Things cannot continue this way. What can we do?
I've posted a couple of times before. This is an update and a plea for help.
Mom is 76 and has had MS for 50+ years. She moved away from her family 35 years ago with a man who became her caregiver. They were very secretive about her health and needs, so we never had a clear picture of how she was doing.
Her partner passed away, and mom was brought back to the area where her family lives. We acquired the house next door to mine with the intention of making this a group family effort. My brother moved in with her, stair lifts were installed (it's a 2 story house). I pay her bills, manage appointments, etc. and my brother does the hands-on caregiving. I have severe COPD, and the accompanying limitations.
My brother works a part time job mid afternoon to about 10 PM. I have a corporate job that I, thankfully, work from my home office. I work about 60 hours a week.
Mom insists on using the stair lift on her own when she knows it's unsafe to do so. Initially, she was lying about using it, but we caught her at it several times. She won't stop. She has chronic UTIs, but frankly it's hard to tell the difference between that weird behavior and her status quo.
Many, many PT/OT people have been sent packing. Same as the visiting nurse she agreed to that her doctor set up. It was supposed to be M/W/F. The nurse came on Monday and it was fine. The nurse returned on Wednesday and mom went nuts on her and ordered her out of the house. We're getting used to constantly apologizing for her.
She really shouldn't be left alone when my brother goes to work. When it's warmer out, I can go sit with her (even though she resents it and is abusive the whole time), but I can't do that in the winter because of my lungs. She refuses to allow a third party come in and sit with her.
Lately, she has been saying that she wants to "get out from under my thumb". My "thumb" being that I remind her that it's not safe to use the stair lift when she's alone or asking her what she had for dinner. She said she would like to move to an apartment or assisted living so that she "wouldn't be a burden" to us. Of course, any time she has been in rehab or when her partner would take advantage of a respite opportunity, it's been total tears the whole time: "Get me out of here", "I hate it here", "I want to go home".
She has been hospitalized three times since she came back into our lives last June, and had a couple of weeks of rehab after each hospitalization. Hated the first two. Really liked the last place, which also has a residence facility next door. Talked to her about that place. She was gung ho.
I called them last week and explained the situation. The person I spoke to consulted with the rehab staff, looked at mom's record of her recent stay and said she would likely be "level 2 care" Assisted Living (there are 2 higher levels of care above this) and lo and behold they have ONE 1 bedroom apartment that will be available after carpeting is replaced tomorrow.
Now all of a sudden, mom is totally against it. She says she doesn't want to leave her house (which she tells us literally dozens of times a week how much she hates it and that she wants an apartment). Won't let anyone come to the house to help her. She is defiant. Talks non-stop about wanting to die.
We cannot go on like this. This is killing my brother, and it's killing me. She sabotages our every attempt to keep her safe and as healthy as she can be. She lies. She tries to pit me against my brother and vice versa (but we are wise to it, and have made her aware that there are no secrets between us).
To be completely honest, she has always been a miserable person. She has never been a loving, affectionate mom. She seems hell bent on self-destruction and it appears she wants to take us with her.
I refuse. My brother refuses. This has got to stop. What options do we have? My brother has no intention of abandoning her, but he can't continue like this. Please help.