Mom refused to stay at nursing home after begging to go. How much do we owe our parents?

Follow
Share

My mother is 90 and has some mild dementia and bad balance issues and has recently been having even more trouble caring for herself due to a bad knee. She called me over and over and over again, begging me to take her to a nursing home, as she no longer wanted to live alone and realized she couldn't take care of herself and was scared of falling. I dropped everything I had on my plate - including taking care of my own health needs. I cancelled two important doctor appointments, including one physical therapy appointment that I had waited for for six weeks. I jumped through every hoop imaginable in order to visit facilities, then made numerous trips to her doctors office to get forms done and re-done because of their errors. I did everything I could in order to get everything taken care of ASAP and all the while, she was calling me and begging, "Please take me today." I haven't been sleeping because I've been so worried about her being on her own and I've been worried about leaving her at at a facility, too. I brought her there today and filled out tons more of paperwork, wrote the check for the deposit and first month's cost and gave them my credit card number to have on file and basically moved her in. After only being there for about four hours (with me there much of the time), she went into complete panic mode and insisted on going home. She refused to stay for even two weeks to try and get used to it. After all the begging and pleading for me to get her there right away, she said "I just didn't think it would be like this." So now we're back where we started and she can't care for herself properly and I feel like giving up. I see no end to the relentless crushing pressure of dealing with her and with my siblings, who all have varying opinions of what mother needs and who are quick to hurl insults and barbs at each other such as, "I do more than you do to for Mother - you do nothing." It's exhausting and it's taken a toll on my daughter and my marriage. I have no future and no hope as long as my Mother is alive. I have a mental disorder and so does my 22 year old daughter. In other words, we have enough problems of our own. Our lives have been consumed by this and I'm at the breaking point. I want to move far, far away, but my husband refuses. If I can't escape, I think I'll die. My parents weren't all bad, but they abused us when we were growing up and as a result, my siblings and I all still suffer keep emotional scars to this day. When I expressed my disappointment to Mother today that she wouldn't even try it for two weeks after begging so hard to be brought there to live, Mother said, "I took care of all of you for a long time. I said, "Yes, Mother, you took care of me for 19 years. I have helped take care of you for 22 years. I feel like we're sort of even. When does it end? How much of our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls do we owe our parents? And how can I escape, short of suicide?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
54

Answers

Show:
Nearly every person who moved into a nursing home has these times. It takes time to adjust. My mother made the decision that was necessary and I flew to make arrangements much like you did. Even though my dad (her husband) lived in the same facility and she knew it well. She knew the staff and that is was an excellent place. But it's a change and change is hard. It took her time to adjust.
I did visit every day, but I didn't have the background you have. I believe you have to simply refuse to have any more to do with this. If your siblings want to take care of her, then they can (you know they won't).

Your mother likely needs mental health care along with everything else. You have an obligation to yourself and your daughter. Your mother may not want to stay at the nursing home, but she is there. In your case, this should end the issue.

It's too bad that your credit card is on file. You may have to cancel the card if you can't get your mother's credit on there instead. If she has to apply for Medicaid, then that's fine. Provide the documentation for the process.

I see no way that you can go back to taking care of her. Please take care of yourself.
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree with Carol's response--You need to take care of yourself and your daughter--Only a few hours in a nursing home is not be the best way to judge the success of your mother's willingness to stay. Your question about how much do we owe our parents does beg an answer. It is my belief that we owe our parents respect and dignity as they age. How do we begin that discussion? Simply, when our parents can logically discuss some of the concerns as they age. So many times, family members don't discuss some of them most important issues about life--many skirt those hard to talk about issues. So to all of you who are reading this, please have discussion with the family regarding end life issues, nursing home placement, POA, and anything else so you to provide respect (pay back) to your parents so that when a issue arises you don't feel unprepared to assist and that you have beeen given "permission" by your parents to move forward with their wishes. Take care of yourself and get mom the help that she needs--
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I understand your feelings. Moved Mom to an ALF nearly six yrs. ago in my hometown. I have been listening to how she "hates it" for at least five of those years. At one point I also felt that if this is going to be my life for another five years, I don't want to live. (I'm the only child, and she is verbally abusive). Got much counseling, and now I feel ok in taking care of myself. When she was my age, she had a husband and they traveled and had lots of fun. I have the same right, now that I'm retired, and I'm not apologizing for it. My kids remind me that my responsibility is to see that she is in a safe environment, has 3 squares a day, and someone to make sure her meds are given safely. I visit once or twice a wk, but I encourage you to let trained people take over, and get mental health for yourself. Your mother has lived her life. You have a right to live yours.
Helpful Answer (15)
Report

On the practical point, how did you leave things with the NH (that you, after all, had bought and paid for)? If relations haven't broken down irretrievably, this is what you do: unsmilingly but not angrily, you take your mother there, you hand her over to the staff, you tell her you will be back in due course, you turn on your heel and you leave. Any siblings who wish to criticise can either come up with a better option or shut up.

If relations have broken down irretrievably, you call a sibling conference to be attended by anyone who wants to have a say. It is a case of "speak now, or forever hold thy peace." On the agenda are two items: one, your mother's needs (to be assessed and agreed on); two, how these are to be met.

if your mother is adamant that she wishes to remain at her own home, and assuming she has not yet lost mental capacity so that you cannot overrule this, you find out the names, contact details and rates of her local nursing/care agencies and cost out for her how much she will need to pay someone to provide her with secure care at home. If she's still interested and can afford it, make the arrangements.

These are the practical issues. The emotional issues, however, seem to be the bigger problem, by quite some distance. I quote: "I have no future and no hope as long as my Mother is alive." Come again? What does your therapist say about that? I think this is actually the point you need to address, isn't it.
Helpful Answer (11)
Report

Dear trying, can you help me understand....did you take your mother back home? It sounds like you did, but I can't believe the nursing home staff didn't support you in having her stay for the two week trial. Where are the things you moved in? Surely, since you paid the deposit and first month's fees, the room is still open.

Do you think you and as many siblings as possible could get your mother back to the NH? Get her to her room, say "I love you mom and I'll see you later." Then I agree, stay away for at least a week or two! Don't answer the phone when she calls. Call the nurse or social worker if you feel you need to check up on her. I also agree with asking the doctor for some anti-anxiety meds, even if it is just short term.

Next, sit down with those lovely siblings and set some limits as to who will do what and when. Put the plan in writing and give everyone a copy. Don't let anyone give you a guilt trip. Stay calm but firm.

Then, plan how you are going to take care of yourself, your daughter, and your marriage. Someone wrote the word "therapist" but I didn't see it in your post. If you are seeing a therapist already, great; if you are not, how about making an appointment now? Are you on anti-anxiety meds and something to help you sleep?

Hardest thing to do: stop letting your mom run your life. Yes, you care for her; yes she took care of you when you were a child; yes you need to make sure she is safe and taken care of, but whether or not she is going to be happy is not your job. You can't make another person feel happy anyway, so do what you can and then let go. Please, please, take care of yourself! Best wishes.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

You may have to get her declared incompetent. Or you might get her some anti- anxiety meds and try this again, but make NO contact for two weeks to give her time to settle in. You might also NOT help her at home (we had to do this) to make her realize she needs assisted living at the very least.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Why is at home care not an option? Your mother sounds like a narcissist who has become mentally incompetant, and you appear to be unable to say no to her. Make a decision and stick with it.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

The hardest thing for any of us to do, is to trade places, and parent our parents.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Excellent question, how much do we owe our parents.

I know my parents never were caregivers to their own parents because they lived out of State and would visit maybe one week per year. The siblings did most of the caregiving. Thus, my parents don't understand first hand the pressure and stress they have placed on me. I have no siblings and no children.

I am trying to help out the best I can and I am grateful they are still independent in their 90's and live alone with each other.... transportation is their only want since neither no longer drive. But I am very resentful because when my parents were my age [60's] they were traveling the world and enjoying life.

I am trying to lean my parents to other options, such as home delivery of groceries/curb-side delivery and I would go on-line and place the order. We tried it the other day and I thought it was a godsend, worked perfectly. Another option have home delivery of their mail instead of me going to the PO to pick it up. Those two options would save me a lot of time and limit the stress. But my parents give me excuses why neither is a good idea.

Tryingtying, I know how you feel. At times I think my parents will outlive me. The stress has created several serious health issues with me.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

It's so very hard to be the one to have to care for an elderly parent as I know from experience myself. Though only for the past four years( I can't believe you lasted 22!!!) it puts a toll on your own health and relationships and you are not wrong to feel anger, frustration, guilt and above all resentment. From reading others comments on this sight I have found that there is some weird comfort in knowing that so many others are going through the same things as we are. You are NOT alone is your feelings and the one and most important advice I can give you is to take of yourself first!!!! If you don't, you will have serious health issues as I did and won't be able to deal with your mom's. Your siblings need to step it up and help out or you can just refuse to be the sole caregiver and see what happens. At least you did get your mom to go to the facility, which is a good start, as many elderly, like mine won't even consider it. There may come a time when you won't have to ask you mom whether she wants to or not and it sounds like that may not be too far away. Join a caregiver group to help you with your anger issues and to understand exactly what dementia is and what happens to the parent. It will help you mentally and emotionally from one who has been there. Hope this helps a little. My prayers go out to you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.