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My mother has alienated all of her children through the course of the last 10 years by being cantankerous, bitter, and negative in all ways. I cannot capture it all here except to state that 2 weeks ago, I got a phone call from her that my mobile log shows lasted only 1 minute 32 seconds: after getting past the greeting and her saying she "could not breathe or speak well" (yet she still chain smokes, even though my father has PAD and has not convinced her to at least smoke outside), she essentially jut insulted me and my husband (whom she has not even met except for one brief meeting of him when I took him to meet my folks 11 years ago before we married...it didn't go well then and so yeah, that's that, but clearly she doensn't even know him). Fast forward then to just a week ago, when my mom called to say dad was in the hospital. That was her first sentence: her second sentence was: "he had better get home soon because he has to take care of me."


I and my sister are complete messes: folks are in Texas, sis lives in Indiana with her family, and I am in North Carolina with my family. Mom is mean and bitter but definitely NOT insane, so nothing can be done to keep her from hurting my dad, so far as I can see, but he is definitely weak and in no way, shape, or form able to just "bounce back" to whatever it is she is wanting to wait on her hand and foot once he is out of the hospital. In the meanwhile, a friend of his (neighbor across the street from them) contacted me today and I was thrilled to talk about the situation: we'd arranged for her to get inside of the home to see what was going on with my mom, and it is a mess: tarry walls and black behind the curtains due to cigarette smoke, and cigarette packs all over the place + constant chain smoking by mom. She will be 79 this year, and my dad will be 77...but honestly I think she is sapping my dad's will to even live...yet as I said, there is not a thing it seems we can do about this.


To be honest, I never imagined being at this point...but here we are. Sadly, my dad's main stresses are about paying the bils and things like that, which he always does but is in the hospital now and due to my mom always poo-pooing anything with regard to emergency and/or end of life type things, he never got around to writing up documents summarizing what is where, granting access to anyone to be able to act on hi behalf, etc.


I am so sorry if this seems out of place...honestly, at least getting to type this all out is the most sanity I've experienced in a week. Thank you for providing this space, and I do hope that I am not unwelcome in this community. <3


I don't even know what to label this post, so maybe you all can help me to learn the ways here. And thank you so much for your time in reading this.

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I like the idea of calling the Social Worker concerning Dad. He should not be released back to his home. Tell them its unsafe. They can request APS investigate the home. If the suggest rehab, take it. Will give him a few days more.

But I think one of you need to get there. A person who does not consider another persons needs needs to be evaluated.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Scared, welcome to the club that none of us wanted to be in!

It sounds like a pretty dysfunctional family situation, to be frank.

Is it possible that Home Health visits were ordered and mom cancelled them?

Have you talked to dads regular doctor about what dad needs?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Welcome to the forum. I am so sorry that your dad isn’t doing well and that your mom’s behavior has made this tough on all of you. It sounds like she has broken his spirit. What a shame.

Can you contact the hospital’s social worker and have a chat with her? Have her pay your father a visit. Tell her to pick a time when your mom is not there so he can speak freely. Social workers are used to dealing with lots of situations.

Has your dad allowed you or siblings to have access to his medical records? With HIPPA laws they will protect his privacy and it is always better to get first hand information rather than hearing something second hand from your mother. So ask the social worker if she can help with this if you don’t already have access to his medical information.

Do you think he would like visits from the hospital chaplain? I would do all that I could to lift his spirits and finalize paperwork for your family.

About your mom, that’s a challenge. She is not going to stop smoking. It isn’t good for your dad to be around it. Ask the doctor to recommend that your dad would benefit from being in a facility.

Best wishes to you and your family. Sending a bazillion hugs your way.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Hi there!

I wish I had more time to reply but I can’t right now.

BUT -
I did want to say - don’t be so quick to blame your father and his saying no one has called, etc. I’m so not accusing in a mean way but don’t have the time to tippy toe.

Anyhoo - it might very well be that your father actually believed what he said.

Even if he has been of a rational mind up until this point - that could have changed with his recent surgery and hospital stay, as well as possibly having had an infection.

And, yes. It can happen just this fast. The anesthesia used in surgeries is well known to really do a number on the aged brain. Sometimes they rebound from it - sometimes they don’t. As well, hospital stays can also severely mess with the elderly. It’s well documented and I believe it’s called Hospital Psychosis. You may want to do a quick googling when you have a minute on both subjects.

Welcome. I know finding this site literally save me from an emotional breakdown and I only wish I had found AC earlier in my caregiver journey. But - I did find it when things were at their worst - year 5of6 and for that I will be grateful forever. Stick with us, post regularly and be open to suggestion and I’m sure this site can help you as well.

As for any personal advice from me? At this point and due to my rushing - I leave you with:
Grow a thick skin and don’t take things personally.
Know that while it may feel this way at times - you are not alone.
Always put your own family’s needs - and your own first.
Buckle up that seatbelt. You’re in for a hell of a bumpy ride.
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Reply to Rainmom
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Riverdale Feb 15, 2020
A great reply generally but certainly for someone in a hurry.
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Hugs and more hugs for you. I don't have any answers but I feel your pain and heartache. Please keep posting. I'm new for a few months now but I feel so much better since I found AC.....
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Reply to susalie
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Thank you all for the responses I received...it seems like an eternity (though really isn't) since the time I posted this, and I think all of you who frequent this place completely understand. :)

In any case, and now that I have had time (and many things going on since then) to digest from my original post:

(1) Yeah, my mom is a completely narcissistic nut. This is established, and I won't go further into that for now.

(2) My father went to the ER in the wee hours of January 18th though had been in extremis with incapacitating intestinal pain since January 14th. Following many days of watchful waiting + antibiotics that he didn't respond to (and followed up by a full abdominal ultrasound), they performed exploratory abdominal surgery that resulted in colectomy due to complicated diverticulitis (multiple abscesses, perforation, and blockage) in the wee hours of January 27th.

(3) My sister and I were both very involved in talking to the social worker as well as doctors and nurses involved with our father during this time; honestly the sentiment was that they were amazed he even survived the surgery to begin with and that they were all on board to get him placed afterward...but of course...he wouldn't hear of it at all overrode any opinions to the contrary and is now at home with witch mom/his wife (as of February 11th).

(4) As of tonight, he claims that "no one has called him in 5 days" (meaning myself and my sister...but duh, he got called out on THAT quickly), and also tried to claim that no one was showing up to take care of him (though we also know better of that from the services that we have checked in on that are assigned to him)...sadly, it does seem that he has just given up and prefers to pretend he is getting no help to that he can "die". We wanted him to go to skilled nursing and NOT home but he refused it yet now is complaining that he isn't getting things done that are needed?

I. Give. Up.

Also...apologies for this late update, and I'm sure that I've left some things out, but I'll be sticking around (have really felt therapeutic support since I first joined just from keeping up with the posts of others that have been put forth here) and so will catch up as needed on things that I may have left out. <3
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Reply to ScaredNewbie
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cherokeegrrl54 Feb 14, 2020
Welcome to the forum. You will find the people on here to be wise and very knowledgeable about a lot of different situations. Vent any time, we are all in this together.
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scarednewbie - you are most welcome to the site. I found this site about two years ago and it's been a life saver. Many posters here are experienced caregivers and love to help out others. Feel free to ask any and all of your questions or vent your frustration. It's very therapeutic.

From what you wrote, your mother sounds very toxic. Does she have some mental issue? it seems that the best for your dad would be to live somewhere else without your mother, or at least be away from her for most of the day. Have you talked to your dad to see what he wants?

He probably won't be able to take care of your mother and will need help himself. How is their finance? Will your dad tel you?
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Reply to polarbear
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Mom needs to be evaluated. Look up/call Bureau of Aging in her area. Praying for you & your family.
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Reply to dotevans
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I think Dad is your priority now. Would he be willing to go into LTC? Maybe an AL if there is money. On Medicaid ur parents assets will be split. Mom will not be impoverished. Dad could have rest.

If you don't want to be involved with Mom u don't have to be. Just let the chips fall where they may. APS can always be called in to investigate. The State can take guardianship if its found she can't care for herself.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Great big warm hug!

Welcome to the forum. I am so sorry that your dad is so sick and nothing is organized. That creates challenges.

Is your dad able to work with someone to get you all the information now? Are you able to go visit him?

Can I recommend that you and your sibling not make any death bed promises to take your mom in. Promising to do the best you can to ensure that she gets care will keep a whole lot of future guilt out of your life. You see how ornery she is and it will only get worse.

I hope that you are able to get some of the paperwork in order. Perhaps suggesting assisted living facility would be a good place to start. Mom would be forced to smoke outside and dad would have some opportunity to make friends and have help with your mom. I would push for that, it also means that mom would already be in care if something happens to your dad.

I pray that he gets better and you'll find a good place for them.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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ScaredNewbie Jan 23, 2020
Thank you so much, I have been crying so much today especially in between work things as well, I really needed this (though am crying again)!
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