Follow
Share

My mother was the best mom a son could have. Today, she's turned into a person I almost don't know. I moved both mother and my older, special needs brother into nursing home care this summer. (actually, he's in the nursing home and she's in assisted living, both at the same facility.) Two weeks ago, my brother was diagnosed with terminal abdominal cancer and given a few weeks to live. Mother understands what's going on, but insists on moving him back to her home where she can take care of him while he goes through the hospice/dying process. This is the same home we moved her out of (3 hours away) because she kept falling and could no longer take care of her or my brother, who lived with her. She constantly plots ways to get back home and is now using my brother's pending death as her way back. She knows we'll have to take her back home for his funeral, so every conversation we have she tells me "now, I don't want you to get upset, but I'm NOT coming back to this place." She accuses me of locking her up in a prison; says she's going crazy in this J-A-I-L (she literally screams the spelling of the word in my ear). Her assisted living facility is nice, clean and the staff cares for her very well. She says she can take much better care of my brother than I can (though I've literally cleaned him after he soils himself more times than I care to count.) I sat with him for 8 days in the hospital, along with my wife and daughters in shifts. But mother doesn't give us any credit for that. She keeps telling me that her friends back home could come see her and my brother and take her places, etc., and she doesn't have anybody down here to visit her. I guess the multiple times I go visit her each week don't count. A water line at her house broke and flooded her bedroom. I paid for the plumber to fix it and threw my back out ripping up soaked carpet over a three day emergency workathon weekend. She blamed me for the whole episode and accused me of tearing up her house. She baits me until I've had enough, and when I finally blow my top she accuses me of "disappointing" her with my behavior. I bite my tongue every conversation because she constantly throws out barbs intended to hurt and start an argument. She told her niece on the phone (with me sitting two feet away) "don't bother giving him your phone number, he WON'T call you back and if he does it's two or three days later." She knew I was hearing every word and said it to hurt my feelings. I'm a grown man with a family and college age daughters. I've literally turned my life upside down over the last six months to become the primary caregiver for my mother/brother combo. I've put my personal career development on hold at a time when I really need to be pouring on the coals at work. Now, my brother is dying and all she does is complain and plot how she's going to use his death to move back home. I'm sick of hearing her lecture me on how she could take much better care of him back home because "I've been taking care of him all his life when you didn't even care about him." I've told her that I don't answer her calls because she only wants to argue and I don't have two hours a day to have the same argument with her over and over. My mother who was once very loving has become an argumentative, cantankerous, mean old woman. I can't do anything to please her and the more I try the more she complains. We have set up hospice for my brother, but she gets angry if I go visit with him and don't go see her. Even though he's dying, a visit with him is much more pleasant than a session with mother. She comes from the old school where a visit isn't a visit unless you stay at least a couple of hours. It's a real challenge to deal with them both at the same time. She's threatening to change the will after my brother dies so I won't get all her assets; assuming she has any assets left when she finally passes. Then she'll tell me that she loves me and I'm her baby. This whole thing is so bizarre. I know everybody on this forum has their own personal caregiving horror stories, but having to be the primary caregiver to two adults simultaneously with no other siblings to help is driving me crazy. I don't have time to take care of myself right now. I don't have the energy to do things I normally enjoy, like going to church and ball games. Honestly, the whiskey helps a bit. Please don't judge me. I'm not an alcoholic and I'm not superman either. I'm just facing the biggest challenge of my life so far and don't have any easy answers.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Just put my mom in JAIL also. It’s really horrible. The warden makes her get up, bathe, eat breakfast, take her meds and so on. Just horrible. How could I do this to her!?

My mom sounds like yours. She has early dementia. She knows the right now stuff, date, who’s president, but her executive reasoning is gone. She thinks she and Dad were just fine, her on the floor bleeding after a bad fall, Dad watching tv, I JUST NEEDED TO REST A COUPLE OF DAYS.

It’s hard not to get mad at her. I managed this madness from 3 states away for the past 5 years. I had to swoop in and get them both in care last week.  It was a hellush few days.  I am totally burnt out with these guys.

But I sent some Xmas flowers, I’ll call on Xmas day. I’ll keep testing the water for a while. My guess is she may hate me for the rest of her life. I’ll deal with it. I’m detaching. If she lightens up I’ll call regularly and drive down for visits. If not, I’ll pay the bills, manage their care and that’s it.

At least I know they’re safe and well cared for. The warden tells me they’re eating like starving wolves and enjoying all the prison Xmas programs.
Helpful Answer (12)
Report

RW, find out if there is a geriatric psychiatrist who visits the AL where your mom lives, one who can stop in, chat with her to evaluate her mental state and prescribe meds for her depression and anxiety. If there's no one at the facility, get a referral.

When she argues, get up and say, "I'll come back when you're feeling better mom". Hard to do. But do it to save YOUR sanity.

Your mom needs someone to blame for this tragedy. You're present, so you must be at fault.
Helpful Answer (10)
Report

RE, your profile says mom has age related decline. Please understand that it's more than that. She can no longer reason, which is why she is blaming you. This is fairly common in dementia; the person " on-site" is to blame for everything.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

You placed your mother and brother in a safe place. You have done your part. Spend time with your brother and take a break from mom. You don't have to put up with abuse. It is ok to tell her NO.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

I agree with all that Barb has said. Don't take it personally...I know, easier said than done... But it is what you have to do. Get her evaluated by a geriatric psych or neurologist. You are doing an amazing job. Your mom is not only aging, but dealing with the unbearable grief of losing a child (I personally can't think of anything worse) and in this case, a child that has stayed a "child" his entire life. She doesn't realize the grief you are also going through as you are losing them both. Make time to go to church and even a game now and then. Love your family. Keep your mom safe. These are the things you must do. Just like our children don't always like (or understand) why we make certain choices for them, our aging parents also don't. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

This is so sad. Your mom is being unreasonable and delusional. You have done everything to set things up and she is undermining it because she is unable to see her limitations. I would get her doctor to talk to her, or someone simliar, to tell her how it is. You have enough on your plate, plus your bro is dying and this is very tough for you. Perhaps avoid your mom for a while? take some time out.  You've done all you can.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

RWB, I should point out that I was completely on my own with this ordeal. Sibs passed away a few years ago. I had to hire a caregiver to sit with my demented father while I dealt with mom in the hospital and all the arrangements at the assisted living, aka prison, facility.

There are many out there like us. It ain’t fun but you’ll get through it. I like whiskey too but have to watch myself. Don’t want to be sloshed and get the call to move Dad to memory care. You hang in there friend.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

I totally agree that mom has some sort of cognitive impairment, i.e. her brain is broken. So you have to shift your expectations to understanding that mom isn't in her right head when she's accusing you of a myriad of offenses and sins. She can no longer reason. So take care of yourself and your brother and get mom a psych evaluation. You're doing a wonderful job and you're a good man. Just keep an eye on the alcohol - it won't help you in the long run. Get some counseling if you need some help in making these adjustments. And listen to Windyridge, he's another guy going through something very similar to what you're experiencing. We're here for you - you are NOT alone on this journey. {{{Hugs}}} from one caregiver to another.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Your mom sounds like mine after a brain bleed and a fall on the head, that is to say she has dementia or Alzheimer’s and can not be reasoned with. I agree with above. Plus a book that helped me so much is called the 36 hour day. Fact is your mom is delusional and as long as she is in a safe clean home she is fortunate she has you. Try to get a psych evaluation but often our sly moms can pull it together for drs. Think of her as a toddler at day care. They scream at parents but behave with teachers. She will likely become more like a toddler as she ages. My mom thought she was at a party not a funeral so it may not be worth it emotionally to bring her to a funeral if she can’t understand or behave.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I understand quite a bit. And I'm so terribly sorry that you are going through this. You've done so much, and have managed to survive, and your mother either doesn't understand what you've done for her and your brother, or doesn't care. That kind of unreasonableness is so freakin' irritating, difficult and sad to deal with.

You've already mentioned there are no easy answers, and you are so right. I wish I had answers. All I have is sympathy, understanding and commiseration to offer. I wish there was a way to just tune out your mother as your brother transitions. Your brother is the one who needs and deserves your time, and it's really sad that your mother can't do the same, but instead is making life much harder for all and for no real gain (from our perspective, of course, since I'm sure she thinks this is perfectly acceptable).

I'm caring for two family members on opposite sides of the country. While technically I do have other family members, no one is helping. I occasionally have my vices, like wine. I too am not in an abusive state of any substance, but I'm not Superwoman, either. I get what you are saying here - you are in survival mode.

I wish I had something useful to say other than I understand as best I can from my own experiences, and I'm sorry you are in this position. The others above have some ideas that may be of some use to you in your current situation. Please try to take care of yourself, but as you noted, there's little to know time for that. If you ever need to vent, talk or have a need for specific advice or ideas, please come back.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.