Alone and caring for sister at home.

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I'm 62 years old not in great health and have been taking care of my 73 year old sister for the past 2 years. She has hand lung cancer and recently broke her hip. I have no help I'm at home 7 days a week 24 hours a day except to run to the store. She was in a rehab facility up until 3 weeks ago and since has been back to the hospital twice she is currently in the hospital now. She gets infections mainly UTI,s then become disoriented and can not walk or even stand. I want to care for her at home but my body is so sore from lifting, that is something I know I cant continue to do. I'm so sad for her and just don't know what the next step will be. She is a kind person does not give any problems but just wants to stay at home and die at home. I'm beginning to think this may not be possible. She also can not eat so she has a PEG tube which I also do, well I do everything for her as of now she can not do anything for herself. Our Mother was in a nursing home in the beginning it was ok then they changed hands twice and it became a nightmare. We ended up moving her out of state to a smaller nicer place, she passed away 9 months later. Guess I'm just wanting to vent I have no one to talk to.

2 Comments

It is time to get help (really past time). Talk to the folks (the discharge/social service) at the hospital, explain the situation and allow them to send whatever home nursing assistance is available. They will send whatever Medicare or Medicaid will pay for to help her. If you feel it best for her not to come home, let them know that as well. Physically you may be better off having her cared for by professionals and just take care of yourself!

It is wonderful you have been able to care for your sister but there just comes a time when you have to put your own health first. Best wishes.
You have given you sister two years of living at home that she would not have had without you. That is an awesome gift! You can feel really proud about that.

As you know full well, we can't always have what we want. I would like to live in a fancy hotel with room service. Ain't happening! You sister would like to stay at home until she dies. That is a much more reasonable wish than my hotel fantasy, but it isn't any more feasible. This is Not Your Fault.

As littletonway suggests, talk to the social worker at the hospital and explore what additional at-home might be available. If there is enough, that might make it a little more feasible at least for a while. But given your own health and needs think about it very carefully. If there isn't enough of the right kind of help available or if you just know you are past your own limits, getting her where there are three shifts to meet her needs will be a kindness to both of you.

However this works out, be proud of what you've done so far! Continue to love your sister and advocate for her good care no matter where she is.

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