Feeling guilty and overwhelmed.

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I've been the primary care taker for both my parents. Mom has alzheimer's dad had cancer. Dad passed away this March He was so stubborn! He never got treatment for it, never told anyone. A few years ago when mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, he moved her from a tiny town in Oregon to a somewhat bigger town closer to even bigger towns (LOL) and within 20 miles of my two brothers. Anyway, I think even back then he had plans on me (the only daughter and youngest of 3 brothers) moving here to take care of my mom. Why not. I was divorced so I was more expendable. For 6 months I watched my father deteriorate, I fixed every thing under the sun that he used to eat, it was never good enough for him. Wait, I'm not going to say bad things about him, he had been dealing with my mom for 2 years alone, he was entitled to be crabby!...so yeah, for 6 months I watched, begging him to let me take him to a Dr. No, he just wanted out of here. I came home once and he was laying in the middle of the kitchen floor, he'd fallen. I was never able to leave him alone again. 2 months before he passed, he started having seizures, at first I thought he was having a stroke, but it wasn't that, I think it was his blood sugar and not eating ...he was living on the Ensure I forced him to drink. Like I said, he was a proud yet stubborn man and the day he had me help him of the toilet I knew he wasn't going to stay much longer. He went on to have 3 more seizures and finally the ER said it was kidney cancer. He wanted to come home and die. 2 days after Hospice started, he did just that, peacefully in his sleep. I was sleeping with him by that time so I was able to get my brothers over here before his final breathes.
Now I am here dealing with my mother. She's starting to get to the cranky/threatening suicide/jump out of car/ stages...She takes the Excelon patch, tiny dose of resperidone and tiny dose of Citaprolam. She wakes me up 3 or more times a night wondering if I'm here, Yes mom, please go back to bed....there isn't much she can do during the day, yes she folds towels, I then take them saying I'm putting them away and refold them. Yes, she does dishes, I then put them in the dishwasher...she refuses any sort of adult day care (gonna try again soon) she dotes on my dogs like they are babies. Drags them around saying they're scared or will get hurt ( i think she's saying how she feels) I am in the shower and it's "Are you in there" Yes mom.... lately though, it's been getting so much worse, she's been saying such mean things it's getting to me. Things like I will be happy when she's gone so I can have the house or the money. WHAT MONEY? Yes, she gets a decent pension from my father and also SS but hey, when she's gone it's gone...I can't go anywhere because she doesn't want to leave the babies for that long...I am so frustrated but I feel so bad for her. My brothers are zero help to me. They live 20 minutes away yet I've seen them 3 times in 5 months. At times I think I should just sell this house and move back to FL where my son is, my friends are and my job is. I can easily have someone come in for home care and go back to work and get a life...but then I'm scared of what my brothers will think if I do that. I am only 49 and I can't see doing this here alone for a number of years...I want to go out on dates, have a male friend. I feel like I have too many problems to even start that...I think I am feeling a bit resentful that I left my home of 15 years, my son, job and friends and came here to help my parents thinking my brothers would be around and they aren't. It is too overwhelming for me at times. Mom qualified for a total of 6 hours a month of respite care. Really???? Medicare doesn't seem to pay for much and she doesn't have enough income to really afford much in home care either. I feel stuck. I know it is not my moms fault and I truly understand her frustration at things. Especially her frustration at me because I do everything here, from inside out and she can't do it, so she thinks I'm a "know it all" and can do everything. Sighhh Is it possible to have a life while being the primary care taker?? Wait, to make matters worse, I am a year into menopause and between her and my hot flashes/night sweats/no sleep I am about to BLOW UP! thanks for listening to my whine...I know I am not the only one feeling this way on this site or the only one with problems. I just want to do the right thing for her and still have a somewhat healthy happy life.


I would definitely try to get her into a day care program! I have been caring for mom for two years, a bit over. I started day care for her with a half a day each week. Now she goes Monday through Friday for 6 hours a day. I would not be here with her without day care, it is just too much.

Would you rather stay there than return to Florida? You need to do what is right for you. If you want to return to Florida you could take mom, or find a facility near your brothers if they won't take her in themselves.

It is a lot for you to deal with and that menopause thing sure doesn't help!
Also meant to say with day care go with her a couple of times it will help her feel more comfortable.
JeanetteB, your story sounds so much like mine that I felt like I was reading my own words. It always puzzles me that other family members care so little. They may give lip service, but that is all. I wonder if you could talk one of your brothers into taking care of your mother for a few days so you could take a break. I know I wish I could, but I know it is wishful thinking.

I'm glad you came here to vent. Sometimes it is nice just getting it out. There are never any easy answers. All we can do is plan for the future and take the present one day at a time. It can be so hard when dealing with what seems so irrational. I would worry so much about the jumping out of the car. That is frightening.
If it were me, first of all, who the heck cares what your brothers think? They've had their chance to contribute and they're sorely lacking. So you get to make the decisions and do what is best for you and your mom.

I'd go back to FL and take her with me. If the brothers want to visit, great. But I certainly wouldn't expect or count on that, since they've barely visited when she's so close by. Reclaim your life and do the best you can for your mom (while putting yourself and your son first on the list of care).

If your brothers want your mom to stay then fine, "tag, they're it" in her care. Then you can step away with a clear conscience.
Jeannettab, Thank you for sharing what you're feeling, it's good to get that out! I know the guilt really gets to me too, I never seem to feel like I've done enough. I feel and have felt resentful too, it goes with the territory. Caring giving such as you've been through bless you lady, you've had your share of pain. So sorry about your dad, and your mom but yes it comes to a point where sometimes if feels like all my days are filled only with death, slow death, the long goodbye. I'm exhausted too, have come back to my home from caring for my folks and everything I put into place dads tried to control, change and screwed up. Mom's back in the hospital right now, they're 1260 miles away. Both have dementia and it's hell on them, me and anyone who has to deal with my father, it breaks my heart. Yes I understand please keep talking don't feel guilty I'm saying that for you and myself. I miss having a life a job I lost my job when I went back to care for my family. I understand I will tell you what everyone says to me, you must take care of yourself first. I still have trouble with that, but it's true. Hope your brothers will take your mom for at least time for you to do something good for yourself! Good Bless you!

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