Daughter (69) Only one to care for 97 year dementia mother. I can't do this anymore.

by Rhonda
(Florida)

My 97 year old mother is in a wheelchair (one leg), has stage one dementia, hallucinates & is paranoid (occasionally.) She never goes out, I have to argue with her to go to a doctor, nothing I do is good enough, she criticizes everything I do. I honestly think she hates me.


I can't go back to work because she can't be left alone for more than a couple of hours. I have no life at all, & no friends anymore because I'm tied to my house. My mother is well off financially & has a good monthly income. I only have a very small SS check that I barely get by on for myself. My mother refuses to help me financially. Not for me, but for her living here she could help.

She always lived with my older sister until 8 months ago when my sister was in a car accident & suffered brain damage. My sister was just released from rehab today but won't be back home for 2 or 3 months because she also needs surgery for a brain aneurysm. She said she can't take care of our mother anymore. A few months ago someone (I think the hospital) sent an adult protective investigator to check on my mother & make sure her living conditions were suitable. They ended up telling her she had to pay half my mortgage, electric, water, gas & food. She was abusive with the woman but said she would if she had to. She did for a few months, but it was always an argument for her to give me a check.

Now, this month, she says she isn't paying me anymore because she doesn't have to pay my bills & I don't do enough for her for her to pay me that much money. I don't know what to do. I can't afford to support her & she's my mother, but my life is a living hell. She refuses to go to a nursing home & the law says I can't make her. WHAT do I do? I'm going to lose my mind.

Comments for Daughter (69) Only one to care for 97 year dementia mother. I can't do this anymore.

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Been there - doing that
by: Anonymous

I've been caring for my mother for 5 years now. I'm 66/she's 95. I had to put off hip replacement surgery until I was on a walker. By then, the socket was destroyed so even after surgery.... I'm in pain and limp.

My sister died several years ago, so all responsibility is mine. But they (SNF and Hospice) keep putting her at home for me to care for. When I tell them that I am no longer physically able to do so; they just keep talking about all the support they will be. Smoke & mirrors.

The 'support' they provide is pep talks and babysitting ME to make sure I'm taking care of her. Dropping by to make sure I'M giving her her pills and I'M making her meals, etc. It's a fight to get someone to come out more than 3x/week to change her diapers and clean her private areas.

When her dementia set in (several years ago); I saw this coming. She was already in Stage 3 CHF, A-F, Pulmonary Hypertension and Stage 4 Renal Disease. Went to attorneys that acted like I was a thief trying to secure the house from Medicaid Liens by transferring into my name, etc, and wouldn't do it without her signature. Have to get a Court Order which (in California) is VERY costly and time consuming.

A DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order was put into place, but when she stopped breathing (at the hospital) a couple of weeks ago; they overlooked it and resuscitated/intubated her against orders.

Now - she's back home. With the edema in her legs, she can no longer walk and needs to be manually turned. The edema causes huge water blisters on her body because the body can no longer reabsorb the fluids. Blisters pop. Large hematoma (7" diameter) on her back is threatening to do the same.

I haven't had a life in years. My only socialization is going to the grocery store emailing my friends late a night after she's asleep. I've thought of suicide.

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Why Me
by: Anonymous

I clearly understand the pain of many here in the same boat. All but one child abandons the old parent.

I moved my mom sold her house and have her in a nursing home by me. She blames me for
everything she no longer has.

My two brothers and their wives haven't seen her in three years. Can't milk her anymore.

My wife and I handle everything financial and medical and personal. Amazing how much time is used. I am retired and that is the only reason I can handle it.

Mom is always asking about her other kids and her sister(dead)...we just make up lies to not hurt her.

We always think there will be a comeuppance...

Really, we know that never happens because people like that feel no guilt but they call themselves
Christians.

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Elder Care Attorney
by: Anonymous

Talk to an Elder Care Attorney. They should be able to help your mother (which in turn would help you). They can show you both how to avoid having her life savings wiped out by a nursing home spend down.

How the new laws restricts protection of assets and the steps that can be taken now. They can explain how Medicaid works and the steps you need to take now to protect your family under the new rules.

Also asset protection language that most people don't have in their power of attorney documents, which can help protect their life's savings.

I am caring for my mother in my home due to the fact she gave money away and has a 3 month penalty before medicaid would pay. Nursing homes will not take her with that penalty.

Right now we have 2 1/2 years to go before that penalty expires. She's 88 with Alzheimer's, can't walk without personal assistance, and is incontinent. So it's been a chore and a blessing. I'm learning a lot, and trying to hang in there, some days are better than others.

Best wishes, and I will pray for you.

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I Know
by: farquahr

Try to get legal advice or just make changes on your own. Let the neglectful siblings try to sort it out later. It will cost them time and money.

Worry about your loved one and you only. It is very difficult to evict someone from a house for example. You will at least gain some breathing room. I speak from experience and I hate my brother and sister who "hung us out to dry".

I never thought it would happen in my family but it did and it was terrible. My sister turned her back on my mother and me. I am a man. Caring for Mom was embarrassing for me and her. My sister went to Broadway plays, enjoyed the good life in Manhattan and summers in Connecticut.

She lives two minutes from my house and spent exactly one half hour every Wednesday,smiled as she left and told me she was very busy and had a full plate. She has never worked a day in the last forty years and has grown and successful children. I hope she gets exactly what she deserves some day. God bless you.

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Where are you Mom?
by: Anonymous

My relationship to my mother was never very good, but when she began to fail I swore I would make everything right between us. I did my best and gave it the proverbial 110%.

Fortunately, I was able to find some very competent help. Her daughter and other son did nothing for her. She passed away recently and I am consumed by guilt that I did not do enough. She never ever complained even when I was not at my best which regrettably became more frequent towards the end.

I learned a lot by the experience but it almost killed me. I am being treated for back injuries and shoulder injuries aggravated by lifting her a few thousand times. Thank God she only weighed about 100 pounds and I am a semi-retired construction guy.

The difficulty in caring for an aged and disabled parent can not be over estimated. It was by far the most difficult thing I have ever done. Most of the aides were less than useless. Hospice care is terrible and the homes she was in briefly for rehab were worse. I would not have had it any other way no matter the cost to me.

I gave up my life and at times my sanity. I have become estranged from my brother and sister who abandoned us completely. I have no advice. I often said mom would go in a home when I either collapsed or died. I came close to both.

I feel for anyone in the same (or worse) situation. Take some comfort in knowing you are doing the right thing. It is not easy or comfortable. Have faith and confidence in yourself and always remember that no matter how well intentioned we are all only human and can reach a breaking point.

My family sat back and waited to see which one of us would fail first. That in itself was enough to keep me going. I hate my brother and sister and have no use for their spouses or children either.

I wonder if they will be surprised when they inherit exactly nothing. Remember, what goes around comes around, it is called karma.

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Worried 65 Year Old Daughter with 97 Year Old Mother
by: Anonymous

I take care of my 97 year old mother, doing everything for her. She has four other children who contribute nothing.

My mother owns her own home and the home will be divided among five children when she dies. I have taken care of her for 2 years and my income is $1,100.00 a month Social Security which barely pays my own bills.

I will have no place to live and couldn't even afford to live here with her bills on a monthly basis plus her taxes. Are there any rights in this matter to ease my anxiety. She is driving me insane. Doesn't seem quite fair.

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HANG IN THERE
by: Anonymous

Oh my God. I'm so sorry for you. I understand. You're in a living hell. It's the worst kind of existence imaginable. I'm in a similar situation with BOTH of my parents and I want to hurl myself off a tall building. ALL we can do is wait it out, and then live our dreams.

I'm in the same boat and I don't even LIKE my parents, yet I'm their slave, chauffeur, tax accountant, computer fixer, handyman, listener ad nauseum, you name it. It's awful. Assisted living anyone?????? JESUS.

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