Aanyone else have an older parent living with them in the beginning stages of dementia and a young child?

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My son is turning 7. My mom is 84 and has lived with us for 14 months. I am an only child and mom thinks she was a perfect mother, but she never really spent time with me and before my son wa born, rarely talked with me. What she wants is most important and does not think I am capable of doing anything. My son is very normal, active and "all boy". She yells at him most of the time and thinks he should just sit or take a nap. She sleeps 19-20 hours a day and say she is still exhausted. She just had a sleep study, but we don't have the results yet. Occasionally she will clean the dirty dishes off of the table, load and unload the dishwasher and set plates on the table. I give her her meds to take, do laundry, put food away, cook, shop, take care of my son, and try to wrok 25 hours per week. She has had numerous health issues and I've missed several days of work to take her to dr. appointments. She feels that she worked hard her life, so she deserves to just sleep now. She always felt she should just do what her parents said, though she still complains about it, and thinks I should too, she always has. I waited many years for my son and had him thanks to modern medical technology. I am 59, a single mom by choice, and very proud to have my son and want to be able to keep up with him, but mom's attitude and her moaning all of the time and spending sometimes up to 1/2 hour at a time in our one bathroom moaning, just exhausts me. She is also hard of hearing and spent a fortune on her hearing aids, but seldom wears them due to sleeping so much. She is on medicine for dementia, but is usually right with it. If I forget something, trying to think of a dozen things at one time, she'll make a remark like she's not the one with alzheimers. Due to a deal mom made with me that put me in debt, she has helped me financially, but now with her here my bills have gone up and she hasn't given me any extra money. So between missing work and paying for meals when we go out of town for doctors, it really straps me. I'd rather spend it on my son. She still owns her house and at this time doesn't want to sell it, so I don't think assisted living is possible at this time and not sure if that would help or create more work for me. I don't want to lose or mess up my son's childhood, though I feel I responsible of mom. I want to talk to an elder lawyer, but not sure how to find a good one. Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated, but anyway thank you for letting me rant. .

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You are smart to see an elder law attorney. I can't tell exactly what your mom's financial status is, but she does own her home. That would not necessarily, in itself disqualify her from financial resources.

I would make sure the elder law attorney knows the laws and policies on Medicaid as applied in your state. I found one in my area by googling elder attorney and medicaid. They can advise how planning for down the road can save resources legally. This is very important as there are time periods for some transitions of assets.

The counseling advice is good. Caring for someone with dementia is extremely challenging. You need a support system. This site is a good place, but you will discover that dementia symptoms only gets worse. It' not likely that things will improve. It's not likely that the mother who you had challenges with in the past will become more cooperative or do behave the way you want her towards your son. In fact, things will grow progressively to the point where she will need all day supervision. Planning in advance can help so that you don't get hit with a sudden crisis.

Even in the beginning stages of dementia, I would observe very carefully. Just because she says she takes her meds, eats or baths, doesn't mean it's true. Often the patient is covering for their inability to take care of their needs.

Good luck and bless you for being so caring.
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I feel for you stuckinthemiddle, I can relate to your situation a little. My father in law lives with us now a year and we are raising our almost 3 year old. I feel like we are missing out on so much with her as a family. Since January, his dad has been on fall watch and one of us has to stay here with him or have my parents come here. I am 44, and our little girl was IVF too. My husband is exhausted. I recently went back to work part time as our money was running low. I have medical issues from a car accident last year that are causing issues and we hope I can continue to work and let my husband stay home to care for his dad. My husband is against a nursing home and his dad lays on the guilt trips of course.

I sure hope we see our rainbows or at least able to breathe and know we are doing the right thing.
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I don't share your circumstances but I have had to learn how to deal with my own demanding elderly parents. A good counselor can really help you to sort out your best course of action....what is best for you and your son and how you might still be of help to your Mom.
I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. I do have one suggestion. Take the opinions of others with a grain of salt. Especially people who preach about what is "right" (that includes Mom). That stuff is really toxic. You have to do what makes sense to you.
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