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When can I say "enough is enough" and take my mom to a care center?

I am her only caregiver, and I love her to death. But, I also have to work full time, and having someone come in and stay with her all day is not in the budget. My sister lives in my mom's house, many states away. The house should be condemned due to the hoarding that my sister has. Mom lives with me, and is unable to do anything but watch tv all day. She doesn't want to move off the couch, walk, bathe, anything! She is very grumpy and goes and pouts in her room if she doesn't like what I am saying. She only want's to go to "the Parks". (we live in Florida)

Mom came to live with me before her dementia got bad. We used to go to the parks once a week. She could drive her little scooter, and we had a great time. I am also disabled, so we were both in our scooters. What a pair of silly girls! We had so much fun. Now she is unable to drive her scooter, and I am unable to push her in a wheelchair.

I think in a care center she would truly have more of a life. I recently spent a few weeks myself in a rehab for surgery, and met quite a few people that mom would have fun with. The activities would be great.

The biggest part of my problem is that my sister can't afford to live in an apartment due to her low income. I can't kick her out of Mom's house and mom can't live there.

I am about at the end of my rope. What should I do?? I feel selfish saying I want to have a life of my own, yet, I do. I was a single mom, and now I am a single caregiver. When is it ok to say it's time for my life to start?

Please don't yell at me, I feel like a selfish jerk, but I also don't want to live anymore if this is how my life is going to be.

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You have to do what is best for yourself and your Mother. You sound like a wonderful, loving daughter and there is no reason to feel like a jerk. Be happy you were able to take care of Mother as long as you did. A little rest for a week or two might be nice; but then how long would it take for you to be right back where you are now? You know you are making the right decision.

Wish you all the best!
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I like JessieBelle's suggestion of getting some respite. It may help for you to have a break, at least for a while.

But dementia generally does progress to a point where the person should not be left alone. The fact that you work full time out of the house and that Mother's dementia has progressed suggests to me that it is time for a change, for her sake as well as for yours.

How I started the process of getting help with my husband's dementia was to call the county Social Services. They sent someone out to do a needs assessment. The worker had suggestions for community volunteer programs for a little respite each week and also suggested that I apply for Medicaid for him, so we'd be ready when he did need to go to a long term care facility. If you have such a worker come out, be sure answers are accurate. Don't let your mother get by with claiming "Oh yes, I can do that myself" when you know she cannot.

And, by the way, I don't think you should ever give up on your mother. You should never abandon her. But it may be time for the next level of care, provided outside of your home. Visit her often. Advocate for her. Make sure she is getting good care. Send her cards. Bring her treats. You can continue to love her and care about her even if you are not doing the day-to-day hands-on care.
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You are not a selfish jerk and we would never yell at you. You have just come to a point where caring for your mother in the home may no longer be the best option. Does she have enough money to pay for assisted living or a skilled nursing facility? If she doesn't, you can look into getting a Medicaid application started. Many nursing facilities will accept Medicaid if she needs it.

One thing I wondered is if you are just burning out and need a break. I wondered if you could place your mother in a facility for a couple of weeks so you could have some relief from worrying about her. There may be an agency around that will help you so you can have some respite. I hope someone will have advice on the best way to find these agencies. I don't have any experience with it. Or maybe your sister could come to stay for a couple of weeks?? It may be that you feel differently if you are rested.

There are a lot of options to choose from. I hope you find the right one for you and your mother.
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Now it is ok to say it's time for your life to start.

How wonderful that you were able to give your Mom quality time, riding scooters in the parks and enjoying each other. It is Not Your Fault that her dementia has progressed. It is Not Your Fault that your sister has low income and is a hoarder. Time to move on with your own life and at the same time doing what is best for mother.

If you are worried about selling the house, Mom can be on Medicaid and still own a house. The state can recover funds when the house sells after her death, but I believe there are provisions to exempt that if it results in a severe hardship (in this case, for your sister). In any case, don't let worry about the house prevent you from doing what is best for Mom and for you. While she was a little healthier, living with you may have been best, but things have changed.

You are not a selfish jerk. You are a loving daughter and sister. It is OK to be loving toward yourself, too.
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