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I know I ask questions about this but here I am again. Still floundering and just can't get seem to get back on solid ground. Can't stop being very frustrated and sad. And angry. Yup. It feels so wrong and I feel so petty but haven't been able to come to terms with the situation.


Last time, one person suggested that I could have been enabling her and WOW was that a bullseye right between the eyes. I saw that I have done way too much for her for way too long. And I have stopped.


I came to the realization that I am so freakin annoyed with ME caring more about her well being than she does. This is where I'm pretty much STUCK. Her strength and mobility have declined and she doesn't want to go to PT anymore. She "claims" she'll do it at home but it's never really happened before so....history DOES repeat itself. I do my best to NOT ask if she is or is not doing her exercises. I just can't bear the answers.


IF her refusing to remain active only had an impact on her, then big fat hairy deal, right? BUT she lives with me and hubby. And we already do most of the things. Either because of her pain or lack of strength and mobility.


I just see the future and I HATE what I see. And I know that it's 90% her own fault because she refuses to do the exercises and increase her strength and mobility. I recently told her that I am NOT doing more because she is choosing to do less. And now the battle lines have been drawn and we're both annoyed/angry with each other.


Do I have to be OK with her lack of activity which will lead her to continue to decline?


How can I not be disgusted with her lousy attitude?


Then also she made a snarky comment about me going to my daughter's without her which turned into a major blowout. I told her that I worry about her going up the stairs (she's horrible at stairs and we have to help and/or spot her), that she's going to fall and hurt herself and/or me. She doesn't get it. UUUGGGGHHHH!

Your mother is making a conscious CHOICE to be placed in either Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing, due to her refusal to help herself. And due to the fact that you physically cannot do the PT FOR her, meaning she will become either wheelchair bound soon or even, perhaps, bed bound. So be it, mother................this is YOUR choice. Remind her of that, and you will have no other choice but to start looking into long term care facilities for her NOW, with an eye towards her default future.

My mother refused to do the PT in rehab, so she became wheelchair bound and had to go from the regular ALF which she loved into their Memory Care building, which she hates. She wants to go back to her old apartment, which she can't, because she chose to sit instead of walk, so there's nothing anyone can do for her. She asked me the other day, "What am I doing in this wheelchair?" UGH.

Good luck..........it's really awful when they make THEIR problems in OUR problems and then blame us for the whole mess in the process!
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againx100 Oct 31, 2019
You're right, she IS choosing AL or SNF in her near future. She might like AL but will hate SNF. So be it. Sooner or later, that's the way it's going to be and it is a choice, at least at this point where she is able yet unwilling to do things to help her situation.

Mind boggling. Though, yesterday, I did remember that her mom did nothing to help herself either. She was grossly overweight, lots of health issues, lots of meds. Didn't lose weight, didn't get active, just took her meds, declined and passed in her mid 70s. Not a great role model. Her dad followed the heart attack diet, though he had maybe 50+ extra lbs on him. He lived a decent life until he had a post-op stroke and died. She's never been in my shoes of taking care of a parent. It probably never would have crossed her mind to try to get her mom to do things to help herself. Grandpa took care of her so he bore 95% of that burden.

Good one from your mom "why am I in a wheelchair"?? OMG seriously? I guess they just do NOT understand the correlation between their poor choices and the natural consequences. They are just letting life wash over them without fighting one iota for their future.

I do understand that sometimes, you really try and still can not make things better. Now, that I could deal with graciously. But not the oh well, that's just the way it is attitude.

Thanks for the response and the help. Means a lot.
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Againx100, you are always welcome to come here to vent, share and answer questions. I completely understand how sad, sick and frustrated you must feel by your mother’s lack of effort to help herself. You say you were advised by someone that you are an enabler. Have you had any success in dealing with that? Have you mentioned to your mother that this cannot continue and either she puts forth some effort or she will have to move to a facility where they will care for her but mostly leave her be to do as she pleases? I believe you were probably advised this previously, yes?

The solution is within you and whatever you decide to do, or not to do. Wish you much luck and peace with your decision.
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Again, you have a right to feel how you feel. You can feel disgusted with her lousy attitude. You don’t have to accept it. You don’t have to be ok with her lack of activity either.
If she wants to make bad decisions about her health and allow herself to decline, she has the right. But you have the right to refuse to be her accomplice. You don’t have to do more just because she’s doing less.

Whatever you are feeling here, just know that your feelings are valid and hating what’s to come and hating the situation she’s creating for herself and being disgusted.....doesn’t make you a bad person. So let out all your feelings here.
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Think it time to tell Mom that you are no longer willing to care for her. Her not trying to do better, makes more work for you. She is going to need to go to an AL, if she can afford it, or go to LTC on Medicaid. You do not plan on caring for her the next 20 yrs. You have a life. You want to be able to go out with your husband, alone. You want to be able to visit your daughter without her getting upset because she wasn't included. Because she feels she should be included, then she has to be able to do for herself. Because as she ages so do you. I am 5 ft so its really hard for me to help someone that out weighs me and is dead weight.

Your Mom is being selfish and needs to know that you refuse to be her slave when she is perfectly able to do for herself.
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againx100 Oct 31, 2019
She can afford AL (due to dad having a nice life insurance policy for her).

It makes me so sad to think that I'm going to have to say - time for AL, mom. Ugh. Well, it's either that or I just have to suck up my very negative feelings about her lack of participation, or caring, in her own well being. That might just be more than I can handle though.

The level of care I have to provide for her at this point in time is pretty low and easy to handle. It's the mental load of knowing how much better of a life she could and should be leading.

I have implemented date night, where hubby and I do go out ALONE. I have gone to my daughter's ALONE (not without getting $h*t about it, but nonetheless). Besides not taking care of herself physically, she also refuses to get more involved in the few things that are available in our area. She does go to our little local library once or twice a month. And the same to our little country store for lunch where she can chat with the owners. BUT OMG think of how many hours she is ALONE. I tried to get her to reach out to some ladies she has met in town but NO. Tried to get her to go to the senior center. NAH. Tried to get her to come to the gym with me. WHO, ME? So her social life sucks and I feel a lot of pressure on that front because she loves to talk and be social. When she moved here 4 years ago she said she had enough friends. Lordy. They're all 2 hours away and she does make it down there every month or two to my sister's (thank god for that short respite time I do get from time to time!) but that is NOT ENOUGH. AL would solve that problem too.

I am also 5' and she's about the same (I think she shrunk an inch or two) but weighs over 200! Yikes. There's no way I'll be able to muscle her around when the time comes.

This may be a mistake, but I'm inclined to kind of wait until SOMETHING happens. Like she gets a new problem that really degrades her current status.

You are unfortunately right that my mom is being selfish. But, of course, she implies that I am the selfish one. She expects everyone to slow down and dumb down everything we do so that she can be included. Geez? Really? She just does not seem at all aware of how slow and needy she is and has no pride about it. Because of her knee and back problems, she walks and very slowly and has to take breaks and can barely do stairs. She can do the 3 into our house by putting her weight on the railing and slowly making it up.

She says she wishes she could be around when I'm old so she could see how I will do! OMG. I'll be approaching life the way I do today. I eat well. Take supplements. Am very active. I address my health problems as they arise and get them resolved, instead of waiting for the good fairy to arrive and wave her magic wand to make them miraculously go away with no effort on my part. I do the work to stay young and strong and active!

I'm learning how NOT to approach aging by watching HER. Thanks for the tips, mom.

Ugh, I really really really HATE the way I sound here. Thankfully this is anonymouse otherwise I could never be this honest, except with my hubby.

Thanks for caring enough to give me your best advise!
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Don’t know if this is your mom's case, but my mom was depressed and just stopped caring after my sister died. She was on medication and under a doctor’s care, but no matter what we suggested, she argued or refused to try. She lived the way she wanted to and we couldn’t convince her otherwise. I learned that I could only control my reactions -I couldn’t make her the person I wanted her to be. It’s not easy.
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Sometimes you just have to let people live the consequences of their actions. One of which is you not taking her out because of her mobility issues. There is only so much you can do for someone before it lands on them to do for themselves. I think you need to have the AL conversation with her. She is only going to get worse and even if you wanted to you will not be able to help her anymore.
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Judysai422 Nov 1, 2019
Amen. Well said.
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I just want to say I totally feel your frustration and have had to deal with it myself.

My mom recovered but she still won’t walk and build her leg muscles at all. She claims she exercises but it’s in bed with a trapeze (If I believe her...) and that doesn’t help her legs at all.

When she decided to become bedridden she would lay in bed in soaking wet gowns and bedsheets for hours and wouldn’t let me get her up to use the toilet for fear she would “hurt” me.

Be thankful she’s in a home because it’s so difficult to be a witness all day every day to her decline knowing she’s doing it to herself! Breakfast, lunch and dinner I’d beg my mother to get up.

I’m just saying I know exactly how you feel and I don’t blame you a bit. You are so right and if she lasts 20 more years what a waste if $ and resources. That’s a terrible thing for me to say, I know and I’m sorry but in an effort to be supportive of you, that’s what I think.

charlotte
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againx100 Oct 30, 2019
Sorry you've had a similar experience.

My mom is still at our house.

I think AL might be in her future.

I hope we can some how find a common ground, agree to disagree, but don't know how to get there. Might need to enlist a professional for some mediation?
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She is destroying you, one small step at a time. IMO you are in over your head. Why not consider AL, where she can be with people her own age, then she will have someone to B, Whine and Complain to, over lunch.

Time to stop this merry-go-round, you can jump off any time...why not now?
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Judysai422 Nov 1, 2019
My mother did the same thing re exercise and she was in AL. Since I had to take her to all of her appointments, her poor mobility impacted me. I began by telling her I would take her to the nail salon, her favorite thing, only when she could use her Walker, not a wheel chair. That worked for awhile. But when her heart condition got worse, we placed her on hospice care and are now looking for a mobile nail salon. Her dementia has robbed her of all of her motivation, except to have her nails done and go out to eat. We got her to sign a DNR. She may have lasted a bit longer if she had done any exercise, but she is 93 and it just is not worth the effort to keep her moving. Now she thinks she is dying with every ache or pain, but instead of calling me, she can call hospice. Death is inevitable...perhaps when we are younger, we just have not come to grips with that.
I agree that if your mom does not want to do her exercises, moving her out of your home is fair, because it will be a physical burden on you that will be too much. But also realize she may no longer have the ability to be motivated...it may be her condition or depression. Either way, you have to do what will let you keep your sanity and live your life.
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In 2009 my MIL broke her back (not paralysed but had "scaffolding" built around her spine). She never had a high tolerance for pain and was basically a quitter the minute anything became hard. None of our patient encouragement moved the needle for her to get even a remote amount of exercise after her recovery (walk her poor dog? Nope. Go to the mailbox at the end of the driveway? Nope). She literally had a treadmill in her house that she used to stack boxes of crap. So she just got worse, gained weight so we could hardly get her into a wheelchair, and allowed any muscle tone she had to wither away. She'd fall in her house and call 911 to come pick her up off it. All she had to do was walk more, watch tv less. The painful irony is that, other than her bad back, she is a very healthy 84-yr old. She's on no other meds. She sees well, hears well, no heart disease, has no arthritis, diabetes, none of the usual suspects of aging. She has great longevity in her family. And it's being totally wasted. On her. She's not a bad person, but she's a giant baby who never changed or saw reason to improve. My husband (her son) swears she was looking forward to being old so that people would be giving her all sorts of attention (for all the wrong reasons). Now she has it. She's in LTC for short-term memory issues and enjoying the staff but I dread the thought she will be in it for decades, as her own gramma laid in bed with a broken hip for 20 years and died at 103! I try not to think about all the physically debilitated people with bright minds and willing spirits who wish they could have had a healthy body like hers. Drives me crazy some days. Wishing you peace in your heart!
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disgustedtoo Nov 2, 2019
Wow. It is sad that some people just are not 'doers' or don't want to try. It is frustrating for you, but according to your husband, this is what she was looking forward to. If she's happy there, so be it. It is sad that so many people WANT to do things, but can't, while others won't.

My mother used to harp at my father to get up and move. MOVE IT OR LOSE IT! He most often refused. Years later she had to be moved to MC. Initially she was still mobile and walked a lot, unaided. Eventually she started using a rollator, but was still able to self-care and get around. After a couple of tumbles, no injury, she is refusing to stand and/or walk at all. Funny that she would then sit in her transport chair and use her legs to 'scoot' along to get to the bathroom, or dining area. With bad knees (too old with dementia for surgery now!), I believe this has led to the most recent bout with leg pain. Last time I stopped by, she was in a wheelchair. She gained at least 20# after moving in there. TV was not a problem - we didn't get one for her room and she doesn't really watch the one in the LR area, but she would sit for hours on end reading her paper, the magazines they have and ALL the sales catalogs.

She did cooperate once with OT during one of the leg pain stints, but they tried bringing in OT/PT this time and she refuses to work with them. So be it. Everyone, even those with dementia, still have the right to refuse. Staff told me this, but they can usually coax the person into doing what needs to be done. PT, not so much.

I consider myself a doer, and would only ask for help if it was beyond my knowledge or capability. With a bad lower back, I do have to be careful about what I tackle and how long or I will pay for it, but I still do try! Other things, I have found I am a lot less coordinated, so I will consider attempting whatever it is, sometimes try, but have learned to walk away before frustrating myself! At this point I refer to myself as "challenged" - no qualifiers! If I can kick it by accident, trip over it, fumble it, get caught on it, it does happen. So frustrating! Sometimes I will just leave it and try again later. Other times, ask for help. Hopefully I will never get to be like your MIL! I've always been the independent type and it would make me angry to not be able to do for myself!
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Your story sounds so much like mine except it is my dad. After mom passed 4 years ago dad slowly declined. Depression, apathy, sleeping all the time. I tried to take care of him but the drive to his house was taking too much of my time and energy. I moved him in with me a year ago, along with my 46 year old mentally disabled brother. I agonized for so long at his lack of caring for himself. Refusing to exercise or even join us for TV. I see him at meals but that is about it, other than doctor appointments of course. My brother takes care of all dad's physical needs so my load in taking care of dad is light. I have discussed with him his ultimate future if he remains in bed all the time. He apologizes, says he knows it his fault and then he cries. I do not discuss it with him anymore. So I do not beat myself up anymore over this either. I am just waiting for the "next thing" to happen....stroke, heart attack, dementia, or his inability to move at all. I am prepared to move him to some sort of facility when I can no longer take care of him in my home. So the best advice I can give is to let it go. Apathy does happen and there is nothing you can do to change them. You can only change your response to their apathy. You still have your life to live so live it.
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my2cents Nov 1, 2019
ask doctor to order in home P
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