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At least with getting her help in the home? I was trying to help. Medicare will pay for someone to come in twice a week to help mom get dressed and washed. I assumed the woman would come in the morning. Mom calls me and tells me they might not come untill three in the afternoon. Then she says it's more trouble than it's worth. My brother is helping her dress in the morning and helping her into robe she uses as nightgown in evening. But he does it very reluctantly. And I'm not sure how much help he gives her. She has a torn rotatorcuff. And uses a walker. Is 89 years old and frail. She was complaining of getting washed in late afternoon when her house is cold and drafty. She has heater in bathroom. And with help dressing it wont take an hour or more to get dressed. She complained about having to wait for the woman. And about change in schedule. She only leaves the house for doctor appointments. What schedule? She said she didnt want her to come the same day as physical therapist. Cause one might come at two oclock and the other person might cone a half hour later. Now I wish I didnt tell thephysical therapist to try to get mom to agree. Also, I'm stuck geting the phone calls from the person dressing mom. Then call mom to tell her when the woman is comming. Mom wont answer the phone. Answering machine is hardly ever on she doesnt like it. Brother wont answer phone. If im going to get calls twice a week. If person cant come same time each time. I hope mom does cancel it. I have to do special code so mom will answer phone. And she keeps calling me. Did the physical therapist call you yet?

Barbara



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This may not be much help to you, but I sympathize with you. When my Mom was under home healthcare if the "bath woman" couldn't come when Mom wanted her there, she'd tell the woman not to come. Then she'd call me telling me what time to come! I was already doing a LOT for my Mom so I refused to do anything that someone else was willing & capable of doing. She realized that she (her words) "couldn't count on me" and started depending on the professionals in place. She did try to make me feel guilty. Now, it's a whole different set of problems. If someone else is capable & willing just refuse. This will also give you time for just "visiting" with your Mom, instead of being run ragged. For your sanity's sake it's a must!
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She did accept the two day a week help. Therapist told her I wanted mom to have the help. But when she called to tell me all she could do was complain about it. I am close to my breaking point. I will not be trying to get mom to accept help in the house anymore. Social worker was no help. None of them ever are. I tell them moms whole history with her and brother and she won't listen to anyone. They tell mom what services are available. And thats it. They come out only once also. I will stick to helping by buying her things like clothes, ice packs, etc. And listening to her on the phone.
Would love to put mom in AL. Not going to happen.
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Barbara, having read on another post that you also fear that your mom is being physically abused by your brother complicates matters, especially if she won't say that to APS when they investigate. Ultimately, though, you can't get her to chsnge her anxiety and need to control everything. That's the basis of the problem, it seems to me. Do go back to therapy yourself. You'll learn to handle this better, I think.
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"I am sure you are very right, Physical Therapist. Mom should use a sling. I hope you can convince her of that. If she brings it up, I would support what you say. But I don't have control over her and she seldom listens to me. So I sure hope you can figure out how to get her to do what she needs to do for her own good."

"Ms Social Worker, I am really grateful for any help you can get mother to accept. I love my mother but I cannot be her long-distance caregiver. She does not cooperate with my suggestions. I have health issues myself and I cannot continue with the responsibility for her care. I wish you every success in getting her to accept what is best for her."
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Sweetheart. The therapist has told your mother what to do. She has told your mother to rest her arm, to use a sling, to accept help around the house and with washing and dressing.

Presumably your mother won't listen to her either. So the therapist tells you in the hope that you can persuade her. Nothing wrong with her doing that, she's probably frustrated too; but why should your mother take your advice if she won't take it from a professional?

Your mother has a physical therapist, a social worker and your brother right there, on hand, to help her if she will let them. Two of those are professionals who are paid and qualified to do the job. The third is permanently available in case of emergency.

So tell me: what makes it more your responsibility than theirs?

And, by the way, you know who is actually responsible for caring for your non-demented, consenting adult mother? Yup. Your mother. Which is why no one can force her to accept help if she doesn't want it - including you.
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What would be best for Mom? Living in an appropriate care center.

What would be best for you? Mom living in an appropriate care center.

But that is not what you asked, and probably isn't something you can make happen.

What you asked is "Should I stop trying to help Mom?" My answer is "Yes." Continuing to try to help her is futile, enables her to not recognize the level of help she really needs, and is detrimental to your mental health. Why go on like this?

Does she have a case worker? Is there someone (besides her and your brother) that you can officially announce your resignation to? Not that your are going to stop loving her, but that you are detaching from the day-to-day operations of her life. Can't do it at the distance you are at and with your own health issues.

A bath aide to come in twice a week is a huge help. I loved it when my husband had that, and I didn't care what time of the day they came. It would be nice if your mom took advantage of that service. But arranging it so she will is just not your responsibility. Back out of this. Her dirty body, her decisions. If she were cooperative, that would be a different matter. If you lived next door, and if you had a lot of excess energy and time, that would be different. But it is what it is. Forget the "ifs" ... you have to deal with the reality you are in.

Bow gracefully (or awkwardly -- who cares?) out of the role of long-distance helper. It isn't really helping.
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The physical therapist had told me that mom should get a sling that she shouldn't be using her arm. I got upset. Feeling like it is my responcibility to take care of mom. And so frustrated because her disfunction and stubbornness blocks ny helping. Plus I feel sorry for her pain. The therapist said mom shoud have someone at least a few hours in morning and evening. To make dinner and clean up dishes. And to help wash and dress. I kept saying how she wont listen. What am I supposed to do? That the social worker said mom could have someone two times a week. Phyca therapist said she would try to talk mom into the two day a week thing. That its better than nothing. Now Im sorry I said anything.
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Unfortunately, seeing as Hadnuff is moving mountains just to try to get personal care set up, I would guess that the odds of her persuading her mother to move to an ALF are vanishingly small.

But, Barbara, this is a very good example of how your mother takes a problem, dumps it on you, and goes on her way unaltered. You are the one getting a migraine over it. But SHE is the one who needs the help. Does she want it or doesn't she? That's for her to decide.

Look. She is entitled to assistance with washing and dressing. It can be arranged. If she would like it, she knows what to do. She speaks the language. She has the telephone numbers. And clearly, since she's calling you, she is perfectly able to use the telephone when it suits her.

Therefore, if she needs the help, she knows where it is and she knows how to get it. She can sort this one out herself, you know. Seriously. There's nothing stopping her.

And if your brother is not happy to assist her, then he can arrange the help. Nothing stopping him, either.

So, when you think it through, there is no contribution required from you for your mother to access any assistance she requires.

But it's much more interesting for her to talk to you about it for hours on end, and think of lots of reasons why it doesn't suit her, and give you another fine mess to untangle. And that's what she's doing. That's... entertainment!

Don't stop trying to help, exactly, but stop allowing yourself to be involved. This instance, with the personal care visits, is a comparatively simple transaction that is over complicated when it goes through you. So maybe the point is, that when this kind of situation blows up, your getting involved is NOT helping.
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If your mom is in a care center, all the care comes to her. This is a huge anxiety reliever for everyone. No more appointments to keep. She doesn't have to be "ready" on time.

The VA will provide something called Aid & Attendance for surviving spouses of veterans with assets under $80K not counting the house. There is a lot of paperwork to do to apply and you're going to need a list of records to start the application. Proof of service, discharge papers, marriage certificate, mom's bank statement. It takes many months to get this processed. If applying for Medicaid, it's usually done at the same time.

You need to get an assessment done by a social worker to determine mom's true safety and cognitive ability. You can contact your area agency on aging - every state has one - or a care center typically has a social worker do an assessment at time of application (in my state anyway).

If your mom hasn't been seen by a geriatric specialist, she needs to be. They are trained in matters of aging that GPs/Family Practice are not. If she has a dementia diagnosis, this means her needs will accelerate at intervals nobody can plan. She would need to be placed somewhere that can handle the care level and behaviors that come with dementia. Not every place will.

With reduced mobility in her arms, she does need quite a bit of help with the Activities of Daily Living. Her range of motion needs to be assessed as well as her cognitive ability to determine if PT will help or what extra care is necessary.

I personally do not want my son cleaning me and dressing me. It's undignified. But that's how I feel about it. Many elders have their opposite sex children changing them and dressing them. Your brother's feelings about it count as much as yours & mom's. If he's uncomfortable about it, then he shouldn't be made to do it.
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It seems like your mom could be happier in a home. I don't know if that is not possible but I have an Aunt who lived alone until she was 100. She knew when it was time to go into the Lutheran home and she had been on the list denying each time an opening came up but when she knew she needed it she went and she was happier. She is 104 this month! It sounds like your mom may not be able to say what she really needs. I'm not sure your brother can care for her and you do not say if you are close by to help in person. The fact that your brother helps her reluctantly is concerning. Was your father a Veteran? I have heard that wive's of veteran's are eligible to very good care. Sounds like she needs daily care?
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I totally agree. I have taught my mom the beauty of great smelling baby wipes or adult wipes. She and your brother can help her feel clean until the person who helps arrives . Talk to your mother's caregiver's office and ask for their help regarding a reasonable schedule. They should understand. Your mother, unless totally bedridden, should put on some type of clothing each day even if it is a traditional house dress. That is an important step toward leaving the invalid persona and becoming a person again. I have been very ill for 4 years and have learned that lesson. My favorite pajamas only make me feel like a I am a disabled person at 60, which I am. Dressing gives me control. Have her find something that makes her feel pretty. Insist that these changes start slowly with your brother's help or you may have to back off and suggest a care facility. Your mother must start being more in control again of herself or submit to the whims of a type of nursing home. Be loving but tough. Age is a number, not an excuse. Best wishes.
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Barbara, i would suggest that you say something like the following to your mom. "Mom, ive tried to help, but the restrictions that you set up make it impossible to help you. If you can't compromise and work with me, learn to pick up a phone and talk to a therapist yourself, you can't expect any help from me. Your way of doing t hings is making me ill and my doctor says i have to stop trying to do wverything for you. Your son is there and you're supporting him. He2your caregiver. Leave me out of it unless you're ready to spend your money on your care."
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