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My mom took care of my dad when he was terminally ill from lung cancer no hospice just her at own home, at the same time taking care of bi-polar son
and having double masectomy herself..There was little help during all of this ten years ago. Now she is 80 . She has rectocele and newly diagnosis of depression and anxiety. Landed her in hosptial for month. Now trying to live at her home with bipolar son still at home.. I try to help but she has always been so independent. Problem is no help from outsiders because she saved alot of her money and is not elligible for financial based programs. How do I treat her with dignity and the respect she well deserves. ? It is so difficult because she doesn't want to go on and she doesn't want me to be responsible for brother or her..The facility she was at sent her home and said family member make sure take medicine but pretty well she should be okay at home . The social worker and doctors know about her family situation but have been not much help just said
we need a plan when she was in geriatrics behavior part of hospital. they said
as long as she has her own home she should be okay at home.????

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Daughter took a year off of school and had to switch majors after accident.
Before she took Quantum Mechanics and got an A. Had a real hard time adjusting. Worked 2 years and then went back to school. She needed insurance and was over 25 so couldn't be on dad's insurance anymore. Went on to get 2 masters degrees. Thanks for asking clare 49.
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Not sure Kate needed to hear "step up" from Perseverance. I think the purpose of this forum is to offer support to one another, not to judge. Kate came here asking advice on how to tackle these very difficult problems she is facing with love and compassion. She knows it's time to step up. No need for a guilt trip!

Kate, I agree with lulabear that the first step is getting your brother the help he needs to live without your mom. Since I don't know the extent of his issues, it's hard for me to tell you where to begin. But he is going to have to go on without her and you cannot be expected to care for him as she did. I would probably contact a local mental health agency to start.

I also had parents who saved well and my dad doesn't qualify for any type of assistance. Paying out of pocket doesn't have to mean an immediate drain on her savings. You can hire quality people for as few or as many hours as needed. Maybe someone coming in just an hour or two a day to start would do. Or maybe you can identify specific tasks she needs help with like bathing or cooking and you can find someone to help with just those jobs. She may be resistant at first but I think that ultimately most elderly people realize they can't do it all on their own anymore and come to appreciate the help.

You're going to have to have a talk with her about what she wants, what she expects of you and what she would like for your brother after she's gone. I'm sure she has thought about all of this many times. Maybe she just doesn't know how to bring it up with you. You and she both sound like strong women. I'm sure you will find a way to help her through all of this.

Finally, I'm wondering, did your daughter recover from that horrible accident? I can't imagine what you must have gone through with your dad dying and your daughter injured...
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First and foremost your mother has grit and it sounds like their is a genetic predisposition on your mother's gene pool with mood disorders. Unless your brother is not taking prescription medication to stabilize his moods, then I can see where your mother might still be concerned, however, twenty million of US with bipolar had/have led full lives with bumps, but everyone experiences ups and downs. I've owned three businesses, one international, went back to school over and over, got three college degrees and so what if I have bipolar disorder? There are worse illnesses to have. Your mother's rectocele may or may not have any symptoms according to Mayo Clinic, and I was wondering have you asked her how she manages? Having depression is usually a chemical imbalance and I don't know the meds she may be taking, but if she has hormone infusions, hormones always gave me migraines and depression. Your brother may be using his illness as an excuse not to get out into the world and face challenges. When I was much younger I used inpatient hospitals to hide, but that was in the late 1960s - early 70s before Lithium Carbonate was approved by the FDA. Since being a first patient given Lithium in AZ, it changed my life, as it has Patty Duke (the actress and advocate for the mentally ill, and former President of the Screen Actors Guild) to mention another person. So, the best advice I have to give is stop labeling your mother and brother by their illnesses, and look at them as persons who might or might not want your help.
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Kateivy, I hear you, my daughter is battling cancer and my MIL is 86 and feeble. It sounds like your mom is a very strong person who has given much to many. She will be happiest in her home, and the VNA will either provide you with service or, if not eligible, connect you to a private provider.
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My daughter away at college was hit by car crossing the street with 5 other students.
She was the one who landed on roof of car so she had alot of doctors and injuries.
I know it sounds like worse soap opera but all happened at once. One of the worse years of my life.
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thanks for the info. tom
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Why were you unavailable to help your parents - while your dad was alive and not well, and now with your Mom ill? Your Mom needs a caregiver 24.7 or close to it. If you can't do so, you'll need to hire qualified help through Home Instead or the like.

Asking for help is very humbling. Your Mom is familiar with caregiving and understands the sacrifice. Now it is her time to be served. Step up.
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The Visiting Nurses Assn in Glendale Hts can do an evaluation and possibly help out. Our mom is 86 the VNA sends the RN twice a week. Good people.
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I agree with everything Lulabear says, but I would give you a mild caution about using free senior living locator services. They're free because they're getting money from the places they recommend. So you may not necessarily hear about the best facility for your loved one if they're not paying the referral agency. So do your own homework. With the internet, you can get all kinds of information about places near you. Or ask the service if they get paid for referrals. If they do, then take that into consideration. Good luck...
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Does your mom feel she cannot leave your brother? Many people with bipolar disorder hold jobs and live independently if they are on medication and under a doctor's care. Does your brother need a caretaker or does your mom just feel responsible for him? Maybe step 1 is figuring out what to do with brother. If he is competent, he needs to move on.

Your mother may do well in an assisted living facility. She sounds like she needs companionship and social interaction. There are some wonderful AL facilities and they do respite care. That's a good opportunity to "try out" a facility for a month or so. My brother-in-laws family was in a similar situation. They convinced their mom to go to AL facility after cataract surgery. She decided she didn't want to leave, which was what they were hoping. She made friends and had a nice routine there.

I know it's very difficult for an elder to decide to sell a home (especially when they feel responsible for a grown child) but the fact is, your brother will probably outlive your mom so the time will come when he will have to get along without her.

You can offer to take her to visit some AL facilities (no pressure on her, just for information). There are services that help locate appropriate facilities. I don't know if the Agingcare monitor will allow me to state the name of the service I used to find a place for my mother with dementia but here goes- "A Place for Mom". It's a free service. Good luck.
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