Mom has declined over the past year living with me. What is the next step?


I have been caring for my mother since my dad passed in 2002. She never drove or worked so I had to resume her care when my dad passed. I moved her to different places independently and for a while she was fine. Fast forward several years I finally moved her to assisted living. She was there for a little over 2 years. That became unaffordable and I had no other choice but to move her in with me. So for the past full 1year this March she has been under my roof. Her health is declining much faster than in the assisted living, her compression fractures in her back cause her constant pain and that is near impossible to control at this point. I have not had a break in the past year at ALL. I am borderline losing everything I worked for. She is selfish and always has been. I have a sister who refuses to help. I am a 44 yo male who has stepped out of a career and workforce just so at the end of the day I can say "I took care of my mother" What am I doing? I can't do this any longer. I can't get home health, I do pay someone to come and help her shower 2x a week. Is it time for a nursing home and to waive the white flag? I feel defeated! Any suggestions would be appreciated. BTW my mom is 77 years old with only mild dementia. Nothing major. Her major health issues are the compression fractures in her spine and atrial fib, which means protime checks about every 2 weeks and that is a fiasco.

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Please understand that you aren't waving the white flag when you choose nursing home care for someone like your mother. You should both be better off once she is settled. You can still be part of the care team. You will be her advocate and spend time with her. However, you can get back to your life while your mom has the care she needs.

I'm aware that I live in an area with outstanding nursing homes so that decision is easier than in some parts of the country. Still, you and your mom are not in a good situation. Look around at the nursing homes available and try to get her situated. Make friends with the staff and let them help you both.
Best to your both,
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You have certainly bee a great son and deserve lots of pats on the back. However, time has come for you to take care of youself--get some respite health. I think that Day Care is one of the best options for you--mom can go to the daycare a couple of thre days per week, giving you time to do what you need to do. Also mom might even begin to thrieve if she is involved in some activities. Then you need to begin the process to get your motheer Medicaid eligible for a nursing home placement. See assistance from you local Area Agency on Aging for information on the process. Once that is in place you can see if there are programs and services in the area that assist you. Even though your sibling is not a part of the picture, it is time to make them--What if something were to happen to you! Your sibling would be the next of kin and the person to care over her care.
Take time to get the right answers and have plan A and B ready--but really have your mother go to Day Care--remember she doesn't make the decision you do and this is best for both of you. I am sure that she might able to understand that you need some respite or you won't be able to continue to care for her. Remember you are a good son and deserve some time to yourself. Peace!
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gkc, here's a plan of action, because I know when you're feeling beaten down, you don't have the brain cells to plan.

Find day care for your mom. Take her, or arrange for transportation. Do not ask her "do you want to go to daycare?" Say, Hey mom, I've arranged for you to go to daycare tomorrow". Don't argue. You are driving the boat.

2. Make yourself a short list of tasks A. Find a NH for mom B. Put together a resume for yourself. C Tour NHs and research how to get her qualified for Medicaid assistance. D. Post back to your FRIENDS at who think that you are the AWESOME-est son ever in the whole wide world. Hugs! Barbara in Brooklyn
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Please let me say I admire your commitment to your Mother! I am not sure where you live, but if Mom is out of money and has no assets she may qualify for a program called elderly waiver. This would help with home care or pay for nursing home it that is what you do. I think you need to find some respite care and take a break. Respite care can often be provided in a nursing home for as long as two weeks. Medicare will pay for that! Also you need to find a support group call your local Area Agency on Aging they could be very helpful... take care!!!
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"no other choice but to move her in with me"
"that is near impossible to control at this point"
"I have not had a break in the past year at ALL"
"I am borderline losing everything I worked for"
"I have a sister who refuses to help"
"I stepped out of a career and the workforce"
"I can't do this any longer"
"I feel defeated"
"that is a fiasco"

Wave the white flag. You sound very unhappy and your mom is just going to need more and more care as time goes on. I hope you can make choices that will make you happier in your life. You've done your duty to your mom and should have peace of mind.
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gkc123 - Having dementia is a MAJOR illness. So is osteoporosis with fracturing of the vertebrae. It is completely understandable that you are exhausted and at 44 yrs. you are to be commended for quitting your job to take care of your mother. Get her on Medicaid if she cannot afford a nursing home with memory care, and let the professionals take care of her. You can resume your job/career while you are still young, and build up that retirement income for when you will need it. Don't be so hard on yourself. Not everyone is suitable for caregiving and there is no shame in admitting it is too much to handle. Be kind to yourself, let your mother be taken care of, and you can go visit when you are well-rested. Best wishes to both of you!
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Time to stop allowing Mom to run the show.
Your partner has rights too.
You quit your job to care for Mom.
Is your partner still working and paying all the bills.
You can't discipline your mother and tell her to stop feeding the dog. Remove the dog Put it in another room or outside. Somewhere that you can't hear it yapping to get back at the food
There are several ways to get her out of the house for good.
The first that comes to mind is trickery. Yes I know it is not fair BUT she is not playing fair either and dementia changes the rules. It becomes survival. O.ffer her something she can't refuse, like going out for ice cream. On the way home make a side trip to the ER and leave her there. Tell them her behaviour has become so unmanageable and she is now violent that you are afraid to have her in the house. Show them the bruises and tell them your partner will no longer tolerate her abuse verbal and physical of you both so you are ready to sign her over to the state. She is also abusing your pet dog. Don't expect this to be easy you are going to be bullied not to do this but stand firm they can not put her out on the street. If she has no funds she has to have a qualifying hospital stay usually five days before she can go to a NH under Medicare/Medicaid. however if she is occupying an acute hospital bed they will find a way to get her out, just make sure you don't weaken.
If she is clearly ill, high temp etc just call the ambulance and when the hospital calls you to come and get her refuse for all the above reasons. You will still get the same pressure but have the option of putting down the phone.
This is a holiday week end and hospitals are usually short staffed so they try and get as many people dischareged as possible and there will be no scheduled sugeries today so there should be plenty of empty beds so today might be the best day to do it. i won't tell you to pull up your big boy pants only you can make these kinds of decisions b ut many others have goen before you and can sympathize.Good Luck. Let us know how you get on. The experiece of others really help those who face this in the future.
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You are dealing with an impossible situation. I too had a similar one. Knee and or back pain is very difficult to deal with. Pain meds help some but you can't give them enough to stop the pain or they would unstable on their feet. The pain also limits their ability to even be physical such as walking, etc. It's a huge setback and becomes an issue that needs 14/7 attention available at hand. The pain made my 91 year old mom (who had no other medical problems) unable to stand up without assistance and then she would forget that she now needs assistance so she would attempt to stand up like she always had and would fall. As much as I hated it, I recently had to put my mom in a nursing home, although I told her she was there to rehab to get better and I'm not going to tell her anything different. Lack of mobility makes them weak, and then it gets worse. I could not have imagined taking my mom to the doctor every two weeks as it is a frustrating, torturous undertaking with me trying to pick her up to get her in and out of the car. Good luck. She needs special care that is beyond your means at this point, and you need to get your life back. You are not throwing in the towel. You are actually putting her in a better place. No one wants to admit this though as you will read over and over again at this site.
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You already did make that first step! You acknowledged that you can't do it by yourself and you need some help! You are absolutely right! She needs environment with professional people around her, who trained to care for people with dementia.
Do not hesitate! Do it asap.... before you completely worn out. It's better to be responsible visiting caregiver rather than sick stubborn one who takes all upon himself and kills himself.
Find the facility, move your mom and get some life... you are too young to give up on yourself.
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It is wonderful that you have taken care of your mother, but you should not/cannot sacrifice yourself beyond what is reasonable and wise. What good will you be able to do for your mother if you lose everything? What good will be able to do for your mother if become ill and can no longer care for her. You need take care of yourself first, then help in anyway you can with your mother----just my opinion
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