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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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Joan, you are going to have to put your foot down and get ready for the fall out but dig your heels in deep,your life depends on it.Let her holler, deep breathing will do her good.If she tries the "I'LL die if you aren't here" get her a medic alert necklace to call 911.I mean what is she going to do, put you in a headlock to keep you from going out the door. Her weapons are guilt and manipulation.You can't make her happy but you can keep her safe from her own poor insight into her situation.Just put it to her it's either let caregivers give you some respite so you can at least play a game of tennis or AL here she goes and maybe put some cotton in your hears for all the yelling, she must have good lungs.
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Freqflyer, ha ha re: my brother......he is the kind of person who is mad at me for keeping my my mom alive for so many years. He could have had his inheritance years ago but I am the evil sister who has done everything possible to keep my mom around. Seriously, that's the way he is. He wrote me a scathing email last year saying how I am trying to be "Saint Joan". He's a jerk. Period.
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She is mentally alert but is forgetful. She'll ask the same question three times in 30 minutes. She likes to walk without a cane, but shouldn't. I just metioned to her the other day that maybe we could have someone come in for a few hours every other day so I could get out and she said "I don't want that". I tried that one time and all we did was argue. My dad had Alzheimer's and she is very aware of her own memory problems now and that scares her. We live in a very nice 55+ community with hundreds of things she could be doing but she does not want to socialize with anyone (accept me). My dad was in the military and she had to entertain a lot of people over the years and hated it. She just wants ME with her and no one else because, in her words, she doesn't need anyone to watch over her. She knows all the things we tried with my dad, like adult day care, and she refuses any such thing. We have a very nice ALF near here and I took her there for lunch one day and she cried while we were sitting at the table. She thought I was plotting to put her there because we had to "trick" my dad into going to a nursing home. I feel sorry for her because she is scared of suddenly being frail and forgetful but I think I'm just going to have to put my foot down and hire someone and deal with the arguments and fighting.
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JoanMc, of course your Mom will refuse outside help, she has you to do all the work.

I am dealing with something similar with my parents [both in their mid-90's] but they still live on their own in their own house, and I live in my own house. My parents refuse to hire people to help them out, they don't want strangers in the house, yada, yada, yada.

Finally I had an ah ha moment, I started to back off on doing things for my parents, told them I was dealing with my own age related decline [I am pushing 70] so now I am beginning to hear Dad say he will need to hire someone to do this and that.... so far he hasn't, maybe he was trying to guilt me into helping.... but I am digging in my heels.

Could it be that your brother really wanted your Mom to move into a retirement community years ago because he was able to see into the future and see how exhausting caring for an elder 24/7? Maybe it's tough love on his part.
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Is she mentally sound? I mean this knowing she is 97 and there will be some age-related issues but I'm really asking if she has any form of dementia? You sound as if you are rapidly getting burnt out doing this and you need help. Since your brother is useless how about adult day care for mom and then you could go back to work, at least PT, and start up a new life and make new friends. Senior centers are also an option and they often come with a form of transportation. You can also check with your local Council on Aging to have mom assessed to see what options they can suggest for her (and you in terms of relief). Hope this helps, Linda
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