My mom is scared and alone but I can’t take care of her. Not sure what to do.

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My mom recently lost her husband of 39 years. For the last six years they were both sick; especially my stepdad. To the point that they wouldn’t take care of finances, lost their home, failed to make insurance premiums (therefore no life insurance) and got so deep in debt it’s ridiculous. They were each other caregiver’s but since my mom had her stroke, she needed more attention. She had had another mini-stroke. After my stepdad passed of a sudden heart attack my mom was trying to avoid everything and one day she went outside to get mail. Luckily, the mailman was outside too. She passed out and was taken to the ER. She fractured her wrist on her left side, the one that isn’t paralyzed. We were planning on moving her into Independent Living. This is no longer an option. She’s supposed to a stent put in as she has 80% blockage. As an only child, I’m the one responsible for doing everything. Even my stepdad’s parents aren’t helping out with any of his expenses and haven’t called since about two weeks after he passed. Along with my husband and a few friends, we’re cleaning out the entire rental home and putting it in storage. Besides being costly, it’s taking it’s toll on me. My mother has asked to come stay with us for awhile after her surgery. We have a small house, two very energetic dogs and a sweet ten year old daughter who does not want her here. I happened to be at the skilled nursing facility today and I was helping her to go to the bathroom. On the way she told me she was going to pass out... luckily, a strong and fast thinking technician walked in the room and saved the situation. What if it had been just the two of us? She needs much more care than I can give her but she continues to tell me she wants to come with me. She does apologize often but I feel as if my daughter is just as important. I’m so confused and to be honest, I don’t want her here either. I’m not equipped to take care of her. She’ll most likely have to go to a nursing home with a semi private room. She’ll absolutely hate it. Not sure what to do. Thanks

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What a sad situation. I imagine that your stepdad's parents are deep into their own grief, and that they may not have set aside funds to clean up the finances of an adult son. (I sure don't have funds for that!)

And poor Mother! She has lost her home. Her husband recently died. She has health issues. She's broke. And now she is facing surgery. Yikes! That is a very heavy stress load, poor dear. She really needs to be someplace where there are 3 shifts of well-rested workers to see to her needs. And she will needs LOTS of visits from you and your daughter. If grandmother isn't actually intruding in your home, can daughter be gracious about visiting and playing checkers or pushing her on a wheelchair walk?

I would suggest a change in attitude, though. Don't assume that your mother will absolutely hate a nursing home. That's what we thought about our mother, but when her needs exceeded our abilities we had to place her where her needs could be met. She had a difficult adjustment period of a couple of months, then she settled in and spent 2 contented years in a semi-private room. She REALLY liked that she didn't have to put on outerwear and struggle into a car to get to her hair appointment. She loved the live entertainment, especially a young accordion player. She enjoyed the food and was pleased that they always had dessert. She had never done a craft in her life, but she happily participated in everything! She even accepted her showers gracefully. We never would have predicted this! So don't be negative about care centers, especially in front of Mom. You might be pleasantly surprised!

Keep in touch her, and let us know how this goes for you.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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"She needs much more care than I can give her..." This is a sad situation but I think you have your answer right there. Can you find a SNF near you so you can visit regularly and oversee her care?
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Reply to SnoopyLove
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What would you want your "Sweet" daughter to do with you?
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Reply to smeshque
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jeannegibbs Apr 28, 2018
I've given this a lot of thought lately. I would want any of my 3 sweet daughters or two wittty sons to find me a suitable care center (if I get beyond the care I could afford at home.) I would be willing to live with any of them while I am relatively able-bodied and can handle my own ADLs but beyond that, nope, I don't want my kids as my caregivers. This isn't just for their sakes. It is for my dignity as well. As my mother would say, if somebody is handling my naked body, it better be a doctor or my husband!

I would be very displeased if any of my children abandoned a disabled spouse or placed them in care before it was really needed. That is a vow they took, after all. That is where their first priority lies, not with me.
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