I have had my mother in my home and been her sole caregiver for 3 years (another 5 years prior to that - part time). Her care is just getting too much for me alone - physically, emotionally, spiritually. I have sisters but they don't help - you know the drill.
I finally got some funds released from her estate so I can bring in some help (one of my absentee sisters has POA) and I have hired a GREAT LPN to help me out.
I also have a sitter (that doesn't do hands on) which I have had 1-2 times per week for 2 years - 3 hours at a time.
Mom is HORRIBLE with both of them. She gets so angry and refuses to cooperate with her nurse who is supposed to get her cleaned up (sponge baths). She swears at them at the top of her lungs and I see her arm twitching I know we are not far away from her hitting.
What can I do to help her accept caregivers in my home so I don't have to place her? Continuing alone 24/7/365 is just not an option for me anymore. I am getting so used up and burnt out and my body just physically can not handle it any more.
I have been unable to get her out of the house for drs appointments for 8 months (mobility combined with cognitive) and was just approved for in home Dr. care (thank God!). I am hoping when they finally get to us they can do some med adjustments, but I have no idea how much longer we have to wait and I am desparate to change this behavior.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
My dad was the same way - my step mom finally had to lay it on the line. No inhome care, no living at home. Period. Nursing home. Asked dad to choose. It sometimes gets to drawing a line because for three years my dad refused to cooperate and my stepmom caved - until her health and sanity became at risk. Her doctor finally told her with her stress symptoms on her heart and blood pressure - that she was likely to have a heart attack or stroke in the next six months and then what would my dad do.

I hope this works for you somehow - i really get impatient when our elderly loved ones refused to cooperate with the one who is giving up their entire lives and literally killing them for their sake.
Helpful Answer (5)

Are you able to try different people? Perhaps your mother's personality and their caregiving style do not mesh. Maybe the way they look or dress remind her of someone she disliked in her youth. Maybe they remind her of someone she respected immensely and would never dream of allowing that person to see her naked or vulnerable.

It is very difficult with dementia to change behaviors. Getting her to accept caregivers in your home means finding the right fit. If these people aren't specifically trained in dementia care, make sure anyone else you try is. If the two caregivers you have are your only option, ask them to watch some Teepa Snow videos. This will give them some of the tools they need to be successful in caring for your mom.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (2)

Thank you for the suggestions. Yes I live in an extremely rural area of upstate NY and struggle to find caregivers. When I hired the LPN I interviewed the only three applicants i had. One was so apparently physically unable to perform the job, so I had both of the others meet with my mother. My mother rejected the other woman and kept telling me she loved the one that I hired. The one that I hired has a "caregiver style" very similar to my own so I thought my mother would transfer easier to her than to others. Mom loved her initially but as soon as he has to move the relationship to hands on, the battle started and has escalated with each visit.
The sitter started as soon as Mom moved in - three years ago. Ma loved her for approximately 1 1/2 years. Even though that sitter never went to hands on care, it seems as mom's ability lessened she started to turn on her sitter - as well as a couple of volunteers that used to come but when they try to come now Mom usually tells them to leave and won't interact with them.
I do think that I will be looking for yet another caregiver to hire (in addition to - not planning to replace) but I am not optimistic with the pool of candidates around me.
Thanks for the reminder on Teepa Snow videos - I watched several of them myself when I first started on this journey but I am also due a refresher watch and will ask my caregivers to do the same. :)
Helpful Answer (2)

My very elderly Mom wouldn't accept any caregivers as she felt she had my Dad and me to help her. But I was a senior myself so I was limited on what I could safely do. Sorry no climbing ladders to change the lights in the ceiling fixtures.

What I have read that you could try saying the the Caregiver was there for you [yourself] to help take care of Mom. That way Mom won't think the caregiver is there for her.

And depending on your Mom's age, those in their 80's and 90's will balk at going to a "nursing home" because way back when then their parents or elderly aunts/uncle went, the places were mainly asylums, which were horrible places back then. Instead of using the term "nursing home", use "retirement village" or "continuing care".

My Dad moved quickly to "retirement village" once my Mom had passed. He was happy as a clam there being around people closer to his own age group. And he loved all the attention.
Helpful Answer (2)

This post hits too close to home: I recently ( 3 weeks ago!) had "the talk" with mother. She lives with my brother and his family. Brother is her primary caregiver, but he is wearing thin--just had major back surgery and may not be able to return to "moving" mother about.
The "talk" was about hiring her some in-home aides 2-3 days a week, to help her with showering, cleaning (she hasn't has her apt cleaned since I gutted it 2 years ago!!) and laundry, some errands--just really basic day to day help. I couched it in terms of having a Personal Assistant and played up all the things she'd get to DO instead of relying upon the kindness of others all the time. (This was actually MY CAREER!!) so I know exactly how much help this is to a family.

Initially, she was overjoyed and 100% on board. I jumped into the fray and started the paperwork and insurance stuff--and 3 days later, I get a text from my brother who has financial POA and he said "Never mind. She changed her mind". She didn't even have the GRACE to call ME and tell ME she decided against help.

I called her and I have to admit I was NOT nice about it. She hemmed and hawed through her reasoning, finally telling me she'd prayed about it and that was the answer. Well, I told her I had also been PRAYING about what to do for her and my answer was to get her in home aides. Kind of a spiritual stalemate going on.

I did tell her that I had no choice but to agree to honor her "request" to be left to be "independent"--and said, "Mom, this is the last time you'll get that option. I'm quitting being your goat-girl and the other 3 kids are MIA. You've noticed that 'T, S and E' are NEVER available and NEVER around? They aren't going to suddenly step up. Good luck with being "independent". " Yes, I felt bad, and I was super angry...she expects that brother will drop everything and bow to her wishes. He does, sort of, but he is in very poor health, still has kids at home and he's exhausted. I'm really worried Mother will outlive him, his health is so bad.

Since then, I have not gone to see her, I refused to take her grocery shopping ( for 5 items). I refused to take her to Bingo. I have actually totally stopped helping her. She's called a couple of times and I let her calls go to the machine. I am taking a month or two off from her. She is struggling, I hear, but the option to get an aide is still there. The next option for her will be she goes into a facility. She doesn't realize how close she is to that exact scenario. One fall this winter---and she'll have no options but to move out. Very sad, This is EXACTLY why daddy bought this expensive LTC policy. It's going to go unused, I'm sure.

Oh, and to answer "how to get mother to accept outside help??" I could have posted that question, as I have tried and tried to job out some of her care. I really have no clue. I will follow this post and see how others manage. A big part of our dilemma is the 3 uninvolved sibs who want nothing to do with her.
Helpful Answer (2)

Kimber166 thanks for validating my feelings and behavior. I HAVE told my mother that she has two choices, continuing to live in my home with caregivers, or going into a nursing home. Unfortunately it has yet to change the behavior. I am fairly certain she fully understands what I am saying. What I am not sure is if she is able to change her behavior or not.
My mother does have a history of trying to control me for all of my life. Had I allowed it she would have been my dependent since I was in grade school, and she always begrudged me having "fun times" that didn't include her. This prior history of her emotional dependence on me, makes this issue much more draining for me and I am sure probably more difficult for her.
I kind of think she might be calling my bluff on the nursing home option. I also think that she thinks I am bluffing that I will bring a dr to her since she will not cooperate with helping me to get her there. I am eager to see if her behavior changes at all when I can finally get a dr in here.
Sigh although I hate to do it I have entertained two possible moves before giving in and just placing her in a home (which I really do not want to do I want her here where I can oversee the care she gets and still do some of it myself just not all of it).
1 - to bring home literature from nursing homes, sit down with her and ask her to pick out her room. If needed with this plan, start packing some of her stuff into boxes.
2 - book a one week respite at the home where she will be placed (if they even have it - once she leaves my house she goes back to "control of" one of my sisters who has POA but abandoned me with her care. Then after picking her up from the respite, tell her again to make her choice - my home with caregivers or nursing home.
I thought the last 9 years of my life were hard but this just keeps getting harder and harder.
Helpful Answer (1)

My mom, although she is in a Memory Care Home, still has outside caregivers take her on outings twice a week. We used to have 3 times a week, but the caregivers she likes the most were not available the 3rd time, and it was a total waste of money. She would shoo them off and it was a four-hour minimum regardless if she shooed them off or not. I have learned that it works well if they introduce themselves as my friend, she then quizzes them on how we met. If they aren't too young, she's not into the young caregivers, probably because they don't have enough experience or creativity. She was never a talker, so she doesn't want to have hours of conversation, she likes to do cribbage, go for a walk, go to the gym etc. Most of the young ones want to SIT on their butt and "babysit." and my Mom is too intelligent to put up with that condescension.
I even try really hard not to be too bossy, because I'm sure I would hate it if the roles were reversed.
Helpful Answer (0)

Yes I have been trying that too - telling her the caregiver is here to help me take care of Mom because of my fibromyalgia and being in pain. She didn't accept that either.
Mom is 88.
Helpful Answer (0)

I work for a home care agency My recommendation is to ease her into it. In addition, be alongside the new caregiver until she gets comfortable with the idea of having someone else there to assist her. She might feel uncomfortable with someone who isn't you. Regardless, I wish you the best of luck, and I hope everything turns out for the better. I'm sure it will.
Helpful Answer (0)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter