Becoming Mom's sole caretaker, stepdad just passed away, scared I'm not up to the task.

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I've only been dealing with caretaking for about a year, prior to that my parents were fairly self sufficient and my stepdad handled my Mom's dementia. Six months ago I helped them move into AL, even though they aren't actually using any of the AL services, instead they had a separate caregiver company helping out. Stepdad's congestive heart failure won the battle and he passed away three days ago (peacefully, in his sleep while my Mom was sitting by his side). Her dementia has progressed with all the changes, and recently I posted a question about her new symptom, aggression and anger. I am going to pack up her things and bring her home with me (they never would move to my town and live over 1400 miles away). Hubby and I are going to try having her live at home with us at first because I believe she has the best chance to be content and regain some equalibrium surrounded by family. (she hates the AL community she is in right now) There are only a handful of people she remains calm around, sometimes a caretaker is OK, but mainly it's me and a few long-time friends....and I'm getting ready to move her away from her long-time friends. I am terrified that I won't have the patience needed. I want to get her set up on a schedule so she can do the things she enjoys, and I hope that she will accept care givers as part of our routine because I will need to have some time away. There are no siblings. Now I'm rambling...I guess I just need some words of encouragement. I'm NOT going to give up my life completely and I still have kids at home, work etc..., but I AM going to do what I can within reason to take good care of Mom.

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JJ, you deal with the guilt with the knowledge that you know what is best for YOUR family. Yes, it is hard, and you have your life. Good for you doing it so soon, most will let the guilt feelings overtake their common sense that the first responsibility is to their own families.

Then also ask yourself, would she want you to sacrifice your life to care for her. She may be one of those the would never want you to give up so much. My mom is one of those and heard many times when I was younger that she never wanted any of us to care for her. But, it happened anyway. For me, it was not guilt that took me there, nor did I experience any guilt when POA made the decision to move her to a memory care facility.

Do what you know is best for you, and the care she will receive is also the best for her.
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Update: the first two weeks mom was here in my home were pretty awful. She spent a lot of time being aggravated and angry, and I have lost about 10lbs and am on some anti anxiety Meds. I got her a primary care doctor who added two new Meds to her existing four. One was a small dose of another anti anxiety medicine, and I don't know if that's making the difference or not, but she hasn't been angry in three days. I am so relieved to not see anger, because that is really hard for me to handle.
On the flip side, it also makes my decision harder. I have found a very nice memory care facility five minutes away, and I am planning to place her there at the end of June after we go out of town to bury stepdad. When we get back to town directly from the airport, I was going to have someone else who she knows fairly well (my stepmom) take her to the memory care and I am going to make up some excuse as to why I need to go elsewhere. Like business trip. Most likely Mom will be very disoriented anyway, and she might not even recall living in my home for a month and a half.
I know this decision is best for my husband and children, but I am STRUGGLING with guilt. Especially since the last few days Mom has been thanking me for taking her in and being very appreciative and humble.

How do I deal with the guilt?
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Thank you Gloriacoco. I tend to like schedules myself, so I think your recommendation is a good one. You are lucky to have a sibling to help! I definitely plan on going to support groups and classes for dementia caregivers.
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Hello JJGood, everyone's situation is different. My mom was diagnosed dementia a couples of years ago. Our stepdad passed several years (12yrs ago) from cancer and we helped mom get through those tough times. She was able to live alone for a while after her diagnose with dementia. We (me, my sister and brother) made sure we stayed in close contact with her every single day. Until one day my sister found her unconscious and was rushed to ER, she was dehydrated and had a UTI. Mom was always cold and kept the heater on, no matter the season, which we feel contributed to the dehydration. Since the episode (a year ago) she was not able to stays alone. She refused and refuses to leave her home so my sister and I rotate on a weekly basis. I have made it very clear to mom that we won't do this for very long (which she swears I've never said anything to her...😊). Don't get me wrong it's not all bad stuff, we have lots of fun with her and even laugh about the things this decease does to us. Once mom gets to the point where she does not recognize us or gets hallucinations that are uncontrollable we will place her in a memory care facility. There was a time I said "I would never place her in a care unit", but attending my support group meetings and listening to the challenges loved ones go through I don't want to put my family through those stressful times. If I have to keep mom in my home it will only be for a short period while we make arrangements to place her in Memory Care. JJ, I will say if you do take her home you'll have to have a schedule set in place. One for you, one for your family and one for her. It'll all work out for you. Stay strong and don't let dementia "defeat" you! Go to the support group meetings they're a life savior. Also check with the Aging and Diability Agency there in your city for caregiver assistance. God Bless.
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Pamzimmrt, my teens, although firmly in the 2016's, do not have friends of the opposite sex sleepover. Neither one has a boyfriend/girlfriend and we are pretty conservative in that arena. All that said, I hear your warning, and yes, it's possible Mom will be "mothering" me and criticizing my parenting skills, but over the years she hasn't done much of that, in those regards, she's usually easy going. I'm sure there will be some other issues, but I would expect that even with no dementia in place.
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Thanks, gladimhere, I am speaking with an agency tomorrow who is going to help me with my local resources and my contingency plan, they have already recommended one facility that I will definitely be checking out.
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JJ, since there is no memory care where your moom is, I would move her closer to me as well. Do check them out and decide on two that are recommended and you like. Just in case... The move is going to be very hard on her and the fewer moves the better.
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opps.. good on paper, but the reality can be different.
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Based on my own situation and that of a slighty older friend.. remember when you were a teenager..how that was with your folks.. then think of how things were when your mom was a teenager.. now you are moving your Mom into your house with 2016 teenagers... How is Mom going to react the first time she realizes "friends' of either sex sleep over, or stay "too late"? We took my MIL on a trip to the family river house last year, and my 27 year old daughter had friends over. MIL was quite miffed they didn;t come into the house at 8 and get in their jammies.. I mean MIFFED!! It was quite the scene. Luckily they all knew the score.. but are your teens ready for this? My 27 year old was sort of embarrassed! Just something to think about in your family..It all sounds g
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Gladimhere, I can't leave her where she is, it's 1400 miles away from where I live and it has no memory care.
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