My parents aged 90 and 83 will not bathe and take keep themselves clean. Mom now has HH coming and they offered to send someone to help her bathe, she refused of course. Mom is pretending to be so sick and weak she can't pour herself a cup of coffee, She was evaluated by OT and they said she didn't need it. Yet I am taking care of them doing all the cleaning and cooking as well as furnishing all the food. I am disabled and only get 1290 per month. They get nearly $7000 per month. I can't afford to keep feeding them. It has nearly doubled my grocery bill.They only pay me a sum that amounts to about 25 cents an hour. Mom has nothing wrong with her except she wants to sit and have someone waiting on her. She doesn't want me to go anywhere or do anything but to be at her beck and call. I am ready to lose it big time. Can anyone tell me what to do??? I have a very bad back and have had surgery once and am needing it again. I fear I am going to get myself injured and have to go into the hosptia myself. She does not care that I am unable to hold up to do this from now on. She is just being a real bitch.
But back to your situation....if your parents receive so much money a month then they definitely can afford to pay someone to come in and help with their hygiene. I threatened my mom that if she didn't bathe then I would bring someone in to do it. By the way, I am her home health provider too. I agree with the other responders in that you must get POA and that you need to find a way to step away in some way in order for you to get some kind of rest. I do not live with my mother and I would never bring her to live with me either. I finally arrived at some type of peace with myself in truly understanding that I am doing the best that I can for her and knowing that someday it will not be enough. But yes I still get exhausted and some days I do not even want to go to her place. Now she is having symptoms of age onset dementia so I know that it may get worse.
But yes, you have to do some tough love and let them know your true feelings instead of bottling up like I used to do at first. Once I let my mom know how I truly felt things got a little bit better. But you need to take care of yourself. I truly wish you the best in this situation and pray that God gives you the strength of mind and body that you need.
Try buying cheap food they don't like. maybe hot dogs seven days a week will let them come loose with money.
"Here are the clothes you will wear tomorrow. It is time to take a bath/shower.
I am taking these clothes (dirty, smelly) to have them cleaned and will bring you the bill. Here is your deodorant; please use it." Don't argue with them, don't negotiate. Leave after you make these statements. Who cares if they are pissed of?. Better clean and pissed off than smelly and complacent. Heehee:)
You are a smart, savvy woman. Just bounce it off of us. We support you. You don't need permission to do what you want. Don't lose any part of yourself over this. I always say there are all kinds of strange people on the planet and sometimes we are related to them. Doesn't mean we are like them. At All!
Take care of yourself, Precious One:) xo
So, the trick is to get them to stop abusing you with the least amount of ugliness all around. That's not easy. Of course you could just flat out refuse to continue to care for them under the current arrangement, but given how close you live to them, it would be hard to back off entirely.
Their behaviors sound very dementia-like, so their finances may be a complete shambles. Have you seen their bank and credit card statements? The favored niece may have been lavished with even more support than you know about. Even with their very sizable income, they could have debt or they may have signed over their house. If possible, persuade them to let you look at their finances (or have a professional look at them). You might be able to do it by offering to pay their bills for them since they enjoy being taken care or. If you are going to continue to provide cooking and cleaning services for them, you really should negotiate a monthly salary for yourself. Track your time for a week or so and calculate at a rate of $20 or so (that's about what they'd pay an agency around here for those services).
Make sure your brother is on board with all of this so he's not undermining your efforts.
My dad had Meals on Wheels and he wasn't low income but he had to be 'homebound' and he was. The only criteria for him was that he not be able to leave the house except for medical appointments, church, and/or a barbershop. As long as followed those rules Meals on Wheels came by every week.
Also, my dad would not take showers for days and days on end. I still don't know if was laziness or fear. I tried to talk to him about it but he had no answers. So after a brief hospital stay (I was mortified that he lived with me and smelled so bad. I was afraid someone would report me.) I arranged for a bath attendant to come by twice a week and that worked for.....one week. Finally I just bought 2 different kinds of wipes: baby wipes for his perineal area and fresh-smelling Lever 2000 wipes for everything else. I plopped these in his bathroom and encouraged him to use them and he did. I would also encourage him to use them on days when I thought he needed to bathe and after BM's. I'd clean his bathroom (in a Hazmat suit) and put everything out he'd need, arranged attractively. Clean, fluffy towels. An empty trash can for the wipes. I'd set out his toothbrush and mouthwash. It looked like a spa. And it spared me from having to continually express to him that he smelled, which was an awkward conversation for both of us.
People who aren't caregivers often say, "Just MAKE him do it!" Well, you can't physically wrestle a grownup into the shower. Or you can't force medication down someone's throat. You can't throw someone over your shoulder like a sack of potatoes, push them into the car to go and see a Dr. Like the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink."
No more buying food and lots of luck with the hygeine issue. :-)
Let them know you can't afford to pay for all food.
If they are paying all other bills (utilities,etc.) maybe they consider the food bill "your part of expenses".Or the cleaning & cooking done in payment of your share of household bills.
Add all expenses up and divide by 3.
If they are not OK mentally - you need to get POA -
If they are still OK mentally -perhaps a caregiver contract to spell out what you are expected to do. If you don't wish to perform these duties, they can hire someone and you can get a job elsewhere.
I was taking care of both my folks on less than you make, so I'm sure you can do it. I couldn't imagine anyone making what your folks make! If you're not up to it, do you have any siblings who could help out. I am an only child, so have no other choice.
abandoning them, you are NOT their servant. I don't know what it is with the folks that were raised in the Depression. My MIL is the same. She won't spend a penny, and thinks we should pay for everything. My husband has set up an electronic pay system to get her bills paid. A bill comes in, and he pays it with her account online. And tells her later.
It sounds like you need to have access to your parents' credit card. You can charge their food on the card, then let them pay it. That way you wouldn't have to have POA or have your name added to their accounts, which they probably wouldn't like. Do not spend your own money. Period. Doing that gives them permission to keep exploiting your good will. They have their own money.
Your mother sounds like mine. She talks like she was once industrious, but the truth is she has always been lazy. I've known her for 61 years, so she doesn't fool me. I've learned there is little that can be done with chronic lazy except not to be so available to do things for them. If your mother is like mine, she'll say things like, "When I was your age, I climbed tall mountains and fought angry lions." Of course, I know the only thing she did was go on walks while the house and yard went to pot. Talking about all she used to do is just her way of trying to manipulate me, and is particularly hateful.
Seriously, someone ought to do a book on the psychology of older folks.