Feeling Exhusted

gerinaSeptember 14, 2008

My dad died in 2003 and I have been the sole caregiver to my mother ever since . She has completely refused to do anything for herself since his death. I have done absolutely everything for her and I am tired. She has been very difficult and non-cooperative at best. She is terminally ill and now in hospice. I am self-employed, I was with her usually five days per week, call her each day, AND DID I SAY THAT I AM TRIED.

Last August I had to put her into a board and care facility because I could no longer meet her needs by myself and because a licensed caregiver I hired to fill in the gaps overdosed her and she nearly died.

I have gained more than twenty pounds since caring for her, my health and business have suffered and I feel like I am older than her. She was a good homemaker, but not nurturing at all. She favored my much older, late sister and she was always quick to point out to me that I never quite made the grade compared to her. She told a long time family friend that she felt that I should end my business, leave my boyfriend and move in w/her - this was a few years back.

Anyway, I still feel like I need to call her daily and visit because she hasn't many friends. Could someone please tell me that I have done enough and that I deserve a break? I feel that if I visit her once per week, that it should be enough and as long as I call her every other day. Is it reasonable?

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You do not need to see her daily! My mom is in a nursing home and I go to see her about twice a week and I think the only reason I go twice is because my brother is there also and I want to visit with him.
You are not the only one that has a mom that is never satisfied with what you do........MY MOM IS THE SAME WAY.
Give yourself a break, go away for a few days to clear your head, come back and give her a call, go see her once a week, twice if the guilt is still hanging around some, but don't go anymore than twice a week.
It is very hard to do, I know, been there, done that, but now I have it down to those 2 trips a week and I have to say it gets easier.
Now, get out of here and go do something fun! Report back and let us know what you did and how you are feeling.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 7:35PM
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Yes, you've done enough and are still doing enough. You HAVE taken care of her even though she is not living with you. Placing her in a board & care facility IS taking care of her; arranging for hospice IS taking care of her;calling her frequently IS taking care of her, as is visiting every week.

Yes, you deserve a break and should take one. The board & care facility will be able to take care of her if you decide to take a few days off. That's one of the reasons their services are so valuable; they allow the caregivers to get away without having to worry about their loved one. If there is a real emergency, they will take care of it and contact you as well.

Frankly, if I were you, I'd cut down on the phone calls too. It's not as though she's all alone. I'm assuming there are other residents where she's living. And usually caregiving staff is very warm and friendly. If you absolutely must call every day, make the calls short. Just quick check-up calls.

It sounds to me like you are a wonderful, caring daughter.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 7:42PM
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Thanks for the encouragement. I am going out of state and eloping in a ten days and I really don't want to feel obliged to call my mom while on my trip. I did end up telling my mom that I was getting married a couple of months ago because her disease was progressing and I wasn't sure if she would be here or coherent (the morphine) by the time of my trip. I wanted her to know that I would be alright if she passes -she is my only family member. She ended up telling the hospice social worker that she was afraid that I would just ignore once I was married - not true. SO...I think it made me feel guilty.

Again, thanks Shambo and Linda. I will try to cut down on the phone calls too. There isn't too much to say and she really tries to push my buttons. I didn't visit her much this week because I picked up a cold and the board and care facility would prefer visitors not exposing the residents - understandable. The last two times that I have spoken to her, she has tried to tell me that she almost fainted in the shower. I know she was fine and she just wanted me to rush to her aid. thanks again

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 8:00PM
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