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Old 03-25-2014, 01:44 PM   #81
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My mom made a lot of sacrifice for her family and in some instances gave up her dream to raise healthy well adjusted children [...]. She expended far more effort nuturing and taking care of me.
Right. Because she CHOSE to have children. That's a consequence of her decision. That's what you're SUPPOSED to do when you DECIDE to have children.

You didn't DECIDE to have parents. You just do. You do not have the same obligations to them that they have to you.
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:47 PM   #82
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Let her go to Philadelphia. She is an adult and has the right to make choices that you feel are unwise. Her priorities are different from yours and that is understandable. You and DH have done your best to support her and should feel good about that. The only certainty is that the situation will change. The deterioration is usually stepwise.

The theme of guilt is a major issue when trying to help elderly parents. As long as they are compos mentis, they are autonomous and responsible for the consequences of their decisions. So, for example, if your mother called one day and said she wanted to return to the casita, you would not be under any obligation to ask your tenant to leave.

I have a friend who is the most amazing daughter to her mother and is still wracked with guilt.

I went through this some years ago and it seemed that nothing I proposed or put in place was acceptable. Eventually I learned to go with the flow, support my mother's decisions even if I thought they were foolhardy, and wait for the next health crisis to force the issue. It helped to remind myself that I had scored high in satisfaction despite failing in risk management.
I wish it were that easy. It was 4 or 5 years ago - and the family rallied to help her find a home in Philadelphia - one BIL arranging vacations so he could drive her around to see homes, my husband taking time off work to care for FIL - before flying with him to Philly. Other siblings lining up real estate listings, assisted living communities, etc.

MIL backed out the THREE times we did this. We tried to get her where she wanted to be - and she sabatoged the attempts.

Now, unfortunately, she isn't compos mentis anymore. My husband has had legal guardianship of her for almost a year because of her increased dementia We are honoring her wish to stay in her own home (in Kentucky) as long as possible - but the end of that is in site. Something she refuses to admit. She can still care for her basic needs (hygiene, feeding herself, etc) with support from my sister in law for groceries, etc, and my husband for bill paying, etc.

She *will* need to go into some kind of community with a memory care unit, because of her dementia - probably within 6 months to a year. All the signs are there. My husband is traveling to her home next month to remove her stove and put in an induction stovetop... that should buy us a few more months. She absolutely refuses to have housekeeping assistance. Doesn't want strangers in her house. This was true before the dementia but is more forceful now. We have tried hard to honor her wishes not to go to a retirement type setting, but at some point her safety will trump her wishes. Something she is in deep denial of.
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:59 PM   #83
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She *will* need to go into some kind of community with a memory care unit, because of her dementia - probably within 6 months to a year.
...
We have tried hard to honor her wishes not to go to a retirement type setting, but at some point her safety will trump her wishes. Something she is in deep denial of.
You're obviously doing your utmost to meet her wishes, but isn't it possible you're meeting wishes she is just expressing as a reflex, and not what would be best for her?

As I get the picture, I think I would be at the point of putting my foot down and demanding she go to a more appropriate living arrangement.

It wasn't easy for me, but my mom thanked me for it pretty quickly once she got over the initial grumbling.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:00 PM   #84
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I wish it were that easy.
It wasn't easy. I haven't described the process in detail, only my own response to it.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:49 PM   #85
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I wish it were that easy. It was 4 or 5 years ago - and the family rallied to help her find a home in Philadelphia - one BIL arranging vacations so he could drive her around to see homes, my husband taking time off work to care for FIL - before flying with him to Philly. Other siblings lining up real estate listings, assisted living communities, etc.

MIL backed out the THREE times we did this. We tried to get her where she wanted to be - and she sabatoged the attempts.

Now, unfortunately, she isn't compos mentis anymore. My husband has had legal guardianship of her for almost a year because of her increased dementia We are honoring her wish to stay in her own home (in Kentucky) as long as possible - but the end of that is in site. Something she refuses to admit. She can still care for her basic needs (hygiene, feeding herself, etc) with support from my sister in law for groceries, etc, and my husband for bill paying, etc.

She *will* need to go into some kind of community with a memory care unit, because of her dementia - probably within 6 months to a year. All the signs are there. My husband is traveling to her home next month to remove her stove and put in an induction stovetop... that should buy us a few more months. She absolutely refuses to have housekeeping assistance. Doesn't want strangers in her house. This was true before the dementia but is more forceful now. We have tried hard to honor her wishes not to go to a retirement type setting, but at some point her safety will trump her wishes. Something she is in deep denial of.
Something else you can consider instead of replacing the stove:

support

We used this for my mom and it worked well.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:50 PM   #86
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Right. Because she CHOSE to have children. That's a consequence of her decision. That's what you're SUPPOSED to do when you DECIDE to have children.

You didn't DECIDE to have parents. You just do. You do not have the same obligations to them that they have to you.
Sure I do understand that from a western perspective.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:57 PM   #87
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That's the problem. We aren't rational about having lost our independence due to illness and disability, yet you also can't put us in straitjackets like Hannibal Lecter and drag us to the retirement setting. There has to be at least a semblance of going willingly, yet that means "reasoning" with someone whose ability to reason is seriously compromised. How to get there?

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You're obviously doing your utmost to meet her wishes, but isn't it possible you're meeting wishes she is just expressing as a reflex, and not what would be best for her?

As I get the picture, I think I would be at the point of putting my foot down and demanding she go to a more appropriate living arrangement.

It wasn't easy for me, but my mom thanked me for it pretty quickly once she got over the initial grumbling.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:00 PM   #88
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How skillful are your local police detectives?
This whole situation reminds me of the movie "Throw mama from the train".
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:46 PM   #89
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This whole situation reminds me of the movie "Throw mama from the train".
Psst. Crisscross?


In a few years, I suspect I will face the same situation that OP & rodi faced. Getting old sucks, sigh.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:35 PM   #90
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What's crazy, in our situation, the granny flat/casita had MUCH nicer finishes than we have in our house. (Travertine floors/bathrooms, beautiful appliances, well thought out storage. Lots of architectural details and a fabulous view.) She loved the house - just not the geography. She liked the "little house".... because it was laid out with her needs in mind.
So, tell me, rodi, is this "little house" currently vacant?
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:51 PM   #91
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A lot of people would disagree. I most certainly will. My mom made a lot of sacrifice for her family and in some instances gave up her dream to raise healthy well adjusted children and does deserve to be comfortable in her old age. She expended far more effort nuturing and taking care of me. I would not be happy if I know my mother is somehow suffering or otherwise deprived but to everyone their own.

Who said she would be suffering And who said she would not be comfortable Not me....

Like you, I think I owe my mother a lot.... and I do a lot for her now.... but I do not owe her the ability to make my life a living hell... and I do not owe her the ability to ruin my marriage.... and I do not owe her the ability to create any kind of problems for my kids...


When mom was raising me, there were house rules.... and I followed them... if she came to live with us there would be house rules.... and I would expect her to follow them... as mentioned, not smoking in the house would be a big one... (now, my mom does not smoke, but I am using this as an example)...


Our mom is different... she WANTS to live alone... she tells everybody that she does not want to live in a 'home' or with any of her kids... most of us visit her a lot and we have hired help... we are all happy with the arrangements...
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:06 PM   #92
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Did I make the mistake of not setting the rules from the very start? Was I too permissive out making her feel at home?
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:11 PM   #93
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Did I make the mistake of not setting the rules from the very start? Was I too permissive out making her feel at home?
Yes. But you can have a family meeting to set things straight.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:11 PM   #94
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Did I make the mistake of not setting the rules from the very start? Was I too permissive out making her feel at home?
I would say yes. But it's not too late to set rules.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:14 PM   #95
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Did I make the mistake of not setting the rules from the very start? Was I too permissive out making her feel at home?
Perhaps. Again, the cultural issues and family dynamics come into play though. I suspect it would have made things easier for everybody if expectations had been made clear from the outset.

That said a permanent living arrangement vs. visiting for a week have entirely different expectations and obligations.

That is hindsight though. What does seem clear is that you're in for a very rough time if some things don't change. What do you want those changes to be?
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:22 PM   #96
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So, tell me, rodi, is this "little house" currently vacant?
Nope. Rented out - income stream is part of our retirement plan.
Long term plan is to move into casita, ourselves, once the kids are launched and unlikely to boomerang back - and get the higher rent for our primary house. (Deed restrictions state we can't rent both - just one or the other.)
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:33 PM   #97
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Did I make the mistake of not setting the rules from the very start? Was I too permissive out making her feel at home?
If I were you, I might approach it this way.
While you were here for a temporary stay, we let you have your own way.
But now that you will be here on a more permanent basis, we have to establish the rules of the house, which are as follows: 1, 2, 3, ...

If you are not willing to follow our house rules, we can help you move out to a place you like better, but there is no compromise -- either one or the other.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:41 AM   #98
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Is it a terrible thing to say that she is mi mother .....but I don't like her? Part of it due to her arrogant and moody attitude of not agreeing to anything other than not wanting to move, indifferently carrying on, and self-righteously considering it my duty to put up with all this, never mind there being 9 children.
Again I have to thank you all for your advice and for allowing me to use this Forum as a sounding board. It means a lot to me to unburden myself and cry over your collective shoulder.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:31 AM   #99
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Vicente, was she always like this or is this recent? Maybe she's afraid and this is her way of dealing with growing old and depending on others.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:32 AM   #100
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Vicente, was she always like this or is this recent? Maybe she's afraid and this is her way of dealing with growing old and depending on others.
Always like this. But of course I left home 40 years ago. She was under my father's shadow. Got very embittered when she widowed in 1984.
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