So tired of not having a life of my own.

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Ivy husband and I have been taking care of my mother for 8 months now. My husband and I work different shifts so that my mother is never alone. She has early onset Alzheimer's and is becoming more demanding of my time. I can no longer see my friend across the street or sit outside without her constantly asking where I'm going and how long I'll be. I have to take her for a ride every day because she "has to get out of the house" - she is bored all the time and I'm forced to watch shows on TV that I have no interest in. Even Facebooking bothers her because I'm not paying attention to her. We can't afford a private caregiver and she refuses to go to Adult Day Care. I can't catch a moment to myself. I'm losing my identity and my already limited social life. I cannot do this much longer. It will only get worse when the weather turns cold.


There's a book called Boundaries that you should get from the library, or from Amazon. Your mother, with Dementia (sad, not her fault or your fault), is not in charge. You are. "We're taking a ride this morning", and you take her to the senior center. She'll adjust. She'll probably love it. You don't ask her, you tell her.

Get her qualified for Medicaid. Make sure you have a caregiver contract set up so that she's paying you rent, and for your caregiving. Arrange for CNAs to come and sit with her while you do errands, go to the library, have "me" time.

Learn to set boundaries. You cannot be "on" all the time or you'll die before she does.

Babalou is right on the money, however you may want to lay the same teach I to a nursing home or assited living for her. Even with in home help and some day care your life is going to be totally consumed by caregiving.
Look at all the control words you've used to describe her dominance:

"I can no longer see my friend across the street or sit outside...", "I have to take her for a ride every day", "I'm forced to watch shows on TV" ...

It's easy to fall into this trap to be cooperative and helpful, but after awhile you have to stand your ground and say "no".

Leave the room when she watches tv, tell her you'll take her for a ride after you finish housework (or some other task), and begin refusing to allow her to dictate your schedule and activities.

She may be confused, she may be annoyed, she may be angry. If she's hurt and you can communicate frankly with her, tell her that you'll making some new arrangements so that both of you can have free time...something to that effect. You can start by doing this, engaging in separate activities, then do something together so she recognizes that you still love her and will care for her, but that you both need time away from each other.

Good luck; it's often hard to be this firm with someone so close to you, but it's necessary for the mental health of you both.

There's another possibility and that in some way she recognizes that she's losing her faculties and is fearful and doesn't want to be alone.
Forgot to suggest searching this site for "dementia, activities" to find some that she can do alone.
..."lay the same track".....I'm getting worse everyday ....
If your mom has early onset, do you have children at home? This is only going to get harder for you and for your mom. Have you looked at facilities in your area? Those that take Medicaid often have quite long waiting lists and some, or many require two years of self pay before Medicaid will kick in. If she has an emergency that requires a trip to the ER you can tell the staff that you are not able to care for her any longer and they WILL find a place for her to live.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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