My mother has zero interest in getting help or doing anything for herself. I'm so tired. - AgingCare.com

My mother has zero interest in getting help or doing anything for herself. I'm so tired.

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I'll try and make this as brief as I can, but it's been a crazy month. My mother was hospitalized from October 23-November 5 and then again from November 9-14. She was hospitalized for confusion and a possible morphine overdose (she was an addict for many years and relapsed). It then turned out she was in renal failure, severely dehydrated, severely constipated, had severe heart arrhythmia and a host of other issues. She went into this delirium (term the doctor used) and for about 3-4 days she didn't know her name, where she was, who I and my father were, or anything. She just lay in bed and screamed. I can't stress enough how horrible this was to witness. We were thinking she would be permanently disabled, need to be put in a home permanently, or die. I was freaking out, breaking down sobbing in public, and basically hysterical. A few days later, she came out of it. My mother had NO memory of anything except that her evil nasty husband called the paramedics. I told her about what really happened, and her reaction was "huh." They stabilized her and then sent her to transitional care, much to her dismay. A few days after THAT, she had a fall in the nursing home, was back in hospital with a messed up heart rate and severe blockage in her carotid artery. They put in a stent and were ready to send her back to transitional care. OHHH NO, she says. I've had enough! I didn't need to come here in the first place, my husband just called 911 because he found out I was taking drugs! You're just doing this to punish me! I'm going HOME. So she came home after vowing to have a nurse/OT/whatever come in. And since then, she has barely eaten. She hasn't drunk nearly enough water, she had an accident in the bathroom and didn't clean herself (or the toilet, or the floor) up, and she's literally not lifting one single finger for herself. I mean that literally. She will ask me to hand her things that are on the nightstand because she doesn't want to roll over. She is presenting herself as fully functional, though. A nurse called to ask how she was. "Oh, fine!" Today the home health care worker came for an assessment. I sat in on it. Thank god I did. My mother painted a picture of herself as absolutely just fine and dandy and most definitely not home/bed-bound. The nurse was this close to leaving, and I finally spoke up saying uhhh yeah, she can just barely make it to the bathroom. After that, every time I corrected my mother when she overestimated her own abilities/willingness to perform tasks, she glared at me. I mean, here's the problem. She wants to run these people out of town, claim she's just fine, and then make me and my poor dad (who had a stroke last year, btw!) do everything for her. She hasn't bathed in god knows how long, at least 2 weeks. The nurse asked her if she wanted to have someone come in in a few days to help her take a shower. "No, I can do it!" She can't. She can't stand for more than a minute or so. I can't help her, our bathroom is tiny. Then when the (incredibly nice) nurse left, she just looked at me and said "I thought that woman would never leave!" I have been taking care of her to the extent that I can since... well, childhood. I have NEVER had a life. EVER. I'm 32 now, I have messed up spinal discs, severe sciatica, and bipolar disorder. I am a terrible caretaker. I am fed up with all of this. She is getting to where she needs more care than I can give. But she doesn't see it.

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Tough love is hard.........that's why they call it tough love but that's what I'd recommend.

Your Mom has already lost her life and doesn't seem to care. Please don't lose yours too on account of her.
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You need to go to therapy to learn boundaries with your mom. I do not mean that in an insulting way. You were raised by yourself if your mom was an addict and you need to learn healthy relationship patterns and what love is. Once you are healthy in that respect you will have the ability to do what is right in regards to your mom. At 32 you should be on your own and have your own life. Your mom is a master at manipulating and uses guilt to get her way but this is typical of drug abusers and alcoholics. Maybe you can start attending a support group for those with family members that are addicted. Hope you are able to find help. I'll pray for you.
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It's okay to set boundaries. You've got to block her calls. Don't rescue her. That's what it came down to with me. When mom complained she needed help, I told her she'd have to hire help. She didn't. It was painful but I let her go. Finally APS got involved. Yes, they pushed for me to step in but I said I couldn't do anything with her and had no legal power to help mom or force her to accept assistance. Took a while but finally, APS finally figured out that mom was unsafe and difficult and we were able to get mom to care.

You are young and deserve a life. Mom had hers and now she must let you have yours. But you too must buck up and refuse to jump every time there's a crisis or she manipulates you. You can't bounce back and forth. Find out services in your area for mom and hand a copy to mom and tell her you love her but are moving on with your life and will be taking a break and best to not have contact for a couple months. Tell her you will call 1x per week and stick to it.
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One simple bit of advice, get your mom a bath chair so she can sit in the shower.

All the rest - her addictions, mental health issues, your parent's marriage dysfunction - is beyond your control. It sounds as though you are living with your parents or at least are there way more than is good for you, as the others have said you need to step away and focus on your own life. I like the idea of attending a support group for families of addicts, you might learn some coping strategies there.
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If you live at home and you are 30 something try to move out get your place .you need to attend meetings for family of addiction and alcoholism, move out try to get your dad to put her in a nurseing home.You can not help your parents until you help yourself,so number one work on you .we all need a time out GOOD LUCK !
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Al-Anon, the 12 step group for families and friends of alcoholics and addicts, saved my life. You can talk to someone 24 hours a day. Just look for Alcoholics Anonymous in your local phone book.

My dad had only 10 years of sobriety before he died. My mom has been sober for decades. But her dementia personality can be a lot like her drinking personality, and I have been seriously contemplating going back to Al-Anon.
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Cellytron; I am sad to hear this sad story ...your mom has an opiate addiction.No matter what age she is that's the root to her problems .This addiction is the same thing as being addicted to heroin .Heroin is a taboo word but is just a cheaper way for a addict to get morphine ,oxycodone ,vocoden .so it is almost impossible to overcome this type of addiction .she has to have her opiate or there is no function none .Withdrawals from opiets are extremely painful.restlessness ,vomiting ,diarrhea, seizures,convulsions, skin feels like needles poking it ,That's why your mother is soooo sick she's addicted to opiets ,and her addiction has caused her heart ,and kidney disease.Sorry this is a horrible disease horrible and lifelong disease. If your mom doesn't want to quit drug use there is NOTHING MORE YOU CAN DO!
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I'm really embarrassed. When I originally posted this question, it had proper formatting with paragraphs and spaces. Now that it's answered, it's one giant blob of text. What happened?
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CELLYTRON; DO NOT worry about your paragraph it's written fine .Your point has been stated .The importaint thing is that somebody has given you advice that may have helped you! We have all experienced major delimas and you have lots of great ideas ,just remember to HELP YOURSELF 1ST you can not help anyone until you fix yourself!! Prayers to you!!
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cellytron, could your clarify something, please? Your profile says your mother is living in your home? Do you mean you own the house and your parents moved in with you? How did that come about? Or do you live in the house your parents own? It would be a little easier if they own the house. Then you could move out. I think it would be much better if you don't live with them. As it is you are enabling your Mom to continue her behavior. Do you think that is good for either of you?

When my mother was having a needs assessment done, two of my sisters sat in on it, to tell their version of what was going on. When she was asked if she needed help cleaning her little apartment she said, "Oh no. My daughters do that." And a sister spoke up and said, "We each have limited time to spend with you, Ma, and when we come here we want to play Scrabble with you, and sit and gossip, and look at photo albums. We do not want to use that precious time cleaning your toilet!" Mom did get cleaning help -- but she wouldn't have if her daughters hadn't been there and spoken up.

I am so glad you got to tell the nurse your view of the situation. What was the outcome of that visit?

How did your mother overcome her addiction the first time? What was her motivation to do it? Do you think she might be willing to try again?

It is OK for your mother to run the people trying to help out of town! Her life, her decisions. It is NOT OK for her to expect you and your father to do the things she has run other helpers off when they offered their services. Your life, your decisions. You can decide to say, "Let's do something fun together, Mom. Let's watch a funny movie together!" It is OK for you to decide you don't want to be her personal servant. If she truly can't roll over to get something on her nightstand, then she probably isn't really able to live at home. If she is able to but unwilling, then if she wants to live at home you should not enable her hurtful behavior. What can you do to motivate her to take better care of herself, to eat better, drink more water, allow outside help that she really needs, etc? Probably nothing. Maybe your father can exercise more authority with her. But your first responsibility is to yourself. Being raised in such a dysfunctional situation gives you a lot to overcome. Get some professional help with that task. Joining a support group would be good. Seeing a therapist would be good. Coming here often to vent and ask for encouragement would be good. It is really time to be good to yourself.

The medical professionals put a stent in recently. Apparently they thought she could recover and have a quality life. It sounds like your mother didn't/doesn't agree with that assessment. I wonder why she went ahead with the surgery? I also wonder if she should be evaluated by hospice?

I am very, very sorry for your mother's situation. I'm not judgmental about her addiction. But I certainly don't think you should let her bring you down.
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