Mom signed the papers to leave AL at the end of March with my brother taking her home. I don't agree. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Mom signed the papers to leave AL at the end of March with my brother taking her home. I don't agree. Any advice?

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My 86 year old mom has been in AL since October after her 5th fall last year. She was hospitalized, went to rehab and then to AL at the same facility. My brother told her he will take her to her home because she hates it there so very much. What do I do? I don't agree with his plans and I know exactly what will happen when she gets home. I do not want to be the coordinator of her care and I know I'll be forced into it. I have been watching over Mom since Dad died 7 years ago and my heart was finally at ease when she went to AL. My brother's plan is to have her call one of us 3 times a day, and if she doesn't call, we go to her house.

In a perfect world this could work, but Mom is ~very~ controlling, has said for her entire life that she's the mother and we are to respect her, while she has thought nothing of hurting us or caring one bit that we have lives. She won't wear a medical alert, won't plan for anything (never has) and will NOT listen to me. She says, "stop talking to me like a nurse". I can't help it, I am one, and told her that I can be her daughter but not her caretaker.

Please, if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them. I can't seem to get any calmness in my heart because of this. The underlying stress is killing me.

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Amy, you are a nurse and you know what you are talking about. Unless your brother is an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in elder care, he does not outrank you and he is talking through his… hat, is I believe the polite way to put it. I admire you for not going round to his house and slapping him, frankly. What an idiot.

Nearly ten years ago, my mother had a full hip replacement, elective. It was arranged that on discharge she would spend four weeks sharing her sister's ALF apartment and having PT, and then return home with a full care package. All sorted.

Ten days in I get a triumphant call from my mother to say she's home. "You're WHAT? How come?!" Oh darling [my elder brother] gave her a lift.

Darling elder brother did this on a Sunday afternoon, without so much as putting in a courtesy call to social services or her GP's office. He thought he was being a knight in shining armour. Actually he was being an irresponsible twat. I still haven't forgiven him and it was nearly nine years ago.

So your brother's rose-tinted view has made my blood boil. CRETIN. Ok, though, if that's how he wants it. You have given them a qualified opinion. They are choosing to act against your judgement and advice. Fine. Mother goes home, he has officially taken responsibility for her welfare, you wash your hands of it. Put it in writing. Wish them the best of luck with their exciting new arrangements and let them get on with it.

You will, of course, have to harden your heart quite substantially, and buy a new phone, but this is your only route out of the bullshit guilt and resulting stress. I hope you can do it, because I feel SO frustrated on your behalf.
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Amy, you're trying to make your mom someone she's not. She's not changing, so either you need to change or you'll be miserable. I agree with Countrymouse. You've stated your expert opinion and neither your mother or brother will listen. Fine. They're on their own. Just don't let them take you down with them. Your mom is living EXACTLY the way she wants to. Now YOU get to do that too! Visit your mom at home, but do NOT put yourself on the "emergency call" list. Let your brother take that responsibility, since he's the one who's set it up. If she breaks a hip, she breaks a hip. It's her life and her choice.
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Tell your brother straight out, if he takes her, he is totally on his own. Don't take any calls, don't manage any care, don't intervene when she gets nasty with him. Tell him "You make this bed and you will lie in it." Do not enable stupidity.
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How do you tell her?

"Mother dear. Do you remember mentioning how annoying you found it when I speak to you in my nurse's tone of voice? And I understand that you would. After all, you are my mother, not my patient.

"But here's the thing. I AM a trained, experienced nursing professional. I cannot help taking a professional view of your health, safety and welfare. Now, I realise that when I try to advise you it doesn't help because, instead of listening to what I say, you feel annoyed and defensive. So it is not only frustrating, it is counterproductive for me to be involved in looking after you. It makes things worse, not better, for us both.

"Fortunately, there are many other people who will be happy to give you any help you need. [Fred] has already said that he will contact you three times every day to make sure you're ok, and I will be helping him by putting him in touch with any outside services - such as nurses or home helps - as necessary. And, of course, I'll be visiting and calling you as normal, just like I did when you were living in your ALF apartment, only I'll be there as your daughter, not as your care-taker.

"And we'll see how it goes. If you're worried, or if you're not managing, you can always let us know and we can think about what to do next. How do you feel about that?"

Your mother will, of course, come up with a long, long list of things you - you wicked ungrateful child - should be doing for her. And to each and every one, you answer "but how can I do that? You won't let me."

You also take notes. You write down a list of what she says she wants. It is a racing certainty that at least a few of them will be mutually exclusive. Organise the list and read it back to her. "Can't be done, mother," you say, rubbing your chin ruefully.

The really important thing to remember is that at the end of this and any similar conversation, you get to get up and walk away. And that is something you are free to do at any time. Never forget it. Get up, and walk away. Speak kindly to your mother, understand her myriad anxieties and dissatisfactions, but at the end of it, get up, and walk away.
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Absolutely agree with CM he dun it he can pick up the pieces. No way nohow did you agree to this so don't be bullied into getting dragged into Mom's care. Pull up your big girl panties but make sure they are iron clad. To h*** with YOU cauzing strike in the family he has already cauzed it so making bad feelings with him is nothing to what he is doing to you. Quite likely mom would prefer to be at home, most people do but she is the one who has made that choice and is presumed competent to do so so don't enable her and forget the guilt. She won't wear a medical alert so if she falls so be it, her problem not yours. Every thing has been done to keep her safe. DO NOT LIFT A FINGER TO HELP unless you want to be her slave for many years to come.
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"My brother's plan is to have her call one of us 3 times a day, and if she doesn't call, we go to her house."

Yes. Your BROTHER'S plan. So, mom can call HIM 3 times a day if she needs to and HE can deal. That's the only way it would be in my world were he my brother.

What everyone else said, too..
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Leave town, even of it is only one county over and even if you need to commute to work. Visit a friend or stay at an extended stay hotel. Do not answer the phone, advise him you will be out of pocket for an undetermined amount of time. Fib, say you and your family are visiting a friend. Escape the day before she is to go home, so he can deal with it from the onset.
Reintroduce yourself after 2 to 3 weeks when they have had a chance to meet their new reality. Your brothers actions have created a fork in the road, that is the best time to introduce a major change....he took the I initiative to make a change, so he needs to deal with it. You need to take the opportunity to introduce your own major change, passing the primary care giver baton. You can drop in and out on your own terms.

If he wanted to bring mom home on his own back, I would applaud him, but if he did it at your expense and without your blessing, he needs to experience the consequence of his action.

Not easy dealing with family dynamics and expectations.

Take care
L
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Maybe she should call your brother 3 times a day and he can run over there. It's a toss up which will come first - he'll either get tired of it or she'll have another nasty fall and end up back where she was. If you're working you can't just drop everything and run in any event.
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Ashlynne, Eyerishlass,Countrymouse, blannie, Veronica91 and StandingAlone Thank you ALL for being there. You've really lifted my spirits tonight.
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Just got back from the store with a 6 pack of big girl pants and opened up the computer to your answer, Countrymouse. It's almost as though you know my mother. I was going the write the beginning of what I wanted to say and ask for more assistance on finishing my thoughts. Mom has a way of turning conversations like this into a mess and ending by calling me an ungrateful child. I DO care and your response to her makes that clear. I'll be forever grateful for your response and those of everyone else. Feels good to know you are all there.
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