My 89 year old mother had a fall four months back and had to undergo a hipbone surgery. Although a physiotherapist comes home every single day and gives are the excercises, she is refusing to stand up. She sits up only for 30 mts a day. She is attended to by two nurses 24 hours a day. Toilet needs, wash, eating, drinking fluids, everything takes place in bed. On top of it, she refuses to use her hand and wants to be fed like a baby, that too only by her children.

Otherwise all her physical parameters like BP, sugar, blood picture are near perfect. She eats well and mentally razor sharp. She has not developed any bed sores, so far because of the good nursing care.

Now our problem - I am 67 and working still, my brother is 70 and both of us find it extremely taxing to be around our mother on a 24x7 basis. My mother is very demanding, and insensitive to our stress. She has no outside interests and does not even watch TV.

We are unable to outsource any of our activities to other family members, as they are busy and also not acceptable to my mother.

Although we feel very guilty, we some times look forward to a relief either in the form of her coming back to normal life, or her passing away. After all we also ar ein our sunset years.

My question - how long one can last in bed taking normal food at a ripe old age?
If we know the answer, we can think of some solutions.

Any suggestions?

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First of all, please let go of the guilt. This is a situation that begs for burnout from even a saint. Even though your mother is not going to like it, it could be best for all of you to move her into a nursing home. With all the nursing she requires, she should qualify. You and your brother could die before she does, considering the stress you are under. That won't help her and is certainly unfair to you. Likely your blood pressure is higher than hers!
She could live this way for years or die tomorrow. There's no way to tell. But you can't live this way for years. Please look into care options where you visit but are not on call 24/7. You've given a great deal and will continue to be part of her care. But you deserve a life, as well.
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Another option, less dramatic than nursing home placement, would be my first choice in your situation, since you already have 24/7 in-home nursing care. If your mother's mind is indeed "razor sharp" there should be no reason you cannot tell her the truth and establish boundries in your relationships with her. Please have a direct, honest talk with her where you and your brother and lay it on the line to her, for all of your sakes. I suggest you begin with, "Mother, some things have to change, we cannot continue your care the way we have up to now." Let her know you and your brother are not going to endanger her well-being as well as your own, by allowing yourselves to become ill from the undue stress she has created by her demands on you. Please consider this: because your family roles have been reversed, your mother is doing just as children do, she has been testing you to see how far you will allow her to push you, looking for you to establish her behavioral boundries. You may be surprised by her response. Good luck!
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Many Thanks Ms.Carol
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How long could this go on? Given your mother's age, I'd say no more 15 years. Are you willing to hand feed her for fifteen years? For ten years?

I think you need a better solution, myself, but it is up to you.
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