Mom living with me

hoakie2601May 13, 2013

I am at the end of my rope and needing advise. My mom lives with me and my hubby. She has lived with us for 3 years, since she became sick. She was living in a bad relationship when she got sick. I let it be her option to come live with me. She left Texas to move to Florida with me. She left a husband that was and is a scum bag. She started out helping me around the house. Cooking and doing the laundry. Living with us rent free.

Well since she has been with me she talks to her husband everyday. Tells him she loves him. She has his personal information and pays his bills for him monthly. With his money not hers, but she did get him a cell phone on her account cause he does not have enough money to have a phone. But he can sit around and play online poker and drink beer daily.

My other problem I have is. She is still very ill. Once of her doctors told her that if she kept drinking and smoking she would kill herself. So I've taken this all away from her. But if I let her go into a store by herself she will buy cigs. Or when I went out if town she took a cab to get cigs and beer. I don't know what to do about this. The reason she can't drink is she has bleeding ulcers and can't smoke cause she had severe heart problems.

Yet another problem I am having. I can't get her to do anything. She turns the TV on when she wakes up and either gets on her phone or kindle and plays solitaire all day. Has told me in the past she does not feel like get day is complete unless she plays 200 games a day. She won't let the dogs out to go to the bathroom. Won't do laundry any longer and when it comes to cooking it very scares.

I am looking for advise here. I'm sure people will think I am a bad person for wanting help. But understand my mom is not real old she is only 65. My 85 year old in laws are more active than she is and they have had heart and health issues. I feel like she has given up and if I say anything I'm a bad daughter. But I know if I send her back to Texas she will not live 6 months.

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I will also add another problem I am having. She will only shower 1 time a week. If we want to go out I tell her to shower and she gets mad and says I am. She does not brush her hair at all unless it just been washed. This makes me and my husband sick.

I tell her things have to change. She says ok but it never does.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:18PM
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She probably needs to be evaluated by a doctor. Just from what you said I think she is rational and she is doing what she can get away with.

I think a little differently than most people about this. I don't think the average person realizes how hard it is to give up booze and cigs. I saw my sister fight the same battle with booze and cigs for 20 or 30 years and she can't quit. I think the stress your Mom would go through if you stop her will only add to her health problems. Sounds like she needs to be back with her husband so everyone can live in peace. It would be different if she were a younger person. Even then you can't tell an adult what to do or guard them 24 - 7.

Life is very strange my sis and her husband have been alcoholics and smokers for years and no lung or liver problems.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 12:50AM
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I agree with EmmaR - if a doctor thinks she is mentally okay, then give her a choice. If she wants to stay, she needs to adjust to your rules and help around the house. If she won't, then send her back to Texas. She needs to determine her well-being and not yours, because trust me, if you don't change the way this situation is heading, you will start to suffer not only mentally, but physically. And then where will everyone be left?
If she is not mentally fit to make such a decision, then you'll need to talk to the doctor about medication and long-term assistance. If it's something that can't be fixed or improved, then you'll need to get POA and other legal documents which allow you to make decisions for her and take over her finances, etc. Essentially she'll be like your child. If she refuses, then she'll need to go back to Texas.
I know this is harsh, but it doesn't get better. It doesn't. Learn from the experiences of many of us that have come to this forum for help. You need to protect yourself and your health.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 1:02PM
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I had 2 doctors tell me if I didn't get rid of the stress I would die before my husband then who would look after him. Getting rid of the stress meant putting him in a care home and getting on with my life. I didn't do it until a friend told me, "Your life is just as important as his". I heard that and found a home for him. That was 7 years ago and I have just now recovered from that stress. Stress can kill you.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 7:38PM
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"If it's something that can't be fixed or improved, then you'll need to get POA and other legal documents which allow you to make decisions for her and take over her finances, etc. Essentially she'll be like your child. If she refuses, then she'll need to go back to Texas."

I agree with this comment. I'd be trying to find out what rights and responsibilities you have versus what the husband has. Is he ok with her staying with you so long as you pay her bills?

What would happen if the husband took over her affairs?

Are the laws in Texas any more favorable than where you are?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 7:03PM
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Mom is paying her hubby in Texas's bills so she must be pretty good with finances. But she is not helping with bills where she is & is no longer helping around the house. Does she do her laundry, doesn't sound like it? If she doesn't want to brush her hair or shower it's probably 1 of 2 things. Missing her hubby or depression or dementia setting in. I would try to find out by asking her how she feels about him, why does she pay the bills for him with his money, does he have a problem with finances, if she wants to go back to him, it's what she knows & put up with for yrs. If he beats her than maybe she needs to go somewhere & rent a room/bachelor apt of her own & take care of herself. She should be getting ss. & on Medicare, so should be able to live elsewhere. Your hubby is going to get more fed up as she gets more lax about her personal hygiene. Get this sorted out before it gets worse for sake of your sanity & marriage!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 7:39PM
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I can't get doctors to say she can't do things on her own. She will do her laundry but wears the same cloths for days at a time. I don't get it and neither does my husband.

She tells me she still loves her husband in Texas but he messed up too many times. She has it much better here. There they lived in a travel trailer with 7 dogs that never went outside to go to the bathroom. It's gross. I talk to the people that run the park he lives in and hear horror story after horror story about him.

I've asked why she still cares so much and she tells me he has been in her life longer than anyone else. This was not a good thing. See he convinced her that she needed him and not me. She was out if my life for 10 + years and I had no idea where she was. We reconnected and he has hated it since. But when she said that I lost it and it almost got ugly. I would never hurt her but I sure screamed. So it's better we don't talk about him.

Part of me wants her to go back to Texas but I know she would be dead in 6 months. First she is blind in 1 eye but would be behind the wheel of a cat because he would not take her anyplace. Also she would be back to drinking all day. He drinks at least a case of beer a day.

I still working to get her things straight. I told her she was at my house to survive not to die. So if the Dr tells her to go something I would make sure does them. She told me she hates when I go to the Dr with her and find out stuff.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 10:35PM
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CA Kate

Are you sure she doesn't have a death wish?

I'm not being flippant. Sometimes people just don't care anymore... even if we do.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 6:51PM
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I knew a woman who died 6 months after her husband did...simply because she wanted to. She would not eat enough to maintain her health.

I doubt that is this woman's problem. To me it seems to be her addiction that is controlling her behavior and the only way you can help with that is commit her to an institution that handles addictions.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 4:10PM
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Disclaimer: This is my understanding and may not be accurate! Everybody's situation is different, however...

"I can't get doctors to say she can't do things on her own"
This is something completely different. When someone is considering going into assisted living, a doctor has to declare that they cannot perform some of the ADLs (Activities for Daily Living) and that they need assistance with them (google to find out what they are exactly, but it's stuff like cooking and eating and bathing and dressing yourself, etc) This is probably something to address later, but only after you have legal permission to represent her for medical issues and/or a POA. (I got one free for my mom through an eldercare law assistant that came to our home to notarize it, living will, etc) And when it comes to that, you do need to mention to the doctor that she is not bathing often enough or changing clothes - either she just doesn't realize (or want to listen to you) that she needs to or it might indicate mental issues.

But, what you need the doctor to do is determine whether or not she is capable of making rational decisions or if he suspects some diminished mental capacity, so you know which way to approach this whole situation.

It sounds like your mom is letting you interfere with her doctor voluntarily and that is great. I insist that my mom let me take her to all doctors appts and I sit through the whole thing (except pelvic exam). This is so I understand what's going on, can explain her situation to the doctor, and explain what the doctor is saying to her. She doesn't understand what is relevant or not, so I have to be her medical advocate basically.
But that also translates at home, because I tell her that (for example) I'm not going to keep taking her to the doctor if she doesn't listen to what he says and stop eating Vienna sausages every day. Of course, she listens to that because I pulled the doctor aside outside the exam room and asked him to tell her that (to which he agreed - high sodium and nitrates and all) because she will listen to anything a doctor says. That's the kind of advocate that I need to be.

But the bottom line is that when she came back to our house, we drew the line and said she had to behave like a guest and follow our rules. She doesn't completely realize that it was her failure to follow house rules that stressed her friends out so that they had to ask her to leave after two years (the wife ended up in the hospital and called me to pick my mom up ASAP). We had a very tense moment when the first thing she did was walk in and insult my dog, criticize the house, and humiliate my son. So my hubby yelled at her that we were not going to tolerate that sort of behavior and she wanted to leave and go to a hotel. I reminded her that she couldn't afford a hotel and that she had nowhere else to stay, so she didn't have a choice. And for the most part, the past 6 weeks were pretty mild, with just a few attitude adjustments required) compared to the previous 3-year stay (before the 2 years with the friend - she is now in a subsidized efficiency, thank God) It is really like parenting a child.

So a lot of personal situation here, but the bottom line is that if she is rational, then she needs to make the decision of whether she lives or dies. Not you. If you "force" her to live with you then you will suffer. If she wants to go back to TX, you need to let her. If she wants to stay, she needs to understand that she will follow your rules. If she is not rational then you need to make the decision for her and you'll need to take over and be the mother for her now.
Either way, if she stays with you, you need to lay down the rules very specifically that you can live with (you will take a shower every other day, you will put on clean clothing every day, you will help with xxx, etc). What others said, the stress will kill you, so make her absorb some responsibility.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 10:31AM
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Sounds like my MIL. Wouldn't wash,wouldn't change her clothes and slept in them.Watched TV all day and put up with abuse from her daughter and son -in-law. Things did not change when we took her in.She had dementia and later was put in a nursing home with alzhiemers. You should probably have an assessment done on your Mom.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 2:10PM
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hey you are going to very hard time i must say. i think you must consult a home health care giver. they will take care of your mom politely and even look at her if she smokes or drink.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 1:16AM
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You might consider some legal advice to protect you and your family. Texas laws with married couples are entirely different Years ago my friend and her DD left because the husband could do just about anything and when they were divorced, she got NOTHING and 25.00 per month for the DD. I do hope it is better now. You cannot let her run your household. Your rules. If you feel that going back is not an alternative, find someplace else for her like a assisted living etc. Do you have a council on aging? Senior Center for advice,yours or her social services thru the medical center? If the place the husband is that bad, find out who to talk to and what to report--to protect him, her and your family.
Good luck

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 12:49PM
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