I am really sick of talking about this and dealing with my parents and compassionately lying to my dad who has Alzheimer's. They constantly criticize me, even though they wanted me to be POA. I don't want to be the responsible one anymore. I just want to get in my car and drive away. I think it would feel so good to go away.
impossible, to reconcile. I cannot fulfill my child role because I am the caregiver and I cannot fulfill my caregiver role because I am the child. So
we feel defeated in both roles. I would suppose it is just as difficult for the
parent to have lost the child relationship because the child is now the caretaker. The parent does not have the disconnected caretaker because the
caretaker is their child. I do not have all the answers but I do know that
half of the solution is discovering the real problem. Hopefully this clue will
help us all come to a better relationship with our loved one.
Now I can trust Jesus to show me how to get this together. Blessings as
you all are trying so hard to make it work.
Our parents were the last generation that needed to worry about this with their parents. This is new for all of us. Yes, we can thank modern medicine, technology etc for extending our lives but at what cost?
I have been following this message board, speaking to friends my age with parent who are still around...speaking to other people my age who had to walk down this road with an aging parent who has since passed...and I'm currently dealing with my own particularly dreadful situation with my mother.
I don't know about all of you...but I am fried. I am now paying out of pocket for counseling because I need yet another outlet to deal with all of this.
If I am learning anything, it is that I will not be this type of burden to my children. I've made that very clear to them now. I am doing my best to take care of myself...and hopefully, down the road, the transition for that part of my life will be easier than what I am going through now.
Here's the thing ... your parents have been together for a long time, right? They've known each other better than anyone else.
If your dad gave you POA instead of his wife back when he was mentally competent, then he must have believed that she wasn't as able or willing to do what he would want as you would. The only way your mom can change this is to 1) get you to relinquish your POA --and your POA document may name who your successor POA will be or may specify that YOU can name your successor POA. Or 2) prove in court that you are acting against your father's best interests. Unless you are stealing from him or keeping him from receiving medical care, she doesn't have much of an argument. What can she say? "He's getting better care than I want the old man to have"?
Be calm. If she wants a new POA for herself, you'll at least be off the hook for her desires.
You say you have hired help for your dad that she doesn't think he needs. Is she afraid they'll run out of money? If so, maybe a visit to an Elder Law attorney for some advance planning would be helpful. Maybe that's what she's doing.
Relax. Have a good weekend.
The dreaded letter may be helpful. Probably, you'll be able to explain to her lawyer, in a c-a-l-m and rational way, your position. You may even find the lawyer will be an advocate for you with your mom. Toward that end, I wouldn't start the conversation by calling the letter "BS." Perhaps you can explain that your mom seems to be misunderstanding your dad's needs, and you're doing the best you can to honor your dad's wishes, which he evidently didn't entrust to her, for good reason.
If you want, perhaps you can contact the local Agency on Aging to have an independent assessment done to recommend whether or not he needs in-home care with constant monitoring. Could you and your mom agree to accept an outside professional's opinion?
You can legally walk away, leaving your dad's care to someone else. You can fight with your mom. Or you can try to be a steady partner for her in this effort. She's going through a bad time that she wasn't prepared for, too. You need to pick one of these choices and live with it. It would be good to talk with your wife or pastor or a therapist about it.
As a wise person once told me, "There's no right or wrong decision to be made in this--there's just a decision to be made." You make it, then you go on. You may in the future regret the decision, but you remember that you did the best you could at the time. That's the best we can do.
I did go to her place and took a look...There was no lump to be found. She claimed "it went down". I gave her an ice packet, two tylenol and left. Previous to this, I hadn't seen her for a month. I was staying away because it's been so toxic...I am getting physically sick from it. I am in counseling and I was advised during the last session that this is what I need to do for my own sanity.
Her call for help was a play on my time and emotions and I despise her more now than I did before it happened.
The next time this happens, I am telling her I am not in the area...and that she is to call 911 and they can deal with her.
If you hire the ones your Mom has ( aides ) then why are they listening to your Mom and not your directions ?
If you are tired of this have you gotten depression medication ? You are important and if you have not done this , I hope you do .
Are you a sole heir ? Is that what keeps you in the mix of life you hate ?
I suggest you get a conservator to handle the money and the issues through your local social services ? Is that something that would work for you ? If not , why ? Just trying to help you stop the insanity .Nothing will change if you don't friend .
But there js one thing I’m wondering about. If your dad is in a facility, are you maybe there too much? Do you trust the staff to take care of him? It sounds like you’re there all the time. Maybe you need to step back and trust the staff there. Just my opinion.
She also asks them to do chores for her. Last week, she told the aid to take some things from her apartment to her car, and she was going to stay with my dad. I don't know how long he was doing that, but during that time my mom left my dad alone and my wife happened to stop by and found him alone. This wasn't the first time he has left my dad, so I told his company to remove him from my dad's care. I don't know if they fired him or just reassigned him.
My mom is furious and says she doesn't want to see me. I am sort of relived but also hate all the conflict.
Retired, but have many things to do, mostly relating to managing everything for mom and prepping condo for sale! Not much of my own stuff gets done... there's always (hopefully) tomorrow...
God bless you. Cry a little. Scream a lot. Don't hesitate, medicate! And remember, we here on this forum do understand so vent away when you need to.
Talking about full tank, Xm radio, and sitting in your car.... I thought you might appreciate my sanity time story.... it goes something like this....
so I leave the house to go to a friends small birthday get together (which I have to force myself to get in the mood).... run by Walmart first and while there got a text that the party had been pushed out an hour and a half. It starts pouring down rain, and I just live around the corner, hell no i’m Not going back home to wait... so I buy a can of pringles, some pepperoni and cheese wraps, a box of wine, (did not want to buy another wine bottle opener), I’m not picky, LOL, grab a magazine. I stop in the in store McDonald’s for a cup, and out to the car I go.... now I know drinking and driving are a no no, but I have to admit it was a pleasant hour and half, sitting there eating, reading and drinking. Took a short nap, was fine, on to the party I went.... some may say desperate and sad.... I say resourceful and sanity saving if only for an evening....
As for your depression, if limiting time you actually spend with them does not help, seek some outside counseling for yourself. It is hard to step away and not help, as you might feel guilt for not doing more. There is only so much a person can do, especially when any help is rejected or criticized. Sometimes just knowing and understanding how these conditions affect the person helps you to know it is not YOU who is the problem and that you cannot fix what is broken. Learn to tune some of this out - again, not easy because it can build up, but learning to distance yourself when you start to feel overwhelmed can help. By setting boundaries and only dealing with those things you CAN work on, it should alleviate some of the stress. If you are there to do something for them and they refuse or criticize, leave. Tell them you will be back when they are in a better mood.
Absolutely find time for yourself, doing things YOU like to do and spend quality time with your own wife and family. Excercise is good, but find time to do the things you have enjoyed doing prior to this changing your life! There is nothing in a POA document that says you have to sacrifice everything for the person/people you have agreed to be "responsible" for. If you have other family members, is it possible to enlist their help? Clearly this is an issue for many of us, so just make an effort and if it is rejected, do not belabor it and do not hang on to any ill will you feel about it. You cannot change your parents, other family members or acquaintances, so don't make yourself miserable trying!
Do come back and use this site to voice concerns, and solicit suggestions. There are so many who have gone through what you are going through, so you are not alone! Keep us updated on how things are going, tell us what alternatives you have tried and what worked. If something works for you, it might help someone else!
Something else I thought of and didn't post in the other message: If they live on their own and their bills, bank statements, etc still go to their home, contact all the places and have the address changed to your address. If possible, remove all bills, statements, checking accounts/checks, anything and everything you can get out! In my case I had my brother take mom out and "swept" the place clean because she kept digging out old stuff or got a bill for something that was overlooked (condo insurance only came once/year so I missed that one!) Some things did take a long time and a lot of effort (federal entities do not care what kind of POA you have, and so SS, IRS, VA and federal pension took a long time to deal with!) Once these things were gone (W2s would trigger her thinking someone died and left her money!! She was elated, but confused because "it doesn't say who died." Because it was my dad's pension, it said "Death Benefit", so she interpreted that as someone else dying and leaving her money!!!) The easiest (took two years for changing that pension to have me as rep, VA paperwork do over still pending) way to deal with it was to make all of it go away!!
Also, does either of them still drive? Do they have credit cards? These could lead to other issues, and should be dealt with, but that is for another post...
I read through all the comments (and posted a few replies) - boy you really started something here!!! With all the people jumping on board, if ya'll remember this from Arlo Guthrie and Alice's Restaurant: "...And friends they may think it's a movement." In our case it will end with 'And that's what it is, the Alzheimer's Dementia Anti-Massacre Movement…' :-)
I did not glean a lot of information reading through everything about what it is you are doing for them. Clearly you are the designated POA. Are they living with you and your family, or you all with them? Are you providing daily care? It's hard to recommend anything without knowing this, but one thing I will say is being POA does NOT obligate you to provide hands-on care. You are their advocate, you can take over their financials, make many decisions for them, etc. If you have done this but they are criticizing what you do, then don't share any information with them about what you do. Take over what needs to be taken over and fluff them off. Change the subject. Check your watch and say OMG I'm late and skeedaddle! You should not have to really lie to your father - you can agree with whatever he says even if it is not true. This is known as 'therapeutic lies' or 'little white lies.' So long as it is not done to hurt anyone, do it. I know it is hard because I dislike lies of any kind, but I have learned to deal with it. You cannot argue with dementia - you will never win! Just go along with whatever he says and do what needs to be done without discussing it. For instance, our mother started asking to go to her mother's almost a year ago. At major holiday time, she queries what her mother is doing. Nana has been gone about 40 years! Rather than keep telling her that her mother is dead (we would have to repeat this all the time since her short term memory is gone!), we just go along, make excuses, defer visiting until another day. It is so sad, but you just have to go along with their "reality."
I took over mom's affairs well before we had to move her (mistakes paying bills, couldn't balance accounts, etc.) Two of us are POA, but I am the one who handles it all (her MC payments and issues, condo, pension, SS, accounts, trust, preparing condo for sale, contact for doctor, etc.) It sucks and takes way too much of my time, but someone has to do it. Now, if you are also having to provide hands-on care and/or living with them, that's a whole different game. If you've read most of the posts here, this can be a nightmare!! Of all who posted, I only noted one seemed truly happy and blessed to have cared for mom!! Certainly there are others, but it seems the larger percentage have issues caring for someone. Living together, if that is the case, should be stopped. If you are living in their home, move and get outside help for them. If they are living with you, explore any/all alternatives: find them an appropriate place and get them out.
If you are not living with them, do they need assistance with ADLs at this time? Do you provide that? If so, it is high time to find other resources for them. They may balk at aides coming to the home to help. Medicare sometimes will provide limited outside help, IF they agree to personal assistance, such as bathing. If they have limited income, Medicaid might provide help. If either was a veteran, there might be help from them, both assistance and financial.
Set your boundaries and limits and stick to them! Keep it to transport to appointments, picking up supplies and the like, but as for hands on, try to find an alternative. If they balk at anything you try to do, find alternatives - don't let them criticize you for what you try to do. If they refuse outside help, tell them they have to work better with you, accept outside assistance or they have to move to AL. ANY time they start criticizing or complaining, find the door and LEAVE!
Arrrrrgh, this character limit is soooo annoying.... TO BE CONTINUED
I will not be treated in this way. Like many others of us, I am only here for her to make sure she is safe...and that's it.
My communication is minimal and I've stopped the once a week visits because it was a nightmare every single time.
She now has PT coming in twice a week and as far as I am concerned, she is being taken care of. I am POA, I communicate with her Drs...have access to her financial info in case she needs help...But I will no longer be her punching bag. At 61 (me) enough is enough.