Topic: Elderly Mom Moved In With Us

Forum: Family and Family Planning Matters — A comforting place to discuss planning a family, fertility concerns, parenting children, or relationship issues with partners, siblings, or parents following a diagnosis.

Posted on: May 9, 2022 04:30PM - edited May 9, 2022 04:34PM by pokemom1959

Posted on: May 9, 2022 04:30PM - edited May 9, 2022 04:34PM by pokemom1959

pokemom1959 wrote:

Last October my 89 year old mother and 94 year old stepfather moved into assisted living, which was great for my ultra-social mom. Just as she was starting to make friends, my step-dad passed away in November. My mom could not afford to stay in assisted living or really live on her own at all, so she ended moving in with my husband and me in January.

I lost my dad (her ex-husband in January) right after I started chemo. I had 4 chemo treatments and just started 33 radiation treatments. I continue to work full time as an attorney, but am working from home due to the cancer treatment and COVID. My husband works part-time in the mornings and also has his own business which keeps him busy a few hours each weekend and some weekday afternoons/evenings. We are busy.

We grew up in Anaheim, where my mom had tons of friends. She and my stepdad then moved to Palm Springs to start a business. They were so busy with the business, that she did not get a chance to make many friends or socialize much, but that was okay because she and my stepdad were pretty much together full time. A few of her Anaheim friends are still around and live about 30 minutes from us and she has been to visit once or twice since she moved in. Since she has moved in with us, my mom has refused to do anything social or get out of the house other than to occasionally go shopping, a couple of visits to the friends in Anaheim and go to doctor appointments. She spends most of her days sorting through all of the paperwork from their business that they shut down almost 3 years ago.

I'm a very independent person and have fought the apron strings since I left for college when I was 17. Before she moved in with us, we spoke on the phone about once a week and saw each other on holidays and birthdays. My children are out of the house, so my husband and I have a routine that suits both of us - we are very happy. I just grit my teeth now when my mom asks me where I'm going when I leave the house and when I'll be back. I feel like I'm a kid again.

My mom is demanding more attention and is trying to "guilt" me into giving it to her. She tells me how lonely and depressed she is. We've suggested that she got to the local Senior Center to meet people and get involved with some activities. She says she is "not ready." Not to sound selfish, but I feel like I've already turned my life upside down for her. Everywhere my husband and I go, she goes with us. We spent all day with her for Mothers Day and today she tells me how lonely and depressed she is and how she needs me to talk more to her. My day today involved getting up early, taking my dog 30 miles away to a vet, coming back home and working, going to radiation, going back 30 miles to pick up the dog, coming back home and working and then making dinner and I still have work to do this evening.

I'm so frustrated. I understand that she is used to having someone there for her 24/7, but I cannot be that person and I've explained that to her. My brother, who lives about 25 miles away tries to help out on occasion, but he and his wife (both retired) spend most of their days babysitting their grandkids. I feel so bad for my mom, but there is only so much I can do. I'm exhausted from the treatment, continuing to work full time and managing the house. I know she loves me, but she seems quite unconcerned with what I am going through with the cancer treatment.

I think we are going to make her go to the Senor Center. I know she would make friends who are geographically close and would be so much happier. Any other thoughts? I'm quickly approaching my wits end here and its only been 4 months!

Dx 11/7/2013, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 1/22/2014 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 1/22/2014 Breast Dx 1/23/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/19/2014 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 4/7/2014 Dx 2/2021, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2021 Lumpectomy Dx 4/16/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/24/2022 Other Chemotherapy 1/24/2022 Other Radiation Therapy 5/1/2022 Whole breast: Left breast Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy
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May 12, 2022 06:29PM pokemom1959 wrote:

Hapa - Ha ha! So true!!!

Dx 11/7/2013, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 1/22/2014 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 1/22/2014 Breast Dx 1/23/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/19/2014 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 4/7/2014 Dx 2/2021, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2021 Lumpectomy Dx 4/16/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/24/2022 Other Chemotherapy 1/24/2022 Other Radiation Therapy 5/1/2022 Whole breast: Left breast Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy
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May 13, 2022 05:23PM pokemom1959 wrote:

So, I tried talking to my brother tonight - trying to get him to commit to spending time with her at least once a week for more than a couple of hours.

His response was that his life (and his wife's) revolve around their grandchildren and when his daughter goes back to work in July, he'll have even less time for our mother (I'm not sure how you get much less than he spends now).

His solution is to have my mother get in her car and drive 45 minutes to his house, arriving before 6:15 a.m. so she can go with him to his daughter's house (another 1/2 hour) to babysit for the day. Even though my mom does still drive (and is still excellent both cognitively and physically), that's a little much to expect from a woman who will be 90 years old this month.

He just doesn't care that I've changed my life up 180 degrees to care for my mom or that I'm working full time and going through cancer treatment and still taking care of her 24/7 - he's just focused on his life and what he needs - taking NO responsibility for our remaining parent. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised since he only spent a couple of hours each Sunday with my dad while he was alive.

I get not wanting to up-end your life, but it's his responsibility too. If he'd just take her somewhere 1 day a week, that would help, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen and I can't force him. I've had such negative experiences in the last couple of months with people who claim to be good Christians - gotta walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Going to keep taking her to the senior center until she starts going on her own -- I know she will have fun there if I can just get her familiar with the place and the people. Right now she can drive herself there (it's only about 5 minutes away) and once she can't drive, they do have a shuttle.

Sigh.

Dx 11/7/2013, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 1/22/2014 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 1/22/2014 Breast Dx 1/23/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/19/2014 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 4/7/2014 Dx 2/2021, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2021 Lumpectomy Dx 4/16/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/24/2022 Other Chemotherapy 1/24/2022 Other Radiation Therapy 5/1/2022 Whole breast: Left breast Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy
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May 14, 2022 03:26PM - edited May 14, 2022 03:27PM by parakeetsrule

Ugh. I hope your brother realizes he's behaving in a relationship-ending manner. But based on what you've described so far it sounds like he probably doesn't care either way.

I've heard this story so many times. The male children leave all responsibility for elderly parental care to their female siblings, no matter how much of a hardship it is. Simply because they know (unconsciously or not) that their sisters will do it no matter what. Similar to how so many fathers leave the mothers of their children to do most of child-rearing. They know it will happen even if they don't do it.

Can your mother take turns living with him? A month with you, a month with him or something? And it's easy for me to say....but can you tell him it's not optional?! "Hey bro, we're going to be switching off months. On July 1 it's your turn, so get your guest bed ready". And then show up with mom on July 1st....

This is so not fair for you to handle on your own when he's so close and capable.

Stage 2 at 37, Stage 4 at 41. Cancer is dumb. Cookies are good. Dx 3/21/2017, IDC, Left, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/14/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 12/8/2021 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 12/13/2021 Piqray (alpelisib) Dx IDC, Other, Stage IV, ER+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall

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