Readers Respond: Plight of caring for aging parents touched many

I am 29 years old, and I have been caring for my mother for the past 7 years. She is only 56 years old, but due to many mental and physical problems became unable to work or fully care for herself years ago. The road I have traveled has been more difficult then I even could have imagined in the beginning. My mother has been taken into emergency custody by the state half a dozen times, but every time they hold her for 72 hours and let her go. Because her primary problems are mental conditions and not a physical one the courts won't declare her incompetent. I have some control, but don't have the ability to place her into assisted living. She refuses to leave the only home she has known for 30 years. We tried in-home workers, but after 3 tries with various problems my Mom won't let me put another one the home. I live 5 hours away due to my job, and my only sister does nothing to help. I travel home frequently (usually twice a month), I call everyday. My mom lives in a small town and I am luck that some people in town have been good to her and help where they can. I manage her finances with an iron fist, making sure to save every dime ?just in case?. She is fortunate to have a paid for house and no debt, but when the day does come that long term or more aggressive care is needed I don?t know what we will do. The effect this has had on my entire life has been overwhelming; sometimes I just sit and cry. But those moments are rare, I know that she cared for me and raised me for 18 years; this is now the time she needs me to be there for her.


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