I have a serious issue going on here with myself. My 86 yr. old mother has been living with me and my husband since May. She is on Hospice care for a mass on her kidney. She had hip surgery, not replacement, and now cannot walk. She needs assistance to get to the bedside commode and in her chair.

I have a wonderful caregiver for her that comes 3 days a week while I work. My mother always makes up excuses why the caregiver shouldn't give her a bed bath or wash her hair. On my days off my mother than wants me to do this. First off, I am not comfortable giving my mother a full bath. I have, but reluctantly. I used to wash her hair, but now it gives me more time if the caregiver can do it. I am not being selfish, but I am very behind in getting things done in the house, grocery shopping and other things that need to be done. I can't even talk on the phone anymore. I'm not a phone talker to begin with, but I can't talk with my kids like I used to.

Today I have a sink full of dishes, laundry and need to clean my car out....I am a nanny and we have little trips we go on.

I have to wash my mom's hair and bathe her.

When I explain that is what the caregiver is for, she gets quiet and acts like a child. Then I feel guilty.

I feel resentful, frustrated, angry and guilty all at the same time. Then I just cry.

I have a sister in law who thinks helping is cooking dinner every few weeks and having a little party here and laughs everything off.

I am at the very end of a frayed rope. When I go out to the store or even after work, I have thought of just driving away.....just to keep going.

She hates my one dog and lets everyone know it.

I don't know what to do!!!!!

Her health seems to be fine except for her legs. The nurse always says her numbers are great. WTH!!!! Is this going to go on forever? I am 60 and love to enjoy my life.

I know many of you are going to say why did I take her?! I do love her, but never imagined my life would be taken away, even with a caregiver.

No negative or snide remarks please. You'll push me over the edge! lol

Thank you!!!!! and God bless!

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I have found through the last 12 years of caregiving for my mom(91); that the more I let her "get" away with behavior , the more she pushed it. So, I had to decide that I would dictate when I will be available to grocery shop, shower her, fix her hair etc...I use to let her decide and it got to where it was taking up my entire life! Now that you have a caregiver coming in, TELL your mom "today (soandso) is going to give you a shower and you ARE going to take it! GOT IT? and if she refuses, that's when you tell her that you cannot help her if she doesn't help you help her (and then...or else) I have tried to let my mom make decisions because she has very little control over her illnesses BUT she started taking advantage of me with little to no thanks or consideration of my life. She is not happy with the way things are now, but I know that she is safe, fed, clean, makes it to her Dr. appt's, gets her nails/toenails done, hair fixed and meds controlled. AND now I am much more at peace because I have learned to just ignore her attempts at guilting me. It's not easy but you can do it if you just make up your mind to and then stick to your guns. I have not had any help from family until last year when my younger brother retired and fortunately he now helps some. I was sooooooo burned out and used up that I wanted to die (or for her to die) I just needed some relief! It is better now that I don't let her mess with my head/heart. Sadly, you sorta have to kinda become numb.
Helpful Answer (23)
ambly02 Oct 2018
Thank you so much!!!! This is by far the best advice I have received!!!! You seem to really understand my feelings! Thank you!!!!! I feel the way you have and I will definitely do this!
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Please give yourself permission to relieve yourself of the guilt. You are paying a competent professional to provide an essential service to your mom, and it is one that you are UNABLE to provide.

I hope no one here says “Why did you take her?”! I took my mom in similar circumstances because I loved her and wanted to be sure that she’d receive good care, but when “good care” became having to sleep on an air mattress on the floor beside her bed because she REFUSED to call for help when she had to use the commode, and when I’d slept on that floor for MONTHS with no chance for respite, my husband, who also loved her dearly, put his foot down and insisted that a 24/7 aide be hired, and when THAT was only partly successful, I tearfully and regretfully placed her in a wonderful nursing facility in which she THRIVED for 5 1/2 years, until her death at 95.
If you have the strength left to do so, have a conversation with her, and lay down her new life plan, and stick to it. She is acting like a child because it’s working for her, and the only thing you are guilty of is allowing yourself to be manipulated, and YOU deserve better.
If you’re not yet researching a good nursing facility, start doing that now too. After assuming that my mom would die of a broken heart within 6 months of placing her, she lived 5 1/2 much better years than she’d lived during her previous 30. Her caregivers doted on her and she loved them back. I still remain in contact with some of them.
You will never be the caretaker you want for her if you’re caring for her at the expense of your wellbeing. No parent ever wants their care to be a source of damage to a beloved child.
Good luck, Prayers, and Hope.
Helpful Answer (21)
CaregiverL Oct 2018
That’s the best advice I’ve heard
Because you are a Nanny, you have experience with children...or people who act like children,right? You would not tolerate this behavior from your charges, so why do you tolerate it from your mother? When she fusses about getting washed by the aides, look her in the eye and say, “I understand how you feel, Mom, but you need a good wash and shampoo and the more you carry on, the longer it will take. I have things to do and this is what this lady is here for.” I know how you feel about bathing her too. My own mother was Queen of the Prudes. My trying to bathe her would have been horrific and traumatic for both of us.

As for the dog, I don’t tolerate anyone verbally or physically abusing my animals. They’d get the tongue-lashing of their lives. Mom has to know she is a “guest” but the dog is a permanent resident. The dog is going nowhere but if she finds him objectionable, you’ll be happy to make other living arrangements for her, not the dog.

Im not going to ask why you took her, but I am going to comment that things need to change before you crash and burn completely.
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CaregiverL: " I think she is possessed by Satan & was extremely violent today. I had to wear my bike helmet my nephew gave me w chest protector..I just gave up & put her to bed w her clothes on"

This upsets me. If your mother is that violent, you need to stop being the caregiver. Please don't subject yourself to this abuse. I don't know your full story, but she needs to be placed in a geriatric psych facility and given meds to calm her down.
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I TOTALLY understand what you are going through! My 84 yr old mother has been living with me for 5 years!!! Yep, that’s right 5 years!!! She was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few months ago and I feel like I am going to lose my mind!

she refuses care, she refuses to let me do anything, sometimes she is so mean I yell back something terrible which I feel Horrible afterwards. I am seeing a counselor which is helping but it is tough!

Ive tried to get her into assisted living but she was so awful to the workers there that it was humiliating. It was just a “lunch” there!!!

Ive learned to just have someone come in and leave. She figures it out with the aid. It is always pleasant. It’s just when I’M around she carries on. She doesn’t act this way around my husband either!!! JUST ME.

So, tell the help she needs a bath and her hair washed and LEAVE!

Goid luck❤️
Helpful Answer (12)
mally1 Oct 2018
"She was diagnosed with Alzheimers and I'm losing my mind!" Ain't it the truth.... does sound funny, though.
Try having the bath aide come while you are home, that way you can be sure to insist she gets the job done while you are still able to tend to your other chores. Hopefully once she gets more comfortable with the aide and she realizes that you WILL NOT do this under any circumstances you can return to the original schedule.
Helpful Answer (11)

Its ok. What you are feeling is normal. Your mom just wants the extra attention from you to feel secure as their illness causes fear, anxiety and insecurity with others. Maybe if you bathed and washed her hair a couple of times with the caregiver she may feel she is an extension of you. Yes your life does feel like its is a sacrifice, some days you will be ok with it and other days you will resent her for it. Her level of dependency will support now.
Helpful Answer (11)

I think a lot of people start in with care giving in a crisis that somehow turns
into years of one crisis after the other. Some parents, whether from dementia
or from a long standing personality issue, demand constant attention.

You have to take care of yourself first and foremost to avoid serious burnout
and possible permanent health consequences. Not to mention disruption
of employment.

The sad fact is some parents regard their children as personal servants. Some
even use one child as unpaid servant in order to save money to lavish on others.
You have to look at your situation as it is, dementia vs childish demands,
excessive need for attention vs reasonable request. Might change from day
to day.

The harsh truth is that with demanding caregiving situations, if we're not
careful we can literally lose our lives in propping up a demanding unreasonable
and miserable person. Someone who can be cared for without losing yourself,
your health and finances, might still be miserable, but clean, fed and well cared
for and you, you can still be intact, happy and functioning.

They might not like the lack of red carpet treatment, the caregiver doing
the bathing instead of you for instance, but face facts, if you burn yourself
out trying to make them happy and doing everything, you likely will need
to contend with even more demands

I have provided care for other seniors who were gracious and grateful.
They knew they needed help and were appreciative that it was being
given. For those of us who could never please our parents growing up
or "get it right", caregiving an aging parent whose physical situation
makes endless demands of our time, provides a tempting chance to finally
"get things right this time." Dodge that carrot, do what's right for you
your family and your parent (s) . In balance with your resources, your time
your health and other demands.

They might not like it, but they probably won't like anything other than
24/7 devotion. Which is utterly unreasonable. Or, consider this, even
if you do "get it right", your parent might then proffer all of your time and
saved income to others.

Get real about your health, your mental health and what will keep your parent
well taken care of and still have you sane, healthy and happy. You deserve it
Helpful Answer (11)
LovieSoul Nov 2018
Well said, and so true!
Physically bathing my Mom was hard on me. Being 5 ft if she fell I wouldn't be able to pick her up. Moms bathroom was a former powder room we had a shower put in using up part of my laundry room. It was hard for two people to get around. I sent her to Daycare and they showered her. I noticed she hadn't had a shower. Call and ask the DC why, Mom refused after asking her more than once. She had Dementia but I told her that she needed to get a shower when the aide was able to give it. That I could no longer do it. The aides would tell her "your daughter says u need to get a shower" and she would do it.

You need to tell Mom the aide is there for you as much as for her. That you will not be able to bath her on your days off. Those days are for getting caught up on chores. So she needs to allow the aide to bath her. I never felt guilty because bathing and toileting were not things I enjoyed. I get overwhelmed easily. I think thats why I am organized. Now I am older I don't take on more than I am capable of.

Is this mass life threatening?
Helpful Answer (10)

Oh Ambly. I do feel for you.

The shortest route, if you can face it, is to harden your heart/nose about the bathing and hair-washing issue. My first guess would be that your mother doesn't like the way the c/g's do it, but with the greatest care and respect to her - tough! If there are issues such as choice of toiletries, method of drying, very personal things like that, encourage her to say honestly what she does like rather than criticise what they're doing wrong. If it's not liking complete strangers seeing her in the buff, reassure her that they are professionals, they are trained and discreet, and it's a lot less traumatic for them than it is for you!

If she's mean to your dog...

I wouldn't know what to do about that either :(

Except retort that at least the dog never gives you any trouble!
Helpful Answer (9)

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