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After my mother was in ICU for 4 weeks from a heart attack and diagnosed with diabetes at the time, I agreed to move my mother into my house after her hospital stay because she now has no short-term memory. She is also on a few medications that she cannot manage herself. She has been living with me for over 1 year and it has been an extreme strain on my family. I work full-time in a high stress IT job while raising a family. My husband has been a saint through all of this but his patience is out as he is also dealing with an elderly mother in assisted living long distance. My children are stressed out. My health is suffering from this. She has taken over our home. I love my mother and she deserves the best as she has cared for her mother but she was retired at the time with no other responsibilities. When my sister and I talk about assisted living with her, she cries and pitches a temper tantrum. She says we don't want her anymore. She doesn't see what she is doing to us, especially my family. I have become angry and resentful to my mother. I don't know how to get her out of my house into assisted living. Unfortunately, I do not have a power of attorney yet. Can someone please advise?

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Legally where do you stand.

Well. Legally, you are not required to house your mother in your own home. And, once you have made suitable alternative arrangements, if the only thing that prevents her from living elsewhere is her refusal to do so, her refusal to accept the options you propose, you cannot either be considered guilty of neglect if you evict her.

But actually, based on what you've written, I don't think the legal aspects are the obstacle.

I think the real obstacle is that you and your sister want your mother not to be upset, not to be throwing tantrums, not to accuse you of being wicked ungrateful children.

What you both have to come to terms with is the reality that your mother may, probably will, be upset when you arrange and carry out her relocation; but that *that* *is* *okay*. She won't like it, she will have every right to say so; she will even, if she is capable, be free to make her own, different arrangements and act on those instead. But whichever way up, she will be leaving your house and it is for you to propose how and when. Just stop hoping she will come to recognise the logic of this and learn to love it. It isn't that she doesn't understand, it's that she doesn't *agree*. [Importantly, it may be also that she fears the other options; and the right placement could do a lot to put that right.]

What it boils down to is this. You are left with a stark choice between wrecking your family home and defying your mother. That is a lousy choice to have to make, which nobody will envy you, and everybody will sympathise with how miserable it is.

But if you upset your mother, it's likely to be temporary. And even if it isn't - let's say she vows never to speak to you again and actually follows through, which is improbable, and would be self-destructive on her part, but let's just say - your mother will come to no harm from it. She will still be well housed, cared for and protected, just not by you.

Whereas if you wreck your family home, that's forever.

Start looking in earnest, I should.
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To quote from Samuel Shem's novel 'The House of God' - "placement comes first."

As your mother becomes distressed by this topic, stop discussing it with her for the time being. But meanwhile, first find your place. Research facilities near you - perhaps your sister would like to do the same? - visit them, figure out costs and funding, shortlist some, find out about waiting lists and possible admission dates. Once you have a clear plan that both works for your family and offers a good quality of life for your mother, you will feel more positive and less cruel about the whole thing.

At that point, take your mother to see it (or two or three, if there's a choice of equally good options) and arrange a pre-admission assessment. You do not need your mother's formal agreement to this because it commits her to nothing; so you will not have to bully or browbeat her into accepting the suggestion. Have a good look round. Have lunch. See what activities are on offer. Make it a day out. Do your very best to find a community that you're confident she'll feel welcome in.

How can I put it... the thing is, if it becomes apparent that you are telling your mother the plan, rather than consulting her about it, it will be much more difficult for her to mount an organised opposition.

It is up to your mother, up to a point, where she lives. She can take her choice of facilities, or she can make her own arrangements (in theory).

What she cannot do is dictate to you and your husband who lives in your house. She cannot decide she will live at your house any more than she can decide she will move in with Mr Trump. You do not need her permission to remove her.

So, time moves on, all is agreed in theory, and we get to the signing contracts and moving in bit. Now, unless developments have made her legally incompetent and you can take steps to take over, you will need your mother's consent.

If you wheedle and cajole and persuade, you are asking her not only to consent to the move but to say, in effect, that she is happy about it.

Whereas if you say: "this has been arranged, the move in date is x, Mrs Manager is looking forward to welcoming you, sign here" - if she wants to start a fight, she'll find she has to do all of the work herself because you're not joining in. You will still need her consent, but she can give it passively, without being forced to be involved in the details of the choice.

Dealing with the "you don't want me any more" type upsets. Your mother has been very ill, and she is sad and depressed and possibly frightened (by the way, do have her mood checked out by her doctor if it hasn't already been addressed). That's why she's clinging to you, so tightly that it hurts.

Removing her fingernails gently does not mean that you don't sympathise. Offer heaps of comfort and reassurance; but be clear in your own mind that loving your mother, and wanting her to be around enjoying a good quality of life for as long as possible, does not require you to give her your house. And your marriage. And your children's home life. And your sanity...
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dwbnola Oct 6, 2018
Thank you so much for your time and thoughtful response. I agree that it is something that should be taken slowly and done with compassion. Unfortunately, when we try to insert it into coversations gently as the opportunity presents itself, she immediately behaves like a 2 year old who pitches a temper tantrum. We try to calm her down and speak logically but a 2 year old doesn't understand logic. She just expects me and my sister to give up everything to take care of her. Her mother was the same way. I guess I'm at the point that I need to know legally where I stand. I know she will not sign a power of attorney so what do I do?
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Do not use a place for mom to help you. They actually did not listen to one word I said and had places that were 2k a month more than the budget and tried to guilt me into covering the 2k. What kind of organization does that to anyone in one of the hardest situations we will ever face. It improves their commissions and that is all they care about. Rant over!

You will have to let her cry and throw a temper tantrum, what would you do if she was 2 behaving that way? She is manipulating you and it has worked for her.

Is she able to take care of herself? If she is maybe senior housing would be a good solution, you can buy a pill dispenser with a timer to notify her it's time for meds.

Heart attacks cause depression, has she had any therapy to overcome this? My dad crashed mentally after his and it took some tough love to get him to care again.

You can not let her destroy your family, you agreed for a short stay and now she needs to get her life and future on track.

I would tell her that you are trying to avoid not wanting her anymore and that is why she needs to get her a place. Just because she took care of her mom does not obligate you and your family. She is not entitled to hijack your life, your children and husband are your first priority.

I would check for assistance for her in your state, there may be loads or there may not.

POA does not give you the right to put her in AL, this is typically a needs diagnosis from a health care professional. However, you have the right to move her out of your house whether you have one or not.

Be prepared for the guilt trip of your life, be strong and determined. Your children and husband need time with you and you need less stress. Like 40% of caregivers die first, are you willing to leave your family without you so she can have what she wants regardless of how it affects anyone?

You need to make sure she is safe and cared for. Her wants and happiness are not part of the equation.
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dwbnola Oct 6, 2018
Thank you. I was not aware of that statistic that 40% of caregivers die first. My husband always says he is worried I will end up in the hospital. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. It was very helpful
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So sorry. POA has to be assigned. So hope Mom can make that decision.
I guess you have sat down and explained that you cannot care for her any longer. That the arrangement was temporary and she needs more care than you can give her. Maybe, Mom with my job, house, the kids and a husband, I just don't have time to give you the care you need. I am exhausted and I feel you deserve better/more. At an AL you will have a room of your own. People to socialize with. Activities to go to and be involved in.

I like Amijoy's suggestion. If your area is like mine, you may not have many to chose from. Call for a tour and see if you can have lunch (usually the biggest meal) or dinner there. Try to explain to Mom, that this is not an option. She will need to pick a place to live. Tell her sister and you will visit. Take her out. Just like when she was in her home. Unlike her caring for her Mom, you have responsibilities for your children and work she didn't have.

TG ur sister agrees with you. Makes the decision to move Mom easier. I understand the resentment. It will all work out. You just have to stay firm but loving, that Mom has no option here.
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dwbnola Oct 6, 2018
Thank you for your response. She has been so closed minded and refuses to move. My sister was able to at least get her to look at a place but she cried the whole time. Then as my sister was leaving the facility, my mother opened the car door to get out and told my sister she has to wander the street to find a place to live since we didn't want her anymore. A lot of drama.
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Bottom line here is that this situation cannot continue the way it is. Your marriage is suffering. Your family is suffering. Your health is suffering. What will you do if you mess up at work because of this and heaven forbid, get fired?

You know if you do nothing, things will continue to deteriorate. First, get POA while you still can. Make your sister the secondary. You don’t need to tell Mom anything about the POA other than it’s necessary so that you won’t be casting about in the future with no power to handle her affairs should it become necessary.

You will need to tolerate tears, guilt trips and temper tantrums from Mom when you tell her that you cannot continue to live this way. She’s forgotten that living in YOUR home is a privilege and not a right. But don’t bring that up.

Tell her you will spend some time touring facilities with her. If she has medical needs, make sure the facility you and she choose can handle her needs. You will spend one month of weekends touring facilities with her. That should be enough facilities for her to choose from. If she can’t self-pay, you’ll need to file for Medicaid. To make the whole process easier, you might want to consider an agency like “A Place For Mom” to help. Don’t devote hours and days arguing with Mom about a facility or trying to placate her. This is the way it has to be because you cannot do it any more and stay sane and healthy. You tried and it didn't work. Don’t assign blame or make accusations.

You are a grown woman with a job, children, a home and a life. Life is all about changes and you need to make some.

Good luck. Come back and let us know what happened.
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dwbnola Oct 6, 2018
Thank you. Yes, we have done all that you have suggested but her behavior never changes. My sister was even able to get her to tour one facility but she was crying the whole time and refused to be open minded. I know I need to just do what I have for my health and my family.
Thank you
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