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View Full Version : Pissy and I need to vent about my aging mother



wendibird22
09-17-2018, 04:10 PM
Ugh, my dad just called to tell me that my mom tripped and fell this morning and broke the upper part of her humorous near her should and likely cracked a rib or two. She's 70 and overweight and just in good physical condition. She and my dad have been separated for over a decade and she lives alone in my family home (2 story house). She also suffers from depression, anxiety, and this has manifested with hoarding so she never has anyone over to the house and is even reluctant to have home repair people (like when her A/C went out this summer, or the cable guy) because she's embarrassed. So, anyways, I guess this happens at 7am, she gets a neighbor who is a widow to take her to urgent care and later I guess my dad steps in to take her to the ER or orthro or something. My mom has yet to call me and told my dad that she would and told him not to tell me. Yeah, gotta love that disfunction. So now I know, but I'm not supposed to know and my dad wants me to contact her just to say hi so that she'll tell me.

I love about 30mins away and I work in an exec job that is demanding and juggling two kids with evening sports. I also have a rescue dog that's a pit mix who is big and high energy. My inclination is to simply tell her she has to come stay with us while she heals, but the dog will be an issue for her being at our house all day while the rest of us are at work (DH and I both work FTOH) and the kids are at school. Or, I make her get a home health aid, which her insurance should cover, but she'll refuse because of her embarrassment over the state of her house.

To add to this, it was extremely hot here this weekend and she attended one of my daughter's outdoor sporting events and mom just about passed out in the heat after walking from her car up a steep hill to the event. Like I said, she's overweight, does no exercise, and wheezes and pants even across short distances. So, DH, FIL, my dad, and I are all at this event trying to offer her water, to go get her car, to drive her home, etc and she refuses, but then gets pissy at me for just not taking control and that "sometimes adult children just have to demand their parents do something because when you are old you don't want to admit you are old." And she was literally furious with me for letting my 75 yr old dad go get her car even though she had refused me and DH going to get it.

All this to say, that I knew the time was coming that I'd have to start doing the elder care thing for one or both of my parents. Lucky for my brother, he's 2hrs away so he escapes any accountability and it falls all to me. And I know I need to be kind and sympathetic and caring but the level of disfunction my mom has and between my mom and brother (he won't step in to help ever because she's been so horrible to him over the years) and between my mom and dad (she refuses to divorce him but then complains she gets nothing from him) is just emotionally exhausting and makes me not want to help either.

What would you do if you were in my shoes?

infocrazy
09-17-2018, 04:23 PM
Is it possible to get the home health aid in YOUR house?

Percycat
09-17-2018, 04:28 PM
Is your mom at home now or at a hospital? If she is still admitted, I would try to meet with her and a hospital social worker and have her help figure out her options for her life. The social worker may have more ideas or access to resources to help set up assistance. And, a neutral party may help you and your mom discuss options and allow you to show your mom you care without issues of control.

wendibird22
09-17-2018, 06:57 PM
No she never went to the hospital, unfortunately, because I agree the social worker wouldíve been helpful. She went to an after hours and then later in the day saw an ortho at his office. So of course thereís none of those derives/referrals offered.

She finally called me to tell me and says she doesnít know how sheíll go it alone, canít drive, itís her dominant arm, etc. But then when I offer specific help, like offering to look into an aid she doesnít want that because the condition of her house, that ďthereís barely a path for someone to walk through.Ē I canít go stay with her because thereís no where for me to stay there...no spare bed...and Iím guessing no where to even set up an air mattress.


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wendibird22
09-17-2018, 07:02 PM
Is it possible to get the home health aid in YOUR house?

Possible but I donít know what to do about the dog. Our spare bedroom is on the second floor but itís the kidsí playroom, no tv. The tv and kitchen, living room, etc is on the first floor but her spending her time there would mean being around the dog. Heís not a jumper but he does get on the couch, does like to engage people in play, etc and at 65 lbs heís very strong. She wouldnít be able to control or handle him right now and heís only 1-2 yr old so lots of young dog active. I crate him when Iím at work but think it would be cruel to crate him when he knows someone is home and his crate is in the living room which is where the tv is and is open floor plan to the kitchen so heíd see her in the house.


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candaceb
09-17-2018, 07:32 PM
For a different avenue, I am in the process of starting a senior move management business. I am on a listserv (yes, oldschool) for the National Association of Senior Move Managers and a recent topic of discussion was dealing with seniors who have hoarding issues. It doesn't help the immediate problem, but perhaps being incapacitated and having it in her face will make her more motivated to deal with it and make your life easier in the long run. There are specific people who deal with this problem. If a referral for your area might be helpful, let me know and I'll see what information I can find.

wendibird22
09-17-2018, 07:50 PM
For a different avenue, I am in the process of starting a senior move management business. I am on a listserv (yes, oldschool) for the National Association of Senior Move Managers and a recent topic of discussion was dealing with seniors who have hoarding issues. It doesn't help the immediate problem, but perhaps being incapacitated and having it in her face will make her more motivated to deal with it and make your life easier in the long run. There are specific people who deal with this problem. If a referral for your area might be helpful, let me know and I'll see what information I can find.

I had no idea such professional association existed. Cool! How would I go about searching for someone to assist?

Total side note but her mother also had hoarding issues but it never got horrible because her second husband lived with her until her death so there was someone to help. But when my grandmother passed my mother commented how she had 5 of something and 8 of something else and how all she must have done was shop on QVC. Well the apple didnít fall far from the tree and Iím now stuck dealing with exactly what my mother hated about her mother.


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nfceagles
09-17-2018, 07:52 PM
For a different avenue, I am in the process of starting a senior move management business. I am on a listserv (yes, oldschool) for the National Association of Senior Move Managers and a recent topic of discussion was dealing with seniors who have hoarding issues. It doesn't help the immediate problem, but perhaps being incapacitated and having it in her face will make her more motivated to deal with it and make your life easier in the long run. There are specific people who deal with this problem. If a referral for your area might be helpful, let me know and I'll see what information I can find.

I have never heard of senior move managers! What a great idea. Iím fascinated by the business idea and its potential although Iíd make a terrible move manager for a hoarder because I have no patience for it and couldnít be as compassionate as I should be. Good luck with the new business.


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NCGrandma
09-17-2018, 08:01 PM
I have never heard of senior move managers! What a great idea. Iím fascinated by the business idea and its potential although Iíd make a terrible move manager for a hoarder because I have no patience for it and couldnít be as compassionate as I should be. Good luck with the new business.


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My CCRC has a selective list of move managers and other move-related service providers. A lot of folks who move here find their services invaluable, especially those moving from a home where they lived for many years (no hoarding issues, just years worth of stuff that they werenít motivated to sort and dispose of). Someone really good at this can expect lots of very positive word of mouth.


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candaceb
09-17-2018, 09:11 PM
This is an organization of professional organizers who specialize in hoarding. I tried Rochester NY and nothing came up (I just remember you live somewhere upstate) - but maybe there is someone closer to you.
https://www.challengingdisorganization.org/index.php?option=com_mcdirectorysearch&view=search&id=2000052#/

for anyone interested in senior move management, here is something I posted earlier: http://windsorpeak.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?503473&p=4295883#post4295883
I have officially made a decision to move forward - I have an LLC (and a name!), and I've done the first part of the training. Now I'm trying to find the first two clients I need to get listed in the national directory.

123LuckyMom
09-19-2018, 09:04 AM
This is an organization of professional organizers who specialize in hoarding. I tried Rochester NY and nothing came up (I just remember you live somewhere upstate) - but maybe there is someone closer to you.
https://www.challengingdisorganization.org/index.php?option=com_mcdirectorysearch&view=search&id=2000052#/

for anyone interested in senior move management, here is something I posted earlier: http://windsorpeak.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?503473&p=4295883#post4295883
I have officially made a decision to move forward - I have an LLC (and a name!), and I've done the first part of the training. Now I'm trying to find the first two clients I need to get listed in the national directory.

Itís really a needed service! Many elder services and other not-for-profits dedicated to seniors help with moves and selling all the stuff left behind, and many nursing homes or assisted living facilities have lists of approved vendors, but if I could have hired someone to take care of ALL those details when I moved my mom, I would have done it in a heartbeat!


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niccig
11-12-2018, 10:34 PM
Late to this - I hope your momís arm has healed and she let you help.

Regarding the hoarding, I posted over the summer about cleaning out my dadís barn that had several decades worth of car parts, machinery, tools, and wood. It was a humongous task, but Iím glad we did it. Dad had no choice as needed it cleaned out for structural repairs due to termite damage from all the stored wood and inability to get in there and spray for termites. Dad hated it but i gave him his options: us, strangers Iíd pay to do it or roof collapses and he loses everything. He reluctantly chose us. He couldnít physically help so had to watch us sort things into trash, scrap metal, keep piles.

From what I read, itís best to tackle hoarding when that is all youíre dealing with. Many articles said to not wait until the person dies, which often happens, as youíre then dealing with grief as well. Cleaning out a hoarders home does cause anger and itís difficult to deal with as it is. We also found treasures like Dadís dog tags in a plastic grocery bag, so you do need to sort through things.

DS and I helped mum get half the barn cleaned out, then my sister arrived a couple weeks later and she got most of the 2nd half completed with mum. Maybe you could tag team with your brother? Or split it up over several trips. Itís certainly not a fun thing to do, but it has to get done. I felt less stressed knowing it was done. Iíve already told DS the next visit over the Summer will be tackling the outside area behind the barn. Mum canít do it alone.


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wendibird22
11-13-2018, 06:38 AM
Sheís heeling but itís sooooo slow. Itís her right arm and sheís right handed so thatís been challenging for her. No driving. No lifting. So sheís really pretty much home bound.

My schedule is such that Iíve only spent one weekend afternoon trying to do some cleaning out. An elderly neighbor learned of the hoarding and has been helping clean (heís a widower and a kind man) and my dad has gone over quite a bit to clean out. And weíve barely scratched the surface. Most of it is garbage...newspapers, catalogs, mail...but itís just all mixed in with things that need to be saved or shredded so you canít just toss it in the recycle bin without going through the piles. Itís physically and emotionally exhausting.


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ourbabygirl
12-08-2018, 10:28 AM
Just seeing this now and sending you hugs, wendibird22. :hug: That's a lot to take on, and I admire you for doing so much to help out. :heartbeat:

niccig
12-10-2018, 09:05 PM
She’s heeling but it’s sooooo slow. It’s her right arm and she’s right handed so that’s been challenging for her. No driving. No lifting. So she’s really pretty much home bound.

My schedule is such that I’ve only spent one weekend afternoon trying to do some cleaning out. An elderly neighbor learned of the hoarding and has been helping clean (he’s a widower and a kind man) and my dad has gone over quite a bit to clean out. And we’ve barely scratched the surface. Most of it is garbage...newspapers, catalogs, mail...but it’s just all mixed in with things that need to be saved or shredded so you can’t just toss it in the recycle bin without going through the piles. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting.


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I get it. It is exhausting to sort through all the stuff for the one thing that needs to be saved. We made a dent in my Dad's barn because we did several days of 10+ hours. Then I left and my sister arrived a few weeks later and she continued for 10 days or so. It was CRAZY making. So not an enjoyable family vacation. We still need to do outside the barn. DH wants to come on the next visit and I'm telling him no as he won't want to shift through all the junk on his few vacation days per year. t's got to get done though.