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I am ready to scream!!!!

She lives almost two hours away. But, the telephone exists. And I can't ignore her. She doesn't have much help. Mostly me. And she is frail, old, has a couple of diseases. She still lives at home. Brother lives there but he doesn't do much. She can't afford a nursing or assisted living home. Would never, ever go to one even if she could.

Barbara

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Hadnuff, since your brother is living with Mom he needs to step up and do some of these things. He probably figures why should he spend his time doing that stuff when you will do them.

So, it is time for you to start practicing saying "sorry, I just can't possibly do that" many times over so that it sound natural when you say that to your Mom.

Since your Mom won't go to assisted living, and her choice is to remain in her house, then SHE needs to take the responsibilities that come with her choice. Time to stop enabling her, otherwise she will never move to a place where she would be around people her own generation and where she can make new friends. Even if it means selling the house to pay for it. If your brother can live in Mom's house without her there, then he can live anywhere. Unless your Mom is taking care of him health wise. If not, then he can stand on his own two feet.
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The insurance thing was big in her mind. She was paying double what most people pay. Ther was a fire in the house and insurance company dropped her. Too many claims. Only company who would take her was out of town. She asks me a month beforoe the insurance needs to be renewed to find new company. Said had so much going on that she forgot. My brother is on SSI. His food stamps were taken away when he moved back home. He wants to live in moms house when she dies. So she is determed that he will. Plus she is afraid of him having to live in a shelter. Subsidized apartments are real hard to get. There is a lawsuit against her now. Long story. Dad had small house with apartments in it and slipcover business. Woman claims child got lead posioning from paint in apartment. She is afraid they will get a lot of her money. She never says what am I going to do. She says, whats my brother going to do. He wont have enough money to pay house insurance, heat, etc. But, yes she does get excessively upset over smaller stuff. She has been to hearing doctor several times. Nothing to do but use hearing aids.
Barbara
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Whoa whoa whoa - so many "ands!" Yes it's great to close the loop on things so she can feel reassured, but also realize that she will always be anxious about the next thing. The biggest worry is that in investing so heavily on every detail the big picture can be overlooked; for some people the little worries mainly serve to distract them from the serious concerns and problems - the things that will not resolve themselves or go away that really have to be attended to. My mom was like this too. Once it was over a tea towel. There were many more pressing things we needed to deal with, but when I realized it was the fastest route to be able to get refocused on them, I bought her a substitute tea towel and all was well from that point of view at least.

One of the few things that may work is a pre-emptive strategy - you start calling her at specified times, and in an orderly way, touch briefly on each of the things you know she is concerned about. Set up an audiology visit non-urgently and at a convenient time for YOU to see what might need to be done differently....hearing loss only aggravates anxiety, sometimes even to the point of paranoia.

The other thing I am wondering is if your brother actually is in any financial trouble - does Mom see his situation realistically or not?
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She is very hard of hearing. I make phone calls for her. She has a phone that amplifies sound. But not enough. And her hearing aids make noise when she uses phone. She can't seem to hold phone like hearing aid doctor said so the hearing aids are quiet. The calls are usually urgent for her. She is usually very upset about something. They are often stressfull phone calls trying to get something straightened out for her or get information. She calls and says she is almost out of migrane pills. The pharmacy won't deliver unless she has a prescription being delivered. Brother won't go get it. She really needs it as soon as possible. I rush out and buy the pills and mail to her. This time they didn't come till four days after they were supposed to. She called me each day to tell me they didn't come yet. She constantly tells me she is worried about my brother not having enough money to live on when she dies. She almost makes her self emotionally and physically sick over the worry. And then she won't spend money on things she needs because she says she has to keep as much of her money as she can for my brother. She has enough money. I don't want to keep spending my money because she won't spend hers. She goes through periods where she is calling every few days saying she needs me to buy and mail her something. And of course its urgent. Or she has to have me transfer money in the bank. She calls me until I do it. And then calls back the next day to double check that I transferred the money into the correct account number. (It's her anxiety). I do understand the anxiety. It's just very hard to listen to and deal with. I remember before I got on pills. I drove my husband crazy. She wanted to change her home insurance company to get a cheaper rate. She was very particular what she wanted. And I was on the phone about four different days making a bunch of calls each day. And having a couple of conversations with mom each day until she settled on a company. Oh, she said my brother also had to approve the cost and coverage. Or he would get real upset and drive her crazy. Lots more to explain. But not enough space.
Barbara
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Hadnuff, being two hours away means that you can't reasonably help with hand's on caregiving. What sorts of things is mom asking for help with?

if it's bill paying, you should put them all on an online bill pay service. Can you have her mail diverted to your address? What does she need help with that brother can't deal with?

if she has no funds, have you applied for Medicaid? Does she get meals on wheels?
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