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Old 06-26-2019, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
Reputation: 27573

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This is starting to go in a circle, so I'll leave my contributions here.

My aunt called me this evening saying she's been worried about mom. She also thinks mom is depressed with the constant TV watching, hoarding behavior, etc.

My aunt was telling me how mom has talked to her recently about feeling "completely overwhelmed." Aunt said mom mentioned the cluttered bedroom and that mom was talking about she felt powerless to clean it. Mom hangs clothes on the door jamb, so you either have to push the clothes aside or dip under them to even enter the hoarded room. My aunt thinks mom has basically given up due to the bullous pemphigoid (a much wilder form of the pemphigoid vulgaris cited earlier) and the changes at work, but compared to what a lot of people are dealing with, these are fairly small potatoes.

I mentioned the financial wall, but if mom and dad aren't willing to acknowledge it, what can you do?

It's mostly tons of unopened merchandise, shoes, bulky packaging that could be recycled, and stuff like that. It could be cleaned up and the room made walkable in a half day for me, probably a day for her. It's cluttered, but you don't need a Hazmat suit or dumpster for it.

Mom left work today around noon citing "a headache." Where I work, an excuse like that more once or twice a year would be a written warning. Her employer just lets her coast, and I don't think she understands most places aren't like that. As an hourly worker, she doesn't understand what it's like to be responsible or to make a judgment call on something. According to dad, she came home and immediately sat in the chair and took a nap. She did get herself some lunch at a local burger place and ate at home.

There's just a lack of agency here that you can't fix. My aunt has Crohn's and other medical issues as well, but she keeps going and doesn't sit in the rocking chair all day. Aunt is also widowed.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:12 PM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,450 posts, read 14,299,056 times
Reputation: 23164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
My aunt thinks mom has basically given up due to the bullous pemphigoid (a much wilder form of the pemphigoid vulgaris cited earlier) and the changes at work, but compared to what a lot of people are dealing with, these are fairly small potatoes...


...Where I work, an excuse like that more once or twice a year would be a written warning. Her employer just lets her coast, and I don't think she understands most places aren't like that. As an hourly worker, she doesn't understand what it's like to be responsible or to make a judgment call on something.
You don't seem to have much respect or empathy for your mom.
Sounds like she has some fairly serious health issues that you are kind of glossing over, yet as another poster pointed out you find that you are too tired for anything after working and running errands without those kinds of health issues in your own life. I just see a lot of finger pointing and contempt, and not a lot of real concern or attempts at understanding the underlying issues.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:29 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,183 posts, read 1,338,732 times
Reputation: 6286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
This is starting to go in a circle, so I'll leave my contributions here.

My aunt called me this evening saying she's been worried about mom. She also thinks mom is depressed with the constant TV watching, hoarding behavior, etc.

My aunt was telling me how mom has talked to her recently about feeling "completely overwhelmed." Aunt said mom mentioned the cluttered bedroom and that mom was talking about she felt powerless to clean it. Mom hangs clothes on the door jamb, so you either have to push the clothes aside or dip under them to even enter the hoarded room. My aunt thinks mom has basically given up due to the bullous pemphigoid (a much wilder form of the pemphigoid vulgaris cited earlier) and the changes at work, but compared to what a lot of people are dealing with, these are fairly small potatoes.

I mentioned the financial wall, but if mom and dad aren't willing to acknowledge it, what can you do?

It's mostly tons of unopened merchandise, shoes, bulky packaging that could be recycled, and stuff like that. It could be cleaned up and the room made walkable in a half day for me, probably a day for her. It's cluttered, but you don't need a Hazmat suit or dumpster for it.

Mom left work today around noon citing "a headache." Where I work, an excuse like that more once or twice a year would be a written warning. Her employer just lets her coast, and I don't think she understands most places aren't like that. As an hourly worker, she doesn't understand what it's like to be responsible or to make a judgment call on something. According to dad, she came home and immediately sat in the chair and took a nap. She did get herself some lunch at a local burger place and ate at home.

There's just a lack of agency here that you can't fix. My aunt has Crohn's and other medical issues as well, but she keeps going and doesn't sit in the rocking chair all day. Aunt is also widowed.
It's not going in a circle. You have been given a lot of good advice. Go back and re-read it. And don't be so quick to discount what people with experience in life are telling you.
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Upper Left Hand Corner
2,532 posts, read 949,484 times
Reputation: 4141
It's been written that if you have one autoimmune problem you are more likely to have others. With autoimmune issues she may be in constant pain all over. Along with that can be exhaustion that sleep won't touch. With the weight issues, pain, and exhaustion she could have autoimmune Hashimoto's thyroiditis which is the most common low thyroid problem. It's probably all that she can do to keep going to work each day. I don't know if that is it, or not. Just an idea to throw out there to explore. And menopause really messes things up royally too. When one hormone goes south, others follow suit. It can be much more than hot flashes. These can be helped by a good MD. If she could just force herself to go for daily walks that would really help her a lot. All that sitting makes her prone to blood clots too.

On the other hand, I just read Fran66's first post. Wow, what a good post. Amazing story, very instructive. I had an ornery ggrandmother. The family assumed that she lived so long just because she was so ornery, lol.

Last edited by mlulu23; 06-26-2019 at 11:23 PM..
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Upper Left Hand Corner
2,532 posts, read 949,484 times
Reputation: 4141
Quote:
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
You are enabling your mom's behavior. If the laundry is in the basement, put a cheap but clean area rug at the bottom of the stairs so she can throw the dirty clothes down the stairs. (That is what I used to do). Set up a table near the washer and dryer so she can fold and stack the clean clothes. Dad can bring them up at his convenience. Stop enabling.
Using the stairs may be difficult, it not impossible for the mom. Stairs don't always work well as we age for some folks. That is why many move into homes all on one level. And there is the risk of falling. She may be too weak for stairs already, and have poor balance. Especially if she has to carry the laundry up the stairs too. Are there good handrails for her? She is at an age when things start to go wrong. Inactivity doesn't help. She just continues to become more deconditioned from not moving. But forcing her to do something she is physically unable to do isn't good either. Baby steps are good when getting into shape as we age.
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,290 posts, read 4,145,583 times
Reputation: 18254
If youíre truly worried about your parentsí future finances, Serious, the most helpful thing you can do is to turbocharge your own career. Maximize your own earning potential, and aggressively save as much as you can. Then if the wolf does eventually arrive at your parentsí door, youíll be in a position to offer them real financial assistance. Nothing solves money problems as well as more money!

Until your mom decides to take more aggressive steps to deal with her health issues (both physical and mental), thereís not much else you can do for her. You just have to accept that, hard though it may be, and be encouraging of even the smallest steps she may take to fix things.

And remember, if you wreck your own health, youíre not going to be much help to your parents later (when they are truly old and will really need you). Youíve got to get your own stress levels under control, and get the stress-induced excessive eating and drinking in check now, before you do irreversible damage to your own body. Youíre going to find taking off that 55 lbs youíve already gained a challenge, and the more you gain and the longer the weight stays on the harder that challenge will become. Donít let this slide! You donít want to develop a serious drinking problem or end up morbidly obese yourself.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:34 AM
 
3,992 posts, read 2,601,043 times
Reputation: 8641
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
It's mostly tons of unopened merchandise, shoes, bulky packaging that could be recycled, and stuff like that. It could be cleaned up and the room made walkable in a half day for me, probably a day for her. It's cluttered, but you don't need a Hazmat suit or dumpster for it.
If she's a hoarder, and it sounds like she is, cleaning up the room won't last. She'll just go out and buy more stuff. Unless the underlying reasons for the hoarding are addressed (usually anxiety, depression, OCD) then nothing will change. You can't clean it out for her. She has to be a part of the process in order for the clean up to last.

Virtually everyone on this thread has told you the same thing - set some boundaries, move and take care of yourself. I really hope you listen and do it now because otherwise you will be stuck in the same place, doing the same things until your parents pass. You can't make them change and you can't fix their problems.
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Old 06-27-2019, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,004 posts, read 17,320,800 times
Reputation: 41259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
If youíre truly worried about your parentsí future finances, Serious, the most helpful thing you can do is to turbocharge your own career. Maximize your own earning potential, and aggressively save as much as you can. Then if the wolf does eventually arrive at your parentsí door, youíll be in a position to offer them real financial assistance. Nothing solves money problems as well as more money!

Until your mom decides to take more aggressive steps to deal with her health issues (both physical and mental), thereís not much else you can do for her. You just have to accept that, hard though it may be, and be encouraging of even the smallest steps she may take to fix things.

And remember, if you wreck your own health, youíre not going to be much help to your parents later (when they are truly old and will really need you). Youíve got to get your own stress levels under control, and get the stress-induced excessive eating and drinking in check now, before you do irreversible damage to your own body. Youíre going to find taking off that 55 lbs youíve already gained a challenge, and the more you gain and the longer the weight stays on the harder that challenge will become. Donít let this slide! You donít want to develop a serious drinking problem or end up morbidly obese yourself.
Good points.
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:43 PM
 
6,211 posts, read 4,715,040 times
Reputation: 12688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
If youíre truly worried about your parentsí future finances, Serious, the most helpful thing you can do is to turbocharge your own career. Maximize your own earning potential, and aggressively save as much as you can. Then if the wolf does eventually arrive at your parentsí door, youíll be in a position to offer them real financial assistance. Nothing solves money problems as well as more money!
..........
I agree SC needs to put more into his career. Maybe even 10% of the time he spends on this forum could have some very positive results.

I disagree about trying to support his parents. Most of us have difficulty supporting ourselves and preparing for retirement. His mom has issues with online shopping, hording and sounds just downright fat, dumb and lazy. There is no way to compensate for that and any attempt will just further enable destructive behavior. The same sort of thing happens frequently when parents try to help out their kids with issues such as drug abuse. Money does not solve these sorts of issues, nor can most us pull in enough money to even try.
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Old 06-27-2019, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,004 posts, read 17,320,800 times
Reputation: 41259
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
I agree SC needs to put more into his career. Maybe even 10% of the time he spends on this forum could have some very positive results.

I disagree about trying to support his parents. Most of us have difficulty supporting ourselves and preparing for retirement. His mom has issues with online shopping, hording and sounds just downright fat, dumb and lazy. There is no way to compensate for that and any attempt will just further enable destructive behavior. The same sort of thing happens frequently when parents try to help out their kids with issues such as drug abuse. Money does not solve these sorts of issues, nor can most us pull in enough money to even try.
.

I'm not sure that people mean supporting his parents by encouraging the OP to get a better job (At least I don't mean that). Let's say he gets a job 1,000 miles away and Mom has a severe heart attack and he needs to fly home immediately and can't wait for the bargain plane fares. Or Mom and Dad are surviving but suddenly need to do a major car repair or something similar. Or when his parents are in their 80s he can help by paying for a part time caregiver or cleaner or lawn service. I know adult children who pay for their elderly parents Life Alert/Fall Alarm because it gives them peace of mind when they live far away.

You can do things like that with a good job and not so easily with a low paying job.
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