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She will come up with a list of things to do for her even knowing that I work a full time job and still have a family at home to care for besides her at her own home. She refuses to sell and downsize to a more manageable yard and smaller house, but depends on me to maintain all of it for her. I have my own house and yard to care for. She has spent all her savings and cannot afford to hire any of the work out.

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Stop being available to her. Stop running to the rescue. Let a few things fall apart. Do only what you WANT to do. She is not the boss of you and it is perfectly acceptable to say no.

I would take my father shopping every other week. He would try every trick in the book to get me to come over more often...to look at something that was SOOO important and it turns out to be junk mail. Or he has to talk to me right now...but it can't be over the phone. And when I get there he tells me 'never mind'. You learn that everything to them is an emergency and it rarely actually is.

It is ok to leave things undone. If your mom doesn't like it she is free to do it herself or find someone else to do it.
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Reply to lkdrymom
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If she's still competent, you might let her figure it out for herself. I do a lot for my parents, but, I have told them on multiple occasions that they need to downsize. They even AGREE with me, but, they don't do it. So, they are constantly complaining about what they need help with. The adult children help with some things, but, not the degree they want. We make no apologies. It's not reasonable for adults to have to maintain another's house, garden, yard, birdhouses, driveway, trees, etc. plus, work full time and maintain their own properties. They pay this one man to do certain work, but, most of it is just not done. I suspect that eventually, they'll get tired of it and get serious about downsizing. My mom has complained that she needs ALL of the outdoor windows washed ASAP! lol She has no concept that other people have a life and they are not going to come to her house and spend 10-12 hours every weekend washing windows, dusting furniture, cleaning carpets, pulling weeds, planting plants, hanging pictures, cleaning gutters, etc. It's ridiculous, but, she doesn't see it. My way of handling it is to ignore the requests or tell her that I will not be doing it. There are A LOT of things that I do handle for them that require many hours of time, such as helping pay bills, making doctor appointments, transporting to doctor appointments, getting groceries, running errands, cooking, regular house cleaning, setting up their electronics, advocating with doctors and businesses, helping off the floor when they fall down, monitoring medication, etc. These are things I would do, even if they were to downsize.

If you don't think she's competent, I'd take the paperwork such as DPOA to an attorney and get advice on how to proceed with making the decisions on her behalf that are in her own best interest.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Downsizing to a smaller house would not solve your problem. You would still have to help with the upkeep. My DH would have done Moms yard if asked, but she chose to pay someone. Me, I don't do my own let alone someone elses. Your Mom should downsize to an apt maybe an Independent living. Some ILs provide meals. She can sell her house and use the proceeds to offset the cost.

I agree, if its a list of things, she no longer is independent. Boundries is good. Like some members have said, she may realize that she no longer can do, and be more susceptible to moving. I hate those ads where it tells Seniors "you can stay in your home". Right, the husband dies and your income is cut in half. I so wish I had talked my Mom into an apt. She had a big old 125 yr old farmhouse that was a white elephant. At the time Dad died she could have sold it for much more than we eventually got. She could have had a nice little place easy to care for. People she knew from Church.

Make a list of what you do for her. Are there things she can do for herself.
Like groceries delivered and prescriptions. Use the Senior bussing to get to appts or shop. Tell her if she wants to stay in her home, then she has to show she is independent to do so. That you work and have a place of ur own to care for. If she can't do for herself, she needs to find an alternative. Please, do not allow her to live with you. I can already see it will not work.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I love your answers MargaretMcken!! I will hang onto those phrases to use on my mother!!
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Reply to elaine1962
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No one should take advantage of you without your permission. Keep repeating this to yourself
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Reply to MACinCT
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Sadie, is he on any medications to calm his agitation? He needs them!

Talk to his doctor about these behaviors. If necessary, get a geriatric psych consult.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I am caring for a 76yr old baby. He can't get his way he throws things. He hallucinates alot. Will take pic off walls, says its wife in the pic, says she is yelling at him all the time. He took her pic down tore it up,put it in the trash and blames me or his primary caregiver.We need to put him in a nursing home,but not with this virus going on.This is really stressing both of us out.His primary is also his POA.If there is no more help out there,how do we cope until we can place him somewhere HELP!!!!!
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Reply to sadiemae2015
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JoAnn29 Jul 8, 2020
It would be better if you ask this in a separate question. Questions seem to get overlooked when they are a "reply" in someone elses thread.

Since he has hallucinations you may want to talk to his Doctor about some medication.
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Of course the other comments are right. You will get a lot more abusive comments when you put the advice into practice, and you need a strategy to cope with that too. Don't argue, don't justify yourself. Pick a phrase like 'No I can't do that', and just repeat. Then when (probably not if) it gets bad, use another phrase like 'Mum I don't want to hear you talk like that. I will come back another time when you feel less angry'. Practice saying your phrases so that they come naturally and automatically at the right times. In your own head, just know that you are being reasonable, you are not 'guilty', and for both your sakes you need the situation to change.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Set up boundaries and tell her no. Your not doing it any more. Find a therapist to help you set up boundaries. No is a complete sentence. You don’t owe her any explanation.
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Reply to elaine1962
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I re-read & may have assumed Mom needs more AL type help? Is it more house cleaning / maintenance / help with bills type stuff? If so, then hit her with this statement. "Mom, you are not independant here anymore. If you downsize you could be".

Then lay some groundwork. "If I was busy Mom, how would you do that?"

Then *be busy!* Extra working hours have come up, you've taken on some studies, anything! Sorry, can't do it.

She needs to feel it actually IS too much for her. (Without you buffering it).
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Reply to Beatty
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Agree entirely with the other posts already - more will arrive the same I think!

You are ONE person. If Mom now requires constant daily help she needs a village of helpers, not one.

So she must arrange (& pay) for these helpers to come to her.

If she cannot do this (lack of funds, inability to arrange, unwilling) then she must move to where this help is provided onsite.

Basically choice A or B.
A: get the villagers in to help her or B: move into a village setting (AL / NH).

It is extremely common for elders to insist *I only want family to help me*. It is unreasonable & unrealistic. Sometimes they see it if pointed out kindly - sometimes not. Sometimes a sit down chat with the Doctor where you say *I can't do this anymore* gets the ball rolling.
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Reply to Beatty
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Boundaries.

You learn how to say no to her. You walk away or hang up the phone when she gets abusive.

Mum’s decision to not downsize does not mean you are responsible for maintaining her home, doing her shopping etc.
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Reply to Tothill
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She won’t stop until
you do.
Contact your Area Agency on Aging. Each county has one. Ask them for an assessment of her needs. She may qualify for some services.
If she needs more than she can pay for then she has to make changes. Why would she change as long as you take care of everything? You are enabling her, propping her up to think she is capable of living independently when that is not the case. She won’t make changes in her life but expects you to give up your life is what you are saying.
You have to stop. If she doesn’t speak to you properly then leave, hang up the phone or whatever it takes for her to see that you aren’t putting up with it anymore.
If you choose to keep helping her, establish boundaries. Tell her you will give her two hours once a week or whatever you decide you WANT to do. You are not her servant. You can do this. Just decide what you want to do and stick with it.
Let us know how it goes.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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