My mom recently had a stroke that thankfully was not the worst, but was not the best either. She told her PT that if she won't be able to drive again she wants to kill herself (seems dramatic but she's used to being 100% independent). Her depression is not doing well despite being on medication. Another issue, is her cognition seems to be in a random decline. She was more coherent before even though her speech is much better she says some things that make absolutely no sense sometimes. Has anyone else seen this? We're trying to get her to see a neurologist, but the closest one I got is about a month away. She's getting fitted for Prism glasses in a little over a week as the double vision has severely impacted her ability to progress with OT and PT.

I quit my job (decent pay, but management was terrible anyway) and moved back temporarily with her, but we are both not rich by any means. I am her ONLY family member. Everyone else is a family friend with their own problems although some have offered to help here and there (I don't hold my breath on that). Her pension/SS/life savings makes her not qualify for medicaid which takes months and months anyway even if we did find some loopholes. She never took out supplementary insurance for medicare and has no life insurance. I rescheduled my vacation from next week to August. But now we're faced with the task of making a plan for her while I'm away and also preparing for me to return to my out of state apartment and get a job again after I return from my trip. She can't afford to help support me after I move away and hire someone so I need to work and I can't depend on getting a flexible decent paying remote position as I'm still considered entry/mid level (5 years of office/admin/HR type work) and have no degree. She can go to the bathroom alone with the walker now, but she has balance issues from dizziness so showering is a challenge and requires supervision. I feel guilty for leaving her, but I'm not much emotional help to her regardless. She already cries almost every day about how she feels bad for dragging me into this so staying here indefinitely isn't going to make her feel better.

What do people like me do when they're young and kinda broke but no one else can help? I am willing to come back as many times as I can to visit, but I already feel drained and unable to help her after only a month of living with her full-time and I need a break.

Bubba echoing the choir here-you are way too young to give up your life & be a full time caregiver. This could easily drag on for 20-30 years at which point you would be 50-60 years old by then. If you aren’t working and earning social security credits won’t be eligible for social security or Medicare. And it will be extremely difficult to enter the workplace as a 50-60 year old and earn a livable wage. This is something a lot of people don’t think about. How will you support yourself once mom is gone and how will take care of you in your old age? It is ok to be a caregiver at this age but please do not give up your entire life over it.

I didn’t see this mentioned anywhere.....if your mom is now considered disabled because of her stroke, she may be eligible for Medicaid and other social services. Your profile says you are in NY-is mom there too? If yes then the medicaid income and asset limits there much higher than most other states. Now you say upur
mother has a life savings? To put it bluntly, she’ll need to use that money for her care. If she requires a caregiver, she can use that money to hire one. She could also use it to make modifications to her home (assuming she owns one) to make it safer and more accessible to her.

I think it would be a good idea to your local social services/department of health & human services or whatever it is called in your mother’s state. They will have social workers and eligibility workers that can help you navigate this and determine what services are available for your mom.
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Reply to worriedinCali

Mostly, please don't feel guilty for wanting to live your life. She has a new reality and she will have to be the one to come to terms with it. Lots of people live with the after effects of stroke and they are happy, productive people, it's about attitude. Encourage her to make every effort to get better and to work with what she has. Isthisreal wrote the above. It is true. It can be very challenging at times, but its worth trying.

If she ends up again with a stroke and is in hospital, talk with social services. If they suggest your mom transitions in a nursing home for 90 days - take it. Social services may pay for it, and get her into physical therapy and the right medications.
Get your ducks in a row. GET POA FOR HEALTH AND WEALTH. GET that living trsut done now. Get your name on all her accounts since you are the only family she has. Obviously you are not the type to take her to the "cleaners".
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Reply to MAYDAY

Yes, everyone is right: Get a lawyer or paralegal and ask the right questions. Paralegal may be able to set up POA. See what is best, get joint accounts with her, it makes things easier.

If you can, try to move in with her, or as close as you can. I was thinking if you move in with her, some family members get paid by the state? I would check, I am not sure how that works.

If you move in with her, maybe you can get some online courses to get a degree, and stay with mom.

Is there an adult day care she can go to, so se can socialize? Any kind of adult program?

Is there any job you can do from home in your mom's area or in your area and move mom closer to you?

Have you asked the doctor about palliative care ? Sometimes they will evaluate the patient in home and then determine if she is a candidate for in-home visitations.
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Reply to MAYDAY

I would encourage you to find a good certified elder law attorney ( can give you a list of local attorneys) to ensure that all of her paperwork is in order. This will give both of you comfort knowing that, God forbid, if something happens you can help her legally and not have a fight on your hands because you don't have POA or she doesn't have a living will.

What is her prognosis? Is there anything that she can be doing to improve her health? Have you checked into all the alternatives for improving her quality of life, ie food, supplements, exercise? Modern medicine can only do so much.

Does your mom expect you to stay and continue to care for her indefinitely? If yes, can I suggest that you find a social worker that can help her see that she can not put you in that position. You can be her advocate, but I don't think you should be her long term caregiver, it is an unfair expectation and needs to be nipped in the bud. You are to young to be asked to give up your life so she doesn't have to do anything she doesn't want to.

If you feel more comfortable being closer to her, then she needs to be moved closer to where you want to live. Check into facilities and what it would require to get her closer to you.

Mostly, please don't feel guilty for wanting to live your life. You didn't do this to her and you can't be expected to give up your life because this happened. She has a new reality and she will have to be the one to come to terms with it. Lots of people live with the after effects of stroke and they are happy, productive people, it's about attitude. Encourage her to make every effort to get better and to work with what she has.

Hugs! This must be such a challenge for both of you.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Do NOT become her full time caregiver. You are much too young to have to deal with that at this point in your life. Your local Office of the Aging might be able to put you in touch with resources, including a social worker. It may be that your mother needs a great deal more mental health care than physical care - depression is often debilitating. It's wonderful that you want to help her, but please don't sacrifice your future. You need to have a social life, a job whereby you can support yourself, and some dependable backup for your mother's issues. I wish you the best of luck in this difficult situation. Just remember that you need to take care of you before you can take care of others.
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Reply to lablover64

Good Morning, Sunshine! I will simply say that you can still be there for your Mom while she is taken care if; you can visit her. I think feeling it is the right thing to do is humane, but you should not pause your life. As a parent, I would never expect my children to endure such a challenge. I would prefer they advocate for my good care and enjoy our visits together. At 55, I am taking care of my Mother now who also had a stroke, in my home. It is intrusive, no privacy for any of us, and very exhausting at times. At 23, find the help you need to arrange for her care and return to living your life and preparing for YOUR future. I'm confident you both will have a more positive relationship and added struggles with health and financial repercussions can be prevented 💖
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Reply to Starre64

You are 23 years old and much too young to be doing hands on care for you'd mother. You should be having the time of your life. Please don't put your financial well being at risk to care for her, she could easily live another couple decades or more depending on her age. There are other people that can help her. Help doesn't have to come from family.
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Reply to Evermore99

97 year old mom said what I was going to. There are respite programs for caregivers and a certified elder law attorney will help you plan and get the medicaid app going so you don't miss something in the process. As for her depression, it is so understandable and a pill in a bottle is not going to change her circumstances. Hopefully the neurologist will be of some help and maybe a psych consult, someone she could talk with. Sometimes the good neuro guys are hard to get appts with and you do have to wait. Good luck.
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Reply to gdaughter

My first thought is don't you dare lose sight of YOUR long term plans in all of this. I'm sure your mother, as terribly ill as she seems to be, would not want you to torpedo your own life in the process of helping her. You are at a critical age. It's so easy to lose momentum. Please don't let yourself be pulled under.

Blessings to you and your mom.
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Reply to SnoopyLove

Your mom will need an advocate. She will also need Medicaid. She needs to use some of her savings to see a CELA or NAELA certified elder attorney well versed in Medicaid for her state.
Medicaid regulations are somewhat different in each state but all require that a recepient be medically and financial qualified.
Dont assume she isn’t qualified.
You could start with the Area Agency on Aging for her County to determine which services she qualifies for.
Many caregivers do so long distance. The trick is to manage her care, nor try to give hands on care.
Others will be along to offer more specific suggestions.
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Reply to 97yroldmom

I want to compliment you on being such a good kid. That doesn't help I know, but it does. Stick around. We have been where you are. You are going to get some good advice here. These peeps kept me sane.

I want you to know we have your back and we have you in our heart. Stay with us.
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Reply to Segoline

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