Is my situation normal, or way out? - AgingCare.com

Is my situation normal, or way out?

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My wife and I have been taking care of my mom for over 1 year, since my dad has passed away. She lives 1 mile from our home. My wife has basically moved in with her. Her present condition is she can walk only with a walker and not very far at a time, and is a falling hazard. My sister has not helped in this time, not even one hour.
After dad passed we had no idea the tremendous amount of care that she needs. I think it contributed to his early passing.
Here are the challenges we have faced and are about to give up:


1. Mom does not listen to us on how to take care of herself. It is a battle to get her to drink, exercise, and take a bath. And we find out that she talks bad about us to her friends. She has passed out 6 times from dehydration and still does not listen to doctors or us. We have been made out to be the bad guys, even though we have sacrificed everything for her and no one else has even lifted a finger.
2. My sister is a narcissist. Only cares about mom's money. Wants to control mom. She has accused us of only caring for mom because we want the money. (trust me - it's not worth the money) She hid my dad's remains from us and disrespected him. She verbally abuses my mom. I have nothing to do with her. But mom will not stand up to her and when my sister causes problems - which she does a lot. We have to deal with the aftermath - depression and sickness. Mom treats my sister better than she does us. We can't understand that.
3. We feel that mom does not appreciate us - for she looks at us and slaves and not as family. She orders us around, expects us to drop everything for anything she wants. Mom has plenty of resources and has never offered to pay us, we have not asked. We spend a lot of our money for her care. Car, gas, food, etc. My wife probably spends about 15 hours or more a day (this does include sleeping at her house)
4. When we talk to mom about making things easier for us - like drinking water, exercising, and setting boundaries for toxic behavior in the family - she says that see will do everything and then the next day that is no change.
5. We are just about burned out - where she is not my mom but a burden. She says that she never wants to go to assisted living, but her actions are making that the only option.


I'm I missing anything or do I have it figured out?

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I totally agree with 97yrold's advice! Move her to assisted living and make her pay for it. Find one that has a memory unit which I think she will need in future. You have POA...sister has no power. Time to be the grownup and let mom know her games are now over and she will no longer be permitted to abuse you or your wife. Her lack of self discipline can no longer be tolerated, she will move where she will be assisted to drink and eat well and make friends. Period.
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Reply to JoAnnS
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aj6044 - I feel the same way. Please God don't let me be this way.
Maya86 - my sister would never help mom, but hates mom. Only wants her money. My mom likes sucks the positive out of you and you feel defeated after you are with her.
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Reply to StoneMan
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You are SO normal. Unfortunately this seems to be so common to have non-compliant elderly parents. I was so fed up with my mom one day that I told my partner to smother me in my sleep if I ever get awful like that in my old age!
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My mother passed away 2 weeks ago.
She was 86. She complained about everything. She lived alone at home where she wanted to be , and we visited every day, she called us “ useless children” ,we then took her to see some retirement homes and she liked one( sort of) but when we tried to go further down that road she told us we wanted to put her somewhere to rot and die! So we left her at home, running around after her.
She then needed nurses which helped but she moaned about us to them all the time and visa versa. She told us all to go to hell.
She didn’t have Dementia.
She also refused to eat and drink, would want bananas, then not want bananas and say how “ don’t we know she hates bananas “ etc
She then wanted to go to her sister, We moved her there and back , twice.
She liked nothing, nothing was good enough, it was incredibly stressful and frustrating.
I then started doing things like walking in saying, “ Hi, it’s your useless daughter here again”or “ Hi, I didn’t go to hell and so here I am but if you want me to go , I’ll go, because I have a lot of other things to do”
She started to see that we actually spoke to her friends and nurses, and her gossiping about us was not going to work.
We told her that she is changing and getting older and sicker and what she wants and needs is as much a challenge and unknown to us as it is to her and we are there to help her, are on the same side, but if she is going to sabotage things, we just won’t come.
However, we were there, abuse or not, right up until her last breath
You and your wife do need to put up boundaries, especially if your sister is doing nothing, I’d definitely tell your mother that you and your wife will be there for four days and week and your sister will take care of the other three or something, and tell your sister that, how she does it is up to her.
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Reply to Maya86
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You sound exactly right. Welcome to the care givers nightmare where the tail is wagging the dog.
40% of caregivers die before their loved one, so your suspicions about dad’s early demise could be correct. 

1. Stop enabling bad behavior.
2. We teach people how to treat us. She knows she can’t get away with talking back to MIA daughter but you and your DW have proven to be more compliant.
3. See above.
4. You are expecting her to do things she has demonstrated to you that she can not or will not do. Stop wasting your breath.
5. Why would she want to go to AL when she has your wife? At AL she will be required to adjust.

What you haven’t mentioned is:
1. Have you had her assessed by a neurologist?

2. Do you or sister have a DPOA for health and finances? If not, get her to a Certified Elder Attorney who understands Medicaid laws in case your mom’s money runs out before she dies.

3. If your mom is competent you need to accept that she has the right to make her own decisions. But so do you and DW.

It’s very hurtful to deal with the stories your mom tells and with your sisters negligence. 

Only you have the power to change your actions.

Reclaim your wife. 
Tell mom to hire help. If she has enough money that sister thinks you are plotting to steal it, she has enough to hire help.

Read the book “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande. 

Visit an attorney with mom to make sure mom has all her affairs in order.

Get her cognitive abilities evaluated by a neurologist. 

Post here with your concerns and people will help you each step of the way. 

You can continue in the same pattern you are going in and the only thing that will change is you will be more worn out and burned out. I promise you. Mom is in denial. You don’t have to be.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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I have POA - well I'm secondary, dad was first but he is gone :(

Thanks for your answer - it helps to know I'm not going crazy
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Reply to StoneMan
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Yes, your situation is normal and others will chime in to that fact.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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There is more than just decline here. Sounds like early stages of Dementia. First thing to go is their reasoning power. Mom should not live alone. Maybe a nice Assisted Living (AL). Who has POAs for financial and medical? Can't answer why parents always like the child that does nothing better than those trying to help. You need to Set boundaries. Tell her you love her and are just trying to help but you refuse to be abused. If she rather, call her daughter when she needs something.
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