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My mother sold her home to move out of my town because she didn't like it here. She couldn't make it emotionally without us, so she moved back but not wanting to. Now she's severely depressed and wants me to take care of her. I just got a job (one year now), that is stressful, but it allows me to help pay for my kids college. If i didn't work, they wouldn't be able to go, plus we need it financially. She is giving up her will to live because she is so lonely and heartbroken and sees my denial of this as yet another rejection. I see her everyday and take her to dr.s and handle everything for her now.

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Y'all are too young to baby sit lonely mom who's too young to not be getting out their and living her own life like you are free to do. Enjoy your empty nest time with your husband and just say no to mom. Mom needs to get a life and you need to keep your life. That's it in a nutshell. Good luck!
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Helpsos, your mom is too young to be giving away her independence because she's lonely, unsure of creating a new life or whatever her reason is for wanting to move in with you. She needs to get involved in whatever sparks her interest, like volunteer work or a part time job or taking a class. But while your worlds should overlap,you can't be the center of her world again as you were when a child. And...and this is big.....you don't want to put your husband in a no win situation. He may say yes to a couple week visit and then when she isn't looking like she's getting on with her own life, what's he supposed to do?

You have an opportunity here we wish we had.....you get to sit with your husband and discuss what you want as a team. You two are too young to start on this road.
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Of course that is not selfish, helpsos! Or at least your refusal to let her move in isn't selfish -- her expectation to move in does seem selfish to me.

I know several couples who spend summer months here in Minnesota and the other 9 months of the year in Arizona or Texas or Florida. In no case does it involve living in their kids' homes. Being a snowbird is a fine thing (if you are healthy and can afford it) and it in no way obligates relatives to provide a residence at either end of the circuit.

Do you want to play summer hosts for the next 30 years? Do you want to play year-round hosts when Mom decides she hates Florida or living near her sister or traveling back and forth?

JUST SAY NO.
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helpsos - no this is not selfish. This is appropriate self care. You and your husband have raised your family, and deserve time together now, without the burden of a parent or any other person in your home. We have cases here where the stress put on a couple by a parent moving in has had some pretty unpleasant results on the health of individuals and on their marriages. Your mother has no right to move in with you. Where she lives the other 6 months of the year is not your problem. My mother is self centered too, actually narcissistic, and had lots of plans for me which suited her but which did not suit me, so they did not happen. I would never allow her to live with me as she would take over my home and ruin my life. With people like that you need to set limits. Just tell her kindly that this is not an option. I would be wary even of her coming for a visit. My mother did this then refused to leave a couple of times and it took some work to get her back to her home. After that I said she could not stay with me any more so, she came to visit and stayed in a hotel. That was manageable, though I was still working and she thought I could leave work and socialize with her just because she was there. Uh - no!

Read here about parents moving in - there is a "search site" box on the upper right of the page. You will find some horror stories.

Look after yourselves and don't let her guilt you into anything.
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Help, did you make it clear to your mother before she bought into this duplex that you did not go along with her plan to migrate back to your home for the summer? As long as you did speak up at the time - and I understand the difference between your saying something and her hearing you - then your conscience is clear. You didn't agree to her coming back for the summer, you can't be held to any kind of obligation to provide her with a summer residence. She'll have to make another plan.

The tricky bit is that if the duplex is warm in the winter it's going to be pretty stifling in the summer, isn't it? Fortunately, your mother is too young for this to be a serious health concern; but it does mean that she might want to rethink her overall living arrangements for the future.

Is it selfish to want to lead your life with your husband freely, unencumbered by your mother's needs? That's easy: no. It isn't. It's normal. You've earned it.

Maybe you could think about inviting your mother for a week or two, and ask your children to join in for a Grand Family Luncheon or something, bringing the grandchildren, just to be friendly? Arranging dates for this might even be a good way of bringing the subject up and making it politely clear that the invitation is for that fixed period only, and not for the entire season.

I'm so sad to read of your father's illness and passing. What terrible things were visited on loyal servicemen, I'm very sorry for it.
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My Father passed 5 years ago at the age of 58. My Mom has hounded myself and my kids to live with us since he has passed. She is just now 61 and decided she wanted to live in a warmer climate with her sibling. She sold her house and bought a duplex with her sister and loves being there during the winter months and I am very happy for her. She retired at a young age due to be able because of benefits from my Father serving in the Army and passing from cancer caused by Agent Orange. Now that spring is arriving, she is ready to come back for the summer. My husband and I raised 4 kids and have them raised and out of the house and they all have their own families. She has always been kinda of a "me person" and doesn't consider your responses when she asked to stay with you for 6 months out of the year. I do not want my Mom living with my husband and I. It is our time to enjoy each other. Is this selfish of us?
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I agree with sosad - none of this makes you a wimp - dealing with end of life issues is very difficult in the best of circumstances and with the calmest and most rational people. You have neither, so it is much more complicated. Remember this is about getting her into the best situation for her care - probably whether she likes it or not. And it is also about recognizing your own very human limitations - you cannot change what is happening to her, you are not responsible for what is happening to her. In looking at other options now as she goes down hill you are caring for her the best way you (or anyone) can. If it had been left up to me as a child whether or not to go to the dentist or for immunization shots, I would not as I hated needles. Yet it was better for me to go. Tough situation with a parent!
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OMG DT, I feel for you. I don't thing any of this makes you a wimp but on the contrare, a very respectable person with compassion. Panic attacks are common with elderly and I don't think they even mean to have them, but they are scary to watch aren't they? I also have POA and there are those who say just put her in there fighting or not. Gees, do you have it in you -- and you need some helo
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I came back here from CA to 'look after' mom in '99. She was relatively active then but her physical health has deteriorated over the years to the point now I can't get away even to the next town for some shopping. No reliable help to stay with her unless I were to hire out, 'nuff said. It is pretty much of a 24/7 job. She is 94 with congestive heart failure, only one good kidney, and her bone marrow is not doing it's job to manufacture new hemogobin. She must go into the hospital (ambulatory services so far, until now) for a couple pints - it was about every 4 weeks, then 3 weeks, now it is a bout every 2 weeks. Her dr. thinks it is a matter of 'diminishing returns' and is likely that they will cease to be effective at all. Her condition has deteriorated to the point that I do not think I can care for her anymore at home, I stopped to check on hospice today. Our town does not have separate hospice homes but works either out of my home or through the nursing home. This is something I must research more and decide upon, but the big question of the moment is how to bring up the subject to mom. My dad had to be in the nursing home for the lat 3 months of his life, so to mom, nursing home is the same as funeral parlor. I just do not how to approch the subject, she is no longer able to walk well, and is very frail but she is also very needy and can be Joan Crawford if things do not go her way (yes, I guess that makes me a wimp... though I am male, 68, with a problem or two of my own). I am getting a handle on the practical aspects of that kind of help, but if anyone has any tips on how to get a volitile, high strung, needy person to agree without picking her up bodily and taking her to what she would consider her death, let me know. Yes, I have POA, in this case, not that it is worth much. She does not have dimentia or alz or anything, she just gets panic attacks (manipulation...).
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yes, i believe so, have been on a new antidepressant for a week so far. I think the elderly get so very scared of dying alone, but for crying out loud -- it can happen to any of us, right? After this weekend, I've decided to carve out a certain amount of time, that I would be okay with, and then spend it specifically on her. We will see how that works, Thanks for your input.
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Sosad, My Mom is very much like yours. She expects everyone to make her happy. She lives alone just five miles from my brother. He calls her once or twice a week. He also thinks he is so important at work,. etc. She has great neighbors who keep an eye on her. She has been telling anyone who will listen that she is afraid she will drop dead and be ther for days because no one checks on her. She is 81 and in excellent health. One of my aunts called me to asked me about this. All the time I thought my brother was calling her (he lied to me) and I live out of state. I had been calling her once or twice a week. So I decided to call her daily at dinner time to check on her. She told me it wasn't necessary, she didn't worry about it too much??? I told her strange since my aunt called me and spilled the beans.....So I will call her daily. Just for a few minutes. The thing is with your mom and mine is they love to whine and whine more than anything. Maybe some antidepressants would help.
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My Dad moved in with me about a year ago. It was a big adjustment for both of us. Dad is in the beginniing stages of Alzheimers/Dementia and his short term memory is pretty bad some days. Try to get your Mom to see a Geriatriciation (elderly M.D.) and she definitely needs to get on antidepressants. It helps to deal with all the changes going on within her life. Dad is on Zoloft. In the beginning, it was really hard to get out the door to go to work. I found an organization called Seniors Helping Seniors and life really changed. They come Monday through Friday and make sure he eats breakfast, brushes his teeth, get dressed and get on the "free" bus to the Senior center twice a week. One day a week, they stay longer and they take him out and about. This way I can get out the door to work. Unfortunately, it does cost money unless your Mom has a really good Long Term Care Insurance policy Yes, you still appointments to take your Mom to, but maybe some of them that are simple, you can have an outside caretaker take them. I try to schedule appointments either very early or later in the day so as not to interrupt my job too much. Maybe, suggesting Assisted Living at a place nearby could also be okay. Dad associates everything with a Nursing Home but we are going out together to look at Assisted Living/Alzheimers places so the transition in the future will be hopefully smoother.
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Prior to my dad's death last September, my mom asked me to promise to care for her. I am blessed she supports me while back in school going for Bachelor's and Master's degrees. She does show sign of cognitive decline, is ambulatory with walker, wants to drive but I don't encourage it, what helps me is to remember that she cared for me many, many years as a stay-at-home mom when she had so many talents for the workplace. Now it is my turn. But it is frustrating. I found family and friends that will listen, caregivers that will come while I am gone, and fun things she and I like to do together (take a drive to the country for her lemon turnovers). I also print my thesis papers and she reads them so she knows what I am doing. But it really, really is a difficult job we have.
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okay, those who have posted on this subject. Went to psychiatrist and he recommended intensive outpatient therapy. He really only asked a few questions like what the date was, and then i guess he determined it was not an aging issue, but another mental issue. So, sometime today, am going to submit paperwork to get that started, and we'll see what happens then. Luckily I have a job that is close to everything, but i tell ya -- this is all encompassing and each day brings a new set of either issues or drama. Thank you all so much. Oh, and I took her to church last night, but it was a little too loud and her head hurt so we'll try again. Got home around 8:30 pm,,, gees,,,,,
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I was also diagnosed with major depressive disorder at one time; so I agree that it will need to be addressed.

My father has refused to take the anti-depressants his doctor put him on - but the sunshine and being able to get out and about have helped a lot.

During my depression, I still had the responsibility of a child to care for; so I got up and went to work every day and did what I had to do. Not sure what I would have done if I had the ability to lay in bed all day; i.e. ~ no little one depending on me. Perhaps it's a good thing I did have so many responsibilities ~ lest I stay in bed all day waiting for phone calls too!

I hope the right medication and resources are able to help your Mom. Do not, though, let it consume you with all your other responsibilities. Do the best you can for her; at some point, she will also have to be willing to step up and help herself.
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This sounds very positive! (Not the waiting in bed for a call ... the actions to get some help.)

Keep us posted!
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She has a psychiatric appointment tomorrow that i'm taking her to, and then a social worker coming to the house in the afternoon. I'm hopeful and if I can look at caring for her in smaller chunks of time it's more manageable. She stayed home in bed all day waiting for a phone call. This is just typical and i can see why sitting and waiting with no call in sight can drive a person nuts.
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First and foremost, is the depression being treated? Often this involves both medication and talk therapy. For the elderly the drug reactions may be different than for younger people so I would suggest a geriatrician, or a geriatric psychiatrist, or at least a psychiatrist for the intital consultation, rther than a GP or internist.

For those who think there is no reason she couldn't be more self-sufficient I say, yes there is a reason. Depression is a debilitating condition, just like COPD or Arthritis. If she is clinically depressed, that has to be addressed, even if it means travelling some distance to an appropriate provider. I say this as one who has been clinically drepressed and treated for it. It is delibitating. Mom is unlikely to snap out of it on her own.

Once the depression is addressed, then many of the other suggestions you have been given in this thread will be applicable. See if she would find the activities at the senior center of interest. Does she have a skill she could teach, like knitting or cake decorating? Could she volunteer somewhere? The isolation feeds the depression, but the depression makes it almost impossible for her to take the initiative. Physical exercise of any kind is very helpful for depression, but again, a depressed person may need some help in establishing that activity. Initiative is hard to come by while depressed.

If mom had diabetes and was suffering from wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels, I wouldn't first tell her "eat more healthy meals" or "get more exercise," because I know that is very hard to do when bs is wildly unstable. First I would take her to an endocrinologist and take steps to get things back in balance, and work on healthier habits to keep things stable. The same with depression. First lets get the brain chemicals back in balance, and then work on good mental health habits.

I don't think that you are responsible for your mother's happiness. But I do think it would be an act of daughterly kindness to see that her depression is treated, so that she has a better chance of making her own happiness.

Good luck!
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You have a lot on your shoulders right now trying to work and care for your children.

While I know you want to help you Mom and, of course, you should do what you can ~ in my mind, your children should come first.

Sounds like your Mom might be depressed ~ why does she need someone to 'take care of her'? She sounds capable of caring for herself.

One thing I have learned - is that I cannot live someone else's life for them; I cannot make them happy; I cannot fix all their problems; and I cannot grow old for them.
Yes, you can be consumed by the problems of an elderly parent. Consider outside resources to help you and your Mom cope. Can someone be paid to come to your Mom's house a few times a week? Help her clean; take her shopping; keep her company? That way ALL of Mom's happiness or need for companionship does not rest on YOUR shoulders. And it should not.
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Ha ha,,, so, tell me about your situation.
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..oops...that should read "idle hands" heh, heh
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sosad2: Yes!! continually. Find her the help she needs and nice, safe surroundings. Draw the line at emotional blackmail. It is not easy figuring out how far to go.
Perhaps cut down on the visits and give her back some of the responsibilities that she is able to handle.
She really needs more to do. Remember what they say about "idol hands?"
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This is the crutch of being a caregiver -- where do you draw the line...? just got off the phone with a social worker who will come out to talk and I am very grateful. Have you ever watched someone continuously make bad decisions but there's nothing you can do. ugh
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Do not move your mother in with you if you think it will not work - most times it doesn't. It is just too hard to combine two adult households, so your Mom should not take this personally. You will be saving a whole lot of heartache for you both. Your Mom is looking to you as an emotional crutch. It is not your fault that she is unhappy - not your responsibility. Wouldn't it be nice if we really could make others happy and take away all their problems?
Find your Mom an appropriate living environment. That could be staying in her own home with increasing in-home care or an ALF where she would have more interaction and activities to keep her busy. She really needs more social contact. Also, does she have any hobbies that she liked to do? Involve her in looking for her new digs and in finding hobbies that she would like to try - but do not become her entertainment.
She is isolating herself and that only intensifies how she if feeling. And she needs to be involved in improving her own mental health. But none of this is your fault or responsibility - so don't take that on your shoulders.
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Wow, on your last paragraph. It seems like a very common thread. Are they too busy with their lives to visit or are they too important? I've decided i'm going to try to approach with an org. chart.
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Better the system break down than you - right?

Perhaps one thing you could try is a type of compartmentalization. Surely you've done it before. Its when your kids are home sick and you NEED to be at work. Or you're freaked because you might not make the whatever payment on time this month but you still have to take and pass an important test. . . Other things, important things, serious-life-changing-things may be happening in one part of your life - but if you make them your sole focus you could end up dropping all the other balls you have in the air, and then you'd really be in trouble!

Perhaps making a list or two would help.

First, a worry list, and you can tote in around and keep it on your desk and on your bedside tabel at night. It helps quiet my mind at bedtime to have all my worries written down, so I won't run them over and over in my mind when I need to be sleeping.

Second, a daily updated to-do list. Call the doctor back. Fill the script. Pay the bill. Mail the letter. Call the friend. Scratching these off each day or moving them to the next day and then the next day until they are done. This also might help you focus both with friends and with work at hand.

Try to make time every day to ask how your friends are. be specific. Ask how you can help them. Your problems may be more pressing than theirs, but they still need an ear and a shoulder.

My house is totally upside down with worry for a number of very serious reasons. I have a note on my monitor now that says "never forget how lucky you are". It sounds silly - but everytime I see it I take a moment to be grateful, for as difficult as the situation is, it could be worse. (And as it seems likely at present that it IS indeed going to get worse, I am saving up my anger and tears for a real BIG breakdown.
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Two brothers. Well-liked, successful, professional men who haven't been to see their mother (or me) in more than 5 yrs.
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Actually, I am looking for a counselor to assist, but even that becomes a challenge to find someone in this area. I find that not too many people want to be involved in this. So, how may brothers do you have? the problem I'm having today is just keeping myself focused,, friends have told me that i'm letting this consume me, and it is, but I'm either dealing with things in the present, and then still trying to follow up on commitments that professionals have made to me. The system is breaking down i think
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I'm the only girl too. (My brothers have been less than useless).

Sounds like Mom might benefit from seeing a doctor or counselor regarding her depression. Meds and or therapy could be of some help. The isolation (and sometimes fear) of living alone - especially at her age, can be a huge factor with anxiety and depression.

Was she ever social? Is a senior community/apt complex within the realm of possibility?

Does she have close siblings who might also be living alone?

Is there any sort of volunteer organization you might get her interested in? A lot of retired persons volunteer with Red Cross disaster services in my area, and thus stay as busy as they want to be.

Would it help to talk to your brothers and have them invite her to stay at their homes for a month of so at a time? I had an elderly relative who did just that - staying with different adult children for weeks to months at a time.

You have a fine line to walk here, and you need to set things in place NOW to insure that if family is going to be primarily responsible for Mom, that you aren't the only one simply because of your gender.

You have responsibilities to yourself, your children and your job. Some of us here at the board gave up jobs to care for our parents, and as a consequence find ourselves without the funds or the time to meet our own needs.

You might also consider speaking to a counselor about all of this before it becomes overwhelming. I wish you all the best.
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I'm the only girl out of four kids. She just has the generic problems, but can walk and drive when she doesn't have anxiety. Right now she is mentally and emotionally ill. I'm the only one that lives near her. She just turned 78. Thank you
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sosad2 - how old is Mom? is she ill? Are you the only child?
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