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Mother is 88 I am 62. She is in good health but doesn't drive. Mother has always placed guilt and shame on others to get what she wants. She is self sufficient as much as an 88 year old can be and has yet to use her in home health care. My brother lives 40 miles away and comes when he feels like it. I do all of the cooking,cleaning, dog walking, garbage, errand running,shopping, and relieving her loneliness on top of doing a strenuous childcare job. I am also a 62 year old senior but am not ready to live the life style of an 88 year old. I would like to have a closer commute to work and also go a couple times a week to check in on mom. She also has paid 17 years for in home health care. How do I make this move without feeling guilty and shamed for making my own life decisions? I have spent unending days worrying about this decision. Would appreciate input on how to reassure her living situation.

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I'm with Jesse on this one. That's the way I would handle it.
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If mom gets angry - which would be normal - you can patiently wait it out, or just quietly get up and step out of the room. I've had to do it.

"Mom, I'm happy to be here and talk with you, but not if you're going to be mean." And then do it. If she's nice, OK. If she's being inappropriate, step out. The hard part about this is changing ourselves to do something different than what we were programmed to do all our lives.

My mom tried every guilt trip there is any time in my life I did anything that resembled independent thinking, but you have to stand strong, maybe tune out, and not be swayed. Be strong - for yourself - because you are totally worth it.
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Lincoln freed the slaves a long time ago. You get to self determine and do not need anybody's permission.

Find an apartment. Put down the deposit. Schedule movers if you need them.
Then make a nice supper for mom, and say "Mom, I have found my own place and am moving into it next ___). "

If she wants to know why, you don't have to defend a thesis. Keep it simple. "Mom, I'm not young anymore. I can't do nearly what I used to, and my doctor said I need to slow down for my health. This is one of the ways I'm looking after myself."

When she wants to know "What about ME?" you need to have the answer.
- There will be in-home care coming on X, Y, Z. It's all setup for you. You just sit back and let them do the work for you.
- I have a plan if you need more help than that, but we will worry about that later.

The answer to "No I will most certainly NOT let home care in" is:
- Well mom, I'm not going to be here, and it's already setup, so we can't cancel.
- They're going to bill for the entire time if you throw them out or refuse to let them in. And I won't be here in their place.
- I will come visit on __ and ___.
- If you don't let them come in to do their job, they will get Adult Protection involved, and you don't want that I'm sure. It can't be me to replace them. We already discussed that.

If she can't comprehend this info, then you need to look harder at more advanced care choices and have her seen by a neurologist. Basically, if she is competent (or not), she doesn't get to decide where you live & work. You do because you are an individual with needs, feelings, and rights.

To be good-willed about it, definitely let your brother know what is happening, but remember - he doesn't get to veto your needs and plans. Nobody does.
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I was curious as to how long you have been living with your mother? I think that will make a difference in how long it will take for each of you to become accustomed to the change and how hard it will be for her to accept. Not that it should make a difference in your actually moving but it could come as quite a shock if you have been there a long time. Have you ever discussed moving before? If so, how did that go?
Recently a friend (67)who lived next door and cared for her mother (89) for probably 20 years had a major event. Her husband (70) went to the local ER with vomiting. He was transferred to the city where he has now undergone two surgeries and been diagnosed with cancer. My friends life has completely changed. She hasn't been to her own home in a month, much less her mothers.
Her mother was/is also very controlling but friend had done a good job of having support in place for food, housekeeping, companionship and errands. She did this although her mother balked at every turn. Friend wanted to travel with her husband to visit her grandchildren and take trips for the two of them. And they did. I'm so glad they did.
The mother, 88, has been very fortunate to have a daughter who had boundaries and insisted that her life was worth living in spite of the fact that her mother is elderly and lived next door. Mother insists on being in a mobile wheelchair even though she could walk (knee surgeries-probably can't walk now), very dependent. Did not want the daughter to go out of town,etc. Friend has two brothers who check in from time to time but the daughter was the caretaker. The brothers are now tagged to take care of mom.
So perhaps you should have a conversation with your brother first. Let him know that you need to make some changes and want to meet with him. Give him an opportunity to absorb your news. While he may not stop in often, he is probably very happy with the arrangement and knowing that you are taking care of mom.
Now that you are moving out (or considering the idea) all the decisions about moms care could be shared. The dynamics will have changed. Everyone's relationship will be affected. Mom has options. It's a time where she can explore those. You might enlist the services of a care manager to help you make sure all the safety nets are in place. I agree that while money is very important, especially for the very ill who need around the clock care, it is usually NOT the reason things are arranged within a family the way they are. You may not live alone for long. You might retire and want to move back with mom in the future, if she is still living at home. You may have five or ten years to enjoy this phase of your life before you are needed back home or need care of your own. You have options too. So as to how you tell mom, make a good plan that includes all the major elements including when the move would actually occur and ask the brother to participate if that seems appropriate to you and don't apologize for living your life.
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Looing4peace
We just had this same discussion a month ago with my mil, and it didn't go well. They just don't realize how much time and devotion we've given and probably never will.
If it ends up like our talks did, the guilt goes away really quick because the anger of their stubbornness makes it.
Live for yourself now while you are still healthy, because you cannot please someone who's negative thinking and demands are never enough in their eyes.
Life's to short!
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Some of these elderly are so stubborn that even if they think AL would be a good idea will not admit it. It would be very difficult to move to an unknown living situation from something they they know so well. It would be the same for me and many others.

My mom had a long term care policy that would have paid for in home care which is the reason she purchased it. She never wanted to leave the home she loved. Then dementia set in she either made the bad decision, common in dementia, to stop paying the premium or canceled the policy. We will never know. Now she has moved to a memory care facility that would also have been paid for by the polcy, instead, her house is to be sold to pay for her care now.

Looking ask mom why she bought the policy. One answer I know my mom would give is that she never would have wanted her children to become that caregiver. Tell mom you need your life, give her a date for your move, help mom make arrangements she need, find your own place and make the move!
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The only way I personally could leave her at this juncture of her life would be to get her into an assisted living facility. Everyone is different, and I not trying to impute my conscience onto you -- and yet my advice comes from what I would do. I could not just leave her at 88 years old. Nope, couldn't do it.

But. It's time for assisted living!
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I don't believe that any long term care policy (or Medicaid for that matter) would cover the kinds of tasks you are doing for your Mom, unless she is so disabled that she also needs help with eating, grooming, toileting, etc. (which seems not to be the case). That said, there is no reason why you need to live there as opposed to living on your own closer to your work. I am in virtually the same position as you, providing the same types of help for my Mom, who is 84 and has serious mobility problems. I lived with her for a while but it drove me crazy. Now I live alone about 25 minutes away and go there several times a week to do errands, take her shopping, take out her trash and pick up her mail, change her bed, etc. You deserve to live your own life. You'll feel guilty if your mother tries to guilt-trip you and you buy into it. Just don't buy into it. Good luck!
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looking4peace, I don't think there is a way for you not to feel guilty. You have to make the move for yourself and feel the guilt. It will be better than staying where you are. Your mother will not like it, but it would be good for her to use the services she has been paying for. She probably figures that as long as you're doing it, she doesn't need to use the service. But I know that you are starting to feel used and it is making your life difficult. In your position, I would tell my mother in the kindest way possible, then be ready for her unhappiness. Help her get everything arranged, then move. Things should be better a month or two after you move so you can enjoy visiting back and forth.
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Are you saying that your mom has a long term care policy that would pay for in home care? That's wonderful, but it has little bearing on the issue. If your mom were destitute, she would be able to get Medicaid assistance.

The problem is that you aren't setting boundaries with her. You're 62 years old and your mother can make you feel ashamed that you don't want to live with her? ( I know the type; my ex MIL is particularly good at it...one of the reasons I'm divorced from her son). Not to be hard on you, but that's YOUR problem. Have you ever seen a counselor or therapist? You might find that the kind of coaching you will get there can give you the strength to say " mom, I've decided that I want to move out. I'll be leaving in two weeks. Let's sit down and make a list of the tasks you need done and then we'll call up this agency and arrange for someone to come in." Don't let her arguments persuade you to do otherwise.
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Can she move to Assisted Living? She would have lots of company. If she is paying for in home health care, it might even be cheaper.
The toughest part for you is the guilt trip and she will use a first class ticket. Oh we got the calls at all hours for imagined emergencies. It stopped when she moved to Assisted Living.
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