Any advice is helpful. I enjoy reading these posts. I just joined. Some of the posts that talk about how long people are caregiving and how it goes on and on is depressing. Then I feel guilty. Thank you.

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The one thing you do not want to do is become the sole caregiving resource for your mother. Not just because of the stress this places on you but because your mother will need to have care even if you cannot provide it.

First, get the POAs in place, both medical and financial. My mother provided my brother and me (one primary and one secondary) durable POAs that allowed us to act for Mom immediately so we never had to "prove" her problems to act for her. This meant I was able to start helping Mom with her financial transactions years before she had problems (she would bring bills for me to pay online) and call when there were minor problems and many other small things that came up without always being questioned about if she had authorized me to act in her behalf. Because we had a longstanding relationship where we worked together (she directed and I executed her instructions), this made the transition when she did need help much easier. As she aged, we easily transitioned to my being the primary decision-maker while keeping her well informed.

Second, plan how her needs will be met. Your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) can provide you with good information on your local resources, both for services available while your mother remains in the home as well as lists of longer term facilities like Assisted Living (AL), Memory Care (MC), and Nursing Homes (NH) in your area. AAA can also help you determine how to afford the various options. AAA helped Mom and me most in qualifying her for a community Adult Day Care (ADC) with transportation provided which allowed Mom to have social interaction with her age group and gave me a few predictable hours a week to take care of my own concerns or just to catch up on my sleep. There was also a community program for personal care (bathing, dressing) and housekeeping assistance.

Third, get an "emergency" plan together. Older people dislike sudden changes. It's important to have a plan for how your mother will get care for minor and major "emergencies" and to exercise that plan routinely. My short-term emergency plan was for my brother to care for Mom in my home or for Mom to stay with my aunt (mom's younger sister by 18 years) for a day or two. My brother stayed with my mother for 2-3 hours most weeks. When I needed to travel, Mom stayed with my aunt. As Mom had more problems with MCI, we learned how to make those transitions better (a letter telling Mom where she was, why she was there and when I would pick her up became important). Mom was accustomed to them so she wasn't upset when they were used. If I had an asthma attack or an outpatient surgery that made me unavailable for a day or two, she could better cope and would be well cared for.

Fourth, plan for long-term care now. Pick an AL or MC for your mother now. It's emotional much easier when it's not immediately needed. You can take your time and consider all the options. I found a couple I considered acceptable and a couple I favored because of the amenities offered (like a larger room, a covered outdoor porch, personalized food choices/storage/access) and ADC. I got contracts with the AL/MCs I liked and pre-qualified Mom so they would accept her with as little as one hour notice, providing they had a bed available. They charged an annual fee for evaluating Mom but would count the cost toward day care or respite services. After a fall had greatly reduced Mom's mobillity and I could not leave her alone, I had started to place Mom in my primary AL/MC choice one day a month before covid hit. We started with a day there and eventually made an overnight too. It allowed Mom to get accustomed to the facility and gave me more confidence in our plan. We didn't have a problem with Mom not wanting to stay there, I think because she was used to going to ADC and liked it, going to a different ADC wasn't a problem.

There are many other day to day things, but I think these are four you need to begin considering.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to TNtechie

Yes I do. I just mentally exhausted and the responses from people are very helpful. Just knowing others who have been through it or are going through it helps a LOT. Thank you.
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Reply to Jml21012

The place to find resources is Office of Aging in ur County.

And yes, get that POA in place now while she can still make decisions. Once she is declared incompetent, she won't be able to assign you. Then it means no control over a situation or an expensive guardianship. If she is stubborn then explain that if she doesn't assign someone, then the State will assign a guardian and a stranger will have control of her life. You will not have any imput. Since she is already showing signs, I would try to get that POA immediate. A Springing one needs one/two doctors to declare incompetence. In early the stage of Dementia people are able to "showdown". This means for a short period of time they can seem normal.

Sounds like Mom is not an easy person to live with. So you need to have boundries. What you can do, what you won't do. Remember, at this age she needs you more than you need her. You are now the adult and her the child. As an adult you deserve respect. Its OK to walk away and say "I don't have to take this". And you won't be a bad person if you find you can't do it and Mom needs to be placed. If she is 89 than you are a Senior too..
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Reply to JoAnn29

I just want to throw out there that it is definitely not "all you". Assuming you're in the US, and also in many other countries, there is a tremendous safety net in place. Not always easy to use or access, but it's there.

I'm sure you are already aware of that, but I feel like it's important to remind you that you have options, you're not trapped. The safety net is there to help you, not as an option of last resort for "bad people who should feel guilty". Hugs.

Now as for advice, if you don't have power of attorney and she's willing get that done now. If she hasn't designated you as a person to share medical information with at her doctor/hospital do that now. If she won't extend you those basic courtesies your options narrow. You certainly could make the choice to ramp up your care activities but you don't have to, you control your own life. I think it's a good sign that you're depressed by the overwhelming task of caregiving, it shows you have a good sense of what that might entail and a healthy sense of self preservation.

Maybe use your nervous/fear energy to research her options. What kind of resources regarding meals, rides for seniors exist. Whether she'll refuse those options or not is on HER not on you. Anyway it's a marathon not a sprint. You're doing well to start thinking about it now.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Slartibartfast

What's the plan for when she is no longer able to live in her own home?

Do you have POA/HCPOA? What is her financial situation?

Plan now so that you don't end up in a caregiving situation that never ends.
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Reply to CTTN55

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