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Need some input for a small problem.. Sort by:
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Posted on Thu, Nov 22, 2007 15:54

Hi all I could use some input to a small problem I have. When I lived in Jersey I was taking care of my sisters ex mother in law (this in itself is a very long story). The woman is 82, soon to be 83. She's all alone in Jersey now (all relatives are dead) and I seem to be the only one she has left. Now mind you she can be very mean and cruel at times. Everything I did for her was done from my heart not for what I could get from her. Well to make a long story short she called me today crying because she was so lonely and missed me. She told me her health is going down hill fast and she doesn't want to be alone at this time in her life. She then asked if she could move in with me. I didn't know what to say (she took me by surprise). What I did tell her was I would think about it, and get back to her. I'm weighting the pros and cons. When I was in Jersey she took delight in calling me names, not thinking she was hurting me. Hell guys I'm not sure what to do about this. My heart is telling me to take her in, but my head is telling me to think long and hard. HELP


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Posted on Sun, Dec 02, 2007 16:57

Well she called me tonight, we talked for a good hour and NOT a word was said about moving in with me. Needless to say I didn't go there either. Lets hope she forgot for now. She does that at times forget things. So I'll still be thinking about this since I have a little more time to do so.. Once again thanks to all of you for all the good advise :)


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Posted on Sun, Dec 02, 2007 09:51

The bottom line is that YOU are NOT responsible for this woman. If she needs help, that is her family's responsibility... not yours. You have worked too hard to be at this place in your life. Don't let someone else pressure or "guilt" you into giving all of that up... and that's what you would be doing... giving up your life and freedom. It just isn't fair to you.


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Posted on Sun, Dec 02, 2007 08:06

Karin, There are bracelets that can be purchased that will alert authorities if she needs help. I know that's won't do it she dies in her sleep. Assisted living is not like a nursing home, she has more freedom there. She can go shopping, they take her in a community bus. She will never be alone, unless she wants to. She should not use you as a wiping post because of what her son and his wife did. She has to extract her revenge where it's deserved. Yes, think long and hard. You're not responsible for anyone else's wrongs. just my 2.5 cents again. Nisi Re: ladyhawke1 write: Thank you all for the words of advise. I have to tell you this is a hard one for me. Like I said she can be so mean at times, I think alot of that comes from people using her even he son, so she doesn't trust anyone at all. The last straw for her was when her son and his wife (my sister)conned her out of 80 thousand dollars (no she didn't prosecute). Then a week later she fell down the stairs and broke her hip. After surgery her son put her in a nursing home and walked away refusing to take her home. She had to call a neighbor (they were still friendly at the time) to get her out and take her home. That was 9 years ago, she never forgave her son and can't stand my sister. She doesn't trust me because of what my sister did to her. Well 2 years ago her son died, after that she just seemed to have given up. It's not her health thats going down hill, she just doesn't want to go on anymore. Her biggest fear is dying and no one finding her for months. Forget the neighbors she ran them all off long ago. She's just a grumpy old woman. So thats a little of her story. I just don't know what to do about this, but I figure it out. Thanks again everyone for the advise, I still have much to think about. Karin


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bluegirl2006
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Posted on Sat, Dec 01, 2007 18:51

Re: Betterman351 write: Sorry for the fly over. I thought you were a red head not a blonde.

Ha ha ha. There is a little bit of white mixed in with the red (and I've earned every damn one of them!) - some call it grey - in this case I guess you could call it blonde. That would entitle me to a blonde moment or two. :P


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truefriendinme
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Posted on Sat, Dec 01, 2007 06:51

Don't really agree with that one, Betterman. I know it was most likely meant in jest, but Youth in Asia is not the cure all for the elderly who have no one to care for them. Our health care system here in the States leaves much to be desired and there are millions of uninsured and underinsured elderly. Millions more who cannot even afford to buy their meds necessary to sustain life in old age. Millions who need help, because they have no one to depend on-- just the scenario LadyHawke has encountered here. But just because someone gets old does not mean life has to end. There IS a point in life when it has to stop: when you are just too sick to go on, or are in the hospital with serious illness, not expected to receover, even marginally. Even chronic, debilitating pain might be a reson to consider a trip to the East. However, old age is not a disease. It IS terminal, yes. But old age in itself is not a disease. It is a progression of life. Sometimes it's a smooth ride, sometimes bumpy, but always--WORTH IT! Take it from someone who takes care of the elderly when they are acutely ill-- the elderly want to be appreciated, too.


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bluegirl2006
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Posted on Tue, Nov 27, 2007 17:31

Re: Betterman351 write: Youth in Asia.

Man am I slow. (shaking head sadly) I can't tell you how many times I read this before I GOT it. :(


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Posted on Mon, Nov 26, 2007 04:44

Thank you all for the words of advise. I have to tell you this is a hard one for me. Like I said she can be so mean at times, I think alot of that comes from people using her even he son, so she doesn't trust anyone at all. The last straw for her was when her son and his wife (my sister)conned her out of 80 thousand dollars (no she didn't prosecute). Then a week later she fell down the stairs and broke her hip. After surgery her son put her in a nursing home and walked away refusing to take her home. She had to call a neighbor (they were still friendly at the time) to get her out and take her home. That was 9 years ago, she never forgave her son and can't stand my sister. She doesn't trust me because of what my sister did to her. Well 2 years ago her son died, after that she just seemed to have given up. It's not her health thats going down hill, she just doesn't want to go on anymore. Her biggest fear is dying and no one finding her for months. Forget the neighbors she ran them all off long ago. She's just a grumpy old woman. So thats a little of her story. I just don't know what to do about this, but I figure it out. Thanks again everyone for the advise, I still have much to think about. Karin


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bluegirl2006
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Posted on Sun, Nov 25, 2007 05:56

Re: ladyhawke1 write: Blue I'm thinking long and hard She WILL NOT I repeat WILL NOT go to an assisted living, or nursing home, so that is out of the question.

LadyHawke, I know exactly what you are going through. Maybe there is a compromise. Since this woman is still so independent, perhaps you can move her to a retirement apartment complex nearby where she can still be independent yet it has those emergency pulls in case she needs help. Then you can keep an eye out for her and visit her once or twice a week? And if her health declines you can always revisit that living situation. I recently had to make the difficult decision of moving my ill mother in with me or finding other arrangments for her because she can no longer care for herself. She REALLY wanted to live with me and was insistent that if she couldn't she would live on her own. Nursing staff had told me she shouldn't be alone more than 2 hours at a time. I had to really search my heart and decide what was best for BOTH of us. I'm not a caretaker. I resent having that responsibility. My brother and I shared that responsibility and that was working well. But then he died in July and everything fell to me because my other two siblings live 1300 miles away. I love my mother, but I honestly don't believe I'd survive living with her. I moved her to an AFC home. Do I feel guilt that I am not caring for her myself? You betcha! BUT. Although her preference would be to live with me she does like the AFC home she is in now. However this came after time spent in another AFC she DIDN'T like and two psych hospitalizations. And she's just been discharged after another week in the hospital for a medical condition. When I first place her there she used to say that when her health got better (it won't-her condition is chronic and deteriorating) she was going to get a car (she shouldn't be driving and her license expired in July) and get her own place. But she's doing much better there now and I think she's finally resigned that this is the best place for her and she loves the staff. Her only complaint now is the food. She used to eat a lot of pork and isn't fond of chicken. They eat a lot of chicken and don't serve much pork. ;)


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Posted on Sat, Nov 24, 2007 13:57

LadyHawke... from what I have read here, I think she might be playing on your good heart a bit. She knew you would have a hard time telling her no and she was counting on that. She is lonely after pushing her own family away. I know it is harsh... but she made her bed now she needs to lie in it. Don't hate me for saying that... but I have had people do that very same thing to me because they knew I was a nice person and they took advantage of that. Like Nisi said... you moved for a reason. You have started a new life... don't let her hold you back. Reach for the stars and don't look back! Fact is... she is not your family and not your responsibility. Let her family step up to the plate when the time comes.


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stannosstacey
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Posted on Sat, Nov 24, 2007 10:15

She has other options but does not want those choices instead she is wanting you to stop your life and take care of her. That sounds pretty selfish. I know you feel some obligation since you are contemplating it but you also have to think of yourself. She is only thinking of herself. I have ran across situations similiar and you have to mark your boundaries. Some people even if they don't mean to will take advantage of your goodwill.


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Posted on Sat, Nov 24, 2007 03:20

Lady Hawk, you're not turning your back on her, what you're doing is turning your back on yourself. You moved for a reason, she agreed to a nurse, then so be it. The shock to her system would be huge to move her. IF she is doing the gardening and all of her daily needs then she is okay for now. So what if it takes her a long time? she can hire someone to do the yard work. Just like she can hire someone to do the cleaning and shopping for her. Stop turning your back on yourself. Let her be in NJ, where she is most familiar. Moving would take her out of her familiar area, you would be shopping and taking her everywhere because she did not know how to get around. You're a wise women, sometimes we are not wise for ourselves though, think about you as well as her. Whats best for you? Nisi32132


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truefriendinme
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Posted on Fri, Nov 23, 2007 21:52

I just re-read this, and I see that the relatives have all passed. She would need to assign you Healthcare Power of Attorney, or you can apply for it. If she truly has no one left, you may be able to gain Attorney, b/c she once was "related" to you. Good luck.


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truefriendinme
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Posted on Fri, Nov 23, 2007 21:49

Fourth-- why, if she has all of her "faculties", would she choose to treat someone (who took such good care of her) so poorly? And if it's because she was so sick, then you have to realize she will do that EVERY time she is sick. It WILL get worse. Fifth-- she is 82. If her family actually stpes in, and does what they really NEED to be doing to ensure that she gets proper care, they WOULD STEP IN and get a "Health Care Power of Attorney". It's a simple document that can be obtained from any hospital, notarized and dropped of at the attorney's office. If she truly needs the care you say she does (24/7), she will have no choice but to be in a home that can provide her with the care she needs. This is too much work for ONE person to take on. I would not recommend you do this, unless you are independently wealthy and have the patience of Job. It's a noble profession-- albeit a thankless one! Many, many people care for loved ones at home, and very sucessfully. But your description of this lady seems to indicate early signs of dementia-- with the name calling and difficult behavior. I would seriously consult a physician before taking this task on. You may wind up resenting her, and she you. However, moving her closer, so you can visit her at a care facility often, might be a "happy medium".


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truefriendinme
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Posted on Fri, Nov 23, 2007 21:48

Well, as someone who works with the sick and often elderly (sick), I can personally attest to their complete dependence when they become very ill. If she tells you her health is declining, I would consider what sort of impact this would take upon your life. First, how are you going to support her AND yourself, if you spend all your time (and believe me, you WILL spend all your time) taking care of her? Second, she HAS family, but apparently, it seems they don't want to be bothered with her. Third, that brings me to the question as to "why"? Is it because she treated them the way she treated you when you stayed with her? And is this her normal behavior. Attributable to the disease process, or just old age grumpiness?


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jjiggl
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Posted on Fri, Nov 23, 2007 14:32

You have received some very good advice from bluegirl, nici and cicely. Please think long and hard about your decision. Please help her seek resources that are in her area. Also, it seems to be a fact that when things are done out of sheer guilt, the person that helps out usually regrets giving the help. Good luck in your decision.


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SweetCicely
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Posted on Fri, Nov 23, 2007 07:45

Ladyhawke, I agree with Ni on this one. She needs consistancy of care, especially if her health is going downhill. But there are other considerations. My grandfather came to live with us while I was in college. Until he moved in, he had been a fun, joking kind of guy, but that changed. He refused to wear adult diapers, altho the meds he was on made him incontinent. Because of this my mother would have to get up in the middle of the night to change his sheets and clean him up(he wouldn't let anyone else do it.) It was an incredible burden and made my mother feel awful, even with the hospice support we had. As a single woman, and without outside help, you could get s*cked into a very destructive situation, both financially and personally. I understand feeling sympathy for someone who fears being and dying alone, but she is alone for a reason: you were not the only one she alienated. Amy


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Posted on Fri, Nov 23, 2007 06:46

Blue I'm thinking long and hard Nisi, I have asked myself many of these questions and then some. This woman is not related to me in any way, thats the crazy thing about all this. I never thought of myself as a caregiver I seem to have fallen into the role. She can still do for herself, cooking, cleaning shopping, yard work, all of that is no problem it just takes her a long time to get it done. She WILL NOT I repeat WILL NOT go to an assisted living, or nursing home, so that is out of the question. As for her Doctor's she just switched because she didn't like him. So that's not a problem. Her social security and retirement pay will follow her I'm sure. She does have money saved and we have talked (when I was still in Jersey) about her having a nuse if the time ever can for that and she agreed to that. I know I will be giving up my privacy, I know she'll be driving me crazy in no time, I took care of her for 5 years in Jersey I know her. BUT all that being said I'm not sure I can turn my back on this woman....Answering Blue's question it will be a little bit of both, grateful that I was there for her and relieved that it's over!! :( Nisi I would contact you to talk more about this, but I'm no longer a Gold member :(


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Posted on Fri, Nov 23, 2007 06:16

Hi LadyHawk, I can tell you from personal experience, I took my elderly uncle in when I moved to Florida. No one else in the family stepped up. He's chronically ill. He's still independent, drives, shops, cooks,bowls. He's not mean ( his sister is though, she's alone in NJ since her hubby died in August) What I lost was my privacy, I also have the obligation of his finances. He's not got much, but my family still thinks I'm taking advantage of him. The emotional drain is a big one and I'm not a caretaker. I think you need to think long and hard about this and ask yourself a few question then as a nurse who works in an assisted living or a skilled nursing home about the care this woman might need. Are ready for a 24/7 commitment? There are websites for caretakers go to the blogs, talk to them and ask every question you can after reading a few. Ask also what's best for her with her medical needs. There is also insurance issues, will she be covered if she moved out of the state? Is she happy with her doctors in NJ? Getting her records transfered, preparing room for her, there are countless things to think about that you might not realize. THEN, you moved for a reason, what was it? ( rhetorical question) I'm sure your head helped you make the move. Bottom line, you have to think about you and what's best for her. If her health is declining she might be better off staying with her doctors there and moving into an assisted living facility that is equipt for her medical needs. If you want to talk more contact me. I know you will make the right decision for you. Her decisions are hers but they will and do affect you and your life. This is not selfish in a bad way, it's a health selfish for both of you. Natalie


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bluegirl2006
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Posted on Thu, Nov 22, 2007 22:37

Your brain is an important organ and its giving you a warning you need to listen to. BUT. In the end you need to do what you can live with. When this woman passes away, however many years down the road that may be - how will you feel? Grateful she was a part of your life and you were able to be there for her? Or relieved and sorry that you spent so many years caring for a woman who made your life miserable?


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