Should I put Mom in a home or leave her behind?

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Hi, I'm glad I found this place as I've been agonizing over this. I care for my mother, she's 87, and generally declining: weaker, kidney disease, heart problems, starting to get confused, etc. She has no one else. The rest of her family died or left her. I'm an only child. Problem is we've always had a very strained relationship. I was adopted, and she was very abusive. I struggled as a child growing up with all kinds of complexes and insecurities. As a young 20-something adult I struggled to come to terms with the damage and overcame a lot of it to pick up my life and move on. After that I'd try to maintain a relationship with her and let her have one with my kids, but I can't trust her and she's abusive. Last year my husband and I split up. And my mother had a mental health crisis... she was out of it for a few days, when she came back has been very easily confused, forgetful, and a bit uncoordinated since. I was moving and I was going to try taking her with me, taking her in, hoping we could keep the peace... but I went to stay with her a while when my lease was up until hers was supposed to be up and things got ugly. Not only with me, but with my teens. They feel bad for her but really don't want to be around her anymore, it's so bad. I've kept my distance since then taking it as a sign I can never live with her, esp. not with the kids in the house. Her blow-up thwarted my move altogether and I got stuck here another year. I'm ready to move on at the end of the year to a new state without her. She's never shown any sign of remorse or regret over the things she has ever done in her life. She pretends they don't happen, or downplays them, or acts like it was all us and she's the victim. So she's doing this again. I'm not heartless, if she calls I go to the store, I run errands or come over and help. She tries to give me things, I accept nothing. No more small talk. If she can't accept responsibility for anything ever, I can't do this anymore. I'm so done. Now she fell again this month and it was bad though no broken bones. After being in the hospital a week, I had to settle her in home. I went over every day, helped, cleaned, chauffeured, etc. She thought she was still moving with me, I told her no... did she remember throwing us out months ago, threatening us, stealing our stuff, etc? No. So I'm being nice helping her all week and today she calls me confused, telling me the closet that was empty months ago was full of clothes and I stole them when I came over. I never stole a thing from her in my life, I think she's flashing back to years ago before she gave a lot of stuff away. I'm torn, but either way I've decided that I can't let this toxic relationship be the center of my life anymore and I'm moving on with my kids. I wish her the best but I'm so done. I have been done for months. Do I leave her alone to fend for herself? She is not really capable of taking care of herself anymore-- she's 80 lbs, frail as hell, can barely hear and is very easily confused/forgets things. But she's always prided herself on her independence and says she'd rather die alone in that apt (which will probably be not too long without me, as she literally has no one, not even neighbors who care). Or do I put her in a home against her will? At least she'll be taken care of, but she might absolutely hate it.

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I just realized it's a big wall of text, and I don't know where my paragraphs went; that must have been a hard read, sorry!

Thank you all for your answers and support (((hugs))) can't tell you how nice it was to hear. I know I'd be in for a legal battle if I wanted to put her in a home, but was contemplating it if it need be.

Not really up for that battle, but I thought the alternative is essentially abandonment. Abuse aside, relationship aside, it's just not something I'd want to do to anyone like that.

I was worried about just abandoning her alone in her apartment and the disaster that could result with all her confusion and forgetting these days, but yeah, I think it'd be best for me, my family and her if I just put her in the hands of social services.

We all (me & my kids) feel so bad for her, it's just a shame she is the way she is, and that she's always refused any help. I always thought she had undiagnosed mental illnesses and I know she has issues, in the past I even offered to go to counseling with her to work out problems but she always refused (even when I was a troubled teen, she'd send me, but always fail to show and avoid sessions when they wanted her to come).

Thank you again, so much, I'm looking into that.
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You can't let this toxic relationship be the center of your life anymore. You have made a sound decision not to live with your mother.

As others have said, notify Human Services of the situation. Perhaps request a needs assessment for your mother. Make it absolutely clear that you are moving and will not be the one who provides for the needs they identify. Also notify her doctor.
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Well your last question's easy, anyway - you can't put her in a home against her will. Simple.

Unfortunately, the rest of your dilemma is nothing like as easy. My heart breaks for you.

I have some things to say which I hope will comfort you.

Only people who are loving and just by nature continue to care for people who have treated them in the way that you describe.

So. You are a loving and just person who has tried to balance caring for a difficult woman with the rights of the people who really do deserve your love and commitment - that is, your children. And your children, too, have done their best for their grandmother.

Only people who have set the right example have children who do that. You are an excellent parent. Unlike your adoptive mother. Partly in the genes, no doubt; but also perhaps there are elements of her history that led her to be as she is. Either way: Not Your Fault.

I do not think there is any possibility of your being your mother's primary caregiver. I think it would be disastrous for you and your children if you took your mother with you; and I think it would at best make no difference to your mother's quality of life, in that, clearly, she is a deeply unhappy woman who would continue to be deeply unhappy no matter how good her surroundings or how loving the people she was with. And worse, the disruption in her environment could aggravate her existing mental ill health.

So mother stays. But you do not have to choose the guilt of leaving her to fend for herself.

What you do instead is arrange a formal handover of responsibility for her supervision and, in due course, her care plan.

Contact her local social services. Give them as detailed a summary of her medical history and living situation as you can. If you wish, you can also summarise your very sound reasons for ceding responsibility for her; but you don't have to. The important thing is to make sure that she is on the right people's radar. The independence issue then becomes something that skilled professionals will deal with in her best interests, and you can rely on them to handle it probably rather better - certainly with less pain - than you could.

Consequences come to us all. Sometimes they don't arrive until a person is old, ill and frail, and then it is painful for those who care about her to watch. But all the same: it is your mother's doing that you are not able to give her a home, and not yours.
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Unless mom is legally incompetent, and you have POA or guardianship you can't force her into a facility. If she's agreeable then give it a try but it sounds unlikely.

No one would blame you for cutting lose from her. Do what you have to do, but at least contact APS and advise them of her situation and that you cannot care for her. Depending on her mental state they may not be able to do much at this point. Things usually have to be pretty desperate for APS to take action.
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