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She has COPD, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and a heart problem.

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It's a personal choice. I take care of other seniors and worked in a nursing home. After working there I promised my parents I would take care of them. It's a hard decision to make. Many questions you need to ask yourself. There is help and support when that time comes, do what you feel you can.. Not everyone can do it due to other obligations, and saying I can't is not a bad thing..
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Out of 7 siblings, I was the one to care for Mom. For me is what the most gratifying selfless act I've done in my life. Of course, the decision was mine. I have to say that those last years with her I had the opportunity to know a person, a woman that had a very complex life. I learned things about her that I never knew. I would never change those 5 years of my life with her. But like a lot of people say here, do what's in your heart. Do it because you want to...
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I think by just posting this question, you have some worries or doubts in your mind about attempting to care for your mom. I have to tell you that dealing with my Mom has become one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. I went into this wanting to be there for mom to be her champion and take care of her as she took care of me. Dementia has robbed me of my mother and I now find myself in a situation that I wish to God I was not in. This has gone on for 7 years with my mother and prior to that it was my father. I am exhausted, physically, mentally and emotionally. Mom's doctor recently told me to put her in a NH, that I could not handle this situation alone, I would fail, I would hate myself and I would wind up sick myself. He is right but I have been doing this for 7 years and I just can't bring myself to do it because she is still lucid at many times and seems somewhat "normal." At other times she drives you nuts and you feel like calling someone to come and get her.

If you can give up your life and you are willing to, and if you can get help from other siblings on a consistent basis or if you have money to hire in home help, then go ahead and try it. If you have any doubts or fears I would not even attempt to care for her but visit her very often in a living facility.
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I have a different opinion. My goodness, your mother is only 65 years old. She barely is eligible for Medicare. I would definitely not be bringing up this subject yet or setting down anything that could be misconstrued as a plan of action for her care. Your mother is young and should be making her own plans for an independent life that does not burden her children. If you start talking caregiving, she will just assume that she can count on that.

When the time comes, whatever happens will happen. Maybe you will be in Paris and not want to fly home. May she marries rich and should be putting away for that retirement village. My aunt took care of her son for over twenty years who had Aides. When he passed she was in her late 70's and decided it was time she could find someone. She met a wonderful man to enjoy her golden years and has a nice life with security. Do not make any decisions or put worries on yourself at your young age. Live your life and have fun. Expect from your mom that she strive to be independent. That way she will be a world more independent than if you let her know that you expect from her to be dependent on you. I do not know why you are asking this now, maybe she is preparing you for her use "when the time comes." If so, don't let her.
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Excuse me, but "placing them" is NOT easier on us, but harder on us. Get it right
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It seems that placing them is easier on us, we can let others do the caregiving. But so many different thing come into play that need to be considered. You could always try it for awhile, but make sure you have a backup plan, just in case that can be implemented within a day or two. While she is not having significant immediate problems try it for a week or two where ever the caregiving will be done, your home, hers? That will at least give you an idea as to whether it will work for you.

I love this, the spellchecker on my HP touchpad, don't buy one, corrects caregiving to sacrificing. It is so appropriate, I wonder if it is intentional.
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I'd advise against it. It is so much worse than we can imagine that, if you have any choice, place her, but be her advocate and love her, but don't get taken down with her.
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I couldn't take care of Mom. She is difficult, at best. 65 is young. She could live 30 years. How old will you be then?
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If you don't is there anyone (or any institution) that will?
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One more thought on sibling involvement. If they do not help, are not willing to help, it could potentially destroy your relationships with them. Make sure if you decide to do this you consider whether you are willing to do it for no compensation which will benefit your siblings at the time your mom dies if there are assets involved. What your mom wants is primary and document everything.
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Everybody's situation is different. Be prepared to give up your life and get no appreciation. It may not happen that way in your case but the possibility is there. In my case, I have a supportive spouse and involved siblings. My relationship with my Dad before I took over his care 24/7 was not very good. He was abusive and did not respect or trust me at all. Since my mother passed away, he has done a 180 degree turn. I have become his whole world and I even get an 'I love you' occasionally. I have been robbed of a personal life, but I have gotten to know my Father in a whole new way. I wouldn't change my decision, if I had the chance. I know many caregivers do not have as much support as this job requires and become bitter. You are wise to consider your options carefully. Also be aware that planning ahead is good, but many decisions will have to be made 'on the fly'. Caregiving can be a blessing or a curse and is always unpredictable. Good luck and God bless.
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Only you can answer this question. As above, have the talk with her now. Make sure you have assistance that will be available when you need it. This is very hard to do because the non-caregiving sibs will rely on you to do everything.

If you approach this is the wrong way, it will break your spirit, depress you, and leave you wondering is this all there is for me and mom with the life she has left. In my case though, I have had a different attitude. While the job is exhausting, and I have no help from siblings that live close enough to see her daily if they made an effort, every time they cause trouble, it lifts me up higher as I recognize a new level of strength, fortitude and motivation out of love for my mom.
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I just started caring for my mother in law last January, as she was in another state, and BIL who was caring for her went to jail. We literally had one day's notice. I didn't anticipate that we would be the one's to care for her permanently, but we are. We had to add onto our home a new room and a fully handicapped bathroom. My MIL is easy going, however, I should have really thought this out first and looked at other options. At the time, however, there weren't any, as MIL has very little money coming in. My answer is NO. You will lose any freedom that you had. Can't go anywhere, without someone watching her, forget about going away for a vacation, weekend, etc. unless someone can step in and take care of her. As for any other family members, I guarantee that they are glad you're doing it and not them, they don't understand the hard work and difficulty that it is. It's like having a toddler again: bathing, dressing, buying diapers, preparing meals and/or feeding, doing her laundry (and if she is in diapers/incontinent, it will be disgusting. This is all in addition to taking care of your own families needs, working full time, getting laundry, house work done, etc. etc. It's really exhausting. I highly suggest that you look for additional options.
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Okay so I call to see how my mother is doing in her nursing residential care. She is with retired nuns and priests, this could not be a better environment for her, she is in her glory, my mother is so into this culture, she is happy and wanted to show them how she can step dance, me I have been agonizing, what is wrong with this picture. The point is this, she wants and needs constant attention, she is getting it and in and surrounded by religious extremely religious people. She had a beautiful opportunity for her own large bright room, on the garden, with her ensuite and own tv, she wanted to be in a room with others. She needs attention and structure, and guess what she is happier than she'd ever be at home.
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It's hard. I look after my mother-in-law and she doesn't require 24/7 care. She lives by herself, but about 50 feet from me so I'm able to watch out for her. She's able to do the basics, like bathing, toileting, grooming, dressing, etc. I've taken over managing her medicine. I bring it to her twice a day and call in refills. I also make doctor's appointments for her and either take her myself or make arrangements for her to get there. I bring her dinner 5 nights a week, sometimes pick up her groceries and make sure she gets to church. My nephew manages her money, paying her bills, either picking up her groceries or giving me the bank card with a list and I take care of it, picks up her medicine and I pick it up from him, etc. I don't do a whole lot compared to others on here but even what I do, with help from my nephew(who works 2 jobs), can be hard at times, especially since I'm also raising a family. So I'm looking after 2 households. I have 3 kids, one of which is grown up and out of the house, a 7yo and a 3yo. My dh isn't able to help much because of his job. He's up before sunup and doesn't come home until after sunset. That's the price we're paying so I can stay home with the kids. He does what he can on the weekends but can't do anything during the week. With your mom being 65, you're possibly looking at 20 to 30 years of caregiving and even with what little I do, it can be overwhelming at times. Would you have any help at all?
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I did it for as long as I could and it was not always easy. It did consist of giving up some of my life too but I've never regretted it. It's a personal decision but if I had put my mom in a facility she would've died within three months of a broken heart. I stuck it out for as long as I could as long as she was able to get around, then when she broke her hip, that was it, she had to get home health care and subsequent hospice. In fact, due to her health issues and being power of attorney, I'm still putting my life on hold somewhat. But I figure if I wanted to be totally free, I should just not associate with my family at all, and I don't want that either.
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Having gone through hell the last 16 years of my life, especially the last few months I would have to say NO. You will be held accountable for every little last detail in her life. I would not become the primary caregiver. If I were you and you had a healthy caring relationship with your mother then I would certainly help out, but I would not become the one responsible. It will eat you alive, it will damage your health, relationships, your heart and soul. Right now I am still recovering from a very devastating and damaging relationship with her and my sister and her family. Stay strong, don't feel guilty ever, be there to help and advise if consulted, but I would not do it again, knowing what I know now. I know this sounds bitter, but false allegations, accusations have caused me and my family to feel this way. Think long and hard. Your mother is relatively young, but does have some serious health problems. My mother was 65 and diabetic, bp, heart problems, strokes, etc. she is now 91. Doesn't live with me and my family anymore after 16 years...thank god.
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Ask yourself if you can do this physically, emotionally and financially.
Can you lift or maneuver mom if that becomes needed? Do you have a support structure and personally satisfying life? Will you be able to hold on to your life and relationships? Can you afford respite help, so it will not be all encompassing? Will you have to give up your income and benefits? Can you afford this? Your mother is young, she can easily live 20 plus years, caretaking would be a long term commitment. Look at it from a practical perspective and with full knowledge of the picture of what you can do ask yourself wha you re willing to do.

Whatever you decide do plant the seed....example, I need to work to ensure my retirement as well, I would not be able to retire early to become your caregiver. We need to figure this out together.


Some of the folks on this site that seem the most troubled are the ones that require compensation from the parents in order to have an income, I think they feel trapped and will be in a precarious position when the SS checks seize when the elder requires NH or passes, unless they are entitled to a large inheritance.
Most of these caregivers are in their 50s or so, and will have a tough time re entering the job market after a significant absence.

I always say money does not buy happiness, but it does afford options to deal with problems. Do consider the financial aspect of the situation.

BTW, planning is great, but in these situations you never know.

Best of luck to you.
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I'd spend some time reading through the threads on this site and that will give you an idea of what you are thinking of undertaking. 65 is relatively young, will you be able to be her sole support for perhaps 30 or so more years? Will you be able to process her decline as she ages and the accompanying difficulties. I know I wish I had researched before coming here, but I had no idea my mother was as bad as she was till I was on the doorstep from very very far away. I had to come no two ways about it, would I have liked to be prepared you bet you. If I did not come something bad would have happened to her alone, something bad would have ended her up in care a ward of this government's state. So, sometimes you can get a leg up, a heads up, but the more you know the better informed your choices and plans will be.
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The fact that you're asking yourself this now, is very wise. Being honest with yourself about what you feel you'd be able to do and not do is good preparation. Be prepared, even if you make the choice to be the caregiver, life happens and plans can change. My dad is in nursing care now, I had no choice after a severe sepsis infection from a procedure gone very wrong this summer. Three years ago I said I'd take care of my dad when he got to that point, that was when I had other people I knew would be there to support me. One has passed from cancer now, another has had several surgeries, cannot drive and needs care herself (both I've taken care of), and my one sibling tucked tail and ran. I've taken care of three people I love in the last two years. Dad is a big guy who cannot walk or even stand, has moments of dementia, there's no way I can physically lift him. There's no way I could take care of him alone like this. I have to work to support myself too or I'll lose my home. My oldest daughter had the best advice, sometimes we have to accept our limits, and it's true, many often basically give up their own lives to be a caregiver, even their homes, you have to decide if you can do that, and if you're care would really be better for them than a facility. Honestly mine would not be for my dad, he needs big guys that can lift him and who he won't argue with. Even so, I'm his DPOA, so I have to manage it all, he still has a home and bills that I pay and take care of, on top of my own home and bills. So also be prepared, even if mom goes into a nursing facility, you'll likely still have a lot to deal with.
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As others have said...it's good that you are asking this question now. My mother also has many conditions and I have been caregiving for her for 18 years now. If I would have known then the toll that it has taken on me physically and mentally I would ha e done it differently or not at all. I love her but my siblings have taken my and my family's love, empathy and generosity sooooo much for
granted. I have been under so much stress that it has caused me physical illness. Because my mother is such a passive person, who does not want to in any way cause her two older children any inconvenience, she too has caused me pain and feelings of resentment. She too has taken me for granted.

Be careful in your decision. In the beginning all I did was out of love. But then with time and with the treatment from others my feelings have changed. And that is sad because I am a genuinely good and loving person. But I too have to love myself and in doing that I must make hard decisions that at times make me feel the opposite. Good luck and God bless you.
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My answer is the same. NO! I have been taking care of my mom for 7 years, now, also, and with no help as I am the only surviving sibling. It has taken away my life and broken my spirit. Once you take on the responsibility, it is difficult to disappoint them and send them away. My mom is 98 years old, now, and I keep thinking and hoping it will not be much longer, however, her heart is strong and she survives everything, and her dementia is relentless. You must follow your hear, but, beware! Love, Hugs, and Strength to you and God Bless!
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Do what is in your heart!
If you want to care for your Mom, if you can care for YOURSELF and remain a healthy and happy person... then you should. If you can't then you will know that in your heart, too. Listen to your heart, because at the end of time, you should feel good about the choices you make.

The best advice I got from this site was when someone told me to hug my mom and tell her I love her every day that I could, because one day ... I would not be able to do that any more. That cost me nothing. I tried it... I got to do that almost every day.

Now mom is gone and I will never be able to do it, but I know that she knew that she was loved. There are so many other hard questions, but that was the MOST helpful advice I ever got. Sometimes the simplest things help the most.

I hope you can hear what your heart is telling you to do (and I hope it is telling you to be sure you are taking good care of yourself first and then helping others with your strength and good health and in happiness).
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Congratulations on asking yourself that question before the time is here! There are three questions caregivers and potentail caregivers should ask themselves. Can I do this? Am I willing to do this? and most importantly, Am I the best person to do this? A no to any of these questions should set off alarm bells.


At any rate, now is the time to discuss this with your mom. She may have entirely different views on how to move forward than you assume. It is also the time to begin putting together a care-circle so that the entire responsibility does not rest on your shoulders. Even if you have no relatives you can build a care circle with neighbors and friends.
Most importantly, no is the time to become your mother's care partner; helping her make choices, defininf what you are able to do and what you are not able to do and planning for the future. These are important discussions to have as soon as possible.
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Caregiving is not a easy job! I am currently taking care of my father who has prostate cancer with mets. I was working a full time job and checking him before work and spending the evenings and weekends with him. The cancer has advanced to the point where now I have taken a FMLA to stay 24/7 with him. I have a very understanding husband who has stepped up to the plate to be a single parent right now and hold down a full time job to keep our head above water for finances. It has to be a personal choice for you to choose to be the caregiver for your mother. Do you have siblings? My brother and sister have not spoke or seen Dad in over two years. They live in the same town. That is fine. I made the decision that I would be here for Dad because he raised me for 18 years and didn't walk away when it got difficult. There are really good days and really bad days. Don't forget Hospice in the area that you live. She may be eligible for that program or Home Health. I work for a Hospice Program and Dad is on their program. They are a godsend! Just know if you choose this journey with your mother to remember to breath! Does she have a lot of medical issues at 65? My father is 86 years old.
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I am going thru the same thing right now..nursing homes are soo expensive...and mom is so hard to deal with...I have no one but me...what do we do?
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I did it for 7 years unless you have a wonderful family who will help you,my answer would be no unless you want to give up your life to take care of her, as hard as it seems once we take on that role of caregiving our own lives become non existent, will keep you in my prayers
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