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My 83 year old mother has mild dementia & severe diabetes. She lives 1 mile from me in her own home. I go to her house every weekday morning by 6:45 a.m. to cook breakfast, clean up the kitchen, etc. before I go to work. Every weekend, I spend hours there cleaning, cooking, & doing her laundry (she is occasionally incontinent & refuses to wear disposable briefs!) I take care of her house, her finances, pay her bills, drive her to doctors, order meds & basically take care of her needs. I take her cooked food from my home 3 or 4 nights a week. She refuses to eat the Meals on Wheels dinners, we tried them for 6weeks last year & she gave most of each meal to the dog. Every evening, I drive to her house to give her an insulin shot and her meds. She has been on hospice for 6 months now, but that only consists of the nurse taking her blood pressure & oxygen level twice a week and an aide comes once a week to help her shower. Some weeks, my mom refuses to let the aide give her a shower & the aide cannot do anything about it. The aide is able to give her one approx. twice a month. My mom gives herself a sponge bath a couple times a week. Twice a week, I wash her hair & curl it before I go to work. She refuses to let me help with a shower. On the weekends, I clean house & do laundry for hours. I recently asked the hospice aide to come 1 day a week to do a little housework. She comes on Tues for 45 minutes & cleans the bathroom my mom uses & will vacuum a room or two. My mother's dementia is becoming worse, she is no longer able to take her blood sugar in the mornings and she can't keep track of the date or time. She is very ungrateful for all that I do! I In fact, at least once a week, she tells me to get the H--- out of her house. I have a sister who lives 200 miles away and she comes to visit for 20 hours every 6 - 8 weeks. I have tried talking to my sister, telling her our mother needs her too and she uses excuse after excuse. Yet this morning, my mother told me (after I had cooked breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, swept the floor, made her bed, & curled her hair - oh yes and I did fold one load of laundry & put another in to wash!) that I don't do anything for her & that my sister is nice to her. See, my sister never has to tell her to do anything, such as "Let's change your clothes, please don't eat lying down, we need to wash your hair, etc, etc." My sister only comes to visit, she doesn't do anything -she cooks a meal out of a box in the microwave for dinner or carryout from the Dollar Menu! I have been doing this now for nearly 5 years! My husband is in Stage 4 kidney failure, he is trying to get on the kidney transplant list at this time, he has a prostate issue that is keeping him from getting on the list. As he is unwell, I have had to take over most of his chores as well as taking care of my house. I work 4 days a week, working lunch hours so I can be off on Fridays to care for my mother. My husband & I take care of my 5 year old grandson 3 or 4 nights a week while our daughter works the graveyard shift. Needless to say, I am stressed! My mother slaps my face or attemps to strike me at least once a week. She calls me stupid and tells me I don't do a darn thing for her! I do realize dementia is partially a reason for this, but she was ungrateful & abusive long before she had dementia! Putting her in a nursing home is out of the question as we do not have the money ($6,500 a month). My dad lived in the local nursing home for 17 months before his death, he never qualified for Medicaid because they own 2 pieces of real estate that are unsellable, they have been on the market for years! My mother still owes the nursing home around $80,000! When my dad was in the nursing home, I contacted four different attorneys trying to figure out how to qualify for Medicaid for my Dad & they all advised me that until the properties are sold and the money all spent, he would never get Medicaid! Anyway, I know I have strayed from my subject matter - my mother being abusive & ungrateful! Also, I am very concerned about her worsening health & fears about her not being able to care for herself at all! What on earth will I do?? I guess I wrote this mainly to get it off my chest! I would appreciate any & all advice anyone has to offer me!

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Jeanne, although the information posted in "old" questions may be helpful to others I wonder if it is possible that after a "silence" of a certain period, say six months or even one year, that the site administrators state "This posting is closed for further discussion." or something to that effect. That way those who wish to read suggestions for their similar situation may do so but the "dead" conversation is not resurrected.
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Jeanne, I interrupted my reading when I came across the phrase that goes 'when your mother does such and such, simply - " Simply? Oh, ah. I always suspect that people who come at it with a lo-and-behold solution probably haven't tried it out in practice.
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It's one of those gifts that keep on giving. Welcome to the group, honest2goodness.
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Um, anyone notice this post is from 2013?
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Your sister who visits rarely is the golden child? Of course she is. When she comes by it's 100% undivided attention, flowers, chocolates, gifts etc. My late mother had an acquaintance who visited her in the NH maybe 3 times a year bearing gifts and all I ever heard was how wonderful she was while mommie dearest ("MD") treated me like crap, eventually driving me into a nervous breakdown. I changed my phone number, made it unlisted and was careful never to let her know my address or she'd be sending the cops round "because I was worried about you" ... hell no!

While she was alive MD gave a ring, one of a matched pair ... my father gave me his before he passed. I have to take it to get cleaned and deliver it to this woman. Then MD decided she wasn't going to die and wanted it back ... more chaos. A couple of months ago she tried to give it to this woman again, who wasn't comfortable with it and handed it in to the NH office.

When times got tough and I was so totally alone, this woman threw me under the bus. Now MD has passed I've been to the NH and signed off on the ring and it has been collected. I let it go because I felt if I had it in the house, let alone wore it, her evil would follow it.

I would suggest you tell your sister you are going on vacation for 2 weeks on xxx and it's up to her to care for your mother. You must take a stand before your own health suffers.
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Your mother's behavior, linked directly to her health problems or not, is unacceptable. While she is your mother, you love her, and you do for her the many, many things you've done because you love her, there is no need to tolerate abusiveness.

If you would still do things for her, do them for no other reason than because you want to do them or because they are done as demonstrations of your love. After all, you do not do those countless things for her to appreciate them. If that were the case, you would've stopped doing them long ago. You've done them because you believed you needed to do them, and in doing them you should know your righteousness and expressed your love for her. Now, however, it is time for you to do something more for you (while still doing something for her)... If this is unclear, let me just urge you to implicitly do differently, and allow me to likewise remind you that you can hardly care for anyone else if you neglect caring more for yourself.

Her abusiveness is clearly taking a devastating toll on you, and this is why you must stop allowing yourself to be abused. You must love yourself enough to recognize that you cannot provide for her needs, your needs, and your husband's needs, if you are left feeling the way you described.

For example, whenever tending to her needs, should she become abusive in any of the ways you've already described, simply interrupt the behavior to politely tell her that if she continues to mistreat you, there will be consequences and at least one immediate consequence for her will be obvious in your departure forthwith (and, should you tell her that, make sure you follow through with the immediate departure, the first time--and every time.) If she doesn't appreciate you, it's her loss. [And, in my mind, since she had ample reason that she should've appreciated you, it is untimately your gain because you already did what you didn't have to do, and you did it all gladly, lovingly, and because you care]. If she cannot manage her health, her kindnesses to others, her abusiveness, her meanness, her uncooperative nature, etc., then those must be her problems, and they MUST NOT become yours. Also, I would suggest that you must manage yourself better, and in some ways manage her, too, so that you do not become her anger's regular victim and so that she is left to her own lonely neediness to perhaps come to terms with why it exists.

Your life matters. It matters because you are the woman you have become. It matters because you are your husband's spouse, too. While your mother's life matters, too, it must matter enough to her to do the right things by others, and when she doesn't, so must it also matter enough for her to be motivated to change her unhealthy behaviors.

Your sister is like many others I know, who left their home towns and family members behind, in search of her own life, and with little care or concern for what she left behind. She must answer at the end of her life for her relative uselessness with regard to your mother's care. You must answer for yours. [And, if I may... it sounds to me already like you won't have to make a lot of excuses for the things you should've done but didn't--unlike your sister, your mother, or any number of countless others who have lived so ungratefully or so care free.
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I can answer a little bit about why people quit helping. My Mother made unreasonable requests of my sisters. Like, directly after hip replacement, she had them take her out of the hospital w/o a release. Now, really! That is when I had had enough. And "No" I am not contributing to that neglect.

"Mother calls my cell phone several times a day and even when I am out at dinner." So, I would advise to call Mother once, and check in, then, let the calls go. "No way."

Fast forward to my sisters death, new bath lady calls 911 thinking Mother was having a heart attack. That was 2 1/2 months ago. Mother is now, in assisted living and was even out in the common's area listening to someone sing. Anti-depressants have helped her irritability and being made to go to the dining room has helped her nutrition.

Good luck to anyone just starting this journey of getting their loved one care. My sister and I had to stay out of it and let a 50 yo grandson step in and get the care needed. (Neither of us live close.)
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Call your local Area Agency on Aging, and they can help you get your mom into a nursing home. Please take care of your health, my mom died caring for my dad who has been sick for over twenty years. And now he is wearing me out. Same situation with my sister as yours. Please, please, get some help!
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I am in the exact same situation and my entire family worries my mother is pushing me to an early grave, but only one of my siblings even tries to help me out once in awhile. I know it can be hard and that you get tired. Friday I could not even get my self out of the house, my depression was so bad that I was in physical pain:( You need a break plain and simple before you crack.) Are there any senior centers near you maybe you can get her involved, I got my Mom signed up and she won't go after all pains we went to to get her in. I also feel you on the sister issue, my brother lives in PA comes and visits once a month, takes her lunch and she thinks he is best thing since sliced bread..ggggrrrrrrrr. It is funny how some of us care so much and others so little. Is there anyway you can get your sister to take her home with her for a week? Maybe you can meet her halfway so she does not have to drive the entire 200 miles. My brother has done this once in 2 years for our Mom but it did help even if only for a few days. I wish you the best my dear and please remember to take care of yourself as you a very special person. Lots of love and prayers for you
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Yeah, some moms are just really mean - and even long before the dementia kicks in. So many people don't believe that this could happen so thoroughly. A mom is supposed to love you, like so many love their kids. After experiencing years of wild accusations and perceptions of me as a ridiculous loser - when helping my mom improve her living situation; she took offense to something I said and decided to get her gun. I had to stand between her and her gun to ensure she didn't shoot me. Most of my siblings kept at a distance, so they were unable to comprehend what it feels like to have these kinds of things happen. Years later when - yes, I was her caregiver - she tried to stab me with scissors and insisted that I had taken her leg and tried to twist it like you would ring a rag (it never happened). She worked hard (at intermittent times) to prove to the authorities that I abused her. It was a horrible mess. This type of decline is so very difficult and I am just now (she died two years ago) recuperating from the stress. You are not alone - many people who are called upon to be a caregiver are deeply impacted in a negative fashion. I have solutions - but am too busy to share them and actually figure you are too stressed to adopt any of them. Good luck and my sincere regret that this has happened to you.
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I feel for you I am in a similar situation. My 82 y/o mom does not drive and is 95%deaf. My dad always took care of her even though she is very healthy. And now that dad has passed 2 months ago, I am now having to be there for her like my dad was. But my problem is she can do everything for herself except drive, bills etc but I have to deal with the guilt trips she puts me on and really crazy talk and even blaming me for dads dying.. Today I called both of my brothers and told the, I need help. I'm burning out before she even gets to a point of needing 24 hour care.. You are a very strong person. I hope I get to be that strong one day when needed.
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How in the world do you do all that? I would get so depressed I would not be able to get out of bed and then nothing would get done. It amazes me what the caregivers on this site are able to do. When people complain about not having any time to themselves they should just come to this site and see what we do on a 24/7 basis. Welcome - this is a good place to vent because there are many who understand. If I was looking for a solution to your particular problem I would look into assisted living or nursing homes that are not so costly. Believe me I know how difficult this is to do. There are many who fall between the cracks because of some worthless piece of property they own that they cannot get rid of because of the economy. Hugs to you and if at ALL possible try and get at least an afternoon to yourself.
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First of all Greengirl you are to be commended on your valiant efforts!!! Since your mom was abusive before she got dementia, you should be used to it by now, however, I am not saying allow her to hit or abuse you. It sounds like she is going downhill fast, so if you can just help her until she dies, then you will have earned YOUR wings. Just so you know running water (for showers) is interpreted by dementia patients as burning fire. Of course they do not want to get into it! With her giving herself a sponge bath, that is good. Do not sweat the small stuff when it comes to smelly urine or feces. She will die and you will be available to care for your husband who will die too without a transplant. Prostates are usually left alone now with nature taking its course. So hang in there, you soon will have breathing room. Best wishes!
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Greengirl- sorry I now saw that you have someone to help a little with the housework. I try to read these things to fast sometimes. You are an angel and I hope your mom comes to appreciate what you do for her.
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-*nursing home -not nourishing home-darn auto correct ( but, really I kinda like nourishing home better ;0)
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I was thinking of that Bible story too, Christina! I just posted on your wall that.

Greengirl- I like the advice given here for you. Also- can you tell daughter you need to stop being the babysitter? You are spreading yourself too thin, IMO.
And if the land is keeping you from getting Mom in the nourishing home sell it for as low as you can go!! The profit will be eaten up by the NH anyway. Sell it cheap and then after that money is gone can you not get Medicaid for Mom? I really do not know the financial side of caregiving yet so I apologize if I am wrong.

You are a rock star!!! You are loving and caring and a super person but you sound so tired. Please take care of yourself!!!!

Many, any blessings to you and yours!!

(((((Greengirl)))))
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Oh good, Eyerish! I am glad you got a nap. You needed it:) xo
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I had to lay down and take a nap just from reading your post!

Slow down.

Trying to be reasonable with your mom is not going to get your anywhere. We can't be reasonable with someone who can't reason and she can't because of her dementia.

You're the bad guy because you're there all the time. You're the closest target. Your sister is not in the picture very much so she's the wonderful one. If you switched places with your sister I would bet that it wouldn't be long before she became the bad guy.

What can be done about that property? There has to be some way to unload it. If you don't you're going to have to move your mom into your home at some point because what you said about Medicaid is true. As long as that property is out there it's considered an asset. You may prefer to move your mom into your home as opposed to a faciltiy, I don't know. But she's going to continue to deteriorate mentally, as you know, and she won't be able to be alone.

From what you said these behaviors from your mom are nothing new really. It's awful that you have to do so much for your mom when she is such an unpleasant person. I see so many posts here about cargiving for a parent who is not a nice person. That must be so difficult and I think you're wonderful for stepping in and taking care of this stuff but I also think you need assistance. That's just an opinion.

Figure out what to do with that property and take the money and use it to get assistance for your mom in her home or help her into a facility. Her needs are going to increase and soon it won't be realistic to keep going over there and you'll have to help her move somewhere.

But in the meantime, bless you and know that you are doing a good job. Too good of a job! Slow down or you're liable to get down yourself and then what's going to happen?
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Real estate can be moved pretty quickly these days. Maybe the price needs to be lowered to get rid of it. Keep talking to different realtors, put an ad in penny saver.
What is it that YOU want? If you want acknowledgment from your Mother, I don't think you are going to get it. Is it enough to know that YOU are doing all you can for her? You listed a million things you do for her. You are obviously a compassionate, giving person. All of us here can see that. I acknowledge that you are not being appreciated for all you do. xoxo
Your Mother is sick, she's on hospice, she's a different person in her brain. Maybe she is in pain, afraid of dying, so overwhelmed in her own way that she flips out!
Try to keep it simple. Do you know the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible? It is a good illustration of what is going on with you, your Mom and sister.
Why don't you find that or google the story. You need to relax and quit worrying about making things orderly. They are not. Try to get a simple enjoyment with your Mother every day, even if it is a two minute kindness. People and animals react to our energy and angst. You are a very good daughter. Know that. Shift your own attitude about this and see what is most important in the big picture.
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Greengirl- I can sympathize with your situatuion. I do not do half the things that you do but I do what I can. We cannot sacrifice ourselves for our loved ones. My mom was always demanding and needy. "I am very needy right now" is her favorite phrase that she says to me. Her being needy is just getting more and more. The most important thing that I have learned from the website is that to take care of YOU and your husband. He needs you to be there for him and you need to be there with him for you. I still have a hard time getting my needs met. But, I try everyday to take care of myself and my mom. Are there any resources in your area that can come by and help take care of her. My mom does not like other people coming but she is beginning to realize that I cannot do everything. She is coming to realize that we need people to help out. I had to call her primary doctor to get some help for her and he sent an Occupational therapist and a Physiscal therapist and a social worker to make an assessment of her needs. I would start there. I would also check into the local council on aging. Seems like you can at least find someone to clean the house once a week or every two weeks.
Just remember this website is there for YOU. It has saved me in more ways that one. Take advantage of this website and vent, vent and vent. Take care.
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I fully understand how completely unfair your mom has been. She forgets almost instantly what you have done and are doing, which is part of the disease. Here's what worked best for my mom... put it in writing! When I made a list that included what I was doing for her and what my brother's contributions were, it got through! Provide her with a numbered list of everything you do, plus any associated personal cost... everything. Keep a copy and add to it as necessary. If she can't see, read the list to her when she starts complaining. If she can read, mail it to her. A letter is less confrontational. My mom actually thanked me for telling her. I NEVER thought I would hear that. She complains a lot less now. Good luck and thank you for doing so much for your mom. She is lucky to have you as a daughter.
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You are a God send to your family! You can't do it all & keep good health & good spirits. Perhaps you need to take a step away to let your Mom see what could be her life without your help. You are over worked, stressed out with no down time. If you lost your health who would care for you? I know it is so hard to not do for those we love in need. I have read some great things on this site as well as recommened reading about detaching with love. Let some of her housework go, let her sweep or do small things that she can do. If she dosen't want to, so be it, her choice. On the weekends instead of "cleaning her house for hours" go out and enjoy YOUR life for hours. Your husband is not in good health either, it will benefit you both to enjoy some things together that bring happiness and make good memories for both of you. Let your sister see that you are stepping back some to save youself and your family. Maybe she will do more, maybe not, her choice. Your Mom may live a very long time taking total advantage of you....you may not live long enough or be strong to enjoy your own retirement! Please take time to breath fresh air, relax and enjoy all the pleasures that you have in your life. The challenge of being a care giver, even under the best conditions can keep us from the simple joys in life that keep our spirits up and hearts light! As Chicago 1954 said her sister did what you are doing and it put her sister in an early grave! However, their Mom is doing fine in a facility!
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I can only sympathize with you. What you are doing led my 70 yr. old sister, to an early grave. After that, Mother had to do something. She wouldn't do a thing for herself as long as my sister was alive. They did not live together, so the routine was exactly as you describe. Now, Mother was forced into a nursing facility and is safe, clean, and eating well.
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