The Treadmill: From work to caregiving and back to work.

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My mother is 102, and I made a committment 9 years ago when I moved back home to keep her out of the nursing home. It's never been easy, but I did OK until a caregiver came between my family and me. I won't go into all that-it was just too bizarre that an outsider could turn one's family against them. Now, I am consumed with resentment because I communte to a stressful full time job, commute home, and care for Mom. I get a weekend off about every 4 or 5 months, and a few hours now and then. Most of the time, I am so completely depleted that I have to use the few hours to catch up on must do house work. Mom is falling a lot now, and having what her doctor refers to as delerium; she will sometimes stay awake as 48 hours or more , talking non stop. She can not be left alone; I can't even shampoo my hair until given one of these little mini breaks . You would think I am the only child- but I'm not. I used to garden and take long walks, but these things are no longer an option. Mom whines endlessly, she is legally blind, and deaf as a post. Of course, when my sister in law or nieces visit, whom I used to love without end, they know so much better than me what I should be doing and Mom is suddenly doing very well, too. She can pull this off for a while, often making me look like the whiner. I am so tired, and so sad, and worst of all, I say unkind things more and more often. It's true that Mom pushes my buttons, but I should be able to be kind. I am trying meditation, but it is not helping much. I am extremely blessed to have several friends, cousins and nieces who have been in my position, or who know me so well that they can see the situation with more clarity than the family who lives right in the backdoor , practically. They can't do a lot, but they let me vent and do what they can. I have to say my brother does everything he can, and would do a lot more-but he has to keep peace with his family who are more selfish than I ever dreamed. I need a break so desperately, and don't think you can get it in VA . You get a set amount of hours, and a little respite. I am steadily using my respite hours to cover the time it takes to get to and from work plus cover a few nights so that I won't fall asleep at the wheel from being awakened throughout the night. All these agencies advertise keeping your loved ones at home; they mean loved ones who sleep through the night and don't fall down!!!! Just wondering if anyone out there is working and doing the lions' share of caregiving.

2 Comments

What kind of "commitment" did you make? To the death?

Your mother either needs meds to help her sleep through the night or she needs to be in a facility. You are too smart to let this be the death of you. Then where would your mom be?
doraann52,I bet you made that commitment thinking your Mom who was 93 would only be around for another year or two, not nine years. Nothing wrong with living to one's 100's if one is still of sound mind and mobility, thus quality of life for everyone around them.

Don't you love those commercials that show one's parent aging at home.... makes it look so easy.... there is one where the grandmother comes out to hug her young grandchildren and is dressed like she's ready for a round of golf or tennis :P

If your Mom is starting to fall and have some episodes of delirium, then she needs 24-hour care..... and not by another senior, either. We are just too old to keep up this pace without it doing some type of health damage to ourselves. And as Babalou had written above, where would your Mom be if something happens to you?

Time to reword that commitment to giving your Mom the best of care, even if it means being in a really nice continuing care facility.

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