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I have my mom living with us now after many years (over 14) of running to her house for every little thing, cleaning it, maintenance, etc. Now that she is here, I have established boundaries, rules, reminders, etc.
I had to do it as she is emotionally exhausting to me- she is very needy - so after all of these years I finally had to get firm. She also never listened to me so that's why she is in the shape she's in (another future post). She says I am bossy but it's for her own good. I guarantee she would have been bedridden by now if I didn't make her do for herself.
She is now wheelchair bound but still able to do for herself within the chair as well as get herself in and out of it so I am blessed on that part. If the time comes that she cannot, she will have paid help or be placed.
I thankfully work from home but my day starts very early so she is aware that she has to do for herself at night and during the day. I help her out throughout the morning, day and at night as needed as well as at lunchtime and after I log off (it's mostly just getting her something to eat). I have made it clear that my son and husband have needs too and they are not going to be neglected. So, here are my boundaries/rules. You may find some funny or helpful. What's yours?


1. On work nights, do not get me up for something that you can do. I will check on you early in the morning and get your breakfast ready when you get up. During the day, you are on your own and especially when I am in a meeting. I will be aware if it's an emergency.
2. If you're hungry, there's plenty in the pantry and fridge- all you have to do is look.
3. I do not need to justify what I am doing in my home. If I want to paint every room every day I will.
4. We will eat supper after I work out.
5. If you don't like what's for supper there's a microwave meal.
6. When we run to the store or other errands of an evening and you don't want to eat so late, there's a microwave meal.
7. Saturdays most weeks are for my husband and I to go out and enjoy ourselves (we also use that day to see homes as we are house hunting). We will be home when we get home. No, I cannot give an exact time.
8. Pay attention when the Physical Therapist comes. You need to do these exercises every day. I should not need to remember them for you.
9. Look at the exercise paper the PT left for you. I cannot exercise for you.
10. We are not a 5-star restaurant, Assisted Living or Nursing Home. Meals will happen when and as they happen. I promise you will not starve.
11. I am not doing laundry every day. You have plenty of clean clothes for the week.
12. I have locked up my house, turned off lights, etc. for over 20 years. I do this every night. Yes, I remembered.
13. Once we move, you will have your very own area that is wheelchair accessible and with a door that locks from our side.


:) :)

Excellent boundaries!

If she starts pushing back, remind her that this is the care you are ABLE to provide. The boundaries are there to preserve your health and sanity as well as maintain her health and independence.

Remind her that if she needs more help, then it is time to investigate the OTHER options for her own health and safety.
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Reply to Firstof5
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Sounds good. But I do wonder what will happen when Mom's mentation doesn't allow her to remain within the bounds of the boundaries? Would that be placement? I think long as you are willing to do that, this sounds good.
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freqflyer Jan 15, 2021
You're right, there will be a time when a parent doesn't remember.

I remember when I broke my right arm and couldn't drive. I let my parents know about. The next day my Dad asked me to drive him to the barbershop.... where is my helmet [had bang head against wall].
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This one is a boundary for me when cleaning up my mother who is incontinent. I don't touch her private. I just don't. Just the thought of it is disturbing and disgusting.

I wear gloves. I use a postpartum bottle to squirt some water in the back area, then squirt some soap, then I tell her or guide her hand there so she can wash herself as I squirt more water until it's clean. I do the same for the front. Then I hand her a towel on a hanger so she can dry herself, then she puts the towel back on the hanger. Then I spray down the toilet seat with rubbing alcohol then wipe it clean. No touching.
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Shell38314 Jan 14, 2021
Polarbear,
That is a really smart idea!
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An interesting post, although clearly tailored to your own situation. I wish that the Moderators could set up a Care Topic for Boundaries, which is such a common issue. More examples for people in different circumstances could be really helpful. Perhaps a few articles, as well as Q & A.
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ybd311 Jan 14, 2021
I agree, boundaries is a hot topic!!
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Fantastic boundaries! Lots of good, practical examples. Thanks!
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