This in between place is so hard to manage. Any advice?

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Mom (85) with no short term memory. Still living on her own. One day shes crying lonely and i find a place we can rent close to my son and family for help and she says thats what she wants...then she doesnt remember any of it and says her place is paid off and she wont leave and shes been alone just fine for 30 yrs since dad passed. She really wants me to move in to her house i think but ive told her we need to be closer to my son so i have help when we need it. She doesnt get that being 20 miles away makes it much more inconvenient to run over and do her shopping or check her tire pressure...or whatever she comes up with. My oldest sister died 10 yrs ago and my middle sister has had strokes and has cancer, so i am trying to manage things. I do her shopping, take her to dr and dentist appts, balance her checkbook, etc, and live 20 miles away. Shes not happy and wont socialize or leave the house. If she didnt have what mind she has, i could make decisions about moving her closer...how does everyone handle making decisions for someone whos in this 'in between' place like she is where one day shes miserable and then doesnt remember it the next day???

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SherylBeth, I know exactly what you mean. I am dealing with that with my parents [mid-90's] who still think they can live on their own in their own non-elder friendly house. For every year they get older, it is like 5 years, as they are declining quickly. This is the first year my parents weren't able to rake/bag all the leaves in their yard... so Dad is in a panic.

Our parent(s) doesn't want to wave the white flag of surrendering that they need help... they want to stay independent until their last breath. There is nothing we can do or say to change their minds. It will take a medical emergency like a bad fall to shake some sense into them, as sad as that sounds.

My parents are also bored, well that comes with the choice of them staying in their home instead of enjoying a great social life and all the activities at a retirement village. Until they change their mind, I am not going to be their entertainment. Even though they live literally around the corner from me, I see them maybe 15 minutes a week, unless we are going for an appointment. All this running here and there for them doesn't give me any social time to spend with my parents... [sigh].
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When they call and cry, whine, complain, accuse, or repeat things, they are reaching out through the veil of diminishing perception and increasing confusion, seeking to find, in your voice, compassion, caring, love, and validation. When children are scared or tired, they act out. Elders are the same, and they have reason to be scared. My mother is troubled that she finds it hard to think clearly. Since your mind is clear, you can redirect the conversation and guide her. You can be the one to repeat! State some truths over and over, to her. Such as, "Mom, when people are 85 they often have helpers come in." Or, "At 85, many people are more comfortable living in an easier place." What she called about is rarely about the content of what she's saying, it's about seeking a loving contact. Also, this journey is not predictable, and many of us say, "if I had only known what it would be like, I would have insisted (that she line up help/that she move to assisted living/that she sign over POA, etc.)" Because it ruins your, the caregiver's, life to play "catch-up" just scrambling to accommodate the next level of disability. Seeking solutions while trying to maintain. Each change is a crisis when systems and external assistance are not in place. My mother grudgingly got used to the nurse coming twice a week, and even (secretly) enjoyed having that infusion of fresh outside energy coming in. So it IS possible for you to accustom her to the changes that need to occur. But as many people urge, here on this site: begin to take action NOW, as soon as the first signs are apparent.
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Thanks freqflyer....I know mom doesnt want to leave her house because as she says, 'ive always lived over here and i wouldnt know where i am or how to get anywhere'. I remind her that she never goes anywhere..that i take her everywhere now. It doesnt matter. I do have POA but rather than force her to move while she still has some mind left and endure that wrath forever, ill leave it as it is and see what the next 6 months brings. If her safety/health becomes at risk, ill have no choice. Of course she doesnt know that her memory is gone...i tell her to write things down when she calls me about something, so i dont get another 5 calls about the same thing. Sometimes she will. Its so irritating dealing with the repetition and constant phone calls even tho i know she cant help it. I hate this in between place...but i know it wont go on forever.
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Sherylbeth you just described my mother, except she is farther down the road at 100 - yes 100. My sister did just about everything for her, maintaining her house, yard, etc until finally, 8 years ago we forced her to move to a nice independent living facility. She never would have gone if we hadn't given her no choice, sold her car etc. She complained about everything and never socialized. One minute she said she was lonely, the next she says she doesn't want to be around people. She still complains, she likes complaining. We couldn't win. Now at 100, she is almost deaf, has a hard time walking far, and her short term memory is about 2 minutes long. She still refuses to accept she needs help. We do her shopping (she can barely work the stove) cleaning, laundry, doctor appts, bills, etc. After 8 years, I'm worn out. Now she has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and the facility says we must move her. She doesn't know yet and when we do it, it will probably kill her. We waited too long and now she has absolutely no coping skills to adjust to the move. Even an upcoming holiday throws her for a loop and she obsesses on it for days, confused, calling people etc. She can barely hear, and her conversation consists of talking about 5 different things about family, over and over and over and over. She takes no interest in anything but insists she can take care of herself. We should have moved her years ago, but family fought me on it. Up until 2 months ago the doctor refused to support me on her decline and need to move her, saying she wasn't ready yet. Then she throws us for a loop at the next exam and tells the facility she has Alzheimers. All I can say is, once your mom starts to go downhill mentally it can be very fast so if it appears she needs a lot of help and is decline, don't do what we did. I wish we had moved Mom last year when she could have adjusted.
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One more thing. Find an independent living facility where she can transition to assisted living and mental care when the time comes. It will be much less traumatic if the move doesn't mean completely different surroundings and strangers. I feel so badly for my mother, but there is nothing we can do for her.
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Sheryl, I really sympathise. My mother lived alone for nearly ten years after my father died, and looking after her crept up on me from that day. Not that I minded, and I'm sure you don't either; but as you get increasingly worried and she gets increasingly unreliable, you're right - it's that limbo while you're waiting for something to go wrong enough to force a move, and it is very stressful, I agree.

The thing is, though, I don't think you should wait in terms of planning for her future. I respect that she wants to stay in her own home for the time being, but even if she won't face it you know that that won't be possible forever - unless, God forbid, something really dreadful happens.

AmyGrace also makes the very good point that the better her health when she moves, the better her chances are of adjusting to the change - and she may not have much time left of comparative good health.

It's getting her agreement to it that's the rub, I appreciate. Are there any potential conspirators you can think of who might help you persuade her? What about your son? - is he fond of his grandma? What about her doctor? - there's nothing to stop you calling him with information, even if he can't discuss your mother's confidential business with you. What about social services, or neighbours? You may find that you're not the only one who's becoming concerned, and that you have more back up on this than you realised.
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Get your barbed wire ready, Sheryl!!! Don't invite her over the threshold!

You're right, it is time to start bringing her gently round. Don't even put the option of her living with you on the table if it's a no-no; but do start gathering an enticing array of other agreeable choices. The more positive the decision to move, the better your chances. Best of luck, keep posting.
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A person with no short term memory really should not be driving for they can get lost and not find their way home. My aunt did this and it was not long after that her husband had her placed in assisted living.

Given her increasing memory problems, I would not recommend moving her into your house for if she needs 24/7 care and you are the only person who can do that, it will quickly become far too much for you to do and there are plenty of sad stories about that on this site. Does she have enough money like my dad who also has long term care insurance to pay for some caregivers to spend time with her at her house?
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SherlyBeth, be prepared for your mother to attempt talking to you as if you were still a little girl for the purpose of guilting you or obligating or to take her to live with you or fearful ____ will happen if you don't taken her to live with you.

I don't mean any disrespect toward your mother, but that is how some elderly parent's will treat their adult children when faced with the adult child telling them no about something or otherwise resisting a change that is really needed for their care and safety.

She might aim for the inner child, but you stand your ground as an adult and keep responding as one adult to another as you discuss things with her. That does not mean being necessarily aggressive, but it does mean being assertive.

You can do this. It is a role reversal move, but one we all have to do at some point.

Out of fear and feeling no longer in control of their lives like they once did, I think our elderly parents try to reverse roles on we adult children by trying to wear the "parent hat" once again and relate to us as if we, as adults, are somehow still their little children.

That's when we have to understand their fears and anger over the changes going on in their lives, but also realize that due to their dementia and other health limitations some decisions just have to be made for their and other's well being.

Sadly, their minds are declining which keeping them either from understanding what you are trying to explain to them or remembering what you already explained to them.

When our parents were of sound mind, they knew this day would come and so they entrust us to take the best care of them financially through giving us a durable POA over them and medically by giving us medical POA over them.

They may well not remember now the reason that they entrusted us with such responsibility and authority, but they did for the very time and situation such as this.For some this is a big pill to swallow, but you sort of have to absorb to deep inside that your parent has entrusted you and authorized you with and for this responsibility. So if it helps to think of it this way then try to focus on the fact of being authorized and trusted with this authority to carry forth your responsibilities as the POA outlines, then that may well build up your confidence to move forward more than focusing on 'oh my, this is going to make mom very upset and thus I'm so afraid.."

I'm not sure that I like the phrase parenting our parents. It is a role reversal, but it is not really like acting as if we are our parent's parent as if they are a child once again. I think of it more in terms of we are acting in their behalf as if we were them with a sound mind about things. Below is a link to several articles on this site about role reversal.

https://www.agingcare.com/search.aspx?searchterm=role+reversal .

I hope my attempt to build up your sense of confidence has helped as you prepare to be more assertive.

Don't feel bad that I perceive that you may need a pep talk as you move forward for you are not the first one that I've given this pep talk to when I feel that someone is feeling a little apprehensive about being so assertive. You are the authorized person to be so assertive within the boundaries of what the document says your responsibilities and abilities are as the durable and medical POA.

I wish you the best as you deal with all of this. Be your mom's adult daughter for that is what she really needs right now although she might not see it that way.
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She drives one mile away to her hairdresser once a week. Thats the only driving she does...or wants to do. She doesnt have long term care insurance. I could probably sell her home and get about 140,000 from that. I have faxed letters to her dr and thats why he started the verbal tests he does when shes in for checkups...and she def does try to act like nothing in the world is wrong with her in front of him...and she does NOT like when he asks me questions about her memory and i tell the truth. She has been independent since my father passed 30 yrs ago so its like an embarassment to her for even a dr to know that shes having issues. She is enough 'still here' that moving her now is not critical in my eyes...the repetative questions, phone calls is worsening but i feel as long as she is safe, clean, and eating...i dont want to force a move. She wont socialize as ive already tried to suggest her going once a week to a day center and that was shut down immediately. Shes bored and lonely (one day...the next she doesnt remember saying that) but doesnt want to do anything about it. I guess for me its a waiting game, and that in itself is stressful.
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