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I am taking care of my Mom alone, there is no family to help. I have one Uncle but he doesn't want to get involved. My Mom has dementia and some neurological problems and she can barely walk. She is also incontinent. I am trying to work and pay the bills but it's just so hard. The situation at home is putting a strain on my job. Lately her mental state is so bad that I am scared to leave her home alone. She has been doing some really strange things and she falls a lot. The tricky thing is, we're from the US, but live in Europe. And this has been going on for about 3 1/2 years, since my Mom fell here and broke her hip. She was in the hospital for about a month but was never quite the same after she got out. I brought her here with me because there wasn't really anyone for her to stay with back in the US, and I also thought she might enjoy it over here. My Mom was a serious alcoholic until I was about 20. I can honestly say I've been taking care of her in one way or another since I was a child. When I was very small I used to have to run around and find her things to barf in after she drank too much. I had to lie to people to cover up for her. She would sometimes be very abusive and slap me and hit me and call me things like "little bitch", especially when I would pour out her booze. My father was also an alcoholic, and drank himself to death when I was 11. He was physically and verbally abusive towards my Mother. When I was a teenager my Mom would often quit jobs, and I would find her new ones in the newspaper or online and fill out job applications for her because she would just let them sit on the table for weeks. Sometimes she would keep a job for a while and things were stable, but she never seemed happy. She always struggled with depression. My Mom has always been "lost" and looking for someone else to tell her what to do. After my Dad died, I was the one who had to handle things. I can't tell you what this has done to me mentally...I don't handle stress very efficiently, and was treated for PTSD. Lately it's just getting to be too much. I am trying to find a nursing home for my Mom, but even though they are a bit cheaper over here, and my Mom's pension will cover some of it, the rest is too expensive for me to pay alone. So I feel like I am trapped. I'm having monumental anxiety attacks. They're so bad. I feel so alone and sad and desperate that I'm considering suicide just because I can't take anymore, and I can't see another way. Sometimes I feel like I can't do this for even one more day. I just want to know what it's like to feel happiness and peace, and find a way to enjoy life.

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First off, you are a good person, you need to take care of you first. Get your mom into a place immediately, even if it is temporary and take care of you. If something happens to you she would be cared anyway for so get her in a place right away. You need to take care of yourself first. Get yourself to a doctor and tell them everything. They can help you. They will help your mother as well. You are the most important person right now.
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NeedHelpAsap, please come back and tell us what is going on. There are a lot of people here who care. Just a brief note will do, if you are too busy or overwhelmed to write much.
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Others have provided terrific shoulders to lean on and listening ears - just wanted to jump in and say, with my own mother and aunts/spouses there are EIGHT people in my life in their mid to late 80s and only a few cousins to help, most with kids of their own, partners with cancer, full time jobs or a combination of the above. I totally get just feeling exhausted and desperate.

Others here speak truth. It's time to make a change. You won't help anyone else by letting yourself go over the edge - we're here any time to listen. ❤️
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You said, "Sometimes I feel like I can't do this for even one more day. I just want to know what it's like to feel happiness and peace, and find a way to enjoy life."

This sounds less like suicidal ideation and more like needing a change from your current circumstances. Instead of being suicidal may you just want a better life but have no idea how to go about getting it?

I'm not familiar with the healthcare in Portugal but in the U.S. we have Medicaid and it's Medicaid that pays for a nursing home for our elderly loved ones. Usually a social worker in the facility we've chosen helps in getting the Medicaid paperwork completed. That's an option of you can get back to the U.S.

I'm sorry I can't offer more information for you. But I will tell you that if you are profoundly unhappy to the point of just wanting out it's time to make a change. Immediately. I understand the difficulty in that in the state of mind that you're in but that's why I agree with the other posters who have suggested that you go to the ER. There you'll get the help you need and the resources to figure out what to do about your mom. But how to spend several days in the hospital when your mom can't be left alone? I would imagine in Portugal that there's a similar agency to our Adult Protective Services agency. Give them a call and talk to them about what you can do about your mom while you seek treatment for your health. They're not only there to make sure our elderly aren't abused or exploited but they broker with other agencies and can maybe give you some referrals.

There is a way out, I believe that. You just have to find it. You need help. You need assistance. Try to find any kind of agency in Portugal that might be able to help you. Go knock on doors if you have to. And keep coming back here and checking in with us so we know you're OK.
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Portugal is indeed a lovely country and a highly advanced society, but Southern Europe's health and social services have been under a great deal of financial strain in recent years and I'm not sure what they would be able to offer a non-EU citizen and her family. In an emergency or a crisis of course help would be given, but what the OP needs is an orderly plan.

Needhelp, are you and your mother permanently settled in Portugal or are you expecting to move on in the near future?
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I understand totally what you are feeling and thinking. I have been there.

PLEASE listen to the advice others have given you and go to a hospital NOW.

I listened and went when I was feeling just as you are, for almost the same reasons. I work, I take care of my mom, I am 62 and my mom was awful to me when I was a child, but I felt living with her and caring for her was the right thing to do. I have a sister who does nothing but go on vacations. She visits maybe twice a month, and all my mother does is ask her my sister while I do all the work and take all the grief. So my situation was bad, I was considering harming myself. I called a suicide hotline and they told me to get myself to a hospital right away.

I am so glad I did. My situation with my mom hasn't changed much, but I have. I have found someone who comes in and "sits" with Mom 4 hours a week while I go to therapy then a movie, out to eat, or the beauty salon - my gift to me. Therapy has helped me understand ME and how to cope with this still-difficult situation, because believe me, it has not changed any for the better.

You have reached out here; I believe you want to live. Go to a hospital. You deserve life. It CAN be a better life.

Please respond - I want to hear more about you and what you are going through.
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Hoping you got some sleep last night. You will be waking up soon to a new day if you are in Portugal.
It is okay to think of suicide in dire circumstances, but you must never act on those thoughts or feelings. Get help early, instead.

How are you today?
It is midnight here, so I am going to sleep soon. There will be others if you need to talk.

Drink a full glass of water when you wake up. Stretch like a kitty-cat.
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P.S. I don't think the hospital will keep you because you don't sound psychotic or crazy.
imo.
They may get you the help you need, and an intervention so that your Mom has more help, other than you 24/7.
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When you arrive at the E.R., the staff there will send out someone to check on your Mom. They will have resources that you would be unable to access because you are not thinking straight. It will be ok, you need to let go of a little control right now and go for help. Don't wait to be taken out by ambulance, because your life has so much value!

Going voluntarily will help you to avoid hitting bottom all the way, and will ultimately help you recover faster. It sounds like you are burnt out from caregiving, and that happens to so many caregivers, so you are not alone. Try not to overthink the process.

Since you knew to reach out here, you may be stronger than you think. How do you feel so far, as other caregivers are coming alongside to offer you hope, ideas, and other alternatives to suicide?

This is not a criticism here, but I want to point out how I know that you are not thinking straight.
1) You cannot go to the hospital because you cannot leave your Mom alone.
vs.
2) You would be leaving Mom alone if you ended your life.
3) So, suicide is not an option for you.

Explanation: When we get ill, our brain can really mess with us, trick us, because it cannot take any more stress. Just call for help to protect yourself.

Let us know how you are doing now. It is really great of you, while you are in distress, to answer the people here who have reached out to you, and for you. I care.

And thanks for saving a life, yours, by doing the right thing.

We can help you deal with your Mom later.
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Can you just leave everything there, come back by to the US and get mom settled? You can go back and continue life there if that is what you want. Or things can be replaced. Your health is most important.

Go to the hospital, explain the situation. They will get someone to help your mom out. Take her with if you need to and all will work out.

We all care about you. Please stay safe.
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Also, the Alzheimers Association has a Portuguese version. Reach out to them. http://www.alzheimer-europe.org/Alzheimer-Europe/Who-we-are/Our-members/Alzheimer-Portugal
Do you speak Spanish or Portuguese?
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Can you reach out to the American Embassy and see if they can help you? I have no idea about services for US citizens in foreign countries. Maybe they can get some help for your mom?
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Right now, we're in Portugal, which is a very pretty country...but I haven't been able to really enjoy it.
I have thought about trying to go back to the US, but I just don't know how to do that alone...it seems like a huge task and I'm just so tired. :(
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Can you come back to the US? Get your mom into a facility? There is hope - please don't give up! You deserve to be free from taking care of your mom. If you come back to the US, you should be able to get her on Medicaid and into a facility and you can live a more normal, peaceful life.

You've gone far above and beyond in taking care of your mom. It's time to get yourself some help. You don't have to do this alone! {{{{Hugs}}}}
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Gershun, thank you, I've thought about going to the hospital but if they wanted me to stay I couldn't, because I can't leave my Mom alone...she can't take care of herself, not even for one day. She doesn't know how to dress or feed herself anymore. She doesn't even go to the bathroom most of the time and just walks around in a soaking wet diaper.
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Let me just add, there are so many people on this site who have been where you are. You are not alone. (((((HUGS)))))

Don't do anything stupid. Please!!!!!
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Where in Europe are you, sweetheart?
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Needhelp, call a suicide hotline immediately. Or go to your local ER. The rest can wait.
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