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Struggling with elderly mom

Started by shiny, March 20, 2013, 12:38:44 pm

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Not only am I having relationship challenges with two AC, one DIL, and GC, but on other end of the spectrum, am sole caregiver for elderly mom who causes great stress for me. Is this the place for posting? Is it possible for another category for elderly parents and AC in the main section?


S - This is the place...we use Grab Bag a lot. Care giving can be lethal. Tell us what you're up against. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thinking of you shiny.  Being a sole caregiver sure can wear you out.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Shiny, are you able to get any help at all?
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne


It would be fantastic if we could have a category for Parent Care, or something like that.  I can understand the stress.  I have had to place my mother in a nursing home.  Her dementia/Altz. had gone to the point where she was not eating, taking medications, finance were in bad condition, etc.  And to top it off we found a neighbor had been in the house and taken not only money but emptied out her lock box.  All her important papers are missing.

It is the worst disease I have ever seen, one mintue she is fine, the next she has no idea where she is.  And I promised I would never let her go into a care home. 


March 22, 2013, 06:32:27 pm #5 Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 08:37:17 am by luise.volta
This is a subject that I have lived. I don't know what to say except that I set myself aside when my beloved Val slid into dementia. It started thirteen years ago when he could no longer drive or write checks. My concept of myself as his wife included being his loving care giver to the end. I could see in my large retirement center where others devalued themselves to the degree that they wore themselves down and even died first...but I rationalized that I was fine. I fooled myself and my family. The only person not fooled here was our staff Social Services professional who asked me more than once if I wasn't ready for her to give me a hand with the issue. My denial was so complete that I had no idea what she was talking about. It took ten years for me to collapse and find myself unable to get up. I went to her to ask if Val could go into our campus nursing facility for a couple of weeks of respite care and when she looked at me and asked it if wasn't time to consider a permanent move...I was unable to speak. Once I started to cry, which I very seldome do, I cried for three days. He was admitted that afternoon. Three years of separation followed until he passed a month ago. It was a long, arduous climb for me to recover...and I almost didn't make it. Visiting him daily was often so hard. Anyone who hasn't done it, has no way of knowing. And little by little he slipped away until he had no idea who he was or where he was...and of course I was a total stranger. After a year and a half I had a second collapse that was worse than the first one. All of this, living in an incredibly supportive environment.

I started a Web-forum called www.AgingWithWisdom.com but a year later shut it down due to lack of interest. It's not an easy subject to address...denial is rampant. No one wanted to look at it any more than I originally did. My heart goes out to you. I wasn't able to set myself aside for another...without coming to the point twice over the last 13 years of finding that there no longer a "me." Over the years I have seen others try and several died trying.

I don't know the answer. I'm well educated, a nurse, actually, and I still felt I could do the impossible, promising I would. Although my promise was to Val, the reason I couldn't break it until it broke me was because I'd promised myself.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Luise - you have an enormous heart and so much love.  I have seen this within my own family as well so when I saw it written before me from your account and perspective I was moved.  I can't bring myself to share it, however I will say to Shiny and this is just my opinion and suggestion that if there is a respite service; home nursing service; counselling service or meals on wheels equivalent available to you, this may be of some help to you and you might be able to find some resources to these services from a Doctor or Pharmacist.  They might be able to assist you.  Also, you mentioned that you are having issues with your AC, and I remember your post about your DHs illness earlier (I hope he is doing well), do you or DH have any other family around who could give you a hand at this trying time?  Do your AC know about the situation?  Wishing you well. xo


Luise, I can only imagine how heartbreaking this was for you. And I agree, I think recognizing the right time to accept help is also accepting that we need to be flexible.
This is the law of nature; be flexible, like the seasonal changes. 

My husband is 74. I am so afraid he is showing signs of mental decline. But in some things he is as sharp as a pencil. I'm also afraid that I may be influenced too much from the media, and that I interpret plain old tiredness or simple old age confusion with much more serious things. I guess there is nothing one can do anyway, - but hope for the best. But because of his changes, I have a feel of urgency. There are so many things I still want to do with my husband.

I agree with Lousie and Fangle. I hope you can get help Shiny. The first priority in life is, you.  You know what they say in an airplane in case of an emergency. First pull your own oxygen mask on, and then help the person next to you.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne


Hi Shiny and Welcome

So sorry to hear what you are up against. Other then what these lovely ladies have offered in the way of advice, there is little I can say. I ended up being my mom's sole caregiver during the last year of her life and it is not an easy road to travel.  My mom had this horrible fear of ending up in a nursing home that scared her to death so she made me promise that I would not place her there. I stuck to my word for the most part but by the last ten days  of her life I was running on empty. I ended up having to place her in a hospice house not far from my home and even now sometimes I feel like I did not fulfil what she asked of me.
I will say that it is very important for you to take care of yourself and find some way to get out of the house for even a few hours. It will make things so much easier to cope with and your dealing with Mom's problems will seem a bit easier as well.
As hard as caring for my mom was during her last days, I will say that those days were some of the best memories and if I had to do it all over , even knowing what I do now, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Louise, I was so sorry to hear of Val's passing but it seemed like he went on his journey with your lovely voice carrying him thru and that was a very special gift from you.