Am I realistic to think I can take care of my mom? -

Am I realistic to think I can take care of my mom?


I was going to take Mom out of the nursing home as her money runs out in one year, I am the POA. She started falling and I changed my mind. She fell 6 times in 3 weeks, and now is wheelchair bound. My sister who lives on the other coast and has done little the last 6 years, has disowned me and says I scammed Mom and her since I didn't take her to live with me. She is also fecal incontinent, but the falls were really the reason. Now I cry every day, and can't let go of the guilt, even though intellectually I know it is a waste. I have done so much for my mother, but just can't get over it. I can't afford therapy. I think that if I bring her here, I can stop the crying. Am I realistic to think I can take care of her? I can hire a health aide with her money that she would have spent on the assisted living. Any reaching out to me would be appreciated.

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Are you realistic to think you can take care of her? In a word, NO.

Your profile says your mother has dementia. You know that that condition gets worse, right? Who knows what her impairments will be in a year?

Take Katie's advice and start the Medicaid application process now. BTW not all facilities accept Medicaid payments. Find out if the one Mom is in will take Medicaid when the time comes, and if not, start looking for one that does.

Spend down some of the funds on things to benefit your mother, such as a deluxe wheelchair, adaptive clothing, a couple pair of shoes, etc. because once she is on Medicaid there will be little money available for such things. Talk to the staff about what things would be good for her to have. Spending like this may reduce the amount of months she can self-pay. That is OK. Just get started on the application now.

I am so very sorry that your sister is so ignorant or selfish that she is not only not supporting you but is actually accusing you. Perhaps being "disowned" by her isn't such a big loss.

Most communities have some therapy available on a sliding scale or low cost. And most insurance covers therapy. Please try to see a therapist! That will be much more likely to help you stop crying than bringing your mother into your house would.
Helpful Answer (10)

Oh dear! You are probably wrong that you can take care of her.

Apply for Medicaid now. Keep her in the nursing home and begin the Medicaid application process so that it will be ready when she needs it.

But, seriously do not think you can dedicate your life 24/7 for her care. All too often is it a rollercoaster ride. You hire a caregiver, she fires. She only wants to be cared for by you....all the time. Really. The guilt is the reason so many do this...and it only gets worse. You have nothing to feel guilty about, she is getting the best care possible already

Take some time and read a lot of the posts here. Before you decide to go down that road...make sure you have read at least 3 of the posts here about caregiving for an elder yourself.
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Taking her to your home would not stop the crying - you would be crying for different reasons, still being attacked by your sister, and exhausted beyond imagination and worse.

This is not the solution. The posters above have all given you good advice. The guilt you are feeling is false guilt due to not meeting your sister's unhealthy expectations. Your mum needs the care that a facility can offer. I agree you are doing now what is best for your mother. Just continue.

I, and others here, know well how the "barbs" from a family member can hurt. Sometimes it helps me to remember that "what others think of you is none of your business." Hang in there. Therapy for you may be a good idea.
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If you are asking if it is possible for a person to care for their parent with advanced demensia, the answer is yes. I do it and know others that do it as well. I can't answer if you, personally can do so or not.

 My mom is now stage 7 Alzheimer's, which is the final stage. I will share with you what her care involves to give you an idea. I get mom up at about 7 in the morning. She is totally incontinent so I change her brief, making sure to clean her Peri area well. I do a quick check for any red areas, I am diligent about making sure there is no skin break down leading to bed sores. I apply ointment. I do this at each changing. I give her meds. Then wash her face, brush her teeth and hair. I then lift her to her transport chair. She can't help at all, her legs are constricted. I take her to her recliner in the living room. She has an alternating pressure pad on both her bed and recliner. I fix her breakfast and feed her... She is developing a delayed swallow so I have to watch carefully and prompt her as needed to swallow. Every 2 hours I reposition her and offer food and drink. Every 3 hours I change her brief. Around 6 in the evening I give her meds and get her situated in bed. I sit in there with her until she goes to sleep... Usually around 8. 

I also give her bed baths and wash her hair three times a week. She can never be left alone, ever. It is a big commitment. 

Moving is challenging for PWD so be sure you can do it before you make the change. It will be lonely. It is difficult. But it is worthwhile and I wouldn't change my choice to care for my mom.

Don't do this for your sister... And don't think you will never cry...I cry. I cried this week when I looked at my sweet little mommy, weighing less than 80 lbs., body beginning to curl into the fetal position, post seizure, unable to make eye contact...I just cried and cried. It is the most difficult thing you will ever do. Keeping your mom in the nursing home does not mean you have failed. Your responsibility is to be sure your mom is safe and cared for... You have done this and should know that you are a great daughter.
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michelleshevlin, your Mom is in a nursing home for a reason, she needs skilled care. She has around the clock care by 3 shifts of caregivers, each one working 8 hours and getting to go home for a peaceful night sleep to be refreshed for the next day shift.

If you had Mom at home with you, you would be doing the work of all 3 shifts, thus working 168 hours a week with zero breaks. Before you know it, you will crash and burn from exhaustion.

At one time my Dad needed around the clock care, so he hired caregivers from an Agency, 3 shifts per day. It cost him a whopping $20k per month, yes per month.

If you are receiving Medicare, Medicare will pay for therapy. I have a talk therapist that I go to now once a month, and haven't paid a dime, it is covered by Medicare. It's just trying to find a therapist who does take Medicare. I lucked out, found one who is close to my age and who had gone through taking care of her elderly parents.
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You aren't going to get your sister's approval no matter what you do, which I think is one of the motivating factors for you wondering if you could take care of Mom in your own home.
Your sister probably is lashing out at you because she feels guilty for not helping you, so now she's transferred the guilt on to you and you have taken it.

Guilt is a useless emotion, I should know, I fight it all the time, even though in my heart I know I am doing a good job taking care of my Mom who has dementia and does not live in my home.

Your Mom's needs will only increase, and you would be the only one capable of determining how realistic it would be to take care of her in your home, but I would not recommend it. I'm assuming you have other life-obligations, how would you take care of those?
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You say: "I think that if I bring her here, I can stop the crying."

I'm afraid not.

You have been intelligent and responsible in observing your mother's needs and realising that they cannot be met by one person in a domestic environment. I am very sorry that your sister has taken this so hard, but you must bear in mind that she hasn't - couldn't have - the first idea of what she is talking about. Whereas you are there, you have been your mother's consistent, ever-present support, and you have genuinely put her care and safety first.

Have more confidence in your judgement. You are doing what is best for your mother, and if your sister thinks otherwise she needs to come and see the reality for herself.
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You said Nursing home. An AL is above a nursing home. Do u mean AL.
If u do mean nursing home and she is private pay because her assets are too much at this time for Medicaid, then wait until you can apply for Medicaid. In the state of NJ I had 60 days from applying to find a home. Mom was in an AL. I transferred her to a NH and she private paid for two months, May and June and July started Medicaid. Check with the facility now to see if they except Medicaid. If not, u may need to transfer her to a facility that does. When my Mom went to the AL last Aug she could still walk, feed herself and recognize people. Its now a year later and because of falling is in a wheelchair. She is incontinent and when she talks, it just rambling. Her reality, dreams and TV are all one and the same. To be honest, taking Mom out of an enviroment she has become used to is not good. She may lash out. Does ur sister feel guilt? If she is so concerned, let her take Mom in. This is what I feel about siblings who take no responsibility but cry ur stealing Moms money...they planned on that money coming to them eventually. You can prove where that money went...Moms care. Please, don't feel guilty. Your Mom is in a safe place and you will keep ur sanity.
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I was my parents live-in aide for awhile (both have health issues, stroke, incontinent, falling, dementia). When I got burnt-out we hired a live-in aide. But it was really a stop-gap until we found assisted living. We chose assisted living because there were nurses on staff, cna's, healthy food, activities, transportation and other people to socialize with. The cost of the care-giver for us was $250 a day. She was a nice person who made sure my parents had access to food and were safe, however, she did not do heavy cleaning, driving was tough and she was only employed technically to help my mom. It was less expensive and safer to movie my parents out of their house- steep stairs, small bathrooms, etc. Try to let go of the guilt. I cried daily for awhile, then I realized I did the best I could and had the best interest of my parents in mind when I made/make decisions.
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Wow, Grammyteacher, thank you for sharing. I question my decision to place Dad in MC often, and your story is a reminder of the commitment involved.
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