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I moved in with my mom and stepdad 16 months ago ( I was 51). They have been together 27 years. I have always been close with my mom but I was grown and on my own when they married so not as close with step dad. He is extremely controlling, impatient and has anger issues. His sister comes once a week or when he has a doctor appt. She has also come to spend the night every 2-3 months to allow me some respite.(Which is the only respite I get. My step dad refuses any respite.) His other sister brings food twice a week. My sister had a temper tantrum and refused when I asked her to help. I am reading books and seeking counseling from the hospice social worker. I went back to school before I moved away from the city to be closer to them. I searched for a year when I was here in the "country" and then after I moved in with them I searched for another year for a position in my new field. I continued to wait tables until I finally found a job in my new field 3 months ago. Since then things have gone downhill between my step dad and me. I talked to him repeatedly about what my schedule would be, how many hours I would ask for in my cover letter. He just said "get the job and worry about that later". Now I have the job and I tried to discuss my schedule with him several times but he just clammed up. The tension and criticism is really distressing. I would never be in my parent's home at this age except for the fact that he asked me to move in because he needed the help. I feel trapped and because of my love for my mother I can't escape. I have thought of moving out, coming to their house after work getting dinner, taking care of toileting, and getting mom to bed then going to my own place. I would also come each weekend from Saturday morning to get mom out of bed, stay till bedtime, then do the same on Sunday. I would do that 3 weekends out of the month and take one weekend a month to myself. It sounds reasonable to me but I fear that he would shut me out if I move. Of course, he is already shutting me out emotionally with his passive/aggressive hostile behavior. Don't even suggest talking with him, that is impossible for him. He sincerely believes that there is nothing wrong with him and that everyone else is "an idiot or a ding-a-ling" I can't take this much longer and I sure can't take it for a number of years. My mom is last stage ALZ but there is no predicting how long she will need me. Please give any advice, suggestions, or ideas especially if you have been there and found a way to survive!

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gladimhere asks, "How can he keep you from seeing your mom?" My mom lives in HIS house. Even though they have been married more than 27 years he has always made that clear. He is controlling to the point that if I reach for a blanket to put on my mom he will get it first and put it on her. That is just one example, everything all the time is like that. If I try to help him move or change her, he criticizes every move that I make. He gives instructions on how to do everything, even if I am already trying to do things the way that he has already instructed me. Even the hospice worker said that I give him his way on everything. It's just never good enough. He will call me names like ding-a-ling or make comments about my weight like calling me "the large" or "the huge". The same negativity and hostility that is driving me away now is the same thing that can keep me from seeing my mom. When I try to help the hospice worker bathe my mom and he tells me to "take off" it makes me feel horrible because he has complete control over her. If he tells me to leave his house, what else can I do? I have bent over backward to comply with his domination but its just not good enough for him. By the way, he is the same with everyone, not just me. It's just worse for me because I have been living there 24/7 for almost a year and a half.
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How can he keep you from seeing your mom?
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geedee - once you are safely out of the house living in your own space, if SF either prevents you from seeing your mom or, when you do see your mom, you find her care inadequate, you will be in a better position to immediately call her doctor andAdult Protective Services, maybe even the police. When you have a stablished yourself separately from them, you will no longer fear repercussions as you do now. What a great decision! Keep posting and updating us. You're taking a strong and healthy stand. Congratulations on making a tough choice!!
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ferris1.. why would you expect someone at the age of 51 to be answering their own questions? That is what this Agingcare website is for, seeking advice, opinions etc. from other people and their experiences. Most people who are dealing with elderly parents are in their 50's. I can certainly understand geedeeooo's dilemma, dealing with "step"relatives at these times can be very challenging.
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Thanks for the input from everyone! I have come to the decision that I will be moving out. My fear in that case is that my SF will freeze me out. I want to do everything I can for my mom but he has complete control over EVERYTHING so I can only do what he allows. I know that I have to take care of myself and make sure that I have a future. I will find a place near my mom and my new job and come to my mom's as much as SF will let me. My SF is in pretty good health at age 72. His sister's are visiting and bringing food to help him, not so much in consideration of my mom. I agree with the point of making it HIS idea for it to accepted. I know that his sisters will take his side in everything, regardless of whether it is in my mom's or my best interest. I am the only relative that my mom has willing to do anything for her. I know that she wouldn't want me continue on in this situation. I love the support, ideas, and personal experience provided by this website. Thank you so much to everyone just for being who and what you are!!
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I'm trying to read between the lines. Your SF doesn't go to the doctor once a week, his sister comes about once a week, and sometimes takes him to the doctor, right? How old is your SF, is he perfectly healthy or what is his medical condition?

What is your new field of work, your new job? Do you work full time or part time? Is it out in the "country" where you live at your moms, or do you have to drive to the city? How long does it take you to get to work?

YOU are reading material from the hospice social worker; your mom is in last stage Alzheimer's, correct? How old is your mom; how long has she had Alzheimer's?

IMO, answers to these questions would be helpful and giving you accurate suggestions. My gut feel is that if your mom is on hospice, something's wrong with their procedures. If she's NOT on hospice, she should be. If that's the case, YOU SHOULD NOT ALERT YOUR SF, you should bring Hospice in yourself for an evaluation. If he objects in any way or won't follow through with recommendations, you must assume that he cannot make rational decisions and you must report him to Adult Protective Services for being unable to properly care for your mother when you are not able to do it all or pick up the slack. It will kill you or make you sick at the very least if you continue as you're doing and in any case will not be good or proper for your mom.
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At 51 yrs. I would expect you to be answering your own questions. We don't know what is in your heart, nor what your finances are if you moved out. At Stage 7 or whichever "last stage chart you use", your mother doesn't even know who is taking care of her. There is nothing more you can do for your mother - she is terminal. Making a complete wreck out of your health is not doing your mom any good, and will only hurt you. Your step dad will be who he is regardless of what actions you take. He has help, and you can move, drop in on the weekends just for a visit, and leave. No matter what you do, it will never be enough. I am sure your mother would not want your life put on hold for hers.
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If your stepfather sees a doctor once a WEEK, he obviously has health issues of his own and you might discuss his moods and forgetfulness with his sisters. You should have your own place if you can afford it. Discuss the proposed arrangements with his sisters and get their support. If they can get him to think it is his idea, he will approve.
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I am sure SF is overwhelmed. I am in a similar situation, but stepdad and mom married just seven years ago. SF and I have talked on many occasions and I am very fortunate that he is very supportive of everything I do for mom. It could easily be the other way for many caregivers. As far as me getting a "real job" I don't know how I would do it, I don't know how others do. Mom needs way too much attention and assistance. Before I came two years ago now, I was actively looking for work and SF was her only caregiver. They are in their mid eighties now, and mom needs more help that he could possibly provide. SF recognizes this and is extremely supportive, if only I could get sibs to realize this, which is my primary source of stress. Finished my master's degree a year ago, still unable to find employment. Maybe this is where I am supposed to be, caring for mom.
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You poor thing... But remember, it really is a season and will end. Is your Mom eating pureed foods yet? Is she on hospice?

Here is what I recommend: Set good and strong boundaries with your step father. Pray for him.. and pray to God for help. Also, remember that you are not doing this work for your your SF, but for your mother. I don't know if I'd recommend moving out.. but perhaps if you moved out, your Mom could really get the help she needs, allowing you the respite you need.

It sounds like your SF may be overwhelmed now that you are out of the house working and needs help?

Be strong. Remember, this time is for your mom. Bless you.
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