As much as I've wanted her to find somewhere to live, somehow I'm realizing I don't know if she will be able to do for herself without a lot of outside help. Do I just help her move and 'see what happens'?

She says she wants to give it one more try and 'if' she can't do it, then 'we' will think of something else.

Her short term memory is taking a hit. Her physical self is also, as she won't do much but sleep/lay in bed and eat. Granted it's not the most healthy food because she has never eaten healthy (me either) but who can change that now?

So, final question (I probably am repeating-sorry) should I just help her get over there and let whatever happens happen or try to set some boundaries for when I would be able to do for her? I don't know if I can physically help her move but she is definitely going to rely on me to find her help and she will pay them-but I will be doing the leg work, etc. It's all about her and she has said as much. Pretty much-it's about what SHE wants. Taking for granted that I will find a way to make it happen, no matter what it does to me physically and mentally.

This not an independent apartment complex for seniors/ it is low income housing and is being renovated with all new everything (stove-fridge, etc)from damage from last year's hurricane and she's ready to get back.

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While you are still on pleasant talking terms, it might be good to sit down with her, plus pencil and paper. Make a list of everything she CAN do, everything she CAN’T do, and all the things she could do some of but would need help.

Then do your list (and perhaps don’t leave this step until the end, as she might just disregard it). What you WILL do, what you WON’T do, what you might assist with but would need support. Include on your list, sorting out all the help she would need. Think hard about your own abilities and choices. Your list will probably be longer than hers. It might be tasks, or it might be time - the initial work, and then the time per week.

Leave the list with her, and take your own copy. Each of you adds to it before the follow up meeting you have a few days later.

At present your ideas aren’t set like concrete, and she hasn’t made any irrevocable steps, so it can be a genuine discussion. There is a good chance that it will clarify things for both of you. It also puts the emphasis fairly and squarely on both of you – not just ‘what SHE wants’.

Worth a try?
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anonymous828521 Aug 2019
👏 bravo, great ideas.
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RB, she doesn't get to decide what you will or won't do unless you allow it.

You know that she doesn't care how anything affects you as long as she gets what she wants. Are you really willing to continue living like this?

I bet she has a social worker that can step up and help her with the resources she qualifies for or if she needs facility care at this point.

You matter and you deserve to have your life and not be chewed up and spit out time and again by this female you call mom.

Please consider your wellbeing before you give it to her to destroy.
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Rbuser1 Aug 2019
I let my guard down sometimes and forget that I matter.
I'm looking at getting movers and getting her back in there. Somehow someway. I don't know if I can hold out without having another anxiety breakdown. Going to try.
I do deserve a life.
Won't completely abandon her.
Also balancing what Mum WANTS vs what your Mum really NEEDS.

What I looked at my own situation through that lense it became clearer.

If a village was going to be required to maintain living 'independantly' then it was in fact, living *dependantly*. I could choose to be her village...(until I burned out from exhustion/resentment/illness)...or she could move to into a village (ie AL). I am but one person & my wants matter too - as do yours!
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Sorry, me again.. your post has really touched a nerve with me.

You write that all the leg work etc will be on you. I hear you.

What if you got a third party involved? Mum may need help to be able to understand her situation & what real choices are available to her by a professional outsider. Eg Social Worker experienced with elders.
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Rbuser1 Aug 2019
She has mentioned that herself that she will see if her Dr. will get her 'some help' over there. And Social Services will have to be involved. thanks for your reply and hope you also find some kind of relief while you are care giving also. hugs
If I am reading correctly, you are trying to work out the balancing act of *dignity of risk vs duty of care*.

Supporting your Mum's right to make decisions and take her own risks while balancing your duty of care.

No easy answer from me - I am struggling with same... :(
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There's something I've noticed twice in your post: you say should you a) help her get over there (and leave her to it) or b) set some boundaries.

But those two things aren't either/or. Definitely do the boundaries, anyway. The remaining question is, should you support this current plan for her to move to her new, stand-alone apartment - OR come up with a different option.

What might be the different option(s)?

Essentially, unless you have got a better idea, she's going to be moving and you want to think ahead to what you can/can't will/won't do to assist her after that.

I should start by compiling a kind of directory of services and essential contacts, I think. Then, either way, whether she calls in the help or you do, at least you'll have the key resources at your finger tips.
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Many good suggestions posted here for you. I think your ultimate decisions will need to pass through some filters:
a) if she's in section 8 housing, she probably only has SS to live on and little financial means.
b) what is her true short-term memory abilities?
c) what is her health like?

A = social services will only provide limited help. You will still be involved in finding and managing that help. She will eventually need to have more help than anyone can provide to her in her home, so a second move is inevitable, and will be at a time of crisis.
B = if she is memory compromised, she may not be remembering to eat or turn off the stove or lock her front door. My MIL seemed competent, until she fainted while we were out in public, then realized she hadn't eaten for a while.
C = didn't see mention of her age or current health status but if she's eating junk food, any currently "good" health won't last much longer...all it takes is one incident.

From my experience, section 8 housing is not necessarily safe housing. Your mom could be very vulnerable there, both physically and financially. This is an important consideration. The desire of our parents to remain "independent" is very strong, but also mostly unrealistic for everyone involved. Do you want to move her twice? This is what you may have to look forward to in the near future.

You are not under any obligation to orbit around your mom's unrealistic desires, but wanting the best for her is loving and admirable and moral. But it may also be exhausting and financially draining and cost you time with your own family.

Honestly, she will need to be on Medicaid to get into a care community but that's ok, so is my MIL and she's in a great place getting great care. Your mom living on her own in a possibly sketchy place may limit her social interactions. A facility will offer her much more human contact and oversight. If all she does is lay in bed and eat, what difference does it make where she does that?

She may also be depressed. In a facility the staff will be able to recognize and treat her. It helped my MIL a ton.

If I were in your shoes, I'd research a place for your mom. You can take pics of the places you visit and show her that they are nice and there's people and activities and she'll be more independent there than alone in section 8 housing. It will take time for her to adjust to the notion (and she may even be mad). Don't let this deter you...just read the thousands of posts on caregiver burnout if you need some motivation. Wishing you peace with your mom and success in finding the best solution!
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Rbuser1 Aug 2019
Geaton777, she lived in this apt for 19 yrs and she knows the neighbors there and office staff. They are being renovated now and will be ready for her return. It has been almost a year. A lot has happened in this past year. She was in AL during the time she was displaced to my home.
So back up before last year's move, she had been in a different
AL facility for having broke 2 vertebrae in her back (osteoporosis) while she was attending to her elder sibling. She was making careless decisions (for herself) but when it came time to go somewhere, I refused to let her come here and I upset the apple cart. There's much more to all of this. Bottom line we have never been close, argue a lot and she uses a lot of FOG, lots of guilt to suppress me.
Physically she does little and expects me to do it all. She is 80 yrs old turns 81 in November.
Mentally I believe she has more of personality disorder.
I've decided that I'm going to try to concentrate on what to do about my life circumstances. Getting back on my feet again with what could be a short window of opportunity. My health has suffered this past year and now mom and a relative think I should go on disability?? And on and on. I am emotionally drained but seeking counseling but I want to believe I can still hold down a job.
Sorry long reply.
Thank you for your kindness and suggestions.
add on:
I am overthinking myself to death. I need to take a break from this forum and clear my head. I am still in talk therapy. . helps some.
I have decided I need to do what I can and leave the rest. Which means I realize the only person that can change things is me.
So I'm going to go off Agingcare for a while.
Take care and thank you for all you thoughtful and straightforward feed back. God Bless everyone here who is struggling with this process, past present and future.
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What a dilemma, (sounds like you're doubtful that mom will do well at new apartment). It would be impossible to force her to do anything else though, (cuz she's mentally ok, right?) Also, 'forcing' anything would create bad vibe for you & mom...
So I agree that you have no choice (until she falls & is hospitalized). Then she automatically wud go to a facility, cuz they have to assess her for discharge.
Happened that way for my mom also... (Stubborn). Good luck: ur a great daughter, but don't wear urself out!🌷
Helpful Answer (1)
AlvaDeer Aug 2019
I so agree with you. She must have this last change. I would hire out all the moving because there comes a time...........I mean I cannot do such things now. But I think give it the last try because the rest of it would be loss after loss after loss.
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RB, it is not about abandoning your mom, I bet she has used that terminology to guilt you more then once, it is about protecting yourself from her.

You get to decide how much you will help, based on boundaries that take your health, physical and emotional into consideration, your time and life, it isn't about you running because she calls. It is about assessing if it is a real need and if you are WILLING OR ABLE to be the solution, you are not always the optimal solution, none of us are. It is about deciding if her wants trump your plans, schedule or time.

When we say "No" with no explanation or justification and stick to "No", no matter where our parents go to get their way, we are teaching them that we get to run our own lives and we are not subject to them anymore. Yes this is usually met with tantrums, fits and huge drama, but it works if you stick to your guns, no matter where they go. Hard, yes, but easier than feeling the pain that comes with the other choice.

Do you get that if you are disabled enough to collect disability, you are to disabled to be her personal servant, that is harder than a job.

Take care of you, you are in for big changes, embrace the opportunities and don't let change drive you back to being her step and fetch girl. You can do this! Great big hug!
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