How do I deal with Mom - pain? I can only do so much.

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She lives in her own home. Broher lives with her, bu won't help much. Makes food for himself but not mom. She cant eat what he makes for himself. She could sometimes have a small amount but won't. He won't rince dishes and put in dishwasher. Mom won't leave dishes in sink. Won't use paper plates. Can't talk to eighter of them. Mom is rigid and co-dependent wih brother.
Mom pulled muscles in arms and shoulders. Woman pulling on her at mamagram place. Had to hold her up. And mom And has arthritus in one arm. She uses walker. And she pulled a muscle putting dishes up on shelf. She wento doctor. He prescribed cream tha made her dizzy. And she fell and hur her arm again. Perscribed tylinol cause asperine she was faking made her somach feel bad. I doesn't work. She cant take perscription pain meds because of her other pills. I got her a small moist heat pad. She asked me to buy bigger one. I did. She refuses to have someone come make her meals and do dishes. I live an hour and a half away. She doesn't have dementia. Her mind is fine. She wont take meals on wheels. Every time I bring it up she has another reason to say no. She has to eat low salt and is obsessive about it is one reason. She has kidney disease.

Barbara

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Hadnuff -- please listen to my twin sister, MidKid58. She knows. Co-dependency and enabling is a tough pill to swallow. I've had to witness this all my life with my brother living with our Mom. She tells him to jump and he says how high. Now my frail mother is dependent on him and his passive aggressiveness is really coming out. I started another topic regarding how to get through my anxiety in the crisis I am experiencing now. I just posted it.
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Thanks for the suggestions. My brother has a personality disorder. He is smarter than me. He lost his sbsidized apartment in july. He didn't pass inspection. Didnt clean anything. Stuff all over tables. So he moved back home. He spent a lot of years in therapy. Did no good. He wasnt willing to put in effort to change. His pills curb his anger a little but not much. A trust was set up. Has a couple thousand dollars in it. Money put in can't be removed if mom needs it to pay her expences. Thats why mom is obsessed with not spending money for her needs. She was sued twice. Company dad had when he was alive. Between paying out lawyers and settlement. Plus normal expences to live. She wants to hold onto as much as possible for brother. I have a psychiatrist I see to give me my anxiety meds. I have talked to her. My anxiety is from mom but mainly from my lifelong anxiety disorder.
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Hadnuff, a couple of constructive things you can do.

1. I assume that your brother intellectually disabled or mentally ill in some way. Has mom established a special needs trust for him? Otherwise, when she falls and needs NH care, she will be forced to use her money to private pay until she qualifies for Medicaid. Make sure that she has established this sort of trust AND someone other than you to be the trustee. He may need someone to act as his guardian. Again, NOT YOU.

2. If you don't have a therapist, find yourself one. You need to have someone who will tell you that your mom's unhappiness is not of your making and not within your ability to fix.

3. Investigate your community's supportive living situations for your brother. Does he have a caseworker? Is HE getting treatment for his anger and whatever demons are driving his behavior?

Good luck, and keep us posted.
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Nope you cannot fix the co-dependency. My mother & brother are locked together in some weird relationship none of us can fathom.
You could send your mom a package of pain relievers such as were mentioned above, However, if it's just muscle strain, it will abate on its own, in time. It is kind of you to TRY, but sounds like she throws up roadblocks to all your suggestions. Same thing happened to me. Best advice? Step away. You are too far from the problem to DO anything, and even if you were right there, doubtful you could do much more. Your mom sounds more than capable of making her own decisions and she has to live with the consequences.
I'm down from 2 days of caregiving/punching bag duty to maybe one phone call every other week. Try distancing yourself.
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Pam is right - you cannot fix this codependency. And if your mom is competent in the legal sense protective services cannot do much. Their attitude is that she is free to make her choices and that she chooses to put up with brother. Basically, I think you are wise to just step back - she is going to do what she wants regardless of your attempts to help so if it were me I would just tell her "your choice, your consequences, not my problem": And leave them to it - I know something about this from my own family experience - no matter how hard you try to help, how carefully you try to reason with her, it is just butting your head against a wall. Why hurt yourself? Basically I wouldl detach and limit your contact - you sure don't need to be some kind of punching bag for her frustrations.
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Wow she sounds like my MIL, who made son#2 totally co-dependent and then complained bitterly to her daughter about every little thing. Ma could make a finger pinch sound like a grisly amputation. Same for you, she is manipulating and attention seeking. Try to sort out the truth from her fiction. As far as the co-dependent brother: stay out of it. You can't fix something that took a lifetime for two people to build.
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Adult protective services was called a few years ago. They did nothing. A social worker told me they dont act unless its an extreme case. Moms decisions are not irrational. Just not in her best interest. Mom won't hire a person to help cook and wash dishes or help her personally. She needs both. Her reasons:
She can't afford it. She can. She just wants to keep as much of her money as she can for brother. To pay home and living expences after she dies. He is on SSI.
She says he has a long life ahead of him and living is expencive.
Brother doesnt like people in the house. He lives with mom. He gets iritable and upset sometimes with people in the house. Mom says she cant take his yelling, complaining, etc.
Even without people in the house he gets very angry about things sometimes. And yells, and sometime throws things. Mom says she would be embarrassed to have people see that. That was why protective services was called. Cause of brother. She is rigid and has always done what she wanted. No matter what I or anyone said to her.
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I do not know if this is an option where you are, but there are people who make meals for seniors, and it isn't meals on wheels. It is usually a weeks supply of meals, prepared and frozen, and someone can pick them up, or they can be delivered. They then can be cooked in microwave or in oven. This service is in many cities.

As for the pain relief, is it possible that her pain is aggravated by her diet? Carrageenan is a food additive in yogurts, whipped toppings, puddings, ice creams, etc. and it aggravates arthritis by causing further inflammation. There are a few other food additives that cause inflammation, and sun sensitivity, etc. you may need to look in her cupboard, then look up the unpronounceable things on the ingredient list.

You cannot fix her codependency with your brother, nor can you fix his complacency about slovenly habits. But, perhaps suggesting replacing heavy plates and glasses with lightweight plastics, and getting your mom a "grabber". They are available in many pharmacies and stores, and while they won't lift a stack of heavy crockery, they can be used to place or retrieve lightweight plastic dishes and glasses, etc. and while she doesn't have dementia, she does sound like she is having difficulty accepting the limitations that come with aging. Perhaps you can take a community service class on geriatrics, if they have them. They are often free, at the senior centers, and can offer helpful strategies and ideas for improving life and relationships in this difficult time.
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Think now - does someone who can't make good decisions for themselves sound like their mind is fine? My mother's sisters insisted on that about my mom when she obviously had early stages of dementia. Nobody wanted to consider that.

Sounds to me like she needs to be seen by an aging specialist - a geriatric doctor who understands how the elderly handle medication differently than adults and get her into a Physical/Occupational Therapy assessment. The elderly are different just like how babies can't take the same dose as an adult and require a pediatrician. Geriatricians treat the elderly as their specialty.

It also sounds like social services need to get involved over there. This is beyond what you can solve by yourself from a distance.

You can make an anonymous call to report a concern about a vulnerable senior and they are required to go visit in person and assess the situation. Your mother does not sound safe in that house due to her injuries and special diet.

When your gut tells you this is not a good situation, it's right. Brother doesn't count as a care-giver to mom. So proceed as if he's not there at all.
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Meals on wheel would be great...perhaps there is a local senior center where they serve the meals to everyone and perhaps there is transportation to/from...Mom might enjoy meeting others and trying the meals first. My mom gets meals 2 X per week and sometimes we attend one or two times more at the center.

As far as pain and dizziness - you have to be careful but check all her meds. Turns out PEPCID can cause memory issues and wooziness too. Mom finds that Excedrine Tension works good in the AM (has caffeine so not good in PM).

We found a spray pain reliever at CVS (their own brand) says compare to Aspercreme....Easy for mom to use and works well and no smell (no menthal).
Might try ARNICACARE GEL - says for muscle aches and pains but Mom has found this works well for her arthritis. Again easy to apply. Pain patches are another possibility but you need to work with the Dr. to figure out the right does to control pain and NOT cause additional symptoms. Also check NUCYNTA - they have a 50 mg ER that works well for mom at night and seems to have few side effects.
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