Pearl53March 17, 2005

I am still trying to take care of mother and work too. Things are really tough emotionally right now. Yesterday when I came home she was trying to leave the house to go see her mother (who has been gone for over 45 years). It is very hard to convince her otherwise when she is like that. Now today she is lying in her bed just as calm as can be. At work I go crazy trying to figure out what is the best thing to do for her (and me). Everyone (at work and on here) thinks I should put her in a nursing home. I too think that would be best for her and everyone else. But it is still so hard to think of doing that. Of course, my family is content for things to go on as they are  with me taking care of her  but they have no idea what a toll it is taking on me. I donÂt remember my own parents taking care of any elders in their families except for a few short weeks at a time.

I now know that I will never recover emotionally from what I have been through these past three years. I have always thought there would be some light at the end of the tunnel. But I know now that there isnÂt going to be any. If it is, it will be an oncoming train. I have given up. My parents always lived life with such hope and cheer. Why am I not allowed to live the same way? There are no answers to these questions.

I realize others are struggling also with the same issues (or worse) but this is one of the few places I have to vent. Thanks for listening. Pearl.

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Pearl, is there any way you can get your family together and let them know just how much of a toll this is taking on you? Perhaps you can all come to a decision about what would be best for your have to let them know that you are compromising your health, and if something happens to you then who will step up to the plate? I know it is a very difficult situation, but you CANNOT continue to just push yourself until there is a thoughts are with you...

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 10:45PM
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Putting her in a home right now may not be all that urgent. However, the time will probably be coming soon. You need to start shopping around for the best home that is suitable. Get her name of the waiting list if there is one. Then, if there is a sudden change or things get out of hand, you won't be faced with having to make a decision then. Once you decide that part, some of your stress will be relived.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 10:50PM
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Isn't there some way you can get someone in the house part time? I know when I lived in NY I had help with mom to help dress and bathe her.. She wasn't as sick as she is now..

Isn't there a way you can get someone part time while your at work? I know that would take some of the stress off of you.. You wouldn't have to worry where or what she's doing.. Just a thought..

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 8:33AM
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Pearl, have you contacted elder services or anything in your community? I know it helps to come here and vent, but it's really critical for YOU that you take some action and try to get some help. Your mother's situation is not going to improve, sad to say, and you need to start putting plans in place. Things don't happen overnight. I know, the thought of her in a nursing home is a terrible situation. But sometimes, there is no other way, especially if it's for her own safety.

I can't remember, but is she alone all day while you're at work? Be aware that if that's the case, and elder services comes in to evaluate her for in-home services, they may determine she is an elder-at-risk. By law, they are bound to report this and/or take some action. It is not because they are intruding, or being "mean", it is to protect the elder. And really, you wouldn't want anything to happen to your mother. She's suffering from dementia; think of her as a child. You can't leave a child alone and expect him/her to make reasonable choices. It's the same in this situation.

You ARE entitled to your life. It isn't your fault that your mother is sick. It's not your fault that she doesn't have finances to provide in-home 24/7 care. That's what a friend told me when I was faced with keeping my mother in the nursing home. It's just the way life goes sometimes. And sometimes it plain sucks. But ignoring it won't make it go away.

Please don't delay in seeking some guidance.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 9:47AM
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your sibs are more than willing to let things go on because they have that option...

they have that option because your mom raised one child with a greater sense of responsibility than the rest.

you need to get them together- a web chat, voice conference, or sit-down, and start reassigning the duties... a worn out caregiver gets frustrated, careless- and losing ones temper becomes a real possiblity. not to mention the wear and tear on your own life.

and you need more support than you're getting- from elder services, from your church, or your bridge group, from somewhere.

but no one's going to come by like they're the welcome wagon... it's not going to happen. you HAVE to start looking into things for yourself. if you really have NO idea- talk with her doctors, or visit the web site of who ever carries her insurance (or yours, if she's listed as a dependant parent)

the longer you wait, the greater the strain will become- and the guilt if something happens will do you far more damage than the stress you're experiencing.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 10:02AM
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Dear Pearl.....Things sound rough there for you. Probably worse for you than for your Mom. The workload, the worry, the exhaustion, the anxiety about the future all add up. You sound really depressed when you talk about the future getting no better, I can really identify with that, for I always knew that with my Mom, things would get worse before they got better, if ever they got better.
My thoughts are that it might help to talk with your doctor and see if a trial on an antidepressant medicine might help you. Some on this Forum have had good results with them. Also, maybe try to find a respite care place for your Mom for a week or two. That would give you a chance to see how YOU feel about her being away from home. She will resist, but she will settle in. Then you may have a better idea about what your alternatives may be.
Trying to dissuade her from her delusions WILL NOT help and will only frustrate the both of you, and make her more anxious.
I guess the weekend looks like a long ordeal, instead of a break for you. It is a truly tough road. The sggestions above are good ones, I think.
Shalom... Derry

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 10:21AM
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Pearl, only this week have I realized that as much as I always said Mom would be with us until the end, I didn't mean MY end.

Like you, I see other retired friends having a LIFE, visiting, travelling, going to movies at night, brunch in the mornings, and my DH and I cannot. Unless we get a 'sitter' in. As Mom's dementia progresses, and if she EVER begins to wander, it'll be time to place her. I used to think of it as 'dumping a loved one off' somewhere, but a visit convinced me that most of those homes aren't like that at all. There are caring people working there, and others her own age she can chat with and not feel she's alone. With your Mom alone during the day and, heaven forbid, wandering, how lonely it must be for her, and how worrisome it must be for you!

Pearl, there's still time for us to enjoy the life we KNOW they would want for us if they were asked. That's something a dear Friend here asked me the other day: Would your Mom want you to feel like this? To be this tired all the time? To not be able to do things as couples with other Friends? To feel the frustrations you feel from time to time? I remembered my younger energetic, such a social butterfly, and I had to answer: No. She would not want to stand in the way of me enjoying what time my DH and I have left. And I think this week I finally saw the light. I could bring surprises to her on visits, we could have quality time together instead of the daily hum-drum 'duties' we have to perform each day at home.

Yes, it's lovely to come here and vent, and feel like we're really understood. But we must also take that information and do something with it all. We must be PRO-ACTIVE in our care, too!

Pearl, you've received much wisdom from everyone here...please gather your family around you and tell them it's YOUR turn to live now. Those who understand will be with you...any others will never understand or help anyway, so don't give them any consideration that they don't give YOU.

Be as concerned about yourself as you are abour your Mom.

She would probably have wanted it that way.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 12:44PM
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