My mother is 88 years old. She is an insulin dependent -brittle diabetic. She has been living on 15% EF, for years. In 2007, she had a left ventricle repair, mitral valve repair and CABG.

Her cognition has been declining for years. It is getting worse by the day. My brother and I have our own healthcare issues and both suffer from anxiety. When it gets to be too much, and her memory is only repetitive nonsense, he and I wind up arguing with each other.

Years ago, I told her PCP her cognition was declining. He said she needed to see a neurologist, and referred her to one. But she refused to go!

My brother does not want to put her in assisted living, but I keep telling him it's just going to get worse and worse. I don't want to put her in one either, but I don't know how we are going to handle it. I don't know what else to do. I have a history of depression and the situation is making it worse.

My sister was here a couple of weeks ago. My mother said that she had jewelry in a baggie, in a drawer that was in the dining room, and that was gone. Nobody saw it - nobody moved it. She was suspicious of all of us. Finally, my sister found a baggie with jewelry, with my daughter's name on it, on our mother's end table. My mother then told my sister that wasn't it. But it was. Because she told me the baggie that was in the drawer had my daughter's name on it and had earrings in it. Then, when she looked in the bag my sister showed her, she said," no that has earrings in it. There was another bag here with only jewelry in it."

Now, two weeks later, I was cleaning out those drawers and she said, " I have a baggie of jewelry in there! Don't get rid of it." I had to remind her what happened two weeks ago.

I can't handle this anymore. I don't know what's going to happen.

My car ran over me a year ago and I am in such pain all the time. I also suffer PTSD. Plus, I just was diagnosed with diabetes myself. What am I supposed to do if he does not want to put her in assisted living and she does not want anybody coming to the house?

I have worked in ALF's and Memory Care, as a nurse, so I know how bad it's going to get. But my brother doesn't get it. He thinks we can handle it. He has no idea! But now that she's getting worse, maybe he gets it. Still, he promised her and my father, he would never put her in assisted living; etc. I don't want to do that either, but my life is passing me by and with my own health issues I really am worried about myself now and my own future and health, etc.

My mother can be very sweet, but stoic. At times now she says some pretty mean things. After my accident, she hardly came near me. When she did once, I was upset and crying in pain. I touched her arm and she screamed at me, "don't you touch me!" It's was awful. She was so nasty and mean. Her face was something I've never seen before in her. I was so hurt.

I try to walk away sometimes, but it's hard. Everyday I wake up, she immediately starts telling me things that need to be done or something she needs or something's broken etc etc. Even though I've said, and my brother and sister have told her, "let her wake up before you start throwing stuff at her. "She is so negative and everything is a complaint.

I love her so much, but at the same time, she's not the same person. Not the same mother. I have done all I can at this point.

I moved in with her in 1997, with my kids, after my brother committed suicide and my mother is the one found him - in her house. So, I have been there for her for all these years. I sacrificed my own life and happiness and what could have been.

Now, I'm not sure it was the right choice - for me. She has been so dependent on me and everything I do, around the house and do for her. If I could have predicted the future, I would have moved out a long time ago.

I am stuck. so ..tired.

Dealing with dementia 24/7 is difficult. Especially, when it's family. It is not same as going to work.

Help me! Please!

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If your brother doesn't want her in AL or a SNF, then let him take full time care of her and wash your hands of caregiving. Don't let them screw you over just because you're female/have medical experience.
Helpful Answer (2)

From your description It does not sound like your mother is independent enough for Assisted Living. AL provides support but they do not provide 24/7 supervision as AL residents usually need minimal support like medication management (extra fee). If your mother is a brittle diabetic she’ll need to have her blood sugar checked frequently.

The next type of facility would be a SNF center. It sounds like this is the level she may need. As a nurse you are probably aware of the process to make this happen.

Mom’s needs will only increase. Your brother thinks he can handle it, but you do not. I understand not wanting to place your mother in a NH - I said this about my mother as well - but it came to a point that we (my brother & I) had to come to the difficult realization that mom’s needs were more than we could provide.

Have a heart to heart discussion with your brother about how the future will look as your mother continues to decline. It’s a very hard decision to make. Hopefully you two can get on the same page. Also arrange for a “needs assessment” by your county Department of Aging & explore other resources they may offer as well.
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I just want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement on my situation. It is so nice to be on here to have that support. as crazy as it is for some reason my brother and I are getting closer through all this, even though we both have our moments for sure. I really do think that there will be some changes down the road as it continues to decline. But he is POA and I am the healthcare surrogate. I just told him the other day that our sister who lives in Virginia needs to bring her up there for a few weeks to give us a break and see what we do with everyday. I don't know that she would be able to handle a couple days with her though. She wears Rose colored glasses. thank you again to everybody and may all of us caregivers find our strength each day we wake to make it till we go to bed.
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I am very sorry for the loss of your brother. It’s devastating when this happens in a family.

Suicide is awful and complicated. Each circumstance is unique to that individual.

I am so sorry that you are struggling with caring for your mom.

Do you and your brother work outside of the home? Do you feel that it is unsafe for your mom to be left alone?

I felt very frustrated during my caregiving days.

I can feel the frustration in your words.

You are the realist. Your brother is denying your mom’s condition.

Your mom is caught in the middle of you and your brother.

Unfortunately, you catch the brunt of your mom’s pain and frustration.

Your situation is complicated by your brother being in denial of the situation at hand.

I agree that it would be better for all of you if mom were in a facility.

It’s sad that your mom won’t go to a neurologist. Also sad that she wouldn’t complete home health care.

I am at a loss as to what can be done to improve your situation. I empathize with you and hope that you are able to find a viable solution soon.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Sending many hugs your way.
Helpful Answer (2)

It’s never too late to make a change. It may take courage and determination that you don’t even know you have, but how worth your life with peace and health it will be! If you can’t get the cooperation of your siblings, leave them with it for a few weeks, completely, and you may see a change of heart. But even if not you need to move out. A caregiver who’s burned out is no good to the one they’re caring for, that’s said without judgement, we’re all humans and all have a breaking point. Don’t spend anymore time thinking of what’s already occurred, make plans for what comes next and make it happen, with or without your siblings help. Your mother will get care, either with your siblings or in a nursing or memory care place. I wish you health and peace
Helpful Answer (3)

I am so very sorry for what you are all dealing with. You really do sound like you are at your wits end. Something is going to have to change, or you will be in the statistics where the caregiver dies before the one being cared for. Caregiver burnout is very real, and has to be taken seriously. You've taken care of her for so long, and you are correct that it will only get worse. It already has. It's time now to put yourself first, and do what's best for you. And if that is putting mom in a nice facility, then so be it. Enough is enough!

And if your brother doesn't want to put her in a facility, then you need to take a 2 week vacation, and leave him home with mom alone, and see if he doesn't change his mind when you get back. I'd bet he would already have looked in different facilities before you even got back. Children should never make promises to their parents about not placing them in a facility. Instead if they feel the need to promise anything, it should just be that they promise to make sure they get the best care possible.

Please make sure you are doing something nice for yourself, everyday. Doesn't have to be anything big, but it does have to be something. You deserve it!
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