I need time for me, Mom won't cooperate. Any advice?

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i need time for me, mom won't go along with respite (dr. suggested location). Mom wants inappropriate relatives instead. These people are not dependable, that's why we'd like two weeks of year for her in respite so we can take vacation to see our kids in another state. We live in FL winters. Mom has her place we have ours. We bought our condo so we could be nearby. I don't mind having her in FL and part of summer, but not all the time. We take care of all her needs, including being at her place overnight when ill, afraid, etc. We drive her everywhere all the time. For summers we care for mom in our home. Her health is failing, she is becoming difficult and demanding. My sister is poa and exec of the estate and will not take care of mom. I'm getting angry that I care for her and she won't help be for two weeks by going into respite so I can have a decent respite for me. We are arguing, I finally told her to shut up! I don't deserve her carrying on about her wishes that won't work and will ruin our plans when her people back out (This has happened before a number of times). My husband has interceded for me so at least I have that. My sister,POA and exec, has been a real jerk. I want to know if I can put mom into respite without mom or sisters input. Sister will not take her, mom doesn't want to go.

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The FIRST thing I would do is to get mom's Power of Attorney and Healthcare Power of Attorney. No delays. This is VERY important. You will find yourself in a hot mess as her caregiver if you don't have these things. It's unconscionable that you, as her caregiver, don't already have them. Talk to your mom about it, and get it done this week. Your sister needs to know nothing about it. Just have the attorney include wording that says she revokes all previous powers of attorney she's executed.

As her caregiver, you have to recognize a couple of things. First, you are doing angel's work. How many people would put their lives on hold for a parent? Would your sister? Obviously not.

Next, your mom is becoming (or already is) selfish. It's part of growing old. One's universe gets smaller and smaller and smaller until the ONLY thing we care about is getting our needs met. That's it. And we will do anything and say anything to GET them met. Your mom doesn't CARE that you need respite. She doesn't CARE that you're sacrificing your own independence to help her keep hers. She isn't thinking clearly anymore. And you've got to realize that.

When it comes to MY mom, "I'm the boss, Applesauce." (I love that expression; you'll read it a lot from me. And mom HEARS it a lot. Ha!) I'm a benevolent dictator with mom since she moved in with me a year ago. Maggie! How can you say those things? Let me tell you why. (And remind you why you should, too.)

I get up twice a night so mom won't have urine-soaked briefs on (which would aggravate skin lesions and could contribute to bedsores as she sits in her wheelchair 15 hours a day.) I generally STAY up at 4 am because I can't get back to sleep. I cook all of her meals -- from scratch because she has heart failure and salt is her enemy. No processed food. No restaurant food. No carry-ins. I dress her. I do her laundry. I'm her little feet as she can't walk across the room for a glass of water. Or a Kleenex. Or a cookie. Or....anything. I belt her up and walk her to the bathroom five or six times a day. I walk her to the front window so she can peer out. I organize her meds; liaison with her doctors; take her to her appointments; pay her bills; watch over the home she left to a tenant; work with her therapists; put salve on her butt; wipe it; wash it; change her Depends 3 times a day; laugh with her; visit with her; joke with her; arrange social outings for her; try to keep her busy and happy.

And for being her willing slave? I know I deserve respite. I don't care whether or not she's happy about it, because she's in her own small little world. My "real mom" would be mortified with her current plight. But right now? She sucks the life right out of me and doesn't care. Hahahaha!!

I'm listing all of these things (and, believe me, there are plenty more, as you and others know) because you need to realize how VALUABLE you are to your mom. And that you are entitled to whatever respite you want and need. You cannot take good care of your mom if you don't take good care of yourself. Period.

So. My advice to you is to get your mom's POA and HCPOA; call senior social services in your area after that's done and tell them you're having trouble with your mom about respite care; if she has money, start spending it on her care and your respite; if she doesn't have money, get a reverse mortgage on her home so she does; and pat yourself on the back for being a wonderful, loving daughter. Because you are.
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Hello:
My mom just passed away on Friday. I am an only child and got little to no respite. You must at all cost take respite. You have your husband for support. Think of being on an airplane where they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before you try to assist others. Any opportunity you get for respite you must take at all cost. If not, it is only to your detriment.
Please, take care of yourself, and helpful responses raised valid points. Folks only do to you what you allow.
Blessing and hugs...
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If you are doing the caregiving, why does sister have poa? Without respite, you will no longer be able to care for your mom. That being said, it sounds to me as though your mother needs a higher level of care than one person can provide. Make your vacation plans and tell your sister when you'll be gone. It's HER responsibility to find care for mom. You can only be taken advantage of if you allow it.
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You don't ask permission of a dementia patient to get your needs met. That way lies madness and burnout.
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Maggie Marshall - I really agree with you - you do a lot more than I do as I have carers in three times a day to help with the toileting - my mum can't stand and theoretically needs a hoist but obviously when I'm alone I do the lifting by myself. I'm also in the night turning her over to prevent bedsores - and just occasionally when I do this, mum wakes and has a sane moment and realises what's happening - she says 'you shouldn't have to be doing this' and when that happens it reminds me that all the selfish behaviour I see now is purely and simply the result of the disease - that understanding keeps me going, probably you too
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Good answers. I am naively amazed that this situation comes up over and over. The health POA is reluctant to become involved in the caregiving making it next to impossible for the caregiver to actually take positive steps to provide adequate care. I have come to the realization that I cannot make my mother "happy" with any single action. I can only create opportunities for her to be happy. It is not her, it is the disease. I can try and make sure she is safe and well cared for. No solution I have found has been perfect.

In my opinion, making hard decisions is the responsibility of the Health POA holder. It is also the responsibility of the family to assist and support where ever possible. It sounds like you are doing more than your share of caregiving right now. Your sister needs a reality check and telling her the dates you will be gone and actually leaving sounds like the wake up call she needs. If you are the person that is reluctant to see Mom in permanent assisted living/dementia care perhaps you need to support your sister with that decision. In my experience, people with dementia are unable to think so far ahead as to consider the impact of their decisions and immediate desires on their loved ones. The person stricken with dementia is often so involved with their own woes and ills they really cannot make good decisions with respect to their own care and balance that care against the welfare of others. Again, that is the disease, not your mother.
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I feel for you - there is no easy answer but maybe my experience will help. Mum lives with me and hubby - dementia has set in the last few years but prior to that general confusion and mobility problems meant she could not be left along overnight. We had a wedding to go to abroad, taking us away for just four days - nobody to stay with mum so my son-in-law researched respite facilities and came up with a very good, but expensive, local place. However, the lead-in time for assessment of mum's needs etc., was far too long for this to be workable, and when I showed my mum the brochure she cried saying this wouldn't be a holiday for her as she wouldn't have anyone to talk to. Eventually, son-in-law's parents very kindly came to stay, and since then I have widened the network of people who are willing to do this. Now I can get a whole week away with a properly-paid live-in carer and my mum seems to accept that I need a holiday just to get a full night's sleep, which I don't get when I am home. I can tell you from experience of 7 years of this caring role that you MUST get your holiday - other contributors have impressed this on you. At the same time you MUST involve your sister - she has poa but it seems that she doesn't just have this over your mum, but over you too as she is dictating what you can and can't do with your own life. So, you either get a professional care giver in to stay with your mum and pass the bill to your sister, or you get her to look after your mother. And if she refuses you should take steps to remove the poa from her and do what is necessary with your mother's funds to allow you to live your life.
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All these sibling issues, so glad to be an only child!!!
Back to the problem, if you are being pressured by the family to go on vacation or if you need to go on the trip, I think it would be better to just interview some live in home health aides from a respectable agency. Try to select one who seems to click with your mother. Pay for it out of your funds or your mother's savings. If it is a problem getting the money from your mother's savings, tell your sister you and she will "share" the cost. That should get a rise out of your sister, she will likely refuse to use her funds but perhaps she or one of her children can "free themselves up" to spend some "quality time " with your mother.

Going forward, if you wish to continue to care for your mother--respect that but don't depend on an undependable sister.

Caregiving (even if in separate houses) is demanding. For over a decade, I never took a vacation as I needed to be with my aging father. It is what it is.
After they are gone, you have all the time in the world to travel.

Good luck get the home health aide in there while you go on the trip.
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I am at this point in my life where my mother needs 24 hour care, I work full time and have my aunt but she has her own family. In the next couple of months I will be putting her in a good ALF where they can watch her 24/7.

It's getting worse by the day, I may seem a bit harsh, but I need to live my life.
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I agree with ba9alou - trying to reason is useless because the patient doesn't have the capacity to understand - the important thing is to create a feeling of well-being and ensure that the person taking over the job of looking after mum while you're having your holiday, conveys a sense of warmth and security. This will help your mum to settle into a new relationship during your absence and this is one reason why it may be better for you to hire someone and bill your sister because if your sister is reluctant to care for your mum that feeling will be transmitted to her and she may become upset/difficult thus making future respite holidays harder for you rather than easier.
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