Adopted Daughter Caring for Elderly Parents

by Arkansas 58

I was adopted as an adult so I could be a legal caregiver. My new parents are 79 and 76, while my husband in 69.

My parents are in poor health and my mother has slight dementia with a very nasty personality when she is asked to do something she doesn't want to.

She wants to sleep all day and stay awake at night. The doctor has told my father how to alter her sleep pattern, so he can sleep but he doesn't want to face her wrath.

He makes me feel guilty because I won't come in and fix breakfast at 10-11AM and dinner at 8PM.

They want me to put my husband on hold because he is younger than they and drive them around the state sightseeing.

My mother has a loaded gun under her pillow, I keep taking it out, but my father gives it back.

I am afraid she will shoot my husband if he goes in. She is not able to move without assistance.

She refuses to use her walker and insists on using the wheelchair even though the doctor has told her to walk.

They both are diabetic but refuse to stay on their diet. They will bring sweets and hide them from me or on some days actually brag about having it and saying I can do anything about it.

We have a family friend that lives next door who is helping a great deal, but he is getting tired. It is not a stretch to say it takes a village to care for them.

I am at my wits end and having physical problems with stress because of their behavior. It manifests itself even when I talk to my husband. And I am not a very caring wife sometimes, thank God he is kind and understanding.

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Stand Your Ground!
by: Anonymous

You said your parents adopted you to be the legal caregiver - wonderful! I understand your frustration - it is born out of being taken advantage of by your parents.

Someone wrote on a different blog that we (the caregiver) must put need over want. I thought that explained everything in a nutshell. But anyway, you may want to sit down with your dad (alone) and remind him that you were adopted to be their caregiver, not their enabler of dysfunctional living and let them know you are going to step away until they decide they want you to actually give them care.

I would remind them of the gun, the sweets, refusal to use the walker and the guilt trips they put on you. Let him know you want the gun now and discuss what your dad is willing to do to cooperate.

(I feel the gun should be the #1 priority).

If he refuses to give you the gun, I would go to the police station and get some advice and have the police remove the gun. You may want to take some proof of your mom's medical/dementia records. What you cannot be afraid of or take personally, is their wrath.

You need to also let your next door neighbor know of your approach, so he can be less helpful and they will finally agree to your way of doing things.

Some things we have control over and some things we do not, so we need to sit back and wait. When I moved in with my mother 2 years ago, she would not allow me to do anything especially administer her medications - which she did not do properly, (I had to step back), but she did want me to wait on her hand and foot.

Six months later she landed in the hospital, as a result, I then took over everything. I still take this approach today, if my mom is going to be uncooperative< i have to step back and wait for my "in".

I will not enable her to be dysfunctional (for obvious reasons, but for one, it means a lot of frustration for me).

In some ways I have to use my authority as she refuses to allow me to wash her soiled sheets, for example. So you have to weigh it out, but you need to take control of the situation.

I am 60 and my mom is 86 and has had lots of medical issues as well as dementia. She understands all to well, and these parents of ours are quite smart and manipulative. What I wrote here is exactly what I would do! Stand your ground in love!

Hope things get better
by: Anonymous

I totally can understand where you are coming from, my mother got me so stressed out that I was going to have a heart attack! I had so many melt downs I can't count them all.

My mother has Pulmonary Fibrosis and is in poor health she is 89 is housebound. I finally turned over care to my brother he is her health care power of attorney.

My husband could tell when I went to see my mother I can home in a bad mood and it got to the point if I knew I had to do something for her I got in a bad mood prior to going. He totally understands it took a while but he finally got run over by the momma train!

He decided to quit his job as a salesman and re-start his own business. He took off several months and my mother said he didn't want to work and was lazy! That wasn't true but she told him anyway.

I urge you to place take the gun away from your mother, she is going to shoot you or her husband or your husband. Once the dementia gets a little worse she won't even realize it. She may forgot who you are an shoot you. I'm all for home protection but that sounds dangerous.

If they keep abusing their diets with diabetes, they will eventually have toes cut off, amputation of limbs etc., go blind etc.

You can check with the agency on aging they may qualify for program for free dependent on their income. My mother has a maid come in twice a week to clean for her, but she refuses to give up cooking her own meals. Make me worry a lot because she has macular degeneration and is legally blind.

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