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My mom is 72 years old. Up to and until July 2017, she worked and was fiercely independent. In July 2017, her colon perforated, and she went septic. Due to this, she had to have part of her colon removed and received a colostomy bag. After rehabilitation, she moved in with me as she refused to live on her own after that happened. In September 2017 she went back to work, until December 2017 when she broke her arm. This was the final straw for her. After rehab from the broken arm, she moved in with my sister, who depleted all of her assets and stole from her. In October 2018, I had no choice but to move her back in with me. By this point, my sister had completely depleted what little assets she had left. My mom has no money, and I am the only one caring for her. She still gives money to my sister, who refuses to work, and continues to dwindle away what little money she has left. Therefore, I am picking up all of her living expenses. I work full-time, and am married. My husband and I have seven children total, four of which are still minors (ages 17-13) and we have to care for, my oldest daughter that is 20 lives with us as well. My mom refuses to medically care for herself. Her diabetes is out of control, she has COPD, and a hernia where the colostomy bag is that is literally the size of a small pumpkin. I have to bathe her as she can no longer bathe herself. Due to a busy life, I have to have her take baths when I able to do it. She won't cooperate. My oldest daughter, who is 20, and works at a hospital, has offered to help her bathe as well. She won't cooperate, she will wait until she is ready and not a minute before. She won't be honest with her doctor about her health issues. She won't get a handle on her finances, keeps helping my sister, won't sell her house that has sat empty for nearly two years, and get won't get a handle on her debt. Anytime I try talking with her, she becomes angry and says "I don't walk to talk about it". If I push it, we start fighting. This story could literally go on forever, I just don't know what to do. I am trying to help her, but she is refusing. I don't have POA, and I have been told the only way to force it, is to have her declared incompetent. Seeing that she is extremely independent, when I have mentioned it, she gets extremely mad and says she will never forgive me. I just do not know what to do anymore. I am watching my mom become someone I don't even recognize. She does not care about her health, finances, hygiene, but if I try and step in, she fights me. I am becoming so frustrated and angry, and then I feel guilt. What if something happens to her, and these are my last thoughts about her? I feel lost. Can anyone help with some advice?

Another direction...You can also contact your local Area Agency on Aging and ask for a needs assessment.

If you AAA wont do one, call her doctor and tell her/him that you need for a social worker to evaluate your mom and her ability to live alone.

If mom can live alone, or with some minimal assistance like bathing once a week, take her back to her home. She can get meals on wheels. Take the senior bus to Adult Day Care.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Do you go to her doctor appointments with her?

Yoh need to let her doctor know what is going on with her health, both mental and physical. Type up a bulleted list and send it to her doctor return receipt requested.

Go with her to the next appointment. Take the list and give it to the RN when you sign in.

Talk to the eldercare attorney about what your options are if she won't sign POA. You may need to proceed to eviction.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Kelly, ref. your last post. Do you think it would help you if you got confirmation that your mom's brain is not working properly? I mean, if she's cognitively impaired, she's not going to get on board, become sympathetic to your needs, realize the consequences of her actions, change her ways to be more reasonable or more responsible, etc. People with this condition often are rude, snappy and even hostile. Reasoning with them usually doesn't work. Because, people who have brain damage just don't think that way. It'll likely get worse, if she does have what you expect. This is why it's so painful and frustrating to manage the needs of family members who no longer have the mental capacity to accept help or make sound decisions. But, you are competent and able to make the decisions for what goes on in your home. If it's not working out, it's not working out.

If your mom is competent, then, I'd explore getting her to a place where she can live her life, making her own decisions and not disrupting your home and your family.
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If you truly believe that she's suffering from mental decline that has rendered her incapable of making proper decisions regarding her healthcare, I'd seek legal advice with an Elder Law attorney to get your options. I'd make a list of all the things about your mother that are dangerous for her health and her resistance to bathing, unable to manage her finances, etc. The attorney will likely be able to tell you if you have the evidence or can get the evidence to have her declared incompetent. (You can also explore having her evaluated for mental/physical disability and Medicaid or Medicaid-like financial assistance from your state. The state's often have programs for people who need AL or MC.) Her doctor may be of assistance too.

But, even if you do this, you still have the issue of her resisting care. If her thinking is unclear and judgment gone, the Guardianship won't change much in her mind, but, it would provide you with the legal authority to decide where she lives, what medical care she is provided and who are her caregivers. You can also have her placed in a hospital or long term care facility, if you deem it's in her best interest. I wouldn't place too much emphasis on making her dislike you, because, that will pass and she won't even remember saying it down the road. Getting her care and protecting her is more urgent than trying to avoid ticking her off with her family members. Sometimes, it's just can't be avoided.
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When we take in our elderly parents to care for them, their job is to participate in their own care the best they can. When we help people for any reason the people we help don't call the shots, we do. When we spend our time, our effort, our energy, our money, our emotions on caring for someone they don't get to be defiant. Otherwise, they lose the benefits of our assistance. And if the person we're caring for disrupts our life, our family, our marriage, and our peace of mind we need to do something different.

I understand that you want a foundation on which to preserve memories for when you're mom is gone. I remember thinking along those lines too, that when my dad is gone I need to know that I did everything I could for him. But his care became bigger than me, more than I could handle, and neither one of us was getting what we needed.

Your mom is only 72 years old. She could live another 10 years or more. You and your family could be destroyed in that amount of time. Don't continue sacrificing yourself and your family to care for your mom who, from what you wrote, doesn't want your help anyway.
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Reply to Eyerishlass
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Kelly5915 Mar 6, 2019
Thank you for your above note. My mom's health, I believe, is compromised by her mental state. I feel that she views life as that if she cannot have the life that she once had then it is no longer worth living; I feel that she is deeply depressed. She finds no joy in life anymore, and it is truly hard to watch. My 13 year old literally said last night that "she thinks Mimi (that's what they call her) just wants to die". That upset me that my 13 year old has this view of her grandmother. Her health and mental state is affecting everyone in my household, and subsequently taking its toll. She will not address any of her problems, and I feel that she is just hoping they will go away, or she will die instead of having to face them head on and deal with them appropriately. It is depressing to watch. When I say something to her, she immediately cuts me off with "don't start on me" or "I don't want to talk about it". As I said above, if I push it, she becomes angry and either just ignores me, or yells, and therefore, a fight ensues. My children have witnessed this, and it is killing me. I don't want to see my mom suffer, I just want her to start addressing her issues. Since I don't have POA, I can't. I set up an appointment for her to meet with an attorney a few months back, for a will, estate, and POA. He drew the papers up, but she has yet to sign or do anything about it. About a month ago, I found out that she has no life insurance, and seeing that her assets have been depleted, and has high debts, it truly worries me how I am going to afford to bury her. My sister will be of no assistance. I cannot even reason with my mom anymore to make her see what is happening. I just feel helpless, guilty for the anger and frustration that I am feeling, and hopeless. I never thought I would feel this way about my mom, and it is consuming me.
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Kelly, of course you have choices. Your mom is completely manipulating you and making ruins of your family life. And she’s still supporting your deadbeat sister while you’re doing all the work. Please think about what you’re teaching your children, that you’re a person to be run over and used. You deserve better. I hope you’ll make changes, get mom out of your home, and reclaim your life and family
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Um, you had "no other choice but to take her in"?

No, you could have had her placed.

She is manipulating and playing you with her anger. It's called "Fear, Obligation and Guilt--FOG". Google it. It's a thing.

Until you have the spine and self-respect to say "No mom, MY HOME, MY RULES; work with me or find someplace else to live" or words like that, you will be at her mercy.

So, she'll never forgive you? So what?

I'm sorry that this sounds (and IS) harsh, but it's what you need to hear right now. Your first obligations are to your minor children, your spouse and yourself. NOT your mother.
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