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Mom's health and mental ability have declined dramatically over the past 6 months. She lives with us and I have been doing everything for her, and she has gotten to the point where she says things that make no sense, says she can't walk then gets out of bed every 30 minutes and falls and moans and cries very loudly because she cannot get herself either to the bathroom or into her bed (right next door to the bathroom).
Last weekend she fell 4 times, the 4th time hitting her head and bleeding so we called the paramedics (she is on blood thinners and there was a LOT of bleeding) who took her to the hospital.
We told the social worker there that we just cannot do this any more. We are totally burnt out, cannot go anywhere together (one of us has to be there so she doesn't burn down the house or fall), and I cannot lift her from the ground so I have to keep calling my husband at work to run home and help. Employers will only stand for that for so long. We need to save some kind of $ for retirement- we have nothing and are in our 60's. I need to be able to work. Mom needs more care than I can physically and mentally give.
She was released to a rehab place for 5 days from the hospital. She calls and tells my husband she hates him and says the NH is telling her she is doing great and should be able to go home soon. But she just can't do it here. We just can't. We have no help, and she is abusive and manipulative and cruel while being sweet and kind to everyone else. I literally start to tear up and panic thinking of her returning to my house, she is so very mean. Will mess up her meds on purpose to make it look like I am not sorting them right. Will stop injecting her insulin so she can cause yet another 'emergency.' She has loud shouting ranting meltdowns and has swung at me (when I refused to let her do laundry at 3:30 am- husband works at 5 and she is LOUD - suddenly ABLE to walk???) and tells my husband she would like to kill him. It is hell. I don't know what the neighbors think at this point. It is making it difficult to even live here and we are actually considering selling our house.


My question is this - do we HAVE to let her return to our home? If we refuse to let her return, will that force her to make other arrangements, or can she force her way back? The doctors are saying she is of sound mind. If only they knew!!!
Despite all of this, we would like to see her in a place where she will get the care and attention she needs. But she will not give a POA to us, siblings want nothing to do with her, and we feel just flat out helpless and abused by the whole situation. If you have ever dealt with a narcissist, you understand that this is something she will feel she needs to 'win' at all cost so she can come home and passively make us do this, do EVERYTHING for her. One of her favorite retaliations is to shove things down the toilet to make a huge mess for us to clean up or not take her meds. Whatever she can still find to do to have some sort of power.


We have a phone meeting with the NH this afternoon. What should we be doing? Thanks in advance, I have been reading a lot in this forum and it is so good to know we are not completely alone in this. It amazes me how some think that all older people are sweet and kind and appreciative etc... not all of us are living that. It feels like we don't have control of our own home or our own lives. There is no peace. I think over 20 years is enough. Am I wrong?

Thank you all for taking the time to respond and advise. Your advice has been eye-opening and supportive, to say the least. God bless each of you!! The hospital discharged her to a NH, and we have been coordinating with them, letting them know we cannot allow her back, and that we have no POA. They have a Medicaid specialist we will be sitting down with or conference calling with later this week. They are telling us they deal with this all the time and that things should work out smoothly once she is out of cash and applies. If there is something I need to be careful of in this, your advice would again be much appreciated. Mom was admitted without our having to sign anything promissory, a true miracle.

Yesterday we had a conference call from the NH we were able to place her in, and the nurse said that Mom has dementia. We recorded the call, so I have that on record. Mom called my husband at work yesterday to let him know that he is no longer her son and to please have her daughter call. When her daughter called, she experienced some 'out there' conversation for herself, and is very supportive of us which is a huge help to my husband's resolve that he did the right thing for her. People at his workplace have been supportive too, with many telling us they can't believe we lasted this long. We will probably have the state appoint someone to oversee her care and bow out of everything. Fortunately I researched and found we reside in a non filial state. The NH is being helpful, as far as we can tell, although the phone calls to my husband during work needs to stop. Obviously she has some nurse bamboozled into thinking that is ok and has her sympathy. We will have to stop answering for our own mental health.

We didn't realize the level of anxiety we were living in until during this past week on our own. It is still very hard to relax in any way (CV-19 is still lurking and my husband is deemed 'essential'). We haven't mastered that skill yet. But we have faith it is coming. The thought of actually doing things together once this season passes is very surreal, seeming almost too much to hope for. Still walking on eggshells and waiting for the other shoe to drop. When does that subside?
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Reply to cricketsong
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Daughterof1930 Apr 9, 2020
The nursing home my mother was in had a business manager who was well versed in the Medicaid application process. After my mother was private pay and her long term care policy ran out, the business manager walked us through the Medicaid process at no charge. Please don’t pay anything of your own money toward your mother’s care, use only her money, including selling anything of value she has. After that spenddown of her assets Medicaid will happen.
And you’re very right in not accepting the angry phone calls. I wish you peace as you reclaim your lives
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Yes to all that Ahmijoy and MammaDrama said! Now realize that the NH may try to bully you into taking her back. Stand firm. And do NOT fall for anything like, "We'll keep an eye out for a place for her, but it will take a while. If you take her home, we will 'work on' trying to find a place ASAP." Because they WILL NOT DO THAT. Once you take her home, she is no longer their responsibility. Also realize it is easier for them if you take her home. Make the SW or case manager earn their money and make THEM find a place for her.

You've done enough. More than enough. Good luck, and keep us updated!
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Reply to CTTN55
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You can’t keep her safe at home anymore. Ask for a social worker and repeatedly say you “can’t keep her safe” at home. She falls. She hits her head. She is a danger to herself and you. Safe is a trigger work that should start the ball in motion for a social worker or hospital to help you place her in a care facility. 20 years is more than enough. No healthy, loving parent would put a child through that.
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Reply to MammaDrama
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When the NH calls, reinforce the fact that you absolutely can no longer care for her. Insist that caring for her is affecting your mental and physical health. Make sure they understand that because of her constant falling and sustaining serious injuries, your mother would be returning to an unsafe environment. If they insist on sending her back to your home, which they really can’t unless you capitulate, tell them you will seek the advice of an attorney regarding holding them responsible for an unsafe discharge if she becomes injured again.

Unless you live in your mother’s house, she cannot force her way back in unless, once again, you capitulate out of feelings of guilt or obligation and allow her back in. This is the time you must remain strong and determined, put yourselves first and send Mom to where she needs to be and YOU need her to be. If you allow her back in, then it is up to you to tolerate her until she passes.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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This is so difficult. I had my mother in law move in with us and it was horrible. My husband started looking for an apartment to rent for himself he was so stressed out in his own house.
My sweet teenage son, who loved his grandmother, insisted we tell her to find a home for her dog because it was so unruly and my mother in law wouldn't take responsibility for it or anything. Went to counseling for that and the counselor said it was our house and she had to be respectful and follow our rules.

Right, to everyone else she was sweet and outgoing, but ungrateful, angry, demanding etc. to us. I could go on and on, you get the point.

Next time she goes to the hospital, and she is there for I believe, 48 or 72 hrs, you have to tell them you don't have a safe place for her. They have to find housing for her. They can take her social security, and money she has, and give her an allowance. They may argue with you and push you. But be kind to your mother, and kind to them and tell them we don't have a safe place for her. Which is true.
She needs help and safety and someone to be home with her all of the time.

You cannot supervise by yourself, true? Your husband has to leave work to pick her up off the floor. Her meds put her in an emergency situation, and you can't manage her insulin.

You don't have to explain all this necessarily. It's for her own safety though. She is going to hurt herself falling down.

Hang in there, you're not alone. I felt the same way. Not everyone should move their parent in with them. I even looked up advice on forums then went on the ignore them.

Someone else can be their caretaker and you can be her daughter and visit her once a week or twice a month, whichever takes care of your mental health and marriage.

Seek counseling about Boundaries if you need to.
Be well, with love,
gratefultoday
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Reply to gratefultoday
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Because we feel sorry for our LO, sometimes we tend to forget how awful it was with them in our home while they're somewhere else. Add that to the guilt inducing pressure from the hospital or NH which is trying to MAKE us take them back again, and too many caregivers give up and do it. Within a week we are living in hell as usual. Please hold firm to your convictions that bringing her back to your home will be bad (again) for all of you..... remind yourself that it is entirely possible she will actually do better elsewhere.
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Reply to mally1
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The one piece of leverage I see, especially since she has called your place home for 20 years, is that she threatened violence toward your husband. Tell the SW that, not only is she unsafe in the discharge, but that she is threatening violence, and you are both no longer safe in your home if she returns.

I would also definitely seek the advice of an attorney. With no POA and a doctor that says she is competent, you may have to do more than say unsafe discharge to get her into a more appropriate setting and out of your home.

But, I would hold my line VERY firm with the SW at the rehab and with your mother. Stay calm. Do not get sucked into self-defense mode.

Best wishes... you are in a very rough spot.
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Reply to 499HopeFloats
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You deserve a medal, 20 years of care in your home for a narcissist. If you have never lived with one you cannot possibly know what its like. My Mother doesn't live with us but she lives round the corner, my husband said if she ever moved in with us he would move out. My comment was I would be right behind you.
What is so annoying about them is they are sooooo charming to everyone else but absolutely foul to you. My Mother has divided my children by moaning about me and my husband, that we never do enough, now she has dementia and my daughter 9who lives 350 miles away) says I am not doing enough to care for her. Quite frankly the way she has treated me over the years and her continual sniping and trying to run my life, she is lucky I even speak to her let alone care for her, but I am an only child.
Stick to your guns, you deserve some time for yourselves, prison sentences are not even that long. I bet your narcissist Mum didn't look after her parents and has never done anything for anyone else without some payback.
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Reply to auntyP
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If the nursing home or social workers try to make you take her home insist that she be sent to a 'behavioral center' for an evaluation. We had my mother for 10 yrs, We did not realize that she had narcissistic personality disorder, until someone on this forum mentioned it. I always knew that my mother was a very self-centered person, but had never actually paid any attention to what a narcissist is. We made arrangements for her to enter the behavioral center, and told her it was a doctors appointment. When we arrived at the facility she saw a brochure in the rack near where she was sitting, and had a meltdown right there in front of them all. She was there for two weeks,-------was evaluated by their phychiatrist, and therapist. She was diagnosed with several disorders. While she was there, my husband and I made arrangements for her to be transported to an assisted living facility upon discharge. Mother is nearly 98 yrs old. Dad was active duty army durring WW11, therefore she qualifies for veteran widows benefits, which helps pay for the A.L. She is not very happy with us at this time, but we are taking care of her, AND, ourselves.
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Reply to lorac1950
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I agree, tell the Social Worker that at this point, you can no longer care for her. You both have to work and can't afford caregivers. They need to evaluate her for Long Term Care.

The problem you have is no POA to be able to force the issue if she is incompetent. The only other thing is allow the state to take over her care and they will set up a guardian. You may want to tell Mom this. If she doesn't allow you POA then the state will be responsible for her care. Tell the SW Mom has a personality disorder. That you metally cannot take it anymore. You too are a senior.
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