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I'm at a loss as many here are at times. I took on the responsibility of caring for my mom when my brother and his wife treated her poorly during her time with them. Our agreement was to swap out every 6 months so she could stay in a home environment but they listened in on her phone conversations, would not include her in discussions with her doctor and did not want her which became obvious at the onset. After a few months they tell me she'd be much happier living with me and they proceed to buy a plane ticket for her without even coordinating a date with me. Needless to say, my resentment has built up and I want nothing to do with either one of them and they are not welcome in my home. Long story, short--I've been pretty much unable to get my mom to get involved with our local senior center and they're an adult 'daycare' nearby as well. She will go out to have her nails done very 6 weeks or so and occasionally go out to brunch at a local diner. All day long she sits with the TV on & sound muted and I play country music for her on my Amazon Echo while I'm at work during the day. She's taking double or triple the amount of Xanax most take and we tried to reduce her dosage. She claimed the minimally reduced dosage was causing her to panic and not sleep, so it became a hill i wasn't going to die on; she went back to her normal dosage.


She's also pressuring me to get a dog but she drops pills on the floor from time to time and would feed the dog from the table I'm sure when I wasn't home. I'd like a dog but the risk to the dog is too great, so that's out for now. I'm employed full time at a local college in the IT department and my job is stressful & can sometimes require extra hours and/or weekend work. It's all becoming just too overwhelming and would like my life and home back but the guilt of having her move to assisted living also looms.


At first I thought maybe take baby steps: get her to go to the 'day care' twice a week so she can interact and be in a more social environment and then approach moving to a nearby facility later. In fact, I had a visit all set up at the adult daycare, when 2 days before we were to visit she told me she didn't want to go, ugh! Now I'm also considering retiring from work either later this year or next and there's no way I want to stay home while she just sits, doesn't do the minimum pedaling exercises or use her spirometer. I even set up exercise reminders on the Echo but she just ignores them, except the reminders that tell her when to take her meds. I don't have any family support, but I've set up 2 caregivers to bathe her twice a week and they're here for a couple of hours during each visit. One in particular she's very fond of.


She's lucid but her memory is failing to be sure. I guess the question I'm asking is: How can I approach a woman who lives in a cocoon, and actually does like people, to take a chance and go to daycare OR to consider visiting an assisted living facility nearby. I've been working with her primary doctor somewhat but she's adamant against anything social or that may help her quality of life. I'm drained and am ready to give her an ultimatum to either participate in the adult daycare program or we'll start visiting living facilities. She'll resist both vehemently, but maybe less so with the daycare. She has minimum assets so I'm not sure what's available for her in Vermont where I live. Sorry this was so lengthy, but I wanted to try and paint an accurate picture of my situation. Thanks for any advice.

I saw the comments about don't get a dog and thought "eh? Dog? What dog?!" But, oh, I see.

This *could* be a way in, mind you. If any of the day centres you've been looking at ever have visiting pet therapy - and it is a popular choice of activity - see if you can get your mother booked in for a session to coincide with it. It might be just the incentive she needs to give the place a fair try.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I think you are looking at your mother as the woman she was rather than the woman she is, media attention on amazing nonagenarians skews the reality that most people who reach great age are tired and plagued with countless physical and mental deficits, both large and small. If you are willing to accompany her on her initial visits to the seniors centre she may be more willing to give it a try although she may never be as enthused as you hope, change is difficult, she has already been through many and she may just prefer to live quietly. I expect the xanax isn't helping with her motivation but it will take a good doctor (does she have a geriatrician?) to help her gradually wean off it, it is highly addictive.
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Reply to cwillie
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As much as you wrote, I still don't quite understand why you are upset. Could you clarify a few things so I could understand better?

Are you upset because you want her to move out eventually and she is not willing to take baby steps to get there?

Is that because you want to retire and don't want to be home watching your mom just sitting around all day?

If your mother is against going to daycare or participating in social activities then maybe she doesn't like interacting with people/strangers. From what you wrote, she seems more comfortable just being at home and listen to her music and watch TV.

She has 2 caregivers and seems to be able to keep herself occupied without demanding too much of your time. Is this true? If so, why can't she keep on being at your place?

I agree with the above posters. Do not get a dog. Not yet.
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Reply to polarbear
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Good question. Thank you for the details.
Major moves can be traumatic to older adults, but difficult to recognize. Pay attention for subtle changes. When I talk to family members, and even my own, I explain how life is like a cycle. From my perspective, your mother's strong desire for a dog is similar to that of like a 8 or 9 year old. And even the decision to move...kinda sudden and impulsive...similar to a teenage, maybe? At any rate, I would not get a dog. But that's just me. Maybe fostering a pet would be an option if you decide its something you want to try. But, as always, pay attention to changes in your mom's behavior.
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Reply to Loric986
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Do not get a dog.
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Reply to BlackHole
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