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My Mother is 88 and has COPD. I've been caring for her, driving her to the Dr.,cleaning her house,maintaining her property,etc,etc,etc. since 2009 as I cared for my Dad who had broke his hip and elbow and died in my arms in 2010.I worked part-time at a job I loved and it also kept my level of sanity. Her Pulminoligist always advised her, even though it was an effort, to keep moving.I July of 2013 she decided to stay in bed. Period. She just gave up, wouldn't take any of her Meds and wouldn't do ANYTHING to help herself. Now almost 6mons. later I have the help of Hospice (thank-you God) been forced to quit my job and am at her beconed call (which is a portable doorbell). Last night @ 2:30am she rang me and I was a little slow to wake up. When I got to her she confused and asked me "why can't I walk to the bathroom?" I told her "you have atrophy, you havn't moved your legs in 4 or 5 mons. and your muscles are too weak now". Needless to say she lashed out at me accusing me of calling her a facker and saying it was my fault as I never did anything to help her. The only thing I was good for is shoving the bed pan under her and leaving it there untile I felt like taking it out, and on and on. And "do you think I'm punishing you?"(I felt like saying that it feels like it and that at 62yrs. I don't think you could punish me anymore than you already have, especially at 2:30 am...lol)
I need to say, the reason I came here, after my Dad broke his hip is because she was VERY mean to him and would scream at him to move, which was very painful. She felt it wasn't fair to her, she wanted to go out and travel and do things and now she couldn't because of him. She would say it was punishment for her. So I took over and I'm glad I did.
She is of sound mind and a very narsassistic and controling woman,I get that. But it was her choice to be bedridden and helpless.She's recently been talking about diapers because it's to hard to get on the bedpan...REALLY?

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I agree, Blannie. My father, just recently, was sooo proud that the govt caregivers were surprised that he can move his legs and sit up on his own. I HELP him find ways to deal with his current disability - to help encourage him to move his limbs. The problem is - he gives me a hard time doing it. But he is soooo happy when people are surprised he can do these things on his own.

Like I said, you know your parent - and what they can and cannot do. Don't baby them. Help them to have some pride in themselves. Thanks, Blannie. =)
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Nanna2Nanny, I don't treat my mother like an ignorant invalid. Nor would my children treat me that way. I have always treated my mother with respect. She asked me why she could not walk and I simply answered her, I did not blame her, nor tell her it was her fault. The aging process is a fact of life, a journey, I don't look at it as deteriorating, a prision, lack of dignity,no hope for a better tomorrow or any other depressing tag. So, lighten up. Especially when you go visit your mom in the nursing home.
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I don't see why it's wrong not to tell her the results of her Inaction. About 2 years ago, my father had a MILD stroke. He can still move his left side - but barely. With physical therapy, he would have been almost back to normal. He Refused Due to the Pain of the therapy. Now he's bedridden and cannot even stand. His legs won't support him. He was shocked. I explained why he could not even stand - and he lit into me. Of Course it's Not HIS Fault, it's the stroke, it's the physical therapist, etc...

All I can is - Don't baby your mother. When dad got out of the hospital (from the stroke 2 yrs ago and pneumonia this past June), he expected me to wait on him hand and foot - like the hospital staff did. He will just lie there and Do Nothing to help me help him. I refused. We had major struggles on this.

He wanted me to pull him up the bed because he's sliding down with his feet dangling off the end. I Refused. He weighs Double my size and I will Not Hurt back on something he can do. So, I told him he can grip the rail with his right hand, put his right foot with his shoes on between the hand hailing, and his left foot against the foot board and PUSH himself up. We had a heated argument over this (both times when he came home from the hospital). I was firm. He did it - All by himself.

Lately, his new thing is that the nurse told him that shouldn't move his legs. That it should remain straight all the time. So, now, it makes taking off and putting on his slacks so much harder and with the catheter tube inserted down his leg pants a struggle. This is now our current struggles. I need his cooperation in doing this because he refuses to bend his right leg which I taped the catheter tube. FYI, the nurse would Never tell a patient not to move their legs at all. It's the opposite - move your legs and arms so that it doesn't stiffen, locked in place.

So, you know your mother. You know what she can and cannot do. If she can still do the bedpan. Do it because that is her current exercise. Once you get into the pamper stage, she might do what my father does - just lie there and let you struggle all by yourself with no help from her. But know this, she can still help - you just have to know the limit and stand firm with it. Sometimes, father's pamper is open and poop exposed. When he refuses to help, I just stand there and refuse to help too. And I tell him that until he does it, I cannot finish cleaning him. the thing is - he still have pride about "exposing" himself - so in the end, he does it - with lots of verbal abuse/anger.
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It didn't sound like a reprimand to me at all - you were telling her the truth. My mom refused to listen to the physical therapists & do the exercises they wanted her to do after her hip replacement, no matter how much I offered to help her, etc. - her response? "i've never been an exercise person" (uuuuuh.....) The result of that was being confined to a wheelchair, with no one else to blame for it but herself. At some point they DO have to take responsibility for their own plight, and if you have to be blunt about it, so be it. It sounds like your mother may be in the beginning stages of dementia on top of it all, and that certainly won't help the situation. Stay strong!
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I'm sorry you have to go through this. It's so hard when a loved one won't do what they need to do to maintain their health, which then impacts YOU. It's enough to make you tear your hair out. And to add a narcissistic and mean parent on top of that is almost too much to deal with.

Is your mom near the end, if hospice is involved? Since I doubt you're going to change her personality now, I think the best thing you can do is protect yourself as much as you can. She probably has some cognitive decline if she doesn't understand that her legs don't work because she chose not to use them. If she's not near the end, then I'd tell her she can get physical therapy to learn to walk again. Otherwise, just let her rant and rave and let it wash right over you. She's living in her personal h*ll, just do the best you can not to let her pull you down into it too. Keep your compassion and humanity as much as you can, just to spite her and her meanness. Hugs to you...
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When a child is ill, there is nothing but compassion.
When an adult that leads a reasonably "good" lifestyle comes down with an ailment, there but for he grace of God, we find compassion.
When someone we love mistreats themselves and it results in us having to make a sacrifice to care for them, we may have compassion from love, but, of course we are resentful for what they have gotten us into. Lets face it most of us mistreat ourselves somewhat, overeat, no exercise, etc., but some people worsen their own illness.

My mom also has severe COPD, she is very inactive, every day she wants to do less, and eventually can do less. Sad for her really, I had a tradition of gifting her and dad outings instead of stuff....nice restaurants, casino trips, plays, cruises.....you would think that old be an incentive to stay active. Instead this year she is getting flowers, candy and word search books. It saddens and annoys me to see her decline. I believe there is anxiety and depression, I also know her self imposed sedentary lifestyle and refusal or inability to work on her own behalf worsens the situation. I certainly will not be joining her in Her sending army ways. She would live it if I visited for hours and did nothing but sit in a recliner....not gonna happen.

You get mad at your mom, me too. Just try not to be mean, and do use it as a mirror for your approach to whatever malady we may be challenged with ourselves.
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Thanks Whodathunk for your answer..... first of all, a Dr. would tell her straight out that it was her responsibility.... it's not like they have time to 'pad the words'. My dad was the same way... it was the way he approached his whole life, so seeing him inactive was no surprise to any of us.... when he would bitch and complain.... we'd hand it right back to him...first of all, getting old is part of life if we are 'blessed'??? I put question marks with the last one because loosing a dear friend a short while ago to brain cancer... nope, he didn't get to get 'old', but he suffered nonetheless.....so yes, it's ok to hold them responsible for their own decline in some instances..... and what ever happened to just plain old 'honesty'?
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Bookluvr, my dad was the same way after his stroke. He was used to being waited on hand and foot by my mom and he went right back to playing the invalid when it was in his best interest to stay mobile and keep walking/moving. He did do his exercises while he was in rehab, but quit most of them when he got back home. Mom did so many things he could do for himself, which annoyed me no end, but by then there was no changing either of them.

When my dad dealt with me, I'd make him do things he could do. And I'd tell him that and he'd smile a knowing smile with a twinkle in his eye. He knew that I knew he could do a lot more than he let on.
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At half past two in the morning I'm not capable of saying anything much except "let's talk about it tomorrow." Maybe it's saved me from saying something I'd be just as sorry for. Never mind, let it go. Even if your mother does remember and understand what you were saying, frankly she's got much worse things to worry about.
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Life is hard on narcissistic perfectionists. They believe I forgiveness for wrongdoing even less than the rest of the world, so they can never BE wrong in their own eyes. They often have a hell of a time with rehab because you absolutely have to do things badly before you can do them well. And to top that off, that generation tended to "believe" in bed rest as a health promoting measure and that if it hurts, don't move it. With all the grace of 20-20 hindsight, you might have said. mom, your legs are weak from being sick and in bed for so long...maybe we could get a therapy program and work on it. That's pretty close to what you said but with less hint of blame. Then, good luck with getting her to work on it instead of rest when she gets at all tired. Try not to let all the could have should have would haves eat you up too bad. You are doing your best, even if your best is not always perfection!
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