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Taking care of my aunt, who is 92. I love her very much and took this on when she became debilitated to prevent other family members from gaining access to her funds and putting her in a nursing home. I fought for, and obtained, her Health Care and Durable General POA. I get zero help with day to day care from family, and have lost most of my "friends" because I'm no longer at their beck and call. Initially, my aunt was all for this arrangement and I went joyfully into it, fixing up her room to make it comfortable, getting her a big tv so we could watch movies, etc. Now, I think she's turning on me. She complains constantly about her food, her clothing, commercials on tv, the weather - all of which are pretty good, if I do say so myself. I know she's frustrated, she was always very active and because she's recovering from a fractured rib and I don't have a car, we only get out for medical appointments. I should add that she tends to be combative and always did - she doesn't like and won't tolerate visits from family or strangers in the house, which makes getting some support for both of us pretty difficult. I've been snapping back at her lately instead of stuffing my irritation and eating twenty pounds of Oreos later like I usually do. We have an appointment later in the week with her GP and I plan to discuss this all with him but in the meantime I have to ask: If I know that I've been knocking myself out for months to make this whole thing less miserable for her, why do I feel like the biggest loser in the world right now, and like a total failure? I'm so sad tonight :(

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Thank you all! Rallied the family and my aunt and we're all talking solutions. God Bless.
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Elizabeth, I can tell you that placing your Aunt will be a very tough experience for you, but you can survive it and thrive with the right attitude.

When my sister said she couldn't take care of Mom at home any longer, the rest of us quickly went to work and made arrangements. Sis didn't have to do it herself, and she admitted she just couldn't. She was overcome with self-doubt and guilt feelings for a few months. That was more than a year and a half ago and she now visits Mom regularly and is cherishing the retirement years with her husband. She sees now that she did what had to be done. I'm just giving you a little advance peak at what you MIGHT experience for a while ... but that too shall pass.

(PS My sister is a Big Girl Panties gal all the way around. She does what needs to be done and there is nothing wishy-washy about her. But this experience was a tough one even for her. Expect that this won't be easy, but know that you can do it.)
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Aw gee jeannegibbs, you brought some tears to my eyes because I never thought of it that way! Going right from the hospital to a facility might have been traumatic but maybe these months at home will help when the time comes. She's blessed with enough resources to be placed in a good setting close to home so I can continue to be a part of it. It's just taking that first step toward change that is so tough - I had kind of a tough life as a youngster and ended up too sensitive. Guess I'd better pull up my big-girl drawers and do what I have to do.
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blannie, thank you. As I sit here on the chair next to her bed, searching my heart for an answer I'm pretty sure I already have, recovering from having yet another meal basically tossed at me again tonight, she is muttering to herself about how she won't apologize as she's done nothing wrong, etc. And pretty soon I'll get her washed and changed and settled, kiss her goodnight and tell her I love her like I always do. We all know how that works. But I am thinking of other alternatives tonight. You all have been so helpful! Hugs.
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If this were your spouse I might suggest a few things and urge you to hang in there until the rib healed and help with getting your spouse active again.

But this is not your life partner. It is not even a parent. I can't think of any reason for you to stick it out beyond all signals that it isn't working.

You had a lovely and noble idea to take in this combative family member who needed help. You tried it. It didn't work out as you anticipated. This is Not Your Fault. It is probably not Aunt's fault, either, given her personality and her limitations.

If other family members get access to her money, they can only legally use it for her care. You can use it for her care, too. Find the most appropriate residential care situation you can for her. Admit to family that you are glad you tried this, but that now it is time for a care center.

You will still hold the medical and financial POA. You will still be able to advocate for her, to oversee the kind of care she is getting, etc. But you will not take the brunt of her combative personality, and you will not have responsibility for day-to-day care. The professionals with PT training can take her for walks! They know what they are doing.

Actually, you may have provided a very valuable service, setting up this transition from her own home to a care center. My sister took our mother in for 14 months when she could no longer live alone. And now our mother is in a nursing home. Sister was kind of the "Assisted Living" phase for Mom. I think that cushion of being with family for a while made it easier for her to take the next step.

So, any way you look at it, ya done good, kid!

I am glad you are going to discuss your issues with her doctor.
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Hi Elizabeth, I think Pam nailed it. In essence, you had a dream of rescuing your aunt and now you see that dream not working out so well. It sounds like your aunt is a handful. If she had a different personality, it might have been able to work, but you've got to work with what you've got.

I agree with Pam, don't let the situation deteriorate to where your aunt starts complaining to outsiders about your care. I think it's time to throw in the towel and get her into a nursing home or assisted living situation while you still have your own health and sanity. Hugs - you tried to do something noble with the best of intentions, which can't be faulted!
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pamstegma, thank you. I think that's what is coming down the pike and I know she wants to stay at home but I'm afraid I've reached the limit of what I can do for her. I got my CNA on You Tube basically and up until now that's been working well for both of us - but I am definitely afraid that if she gets really confused she might make false accusations and that would be awful. She's already angry that I won't walk her around without her doctor's approval - we tried once, she slipped and I caught her - I think it would be insane to even try that again, I'm not a pro. Hoping her Dr. can shed some hope on all this soon.
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I sympathize with your wonderful intentions. Your family, on the other hand, feels she would be best served in a nursing home. They have stepped back in order to make you realize that a nursing home it what is best for both of you. I know you don't want to give in, but how much longer can you hold on? If she accuses you of abuse, then things become very legal and complicated. Please don't wait for that to happen.
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