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You might remember my story. I got mom from India to stay with me for 4 months. She's in the very early stages of dementia- very forgetful but physically ok. During these 4 months, she was completely dependent on me, wouldn't watch movies or do any activity unless I was with her. I did take her to our community celebrations, meeting relatives but I cannot leave her alone and take a mental break...she gets restless and starts asking for me.


I was so relieved to take her back to her senior center housing last month.


The senior center is not suited for dementia patients. For now, mom is being helped by neighbors and a night-time aide. I can see the writing on the wall that I will have to bring her back and start the green card process for her. ( My relatives in India have said it's my responsibility and I know truly it is...)


How do I just accept this situation? I'm trying to postpone the green card as much as I can - I can take mom's dependency only in small doses. How can I be mentally strong to deal with this situation?


Thank you

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Thank you - each and everyone - for helping me think through this. It's been such a relief to bounce off ideas and get all your thoughts. I will try as much as possible to keep mom in India but I will also look for home aides here. If I get lucky, maybe ladies in our community could care for mom if I bring her here.

A million thanks and God bless you all .......truly this has been my safe space.
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Ahmijoy Jan 30, 2019
Just remember that if she does wind up here, if you do find ladies from the community to care for her, they may not be trained in home health care. Mother may also need medical care. As a non-citizen, she will be uninsured and the medical bills could bankrupt you.
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Wren my heart is breaking for you as you are stuck between culture, countries and family expectations.

My stepdad's mother was lucky to live with the youngest son on the family farm in India. They hired the wives of the field hands to care for Mother. She was surrounded by familiar sights, sounds, language, food, culture and people. She would never have managed if the eldest son had moved her to Canada. Even though we have large, long established Indian communities in Canada.

You truly need a village to care for your mother. You cannot do it alone. It would be more expensive in North America than back home in India. I believe the tradition in India is for Elders to be cared for my family in multi generation households. Here there are families that do this, but they have large extended families and lots of community, cultural and Temple support to do so.

Please explore all your options before making a commitment.

Do you have room in your home for live in help? Do you have caregivers in your community that will speak her language? Are social services doctors etc available in her language? Cab drivers? Familiar foods?
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Reply to Tothill
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Go back and read all your former posts - I think you've forgotten how much your mother hated living with you and how very stressed you were. She could very well live another decade (or more!) and will not only descend deeper into dementia she will undoubtedly become physically more needy as well. Paying for a sitter while you work part time may be doable today, paying for an extended period of ill health and long term care may very well bankrupt you (or perhaps your only option will be to totally give up your own life to become her full time caregiver).
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When we worked on sponsorship of DIL, we were told we would be responsible for any public assistance of any form that the person had within 10 years of obtaining the green card. That's a long time for an old person - Medicare is very expensive to those who must pay out of pocket!!!

I would not bring her here where she will be equally without anyone she knows - that's what dementia does, it erases memories. She won't have the capacity to make short term, recent memories of what people in her past look like now.

Don't do this. Keep her in India and pay for a memory care there.
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Reply to surprise
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Doesn't a brother live in India? Maybe you should move her closer to family. Didn't she want to go home to see grands?

Mom didn't seem to do well here. She will not be able to receive any services. Like said LTC can cost up to 12k. She will need health insurance. Will be very expensive. The language barrier another thing. Can you quit ur job to care for her. Can you afford care for her while you work.
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Have you considered a SMALL Board and Care Facility, such as an Adult Family Home, which may have other East Indian Carers and residents there? They are generally less expensive than larger Nursing Homes, Or Assisted LivingHome, ALF/ILF, and much more homey!

You could also try calling your local areas Agency ON AGING, or A PLACE FOR MOM, and see if they might be aware of one that caters to East Indian clientel, or if you are near a community of East Indian folks. Perhaps their Community Center which sometimes have cork boards up that advertise services for such things, ie: in home carers, adult sitters, in home carers, and the like, or your church, or Local Senior center may also have a board up advertising such services.

Is your Mom elegible for Medicaid or other Governmental Assistance If not, I can see where you would need to establish her residency/green card sooner than later for any Governmental Assistance availabe to her. Otherwise as her immigration "sponser", you will be on the hook for all her Medical and her residential care. It might be easier (and much less expensive for you to get some good "in-home' care established, one who at least speaks her given language, this is really a pickle! I am so Sorry!
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worriedinCali Jan 27, 2019
Her isn’t not and will not be eligible for government assistance for a very long time if she comes to the US. The OP would be financially responsible for everything.
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You can't make yourself be something your not; however, this doesn't mean you are a bad person, nor does it mean you don't love your mom.

Not everybody is meant to be a 24/7 caregiver. God bless the hearts of those who are! I take care of my mother for now, but I know myself well enough to know I can't do the whole 24/7 caregiver thing. So, I am getting my ducks in a row for when the time comes I will/should have everything in order.

You have a problem to solve, and to solve it you need to look at all your options. Get all the facts of every option that is available to you this way you can make an inform decision. As they say, "don't leave any stone unturned."

You do not have to sacrifice your life just to show your mom or other family members that you love your mom. As someone posted "it is your life not theirs," and may I add one more thing...it is easy for people to say, you should do this or that when they are not there living with it ever single day.
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Erinm60 Jan 27, 2019
So true Shell38314. My mothers living here 24/7 is just too hard. I’m getting my ducks in a row now. It’s just too hard for my husband and I to deal with her non stop. She’s developed some bizarre compulsions and obsessions that are much harder to deal with than her memory loss
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Wren, while you are feeling guilt-ridden and duty-bound, you cannot be thinking clearly. You have talked yourself into taking on this monumental task and are saying to us and to yourself, “Oh, I will find inner strength somewhere to care for her!” But then you say you can’t possibly care for her long-term. But then, family thousands of miles away have decided (without your input) that they’re done with her and she is your responsibility. You’re letting others, including your mother, control you and make your decisions. And, unless you are very wealthy, you will not be able to care for her for long. Does she have any health insurance in India? Do you have any siblings there? We’ve often said here that you cannot be used unless you let yourself be used. If you sit back and let others make your decisions for your life, they will be only too happy to do so.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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I'm not sure I'd want to place my mother in a facility where I couldn't visit her regularly, in India or anywhere else. I'm just relieved Wren is thinking facility and not home!
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Reply to Countrymouse
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wren - I've been thinking about your situation and it's very worrisome to me. I don't think it's really possible to expect yourself to adjust yourself to something that's really not in your nature, especially when you don't know how long it will be but you know it could be a very long time. You had your mother for 4 months and you could already see that her level of neediness was extremely stressful and difficult for you. If you bring her to the US on a permanent basis her neediness will only increase because she'll be removed from familiar surroundings and other sources of support, and she'll grow increasingly dependent on you to meet all her needs.

You worry it would be cruel to your mother to place her in an institution with strangers. But she will adjust. It would be cruel to yourself to invite an arrangement where you will be chronically unhappy as she grows more and more needy. In addition, if she has dementia, her needs may become impossible for you to meet over the long term, and you may end up needing to place her in a facility anyway.

I'm worried that you're expecting too much from yourself. I understand that this is a cultural issue, but cultural beliefs sometimes need to yield to practical realities. I'm not suggesting you abandon your mother, but that you consider all the options, not just those your relatives find acceptable. This is your life, not theirs.

Finally, if you do decide to bring your mother to your home, have some plans in place for respite. Adult day care, part-time aides, etc. so that you can get time away for your own activities. If these options are not affordable for you, I'd scrap the whole idea of bringing her to your home.
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Reply to CarlaCB
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Woah! When you say you're going to have to bring her to the States and start the green card process - you're not thinking of moving her into your own home, are you? Are you?!
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Reply to Countrymouse
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The responsibility to take care of your mom doesn't mean you have to have her live with you or bring her to this country. In fact it sounds like she chose to live her life in India not here so moving her now might not even be the best thing for her. What would you be doing if you lived in India too? What would be happening to her if you didn't exist, weren't involved? Truly you taking on the responsibility for arranging and supervising things from wherever you are is taking care of her as is not moving her to another country and in with you when you know it can't work for you (and therefore her). Have you talked to her over the years about her wishes when the time comes that she can't live alone anymore? Does she want to move closer to you? I don't have any idea how it works financially in India or if there is money to support her here or there but all of these things should be part of your decision and planning ahead. Leaving her in her homeland doesn't mean you aren't taking responsibility for her though and I sure hope your family and friends there can see and appreciate that.
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Reply to Lymie61
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Your have 12K per month to pay for nursing home care? Also, medical insurance?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Wren, are there no care facilities in India? And since she would have no access to any kind of funding in the USA might it not be cheaper to pay for care there, even if it was 24/7 live in care?
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wren9184 Jan 27, 2019
There are care facilities but I think it would be cruel to plop mom there with strangers. I'd also have to call daily and check on her...which I'm doing now anyway...so that wouldn't change.

I'd pay for her care here in USA.
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I'm in a very similar boat except that my mom isn't in a different country, she lives next door to me in my condo building since last Oct. Early dementia. I'm the only person she knows here so I'm her entire social life 24/7. I feel both obligation and resentment. My entire life has been hijacked and she is demanding and basically a pain in the ass to be around. Anyway...

I saw a phrase the other day that has kind of stuck with me:

If you're going through hell, keep going.
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wren9184 Jan 27, 2019
yeah...I hear you...I will join u in the journey soon ....and we can keep coming here for some comfort..
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You are required to ensure that your mother has a roof over her head, has food, and is safe. You are not required to sacrifice your life.

Start looking for a nursing home/memory care facility for your mother. Educate yourself on all the ins and outs, and you'll see you have options. That goes a long way toward feeling more in control.
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wren9184 Jan 27, 2019
Ok, thank you.
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