My mom lives in northern Illinois. I live in Florida and have a very happy life with my significant other of 30 years.
Mom is the primary caregiver for her husband, who has been diagnosed with dementia. She and her husband both have diabetes, and my mom’s is not well controlled.
Recently, mom fell and broke her ankle, requiring surgery. I flew in and stayed with them for a week, and my younger brother drive in from 2 hours away and stayed with them. My older brother lives 15 minutes from them, but is too busy and unwilling to check in on them.
three weeks after the surgery, mom became quite ill, but refused to call her doctor, resulting in a trip to the hospital in Thanksgiving (my older brother refused to take her and argued with her when she called him for help saying “you need to call 911. I am not taking you.”
things are complicated because mom’s husband cannot really stay home alone. He has a daughter who lives nearby and she has helped tremendously.
this has brought several issues to the surface. When I suggest caregiver support, my mom gives a resounding “no.” When I beg her to call her doctor, it’s another “no.” She feels that all support should come from us kids.
I am certain that she also feels I am her ultimate plan. She brought my grandmother to live with us, and she seems to feel I should do the same. I watched her relationship with my grandmother deteriorate, and watched every romantic relationship my mom had fall apart. She was so unhappy.
Yet I overheard her talking to a friend while I was there, and both said “you just can’t expect the same level of care from the boys.”
basically, she expects me to be her 24/7 caregiver at some point, because that is what she did, and I am the girl.
Everyone I have asked about this has said that moving her in with me is a bad idea. How do I have that conversation without hurting her? How do I convince her that I love her and I am here to help, but I do not want give up my life the way she did? Admittedly, we have grown apart in recent years, but I do love her and want to be sure she is taken care of. How do I reconcile the fact that she expects this of me automatically because I am the daughter?
I feel incredibly scared, sad and guilty about these feelings. I do not know what to do.