your own business.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I think that you are very wise to move far away from the insanity.

I would not tell anyone anything that you don't feel comfortable telling. No, I am not going to be her guardian is all you need to say. Nobody needs the back story. It's just ammo for them to try and guilt you with. You don't owe anyone any explanations. NO, is a complete sentence.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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NoGPeace Sep 13, 2019
Yes, it was a very short convo. I let them do the talking and kept my answers very short and simple.
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Guilt is for all intents and purposes a worthless, joy sucking, non-productive emotional reaction to complicated decision making.

You have written a lucid and rational explanation for a complex problem which has been “gifted” to you by other people who do not and CANNOT comprehend the UNIQUE experience that has determined your decision making.

May you be blessed by a renewed future without the constraints of ANYONE’S opinions BUT YOURS in regard to the degree of care in which you participate on your mother’s behalf.
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DianneGee Sep 13, 2019
Well put.
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