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Hi,


The saga continues here for me trying to get mom out of any chair, off toilet, or off commode. My husband, daughter, and I visited yesterday to help do a few chores and eat with mom and sister. Overall it was good time. But even with my husband, mom insists upon being lifted up and is not helping. She told us she was not going to go to the edge of her chair even when I offered to slide her there like I have before. She only wants to be lifted up by my sister. My sister will be at her out patient surgery this Wednesday evening and husband and I will be with mom.


To start the problem up with me when we arrived yesterday, mom wanted to use her real toilet in the back of her house. (Her house has two bathrooms but both are in the back of the house so not convenient.) She was already up and using her walker and about half way to where bathroom is when we got there. So I helped her get to the back of her house where the closest real toilet is. She didn't want to take her walker in the small bathroom but I told her she needed to walk there with it and then I could help her back up to the toilet to grab the toilet rails like we had done many times before. She reluctantly did that and used the toilet. However, getting off became the BIG ISSUE again. She told me she couldn't get off it and fussed a while. Reluctantly I finally had to go get my sister. Sister then came and asked mom why she was even on her real toilet as my sister hasn't been letting her use that lately she said. However, my sister had not communicated that to me prior to right then! My sister reminded mom how she herself is too large to get in that bathroom to lift mom off it so up until recently mom has been getting off her own toilet in there by herself. Sister didn't have a solution so I suggested we each take an arm under our should and under mom's shoulder with to help her stand up. (I was trying what some nice person on this forum suggested with a video link about a week ago and I thank them). But it took two of us doing it to work and we got mom off and out of there. The video showed it being done with one person.


I will make sure mom is taken care off well the evening of my sister's out patient surgery. I will have my husband there. But my sister needs to really know and understand that if my mom chooses not to allow anyone but herself to get her up from seated position, it will probably not improve my sister's health.


How do I get mom to understand and even my sister that there are ways to lift mom or be taught how to have mom help us help her to stand up and we really need to learn this now? Mom expects to be taken to commode, bed, her favorite chairs, into car sometimes but not often, wears Poise pads, and doesn't have accidents. She has always had controlling personality so much of what she is doing is not new. She is just doing it on something I cannot help her with alone. But I do love my mom and really do want to help her and my sister. I am just at a loss on how to do that. At this point, alone, I cannot get my mom from a sitting position to standing and it is causing me a lot of stress honestly since mom and sister have the expectation that I should be able to do this I feel.


I keep a positive attitude and reminded mom my sister has surgery in two days and that I need to help her up. Mom has a PT visit today. She didn't want it and has often had my sister who lives with her 24/7 cancel appointments for her. I hope that doesn't happen today.


Thanks for listening to me vent on this again!


Peaceful thoughts to all.

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Hi Snowy1

First I want to say that you are growing by leaps and bounds in your understanding of the situation with your mom.

You have got it exactly. It’s your mom’s choice. Get up with you and the belt or your husband has to help. Or get up on her own. Her choice. The problem is that mom sounds in complete denial that your sister wont be there to lend a hand.

But please do keep in mind that if sis doesn’t snap to on the fact that she can’t indefinitely keep enabling your mother to become an invalid, sooner or later, you will be forced to step up and take appropriate action.
What that looks like will depend upon how much damage has been done.

If sister thinks she has to do this to have a roof over her own head, please help her find an alternative to destroying her health.
I only suggest that because we do see many on this forum who think helping their parents out in their old age is a win win (providing the adult child with a home) only to find out it is a dead end street as the parents needs can outgrow their daughters abilities. After all, the daughter is a senior as well. Then her health is wrecked and she is less able to find that roof.
All I’m saying is make sure your sister knows she shouldn’t have to hurt herself to help mom. Boundaries must be set.
A large percentage of caregivers actually die before the elder does.
Let us know how sis does with her surgery and how your potty patrol works out.
This time away may help your sister understand that she has to take care of herself first. You sisters must stick together. Not only to care for mom but to care for each other as well.

PS: mom won’t do therapy until she understands she doesn’t have a choice. I’m not sure she is able to get that. Her dementia may have progressed too far
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snowy1 Aug 20, 2019
Hi there 97yroldmom,

Thanks for your very good input. All you say is very true. I know in future all those things need to be discussed. Mom cannot just have a drink and sit being happy as it is. She was asking me for that last week, but I think she knows this week that is not realistic. I want things to be perfect too, but I know things sometimes don't go the way I want them to. So that is why I like to do what my Dad taught me, make a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C at least. I told that to Mom and she thought that was a good idea. I made up options for your regarding my sister's surgery so we have that figured out. Beyond that, we do not I know.

I really do feel so much better my self having found a solution for this week at least. I have learned from my special needs daughter that by doing things in little steps like the ABCs, lots of things can get better. It takes a lot of work, discipline, and commitment. I am very willing to do that and have done that for years so consider myself quite good at it.

I really do just want what is best for my Mom and my sister. But I know it is their choice to decide. At least it is now very clear and not me just saying that I cannot lift mom like my sister does and they both "get it" since PT told them for me to do that I would physically hurt myself. Maybe my mom needs to learn that home aide would probably use a belt on her to help her get upright too, or am I wrong?

Thanks so much for your message. I am so grateful to finding this group as it lets me vent my frustrations!

God bless!
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Hating to drag the "men" into this,, but my mon freaks if she thinks hubs is going to have to help her! Tell her you and sis can't do this, and the men are going to have get her off the pot.. so to speak. My mom just had 6 weeks of home PT, and once that was over.. back to normal.. LOL She talks the talk, but wont do the dance.
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snowy1 Aug 19, 2019
Hi Pamzimmrrt,

Thanks for your message. I don't know how it will go with my husband being the second person with me two nights from now helping my mom. Today the PT taught me and had me practice with mom a way I can help her by myself but it does require a belt, not at her waist as that hurts where she has her colostomy scars, but under her arm pits. I can do that but mom hates it saying it hurts, so it will be her choice. We shall see if she chooses husband to be there, have me use the belt, or just get off the commode herself like she has done many times with me before. Today she complained she was on the plastic grey one, but I let her know she chose that instead of the padded one I bought for her. So maybe next time she is with me, she will choose the padded one. It will be her choice. But at least my sister can go to her surgery in peace knowing mom will be taken care of well.

I wish mom would do the PT, but from what you mentioned, it may not be something mom continues to do if my sister just lets her go back to the butt lift thing. I suppose they will have to decide on that. I do think my sister realizes she does need a break from 24/7 in the long term.

Peaceful positive thoughts coming your way.
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Hi Snowy. Does your Mom have dementia? I didn’t see that in your profile. If not, I would remove your sister now as another posted recommended and I would work with your Mom assisting to get up. If she can walk with walker once standing I don’t understand her reluctance. Is she is pain? If not, just hold your ground and tell her how it must be now and when your sister recovers and returns as primary caregiver. I assist my Mom to a standing position but she will move to edge of chair and push up using her arms. I tell her each time to help this way and that if she doesn’t it is hurting my back. She does not want that so she always helps. Good luck.
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snowy1 Aug 19, 2019
Hi Sweetstuff,

It is so nice that your mom doesn't was you to hurt your back so she helps you get up an appropriate way. Since PTs have told my sister it is fine for her to get mom up as she is doing, butt lift included, mom and sister were expecting me to do that too just as I suspected. PT did come today and watch what my sister did and told them it would hurt me to be doing that. I questioned what he meant so it would be perfectly clear for all to hear. He said about me that I would "be physically hurting myself". I am not very relieved to know that I do not have to lift mom that way! PT but belt on mom under her shoulders so as not to hurt her colostomy scar and showed me a way to move mom alone. Mom was very annoyed but did do it so that will have to occur on Wednesday night when my sister is at her surgery to get her off commode or toilet without assistance of husband. It takes two of us to lift mom and that is just that if mom doesn't cooperate on directions to stand from seated position. If mom wants her privacy with commode, it will have to be with me and the belt.

So I left on a good enough note and will keep saying prayers for my sister's surgery to get all the cancer cells off with the Mohl's on her face and mom will have a successful evening Wednesday night with my sister being gone for a number of hours.

As for mom, she doesn't have diagnosis of anything but I think her primary doc is thinking Parkinson's of Parkinsonism per what my sister has mentioned. I know those have the component of dementia which is how mom seems to be acting on this point.

PT did say mom can improve my doing exercise he showed today so she can get herself off chair, toilet, commode, etc. So it is up to mom to decide. He also discussed Hoyer lift and when mom looked at part of YouTube of it on phone, she asked for it to be turned off. (That was actually before mom tried the belt with him and me.) Lift would require many changes to her house and furniture and she resists any of that she again stated to the PT. So mom will get to choose what she wants. If sister not there, she will be helped to stand from sitting a different way regardless if it is me or a home aide I am pretty certain at this point. I hope mom has that clearly grasped now.

I am very grateful mom can still walk once she is up and I encourage her to do a lot of that with me. My sister just encourages her to have a seat in the transport chair and I don't really think that is best until mom is very tired from moving around with her own legs some at least.

Thank you for sharing and listening. Prayers all around.
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All you can do is laugh LOL
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Your sister needs to step out now, she isn't going to be available for rescue during and after her surgery and both she and Mom need to adjust to that. This PT appointment is an important step to enabling you to step in for your sister and without it Mom is going to end up needing to be transported somewhere or at the very least calling rescue to come lift her. These are the facts, whether or not they think you should be able to do everything the way your sister does (and shouldn't) the fact is you can not, you are not able and your sister is going to be unable not just in the next few days but for much longer or permanently soon by the sounds of it. You mom can decide for herself how she wants to move forward but she can't just keep things status quo and neither can you and your sister, even with DH help life just doesn't stay the same it's always evolving. Mom can choose how it evolves for her and these are her choices, participate in the solutions or have no choices left and let others (non family) decide for her or her body will choose... If she chooses not to help and not to participate in helping you help her transfer but sending away PT and refusing the methods you are able to do she is making the decision to suffer those consequences, there is nothing you can do about that and it is NOT your fault not is it your sisters fault or responsibility because she is taking care of her own health. I sounds to me that while Mom is probably being lazy, yes she has also been spoiled and I know how that easily that can happen. Your sister has simply done everything for her, partly to care for her and probably partly because it's easier than taking the time to encourage mom to do more of the work and you are helping by doing everything you can to replace your sister exactly. I know you are doing that for your sister as much as your mom but probably the better thing you can do for both of them is help hit the reset and reality button. They live together and are in a routine and I can speak from experience you don't even realize how much more you are taking on when it's just one added thing in the daily routine until suddenly your realize...you have lost control, it's no one fault it just happens but that doesn't mean you have to continue down that rabbit hole. You need to help your sister and your mother out of the rabbit hole and back into life for lack of a better way to put it and this is a good opportunity to start that. I'm not saying be confrontational or cruel just realistic and sensible in a loving caring way and honest with Mom about what you can and can't do, what she can choose to do or not and the probable consequences. Right now my guess is she either doesn't believe you and your sister can't keep it up the way it is now and do whatever she wants how she wants it or she does know but is so afraid of what the next step looks like all she knows how to do is force the worst to happen. Help her gain healthy control back and know she has a team available, the next step doesn't have to be so bad. Of course there are people who can never do this and if she is one you are going to have to let her do it the hard way even though it will hurt you and your sister as much, maybe more than mom and be difficult to step back and watch. I'm so sorry you guys are going through this.
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" But my sister needs to really know and understand that if my mom chooses not to allow anyone but herself to get her up from seated position, it will probably not improve my sister's health."

I remember your original post. Your sister is killing herself, isn't she, taking care of your mother? And your sister has health problems.

Is this the plan once she recovers from surgery? To work herself into an early grave taking care of your demanding mother? What a shame!
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If mom and sis expect you to do this alone... tell them flat out you cannot and need help. The three of you need to communicate now about what you all need/expect from each other. Sometimes people assume others just know what they need or want, and forget that they need to say so. When I cared for my mother after her ankle break, she griped after a few days that I hadn't vacuumed her rugs. Problem was, she never mentioned she wanted it done! It wasn't as if they were so dirty that it was obvious; she just had her schedule of vacuuming. She just expected me to know the schedule without asking.

If mom is adamant that only sis can help her up despite sis not being there... calmly tell her she will have to let you and/or husband help, or it's not going to be done. When she sees that reality of it's your help or NO help, she will likely relent.
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Good luck getting her to do PT. It doesn't sound like she has any motivation to do so. So, how do you give her some motivation?

Like with kids, maybe a reward? I won't do it with my mom, but it's an idea. Do these exercises and then we'll do X? Or we're not doing Y until you do your PT?

I fear it's going to be hard. Well, this whole elder care thing is hard.
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