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child becomes the parent

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  • child becomes the parent

    I may need to get advice in multiple posts here, as I'm not sure if I can manage to keep myself together and post all pertinent info at once.

    I need a lot of advice, opinions and general support here. I think there was a post about aging parents not long ago. I am at that time in my life that the ongoing care of my aging parents has become a worry.

    I visited my mother today. First I've seen her since Christmas. There are multiple issues at play, that must be managed carefully. I knew things were bad, but I'm nearly 3 hrs drive from them, so I'm not privy to all the details. Not seen for myself the trauma.

    I don't even know how to prioritize this issue. I don't know how to go about managing the situation. My brother that's most involved has done a lot, and we spoke briefly about the situation today. I don't know how best to help; how to guide Mom, or the decisions that are to be made.
    Mom and Dad are separated. Mom says she never wants to see him again.

    I asked Mom to come stay with me a few weeks. She wouldn't today, because there are bills to be paid and she hadn't prepared to leave. I told her I will give her a few days and call to see if she's ready.

    it's a long story. it's got twists and many details I cannot explain. Right now, I have an elderly mother with a mental illness, possibly some dementia on top of that, & she has decisions to make, and refuses to make them.

    Any experience with this?
    If I were at work, I could handle this. Looking across the table at my Mom, I cannot seem to remove my own emotions.

  • #2
    Kitty, I'm sorry your mom is having a tough time. Hugs to you.

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    • #3
      She isn't happy in her new apartment. She is living in a retirement village and I'm fairly certain she hates it, tho she wouldn't admit it.
      But she won't say what she wants to do. I told her if we spruced the place up a bit it would seem more "homey" & comfortable but she won't allow it. There were papers and bags everywhere, on and IN the stove, so she's a danger to herself with the possible fire. I dont think she cooks...but if she thinks she might one day and turns it on...
      I thought to unplug it, but I couldn't get it pulled away from the wall...I think they have secured it somehow.

      There's no place to stay with her. And my dogs are not permitted. The apartment literally has a twin bed for her and a single uncomfortable looking chair. I think Mom needs time away from there. I want to make sure she's getting meals and that she gets a hair cut and bath.

      We went to lunch. She ordered a single pancake. They brought her 2, and she ate them both...fast. Now if you knew Mom, you'd understand the shock of that.
      She is so thin and frail.

      My brother has offered to take her to a psychologist for evaluation. I told him I agree, tho I'd probably start with a good LPC and follow on from there. She said she may go.

      I have long thought Mom suffers from severe depression and other mental illness that I'm not quite sure the category of. Now, it's amplified by the situation and I don't know what to do, to take care of her.
      And she's driving. I am not sure if that's a good idea either...

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      • #4
        kitty....guess I meant stay there in town (with your brother or at hotel) and then spend few days with your mom

        hope things went well today with your mom


        ​​​​​

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        • #5
          Yeah.
          I think I want to just bring her home with me. Brother and SIL both think it's best for her at this point. I think they need a break too. I can't keep her long, but a few weeks may help. She enjoys the athletic meets that her grandkids are involved in, so she would probably ask to go home soon.
          Idk. I just am not sure what to do.

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          • #6
            At dinner, telling my friend about all this, it struck me that, Mom has no clothes!
            I had noticed an empty closet, but didn't think much of it. While telling my friend the situation, it just clicked.

            So I called her. She admitted she had walked out of her home, taking nothing, and never bought anything to wear. Not even basics.

            I was irritated, hurt for her, but I had to just laugh a little or I'd cry. Poor woman. She is waiting for the garage sales to start this Spring. 《gasp》

            I said Mom you cannot do that!!!!
            Why would you want to chance getting bugs again?
            She's convinced she didn't bring them in through her yard sale buys....
            we all tend to think she did.

            So I went and bought some general items, underwear and such...I cannot bear the idea of her wearing used underclothes.

            This just gets more disturbing every day.
            Now I do wish I'd studied more mental health in college. So fascinating.

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            • #7
              Hi. This topic reminds me of my own parents. From what I observe this past few years as they grew older, they seek more attention especially if you live separately from them. As in your case, your mother had just separate from your father, she is surely need more attention than normal. I would suggest you call her or text her everyday just to keep her company, and of course to check if she is all right.

              Bring her to a holiday, or just stay with her for a couple of days. Make her know she has someone who loves her so much. It will definitely make her feel better and spirited up. If you have children, bring them to play with their grandma, it will surely make your mother brighten up.

              By the way, can't you just get her clothes from your father's house? Do you have a fight with him too? From what I see, you didn't mention contacting your father.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by nightimeponyo View Post
                By the way, can't you just get her clothes from your father's house? .
                that's exactly what I was going to post.......can someone help her move her stuff out of the house or hire a mover
                and I don't think it is unusual she didn't take anything with her, it's not easy to lug clothes and other items out of a house, especially if you are older

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                • #9
                  Neither Mom nor Dad are living in their former home. I guess it was presumed that Mom had bought herself necessary items after she was removed from the house. She obviously had not. I wasn't even aware all this had happened, until much after the fact. She was taken out of the house in November. She's been wearing the same clothes since then, I think.
                  How nobody noticed that, I don't know. She has been bathing, so I guess in winter, wearing a coat it just wasn't so obvious.
                  She had told me back in September not to come visit for awhile, and when I saw her at Christmas, was the first I'd known things were as bad...and only because my brother told me then.

                  It's a long, long story....

                  Nobody is going back inside the house, due to the bed bug infestation and per Mom's instructions. I have access to low grade haz mat suits, and mom has agreed to let me go in wearing that, to retrieve her car title, and the extra car key. She is the only one with keys to the house. She took Dad's apparently.

                  Dad is living essentially homeless. He has a roof over his head and heat, but if anyone knocks, he won't allow anyone in, and has no facilities for proper bathing or even bedding, that I know of.
                  I'm told the bed bugs are there in this building as well, and that's why he won't let anyone inside the area.

                  The 2 of them were living in the same house for all these years but barely spoke. Mom hates him, she always has. This was, I think, an opportunity to get rid of him without anyone thinking she is a bad person.
                  I have no idea, just speculation.

                  At this point, we have some touch of mental illness, likely dementia and an overwhelming resistance by both of them to accept help, especially from their kids.

                  I have to consult someone about this I guess. My brother doesn't want to take Dad against his will, but I'm wondering if we're at the point of having him taken due to medical reasons. My brother seems to be the only one making efforts, and I would like to help him if possible. My other 3 siblings that live nearby have little involvement, as far as I know.

                  I'm not really caring at this point whether they get mad about it. And I don't care if they have a fit and disown me. lol.
                  We need to take some drastic action here. I'm just not sure what's the next best step. I also am making every effort to work with my brother and not make decisions without him. This has been going on for quite some time, and I've been told of very little.

                  Mom and Dad, when I call, both act as if everything is completely normal. They won't say anything at all is wrong or that they need anything, and even get angry if too much help is extended. I understand it's their mental changes but being nearly 3 hrs away, I cannot just drop off food and see things for myself.

                  it's very difficult and I fear that it's the beginning of the end for our sibling relationships. We all are already not close at all, and now this will likely seal that for the remainder of our lives. My one brother has already cut contact with Mom for sure, and possibly Dad.

                  Obviously our parents are now in decline and we have little time left with them. I want to make choices for them if needed to keep them healthy and happy, comfortable for as long as possible. I just don't have any idea what's right. what's best for them.
                  Last edited by atskitty2; 03-31-2017, 04:15 AM.

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                  • #10
                    kitty sorry, didn't know the house situation

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                    • #11






                      vent away, kitty!

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, I realized after posting initially that there's little direction anyone can give, so I guess I am just venting more than anything else.

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                        • #13
                          That's tough. I don't have any words of wisdom I'm afraid but have big hugs. You're caught in a horrible situation. It is such a shame your brother has cut contact with your mum. It'd be nice for your other siblings to help out. Do realize you don't have to carry this burden alone: get outside support. Having to be the adult in such a situation can be heartbreaking. My sister played that role when I was a young teenager and I saw how hard she worked. I really do feel for you.

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                          • #14
                            I visited my dad, took him out for coffee. He's a mess too, but not as bad as my brother had made it sound. I took him some things and hopefully he will use them. Took him food, a change of clothes, and a microwave that I'm not sure he will use. He needs a warm meal tho.
                            He was pleased to be out, pleased to see me...we had a good visit. I asked him to change clothes for me. He said he would but not that day.

                            Mom is already hoarding in her new place...so scary. I have no idea when and how this behavior was sparked. She was always a saver, but I guess after I left home, it was exaggerated into this hoarding issue. She won't throw away anything. I carried out 2-3 bags of recycling and one bag of garbage from her countertops. I know part of it is depression. I think part is fear and worry too.

                            I have decided just to try not to be overwhelmed by the sadness and find some humor in it all. Dad takes pride in his homelessness. He told the hostess and servers, and I just shook my head. I believe everyone thought that I was just a nice woman who'd picked up this man to offer him some food and coffee. lol

                            I said Dad, you do realize that homelessness is often a product of mental illness, drug dependence or other negative association. It isn't a romantic notion out of one of your books or poems. it is not to be proud of. Especially when you have kids ready and willing to take you in.

                            They tried not to let me pay for his coffee...lol. I said we both can afford a cup of coffee! lol
                            My brother told me he goes to restaurants around town and they don't make him pay cuz he looks homeless. Dad thinks it's cute and funny...I said dad, I never knew you to take a handout. He can't process the logic of that.

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                            • #15
                              kitty....does he at least go to a shelter at night?

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