My Mother's Adventures with her Elderly Father.
Oh. My. Gosh. Alright, a a little background about myself and my family. I'm Syndal (nice to meet you all) and I'm 23-years-old, living at home with my mother. My mother is a housewife, has been since I was born. My father works out of state (at this time, actually out of the country) building golf courses. Several years ago my mother's mother passed away, leaving my grandfather alone.
Myself and my parents sold our home to move in with him, because he couldn't take care of himself. At the time (6-ishyears ago) it seemed like the ideal thing to do. My mother ran a business (Exotic Birds, of which were housed at my grandparents as they live on 2 aces of agricultural land) and it would be easier for her to care for not only the business but to be sure my granddad ate, took his medicine, etc. So, we made the move.
Its been, like I said, something like six years now. Perhaps more, I honestly can't even remember. My father went through a phase of unemployment for several months before finding his current job, something that has taken him farther away from us for longer with less benefits. My mother and I stay here at home. I work full time and my mother keeps up with our house, animals (several dogs, two cats) and... my grandfather. My father is home appox 3-4 days a month as of current.
So, now I get into our 'adventures' and I'd like to know if anyone else has similar problems or could give me some advice at this point.
I love my mother with all my heart. She's the driving force in my life and always has been. I just want to see her happy again!
My grandfather was the light of my mom's life when she was young. She and her mother had a very (very) strained relationship and my Grandfather was always the one there for her. He's now 89-years-old and it takes everything in my mother's power to even get up in the mornings because of him. He is no longer the person he was in any way. He isn't the granddad I remember nor the father she remembers.
When we sold our home and moved here, we actually had to rennovate the house. My grandparents had let the house flounder, none of the appliances were even up to fire saftey codes. Animals had ruined the carpets and to top it off, we had add on to the house to even accomidate everyone. My grandfather contributed nothing to this telling my parents that he'd 'given' us the house... of which was hardly fit to live in anyway. Alright, that was fine, my parents dealt with it accordingly. My mother also recieved power of attourney concerning my grandfather.
Now... things have just gone to hell. My mother struggles daily through depression and guilt. She feels that she has put my father in I in a situation that we can't get out of due to her father. We can't move or sell our home to live where we wish to (My father was raised in Colorado and we want to move out there) because my grandfather 'doesn't want to'. My grandfather can't hardly do anything for himself, needs a walker to get around. He leaves faucets running (full on), leaves burners turned on, leaves the oven on. He will not wash out pans he's cooked in (wipes them out), tries to reuse disaposable plastic bags. He has incontinence issues and on MANY occassions just tosses the soiled garments into his hamper or into the bathtub for my mother to deal with 'whenever she finds it'.
Basically, my mother is currently not only the caregiver, but the maid and the doormat as well. He does nothing for himself aside from cook (and burn things, or cook food the is obviously rancid that he has stashed away, or that is freezer burnt, etc) and drive his vehicle (which he should be driving as he has NO FEELING in his legs and feet). He is also condecending. My mother has done nothing but DO for this man yet he still finds is nessisary to tell her what she ISN'T doing or let her know he 'NEEDS' something.
My mother feels incredibly guilty all the time. I know my grandfather belongs in a nursing home, physically my mother can't take care of him anymore. She suffers from fibromyalgae (oh gosh, spelling?) as well as restless leg syndrome. On top of that, my father working this new job and being home even less than he used to has taken its toll. Recently my mother, a very very strong woman of almost 50 years, told me that she prays at night for the lord to take either her or my grandfather... and that she feels so awful that she doesn't feel awful about it.
Sorry for the extremely long post, however I felt I had to get it all out there. I just want to help my mother. I want her to understand that feeling guilty about putting my grandfather in a nursing home (where he has said on many occassions he doesn't want to be and he WILL NOT go) is normal and that she can do this. She's put her entire life on hold for him and has shouldered the burden herself for so long. Any advice would be greatly appriciated, thank you so much.