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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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My mother is selfish & narcissistic. I’ve as much as told her so & she says, “yes I am”! Lol!
Ive had her in my home 9 mos & you can cut the tension here with a knife. I applied for & received Medicaid for LTC but no beds available & it will probably expire before I ever get her in a facility. I’ve jumped hoops to have a day away from her, she goes to s senior day care 2x a week. Would be nice 5 days but even with a “scholarship” it’s $40/day.
Ive had many lay on the guilt trip, so burnt it no longer works with me. I don’t card anymore. I understand how you feel!
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You are not alone, we have all had similar feelings at some time dealing with our aging parents. Don’t get caught up in outside opinions of how to handle your situation. It’s okay to choose you.

I knew right away, it would be disruptive to my family bringing may mother into our home with the kind of care she would require, in her it is dementia. Just finding the right living arrangements for her has been an ordeal that comes with the guilt associated with what will people think about how I’m handling this.




























































































I pray you can find your path through this.















I love mom, but I’m not equipped for the battle we’ve been dealing in regards to her rude behavior, forgetfulness, hallucinations, spending money frivolously etc. This has been frustrating for my family, including mom herself.

The most loving thing our family could do for mom is find a facility that could handle her needs in a humane manner.

I pray you can find your path through this, there should be no guilt in choosing you.
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It doesn't have to be all or nothing. It's important to prevent burnout by taking breaks and getting help from others.
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Just because doctors say she doesn't have dementia, doesn't mean she doesn't have dementia. The typical traditional western medical doctor doesn't consider brain shrinkage to be dementia. S/he considers it to be a natural part of the aging process. It's not a natural part of the aging process. It's just very common in the U.S.

A lot of the medications that the elderly are on can cause dementia. Hmm...
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Great point! My gramma was diagnosed last year... finally! It happened when we finally switched to a doctor that specializes in aging patients. I think she was able to pull it together with her other doctors since she was more familiar with them, and I also think that they were more hesitant to diagnose dementia because they were uncomfortable about being the "bad guys." So at her first appointment with the new doctor, they did some basic functional assessments, and voila! Moderate to severe dementia! Not a surprise to those of us who've been watching her and ringing the alarm bells. Here's the thing... to get to moderate dementia wouldn't it be reasonable to assume she had an onset and progression through the early stages and mild dementia? And how would it have impacted her health and quality of life if she had been diagnosed earlier and been treated appropriately? Symptoms of dementia include more things than just simple memory loss. Where I noticed it more with my grandmother was in her subtle personality changes - more accurately, her inability to hide or be subtle with some of the things that she had been keeping under wraps for years. Also, her reasoning was obviously beginning to fail.

I guess the point is that there are doctors who specialize in treating the aging population and they are equipped to be much more effective in diagnosing and treating dementia. Thankfully, my gramma's new doctor has discontinued meds that were exacerbating her dementia and started her on others that are giving her a much better level of functioning. Won't stop the progression of the disease, but at least improve how she's feeling and functioning.
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your doing what you feel is right and fair.think of yourself, because you too have a right to happiness.
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❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I just had my first grief counseling session today. I was (and maybe still am) very sensitive to what people said me. At the very moment, please know this.....you are NOT alone.
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Wow. Are you following me? This could have been me writing this comment. I'm in the same boat w/ my mother. I did, eventually, pick me and my family. I had to. It came down to either sacrificing myself, time w/ my children, my job and my sanity or sacrificing time w/ my mother. No matter what I did for her, it was never enough. She was never happy. Refused to see any good in anything I did for her. But so quick to remind me that she was my mother. As if that alone should trump any decision I ever make. In her mind, I should always put her first, even if it means offending or hurting someone else in the process. Her feelings are the only important thing in the world. Nobody else's matter. I've even saved her from being evicted from her place - twice. And still, she complains. My poor brother is just now feeling the heat. She targeted me for so many years, he was spared until recently. Now that I do not engage w/ her, she's targeting the only person left in her life who cares about her. She's alienated everyone else, 1 at a time until there was no one left but him. We don't know what to do. I won't let him bear the burden alone so back into the swamp, I dive. There is no plan in place if she's hit w/ some accident that renders her unable to make her own decisions and she'll never agree to a POA. She won't let anyone else know about her financial standing, accounts, policies, etc so we're helpless to do anything for her. She'll be evicted if management springs a surprise visit and she won't get a 3rd opportunity to fix the situation. Then what do we do? Where do we put her? How CAN we put her anywhere? No, not w/ us. She's destructive enough at a distance. We just feel so helpless, there isn't a single thing we can do. Don't know who to talk to, what action we can take....her perceptions are so off and she won't hear anything anyone else tries to say. We're both becoming overwhelmed w/ the whole ugly situation. Any suggestions who to talk to for guidance? In getting a POA in the event of some emergency? I hear it can get ugly but we're already bracing ourselves for that, it certainly will be a bumpy ride. I'm sorry you're feeling so battered & defeated but it sure did me some good to read your post. For what it's worth; thank you for that.
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Lostinva Jun 2019
Much of what you said felt like you were in my head with the same thoughts towards my mom.
Everything Ive attempted to do with mom, they always ask for a copy of POA You’ll have to have I believe to eventually take care of her healthcare needs & her finances. My brother was POA for all, Mom is now with me in Va so needed a new one since she’s in a different state & named myself instead of my brother since I’m her caregiver & he lives in another state. Legalzoom.com, be sure to notarize!
Its amazing after all these years of mistreatment, it continues into our adulthood & still tears us up. I’m 70 years of age & the way she treats me brings back the horrible memories of a child. It won’t stop until her last breath, I have never & never will be able to make her be proud of me. I hope you soon find solutions.
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I often wonder about the origin of the idea that love requires the total denial of one's self and the willingness to sacrifice to the point of depletion. I think loving someone means you do the best you can for them, and sometimes that means stepping back and letting them figure stuff out for themselves, or making arrangements for someone else to provide the help that you can't provide.

I'm not sure what the right answer is for you, Momsgoto, but I am sure that drawing boundaries and choosing not to allow yourself to be sucked dry is absolutely reasonable and healthy. Not feeling anything is a signal that you've gone past what you are able to give in a healthy way. There is no shame in that. In fact, its crucial to your physical and emotional health to recognize and honor your own limitations. We all have them. And I'm willing to bet that helping your mom is not the only demand in your life. We all juggle multiple drains on our time and psyche. It shouldn't come as a surprise that we simply cannot keep all of the balls in the air. So you have to identify boundaries regarding what you can and cannot do.

No one on this forum knows exactly what you're facing. Your life details are unique to you. What works for one person may offer you ideas or hope, and may inspire something in you. Or not. We share, we commiserate, we take what we can from the experiences of others and leave what we can for the benefit of others. I am very sad that you felt that you'd be judged. That's not what we're here for.

I hope you can find a quiet place in your mind and can use the silence to identify where you need to set your boundaries. There may be times when that causes a bump in the road for those who aren't used to them. But I think you'll find that your ability to feel will return when you start taking care of your own needs.

I wish you peace and joy!
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This sounds like burnout & I feel for you. Here's an idea. I got my mom in adult daycare at a nursing home. She still lives with me but when I need a break or have to do yard work, etc, then it frees me up to get things done & it's only temporary for her. They also will do respite if I need her to stay overnight if I go on vacation. But if you do respite then they will want all her financial information as if she is becoming a resident. She seems to not mind it too much, especially for just 4 hours. 8 hour days seem to be a little long for her there. Anyway hope this helped, hang in there!
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I did for my Mother because I loved her. It was as simple as that. It wasn't always easy even though I did love her so I couldn't imagine taking care of someone who you don't always love and sometimes possibly even hate.

I know for example my M I L is a narcissist big time with a sh*tload of baggage, a bad attitude and poison to be around. I made it clear to my husband from day one I will never live under the same roof with her. Period. This is coming from someone who considers herself a Christian person.

I don't think Christian means doormat. I know some people have this idea that self sacrificing means they are right up there with all the saints in Heaven. Not if it means you hate every minute of your life. I think it says somewhere in the Bible that God loves a cheerful giver.

So, I don't think you are a saint if you sacrifice and I don't think you are a bad person if you decide to pursue other avenues in your care giving journey. It doesn't have to be all or nothing either way.

Maintaining your sanity and staying healthy as a care giver is of utmost importance. Put your oxygen mask on first they always say cause if you die you can't help anyone else.
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Dear lady: What you are experiencing is caregiving burnout. You need respite through a local church or other source such as Visiting Nurses, etc.
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this is the BEST THREAD EVER! i have learned so much, thank you for posting this, and to everyone that is being supportive.
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Please listen to the voice of experience based on events in my life. YOU are NOT to feel guilty or angry or ashamed if you can't do what people think you should do. YOU are the one who now must live life - it is YOUR turn. Do what you think you can do to help and provide for your loved one. However, remember, they have lived their life and now it is YOUR turn. Some people can interact well with the elderly and others cannot. Do not judge until you have worn their shoes. If it works and you want to be involved do it. But, if it does not work and you have tried, and it is DESTROYING YOU OR AFFECTING YOUR WAY OF LIFE, then you must be strong and take the next step. You must take care of yourself first - never forget this.
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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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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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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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Thank you for Writing, You are an Honest Jane.xx
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Save yourself!
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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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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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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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