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I lived with my 89 year old mother, who has Alzheimer's, for the last 5-1/2 years until just one month ago the siblings decided to take turns caring for mom. Of course this is not working out and to cover the gaps I want to hire outside help. Problem? Mom thinks she is perfectly fine and gets angry if we even mention the fact. She cannot do anything for herself, unfortunately. She needs 24/7 care. I've been talking with a few agencies but have frozen when it comes time to "introduce the new caregiver." I will look like the "bad" daughter and I don't want to upset mom -- but know this may be what is best for her. Suggestions?

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BlackHole, thanks for your understanding post! I know that many here put up with far more than I do.

And many people I talk to act like I should just brush it off and help "mama." Put up, shut up, offer it up seems to be the preferred way to deal with difficult elders. As long as society expects this, nothing will improve. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if more people abandoned their elders in favor of their own health and wellbeing. What would society do?
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CTTN55, so many of our parents are like your mother. (Or some version of that song and dance.) SO many.

For us caregivers/adult children, it's the most maddening thing. To be looked at as "the answer" -- while our methods are deemed inferior to their slanted memories of doing fill-in-the-blank better. And our suggestions are dismissed out of hand.....simply because they are OUR suggestions.

I have no answers. Just commiserating. If my mom had allowed outside help, she might still be alive.

On the other hand, the last several years of mom's life (such that it was) stressed the sh*t out of me. My rational side understands that "more for more's sake" is not a great alternative. An extended old age for mom would have been an extended Sissiphyian drama for me -- with or without outside help.

Hang in there, everyone. You're gonna p*ss off mom or dad no matter what. So do what makes sense for YOU and what's left of YOUR life. 
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My mother could really use someone to clean her condo. She's obsessively neat, so it would only be needed twice a month or so. So far she's refused to do it. She has not asked me, which is good, because I won't do it.

She probably shouldn't be showering alone (has neuropathy in both feet and has told me it's hard to get her feet out of the tub), but to this point doesn't think she needs help. She has a life alert button, and is currently in the process of considering converting to one with the automatic fall detection option. Who knows when she will actually get that, as she tends to talk and talk about something before actually doing it (has been talking about getting a housecleaner for 4 months now and hasn't done anything to make it happen). 

When we visited an AL place four months ago, she told the director that she would like someone to be there when she showered and also to help with getting dressed. But she has made zero effort in trying to get some help with these activities at home.

If she ever gets around to some personal care help, she will not be hiring a freelancer. If her LTC insurance is to ever kick in, she has to show a record of having help from a licensed agency. I'm sure she will balk at that price, and the fact that there is a minimum number of hours. She may just never get around to getting any help at all.

I am not willing to be her housecleaner or personal care attendant, because of her OCD and the way she treats me.

If I had to be her shower monitor, I would require payment, and I'm sure that would set off a yelling or the crying/shaking routine from her.

She thinks my time is worthless (had another example of that just a few days ago), and I will not subject myself to her emotional abuse.

I'm sure she will find fault with any housecleaner or caregiver, and I'm not looking forward to the endless time on the phone she will waste while she complains about them.  She doesn't understand what a nuisance she is on the phone. She thinks that because I'm not actually "doing something" for her, that that time doesn't count at all. 

(Sorry I seem so negative these past few days in my replies, but I'm still smarting from the emotional abuse I had to endure the other day.)
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Wow! I can't thank everyone enough for all your helpful suggestions! I just got back from Mom's house (3 days) and will return on Thursday for another 2 days. I'm going to answer a few questions here in one shot: Just to make it clear we are not looking for someone to be at mom's 24/7 as some of you may have thought. Yes, that would be expensive! Us "kids" are rotating mom-care, but at times there are gaps and we struggle to get a sibling to step up to the plate. We are thinking of hiring someone occasionally to fill in these gaps. I have attended Teepa Snow seminars, which are excellent. I have plugged into the Alzheimer's Association and for the last 5 years I have attended a Caregivers Support Group through the local Agency on Aging. So I have been educating myself regarding this terrible disease. My siblings don't think I am the "bad daughter" it will be my stubborn mother who will think I am the "bad" daughter. I do like the idea of introducing her to a friend or saying it is doctor's orders. I didn't even know Care Coordinators existed - so thank you for that tip as well. Also, placing her on a waiting list with a facility is a good idea, for I did hear it could take up to a year or longer. I think having someone come in slowly will work out good, but some agencies require a six hour minimum. I'm thinking if I stayed there the first few days with my "friend" this could go smoothly. Not sure, because she never did like my "friend" who did the yard work and he wasn't even inside the house!!!!! Ha, ha. (I hired a yard person to help me when I lived with mom.) BUT -- as I said here from the start -- there are many excellent ideas you have given and I am going to take the plunge and get some outside help. THANK YOU EVERYONE for your suggestions.
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My wife has dementia so I told her the doctor sent her,the caregiver to confirm my answers to get questions. This has worked. One day they are friends and the next time she asks me to send her home then apologize for being mean to her. : ))
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I had Home Helpers Agency and this one girl stole money from my moms purse and jewelry from my bedroom chest and the agency did not do nothing to the person whom did this! My understanding was her relative was a big shot in the police department and I believe, that is why nothing was done. I am not saying all the girls were bad and it is sad that, it takes one bad apple to ruin it for the workers whom, are out there to make a descent living for their family and shame on the agency for covering for this girl. I finally, got someone by word of mouth and she was a god sent.. I just want to say if you decide on outside help. I would recommend, one person only. Once you have several people you run into problems and if you stay with one or two you can have more control and monitor more closely.
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I think since she has Alzheimer, from what I read. This is a serious issue, and every family member processes this differently and has a different timeline for acceptance. I would recommend you locating an Alzheimer's association meeting in your town or nearby, and showing up to that meeting, if you haven't already. Each family member doing it separately will help speed their acceptance up where you can get more on the page, than at the last minute. One person has to leap. Not everyone will follow, but someone has to bring peace with progress. The person that is scared is the person who has Alzheimers. The ones that don't have that disease should not be scared, they should help. That is why outside help is the solution on several fronts. It reduces stress for all.
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My mother had alzhiemers and was resistant to having a caregiver. I told her I had hired a housekeeper to help me. I went through a caregiver agency with a good reputation. I stayed for the first couple of times she came to see how they interacted together. Alicia would just do light house cleaning. The third day I left reminding mom that Alicia was here to clean but I had a dentist appointment so mom needed to help Alicia should she have questions. My absence meant Alicia made lunch for them both, and sat talking for quite awhile. Over the course of five more visits Alicia did less house work and more visiting, playing go fish and dominos.

Then I started saying "your friend is coming by today". If she did not remember I would say "your friend Alicia, you two always have your fun together on Wednesday". She adjusted very easily. Alicia would take her to Braum's each week so the workers there got so they welcomed mom like an old friend. Then they would go for a drive talking about everything they saw, and then circle back to Braum's for a hot fudge Sunday before returning home. Momma eyes were always sparkling after a visit from Alicia.
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Did your mom ever fill out ballots? - say you won 4 weeks of care for doing so & that the 'help' needs the job - if needed say that you need to assess the workers & make up some sort of form to do so - hopefully she won't be able realize how long that month is

When time is up IF she remembers tell her that you both did such a good job on the forms that you now are helping train new workers especially if high turn over - this means she is doing an useful thing by allowing help in the home - depending on her memory you might not need to go this far but let whoever is helping know how you are proceeding - good luck & if this works let others know
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I started out telling my husband I needed help around the house. For a while I told him she was the cook. He was always willing for me to have help but not him. He didn't need it.
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This is very common among elders. YOU are now in control and not mom.
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I have recently experienced this myself. I am my Mother full time 24/7 caregiver. My siblings help when they can, but it is not always when I need the help. My Mother's needs have become more involved as she has declined in the last year and a half. I finally contacted a caregiver organization in my area for help. My sister in law's sister works in the elder care field so I got a lot of help from her. It was still nerve racking. I interviewed several people before settling on one company. Now as far as my Mom I basically told her since she was having more and more issues, i.e.; falling, hospitalizations and more memory loss that her "doctor" recommended the caregiver in order to help her to be able to stay in her home longer. Actually I did speak with her Doctor as I needed a dementia diagnosis for the respite care ( she has long term care and they will help pay for this care with a dementia diagnosis) he was also in agreement that I needed the respite care in order to continue helping my Mother in the best way possible. Mom seems to take Doctor orders better than regular folks and it seems to have worked. Although she would prefer only family "help" her , so far she has accepted the new caretaker. She comes two days a week, for only six hours at a time, but for now it works fine. It has been wonderful for me as I seem to be less on edge and have some time for myself to do as I want. The first day the caretaker came I stayed close to Mom's house and was a nervous wreck. The caretaker has only been here for three weeks, but Mom seems happier and since they work on her therapy excercise she is getting stronger. She always rebuffed me when I suggested the excercise. She doesn't rebuff the "professional ". It has worked for me, maybe you can tell your Mom the Doctor ordered the help. In a way they all do as it will help you too!
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Cwillie has got a good point, just gradually bring someone in that will do somethings and work up to more "taking care" portion of it. It might show your mom that she can still be involved a bit and still have the feeling of being "useful'. I know that my mom still wants that feeling even though she is in AL.
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... there's allot of good suggestions for you Sue. I'm going to add (perhaps someone has already) .. by what you've said about your mom she has an independent (possibly a tad stubborn) personality who hasn't sent her independence into retirement yet, and may never will. But based on what you've said I don't think an agency is the way to go. Rather a neighborly type person, an individual simply looking for some part time hours, possibly even a retired woman seeking to still engage in the work force type individual. If I'm reading you correctly Your mother is mostlikley prideful and rightfully distrusting so having many different people from a wide variety of ages entering her home (as every agency does) when you are not there, simply won't be trusted by your mother and will not go well. I personally would seek a part time retired person (female)that your mother can gain a type of kin-ship or a light friendship with so she's more at ease with this person when it comes to helping her in all aspects. As far as how to approach it with your mom, carefully and as some have suggested introduce this person as a friend of yours first, having the person over to the house for coffee a couple times then when its time for this person to actually begin "the job" and to start filling in the time frames she's needed.. simply tell your mom ""Mom, so and so is going to stop by and do a few things for me until I get back. "" then simply repeat the "mom, so and so is coming by again today for me" just repeat that as you would if you really did have a friend coming over every day you need the person to be there. Good luck.
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Good Advice from DofNarcissists. I had to introduce my wife to a new friend who came to stay with her when I had to shop or go out. I could not have had a better caregiver than "Sandy". She was a God sent angel and turned out to be a friend who my wife looked for 3 X a week. Even if it's only to spell you and give you some relief it's a necessary move, don't delay! You have to take the plunge!
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When I hired help for my mother who was living with me, I told my mother that I was getting some help for "me" -- She thought it was a great idea, since she saw I was getting tired. I told her I didn't mine being tired, that I enjoyed taking care of her, but this way, I could rest too, and we would have more time doing other things together. She was thrilled that I was hiring a "Companion" for us.
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This is one of the toughest positions to find yourself in, especially if your mother has been very independent or "in control" for most of her life as mine was. Most of these answers are excellent counsel!
Take heart and you will find a way. My mom finally wound up with an RN who was willing and able to take care of her...because this woman "NEEDED THE INCOME" (Turned out that Mom was more right than we thought.) They became so close that the care continued after Mom went to a nursing home!!
It seemed to make Mom feel better that she could still contribute something to someone's life. (Mom was a retired English teacher/guidance counselor.) She hated feeling worthless and "like a burden". Your mother and mine would have been of the same generation. That's their MO!
I think one of the hardest things on an older person is to feel worthless and helpless. It's frightening and depressing, in spite of the mental capacity - or lack thereof.
Seek support and intervention for yourself and your siblings. Don't let yourselves become stressed to the point of breaking and burnout. You are a GOOD daughter as you are showing by seeking answers for your mom. And just one other thing:
Tell her occasionally that you are proud of her. (You will be happy you did later.)
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I have heard of others that tell LO that they know someone who needs a job and they want to help them out. The LO feels they are helping the caregiver out.
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Hire a middle aged immigrant woman, preferably Haitian or Mexican. Most of these women are loyal and hardworking and are not going to jeopardize their liberty, especially in our current political climate. Besides, you could get someone at a better rate than and agency. This may not be legal or politically correct, but after all is said and done, this is your mother. Nothing else matters and nobody has to know. Also, install a surveillance system that will enable you to monitor everything from your computer or phone. This will help you stay on top of things in real time. Ruben
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I did this, I got to know the caregiver first and then invited mom to ice cream with caregiver and my son (moms favorite grandson) and explained this was a good friend of mine, we did a couple of things together first and the caregiver got to know mom with me. Then when I felt comfortable, I explained to mom that CG was coming in my place that day because I couldn't get away from work. It took some time, but worked like a charm!
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Been there. Done that! The big agencies wouldn't do things as I wanted such as administer meds. I asked them why do they say they have med nurses if that's the case? Tried neighbors, didn't work. Tried Care.com, HUGE mistake, caregiver was sweet enough but she brought BED BUGS into my home! If family will help, take them up on it, dictate who does what and when. I had no help from literally 100 family members, wish even one would have stepped up, now mom is gone but I know I took wonderful care of her for nearly 22 years on my own!
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For me its getting over the guilty feeling of leaving her side.
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As freqflyer said home care 24/7 is costly. For us adult daycare was the best resolution, for dependability as well as price. She was there until she progressed beyond there ability. One of the problems there was that there were more developmentally challenged people who could not understand my mother's need to nurture them (mother of 6) Where if she would have been at one for dementia clients, they would have been better trained, hopefully, allowing her to stay at home longer.
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I worked in Elder Care for my "profession" if, you want to call it that. My "longest" client didn't WANT outside help and had fired several previous women. I went to "meet" her, introduced myself as a personal Assistant, someone who would be coming to help her organize her many activities and be her private chauffeur. This went over beautifully, she accepted me on the spot and we got along great. I was not a teenager, nor an immigrant (sorry, she was a bit of a racist and I can't sugar coat that)...and she referred to me as her PA many times. Needless to say, I was an underpaid, overworked caregiver for an elderly lady and I knew it. What SHE knew was that her privileged lifestyle was going to continue.
When she eventually required 24/7 care, I was instrumental in the adjustment, change and move. I visited her a few times after she moved.

This was a less than 32 hr week gig, OT only on holidays, so the family still had to step up a lot, but they got some respite.
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Sue, I hired caregivers from a nationwide agency and they sent me a variety of different people to see which person my Mom would like.... well, Mom didn't like any of them... Mom said she had her husband and her daughter to help her. Earth to Mom, my Dad was in his 90's, same as Mom, and I was a senior citizen who was busy with my career.  Mom just didn't want strangers in the house.  The caregiver could have been Hazel or Mary Poppins and Mom would have said no.

The Agency even sent a caregiver who had a knack of getting the elder to accept her. She met her challenge with my Mom, who shooed everyone out, so I had to cancel the Agency. Before long Mom had to be placed in long-term-care. And the caregiver that Mom shooed out became my Dad's caregiver who he then had for over a year. She was great.

Please note having 24 hour care at home will become costly. For my Dad it was $20k per month, yes per month.
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I used to have aides from an agency. However, after difficulties with agency meeting my mother's needs, my siblings and I researched and found a program called CD PASS-- consumer-directed personal assistant services and support. This program has allowed us to interview and hire people we know and trust, such as family members and friends.
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The above answers are really good. Try to introduce the person as someone there to help you. And as far as anyone trying to make you out to be the bad guy in this, keep in mind that the chances are good that, sooner or later, your mother will not remember who did it anyway. If we must go through this at least we can try to look at some of what as happening as a sort of help. We do what we have to do, and we usually have to fight with the person we are caring for while we are doing it. But it is what it is and it will not last forever. Look for the good things and the good times.
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I would look for a "friend" that your parent is familiar with. This will make the introduction easier. If this familiar friend is willing to help with tasks your parent needs, this may be the way to go in the beginning. You can take it from there as the weeks, months progress.
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Don't delay. My 96 year old father is in hospice now. For years he refused to let me bring in the help he needed. He said, " I won't pay anyone to clean here while I have daughters." He also would not let me really decluttering or do anything at his house. It was a an anxiety provoking battle to Fix his broken toilet, get rid of the mouse infestation, to do his laundry for goodness sake. We tried to care for him as a family but it was impossible to create a safe sanitary environment. Finally we hired an Eastern European woman to come during the day-- although he was very resistant initially, he said after a few weeks. "This is a good thing." He was totallly different with her than with us. The belligerence was gone. My father has severe memory loss but has not been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. as I look back now I regret that I did not force a professional caregiver on him five years earlier who could have cleaned up his environment, made sure he was eating properly and alerted us to developments in his health. Ultimately we all did the best we could, given our knowledge and his stubbornness. We currently have two caregivers providing. 24/7 coverage for him and it is very expensive. I know people who have had success that was much less less costly bringing in 24/7 coverage live in homemakers. But Alzheimer's is particularly distressing for everyone-- if you can afford it I would look for a well regarded facility. It will be difficult at first, but ultimately you will know she is getting the care she needs.
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For whatever reason it worked to tell my Mom that her doctor had ordered the caregiver. She would be so impressed that her doctor sent the help she would forget about arguing as she didn't want to upset her doctor. Probably won't work for all but worth a try.
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