My father passed away last October of 2023. He was diagnosed with MDS last May of 2023. I more or less moved in with my parents at that time. I have also been married for almost 39 years. My husband was a trooper and still is. I cared for my mother and father both during this time. On August 7, 2023, I had to make the choice to call Hospice for my dad because the choking and pain was too much. He became bedridden but my sister and I cared for him for 6 weeks until he passed. After my dad’s passing, my sister abandoned me. Now I care for my mother who has chosen to go on Hospice because of COPD and she’s on oxygen 24/7, she has stage four osteoporosis. She has made the accusation that am mentally abusing her. She is a very moody manipulative person and has everyone believing she is an angel. I have been here in my parents house for almost a year. I have illnesses such as my hair is falling out, I have severe eczema in my head, I have lumbar sacral disc disease, and other illnesses. I have no help at all. I asked her if she would be willing to go to respite care for a week and her response was, “I will kill myself if I leave my home.” My body and mind are in terrible shape because I haven’t had a break what so ever for a year. I am totally burn out. I can’t just leave her. I do love her and care for her, but she has said I don’t love her. Please any advice would be helpful.

totally burnout

You don’t ask her if she will be willing to go to respite. YOU TELL her she is going to respite because if you don’t you will fall ill and she will not have you to care for her at all .

Honestly , why are you doing all the caregiving ? Hire aides using Mom’s money to come in the home . I read your profile , you have a lot of your own health issues. IMO you should place Mom in a facility no matter what she says permanently .

She’s dying , don’t let her take you down with her . We had another poster caregiver last night who has had multiple strokes , so her Mom will go to a facility anyway .
There is no reason to die along with your Mom . Your mother is going to be miserable wherever she lives.

Don’t let Mom’s threat to kill herself if she leaves her home get to you . My mother did that as well .

Call your Mom’s local County Area of Aging. Tell them you are too ill to take care of your mother anymore and she lives alone at home , that you will be going back to live in your own home. They will send a social worker out to the home. This is how I got my mother out of her home and placed in a facility.
Helpful Answer (25)
Reply to waytomisery
AlvaDeer Apr 15, 2024
I so agree with your advise. I really have nothing to add.
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You do not ask, you tell her this is what is going to happen. It is no longer about what she wants, it is about what she and you BOTH need.

She is not independent and needs to be placed in a home with 24/7 care.

This "I will kill myself" is most likely pure manipulation.

If you don't take the bull by the horns like now, you may die first, some 40% of in home caregivers die before the OP they are caring for. Don't become a statistic.

Who has the DPOA? If not you, time to back away and let that person deal with your mother.

Stand up to her, take your life back.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to MeDolly

I did the same type of thing you are doing, except my mother was very ill for over 3 years, was in hospice for 6 1/2 months and then passed. Everyone thought she was the sweetest thing, but she was very moody and big on guilting me. Also, my only sibling did next to nothing.

Many members on here suggested I place her, as I was still working, had a husband and children at home, and was becoming sick. I had promised mom I would support her dying at home, and didn’t want her upset and angry, and on and on. Now she has been gone for 6 weeks and I still haven’t recovered in the least. I have multiple autoimmune markers and have to wait another month to see a specialist (because I didn’t address anything while she was still alive).

My point is, there no shame in saying you can’t do it anymore. It sounds like you moved out of your home with your husband almost a year ago? My marriage was also strained to the breaking point. Idk if I will ever recover from this, and my husband and I were planning an active retirement in the next 5 years or so. I wanted to keep mom “happy” and she was never happy anyway. Save yourself.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to LilyLavalle
waytomisery Apr 15, 2024
Lily , I was hoping you would answer this question .

@Myrtie , you should read LilyLavalle’s thread of hospice at home , it’s a cautionary tale .
If mom is going to kill herself in respite care, why did she hire hospice? She can just do away with herself now and save everyone all this aggravation and expense. 😑

I listened to all this nonsense from my mother since I was FIVE years old! That's how long she was pulling the "I'll kill myself" stunt and guess what? She lived to 95 years old asking for every pill and treatment under the sun to SAVE her life, while threatening to "run out in traffic" or "jump out the window" in the process! I reached the point where I'd tell her she lived on the first floor so jumping out the window wouldn't do the job. That she'd have to climb up to the roof and jump from there.

Get mom into respite care and tell her how long she's staying when you drop her off. To get her in the car, you're taking her out for a nice lunch.

Your wellbeing matters too. Just because SHE doesn't think so doesn't make it true.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to lealonnie1
BurntCaregiver Apr 15, 2024
Me too, lealonnie. Me too. I've been the sounding board for my mother's nonsense (same as you) and for as long too.

It got to a point where I just ignore it and pay no mind.
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When you say your mother is a moody, manipulative person I assume she has always been like that. She sounds mean, difficult and unfeeling as well. Any cognitive issues?

If she’s in her right mind I think you have every right to politely inform her that you can no longer be a full-time caregiver and that you will be stepping back, with respite, other paid caregivers, she goes into a facility, etc. Caregiving has to work for both parties. She doesn’t have a right to toss false accusations around. You don’t have to be her victim.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to SnoopyLove

She may 'never understand' - the question is "How do you do it?"

It sounds to me that you need to leave this situation.
While this may be extremely difficult for you, you must make decisions that address your needs, not hers. This is for your survival.

You need to learn how respect and love yourself - and that is a long life process for many of us.

As you are allowing your mother to 'run circles around you,' ("I will kill myself if I leave my home" ... drama) you need to examine WHY you are reacting as you are. This is likely a life long pattern / relationship.

Yes. You are totally burnt out. This is why you need to stop - and put yourself first. If you do not, you will continue to suffer and decline. It is a choice you make. Perhaps - clearly, not an easy choice as changing your behavior (putting yourself first) is / will be new to you and likely extremely uncomfortable. However, you need to look at the consequences of your behavior - and choices.

I encourage you to say:

1) I need to take care of my own health now which is compromised (do not explain or make excuses).

2) We are (or) "I've decided ... you are going to respite care as I need a break and you need the care they provide.

3) This is not open for discussion.

4) Never EVER argue.

5) DO NOT allow yourself to get 'hooked' in as she (likely) will try to convince you what is GOOD for her ... disregarding what you need (she may not be able to / doesn't have the capacity to care ... she is likely in a "me, me, me" mode - and this could also be partially due to dementia (I don't know).

6) The way you avoid being 'hooked' in is making / clarifying what is happening and when and then WALK AWAY / leave the room. Do not allow yourself to engage in any argument / exchange. You do not have the self-confident / self-esteem to do this - the way you maintain your stance / boundaries is by leaving the room.

7) She will be very angry. She'll need to do what she knows to do - argue, scream, have a tantrum (however she manifests her displeasure). How you are responding to her is VERY NEW and she won't like it at all. It likely may frighten her ... you might reassure her "you will be in good hands." Then walk away. Yes, this is TOUGH LOVE. And, you need tough love, too.

8) You need to make other arrangements for her care/givers and/or severely cut down your involvement.

"IF" you do not have legal authority to make these decisions, then your mother makes her own decisions, hires her own caregivers. In essence, you leave the situation and let her do as she wants. Yes. This is not an easy situation for either of you.

You need to consider the quality of (a) (your) life that you want - and move towards it, one step at a time. It may start with physical separation.

MOVE OUT... leave your parents' home.
Do you have a home to go (back) to?
Why are you (living) there - and for so long?

You need to extricate yourself from this toxic situation, even if you consciously believe you do not want to. Your mental / psychological / emotioinal, and physical health is telling you / screaming at you: "please take care of me" (meaning yourself).

No one can do that for you.

You have to make this decision.

I hope you do.

Gena / Touch Matters
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to TouchMatters

Let me start off by saying that elderly people who want dramaand threaten to kill themselves if they don't ge their own way are never serious about it.

How do I know this? Because when people are serious about taking their own life they don't reach old age.

Stop letting your mother manipulate you with empty threats about killing herself if you take a repite break. Tell her it's happening and if she wants to kill herself, to go right ahead.

Make the necessary arrangements with whatever facility she'll be going to so you can have your respite break. Then take it.

Let her threaten, rant, and rave all she likes. Take your break anyway. In fact, I think you should leave her permanently in whatever facility you place her in for the respite.

Enough is enough.

Your mother has hijacked your life and you are her care hostage.


She won't kill herself or do anything else.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver

Last year I moved half way across the country to take care of my MiL that was on hospice. Hubby and daughter stayed home, so I had no support system in place to help me while I was caregiving her. Long story short, MiL was told flat out she had a choice it was the state would come in an place her or she moved to my house.

Hind sight being what it is, I should have told hospice I'm leaving and they need to find a place for her. She had the money to hire in home caregivers, or whatever else she needed. She wanted me to slave for her, and that was exactly what it was. She made it a point of using her money going to her son, my hubby and to my kids. I never even got a thank you when she was ordering me about. I would have preferred that she used her money to pay for care givers and not been at her beck and call.

She was very manipulative and I find that even months after she died I still resent the fact I put my life on hold for her. Hubby was and is grateful that I took care of his mother, but I find I resent him as well. I think it will take me awhile before I get over it.

I realize this is YOUR mother, however, you should not be living with her. You should be with your husband (even though he is a trooper.) Time to put yourself, and your hubby first. Place your mother, and visit her. She lived her life, and you need to live yours. I can't help but wonder if somewhere deep down, where hubby wouldn't say anything, if he is also resenting you living with your mother and putting her first over him.
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Reply to Dislocated

My answer will seem harsh, so I apologise in advance.

If your mother kills herself, then she kills herself. That is her choice and nothing to do with you. Emotional blackmail is a horrendous thing to do to anybody, especially a child who has given up their life to take care of you.

Stop caring for your mother now!

Even though it may well be her poor health and cognitive decline talking, if you taking care of her isn't making your mum happy, then what is the point in you making yourself ill and harming your relationship with your husband? I know he's been a "trooper", but you're not together.

In fact, you should not be sacrificing your life to take care of your mother - full stop. That isn't what us parents want for our children; we want them to grow up and live their own lives, as happily as possible.

Be firm. Tell your mother that you love her but that it's time for you to live your own life, with your husband.
Make arrangements for your mum's care and leave.

I doubt that your mum would really take her own life, but if she does , then it's on her. Not you. You're not responsible for her decisions, nor her happiness.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to MiaMoor
partnerwife1 Apr 22, 2024
I love your answer! Reading it has urged me to move forward with care for my husband. I have had a terrible year in my own health and when I made arrangements to go out of town- he refused to leave home for his "retreat" in respite care. I am paying the p0rice while King Baby is just "fine". So done I am loosing my compassion for others.
Thank you for your blunt honesty!
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Put her in in patient hospice somewhere and then take a vacation and move back home with your husband.

Your sister didn’t abandon you. She likely had to go back to her family so she wouldn’t abandon them.

You sound like you are in handle it mode and because of that you aren’t making good decisions. I’m glad you posted here.

Your mother isn’t going to kill herself. She would have done it by now given all of her health issues. My BIL killed himself. He never threatened it once and we were gobsmacked. People who are going to do it, do it.

Get out of there and go back to your husband in your house where you belong.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Southernwaver

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