My 85 yr. old mom has never been very independent but rather depends on two of us brothers. Lost my wife 10/2016, and retired 1/2017. I bought a house one block from where I live, all on one level, spent 8 months remodeling with the intent to downsize and move there once my house is ready for the market. In the meantime mom got to where she could not traverse the stairs in her house or keep it going so with some remorse I moved her into the new house, either that or assisted living which she vehemently opposed & refers to as a nursing home.
Younger sister, after sponging off mom for years moved away 2yrs. ago so is of no help. I've offered to allow her to come live with mom as she struggles financially as well, she is younger and I feel she kind of owes it to mom but, she won't. I have an older brother nearby still working so cannot help much. So its pretty much me. Before I retired she knew I had work obligations. Now, knowing I'm close by I'm on speed dial sometimes 2-3 daily. Can't get the T.V. to work, computer issues, on and on repeatedly. If not that she finds things wrong with the house always needing address. It's like a new house for crying out loud. No time to work on my overwhelming issues to deal with without interruption. Most is for attention.
Called me last Sunday evening at 11:30pm saying the T.V. stopped working. I had been in bed asleep. She calls at the drop of a hat. We eat dinner together almost every evening. Sometimes I'm by there 1-2 times during the day prior to, ugh. I hate to be mean but have repeatedly asked her to use some judgement. Her mental faculties seem fine, more like being self-centered and it never changes.
I've been looking out after her for 35 yrs so burned out when the real work is just starting. She is still mobile with a walker & still drives although not very well. Part of the problem is she has never had any friends, lives her life vicariously through her children. What she is today is the summation of how she's lived over the last 40 yrs since divorcing my stepfather- wants to be independent but could never without our support.
Came to my house unannounced and ease dropped on a conversation I was having with my brother with my saying that if somehow she cannot find a way to be satisfied and content in the new house then she just may be looking at going into assisted living whereby she can get all the attention she wants. She butted in and said I'm not going into an nursing home! I repeated my stance. Six months later- still exactly the same. I'm soon to be 62, I've worked hard my entire life and want some peace and enjoyment in retirement. I have my own declining physical issues related to age to deal with.
I've tried to set up boundaries but it is hard when they go ignored. Me and older brother are wondering if she will outlive us. Longevity runs in the family and she could live to be 100. I will be in my late 70's by then if I'm lucky enough to still be alive as I've had a hard life working- her, not so much. I was a caregiver to my wife who had cancer for 3 years prior to her passing and now caregiver to my mother. I believe in looking out for our elderly but besides a vacation week here and there I never get much of a break & she consumes my thoughts. I myself would spend a little time exploring me moving on with my life and maybe finding a new mate- my plans to retire and spend my time with my wife did not work out.
When is it time to have a family meeting and tell her it's time to go to assisted living? There is an excellent place at the end of our street so close-by. Sometimes I feel like my personal life is over. Ugh. I feel like I'm burned out and just getting started with no relief on the horizon. I know this probably sounds familiar & repetative but thanks for allowing me a venue to sound off. Best wishes to all of you dealing with similar circumstances.