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I’ve been going to visit her weekly, mostly to see her & pick up & drop off her laundry, but it’s become so depressing & draining being there that lately I’ve found I’m leaving her at least 10-12 days worth of clean clothes so I don’t have to go every 6-7 days.


I’m wondering if this is normal or am I just being selfish?


She will use one of the other patients cell phone to call me or the nursing station will let her use their phone & when she calls, it’s the same thing “I haven’t seen you in a long time, come here immediately, make sure you don’t come late because I go to sleep @ 11pm”, etc.

Hangingon, bear with me

Have you asked the RM what they need for you to deal with them? I know you have told them she can no longer make decisions for herself. Sometimes its a letter from a lawyer saying the POA is now in effect because a doctor has claimed her incompetent.

What happens if they won't talk with you? They can't take over the house without Mom signing off.

I feel for you. My Mom was further along in her dementia and had no idea if I had been there 15 minutes or an hour. It was really hard trying to have a conversation with someone who couldn't understand anything anymore.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Bingo!

Yes you DO need to keep it short and sweet!

You're staying longer than you want to and it's still not long enough. Let's face it, you could move in and you wouldn't be there often enough...

So. Change the set-up.

You don't go there for a fixed time, you go there with a fixed agenda. E.g.

Put away clean laundry
Pick up soiled laundry
Call RM company with mother present so that mother can give them authorisation to speak to me and confirm my POA
Check for updates in mother's notes
Check toiletries and snacks
Tell mother about mahonia shrub buds
Hug mother
Scram

It is very hard, I know, to pull yourself away from someone who is hanging on to your leg like a 2 year old and sobbing her heart out. But she's going to do that *anyway* right up until the moment you're out of sight, whether you are there for twenty minutes or seven hours. Better to give her a loving hug and say "I will see you VERY soon, I promise" than to stay on longer and stress yourself out over it.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Hangingon, I'm wondering what it is about the visits that is depressing and draining, and whether perhaps each visit is too long in duration.

What about going more often but keeping it short 'n' sweet? What do you think?
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Hangingon61 Nov 5, 2018
It’s depressing & draining because most of the visit is spent w/mom questioning me about what’s happening w/her house, the RM, “did I get any mail?”, etc.
I’m not able to handle anything to do w/the RM (they are making it extremely difficult for me by not recognizing that I am my mom’s POA for ALL her financial dealings), so talking or answering my mom when she’s constantly asking about the house is very frustrating for me..
If I stay less then 2 hours my mom gets very clingy, she’ll start to cry & say “you’re leaving now?, you just got here”..
I usually get there by 8:30/9:00pm.
Bring her something to eat, talk a while, get all her dirty clothes packed up then say my goodbyes by 11:00pm.
when she sees me getting ready to leave, she starts telling me “it’s early yet”..
i tell her “mom, remember I have to go to the 24 hour laundromat to do her laundry & I hate being the only one there most times cuz it’s so late but she says “you’ll be ok” & when she says that it pisses me off, so then I end up leaving w/a puss on..
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Hanging, to answer your first part, I sometimes feel the same way and I try to visit only once a week to keep my stress levels down. I recognize it as mild depression. Do you work at a company that has EAP (employee assistance program)? You might want to try it. My insurance plan also offers telephone counselling which I recently took advantage of.

Part 2 of this thread is I too am Catholic. My parents are cremated. Some of my relatives have done burial at sea by scattering ashes. Just remember that ashes are being returned to earth. The body donation, unfortunately, may have to be confirmed by mom. But you still might want to check it out by calling your local medical school.
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Hangingon61 Nov 5, 2018
No, I don’t have a job that offers any of that.
I’m a dog walker/pet sitter (self employed).
How can my mom “confirm” her body being donated when she’s passed away?
It would be a decision I would need to make in order to have her cremated & not have to pay for it.
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Hangingon -

When a family has no money to bury or cremate their loved one, the County can help. Here is part of the text and then the link to the article.

"Talk to your county coroner’s office
If you simply can’t come up with the money to pay for cremation or burial costs, you can sign a release form with your county coroner’s office that says you can’t afford to bury the family member. If you sign the release, the county and state will pitch in to either bury or cremate the body. The county may also offer you the option to claim the ashes for a fee. But if these also go unclaimed, they will bury the ashes in a common grave alongside other unclaimed ashes.
Obviously, when a person dies it’s a terribly emotional time for that individual’s family members and friends. But it needn’t cause financial turmoil too."

https://www.blackenterprise.com/when-a-relative-dies-and-you-cant-afford-the-funeral/

If you go this route, your mother's ashes will be buried as dictated by the Catholic Church.

Be at peace with what the final arrangement will be. It will all work out. ((((HUGS))))
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Reply to polarbear
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Hi Hangingon -

Here is the position of the Pope and the Vatican regarding cremation. Yes, it is allowed.

I copy and paste here part of the text and the link to the article so you can read it in full if you'd like. This article is from 2016, so it's fairly recent.

"The Vatican announced Tuesday that Catholics may be cremated but should not have their ashes scattered at sea or kept in urns at home.
According to new guidelines from the Vatican's doctrinal office, cremated remains should be kept in a "sacred place" such as a church cemetery. Ashes should not be divided up between family members, "nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or other objects."
The church has allowed cremation for decades, but the guidelines make clear that the Vatican is concerned that the practice often involves "erroneous ideas about death." Those ideas run the gauntlet from deeply nihilistic to New Age-y, the Vatican says, from the belief that death is the definitive end of life to the notion that our bodies fuse with nature or enter another cycle of rebirth."

Here is the link to the full article.
https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/25/europe/cremation-vatican-scattering/index.html

Do not feel any guilt for not burying your mother's body when she passes. She did not prepay her burial, and you have no money to do it. So, cremation it will have to be. There is no other way unless you come into a windfall.

Besides donating the body to science, there is another way to cremate and bury the ashes when you have no money. See my next post.
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Reply to polarbear
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First of all, you have the right to be angry. Your mom had no right to put her funeral expense on you. Secondly, you have to do what you can live with, however, money always comes into play on what you can do. Don't go into debit so that you won't feel guilty. Because you have no reason to feel guilty, you are doing the best you can with what you have.
I do believe in one God, and that our bodies are just shells for our souls. God care raises the dead whether it's a body or ashs. But that is what I believe.
Maybe you should take a step back by focusing on something else for awhile, or write what you think and feel about this whole thing sometimes this can help you get clarady on what to do.

I wish I could give you some wisdom to help you, but this really is a personal decision.

And your not being selfish, your tired & stressed out.

I wish you good luck, may God help you to make the right decision for you and your mother.
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Reply to Shell38314
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Polarbear you have been reading my posts for a while now & pretty much know what’s been happening w/my mom & our history so I’m relieved to see your answer is making me feel a bit less “guilty” about how I’m handling all this..
At the same time I’m telling myself that part of the reason why I’m feeling this way is because I’m angry.
Angry @ my mom for not making arrangements for her burial (when the time comes) when she was able to.
When she was still living in her house & could get the money from her reverse mortgage.
She could have pre paid for everything that is going to be needed but she didn’t do that..
She NEVER wanted to talk about that stuff.
If, when I would bring it up, you know she would get upset & say “don’t worry about, it’s all taken care of”...
”it’s paid for, when we paid your sister’s burial, I’m able to be be buried w/her”, “that was over 43 years ago!!!
When she got sick to the point of having to go the NH to live, again, I had to bring it up to her & she STILL kept saying “it was taken care of” or “you can’t wait till I’m gone huh?”..
Always mad @ me for wanting to know the details..
When I did call the Cemetary & found out they want almost $4500 to place her on top of my sister in the mausoleum, then God knows how much it would cost for the cremation, I told her all this & she just looks at me like I’m supposed to solve the problem of what’s going to happen.
I CANT!!!
I have no God damn money to pay for any of that.
not even for her to be cremated!
my neighbor gave me a brochure on donating her body to science & they will give you the ashes back sometime later but in a previous post I asked advice on that & I told everyone that since my mom is Catholic, she wouldn’t want to do that.
Someone else on here said that they know it would be allowed by “Catholic church) but I don’t think that’s correct because a priest was talking on the radio & a caller posed a similar question as to why the Catholic Church doesn’t accept cremations & he said something about the body “having to return to the earth” (thru burial, not cremation), so I’m not 100% sure who is correct..
Even if I did have my mother cremated (by donating her body), there’s still the issue/cost of interring her ashes w/my sister..
If the priest was saying that only allowing the cremation to take place w/the intention of burying the ashes & not “scattering” them or leaving them anywhere other then a grave” because the church believes the deceased ashes should be treated w/dignity & respect & not tossed around”..
I was advised by someone on here to just keep her ashes w/me, like I have for my dad.
Which is most likely what’s gonna happen.
But that still leaves her having to be cremated.
If my only option is to donate her body so the company pays for her cremation, then I feel like she will feel like I betrayed her (because she said she wouldn’t want that, doesn’t want her body “cut up like that”, etc)..
And for those who say “she’s not going to know”, please, don’t say that because I WILL KNOW.
Im not 100% about what happens to us when we die, not sure about an “afterlife”, “heaven” or whatever, but it by chance, there IS any of that, then she WILL “know” what I did & will I be forgiven???

OK so went off for awhile there which I’m sorry I had to do in order to explain why I’m feeling like this..
yes, I’m mad @ my mom for putting all this on me.
I KNOW it’s NOT ABOUT ME, & I should have more compassion towards her because she’s dying & living in a place that she still believes to this day “I put her in”, but damn, I can’t shake this bitterness I feel towards her for not taking care of her own self (when she was able to do so).
Sometimes I just wish I could die first so I don’t have to stress out about what’s going to happen w/her.
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JoAnn29 Nov 4, 2018
Is Dad a Vet. If so, he can be buried in a VA cemetary and Mom with him.

I am assuming Mom has no money? If she does and is paying privately for her care, Medicaid allows for a prepaid funeral cost.

You can only do what you can. Cremation here is 2300. You may just have to keep Mom until you can afford what she wants. Its not your fault she didn't plan ahead. I hate that parents use guilt to control their children.
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Hanging, I can only offer your support. I do know of Catholics who have been cremated, quite a few in fact. I would not worry about what a priest on the radio says on a call in show.

Have you asked your mother's priest what funds the church has to intern indigent parishioners? If not the Church have you asked your local community services what happens when someone dies and there is no money for internment or cremation?

No you do not have to have more compassion towards your mother. She has used up more than her share of your compassion. Her actions have put you into this untenable position.

I do not know God, nor Allah, or the Buddha, I do not know if there is one God or many. I do know that peoples from around our planet have strong spiritual lives. There are many different ways of knowing God or the Gods. I do not believe there is One Way. I have a friend who is strong in her Christian Faith, she is somewhat surprised that we are friends, as I am not sure that I believe in the God I learned about in Sunday School. But I tell her I do not believe that people of so many faiths on this planet are wrong. I am sorry this is a bit of a ramble, but the point I am trying to make is that if there is one God, he will accept your mother's soul into Heaven, and if the Heaven she goes to is like the ones I saw painted in Florence, her body will be new again, she will not need her old one.

Please believe that your life is worth living. And yes, go visit as often as you feel is best for you. In the mean time, find yourself again. Find new passions and quiet moments. Turn your phone off. If mother demands that you visit, tell her No , you are far too busy, but you will be there on X day. Then do not answer her calls, until you go that day.
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Reply to Tothill
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Hi Hangingon - I think it is normal for many people to not want to visit their over needy parents. Your mom has always been so needy and demanding of your time for so long. It is normal to feel so drained. I've seen posts from other caregivers that feel the same way you do. No, you are not being selfish.

Just visit as often as you can handle. Let your mother's calls go to voicemail. Your health is important, too.
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Reply to polarbear
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I see you have been posting for a while but too many previous posts to read all for a history. Please post some info on your profile.

Why do you not want to see Mom more often? Too clingy, narcissistic, abusive? Do you live far away? If we knew the reason why its hard to visit we could help more.

Tell the desk you would appreciate if they not let her call you. There is a reason you didn't give her a cell phone. If you know the residents ask they not allow her to borrow their phones. Again, you have ur reasons. Tell them the staff keeps you up to date. Can u not block Moms calls. My phone only rings thru my contacts. All others go to voicemail.
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