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I am battered and defeated. Tired of the same problems that my mother just ignores and brushes away. She doesn’t deal with the consequences so she doesn’t care. I’m left to clean up the mess. Sometimes figuratively sometimes literally. Oh sure, she feigns concern and promises change but in a day or so she returns to her old bad habits and nothing ever really changes. And before you ask, no. She doesn’t have dementia. Not that any Dr has been able to determine. So I’m left to decide......her or me? Don’t be so quick to respond. Many on this forum have called others selfish and heartless and unloving for choosing themselves and their families over their elderly parents. It may seem like an easy answer but it’s not. One answer causes guilt, confusion, shame, and loss. The other dooms you to a life of servitude (some say slavery) and loss of other family and friends. Not to mention your own health concerns. But still I read people on here saying “you’re a saint”. “What a good daughter”. “You are so kind and loving”. So what is it then? Huh? Not as easy to answer as you thought? Right. That’s what I thought.

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This may sound cruel but there are aspects to my mother's personality post stroke that I find easier to deal with. She could frequently be over the top and hounding. Of course there are those times when there seems to be nothing we can say to each other.

My mother barely ever came through on a promise she would make. She just could be very unrealistic. I finally just accept this or give in. I am so tired of feeling the issues created by who she was and who I became. Expecting a person to change is challenging. It can be done but requires great personal resolve which is certainly made more difficult to achieve in the elderly. I am sorry for your pain.
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Momsgoto Jun 2019
Agree totally.
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Would it be so bad if she had to suffer some of the consequences of her actions? Could you take of few days off of cleaning up her messes figuratively and literally?
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Momsgoto Jun 2019
Well, I do that sometimes. But it is there for me when I return
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so, before I read ANYTHING else about you, not your previous answers or your profile....

You DO realize, don't you, that you have NO (NOOOOOOOO) legal obligation to support your mother in her attempts at "independence"?

Really?
Independence?

Let her give it a try. Let the equivalent of US 911 come and get her.

YOU, dear one, are not responsible for supporting her in this endeavor.
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Momsgoto Jun 2019
Thank you for your kindness. I do realize that. It’s a very hard choice to make.
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Very sorry for all you are going through. I do think that it is time for you to seek professional help, because we here on this forum are likely not qualified to help you comb through all the issues here, and come to any conclusions. That makes any "easy answers" impossible. Your choices are perhaps not as clearly etching in stone as you think nor as black and white. We all suffer guilt when we feel we are not up to fulfilling our loved one's or societal expectations. That is we feel guilt if we are not psychotic. Accept your feelings of guilt as a sign you are a decent and caring person. And we all suffer confusion about where to draw the line between "servitude" and simply turning our backs. Depression, with its hopelessness and despair, makes choices seem as though they are clearly "either/or" but in fact they are not. A good licensed Social Worker or psychologist can help you identify what you want and need in your life, and what you will have to give up any hope of controlling. This person is trained to help you map our a direction. Anger is often easier than pain, and I think that it covers what is really there, which is GRIEF, and despair. Grief that we are being let down by those we love, and that we feel we are letting them down as well. Despair that there is anything that can help. I hope you will seek help. I am 76, and there have been three times that I have sought and got help that was honestly invaluable to me. I wish you luck. I can hear the pain you are in, and want you to know that I recently read, in a book about a woman who IS a psychologist, who in a time of deep trouble went to another, an anecdote told by one of them....that feelings come in like weather systems. They are either more or less devastating and last either longer or shorter periods of time. But they will change, just as surely as the weather does. Good luck to you. So sorry for all you are going through.
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Momsgoto Jun 2019
Already see a therapist. Every month or so.
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Oh my...I remember walking in your shoes and man did they hurt!

Seriously, I have said this over and over, I am all about family but if it means to be a doormat than it is not worth it. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball, but if you decide to walk away from a mother who doesn't or can't deal with cleaning up the messes she makes you are not being selfish...I repeat; you are not being selfish! Because at the end, we have to save ourselves and we can not change people. That is a fact!

Sad to say, I spent years cleaning up my mother's messes until these past few months. She thought after my dad died in 2014 that she at 71 yrs old she could handle her finances...well she was wrong! She got so far in debt that she couldn't see past it and my BF and I live with her in my family home. I, like you was at a crossroad...I had a choice help her out of this one last mess or walk away!

I sat my mother down and told her, you have to file for bankruptcy and there is no other way out..oh by the way, I am not paying for it! I went on to tell her, If I decide to help you that we now play by my rules! I take over your finances and I am cleaning out this house. If she didn't want to go this way then I and my BF will move out and she can go down with the ship and she wasn't going to be able to move in with me after she lost my dad's house. She agreed! She filed bankruptcy and lost her truck and my brother's truck because only her name was on it...she had loans on both trucks and a visa card with a 9,000 dollar owed. In total she owed a credit union 11,000 dollars and another 7,000 dollars on 3 other cc. I know I seem harsh...prehaps mean, but I had to let her know I meant business.

You my friend are at a crossroad and here is the questions you need to ask yourself, "what can you live with and who do you love more? I may sound selfish, but whether it is a boyfriend, friend, or family I always say, "I love me more!" Now, I am sure I might get haters for this, but someone once told me "we teach people how to treat us." If I don't love me, who will? Plus, I am going to be with me for the rest of my life!!

No one hear can make your decision, but if your mother refuses to help you clean up her messes then she has made her choice and you need to make yours. Just remember sometimes we just have to walk away from people and that includes family!

I wish you the best of luck!
Hugs!!! Lots of hugs!!!
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Momsgoto Jun 2019
Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. I am very definitely at a crossroad.
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Shell38314 said it well & I recommend you see the wisdom & the simplicity there. Emotions usually overcomplicate family matters, (& we end up making decisions we really CAN'T live with). So decide all things based on what YOU are personally capable of, (not what makes you look good to others). God is our only judge: He sees into our ❤& motives.
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Shell38314 Jun 2019
Thank you Tiger and well said☺
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What you are asking is impossible for anyone to answer for you......but many of us have been there or heading in the same direction. I personally have no interest in being a saint and feel I AM a good daughter.....but I'm sure mom feels otherwise. She's 89 and difficult....always has been. Always got her own way and circumstances are now dictating differently, she is in rebellion mode. I have no patience for her her antics and passive aggressive attitude. I feel at this stage in my life, if I were to become her full time caregiver, I would NOT be kind and loving. I don't have the perseverance , the resilence, or the stamina to deal with her, especially at her age and stubbornness. It would not be a healthy situation for either of us.

Please don't think because you chose the path to do what is best for you and your family that it anyway diminishes you as a caring daughter. It only proves you have the insight to know your limitations. Some of us have the capacity to enter caregiving with our LO with an open mind and a full heart......I'm just not that person and I no longer feel torn. It IS a difficult decision, and only you know what's best. Don't be coerced to take on more than you are capable.....and after careful deliberation you will know what gives you peace.
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lablover64 Jun 2019
I couldn't have said it better. It doesn't matter what others think. What matters is whether you feel you can maintain a positive relationship while being their caregiver. If you can, great - but if you can't, it is no favor to them for you to try to do it. It doesn't mean you care less, it means you know what you can handle and what you can't.
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Never expect others to make changes, one must make changes in his/her own life.
Caregiving is the toughest challenge I've had in my life.
I'm 79 my husband is 73 and had a motorcycle accident 15 years ago which has now traveled into dementia. We were just married 10 years.
I 'm lucky I married a sweet, considerate,smart guy so I had ten years of a fabulous marriage. Now I deal with Dr, Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
There are many day when I want to pack up the dog, three cats, drain whatever is left in our bank account and disappear. What prevents me from doing it is Dr. Jekyll shows up and we talk about the early days of our love and marriage.
Is it tough? you betcha and the tunnel I'm looking thru is very dark.
I just stay in the moment and connected to my family, my girl tribe and continue to stay engaged in the world.
We are broke, it's all gone but..I refuse to let the disease rob me of any joy in the years I have left.
rwriter
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NavyVet90 Jun 2019
I can totally relate to the feeling of wanting to disappear.  I fantasize about divorcing my entire dysfunctional toxic family.  My 2 siblings are no help, not even moral support for my burden and stress.  I am just waiting for the day my 95 yo mentally ill father finally dies and then I'm going to salvage what's left of what was supposed to be a simple, quiet retirement.  I have to take care of my own health issues.  Hang in there.
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Dear Momsgoto,
I have dear, dear friends that are going through the same dilemma in which you find yourself. What I want to say to you and them is that you cannot and must not "go down with the ship." For whatever reasons, either because you've kept her afloat for so very long or she just lacks the comprehension, your mother doesn't have a clue as to how bad it can get if you walk away. You, of course, do know, and that's what keeps you hanging on. But if you are at the breaking point, you must do what it takes to save yourself.... and your other relationships and your health and your sanity. I can't tell you exactly how to do that, but I know that you must. See a lawyer and make sure you understand what you are and are not legally responsible for, then sit her down and let her know the honest-to-goodness deal. You can help her, but you can't save her from herself. You can save yourself, though and you simply must. Let no one who is not in your very shoes tell you otherwise.
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It has all been said so wonderfully here. Do take one of these steps and do not get stuck where you are. You are worth health and emotional safety. Hugs for you !
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I honestly feel like the whole elder care matter is a catch-22.........damned if you do, damned if you don't. Until they pass away, we're guilty, we're worried, we're fighting inner turmoil and battles, we're trying our best to be everything to everybody & feeling like failures to ALL. I won't call you (or myself) selfish or heartless, nor will I call you (or myself) a saint. We're mere mortals trying to do our best and fighting what seems like (and often is) a losing battle. My 92 y/o difficult-as-hell mother is now in Memory Care with a giant staff to look after her, and STILL having chronic issues after less than ONE WEEK being there. The PA called me yesterday to say she now has a compression sore on her tailbone from sitting in the wheelchair too much. I about lost my cool, let me tell you. I feel at the end of my rope, as an only child and the only person who does anything for her, and I'm exhausted, frankly. She was without a phone for 6 days and to hear her tell it, it was the End of the World. Little does she know what I went through to get the phone installed as quickly as it was.

I don't think there is any way to escape the guilt, confusion, shame & loss, but there IS a way to escape the servitude & slavery that comes with having a parent living inside of your home. Choose wisely. And best of luck.
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NavyVet90 Jun 2019
OMG, your mother sounds just like my 95 yo father.  He is an extreme narcissist who went to assisted living a year ago.  All his life he has expected everyone to immediately drop everything and wait on him.  Heaven forbid he doesn't get his way.  The day after my parents moved in, he was bitching and hollering that his phone didn't work.  I explained to him that the facility doesn't include phone service and I was working with the phone company to get it hooked up.  He was so mad, said well it should have been done already, like it was MY personal failure.  It took several more days for them to activate the line.  The way he carried on, you would have thought I was torturing him.  This was after 2 full, long days of coordinating with movers and unpacking and setting up their rooms for them all by myself.  My legs were so swollen after being on my feet so many hours.  Then the third day, I had dinner with them in the lovely dining room.  All he did was complain about the food and service.  (Very fussy eater, demands instant gratification.)  He is impossible to please.  When I got home my BP was 208/98.
I refuse to feel any more guilt over a situation I cannot fix or change.  He brought it all on to himself with the way he treats people, and then wonders why everybody runs in the other direction.  I have had to go minimal contact, as I will not let him put me in the ground like he did my mother.  I feel like I've aged 10 years in the past 18 months.  Some people just don't deserve the sacrifice and servitude of family after a lifetime of toxic dysfunction.  No matter how much you give and do, they don't appreciate any of it.
Therefore, don't feel guilty.  You've done more than enough and more than most.  Do what YOU need to do to live YOUR life.  It's a matter of survival.  Please take care of yourself; your health and your needs matter.
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Society definitely shames us with impossible standards. Others' well-meaning attempts at consoling us fall on ears that cannot take their words with a grain of salt, because we're too overwhelmed not to get angry at anything they say.  (Like: "Oh, you shouldn't feel that way" or "you're an angel.") My husband's behavior pushes me to the brink, and I hope that I can continue to handle all of this, as society only allows us a couple of choices that are socially acceptable.   (Martyrdom and sainthood, i.e. being a doormat, being the most acceptable.)  Very few people speak the truth about this out loud.  Anytime I share how I feel, I am apt to be "corrected" to remember " just think how much harder he has it." No, he is regressing to a child, well-provided for with not only financial provider, meal planner, maid, gardener, but accountant as well. So, here's the thing, I care for him, 72,  my 28 year old partially dependent son, and my 94 year old father, but I refuse to be their entertainment director.  By the time I've handled a full time job, and all the other obligations, there is nothing left of me. So, I go off to work out (swimming clears my mind like nothing else,) I play harp at home and out with friends on gigs, and I read and go out to eat with friends. And I refuse to feel guilty about any of it.  I cannot take him because he is embarrassing, and I cannot handle that; it's as simple as that. (I'm hearing the chorus of "oh, you shouldn't feel that way.) A society that would have us empty ourselves completely, and then keep on giving is just not for me, and I'm one of the least selfish people I know, but it's time to take care of me.  Keep in mind all the good comments from people here; when you have been drained, how can you give anymore? Your family deserves some of your attention and energy, and frankly so do YOU.  You deserve some time and energy just for you.  It took me 50+ years to learn that.  For those around me who wish to, go ahead and whisper and shake your head at me for taking care of myself.  I will continue to.  I pray they never have to walk in my shoes, and be pressured to meet impossible standards. Signed: Tired Human (Not a Saint, Not an Angel)
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lealonnie1 Jun 2019
So well said, perfect!
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I'm going to  post again on this, because this is so good that I saved it from another site:
"If I could wave a magic wand, I would take away from everyone the guilt and stigma of placing loved ones outside the home. Making that choice and taking another step in losing the one we love is hard enough without adding a huge burden of guilt. I have fought the guilt for the last 2 1/2 years, since I placed my husband, and I still fight it. But rationally, I know that he is probably better cared for and certainly is safer than he would be at home. When I continue to visit, shop for his needs, pay bills, do paperwork and phone calls, take him to doctor and dentist appointments, I am still caring for him.  I have not run away. And there is no sensible reason that a loved one's disease should emotionally and/or physically destroy not just the person who is ill but another person as well. I know that without placement, I would have been in danger of being destroyed. Everyone has a different limit in that regard, but when the limit is reached, we are not failing our loved one. We are doing the best we can for them and us in the middle of an awful situation. Finances are another issue, of course -- but if we could only say "no" to adding guilt to this already dreadful life situation!" -Carla Tracy
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vlibowsky Jun 2019
What a wonderful answer.  You and I have a lot in common.  I placed my husband a year ago and find myself always trying to explain to his family members that I am still taking care of him.  They are not supportive and act as if my promotion and move for work contributed to him having a stroke and now dementia.  I struggle with trying to still live life, I am only 53 but when I do something I feel guilty because he cannot do anything any more.  Stay strong and thanks for sharing your story
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Well said. Many of us walk in your shoes. I am eager to read the responses because I, too, am numb to the core and not sure which way to proceed.
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I am an only child of my mother 87 years old with dementia. My mother has been keeping up my daughter in drugs and my grandson in drugs and alcohol to the point that both are junkies and currently my daughter in prison for robbing a liquor store this time. She has been in prison drug tested most of her life. We just picked up my grandson from prison in March. We helped him get a job and even helped him with transportation. He quit 3 weeks ago. Now he is laid up at mom’s. I have DPOA with full medical proxy however have learned that I can’t put her in Assisted Living unless she wants to go. Well 2nd attempt of putting her in there after her Dr explained to her she needed to go her sister, my aunt 85 yrs old sent her granddaughter went to pick her up and took her to my aunts house and really showed out refusing to go. My husband and I have washed our hands of helping mom any longer because she refuses home agency to help. Runs them off etc and refuses to even go to Dr. She doesn’t care about me and never has. My husband and I moved back to help, however I am disabled and know I can’t do it. Mom has Ltd insurance to pay with ss would live in a very nice al place paid for. My mother has destroyed my daughter and my grandson with giving them anything and everything including houses for each of them that are rented out until they move on them. My husband and I make mortgage payments and live a very simple life just trying to enjoy what time we have left. My probate lawyer told me I am not responsible for her after she was hostile to him too. So long story short this is a vent session to keep me from going to therapy...
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vlibowsky Jun 2019
I am sending you a big hug!
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Do know also that many platitudes you sometimes see such as "You are a Saint" are said to comfort someone clearly in pain. Those platitudes, even when well meant, can make someone who just yelled at Mom for making a mess feel not like a Saint, but like a criminal. We are all flawed. I don't put the Saint label on people, because Saints are often Martyrs, not a good outcome for anyone. There are people who suffer throughout their lives taking care of others who are not deserving of their care. And there is a odd kind of "payment" that can come with that. That payment is hearing people say how wonderful they are. When the truth may be that they may simply be too terrified to make movement in their own lives for themselves. And no matter how often they are told how "wonderful" and "selfless" they are, they feel like failures. Something that the narcissist being cared for is only too happy to reinforce for them. I read below that you are "seeing someone" monthly, and I am glad; hopefully that person is not listening to the same stories over again, but is stopping you and having you truly examine your choices and be responsible for those choices. The awful truth is that sometimes there are no perfect choices. We just have to do the best we can. I can still remember that day that my own shrink stopped me from telling my same tragic story once again, or the latest chapter in it. She said she did not want to hear more on that subject, but wanted to hear about my plans moving forward. I was stunned speechless and furious. I felt as though someone had taken the scrabble board I had all worked out and thrown it in the air. It was the beginning of moving forward. She later told me it is the point when half her patients do not return to therapy. I wish you luck. I don't know how long you have been caregiving, but my guess would be a while. You may know already within yourself what can change and what cannot. Moving into your own life will be no easier than what you are doing now, but it will be "different" and there will be true rewards in self esteem and inner peace. You will not need ANYONE to tell you that you are a Saint because you will be just fine with being a functioning flawed human being, whose successes you earned the hard way and are thoroughly proud of.
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jacobsonbob Jun 2019
Very well put!
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Save yourself!
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Every since my Mom had to take care of her parents, after she was widowed at 47 and had no choice but to work full time to make ends meet, she was determined not to be a burden on me when she became elderly. She did move to be near me after my grandparents died and she retired, and I watched over her for many years. She was independent, made new friends, kept a nice, small home AND she purchased long term care insurance so that those expenses would be covered when that time came. I have determined that I will also not burden my children with being responsible for me when I am elderly and even should I become financially dependent for some reason I will make it as easy as possible on them, not be combative or demanding or stubborn or mean or nasty. Few people seem to acknowledge that our elderly parents have a responsibility not to be terrible to us and others as they age and move toward their final months and days. Where is THEIR responsibility to be cooperative and not so demanding of their family, who is trying to make the best of a difficult situation and make sure they are safe and comfortable? All the burden to acquiesce is put on the children and the family and that is TOTALLY unfair. I will not be like that when my time comes. And if I am...I hope my kids do not tolerate it. Momsgoto...do not be hard on yourself. You have done the very best that you could under difficult circumstances.
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I hear you loud and clear and hope the same for myself if/when my time arrives! However, just because we vow not to be like that, dementia can get in the way. Make sure your kids know what your wishes are now and that they should honor them no matter what you might say or do in the future!

Many times my mother would say something like she needed to clean up/clear out stuff in case she ever has to "get outta here." When I asked what she meant, she said going to AL... So, that was the "plan." When dementia started, her brain lied to her and she insisted she was fine, independent, yadda yadda and if AL was mentioned she said she would never live in one of those places!! In the end, we had to come up with a ruse to get her to go to MC as she refused to acknowledge she had ANY issues and wanted no part of moving ANYWHERE.

So, yes, make sure the kids know what you want NOW and make sure they understand that there is potential for your views on that to change, should you end up with dementia, but that they should stick to the plan AND not feel guilty for doing so!
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It is not an EASY answer because there is no "RIGHT" answer.
What I did for my Husband many in my support groups said they could not do but for me he was easy to care for. But I would not have been able to continue caring for him at home if it became a matter of safety for him or me.
YOUR safety, YOUR mental health should not be less important than your mothers.
HER demands, HER wants HER needs should not be more important than yours.
There are statistics that show a great percentage of caregivers die before the person they are caring for. This is for a variety of reasons but boil down to you fail to care for yourself. I will bet 100% of the support groups that you would go to they talk about "self care" and you wonder how the heck can you care for yourself when the person you are caring for demands or requires all of you. You make tough choices.
Adult Day Care
Hiring Caregivers that will come in and help out.
Placement in a Memory Care or Assisted Living setting
These are things the person you are caring for will not want and will fight but just as you fought the first day of school, the first time you were punished, the first time you were grounded...you got over it.
Stepping back, letting someone else do some of the work gives you a chance to breathe, obtain focus again. And in some ways allows you to be a Daughter, a Son, a Spouse rather than "just" a caregiver.

Do not let anyone tell you that you are selfish for taking care of yourself.
By the way if anyone asks if they can help...have a list of things ready
*Pick up a gallon of milk and some eggs next time you are at the store
*I have a dentist appointment next Tuesday would you sit with Mom so I don't have to cancel again?
*I have not had a good conversation in a while, would you come over for a cup of coffee tomorrow?
People will either step up or they will stop asking...then you really know who your friends are. (Or contact some of Moms friends and ask if they will come for a visit you can take a walk while they visit. )
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My mother thrived in Assisted Living. We exhausted all available help prior to that - it got to the point where she needed 24 hour care. Found a live-in caregiver for a while but that didn't last long. So, we moved her to AL. It was the nicest place she had ever lived! She loved her room, the food and the people there. Her kids (7 of us) visited frequently and took her on outings. She was kept clean, well fed and medicines given regularly. AL was a blessing!
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Rhomade Jun 2019
Thanks for sharing! My mom’s emotional and mental state is declining rapidly at independent living so am moving her to an AL that is near me. She also has delusions and hallucinations, and medical tests show nothing. Based on your experience, it sounds like I’m making the right choice. So I keep telling her”you are moving on your birthday next month so hang in there!” Again thank you for sharing!
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Yikes. If she makes a mess, don't clean it. If you feel nothing, walk away. If she cannot change, don't make her. If you need a friendly ear, were here. Hugs.
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You. Because if you don't choose yourself, you will be no good to anyone starting with yourself.

If you don't survive mentally and physically, what good will you be to anyone, starting with yourself?

So you must do what it takes to preserve your own sanity and health first. All and I do mean ALL others must come after you have taken care of yourself to the best of your abilities.

My mother raised us to believe that we are NOT the most important people on the globe. She was right in some aspects but not in all aspects. If I died today, someone else would be hired to take my place at work. But if I allow myself to deteriorate needlessly, than I become no good to anyone. So take care of your own needs first to be able to take on the world's problems.
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all together now,but me first.
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sonny7;
What works for you does NOT necessarily work for everyone. There ARE many like you who have been able to make it all work and that is wonderful, but it isn't always the reality. My mother/parents and mom's sisters and their families were able to take turns caring for their mother. SHE was easy to care for, needing only a safe place to live, good food, etc. She did NOT have dementia. If your LO falls into this category, then yes, it can and likely will work. If your LO is difficult, unruly, abusive, etc like some of those discussed in these forum posts and you can deal with it, with or without help, great for you. Not everyone can provide all that is needed. Comparing care-giving for a full grown adult is NOT the same as your parent(s) caring for you when you were growing up. IF our mother didn't have dementia AND could get around okay, and just needed the same care our grandmother got, maybe it could work. BUT she is NOT like grandmother was, not even close. Other posters have tried to make it work, but sometimes it just can't be done. If you want to encourage people who can make it work, great. If you come here to just pass judgement on others, then YOU are being judgmental and are not only not helping, but are being detrimental - we do not need your criticism.

As to your comments:

"all together now,but me first."
These posts are not about putting ME first. These type of posts are about those who HAVE tried to make it work and the person being cared for is so toxic, so unruly, so difficult both physically and emotionally that it just isn't going to work. On one level, yes, me first, because if the care-giving is so difficult that it takes you out, whether through your own death or serious medical issues that come up through stress, then what good are you to mom or other LO then? Certainly there are many out there (read the threads where one child is shouldering all the care-giving and responsibility and their siblings do NOT help and often provide negative help through criticism, refusal to agree to proper care, etc. Sometimes greed plays into those lovely siblings - they want YOU to do all the work for free and save any assets for them to get later, yet they either ignore you, your need for help or provide that negative feedback.) THOSE are the selfish ones, not the people here who are hanging on by a thread while they have been TRYING to provide all the care-giving.

"if the shoe fits-wear it."
Obviously your shoe fits fine. You can wear it with all the pride and smugness you want. However YOUR shoe does not fit the rest of us. While our mother was not among the worst I have read about, she can be very difficult. Leaving that out, it still wasn't going to work out to have one or all of us children provide the hands-on care. In her mind she is FINE, INDEPENDENT and wanted NO part of moving ANYWHERE or having anyone come in to provide care. We tried those avenues. She refused the in-home caregivers, she refused to consider moving in with one of us. She developed dementia at 90+, so it also isn't like we are spry young adults! Mom and her sisters were probably in their 50s when caring for their mother. Many of us are well beyond that age, sometimes needing some care-givings ourselves!

Care-giving CAN be ensuring the LO has a safe place to live, and providing all the non-hands-on care needed (handling all finances, medicine, non-provided necessities, making/taking to appointments.) Although this takes up a lot of my time and resources (I get ZERO help from brothers), it IS what I can do to ensure mom is safe and cared for. There is NO SHAME in going this route. If you still don't get it/disagree, that's YOUR problem.

Examples for OUR case TBD
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This is one of the most honest threads I've read on this forum. I am days away from moving my mother to a memory care facility. I've probably already waited too long and am worried that she won't adjust. I worry that she will fall. I worry that they won't give her the cold water she asks for a couple times a night. I worry about damn near everything.

But I know she needs care that I simply cannot give her: medication management, occupational, physical and speech therapy, and -- most of all -- caregivers who know what the hell they are doing. I've only been at this for three years (I cannot fathom how so many people have been at it for three or four times that long), but I have reached my limit.

Mom has horrible hallucinations and delusions and gets extremely agitated. I can't handle that physically (she's still pretty strong), mentally (I have no idea what to do), or emotionally (I have to fight hard not to lose my $#!+).

I finally realized that to keep her at home (I moved in with her after my dad died) any longer is selfish on my part. It's my guilt and fear that are holding me back. I have to look at what is best for her, and there is no doubt in my mind that she needs the care this facility can offer. (I am so lucky to have a great place; my dad was there for seven months, so I know the staff.)

I agree with others who have said that sainthood has nothing to do with any of this. I didn't ask for this, but I stepped up because my mother needed me and I love her. On the day we buried my dad, I promised her that I'd take care of her here as long as I could. I have kept that promise. Now I have to step up again and do what's best for her.
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Debbye, you’ve done well by your mom, she’s blessed you have you in her corner
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Assuming your Mom lives with you, the important piece is that she does not have any form of dementia. Therefore, she chooses to be difficult whether she’s deliberate or subconsciously dismissive. Just because she is your Mom doesn’t mean you must embrace a life of servitude. It’s time you help her find a lovely place to live, nearby if you so desire. My maternal Grandmother was a royal pain in the ass. No dementia - just difficult. My mom was a saint. Moved gram in and after the honeymoon stage ended, my mom was miserable. Gram did what she wanted, when she wanted. If mom asked her to not to do something, that’s the one thing gram would make sure she did and visa versus. Eventually, mom moved her into an assisted living apt nearby which worked out beautifully. Gram met other women her age and they’d get together and kibitz about their families . . . Yet we all would visit, she’d come for holidays etc. Eventually, Gram came back for a while when living alone was no longer an option and then a nursing home towards the end. My mom has no regrets because gram living with her was killing her. Mom didn’t neglect gram, just couldn’t be “on” 24 hrs a day. There’s nothing wrong with moving your mom into a place for now and see how it goes - doesn’t need to be a permanent decision. Good luck!!
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My mother does the same thing, she is mentally ill. With no dementia. And 3 strokes, affecting her executive functions. Medication helped with the mental illness. Mom literally has no empathy...if it doesnt affect her, she has no interest. It isnt always being difficult. Schizoaffective disorder, narcissism, sociopathy can all cause this "difficult" behavior, and benefit of the doubt should be given unless meds dont work, whether new or old behavior, unless a stroke is involved, i would at the least, test mom for mental illness, rather than dismissing her totally, because meds sure helped my mother.
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I totally hear you. No matter which way you chose you will feel guilt. Guilt if you don't help Mom as much or guilt because you are pushing the rest of your family aside. You feel guilt because you are a nice and caring person.

If you chose to be a slave to your Mother you may end up resenting her and loose the trust of your family and may have damaged the relationship with them for placing them second fiddle.

I had to make that choice and it was hard! Guilt consumed me. When I was with my Mom I felt guilty for leaving my husband. When I was with my husband I felt guilty for leaving my Mom. So I made the decision to set up all kinds of care for my Mom. Did the absolute best I could and went back home to my husband and frequently visited my Mom and called her everyday.

On the last trip home to visit my Mom I got the call she passed. I was shocked. More guilt.... I should have been there. I could go on and on.

My advice is take care of those who love you the most. Those you still have a long future with. Do the best you can to make sure she has good care and avoid the frustration and anger that comes when the parent turns into an ugly person you don't recognise (mine did not have dementia either, just got very bossy and demanding). And try to focus on all the good times you had with her instead of how hard it's been.

(hugs)
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Thank you for Writing, You are an Honest Jane.xx
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oh lord, do i hear you. my mother and i are on the phone. she is in NH. she says "oh my god, two men just walked in". hangs up. calls back in 30 minutes. tells me it was reps from NH, asking medical questions, assuring her they have a dentist, look at her teeth. no appt is ever made, no one ever mentions this again. 10 days later she goes to office. where is dental appt? NH says we have no dentist. no men came to your room. this conversation with two men never happened. you have to ask your sister to take you to your own dentist. sister arrives. mom tells sister story. sister runs up to desk: she is hallucinating that men are attacking her! mom follows in wheelchair, hears only end of this. mom calls me, says her sister and staff thinks she is insane and hallucinating. but who the hell were these two men? i was on the phone with her when they arrived, she called me when they left, she has stuck to same story over two weeks, wondering when dental appt will be made, so i doubt it is false or lie or hallucination. i call NH director. no note was ever made in moms chart. so not only was there not two men, also my mom never talked to staff about it, her sister never talked to staff about it, absolutely none of this, in any way shape or form could have happened. PLUS THEY DO HAVE A DENTIST so no way the staff could have told my mom there is no dentist. so now mom is branded as hallucinating, her sister is crazier than mom is, but mom is identified patient, so all is blamed on her. well. i push things. turns out psychiatrist visited mom that day. he had nurse practictioner with him. discussed her teeth with her just as a sidebar. mom understood they were some kind of medical rep from NH; since they are talking about all she cares about, her teeth, and they tell her they have dentist there, she believes that was the purpose of the visit. but wait...the nurse practitioner was not a MAN, so it wasnt two MEN. but wait...doc isnt allowed alone in room with mom, could have grabbed orderly (male) or nurse (male) so it COULD have been two men...but since no staff person has made any note about any of this...then it never happened, and if i try to get to bottom of it, so mom has answer and doesnt worry she is going crazy, then i am bad and mom is punished by her family, since they will want to believe whatever suits their insane agenda. mom is the one in the NH...but every other single person involved in this is WRONG, and my mom is CORRECT in what she reported happening there. so i have been told to forget it. quit talking about it. and my mom still wonders who in the hell the two guys are that came in her room that day. last night, a man nurse ordered her to change into her pajamas while he watched. this is a very nice place, but my god...she is a 78 year old woman, she isnt comfortable with a guy watching her change clothes!!! and guess what happens if i call? Oh That Never Happened. so yeah...i feel your frustration. whether they are at home, or in a NH...lying, confabulating, record keeping, misunderstandings, promises, reporting, mental illness, dementia, memory issues, strokes...it is a terrible time for both us and our parent. i dont have any god myself, and do not want one, i guess it brings some people relief to have faith that suffering is meaningful, or there is a shiny reward after you die...but i want things to make some sense right now, and am too exhausted myself to offer anything more than my empathy. that whole judge not bible thing works two ways too...no one needs to be blessing us or condemning us. but it is nice to talk honestly about the sorrow, the emotions, the fears about our own mortality, in a supportive way, and i want you to know i cant do a damn thing to help, but i hear ya sister...i hear ya.
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Reading everyone’s post is eye opening. My sister & I are taking care of our 91 Papa. He has Parkinson’s, completely blind in one eye and almost in the other, and extremely hard of hearing. He still lives at home, alone, although he shouldn’t. We do everything for him - from grocery shopping to setting up his meds and everything in between.

He has Mother major wrong with him, no heart issues, no lung issues, all fine and good. Members of his family live to almost 100. So we could be looking at another 8-9 years of caregiving. We are 64 & 66 now, and can only be a hour away. Losing time that we really don’t have and sacrificing our disabilities for his. It’s a no win situation.
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It does irk me when some people get on their high horse and lambaste those of us who don't/can't care for a parent, either in their home or our own, and sing the sad song about how your mother cared for you all those years, cleaned up after you, etc etc... I was surprised not to see those comments... yet anyway - they could still sneak in and if they do, ignore them. (sonny7 posted a somewhat cryptic message, but note s/he is one of those who does try to lay the guilt on!)

What works for them is fine, but they have no business trying to lay guilt on those of us who can't or won't do the hands-on care-giving. Some people have not had a good relationship with parent(s.) Some parent(s) are simply out of control and/or are extremely difficult to care for, either medically, cognitively or both. Some of us have our own medical issues and cannot take care of an adult this way. There is no one right answer for all, just what is right for oneself. Even if you want to help, but physically cannot, you shouldn't feel guilt. We CAN help in many ways (as I do) without being the hands-on person (or doormat, as the case may be!)

BTW, to those sad-song-singers, we are here to SUPPORT and HELP each other, not to pass judgement on each other. What was that saying - judge not lest ye be judged? Take your song elsewhere.

Momsgoto - If she had dementia, it might be understandable (even if unacceptable), but it will wear you down. You say she doesn't (and hasn't been DXed with any form.) So, does mom live with you or her with you? It might be best to find separate accommodations if either is the case. If not, then let her live with her own messes. If she gets tired of it, she can clean it up or hire someone to clean up. You can facilitate that, if you are up to it and she agrees, otherwise, hands-off caring!! If it means not visiting with her to assist in ways she does need help, you can tell her that you won't work in a pig-sty!
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sonny7 Jun 2019
if the shoe fits-wear it.
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