Why am I (polio survivor and disabled) obligated to have mom with mid-stage dementia and unable to walk move in with me? - AgingCare.com

Why am I (polio survivor and disabled) obligated to have mom with mid-stage dementia and unable to walk move in with me?

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I have been helping my 91 year old mom for 8 years even though she was living by herself. She has had 3 hospitalizations in 2 years. She has mental issues and would not face reality by considering help. My brother sees her on mother's day and birthday but otherwise takes no part in her care. Why does everyone expect me to take care of her? Fact: I had 18 polio related surgeries and she could not be there because it upset HER too much. Now she wants me to take her home from NH even though she can't walk. I am 65, just retired and would like to travel a bit before I am unable to get around. She was also an only child. She has always been miserable and unhappy as well as depressed with terrible anxiety. I really do not want to bring her into my home and make my husband and I miserable. Suggestions?

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My very best friend, also a polio survivor, did take care of her mother until she HAD to put her in a nursing home and she keeps telling me that I cannot do it without physical repercussions. Everyone's answers in combination with my best friend's advice, will help me strong in standing my ground. Thank you everyone for your comments.
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Javagirl, it will probably make you uncomfortable for a short time to say no to your mother and mean it. It would probably make you and your husband for a long time to say yes. I agree with what everyone wrote -- just say no and tell your mother you aren't able to do it. You won't be able to pick her up or transfer her. You don't owe any explanation at all to your brother, since he could have her in his own home if it is so important to him.

This is not being ugly, just practical. People in the US used to feel that it is the daughter's duty to tend to the elders. Fortunately, this thinking is changing and elders are beginning to understand that senior communities and nursing facilities are fine places to live. Someone today was telling me the story of her mother, who for years had been so against a senior facility. Finally she had to move into one. After a month or two she loved it for one reason. She loved Bingo. Soon all she was asking for was quarters. :)

I am a full-time caregiver. I've been here for several years now. One question often crosses my mind: "What kind of parent asks their child to sacrifice their life?" We often think in a way that makes the adult kids look guilty, but really should a parent even ask so much of one of their children? I know that I couldn't ask this of anyone. Caregiving is no longer something that can last a few months, it can go on for 10-20 years. It is too much to ask of anyone.
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Jave, look at it this way, you are a senior citizen yourself with your own health decline issues, we all have them.... it seem crazy that someone, besides your own Mom, would ask you to take care of an even older senior citizen who now cannot walk.

I know when I first came on these forum years ago, someone told me I was "too old" to take care of my very elderly parents [also in their 90's], and sure enough they were so right. So I made sure to keep reminding my parents that I was a senior myself, and the energy ship had already sailed.

Your Mom is so much better off being in a nursing home where she is tended to by at least 10 professionals each and every day... from the doctor, the nurses, the aides, the housekeepers, the kitchen help, etc. and they get to go home after their shift to get a good night sleep. If Mom was with you, then you would be those 10 people doing 3 shifts a day.

Plus, you would need to make your home into a mini nursing home.

Let us know what you decide.
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Java girl, I agree with the consensus: there is no obligation. Don't do it. Make it plain, once and for all, that you will not be moving your mother from the NH. If she continues to ask once you've done that, nod, smile and do nothing. If your brother wants something different for her, he's on his own and you can tell him so.

But there's a bit more to it than that, isn't there? There seem to be painful emotions bubbling up, more to do with your mother's historical shortcomings and your brother's presumptions, and your only too understandable dissatisfaction with the pair of 'em. Have you ever thrashed out these feelings with anyone?

Just by the way: my mother also contracted polio when she was in her early thirties; she was very fortunate to get away with only minimal impairment to the musculature of her left arm. But in the course of my efforts to understand her complex co-morbidities when I was her full-time carer, I came across several incomplete studies into 'post-polio syndrome' and recommendations for its management. If this isn't something you have already researched, I would suggest that you check it out purely as a possibility to guard against.

I congratulate you on your determination to survive and thrive after polio, and wish you every joy of a long and happy retirement with your husband.
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Do not move her in with you. She may want that, but it's not your responsibility even if people keep saying it is. She is receiving far better care in a nursing home than you could provide at home, even without your disabilities. Taking care of an immobile patient requires enormous physical stamina as well as constant availability. You don't have the first and don't want to offer the second. She's better off in the nursing home. You are entitled to spend your remaining healthy years doing what fulfills you, not what other people wish.
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Don't do it! Go, live your life and don't look back. I am taking care of my miserable mom. She has seen a psychiatrist. Took the meds for 4 weeks and was a perfect doll. Now she is refusing her psych meds and all I am told is that no one can make her take them. Be strong, dear lady!
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Also, your mom is in a nursing home, sufferjng from depression and anxiety. Those are treatable conditions. If you are in charge of her nedical care, have her seen by the geriatric psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner who consults there. She needs meds for those very real medical problems.

There is no guarantee that bringing her into your home will make her happy. It IS certain that it will make you miserable and that you are not physically capable of providing the level of care necessary. So it is not going to happen.
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"I couldn't possibly do that" is a good phrase to repeat, often. "No", said firmly and with conviction is good as well.

Others can assume and fuss all they want. You are not accepting delivery.
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There is an excellent article on this site about not everyone being suited to be a caregiver. Yet, despite what is supposed to happen (or not happen), many expect the daughter to step up to take care of dear mama. I think your mother's neglect of you during your hospitalizations is MORE than enough reason to step back.

Why can't your brother do the caregiving?

Who is "everyone"? Are there other family members?

Expect to be verbally harassed when you tell everyone that you are not able to take care of your mother. Please stand firm! It seems to me that your health dictates that you are NOT able to do caregiving.

I am also one who is not cut out for caregiving, yet I have been forced into the role (quite limited at this point) because I am the only one local (of 4 children) to my mother. I've set some boundaries with her and been exposed to verbal abuse.

I have told my three out-of-state brothers that when it gets to be too much, that I will walk away. And also that our mother will NEVER live with me (even though I have a one-story house).
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