My 82 year old mother just moved in with me after a bad fall. She broke both bones in her lower leg and after surgery had to go to rehab. She lived with my brother in her home, but after 5 falls resulting in breaking bones in 2 years, it was decided she would be safer with me. She is very resentful at not being able to go home with my brother and is very combative with me about everything. Now 3 weeks in, I am just tired. She doesn't sleep well at night and wants to get up every couple of hours. I had to put a guard on the bed to ensure she doesn't get up on her own but I'm not getting any sleep and am feeling resentful that she sleeps most of the day. I can't sleep then because she will get up, or try to whenever she sees I'm not right there. Honestly I don't know what to do about it. She's very mean to me all the time and when I call her on it she says fine I'll go live with your brother. Her safety won't allow that and she doesn't get it. Any suggestions would be appreciated?

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If you're already experiencing burnout after only 3 weeks, you're in big trouble. Does your brother want her to go back to her home with him, or is he over it all too? I think if it were me, I would let her go back to her home, and let the chips fall where they may. If God forbid she has another fall, she may end up having to move into a nursing facility, which might actually be the best thing for her and her safety. You don't deserve to have to put up with her meanness, and you certainly don't need to be going without sleep. That's not good or healthy for anyone. Please take care of yourself, and next time mom says "fine I'll go live with your brother," take her up on it, and help her pack. Wishing you the best.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to funkygrandma59

Sounds like your mother is suffering from dementia, what with staying up all night, sleeping all day, being mean and combative in general. Why is she 'safer' living with you? If she wants to go back to her own home, providing someone is with her all day, why not hire an Occupational Therapist to come in and tell you what needs to happen to safety proof the house for her return? Once those changes are made, she can go back home WITH proper care, especially if she's found to have dementia, b/c folks suffering from dementia cannot be left alone.

If you're tired after 3 weeks of dealing with her, you need to figure out alternate arrangements. First, I'd get her evaluated to see what exactly you're dealing with. Is she suffering cognitive impairment? What level of care does she require? 24/7? Then you go from there. Back home with caregivers or is your brother willing to stay with her all the time? Falls happen NO MATTER where an elder lives, by the way, even with safety measures in place. My mother has fallen 69x and it's been nobody's fault but her own. She does things 'her way' which means she takes NO precautions, pays NO attention, and would fall if she lived in a padded room! She lives in Memory Care now, where it's like a fortress, but she's taken 9 falls in the past 2 weeks alone.

Figure out what's best for mom AND for you. If you don't want to house her (and I wouldn't either), then figure out what Plan B is here, asap.

Good luck & Godspeed!
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Reply to lealonnie1

To avoid burnout;
Put out the fire.

Quote by Penny Reid: “Don't set yourself on fire trying to keep others warm.”

You are already on fire. Your Mother's needs are extinguishing your own & resentment will start to smoulder.

Many of us have stepped in to help... but found the needs just too great. It happens.

Time to change the plan.

This is usually by adding oodles of home help (if possible/appropriate) or moving Mom into residential care facility.

Good luck with your new plans.
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Reply to Beatty
NeedHelpWithMom Mar 31, 2021
What a great quote!
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It seems like your situation happens all the time. The sons are golden to mom and can do no wrong while the daughters who actually do for her get treated like garbage. You're not alone. There are many of us.
Your mother will not listen to you about your house being the safer option for her to be living in. No matter how well you explain this to her or how kind and patient you are with her, she will deliberately misunderstand and continue the terrible behavior towards you. Talk to your brother about what the situation was like when she was with him. Was he staying up all night long because mom kept getting up every hour? My guess is no. Did she behave abusively to him and not allow him a moment to himself because she demanded every second of his life? No on that one too because the resentment, anger, and abusive behavior is saved for you, and there has to be a hard NO on putting up with that.
Get your brother to explain to her why she can't live with him anymore. Then you tell her straight that living at your place is the last option for her. The next will be a nursing home.
I'm sorry to say but sometimes seniors need some tough love from their families when they start behaving like your mother is.
In the meantime, bring in some home/health caregivers to keep her up during the day. Or look into adult day care for her. This will keep her from sleeping all day. If the behavior and living situation doesn't improve then you'll have to her placement in a care facility. It doesn't make you a failure as a caregiver either.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver

If your mother is a competent adult, you should allow her to live where she pleases, i.e., with your brother.

No one wants to be told what to do, even if it is for their own safety..
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

I am so sorry that you are having this experience. Of course, you are burnt out. Your needs are not being met. You need the basics: 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep, 3 healthy meals at a reasonable pace. some "time off" to meet your own health needs and "time off" to nourish your soul doing activities you enjoy with people you value. Here a are few suggestions to try:

1- Keep mom on a fairly strict routine. Make sure she doesn't nap for more than 20 minutes during the day so she gets her needed rest at night instead of during the day.

2 - Talk to her doctor about her difficulty sleeping during the night. She may be referred to a sleep specialist who can prescribe medications and treatments to help her fall asleep and stay asleep during the night.

3 - Talk to her doctor about the behavior problems you are experiencing with your mom. Part of her problem is anxiety or frustration and part it is not getting her own way. The doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medication to help calm her agitation. He/She may also make a referral to a geriatric psychiatrist for evaluation and treatment.

4 - Get help, NOW! Ask family, friends, members of faith community and/or paid help to give you some "time off" caring for mom. It might be most helpful to pay for a sitter to be with her at night. This way you can get a full night's sleep while the sitter helps your mom throughout the night. Most sitters are paid minimum wage.

5 - Please consider that is may be time for your mother to be placed into residential care. If she won't cooperate and is making it too difficult to meet your own needs, she may need to be cared for by others. The staff can keep her to a routine AND deal with her nighttime issues which appears to be a 24/7 job right now. No one person can do caregiving round the clock and it is cruel to even think that you should try.
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Reply to Taarna

If you dedicate & sacrifice everything to care for someone it is inevitable if that is your only focus. You need things going on for yourself that you can devote your attention to when they’re napping, watching tv, are in bed etc. I have seedlings going in the hall outside my mom’s room, will soon have plants on the balcony & front porch which is still nearby. I also am redoing the basement storage room & shop while my mother naps in the afternoon. I have a wireless camera set up in the living room so I can check on her from my cell phone. I also have hospice & when they come out I can mow, listen to music & sing. You have to fulfill your inner spirit to keep your vitality & give yourself tranquility, intriguing new interests/hobbies near them so you can make sure all their needs are met which then give you a distraction break.
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Reply to Kelkel
gdaughter Apr 3, 2021
gees have you got it mastered! My first thought is that having a hobby set up near by, my demented mother would be sure to destruct it. Same way if I put a jigsaw puzzle on a central table she will put it all back in the box when 1/4 is completed....
Don't hate me for daring to suggest this....but do I understand correctly that your brother was living in your mom's home providing care? I'm sure he's appreciated the respite you've created....but wondering if ...just wondering....would you have space for brother to move in with YOU? Then he could take shifts tending to mom. Maybe if the house is owned and hers, the proceeds could go to getting an addition or "granny flat" on your property. What is so unsafe about her own home? Stairs? People fall in nursing homes and assisted livings as well. They just do. No place is truly safe. You could let her go back and let life take its course. If she breaks another bone and winds up on the same path she has been, so be it. It seems rather essential that you have some back up ideas because it is tremendously challenging to care give in the first place, both mentally and physically, and throw in being treated meanly....My mother has dementia and our lifelong relationship has been antagonistic. But I also need a roof over my head and so I am the one indebted so feel what I do to help she and my dad is payback. MOST of the time I don't mind...but a medical crisis of my own made me less able to do what I had been and it's become increasingly challenging. Don't let caregiving destroy your own wellbeing, mentally or physically!
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Reply to gdaughter

You answered your own question but don't know it. She is physically in bad shape. She is vey disrespectful and mean to you. You are being physically and emotionally damaged by her behavior. Why on earth are you putting up with this? I would either get her a caretaker so you are out of the picture or I would place her for her own safety. Do not let her treat you this way when you have reached out to help her. Don't let her get away with that. I think it is beyond the point where she can live with the brother.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Riley2166

I feel your pain. The sleep issue is difficult. I went through it my first 6 months with my Mother and then sundowners. What helped me immediately was Melatonin gummies. I give her 2 as a “snack”. She thinks they are candy. I also felt a bit bothered that she would sleep all day while I was looking a mess and was so TIRED.

As for the meanness she is showing. It’s not you. She’s mad at her situation and most likely taking it out on you. The loss of their independence being taken away from them by their CHILD is what upsets them. I found myself frustrated and felt unappreciated. What worked for me was becoming “the parent”. I found my Mother needed guidance, assistance and for me to take care of her. And for that to happen, I became the Mother. I’m firm with her just like I’d be with my own children. If she says something mean to me, I address it just like I did with my kids. When she’s combative, I’ve literally told her that she’s worked so hard her whole life, that it’s time for me to be the Mother and take care of her. Believe me, I’ve had my moments of breaking but she truly is my responsibility now and I needed to take control. I’m sure my method is not ideal, but it’s worked for me. And now she likes it. She feels spoiled when I do things for her. I ask her “who’s the special Mom here?” She replies “I am!” ☺️
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Reply to kblondie1
Frances73 Apr 3, 2021
My mother's Memory Care had a policy to prevent sun downing and nighttime restiveness in residents. They were not allowed to have a TV in their room but were encouraged to sit in the activities room to watch with other people. This kept them from sitting a dozing in front of the TV all day. Plus, they also had at least 10 other activities planned during the way to engage, socialize, and keep the residents physically and mentally active. It took a few weeks but Mom soon settled in and started sleeping at night.
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