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After 2 years of catering to mother at assisted living, I'm burned out & have pulled back on my visits & involvement. The problem now is, mother wants to see a specialist, (multiple ongoing visits) & I'm not willing to go with her. (Instead, I prepay her rides with a professional transport company). She claims to be "so nervous" that someone has to go with her every time. (She's already taking klonopin). I refused to go with her, explained why. The facility had a lady (on staff) go with her, but it's been 3 trips already. Now the nurse says that I should go, (likely 4 more trips), & I will not go. It's unsettling to me, cuz I feel they didn't care about my situation pertaining to my refusal. Yet I do everything reasonable that I can, & I'm standing my ground. It seems unfair to be questioned about it repeatedly though, am I expecting too much? Thank you all for sharing your experience & wisdom.

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Is your mother’s desire to see this specialist necessary/serious? Or frivolous?

Not much detail for us to go on.

But.....tiger.....I sense a kindred spirit.

For all of her years, my mother only accepted people into her life if they catered to her neuroses and completely “bought” her reality. No exceptions for family.

As Mom’s only biological child, I was a lifelong pro at navigating Mom’s “soft ultimatums.” Everybody’s a little bit weird, right?? Live and let live....

Enter old age. As Mom’s needs increased, her inflexibility made it impossible for me (and others who were close) to provide productive, forward-thinking solutions.

To h*ll with POA and telling me where her important papers were and getting a diagnosis for her balance issues and looking into safer living arrangements — all Mom cared about was her strange priorities.

And all people on the outside saw was a daughter (me) who “didn’t go to her house often enough” and “never took her to church” and blah blah bla. They had no idea.

Much as I loved my mother, I had to draw the line at Shelter, Utilities, Food, Clothing. Those were needs. And they were met.

The figurative window dressing.....the “awwww” moments.....the looks-good-to-others Mother-Daughter tango..... not so much.

Hang in there, tiger. Take care of yourself.
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Tiger55 Nov 3, 2018
So true☺, thanks for sharing that.
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I've been told by AL that the specialist requests someone from the family to go. I certainly can't go to all his appointments as that would be a full time job. On a rare occasion I will go to the initial appointment to appease the specialist but that is it. The whole point of having a loved one in assisted living or NH is that they have staff to handles these things.
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Countrymouse Nov 3, 2018
I agree that there is a reason it's called 'Assisted' Living! :)

The exception might arise if the specialist needs to discuss a treatment decision, though. Then, if the person can't handle that alone, he or she is going to need a representative with authority and you can't expect the staff to go so far.
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What's it to this nurse who gave the opinion that you should go? Is it anything to do with her/him? Does s/he have to make your mother's travel arrangements, is there any concern about communication after the appointments, any pressing need for someone closer than a volunteer to accompany your mother?
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Tiger55 Nov 3, 2018
The staff makes all the arrangements for her trips, & I prepay the fees. I used to do the arrangements myself, but it's their job, actually. I just didn't realize it.
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What kind of Specialist? Like asked, is it necessary? This is what I have found with doctors, they will milk Medicare as long as they can.
Yes, Mom had a mass in her upper stomach. We went a a specialist that ended up feeling it was a thickening of the wall caused by GERD. Mom went every 6 months for a while then I requested once a year. Just in case of change. Another was for her Thyroid. We went until her numbers were normal. After that, I got paperwork for her tests and she only went in for the usual check in that was needed to get prescription renewed. She was going to her PCP every 2 months. I asked her why? Because he told her to come back. Really? Mom was only on Cholesterol and BP meds. I went with her the nxt appt and the nurse asked why she was there again (friend of the family). I told her I didn't know but if he asked why she was there, she would only be coming back if she was sick or needed refills. He asked why she was there.

I may go once with Mom and she better let me talk to the doctor. I would want to make sure this isn't just Mom playing you. If doctor doesn't give you a good reason why Mom is there, then don't pay for the transport.

I always feel I need to explain myself but you really don't owe the staff any explanations. Mom is their resident. She pays big money to live there. Tell them you are not available for personal reasons and your sanity. I know they have residents with no family. How do they manage for them when they have doctor appts?
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Tiger55 Nov 3, 2018
She has a skin condition on her face that requires invasive surgery (& it's very disfiguring usually). Many years ago I went through all this with her, & after they cut half her nose off, they said she would be ok for a while. It was really a long, & disturbing series if biopsies in between slices of her face being removed. Sorry for that gross detail.
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How frequent are these appointments? Not to pry, but are they for something you or the staff consider frivolous? Maybe that’s the pushback? Or are they for a serious or life threatening condition? Would you be willing to meet your mother at the doctors office at least for the next visit? That way the trip itself can be handled by the staff, but you would get to see and talk to the doctor about the continuing visits. Just a thought.
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Tiger55 Nov 3, 2018
Those are great ideas, except I have to stay with my decision to not go at all. It was really traumatic for me to see the post-op disfigurement when I took her many years ago. I nearly fainted, & had many nightmares. It just never seems to end. I'm the only family member left for her, but it's taken it's toll on me. They would have left her alone, except she asked to see a dermatologist, (who then refers her to the surgeon). Same process all the time, (2 previsits, multiple biopsies, surgery, post-visits, repeat). She's 90 years old & I'm just not agreeing to witness more of the mutilation.
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When my mom was in the NH, if she needed to see a specialist, we arranged medical transport and for an aide to accompany mom. NH always pushed back. It was because it was inconvenient for them to have an aide off premises for two hours. I never took it as criticism of me.

Just say "no, I can't possibly do that".
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Tiger55 Nov 3, 2018
That's my plan, God help me. Thanks for understanding.✌
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Sometimes we carry a chip on our shoulder and overreact or easily take offence where none was intended. Perhaps the nurse was merely trying to point out that you would be better informed about what happens at these appointments if you were there yourself, or she could (as you suspect) just be a self righteous 3itch. Either way you can't control what others say and do, only your own reactions to it. Take a deep breath and let it go.
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Tiger55 Nov 3, 2018
Yes, thanks, I will arrive to do that.🌷
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