New and stressed

lapcatOctober 18, 2009

Hello. I just signed up and though it's probably not good etiquette to write a post like this for an introduction, I'm really not sure what else to say...

I live with my 78 year old grandmother. She has several minor health issues and a history of major bone breaks due to osteoporosis. To top it all off she has a form of dementia, and as it will continue to do so, it just keeps getting worse.

Her ability to reason and use good judgment is almost nill. She CONTINUALLY puts herself in situations where she could fall AGAIN. And it's the same thing OVER AND OVER. And the repeating of questions/statements/stories every 5 minutues is wearing me thin. Lately it seems some things don't stay with her for even 2 minutes at a time. And the OBSESSIONS! Good grief! It seems like it's another roll down the hill every month. Just this past week she seems to be forgetting her meds a few mornings a week, even though they are in a daily pill box.

My Mom handles her finances once a month, calls every day or so, comes and spends an hour here and there with her, more or less takes her to all her doctor's appointments(which really aren't that many). My Aunt is pretty much as hands off as she can be unless someone really makes a deal of something.

All that being said, I am the one with her (and her 83 year old sister who lives next door) 90% of the time. I go out to get some fast food(which I do more and more lately as an excuse to leave and I am just getting more overweight), don't really go to church anymore that often, and pretty much am here for what they need.

Now I don't mean to sound ungrateful, I am just SO frustrated!!!! Why won't anyone else take the time to just come and stay with her for more than a cotton pickin hour???!!! It's not like she's in danger without supervision, but for pete's sake, she is your MOTHER. Lately she can really see that I am noticeably aggravated with her and I don't mean to be, but I am at my wits end. I am the only grandchild left and if I have to take care of my own parents/step-parents when they are older (mom's in her 50's, Dad just turned 60) (my Dad has already told me he doesn't want to be placed in a nursing home- which I would never consider anyways)...well, I just don't want to be so burned out by this that I do a horrible job of it....

Ahhhhhhhhh!! I am sorry for the rant. I appreciate this forum. I was reading a lot of the posts before I joined and ya'll seem the most genuine out of all the sites I've been reading from.

Thanks for listening.

C

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maime

Welcome to the forum. I understand what you are going through. I took care of my husband who had AZ, for years the stress can kill you. His kids wouldn't help, they had not even visited him in 4 years even though they lived in the same town. I think they were afraid I would ask them for help. They wouldn't even stay a night in the hospital with him to keep him from roaming and being put in lock up. I was told by my doctor if I didn't get some relief from the stress I would die then who would take care of my husband. I still kept him at home until someone looked at me and said "your life is just as important as his". I put him in a care home, took a road trip through the Ozarks. My husband passed away 3 years ago and I am just now recovering.

You will get lots of suggestions and support here, but no one can physically help you except you. You need to tell everyone concerned you can't do it anymore and give them a couple of weeks to work something out.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 11:23AM
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asolo

Listen to maime. You must acknowledge your own limits. Suggest frank conversations with others who SHOULD be available after deciding about your own limits. It sounds harsh, but it's just reality. "Wonder Woman" was a comic-book character. The rest of us have limits. In situations like this it's important to know what yours are and to avoid exceeding them.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 12:43PM
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maime

After my husband went to a care home, I felt my sis would try to put our Mom's care on me and she did. I watched after her for 2 weeks while my sis went on vacation and as soon as she got back she wanted another two weeks. She usually just took mom to the doctor, took care of the groceries, which involved 2 visits a week. That doesn't take much effort but I had just spent 5 years taking care of my husband 24/7 and I was almost suicidal. I could not take on more responsibility of any kind, even for my own Mom. My sis and I didn't speak for awhile, but her kids talked to her and made her see what I had been through with my husband.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 7:18PM
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shambo

This is a serious responsibility you've taken on, and it definitely will take its toll on you. Maime gave you some good advice, as did Asolo. You aren't Wonder Woman and you can't do it all yourself. (Just as an aside, please re-think any promises you've made to your parents regarding nursing home placement. Neither they nor you can foresee the future. You have no idea what physical and mental limitations you and they may be dealing with. Keeping them in their homes or your home may simply be unfeasible.)

You need some help. If siblings and other relatives won't or can't help you, then start calling every local, state, and federal agency on aging to get some information. Call hospitals and charities. Anything and anyone you can think of. Explain your situation and beg for information, resources, and help.

And number one on your to do list should be to stop feeling guilty because you can't do everything yourself...

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 8:00PM
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mariend

There are many resourses for this if your relatives for what ever reason are unable to help. I know with my Dad, who was blind, with Mom in the hospital, I could not stay with him, and my DD did and until later I did not realize what he put her thru. I should have put him into a nursing home as it almost ruined my DD life. To this day I feel so bad. I worked full time, but even if I didn't, I could not have handled it. Some people can, some people cannot. There are many agencies that will help. You did not state how old you are, but you should be out either working, or possible in school to develop a life of your own. Regardless of your relationship with your parents, and your Dad saying he will not go to a home, you have a responibility to YOURSELF first. Talk to a pastor, counsleour, or?? Check at the YMCA/YWCA for a support group. It is your Mom's responiblity, not yours to take on this problem. Yes, you can help, but not do EVERYTHING> Be strong and tell Mom you cannot do it all the time. As a Mom, it is her job, not yours. This is from a Senior Citizen in her mid 70's advise.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 10:47PM
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maime

Please let us know what you decide. I think of you often and you should not have the responsibility of someone's permanent care.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 9:09PM
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falldowngobump

Anyone who had been a caregiver can certainly relate. I too get very upset with other members of the family who have just dropped off the face of the earth when it comes to helping. It is a stressful situation. You have been given some great advice and I certainly know how you feel. I'm a caregiver too. Take time for yourself, be verbal about NEEDING time for yourself. And we although we can't be there is person, we are here online to support the best we can. Hang in there and I'll be thinking of you.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 4:23PM
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