Mom was supposed to be in a short term facility, then home. Now the social worker is saying she needs 24/7 care. What options do I have? - AgingCare.com

Mom was supposed to be in a short term facility, then home. Now the social worker is saying she needs 24/7 care. What options do I have?

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First of all, I am an only child. My mom had cardiac arrest about 2 years ago and has been in the hospital every day since. She was on a ventilator and thankfully weaned off. Lately the rehab have been working with her to walk and do things for herself. I work from home and although extremely stressed about our finances as I lost my high paying job over a year ago, I was going to try to provide care in home. The facility social worker started saying last week that mom would not get much home care as she is no longer sick. She needs help with getting around, bathing and bathroom. I did not understand this. I tried to get her moved to facility in town that provides more rehab and felt blessed she was accepted. Now the worker is saying the new facility wants to know where mom is going after this and oh by the way she now needs 24/7 care. What does that even mean? She did not lose any brain function and talks to me on the cell several times a day. I mean the main thing I see she has been left to lay down for about two years with no one paying me any attention when I voiced concern. Now at 70, her muscles are really weak and one leg locks up. She had arthritis before this happened however was completely mobile and drove everyday. Due to anxiety and finances, I was just now learning to drive and she drove me to work everyday. I don't know if I will be able to do this and feel like she was trying to press upon me how stressful this will be as I will still have to work. She also said again that the nurses are temporary and that I will need to apply for long term home health help. Mom is also on about 8 meds. I don't know what to do and we have no family. I turned 40 last year and have already started getting discriminated by jobs due to my age. I need to work and worry about my future. We were not getting along before she got sick and it had me very stressed. She would basically scream at me every day and it was basically the worse kind of verbal abuse anyone could imagine. If I am completely honest it is a lot of the reason I am not any further along in my life. Always being told how big a failure you are really takes its toll. This and dealing with episodes of depression have me second guessing if I should even take this on. I don't know how to tell her that I could not do this. So I was hoping more rehabilitation would help her get around better. I know things will never be the same but I would have no support and worry about being the statistic of the caregiver who passes before the patient. (To top it all off, the reason I lost my job was due to reporting harassment issues to management and being subsequently fired, thus making it harder for me to get a job. By the time I tried to sue it was too late. As you can imagine I had other things on my mind.) So I am just looking for some advice. People always think that just because you are single and young you are the perfect candidate to be a caregiver. I don't know what to do and have been crying and having panic attacks as time gets to closer to me being a caregiver. I know I was not made for this and just hope God forgives me if I cannot do it. My mom does not think of my future. I guess I don't expect her to now but she never really has. She used to tell me all the time she would not take out insurance because your children will try to do something to you to get the money. So now if something happens to her I would not even be able to bury her. I don't know what to do or who to turn to. I wish they paid people to take care of family in this state but I do not think that they do. As a Christian, I would try but the idea of staying in the house forever which is a one bedroom apartment by the way is depressing... We don't even have anyone to go to the grocery store for us. I was taking driving lessons but cannot afford after losing my job. I now rely on the bus. Someone please tell me what I can do as far as rehab options or just general advice to cope. Thanks and God bless yall who do this everyday.

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"She would basically scream at me every day and it was basically the worse kind of verbal abuse anyone could imagine. "

This. Do NOT take your mother in.
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I am in North Carolina. Yes, this social worker seems to be under a deadline. Telling people mom is leaving going home and the cafeteria people keep asking her when she is leaving and that they heard she is leaving. I agree with you who said they act like she cannot speak for herself. I am scared to the point of shaking. She seems disappointed but accepts that she may have to go to facility. She just worries about being by herself and no one coming to visit. She has some friends that would come if they knew but some people are more being nosey and don't come back. Her sister and her did not really get along and she has not been back since it happened. She just wanted us to move to where she lives so she could use the car she thinks I still have. One of the best facilities is in that area and she is my next of kin. I would have a better outlook for jobs but mom don't really want to go there although I believe it would help her. They specialize it getting people out of bed that have been laying down a long time. When she was in hospital here and I tried to visit everyday and that was not enough it seemed. I was extremely tired and that job was just looking for any reason to let me go. And yes the ideal situation would be for us to have a bigger apartment or house and a separate caregiver for her. I cannot afford this though but pray that eventually I would be able to do this.
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Wow. I really feel for you. How completely, overwhelming. What state are you in?

Facilities like the one she has been accepted by tend to worry about the possibility of helping a patient with no where to go, once they have done all they can.

The fact that your mother now needs 24/7 care does not have anything to do with mental capacity, it has to do with her inability to do the daily activities of living, we all do to care for ourselves, like bathing and food preparation.

In terms of guilt it would be helpful if you looked at this realistically--in all likelihood she would be better cared for by someone who understands her medical issues and can better accommodate her needs.

Depending on your what state you are in it is really important to find out what agencies help seniors to navigate long term care. Since she did not loose any brain function it will give her the ability to choose facilities and tell you if everything is ok. It would help for her to regain as much physical capacity as possible, so if you can try to find somewhere that the health care providers understand the vital role nutrition plays in someones cardiovascular health. The journey could help you to avoid similar dietary pit falls.

Perhaps you can seek council with your mother, and use this time to heal old wounds. If she does not realize the harm she has caused you, this would be a good time to find forgiveness in your heart anyway. For one, it would allow you to free yourself from confusing any anger or resentment, you might understandably feel toward your mother's mistreatment in the past, with your understandable, inability to care for her today.

If you had a successful career and a bigger place, and chose to have your mother live with you, and could hire a home health aid, something tells me, despite the past that you would. Did her mistreatment contribute to your inability to care for her today? There is no point in your both suffering over this fact. The important thing now is to heal.

Look at the challenge of helping your mother to navigate the long term care health system as preparation for your own inevitable aging process. Understand that no social worker can force you to make an uninformed choice, but they will pressure you to make a choice, because they are under the pressure of deadlines. Kill them with kindness. Along these lines I would obtain documented evidence that your mother is of sound mind, and encourage those around her to respect her choices. If you are with her and they start to act as if she is not there by posing questions about her health to you, ignore them and let your mother answer.

I would not tell people directly responsible for your mother's care that she abused you. A caregiver, once asked me if my mother had ever spanked me, and I later realized it was because she was abusing my mother and searching for a way to justify it.

Jesus said, the kingdom of heaven is within. He did not say, just some people have the kingdom of heaven within. He said it as a matter of fact or truth. He did not discriminate. Job or no job, rich or poor, lucky kid, unlucky kid, everyone has the kingdom of heaven within. It seems everyone has to go within to find it. If we all did go within and find the heaven in our hearts. Ultimately, it is not about sacrificing ourselves for one another. All we can do is our very best, and that you want to for your mother makes her truly blessed.
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Yep. Too many existing problems to address and not enough solutions or options to reduce existing problems. Then if you foresee more problems will be added with living with aging parent, the problems will multiply. That will tip the scales even further to the point where more problems to solve and then need more solutions to solve those as well. Focus on solutions for separate living solution and how those will greatly reduce all existing problems you identified. Sounds like you have an idea of all the problems. So figure out how to get into a position where you can solve your problems first and then hopefully keep tabs on maintaining any additional problems that can occur with health. Good luck! Seriously, it just comes to mapping out where you want to be in 6-12 months or less that works for both of you without you taking on all problems. One person can only solve so many problems for themselves and others. Need more people to help in transition for change and create a new year that benefits both of you. Again, Good luck!
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Jeanne is right- do not even attempt to take your mom home - it would be a nightmare and truthfully she will get better care in a nursing home. You have more than enough on your plate as it is, and I'm sure you are underestimating the work involved in caring for your mom, not even considering the verbal abuse, which you should not put up with. Have the social worker help you with placement - this will be better for your mom and for you. As a Christian, you help your parents in a desperate situation, BUT this does not mean any obligation to do hands on care, just to see that they are safe. Remember, your life is valuable, the Lord love you and you are doing His will by working with the social worker to get your mother placed, where professionals can attend her.
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You are second guessing if you should even take this on.

No. Absolutely not. Under no circumstances. Do not consider moving your invalid mother who has always treated you as not good enough into your one bedroom apartment. It would be an unmitigated disaster.

Your mother needs 24 hour care. There are care centers that provide that. Mother will have to apply for Medicaid. Don't even talk to the social worker about how to get in-home help. Talk to her about what kind of facility your mother needs to meet her needs. Talk to her about who can help mother apply for Medicaid (or is she already on it?) Talk to her about specific facilities in the area that you should go look at. But be very clear that mother is not going home with you. Nope. Can't do that.

Other posters will no doubt share some horror stories with you. Pay close attention!
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