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I have posted here before and have found your support is very comforting with lots of wisdom. I signed up for an art class for 4 hours a week. I have been to 2 sessions and have found when I come home, I'm totally burned out. I was supposed to go today but had insomnia and cancelled. My caregiver still came and I am out, but I'm just too tired to enjoy it. My mother called me a selfish daughter and threw one insult after another making me feel so guilty. On top of that. I called the cremation society and the gentleman on the phone was nice but also made me feel guilty. My mother has some Dementia but can still walk. I asked her if she would like to spend a week in fairfax VA with her son and his grown children. Her answer is always no because she can't stand being around my sister in law. They won't help her anyway. I feel like I need 2 weeks of vacation just to regain my strength. I've had to cancel some important doc appts because I can't always afford a caregiver. What do you do when your own child and strangers make you feel guilty? Nursing homes are out of the question.

Start by reading Golden23's wonderful post:

https://www.agingcare.com/discussions/boundaries-are-about-you-not-them-456081.htm?orderby=recent

Learn how to set some boundaries for yourself so you can save your own sanity.

And how does a cremation society representative make a person feel guilty, exactly?? Guilt is a self imposed emotion telling you you've done something wrong. What are you doing wrong by making final arrangements, or asking about final arrangements, for your mother who's 94??

For what it's worth, when the Catholic deacon came to the Memory Care home where I work on Sunday, he told me he prays daily for his 90 y/o mother to die. He feels it's a blessing to die, and that advanced old age is the true curse.

If you say that nursing homes are 'out of the question' for whatever reason, and insist on caring for mother at home, you'll need to find ways to take care of YOU and to shut down her insults and negativity towards you. Have you considered therapy?

Wishing you the very best of luck moving forward.
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 4, 2020
Smart deacon. I have a wonderful deacon at our church too. People love him for his compassion and wisdom.
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I would have been tempted to either tell the rep what he can do with his every waking minute, or better yet, just stare at him and smirk, then turn around and walk out.

Seriously, I would NOT tolerate this kind of intervention.  Find another cremation society.

Lealonnie and Minsu make good points.   My first thought while reading your post is that you need to establish not only boundaries, but activities, what you will and won't do.   

I do understand though that being in this kind of situation distorts common sense and self protection, and I don't mean that as an insult.   It's like being in a rainstorm, or snowstorm; focus narrows to the existing issues of that time.  

It isn't going to be easy but you have to stand up for yourself and establish a set of rules and standards. 

Anyone who called me selfish would lose my support right then and there.    If you can't afford a facility, contact an elder law attorney to help apply for Medicaid so you can find someplace for her. 

This situation isn't going to change until (a) you change, or (you die) or (she dies).
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Why is she in your house if she treats you this way?
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I must ask why Nursing homes are out of the picture? It appears that you are overwhelmed, why not consider another option? She is 94 and has lived her whole life, when are you going to start living yours?

Guilt is a self imposed emotion, fueled by fear...what are you afraid of? Have you considered therapy to get you on the right track?

I wish you the best.
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KatD81 Feb 4, 2020
Agreed on all points!
We don't have to automatically accept other people's judgments.
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Why are you sacrificing your own life for your mom ? Your life matters too. You must make a change. See a counselor. Everything in this post just sounds wrong to me. I’m sorry if this sounds harsh. Maybe I see some of my own past behavior here ?
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First, stop asking your mother with dementia if she wants to do something. Arrange it. Tell her a little bit before time (like on the way) and do it. remember it is not about helping her be better it is about giving you some needed respite. So what if she doesn't like her daughter-in-law . It really doesn't matter if the daughter-in-law doesn't like her.

Second, a long time ago, I learned that no one can make me feel guilty. Feeling guilty is an emotion I allow. You can decide that you are doing the best you can under the circumstances and stop people in the middle of a sentence and

Say "I know you think you are being helpful, but you are not" I know that you that you are not trying to make me feel guilty, but that is what I feel when you do "Y. What I really need is physical and mental support? I need you do "X" Be specific

Why is a nursing home out of the question?
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kdcm1011 Feb 7, 2020
“Feeling guilty is an emotion I allow” .... love it!
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GardenArtist: "This situation isn't going to change until (a) you change, or (you die) or (she dies)."

Very good points! Essie, I don't think you are ever going to change. Do you?

Why is she being asked if she wants to spend a week with her son and his family? Why isn't she being told that is what is happening?

Your mother called you a selfish daughter because you go to an art class?!?!

Why are nursing homes out of the question?

From your previous posts, you've had some significant health (including mental health) problems. What would happen to your mother if you were no longer able to take care of her? If you cancel important dr. appointments, that could happen sooner rather than later.
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'I feel like I need 2 weeks of vacation just to regain my strength".

Even soldiers at war are given leave. Keeps them able to refresh & continue.

Your army of one is sinking into the quicksand - you need a string of helpers to all be working together to pull you out. Then someone else takes the lead for a short time while you recover your strength.

Gather your family as your team & pull together. If they can't/won't help then use paid carers instead (in home if possible) or in a residential setting.
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 5, 2020
Two week vacation sounds heavenly!
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Don’t let other opinions matter to you. You are too fragile to continue this way. I though i was ok but struggling till Dad fell and had to go to the hospital then placed in a nursing home. He’s doing great-me , not so much! I’m suffering from emotional exhaustion. I have lost my identity (after 20 years of caregiving) and have people I’m friendly with but no close friends. I feel like a hermit and am happy to finally be living alone without any responsibilities. I know at some time I need to move forward but for now, I am only able to try to feel healthier. Take care of yourself. If you don’t, at some point, your mind will take over and you will be powerless to fight the illness. And then who will take care of you? Someone will have to pay your bills, make your meals, do the laundry and basically take over your life. Unless this is comfortable for you, just think about what this will really do to your life. Good luck and God bless. I don’t know why you say “nursing homes are out of the question”. We were trying so hard to keep Dad home, once he went to the nursing home, he flourished!! Loves people and the care and food are excellant. We were so worried about him but we should have worried about us more. You can do this
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ExhaustedPiper Feb 7, 2020
Good luck to you Kat. I'm glad you are resting and focusing on your health. After everything you have been through you need to heal. You are wise to recognize that and I wish you all the best going forward.
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I am shocked at how many posters on here seem to cavalierly think that any type of assisted living is easily an option. My father is 94 and my mother passed away 2 years ago after being in an assisted living facility for 4 1/2 years with dementia. Here’s what I learned. ANY type of assisted living care is extremely expensive. I don’t know how most people afford it. Dad spent over $500,000 for mom’s care and we’re not talking about even the most expensive facility in our area. At the time, most decent facilities were $8000-$9000 per month. Qualifying for Medicaid at that time meant mom had to have virtually no $ and Medicaid at that time had a 5 year look back period. Since most accounts they had were joint, of course she didn’t qualify. I would advise - especially if your dad was in WW 2, going to an elder care estate planning attorney to see if they can help you qualify your mom for VA benefits or Medicaid if she qualifies. Our area here in NC seemed to have few decent Medicaid facilities but yours may. My brother and I are now caring 24/7 for our 94 year old father, I retired early to do so and have two teenage daughters. I understand the difficulties you are encountering. Best of luck to you. It is an extremely difficult, emotional and tiring road. And any type of caregiver becomes expensive after several hours each week. I understand. Another option is to definitely contact your county hospice program. Dad is now under hospice care. While he is at his house and not in a facility (again, his wishes and also money is a factor), hospice is supplying must of his medications and bandages and pull-ups and bedding pads (hospice is reimbursed by Medicare). However, he does have multiple health issues. Please at least contact them though to see if your mom qualifies. I just found out-it was not information provided early on - that hospice will provide respite care stays for him - to give us a break- periodically. At no cost to us for him to stay at their facility when they have availability. Your local hospice, if your mom qualifies, may do the same. Please contact them and they will send a nurse out to evaluate your mom. Again - at no cost. They Should be able to also provide information on other resources and perhaps other cheaper caregiver options. Best wishes to you.
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scatter195 Feb 7, 2020
Thank you for stating the obvious and offering real information. I see so many on here saying...time for a nursing home, assisted living, etc. Having too much money to qualify for Medicaid still doesn’t mean they can afford $8-9,000 a month.
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