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Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #1 
Ok.   So haven't been here in awhile.  Have been pretty busy with the day to day stuff of taking care of my Mother (87)  with dementia as well as other health problems.  She is doing fairly well.  ~~ I ~~  on the other hand am hanging on by a thread.   I have been granted a "home health care worker"  to come for a few hours at a time until the end of this month.  Problem being that I don't have the money to go anywhere or to DO  anything.  Every minute of EVERY  day is spent doing for/. fixing for  my Mother.  She will only eat if ~~ I ~~  prepare it for her.  She will only get out of bed if ~~ I ~~  force her to.  She will only talk if ~~ I ~~  make her.  This level of responsibility is over whelming.   I LOVE  my Mom.  I want only the best for her... but what I do NOT  understand is :  why is EVERYTHING   MY  responsibility ?  At 87... what is fair to expect ?  What is fair to expect her to do ?  What is fair to ask of her ?  She is somewhat able to do the minimum for herself.  She can take a shower by herself ( with SOME  help )..... she can make a sandwich ( with help )  she can do more than she DOES......... At what point is it fair to say NO !  At what point do I say... YOU  do it ?  Sorry to whine... but I am SO  at a loss. 

Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #2 
dritzow, glad you are back.  I am sorry to hear that you have reached this point. I can't tell you what is fair to expect of her, I don't know her. I DO know that to see a parent, a mother become so helpless and needy is very hard. With dementia and other health problems, she really may not be capable of doing those activities of daily living without help and supervision. Unless there is a cause that can be corrected, (hypothyroid, low B12 or Vit D, depression) it gets worse, not better. Do you think that YOU have enabled her helplessness? That is NOT meant to cause guilt, simply a reality check. You didn't cause her to be 87, or cause her health problems. Mom needed help with the basics for only 8 years. for the first 3 of those, you could prepare her meals and she could heat them up and put them on the table if you wrote the specifics instructions for the microwave, but you couldn't take ANYTHING for granted once she was 90 so then it was really 24/7.   I am going to be upfront about it though, Mom could afford help as long as I did about 75-90 hours a week. It wasn't ALL on me. 

I don't see you as a whiner, but it may be past the point to fairly say NO to her or to hope she can do it herself. I am wondering about the point where you let yourself off the hook. Are you the only child/family member for her? Is she a medicaid patient? Some states have programs where a family member of an elder medicaid patient can actually receive pay as a care giver or provide more in home care. Can she be left alone at all? Does she understand emergency and how to call 911?  

What is it you want to do for a couple of hours that you can't afford? Perhaps rather than think about what you can't do, you can look for what you CAN do. Can you go to a park, sit outside and breathe, Just to see something different than those walls? Go to the library? Find a support group nearby? There are groups through hospitals and hospices where you don't have to actually be a caregiver for a patient  in one of their programs.  Many communities have elder daycare, often on a sliding scale. Some religious communities or civic groups offer help, a visitor, a sitter while you take a break. See what your Area Agency on Aging has to offer. You may have already looked and found nothing but it doesn't hurt to keep looking. Programs change.

Posts: 53
Reply with quote  #3 
I really like BC's last paragraph. There were some years in my distant past when I had absolutely no money to spare. The library was my source of strength. Music has always been a mood lifter for me. I would check out different music to listen to. And there's always books and videos.

Is your mother eligible for hospice care? Many think it is for the last few weeks of life, but it is not. It is for people who are no longer in treatment to get well (like chemotherapy). These are some generalizations, but maybe you could discuss with her doctor. Hospice organizations have strong support for caregivers as well as the patient. A social worker usually oversees what is needed. This might help you determine how much to do - and then not feel guilty about the rest.

Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #4 
hi dritzow. You are doing amazing. It is a mean sad disease. You certainly are not whining. Give your brain a break whenever you have a minute, even if its people watching on a bench. It is very overwhelming for them and us.

Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #5 
If you go to church, why. It try to schedule s care giver to come at that time. The library is an awesome place to go and u wind with a good book. Or The Good Book.

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Dritzow. You are doing great. hope you mother will be fine soon.
Reply with quote  #7 
Responding to my newest problem: you poor thing it's hard isn't it? It sounds like you're suffering from a case of depression as I am too. And let me tell you, if you didn't have it before you probably have it now. How many people can do what you are doing right now take pride and just do the best you can. You sound like a wonderful person I wish you all the luck in the world keep going!
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