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I am saddened that my 93 year old mother insists I continue taking care of her because of all the years she sacrificed for me. I didn't ask to be born and that should have no bearing on me taking care of her now and doing so for the last 10 years. She inflicts guilt on me with these insensitive comments. At times, I don't want even want to do anything for her. I will never ask my son to care for me now that I see firsthand what a guilt trip parents can lay on their children. Everyone should be entitled to live their own lives and not feel guilty for the decisions they felt were right for themselves. My mother has Dementia but she's been saying this to me for years before Dementia set in. My only source of freedom is having caregivers for 4 hours 2 days a week. One of these caregivers is very good but she tells my mother I should be doing more for her like taking her out 2 or 3 times a week. This puts extra stress on me because I have a back injury due to a fall. When I do go out, I dread having to return home to more complaints. Any advice? Thank you for letting me vent.

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I am very upfront so please don’t be upset. To those who will be mad about what I’m about to say....you do what’s right for you and I will do the same!
I was my Mom’s caregiver after she suffered a devastating stroke and then diagnosed with dementia. I did this until my health suffered and beyond. I have just placed her in assisted living. I did this FOR BOTH OF US! Her safety and mine.
Yes mom sacrificed for me and I love her for that. However, it was no longer a question of want but need. Do what is right for both of you. You do no one any good if you get hurt or suffer burn out(sounds like you are already there). People say we owe our parents and we do but in my opinion, you also owe yourself. You have to be healthy in order to help her. Healthy in all ways! Caregiving is hard work and yes it is work! No matter how much we love our parents, we also have to love ourselves and take care of us as well as them. By neglecting yourself, you take from her as well. You are important too.
My opinion only.
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disgustedtoo May 14, 2019
Owing them doesn't mean one has to give up everything (career, family, health, finances, sanity) to provide their care. As you are well aware, there may come a time when it's best to hand the reins of care over to someone else, but be there for the person - reverting back to a caring loving family member doesn't mean you abandoned the person!!!

I always give kudos to those who can, want and do care for their LO to the end, but it isn't always humanly possible to do that for all of us.

As you said: "...it was no longer a question of want but need." AND "Do what is right for both of you."
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I feel you! I'm only eight months in and it has cemented the fact that I will NEVER do this to my son. In fact I don't even share with him the very difficult time I am having with my mom now, because I am determined MY burdens will never become his burdens. As far as I am concerned no loving parent should ever want that for their child, let alone expect it!

You have been doing this for ten years! Enough! You have gone above and beyond and you need to get your life and freedom back. Forget her ridiculous demands. Get her into a care home ASAP. If money is an issue start the medicaid process and if anything happens and she requires a hospital stay refuse to bring her back to your home. That will speed things up.

Seriously Essie.... ten years is LONG ENOUGH! Please put yourself first for a change and get your life back. No guilt because you owe her NOTHING. What she is saying is cruel and manipulative. Don't tolerate it anymore.
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Reply to ExhaustedPiper
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When you have a child, you have a "timeline" of progress. Terrible twos, the teen years, etc. But they grown and learn and become more independent. It's a 20-year process, give or take 2-3 years. They bring fun & youth to your life (hopefully). They go to school during the day, possibly day care, you can keep your job, friends, etc.

So....you take in your elderly parent. What's the timeline? What's the regression (there is no "progress")?. What's the price you will pay? Did you even expect this to happen, and what's next? What will you give up, and for how long? Until you are old or die?

Not a fair comparison.
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jacobsonbob May 13, 2019
Some excellent points, Upstream!
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I wonder if the aide actually said that. My mother misinterpreted all sorts of things that were said to her after she developed dementia.

In any event, it's up to you, as an adult, to decide what you can and cannot do and for how long. You are a senior citizen yourself; being a full time caregiver is hard work. That's why there are three shifts of generally younger folks doing that work in nursing homes.

Your mother cannot "insist" upon you being her caregiver. You, however, CAN insist that you no longer wish to hold that job.
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disgustedtoo May 14, 2019
I also question who said what... Until a private discreet calm discussion is had with the caregiver, my money's on mom... ;-)
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You've already tried telling her that her having you was her choice, not yours. We know that, but an elder likely only wants the comfort and security of their child/ren to care for them. Not only that, a baby is expected to be easier to raise as they become self-sufficient. We know that an elder will only get harder to care for.

I'm sure you've considered an assisted living/nursing home for her. Dementia will only get worse, as you know. Caring for a dementia person is hard (I cared for my mom.) It's far too much for one person, especially with only a few hours of respite a week. You can't continue. While she's 93, she could easily live for many years.

Seek out AL/NH for her. It's for the best care for her. You can tell her you'll still care for her and ensure she's getting great care in the facility.

I'm sure it hurts when she says you owe her. Please ignore it for your own sake. You matter too, and your profile says you're 68. It's time you became primary in your own life. {hug}
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Reply to MountainMoose
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I think you have done very well by hiring caregivers twice a week and I am delighted that one of them is actually very good. Stay with that. Just a side note though that no caregiver should be telling your mother anything they think you need to be doing for her. Unless your mother is telling you this, and maybe it is not quite true? In any case, perhaps ask the caregivers to give any feedback relating to how you handle your mother directly to you and keep your mom out of the middle. Aside from that, I believe no child owes their parent elder care services due to the fact they raised them. Parents have kids and it is a known responsibility they will provide for them until at least 18 years of age. It is not a "favor" parents did for the kid. Let your mother's words run off your back. Your life matters and you do not owe her to sacrifice your happiness and your life for hers. Let the caregivers do their job, and keep finding ways to enjoy your life.
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Reply to GingerMay
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You said in your other post that your mom would never forgive you for placing her in a facility. And my question to you, given that she continually manipulates and demeans you, why is that an issue? Why do you even care? You truly owe her nothing but yet here you are giving up your senior retirement years to care for someone who is ungrateful. I would suggest a bit of counseling to learn why you care about her feelings towards you and set boundaries. You’ve given up 10 years and it is truly OK to say...."my services are complete and it’s time for someone else to take over"..if mom complains then just say "yes, I know mom you’d like it your way but that’s not possible now. My doctor says I need to take care of myself". Or whatever you come up with. Don’t argue, be calm and just do it before you die first. She could live to be 100 realistically. You have to get over guilt and caring if you hurt her feelings.
Its hard enough to deal with dementia but when they are mean, demeaning and ungrateful it’s life draining and toxic. You have served your sentence.
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mikeschoice May 13, 2019
Harpcat,

I disagree with your statement " you truly owe her nothing". Even if the parent was and is abusive, we absolutely owe them everything( easier said than done, I know).

We honor God when we take care of such parents. When done in love it is not "toxic and life draining" it is liberating. It becomes toxic and life draining when our motive is toxic.
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My advice to you is look into getting your Mom into either adult day care, AL or a NH. The guilt trips need to stop. Parents are great travel agents for guilt trips, never forget that.
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Reply to mmcmahon12000
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I would first have a talk with the aide. Ask if she has suggested these things to ur Mom. If she admits she has, nicely ask her to stop. That is causes trouble in an already strained relationship. Explain that you have a bad back and as such you cannot help lifting Mom in and out off a car. By having Mom live with you, you can watch her and make sure she is safe. But, you need those 8 hrs a week to urself. And the time away does no good if when u come back u have to listen to Mom say the aide thinks u should take me out.

I cared for Mom for 20 months. Her decline was steady. I went to an AL to get info on respite care when I found they were having a sale on room and board. I placed Mom. Ten yrs is a long time. You are a senior yourself. Her Dementia will only get worse.

This is what you owe Mom. To be safe, clean, fed and cared for. If that means an AL, then thats where she can go.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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We had a caregiver like that for my mom, and it was in the very beginning if this process for us...for several weeks I put up with her because I was so new to the process, I thought she was being helpful. The day she told me she thought it was "sad" that I didn't bathe my own mother was the last day she set foot in our house. A caregiver dies NOT have the right to decide what you should or shouldn't do. Replace her, now, for your peace of mind.
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jacobsonbob May 13, 2019
Depending on where she is, replacing might not be an option, or at least one that could be done quickly. If the caregiver is otherwise good, a polite conversation to determine if what was said was true, and if so then an admonition not to do this again might solve the problem without having to seek a replacement and requiring her mother to get used to a new caretaker.
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