Changes coming

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Amadahy

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Changes coming
« on: September 28, 2017, 06:08:16 PM »
Hey y'all,

This will be sort if rambly, not really looking for answers, but always appreciating comeraderie and insight.

N mom has been on her own in an apartment in my town nearly six months now. I practice MC and have some contact. I am not poa, primarily I make sure she has food to eat.  She attends adult day care and has a caseworker who helps with Medicare, budgeting, etc. 

She is on a quite low, fixed income and had been managing pretty well until last month when she ordered way more checkbooks than needed. Now, she has a phone bill for 2x the expected amount. A mistake of $50 or more/mo. is catastrophic - both of these were that.

She has beginning dementia and her agitation with others is increasing, as is her paranoia.

All to say, I see nursing home care in the not-too-distant future.  This makes me extremely sad, but living w me didn't work and I would never, ever consider again.  This post is mainly to share and process my sadness.  Thank you, as always, for safe space. 

:hug:
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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looloo

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 06:14:33 PM »
Hi Amadahy,
I can relate to the sadness of seeing your mother's condition worsening.  Nothing NOT sad about it.  Will her caseworker be able to assist with transitioning her?  Will you be able to keep a distance that's safe and healthy for you?
If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.  Oscar Wilde.

"My actions are my true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand."  Thich Nhat Hanh

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2017, 06:45:24 AM »
It is sad, aging isn't natural and difficult to accept in healthy relationships. Current and past abuse adds to the complexity. It's ok to be sad and process that grief. You're doing good ensuring she gets good professional care within her means and budget. Having her live with you isn't going to prevent the inevidible outcome of fher decline.
Each and every contact with a PD person results in damage. Plan accordingly and make time to heal. See Toolbox for tips. "The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause." Mark Twain

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bopper

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2017, 02:11:53 PM »
Also keep in mind if she has to go into a nursing home it is because this is what her life choices brought her to. You are merely working with what she has brought.
Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
Anything makes the false self appear real is supply.

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practical

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 05:18:04 AM »
Watching somebody lose their self due to dementia is hard and sad. Taking care of somebody is dementia can easily develop into a 24 hour caregiving role and even people with good relationships with their parents realize they are not able to give the care a loved one needs to keep them safe. In your case your M going into a nursing home is another consequence of her behavior, just like it is in the case of my F. Years ago B thought of an addition to his house where F could live out his old age, have access to a garden and other things he likes, F solidly destroyed this option.

The nursing home is another reminder in our case how dysfunctional our relationships are, please keep in mind though that in normal parent-child relationships many parents opt for AL, a NH when necessary, as they don't want to burden their children or hire a live-in help. I think it is part of us being raised with FOG that we feel bad about this beyond the sadness of seeing the mental and physical decline of a person.

:bighug:
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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Fightsong

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 08:52:17 AM »
I cant believe its been 6 months, how time flies. And now the next stage. I hope when it happens  the transition is smooth and stress free for you all. Maybe seeing it on the horizon now could be a good thing - you know, arrangements might be made before a new crisis??? And remember, no guilt needed. She will be housed, and fed and nursed as she needs. I hope the processing gives way to relief soon.

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Amadahy

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2017, 03:03:18 PM »
TY for thoughtful replies, y'all.  I continue to be really sad in direct proportion to her loss of capabilities.  She took a fall the other day, but wasn't hurt.  I saw her waiting for the local bus while I was driving during my job - she just looks kind of lost.  She told me on the phone how she appreciates what I do for her so much and she was being sincere.  I don't feel fear or guilt anymore - a huge blessing! The amount of obligation is a little more than I feel for fellow humans, so I am trying to decide about poa.  If I assume poa, I can set up her phone and cable bill for auto withdrawal every month, dole out cash for groceries and rent, assuring she doesn't overdraft.  She has one insurance policy that autodrafts, and that is the extent of her business.  I appreciate questions or insight.  I feel like if I am going to do this it may be time to proceed.  As I think I mentioned before, dementia made her N mom demure, sweet, childlike and my mom seems much the same.  TY, Warriors.  :hug:
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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practical

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2017, 04:40:45 PM »
Doesn't your sister have POA? What is her involvement or has she disappeared?

You do seem to have reached a place of sad detachment, of feeling sorrow rather than searing pain. So that is a good place to be in for your thoughts. If taking on POA means long-distance arrangements for your M, not more direct involvement, it might be fine. There are several members (I think looloo and biggerfish) who take care of the business transactions for their M's, while being almost NC with them. The other issue is, would your M expect more of you because you have POA? F seems to think POA makes you his servant, this is very much what the new person who has POA for him is experiencing now and was also B's and my experience with him. I think the key is to figure out your motives, make sure it isn't FOG or how much of it might be FOG. If you feel it is something you can handle without jeopardizing your own health, it is something you want to do for yourself and your M happens to be the beneficiary, even if you want to do it for her, I think as long as you are clear what your motivations are, and leave yourself the option to restrict your involvement to paperwork only if it becomes to triggering otherwise, you might be able to do it. I think not putting pressure on yourself, neither with the decision, nor if you do decide to do it, to stick it out come hell or highwater, might also be important. I hope any of this makes sense.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 04:42:23 PM by practical »
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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Amadahy

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2017, 07:14:45 PM »
TY, Practical.  You have been a good companion to many on this journey. 

I've been working through the book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, which I think you've recommended, and have been helped immensely!  You are right - I feel more of a sad detachment than anything. I don't feel especially pressured into poa - sis never followed through and has been "busy" for the last 6 months.  I have had to emotionally detach there, too.

I don't obsess over helping my mom, but I know she could use it as she declines.  I *think* I am in a good place to give it a go, but I am going to take a few more weeks to decide, to discern if I have any ulterior hopes or motives.  Who knows? She may tell me to bug off!  LOL. 

:hug:
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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Fightsong

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2017, 02:48:40 AM »
It sounds so sensible to take some time to decide and examine your thoughts and motives. What a healthy and safe course of action.  With regards your sister - could there be a bit of 'I can do it better?' - and what might that mean ? ( I say that as an entirely neutral comment as I have no idea what following those thoughts through in either direction would really mean to you - and neither answer should be right /wrong -simply self examination to discover what feels right for you) .  Enjoy the detachment you feel, rest in it and allow it to strengthen you. But remember the detachment is the override program you created for yourself - and  this is a journey of many twists and turns. If you should fall  under your default programming again in the future , remember this moment now, and how this detachment  feels, and know you can get here again.   

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Amadahy

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2017, 12:36:47 PM »
I so appreciate insight that you have quickly developed, Fightsong!  LOL re sis.  A very good question, but what happened there was lots of critique and false promises, including her assuming poa.  She hasn't had anything to do w mom in the last six months and not that I blame her, but no bossiness and no lies, please and thank you.  :) I practice MC w her, too - I am the friggin' MC Goddess of PD land!!    :groovey: My thought w poa stemmed from my mom needing to get a bank debit card so a cell phone bill could auto draft from it - if she gets a debit card, hello unfettered spending and overdraft fees. If I, as poa, get a debit card linked to her account, her phone bill is significantly cheaper with this option and I stick the card in a drawer.  I know I wouldn't have to be poa to work that out, but I am wondering about it as she declines.

I will ponder a good bit more.  I will also visit my woods and rest.  Bless you all.  :hug:
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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looloo

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2017, 02:35:25 PM »
Hi Amadahy, if your mother would agree to physically walk into her bank with you, speak to someone, and have you added to her account (making it a joint account), then you could probably handle her debit card/phone bill issue without being POA.

If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.  Oscar Wilde.

"My actions are my true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand."  Thich Nhat Hanh

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Fightsong

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2017, 03:21:13 PM »
- I am the friggin' MC Goddess of PD land!!    :groovey:

Dark humour there Amadahy. I love the moments of humour.

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Amadahy

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2017, 06:49:14 PM »
I am **so** thankful for this forum.  I am seeing that I still want to jump in and "help," ugh, when, if I just play it cool then answers come clearer. 

Turns out she cannot learn the friggjn' cell phone.  I got one that can be returned in seven days and she cannot fathom how to work it, so I will take back.  So, she had to go w a cheaper landline plan and has called that in.   

No poa for me, At least not yet - I see I am too triggery. 

I wanted to freak a bit tonight because the adult day care has given her only one option for transport - one that she doesn't like. I could see her raging and quitting, but I just listened to her. I told her it was probably budget cuts and changed the subject.

I hope they are not trying to get her to quit.  Programs do that, unfortunately, and I don't know what kind of drama she's pulled there.  Still, not my problem.  (My inner child still gets racing heart and shallow breath, though).

I hope I can learn to relax a bit.  Some days are easier than others, but not this day.  Sigh.

:hug:
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 07:03:10 PM by Amadahy »
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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practical

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2017, 07:08:30 PM »
It is good you gave yourself time to think it through, see what your feelings tell you, and not volunteering for POA is the right thing for you for now. he urge to help is very hard to overcome, you can see it though instead of acting blindly on it.

One more thing .... Since this post is so random .... LOL ....

I feel such shame, but the truth is, I think about if/when she passes .... and some of the relief I will feel.  I know there will be a mix of feelings, including sadness, but I think the prevailing one will be relief. 

I hate feeling like that, admitting that.
You are not alone with these thoughts and feelings. I have had a quiet week and was thinking "this is what it is going to be like when he is dead, no drama invading my day without notice, just peaceful, stable". There is one difference, I don't feel ashamed of these thoughts. I don't wish him dead or anything ill, I simply want a drama free life and given what you, I and others here have been through I don't think that is bad or astounding. Other than NC it is the only kind of "divorce" we can get from their drama.
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2017, 11:23:45 PM »
I think it's a good idea to stop and think before agreeing to be POA.

If you decide not to and your sister is still MIA, an elder care attorney can best advise her on what comes next - or can possibly find somebody to act on her behalf as POA.

I'm sure you're not the first person who has ever been in this situation - and if people draw blanks and don't know WHAT to do, I find that statement usually helps the situation - a very calm, "I can't be/mom can't be the only one who has ever had this happen/been in this situation."  :yes:

My thing about being POA was, "If can do it from the chair in this room, I'm fine with it."

That was after all the legwork of turning in Ray's car, turning in his plates, cancelling the insurance, hiring "Got Junk?" to empty his hovel, turn in his cable box, paint a few rooms, list the house, and sign off on the closing - which are things typically associated with winding down somebody's affairs - and you're nowhere near that point yet.

There were a few other things - like pushing for refunds from Life Alert and ADT, and going to the Mail Box Store to fax paperwork for those refunds.

It was stressful - but I was doing the right thing, and as long as I didn't have to deal with Ray, I was happy - and even happier that the whole process had an END to it - get affairs in order, let nursing home do the rest and take it from there.   :yahoo:

Now,  the only thing I have to do as POA is have Ray's taxes done every year.

If you agree to be POA, you have to decide how much involvement you're willing to have with your mom.  Is she going to be one of those control-freaks who MUST know your every move, or will she be content to let you push button, pay bill from afar?

You know her best - only you can answer those questions.

About the nursing home - think of it as getting her the care she NEEDS instead of the care she thinks she *deserves* from you - or  your sister or other relatives who might have good intentions - or might just smell easy money from her pension and/or Social Security.

*Always* be leery of some "cousin" or "friend" you've never heard of - or barely heard from in the past 10 years  - or more! - pops up and tries to stick their nose in.  Medium Chill 'em, shut 'em down and starve 'em out.   8-)

You're not the only one who has ever felt that way.  When Didi died, I felt nothing *but* relief and didn't even go to her wake or funeral, where I'd be expected to at least pretend to be sad.

I wasn't.  Not in the least.  It was like I'd been set free, instead.  The reign of terror was OVER!   :boogie: :groovey:

And when Ray fell and was declared incompetent, there was another huge sigh of relief.  He was going to get the care he needed, from professionals, and I could go NC.  I was free of him, too.   :sunny:

He had a whole elaborate prepaid funeral planned - I dismantled it.  No wake, no funeral, no requests for lots and lots of flowers  :roll:, not even the word "loving" in the obituary (as in "loving husband of Didi.  Loving father of WI."). 

He goes from the nursing home to the mortuary, they do whatever is necessary, chuck him in his casket and inter him in his marble mausoleum, ASAP.  And all I have to do is sign a few papers and it will just be another ordinary day of the week for me.

I don't feel any shame in admitting that to this forum - but I keep my lips zipped to most of the outside world, who wouldn't understand.

Even the funeral director didn't understand and kept pushing for a small grave-side service.  I stuck to my guns and said, "No," - then added everybody he knows is either dead or over 2,000 miles away, and in no shape to travel, due to age.

*Then* he understood - kind of.  Ish - and inferred I wouldn't be there, either, for whatever reason.

And I won't.  I'll be enjoying my day, instead.   :)

 :hug:

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Amadahy

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2017, 10:32:45 AM »
Thanks, y'all, for being here.  I will need to seek help for her probably this week while stepping back emotionally.

I went over for my weekly check on her. She had zero groceries even though she told me she was going to the grocery store Thurs night and she has money, including some I gave her.

She had a wild look in her eyes and started in on how she was under such pressure and how others should mind their own business and the friggin' man in the moon -- you get the drift -- scattered is an understatement. 

Anyway, I had some groceries with me and offered to take her to get more, but she said she didn't care if she starved.  I was still observing at that point -- not taking all this personally, but I asked if she wanted me to help manage her bills (no) and if she thought I was trying to dictate her business (no), so I said, "well, if you need anything, let me know," and left with her still raving about how she wasn't going to be told what to do, etc.

I am home now and tending to my own chores, etc and will have time to be in nature later, thank goodness.  As I ponder, the going without groceries is new and the most worrisome.  IDK if she can continue to manage with day care (she's mad at her aide) and my weekly checks.  She's threatening to quit the day care which I discouraged, but didn't freak out about because it's not my problem.  I do wonder about nursing home care and will seek the counsel of an attorney I trust as to how to proceed and how much I can and cannot do.  It's all very sad.

Without this forum, I would still be freaking the freak out to fix this. I would not be taking time for intentional self care. I would probably seriously not be able to function. As it is, I am just sad, tired and mindful.  TY so much for being here.

:hug:
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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practical

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2017, 07:51:35 PM »
I'm really sorry your M seems to be falling apart. This being angry at her aide, - the aide would most likely have no idea why -, sounds very familiar, and in M's and F's case it had to do with their inner emotional turbulences and not reality. Not going grocery shopping is concerning, while the "I don't care if I starve" might be more of a temper tantrum/attention getter. I'm sad for you and I'm sad for your M. It is very smart to check with the lawyer what you can and cannot do, and maybe explore what "doing something" for her would mean.

You sound very calm, detached and are definitely not freaking out. Such amazing work you have done.  :) Hope you found some peace in nature.
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Changes coming
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2017, 12:05:54 PM »
You sound very calm, detached and are definitely not freaking out. Such amazing work you have done.  :) Hope you found some peace in nature.
ditto! You're doing great and sending thoughts for peace your way.
Each and every contact with a PD person results in damage. Plan accordingly and make time to heal. See Toolbox for tips. "The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause." Mark Twain