At the End of My Rope With Taking Care of Mom

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Since my mother fell and broke her hip last Sunday, I am trying to take care of her needs while she is in rehab, keep her clothes washed, take care of bills and insurance matters and all I get is
"constant flack" about how much she wants to go home and does not want to be there. I dont think anyone would prefer to be in a rehab center but we would "man up" or "woman up" and do what we need to do to get better. Not the case here. Mom tries to convince everyone she can get better at home. This would be true if she had 24 hour care, however she only has caregiver's during the day. This is such a thankless job. I do not expect a thank you however I do expect so respect and not to be critized for everything I do. I am very frustrated and had a panic attack today. Had not had one in awhile. Between issues with my job, my family and dealing with my mother, I feel that I about to lose my mind. I have no family that will help or is willing to help. I am frustrated to the point of despair. I can tell I am starting to show signs of depressions again. I was applying to return to school when she broke her hip and that has been placed on hold for now. My siblings have moved on with their lives and are living with their families, having babies and not having to deal with the "mom" stuff. I just do not feel I can continue to deal with this all. I have missed so many "firsts" of MY kids that I cannot count. This is something I cant get back. Thanks for letting me vent. My sincere hope that no one has to go through this alone, without support. I do not think anything can make you feel more alone than when you are sitting in a surgical waiting room by yourself and realizing you are the only person in the world this person has. It is not a good feeling for anyone.

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This is a horrible, feeling and you rightly feel it's more than you can do alone. Please do have your depression tended to. Also, you mom will keep complaining. This isn't about you. It's about her own frustrations with the losses she has endured.

You will have to learn to detach from her complaining. Please remind yourself this is not about you and what you are doing. Tell her you are doing all you can, but that there's no choice but for her to be where she is.

You may have to look into assisted living or a nursing home for her. You can't lose you who other life, because you are right - you can't get it back. Your kids need you, too.

While your mom is in rehab is a good time for you to see a counselor for yourself, and to look into better arrangements for her. If she can't have 24 hour in-home care (and few can afford it), then she may have to move to a facility. This could take you down, and then what would she have?

Try your state Web site and look for a version of the National Family Caregiver Support Program. They should be a good source of information for you.

Please take care of yourself.
Carol
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KD:

My post was for you, not Crowe. Buena suerte con tu mama y que se mejore.

-- ED
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CROWE:

Let it all hang out my brother! (Well, not everything.) But find a way to keep yourself together. Otherwise you won't have a job and your mom won't have a home to come to AFTER she's rehabilitated. She's already rented enough space in your head, so tune her out when she starts all that "take me home" talk. She's not ready.

-- ED
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Kim, I read over your profile and see that you have three children and two of them are at home, i.e. 12 and 9. It does sound like you might be a bit angry at your dad for dying so suddenly, but he could not help that. Your siblings not wanting to have anything to do with yalls mother make me wonder more how relationships are with her. If your mother does better at rehab when you don't visit her so much, then don't go so much. Frankly, your children need their mom and not a basket case who is on the verge of a mental breakdown over grandma. Some boundaries are needed to help you take better care of yourself; so that also your mother is safe and well cared for; and so that you can be fully present for your children. I assume that since the doctor ordered rehab for your mother that medicare is going to pay the first 30 days I believe it is 100%. Please use the early part of this break that you are getting with your mom in rehab to take some time out just for you to refuel and get your feet on the ground. Good luck.
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My mother had a stroke in the spring on 2009 and did fine with rehab. However, when she broke her hip at the end of April she gave up just like her mother did. She wants to be begged into cooperating with PT and she complains about PT not doing anything for her when in reality she refuses to work with them. I just listen without fighting. From time to time, she does talk about wanting to go home. I remind her that the doctor has the final word. Plus, I have brought in the social worker to talk with her. If the doctor cannot talk with your mother, maybe the social worker will. One thing residents needs to know and understand is about safe discharge. No reputable nursing home is going to make an unsafe discharge unless they want to risk their license and their doctor's reputation. The most criticism that I get comes from my step-dad who does not like nursing homes, does not like me having both durable and medical POA, and who along with his helper about let my mother die when they claimed they could look after her following her good rehab experience. However, they allowed her to loose every bit of progress that she ever made. One thing about POAs is that criticism comes with having such responsibility and authority. I'm not a therapist, but from what I've read I think going to one would both benefit yourself and your immediate family. I'd like to hear more about your kids. How old are they? What are they doing? What is their response to all of this? How is your relationship with them. I assume by not mentioning a spouse that you are either a single parent or possibly heading in that direction. If not, then tell us about your husband and your marriage. The totally of what I read here leads me to believe that you have reached a point and your immediate family possibly passed the point long ago where taking care of your mother is just completely over your head and that is important to recognize when that time comes. Does your mother have any 'means' by which to help her with such a transition? Does she have long term care insurance? I'm so glad that my mother bought some years ago. If she has none of the above, would your mother qualify for medicaid to pay? There are options and while your mother is in rehab is a good time to look them over. None of these decisions are easy and it's going to be compounded via the burnout, depression, and anxiety that is consuming you. Recognize also that there is a possibility of some F.O.G. (Fear, Obligation and Guilt) operating here that is pulling you down and back into being the emotional little girl that wants to make mommy happy than staying grounded as the adult daughter which though she may complain is exactly what she really needs, you really need and your immediate family needs. I will you well!
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You are not alone! The approach I took was to tell my mom that she had to make a change. After discussing realistic changes, SHE decided that she wanted to be with dad in his Nursing Home. It was her decision and my encouragement that has lead to my rest and peace of mind being restored and she is happier than ever. Sometimes people have to see that the crutch that they are depending on can't always be there...then what? We have our lives too, helping her get settled into a life style that helps you both is only human like. Other's have gone on with their lives and so should we be alowed to do the same. No guilt or blame...I DARE somebody to try it with me.! Take care of you too. Been there, done that, E.R. and all..and the family members say..."ok thanks....let us know what happens" Yeah, thanks.
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My Mom's way of keeping me around has been her anxiety. In the early stage of the dementia I tried to bring her to adult day care. She was panicking the entire time. "Where's Susan,where's Susan?" She doesn't want me out of her sight for a minute! The neighbors call us" Me and my shadow."
We also had a rehab experience. She was scared there and I had to sit with her until I couldn't take it any more and then she had to sit at the Nurse's station or she would keep trying to get up and run out.
At this point the disease has progressed and she isn't as anxious. We had to put her on an anti anxiety med, trazodone, which has helped a lot.
Like so many others, sometimes I think "i wish she would just go to sleep and not wake up", but that's not really what I wish, I wish we could spend what time we have and find a way to be at least somewhat happy. Have a laugh or two.
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Just listen to what your mom has to say. Then let her know what is going on with you, don't hid it from her. She may not even relize what you are going through. Let her know and she will relize just how hard it is on you. Then go home and call your family members and tell them you need their help. Don't let them off either that's why God gave your parents more than one child. We were put on this earth to take care of our parents ,show respect to them and care for them when needed. It's not just your place to help your mom, Ask them all for help. If they give you a sob story tell them yours. There is no excuse for anyone not to help with their parents. Heck I've even travled to Alaska to take care of my mother in-law for three weeks while my three other sister in-laws did what they had to do and two of them lived right there. Let them know you need help. They can't help if they don't know. Good Luck
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I'm SO sorry for all that you're going through!!! It's not fair to you that your siblings won't help in this "bad situation"!!! I read over and over again how it's only 1 child who takes the brunt of all of the caregiving. I'm an only child, but have 1 s-sister who "was" going to help. She's gotten busy with her life now and I'm back to having no help at all. You're so right about going through this without a good support system!!! My heart goes out to you! It's not fair at all that you've been the one who's had to miss so many of the "First's" with your own children! My mom sounds so much like yours. She had major surgery a bit over a week ago and refused to go to a rehab for further healing, strength, PT, IV antibiotics, etc... and told everyone how she was going to really get stronger and do things at home.... Never happened!!! Due to having some health issues of my own, I lost my own home and had no place to live, so I now live with my mom and s-dad. It's not a good situation at all! The stress is enormous! If I were you I'd talk to the nurses and Social Worker, and your mom's doctors and let them know that 'she really isn't going to get the care she needs 24/7 at home', b/c you simply are not Super Woman and cannot do it!!! It's unfair and unkind of a parent to put so much pressure on their own child!!! I remember my mom telling me, when she was younger, that she'd never want others to have to wait on her, take care of her, etc... She took care of her parents for a short period of time and actually wanted to harm her father!!! She knows how hard it is to be a caretaker.... Yet, I think they forget. I'm now the sole caretaker and my s-dad who is in very poor health himself is doing what he can. Today I must find a window of time where my own pain is under control enough to go for a large load of groceries for my own caretakee's... My thoughts and prayers are with you!!! This caretaking thing is a thankless job. I don't mean that to sound mean.... it just is. I pray you'll find the strength to get through all you're dealing with and please...try to do something nice for yourself. You deserve it!!!
God Bless,
Kathy K.
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Thanks so much for all of the suggestions! I now know that this is not personal but a part of the aging process and I try not to let it get to me but it does. There needs to be a better way. I guess I am the selfish one because I am angry for having to do all of these things. I dont want my kids to have to take care of me.............
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