Between my son and me, we have cared for my mother for 13 years. I alone have been caring for her 11 years. Last weekend my brother and his wife came to visit my mother. I started to vent about taking full 24/7 care for her. Tears were flowing from my eyes while I took out my frustrations. On top of caring for my mother, I am babysitting my 8 year old grand daughter until school starts. I am at my boiling point overwhelmed with too much stress.

When I mention a nursing facility to my mother, she tells me I'm throwing her away. Then my temper festers and I say hateful things. Like why can't my brother and wife take on some responsibility? She does not like my brother's wife and refuses to visit them. I don't know how my brother thinks I can handle everything with my many health problems. They are well off financially and have 3 empty bedrooms in their home. I tried to remain neutral and calm but since they have left, I am miserable.

I have anxiety and major clinical depression as well as dealing with pain management issues with my back and being isolated in a small apartment has been very challenging. My brother makes up excuses and always uses the same argument that the drive is too long and difficult to do. I think I have more than paid my dues to my mother and that she should be more compliant with my desire to place her in a good facility. I try to be kind to my sibling but now I wish I could just drop her off on his door step and give him the opportunity to spend time helping her as I have been doing. I really don't know what to do as I have been crying uncontrollably since they left to return to their home.

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Your brother and his wife are under no obligation to provide hands on care for your mother.

Neither are you.

You are making a choice to do this.

If you are clinically depressed and anxious, this is not working, is it?

Your mother plays the guilt card and you pick it up. My mother thrived, gained weight and was healthier in a NH that shed been in years. We did not " throw her away" we got her into a caregiving situation with the right professional to care for her.

Please learn to advocate for yourself before the stress kills you. Where would your mom be then?

In a NH WITHOUT a loving daughter to advocate for her.
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EssieMarie Aug 2019
I have no one to help me go through this process. I don't want her to depend on my 34 year old son. She will find pity from him like she does for me. I really am beginning to dislike my mother.
Place your mother in a home, your brother is not going to lift a finger, he has showed you who he is...believe him.

As for your mother, she will be fine, and don't let her guilt you, it is all manipulation. She doesn't care about your health, it is all about her. It is up to you to stand up and be counted!
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Lostinva Aug 2019
Honey, you are miserable and your other family members are not.
Your brother and his wife will not help. That is their choice. You cannot force them. Not to mention, your Mom does not like the wife...
I see as you have two choices:
Continue being miserable in the situation or change the situation. You need to refuse to help your Mom. Have her placed or get i home care.
You can control your life but you have to stop letting others control it.
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I think its time for your 34 yr old to open his eyes. He is going to lose his Mom maybe before grandmom. Who has POA? Does Mom have money at all? Maybe time to spend it on aides to help with her care.

Get a good physical. When there are results, take son with you so he hears what the doctor says. Make sure prior to this your doctor is told the stress you are under with no help. Let the doctor tell your son, you can't do it anymore. Just like Gma you are now a Senior too and are having your own health problems. Stress can effect these problems, make them worse.
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I agree with others, but do know the exact way you feel right now. Leave brother out of this if possible, with just emails to let him know where she is and how she is. Find a good place for your mom and have the staff or a social worker at your house and there at the facility help you move her. Try to get most of her things there first, so she will have her own things around her. Yes, you can say you have to have surgery. That's what I did. "You can't stay here, Mom, because I have to go to hospital for surgery". Any questions further than that can be answered with "I'm sorry I don't have the answer yet, but you are going to be just fine". And she will be.
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Your mother lives in your home. That was your choice. You have no control over your brother's choices. You resent your mother for making you feel guilty and why are you trying to make your brother feel guilty for living his life? Why do you need to act cheerful around your brother? When he comes to visit, why not leave him alone with your mother and go out and do something?

Placing your mother in an assisted living community is *your* choice. You do not need permission from your brother or your mother. Start touring communities by yourself or with a trusted friend. Narrow down the choices to ones you feel meet your mother's real needs, and then schedule your mother for a grand tour. AL directors are great at working with old people because they are far more objective than those of us who are in the weeds of caregiving.
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EssieMarie Aug 2019
My brother is older and has a healthy wife to help him. I see no reason why they can't help her. I am 1 person and have serious health issues. Like colon cancer several years ago. I'm at wits end.
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I am in your shoes so I have empathy. I care for my mom, 14 years and counting. I have cried a river! I still cry at times. I have bouts of depression and anxiety. I’m not going to feed it though. I will acknowledge my feelings, then do my best to find solutions. I commend you for reaching out. That’s the first step. Congrats!

I was you complaining about my siblings when I joined this forum. We need to vent! I did too and that’s okay. Ask anyone here if I did. They will tell you how much I boo hooed about it. You don’t have to be cheerful. If your siblings are like mine though, a discussion is futile. Give it up. do your best to just be civil or better still if you can leave when a sibling is there, take off, grab a coffee or whatever...

I received the same advice as you about my unhelpful siblings and I let go of the resentment for my siblings for my sake. They are free to make their own choices. You will not change their behavior. The only thing it accomplishes is piling on more stress.

Focus on more productive goals, such as possibly a better care plan for mom. Is that possible? Do you absolutely have to be primary caregiver? Are there alternatives that look feasible to you? Have you thought about what is best for all involved, not just her, but especially you? You count equally to her.

Go visit facilities. There are great assisted living facilities if they have the money. I checked out places in my area. I have not decided what to do either but I now have more information to assist in making a decision.

Trust me. I totally get your emotions but my emotions didn’t or won’t change a damn thing!

Best wishes to you. Take care. Hugs!
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Hugs, Hugs and more Hugs!!

You commented in June that you have Caregiver Burnout and no wonder!! You have spent the last 13 years taking care of your Mom and doing a wonderful job of it. We all get to that point where we cannot cope by ourselves anymore and need some outside help. Did you see any ideas or suggestions on that post helpful for your situation? Are you able to find some "ME TIME" (other than when your Mom takes a nap) so that you can regenerate yourself and have more energy to take care of your Mom.

Do you have any other people such as home health aides helping take care of your Mom or are you the only one? How often does Catholic Charities Respite help take care of your Mom? Can they come more often? Are you talking with a counselor about your feelings regarding your situation?  Does the psychiatrist think that your medications need to be changed again?

Do NOT expect your brother or his wife to help physically take care of your Mom.  They are NOT caregivers!!! They do not have the compassion and ability to do what you are doing.

Since your brother’s visit you seem to have changed your mind about NOT putting your Mom in a nursing home. You definitely were against it according to your post in June. What happened to cause you to accept the possibility that your Mom might need to go to a nursing home? For whatever reason, I think that you are trying to do the best for your Mom, and maybe, that is having her go to a nursing home. Do not feel guilty about looking for a nursing home. Sometimes they are the “BEST” option.

Continue to look for a nursing facility close to where you live --BUT DO NOT TALK TO YOUR MOM about moving into a nursing home. When the time comes for her to move to a facility, you will just have to "DO IT".

We all care about you and many of us have been in similar situations. You need to do what is best for your Mom.

Helpful Answer (15)
EssieMarie Aug 2019
Hi and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I do have Catholic Charities help me when school begins. However, they are not paid to take care of her. They sit and make sure she does not fall. I need a hands on person but the agencies here all charge 24 dollars an hour and up.
EssieMarie, your Mom is at the age [90+] where she remembers older relatives going into a "home" and such places way back when were the County Asylum. Thus, that is one reason so many elders your Mom age refuse to even talk about Assisted Living or a Nursing Home. She doesn't know that times have changed regarding the style of the newer Assisted Living and Nursing Homes.

Now remember this, up to 40% of family caregivers die leaving behind the love one they were caring. Now what? Who will step up to take of your Mom?

You probably will need to do like many of us had, wait for a medical issue, 911, hospital, rehab, then into Assisted Living or a Nursing Home. As now Mom will need a village to take care of her. A major fall was the only way my own Mom could be placed in long-term-care. My Dad, on the other hand, couldn't wait to sell his home and move to senior living. He loved it there :)

As for your brother not wanting to do caregiving.... it doesn't matter if he has 10 empty rooms or none. Not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver, I know I wasn't but I did help with the logistical stuff which was exhausting enough for me. Who is your Mom's medical Power of Attorney and who is Mom's financial Power of Attorney?
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Just to indulge in a little fantasy...

Suppose your brother and his wife had walked in and that was your cue to walk out of your front door, get in your car, and go for a week to a health spa for massage and a pedicure and long, lovely sleep?

You'd have slept all the better, with a beaming smile on your face, for thinking of two grown adults trying to cope with everything you have on your hands every day.

Right, snapping out of it - it's the "you're throwing me away" baloney you need to tackle. Not your brother's head in the sand approach, not the personality clash between your mother and your SIL, not the "what's WRONG with me for feeling like this?" issue.

You are in shreds because you are doing, in fact, not one person's but roughly five people's work (counting half for eight year old). It has to change.

Back later, hugs to you meanwhile.
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