My Mom (97) and refuses any outside help. Any advice?

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I have lived with her for 15 years and I am getting tired. My mom is getting more frail and is falling some. I am with her almost 24/7 with no help from my brother who lives 15 minutes away. We have a petsitter who comes occasionally so I can get out for an hour or so to play tennis. My mom will not allow anyone else to "babysit" her. I used to be very active but now I spend my days inside watching her fall asleep in front of the TV. I hate this life right now. I gave up my job 8 years ago to be with her so I haven't gotten a paycheck since then, although I do live "rent free" and she pays the bills. She says I can go do whatever I want and she will be fine at home, but that is not the case. As other posters have said about useless siblings....I hate my brother because he refuses to help out in any way. And I REALLY hate it when he says to me, "It must be nice to be retired at such a young age" (58) My mom is so stubborn but I need a break.

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babalou is right. Hire some help, then you can go fishing. She will attempt to bully you into not going. Go anyway.
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Lindaz, sounds good to me! I'll have to wait for my brother to return from his three week vacation in the Caribbean (!) before I can talk to him. I think it would do him some good to spend a few hours doing what I do 24/7.
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She's 97 and still running your life. You need to put your foot down and tell mom and your brother you are taking some time off. Give them a definite date and some phone numbers of adult day care, ALF and go. Tell them your trip is paid for (even if there is no trip) and go. Please help yourself and her, to heck with your brother! But if they are forced to deal with the issues perhaps you can get some help overall. This way they have to walk in your shoes for awhile.
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First you hire a 'laundress" to help out with the laundry. Then you hire a "maid" to help with the cleaning. You might hire a "cook" to help out with the cooking. In truth, these are all folks from a home health agency, but it's how you frame it for you mom that may make a difference. I'm told sometimes this works. My mother couldn't be kept at home with "help" because "help" made her nervous....what if, what if, what if. She couldn't figure out how to direct them. In truth, if we'd realized the extent of her cognitive impairment at that point, if we'd gotten her medicated properly for anxiety and depression, if we'd realized that WE needed to do the directing of the staff, she might still be at home.
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Joan, it is not uncommon for elderly seniors to refuse assistance. If you are looking specifically for respite care so you get get out of the house for a few hours, you may try hiring a homemaker/companion to do little this around the house, but also keep an eye on your mom. The rates for service varies, but hiring through a licensed agency is better than hiring someone off the street. You can also contact your local COA or AAA. Additionally, there is also the option of adult day care or a senior center, where your mom could interact and socialize with other people. Good luck ~
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Navymom314, my brother has been married four times....I'll keep your sister in mind, just in case! :). Speaking of my brother being married four times....his issue is he has very little patience if things don't go his way. He wouldn't last three days with my mom. And I guess I should point out that, other than my mom not wanting someone to care for her, she is a wonderful, sweet lady who all my friends adore. She is not in the least way demanding and WANTS me to go out and have fun. She just thinks she can be on her own, alone, and she can't be. I really do love her and have it much easier than a lot of caregivers. A lot of my frustration is with my brother. We moved here from 700 miles away to be near him 8 years ago, so he could see mom more. We live 15 minutes away and he never comes to visit and rarely calls. He is a huge source of my frustration and "mild" depression.
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Joan, would you like to join me on a month long cruise? I could use a cabinmate to share the cost ;)I want to run away from home for a month. LOL I am in a similar situation and have a thread about caring for my mom so my siblings will have an inheritance. Why is it that people think if you live with and care for your mother you have a blessed life? NO we do not have a blessed life, we are doing what our siblings will not do or what our parent will not pay for, as in a live-in caregiver. We are the firewall that makes sure that the nursing home or the hospital or the hospice does not take every cent of our parents estate.So we do the hard work. We do the care and our siblings will eventually reap the benefits. In the last few years the social security dept has started to deny payment for final care for ss recipients. They are calculating the savings of denying costs because the SS recipient is no longer alive to dispute the denial of a claim. They will say in brochures that all of the expenses are covered but there are way too many cases of people saying that the final hospital bills are being denied for various technical reasons. As far as your brother goes it is soooo unfortunate that we cannot choose our siblings but if he's interested I have an older sister that would be right up his alley. She's a taker not a giver.
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Yup. Been there, done that with my mom, but mine was a smaller issue. My mom (who lives in independent living and is 95) couldn't remember to take her meds. I kept wanting to bring in help and she kept saying no.

Until she didn't take her coumadin for 3 days and we wound up in the ER for 4 hours with a bad foot (probably threw a small clot) and had a follow-up visit with a vascular surgeon. At that point, I said, we ARE getting people in to give you your meds, because it's affecting ME and I won't put up with it. She backed down and I have girls coming in 2X a day. It's worked out VERY well, but it took me standing up to my very stubborn mom (my dad was military too, so I can be a drill sergeant when I need to be). Your mom needs you, not the other way around. Exert your power over this situation - you need to take care of yourself first, or you'll wind up like Chicago1954's sister. You don't want that.
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Oh, ya. Been there, done that. I was the sibling refusing to help - because mom needed to be in a NH. She outlived the sister that was doing all that you are and she was left alone long enough to fall and go to the hospital. From there, she was unable to live alone.

Hopefully, your mom is paying your retirement and health insurance, or you are on your husband's. Because, you will need your own social security within 5 years.

After my sister's death, mother tried to pull all of this on my other sister, who is 76. LOL. Mother would not let her have visitors or even leave the house. Nothing I would say, could convince her to get up and leave. She stayed 6 weeks, until her husband stepped in and drug her out of there.
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Texarkana, I like your sense of humor and what you say is true. I have to do it.
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