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My mother has been living with my husband and I going on 5 years now. In that time period she has had 2 strokes, which fortunately didn’t cause any issues with her limbs but did a little cognitive damage. She has had a heart attack, pneumonia, numerous UTI’s to the point her urologist put a catheter in. Many hospital stays due to dehydration. Last year she had C. Diff twice. We’ve done skilled nursing to get her stronger, home health care, asked her to drink more water, walk around some. With all of that going on, we have included her in every family event, birthdays, holidays and vacations.


We have made reservations to go the the beach for a week, which I have not shared with her. My husband and daughter don’t want her to go, because they want a real vacation. Not one that consist of “catering” to her many needs. She can’t get in the pool, she can’t walk on solid ground much less sand. My husband doesn’t want to be in charge of the wheelchair to push her around on the beach. I have given up all of my interest because when we plan to do something she literally gets sick or falls down and we are at the ER. I try not to think it’s on purpose but it does at times feel that way. All she does all day is sit in her room watching tv, playing on her phone or sleeping. When she does come downstairs with me she wants to talk about the past with my dad (they have been divorced for over 40 years and it was an abusive relationship). When I tell her I’m not going to talk about that stuff, She tells her sister and my siblings on the phone that she has to watch what she says cause I’m just so put out with her. Tells them how tense things are. I have lost it with her when she pulls her toenails off and bleeds everywhere as she is on a blood thinner and is anemic. 😡She literally only comes downstairs twice a day if that.


I know I deserve a trip without the responsibility of all that is her. But I know I will have all the passive aggressive or guilt comments when I get back. Or my sister and her sister will have something to say yet they have been of no help in the 5 years I’ve had her. We tried to put her in AL but she just doesn’t have the money for that. Which by the was 6 months ago and I still get to hear about how that made her feel. 🤦🏻‍♀️ I don’t know what I’m asking for...guess I just needed to vent in a safe place. 😓

Your family is screaming for help and your attention. Even though you are the primary caregiver, they are hugely affected by having to cater everything to your mother. Believe me, you can get sick and drop dead, and your mother will still be living. You need to find a way to get her into a facility, for the sake of you and your marriage. You deserve your life too. So do your family.
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lealonnie1 Jan 9, 2020
Well said. I think the numbers are horrific; something like 35% of care givers die BEFORE the elder they're caring for!!
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I hope you’ll go to the beach without your mom, enjoy the time with your husband and daughter, and have a wonderful, guilt free time. And I also hope that upon your return you’ll feel so refreshed you’ll be ready to institute some new boundaries with your mom. She’s a guest in your home, and you’re a daughter and caregiver, she should feel welcome but not able to dictate or dominate. And you should be comfortable and not tense and guilty when you know you’re doing your best. Enjoy the sand and sun!
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DILKimba Jan 11, 2020
AMEN!!!
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I was always taught the best defense is a good offense. So tell moms sister and your siblings “My family needs a break after 5 years of constant care and stress. It’s obvious that you understand how difficult it is since none of you have ever stepped in to help. Here are the choices: one of you can come here to care for her while we are gone, or we will be putting her in a respite care facility and they will have your names and numbers to call if there is a problem while we are gone. Unless the house catches fire, we do not wish to be contacted. If you choose respite care I do not want to hear one negative remark from any of you judging my choice. If you choose to come and stay with her “‘May the odds be ever in your favor.” Then allow them to choose. Don’t say a word to mom till they arrive and/or you drop her off. Let her know that aunt sally or her other daughter is in charge while you are away. Tell her you love her and hope she has a wonderful time, and that you’ll look forward to hearing about her adventures when you return and you’ll share yours with her as well. Don’t even tell her where you are going.
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ArtistDaughter Jan 11, 2020
Perfect!
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Yes. It’s common for overindulged mothers to wind up in the ER when the caretaking daughter goes out of town. I personally know of two that this happened with during the holidays. I agree, hard to prove or understand how it’s on purpose but it happens.

I would set up quarterly respite on your mom’s dime.

If her other daughters want to spare her the expense and keep her, great, but plan your trips for when she is on respite. It’s not contingent on anyone being willing. It’s about your standing up for what you and your family need.

You don’t need her permission. Rethink having to be wherever she is. I assume she’s free to move if she’s unhappy about you taking some time. I’m indignant for you. Sorry. At least think about it. Enjoy your vacation.

note: I see ITRR and I had basically the same thought. Worth saying twice so I’ll leave it. You go girl.
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Get mother into respite care for the time you and your family go on vacation. When you get back, after feeling what it's like to have some peace of mind and freedom for a while, apply for Medicaid on behalf of your mother and get her placed into a Skilled Nursing Facility asap, regardless of how it 'makes her feel.' How has SHE made YOU feel for all these years of caring for her, reminding you it's never good enough ANYWAY?

I have an extremely passive-aggressive mother myself, to the point of insanity actually. I read a terrific article on that subject last night and am sharing the link with you in hopes that you will recognize the behavior and how it's designed to drive you crazy:

https://www.liveyourtruestory.com/examples-of-passive-aggressive-behaviour-communication/

I have found the article to be VERY helpful in identifying certain behaviors my mother shows me that I DETEST, and how to react (or better yet, how NOT to react and feed the issue).

Go on vacation. Have fun. Place mother where she can have other people her own age to vent and complain to. She'll be fine AND she'll have a whole team of care givers to cater to her. It's a win-win.

Best of luck!
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Takincare Jan 9, 2020
Ccompletely agree
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You really need to get away without her in tow. You and your family need this time to recharge and reconnect, focus on the family instead of mom and her wants and needs. Taking her with only creates more hardship and work eliminating any enjoyment or relaxation for everyone. You said she doesn't have the funds for AL or skilled nursing facility, begin application for Medicaid now. She may actually enjoy having others to interact with and may be able to stay at the facility as medicare pending. Your local senior services center should be able to assist you with paperwork. Make sure to make and keep at least 2 copies of everything. 1 for your files and 1 for just incase something gets lost or misplaced. It kind of sounds like your husband and daughter are also burned out, but mainly shouting out loud that they miss YOU and what they had in the past as far as a closer family dynamic. Mom knows which buttons to push, she's been doing it since the day you were born. Sister and Aunt attack because #1 they look like heros to mom and#2 it puts you on defensive mode as opposed to offensive ie, fine I'll be moving her in with you for the next 5 years, your turn, tag you're it. Do what's good for you, your family, and mom's care. Sounds like the ER visits may be manipulation, another avenue to the get her into AL, too much of a fall risk at home, especially since she needs to navigate stairs, you can no longer care for her in your home. Do not let them release her into your care, nope, I can no longer safely care for her in my home. What other options do you have? They will be able to place her then.
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I agree with your husband and daughter, you need a vacation without your mom.

You can enlist your siblings or put her in a respite facility. When she starts her garbage when you get home, yep mom and that is the very reason that I needed a break. It is all about her in her head and that you can tell her is nonsense and you and your family will be taking care of your needs or she will be finding a new address, maybe a nursing home would be the very thing.
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AT1234 Jan 11, 2020
Or leave her there.
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The next time she is in rehab, have her transferred to LTC with Medicaid paying if she can't afford it.

You deserve a vacation with just your family. How can it be a vacation if you have to constantly care for someone. Tell your siblings what you are planning. Ask if someone would be willing to stay with Mom. If no one will, then start looking for respite care in an AL or LTC. Or find someone u can trust to stay with her. If she ends up in the hospital, one of your siblings can handle things.
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You and your family need to go on vacation without her. Make whatever arrangements are necessary for her care and assistance. Your husband and daughter deserve to have a vacation without wheelchairs and restrictions. I did the mom on vacation with me for 10 years. My son and his wife still resent those trips. My mother was particularly difficult. It was her way all the way.
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I have not yet read the other replies, but this is exactly what Respite Care is all about. Making sure your family member is getting care, while the family gets a break.

Who cares what she says after your trip? Who cares what her sister and your sister have to say? One word from them and you take Mum on a one way visit to go stay with them.
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