Completely dependent, wheelchair or bed bound, cannot use her legs.

Find Care & Housing

Some people can do it, and SOME CAN’T.

Some THINK they can do it, then gain 60+ pounds, sleep on an air mattress on the floor for 9 months, and finally realize that they were thinking INCORRECTLY, and that they definitely, DEFINITELY CAN’T.

This is a job (maybe or maybe not, “a labor of love”) which never EVER gets easier/better whether you get training, help, an addition to your house, or in my case, another new air mattress (went through 3).

I wanted desperately to “give her a chance” in my perfect-for-physical-limitations house. I could have admitted defeat ONE DAY after she came. My FALSE PRIDE, DEEP LOVE FOR HER, and lack of ANY GUIDANCE at the end of her Medicare rehab period bought me the 9 months of misery I subjected my family to and lived in myself, until my fears about her potential falls deprived me of even the little sleep I was getting on that floor.

She had been so miserable in my home, and BLOSSOMED in a beautiful residence
near my home. I grew to know and love the staff there, and they doted on her.

Make your decisions with love, utmost concern for her safety, and a healthy balance for your wellbeing. THEN - be at peace and enjoy becoming her daughter again.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to AnnReid
Laswin May 10, 2021
Oh my gosh AnnReid, EXACTLY what I needed to hear this morning! I’m returning my 96yo mom to her ALF next week after having her in our NOT-perfect-for-physical-limitations home (even with modifications), and have been so torn about it. She declined terribly during the isolation at ALF during pandemic, through no fault of the facility - they have done a fantastic job the 2.5 years she’s lived there. But it tugged so hard on my heart that we decided we would make it work in our home. After all, she may only have a short time left, right? However, since she has kept trying to come down the 3 brick steps onto concrete patio without her walker and promises every time that she won’t do it again, then forgets, I have realized it is best for her safety and socialization that she return. Not to mention that in the last 2 months we have butied two elderly relatives due to falls. Although she has improved from the isolated low point, now that restrictions have significantly lifted and visitors can come in, I know she will do better there. Thanking God He is working it all out for her safety, health and mobility, that she will blossom again AND that we can get our lives back. Your words helped change my perspective. Thank you!
See 1 more reply
Consider that there were three shifts of trained caregivers working as teams, with a great deal of specialized equipment to assist them. Most were probably younger and stronger. They had training in techniques of how to handle a mobility-limited person. They could call for help. They had good nights sleep and rest breaks.

You’re taking this all on alone.

Recognition of reality is not failure. A noble heart and willing spirit is not always enough.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to Goddatter
New2This2021 May 16, 2021
Oh my goodness. I have been thinking that very thing. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.
Would it be 'wrong' to send your mother to the hospital for being very ill? Of course not. That's the same math as it being 'wrong' for you to have her placed in a long term care setting for being completely dependent and requiring 24/7 care. You, being 1 person, are simply and truthfully not qualified to handle such a situation. The only 'wrong' that happened here was you thinking that you could take on such a gigantic task all by yourself; it's almost impossible without a lot of help, the right equipment, and lots of support from teams of caregivers coming into your home day & night. Not to mention a specialized van to transport her to appointments. Things we don't think of until after we take on such a huge task, right?

Please do NOT beat yourself up for being human, ok?
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to lealonnie1

I too have no upper body strength and being 5ft tall no leverage. You are going to hurt yourself trying to care for this women. I assume she is dead weight. Were you told she was 24/7 care and what was needed to care for her? Personally, I may have made arrangements to have her stay in the NH. Because at 65 I knew my limitations physically.

Thomas is a man with upper body strength with a wife who helps. Seems he is one determined person. Seems Mom may be too. You need to make a decision if you can do this not so much u want to.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to JoAnn29
New2This2021 May 16, 2021
I was not told she needed that kind of care. What I was told was that she had voluntarily checked herself in and she could check herself out. The nursing home did not give me the full story but to be fair, neither did my mom. She wanted out so bad that (I now realize) she exaggerated what she could do. My reality set hours after I stepped off the plane. I just really didn't know what to do, so I agreed to her request and brought her home. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
Newtothis, I learned my lesson early on - before any discharge to home, whether SNF or hospital, you gotta have the Homehealth services set up to where they come evaluate the NEXT DAY. Also, don't let the facility discharge on Thursdays, Fridays or over weekends - nightmare getting home services started. The first time I took Mom home, it was a double whammy - Friday afternoon and no services set up. TWO days of hell, and she fell (not injured because I broke her fall and swung her onto the bed), was miserable and had to go right back into the hospital. In fact, Homehealth came out that next Tuesday (make that 4 days of hell), and told me she was not safe at home with just me and she needed more than Homehealth could provide.

It's all a learning process. This forum is a great source. If you have friends who've been through this, use their knowledge. ALWAYS work with the facility social worker/case manager to set up things before discharge - whether to home or the next step down. TELL them what you can do and what you can't do. They should ask about home equipment and needs AND get that setup for you or write the orders for it and contact a company who will either just show up with a delivery or will contact you immediately to schedule delivery.

Also, contact your Mom's insurance and ask if they have an after discharge meal plan. My Mom's insurance will deliver 2 weeks worth of your preferred meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) for free. Helps a lot when you're too exhausted to cook or need a break and can just pop it in the microwave and serve a healthy meal.

It is overwhelming at first. I agree with others that some can't do this at all, but it's your decision. You will need organization and time management skills for starters. You will need help!!!

Don't feel bad about wanting to give up after 2 days. Reasses the situation. Maybe Mom needs to go back to the hospital or SNF while you figure this out. Also, talk with your Mom; what does she want to do? What are her wishes? Factor that into the equation along with your abilities and capacity to handle this long term.

Hope this helps. You are not alone. I'm pretty sure we've all been there and have felt the same at one point or more.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to babziellia
New2This2021 May 16, 2021
Thank you so much. We basically took her from the nursing home and got on a plane the next day. I honestly had no idea how much she had declined... it might be hard for some to believe, but trying to monitor and maintain care from several states away results in conflicting stories. Thank you SO much for your encouraging words.
Oh my gosh, I am convinced that no one has any idea how much work it is being a full time caregiver until they have done it. I know that I didn’t!

We take on this responsibility for a variety of reasons. It becomes overwhelming. I am proud of you for recognizing your limitations and for being completely honest about it. BRAVO!

Oh please, so many of us plow through in denial saying to ourselves, “We can do it. We have to do it. It’s my responsibility to do it!” Nonsense!

The truth is, we can only do so much. I feel your pain. I was once in your shoes, so I understand. It’s the toughest job that I ever had, emotionally and physically.

Never tell yourself that you failed as a caregiver. It’s an impossible job that is too big for one person. DO NOT make the same mistake that I and many others have made by continuing to do the caregiving for years! It’s a difficult job to handle on your own. Do you have any outside help? Please call Council on Aging for an assessment. You can also speak to a social worker to help plan for her care.

Wishing you all the best. Take care.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
SusanHeart May 11, 2021

I could have not said it any better, I agree with you 150%. I am helping my dad, now on AL MC and for the 1st time in 3 years I have been able to reclaim my life and by proxy my husband's life. It is overwhelming, all consuming and draining for 1 person.
See 2 more replies
This is exactly my mother's situation. She is residing in a NH. It would be very difficult to care for her at home. She is lifted in and out each day with a lift. My question is why you have your mother at home now. I understand if there are financial reasons but then she should be eligible for Medicaid or that process should start. This will prove too difficult for you to handle alone if that is the situation. It is not clear how she came to be released. I hope you find the help you need to have her reside where there can be help for her to live while immobile. My mother arrived at this stage after a septic infection. Prior to that she managed in the AL facility next door. This development has been heartbreaking for me.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Riverdale
New2This2021 May 16, 2021
The primary reason is I live 900 miles from where she was and the conflicting stories about her care, bruises, etc. made it impossible to know what was going on. Even if I do end up settling on NH care here, at least I can visit and hopefully be more in tune with her care. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and questions.
It is not realistic to expect any one person to caregive full time for someone that's immobile.

You state you lack the upper body strength to properly care for her properly. This is normal as well for a single person. You could very easily injure yourself permanently trying. Or injure your mother worse.

74 is fairly young, relatively speaking. She could live over 20 more years.

Caregiving for such a disabled person takes a team, so she'd likely be safer back in the nursing home.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to ZippyZee

I think a lot of people see these kinds of choices as yes or no, which puts them in a more arbitrary mode.    I think the more flexible, and more easy to accommodate approach is to re-analyze the situation and think of alternatives.   Why and how were decisions made that now apparently seem overwhelming?    How can those decisions be revisited and revised?  

I wouldn't encourage viewing this as giving up, but rather, as an opportunity to reflect on decisions and evaluate how they can be modified to be more accommodating to all involved.  Granted, those are difficult situations and decisions, but giving up may cause  a lot of regrets and self recrimination later.  

Mid-course (or in this case early course) corrections are a part of life; be kind to yourself while considering the best arrangement and how to provide care for your mother.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to GardenArtist

No not wrong. I'd call it realistic.

Does Mom have a Case Manager to arrange a meeting with? To really examine what care she needs, what you can do/can't to & what services are available?

Some organisations call this a 'trial of care'. It is very hard, this sink or swim approach but it's not about suceeding or failing.. it's about making a sustainable future care plan.

Sometimes with more support services it will work at home. Sometimes a facility setting is needed instead.

You are right to speak up early.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Beatty

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter