Guilt about not being there for your parent...

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I live in a different country from my mom, who is home alone and quite lonely and depressed. She suffers from heart problems AND recently, hip problems. She can't have surgery on her hips due to her heart problems, and is therefore in a lot of pain.

I feel so guilty for not being there to assist her. I know she is lonely, and she is too stubborn to move into a nursing home or assisted living. And I don't want to ask her to do that either, because I know that is something she does not want. The most I can do is call her every day, but as time goes on, I feel this is not enough.

Is anyone in a similar position to me and feeling the guilt? How am I supposed to assist my mom, while continuing on with my life??


Hi juneza. I take it your Mom is safe to live by herself? And that moving her in with you is not an option? That is nice that you call everyday! Can she work a computer? Maybe Skype ? So she can see you and you her.
I wish I could be moe help to you but Imdo not know what to say. Just best wishes and blessings to you. I hope you can find a solution that works for you both!
thanks so much Mishka. She does okay by herself, she isn't to the point of not being able to cope. I think the hardest part for her is the loneliness. I wish that she could come and move in with me, but she has so many ailments I fear that it would be very hard for her to get here to actually stay with me long term, not to mention obtaining new insurance.

I would love for her to make some you have any recommendations that I could give her? I tell her, that when people offer her their number, she is not being needy by calling them up. In fact, these people probably want friends as well! But she seems to think that by calling them she is needy.

Thank so much for the kind words, its nice to know that people care :-)
Hi again! Why can't they just figure out teleporting already? Then we could just jump in our pods and visit and have dinner together and then -whoosh-back to our home! Hee hee I am kidding of course-but that would be lovely!
UGH -I keep hitting the submit button too early-I am on a tablet and it is very touchy. If I just brush the submit button accidentally it submits my response!
I know that when I was a member of the YMCA there was a wonderful group of elderly people that seemed to be very close. The women all seemed to be in the pool doing aquatic aerobics and the men all seemed to be sitting in the foyer drinking coffee and playing cards. Many of the women in the pool were not actually exercising but just standing in a group in the shallow end chatting. It was really very sweet to see. Is your mom mobile enough to join the Y? I know there is the Silver Sneaks Club that covers the cost for many seniors.
It is nice that people are giving her their number to call! Maybe you could call for her once or twice? Make that first step for her. Set something up for her from afar with her permission.
Is she capable of caring for a pet? My Mom finds so much comfort in her dog. She goes to the shelter and fines the ugliest and the oldest dog and adopts it and they inevitably just adore her and give her so much love.
Just tossing things out there for you hoping one sticks. If I think of anymore I will let you know!
This is so sad. Can you hire a companion for her for 2-3 days a week? Looking forward to someone coming in can be so nice, even if its meals on wheels. Maybe they could cook up things ahead and freeze them for your Moms alone days, play cards, watch tv, or go out on a shopping trip . My Moms shopping trips were 2 hours in the grocery store with me every week for years, I called it her work out and she loved it. I miss those times as she is in severe dementia stages now. I hope your Mom has a call button , even if its a telemergency machine/button that will call you with the press of a button if she falls. There are also daycare centers that will come and pick them up and give them a great day with breakfast and lunch and return them home. Good Luck
PS. Have you asked her to move in with you, I know you said it would be difficult but I think well worth it in the long sceme of things. She may say no in fear of burdening you but that would be best of course. If you tell her you are lonely too and would love her to, you may just convince her. Best of luck.
sounds so very familiar. I can understand your concern. is your mom involved with church group, book club, senior center. To hire somebody you certainly need to have somebody you trust. Do you have a Dpoa that includes to be involved with her medical issues. Especially you being out of the country, that would be something to consider on your next trip . Sounds like you are an only family member. I am sure you will do what's best for your mom.
Take care of yourself also.

thanks everyone for your comments and ideas, it is much appreciated! Although my mom and I have talked about it often, I don't think she will be able to move in with me, but not for lack of trying! The flight is too long, and unfortunately have oceans to cross in order to get her here. Breaks my heart, it is such a tough situation.

I am trying to get her to 'hang out' with women her age...but I think she is very shy and also in denial that she is getting older! I will try to recommend the YMCA, I think that is a great idea. As far as hiring someone, I think that may be an option I will look into. I have called around to some organizations and there may be one or two options.

@equinox, the saddest part is that I am NOT the only family member! In fact, my brother and sister live within 5 miles of my mom. Although my sister makes an effort, she can be selfish and forget. And as far as my brother....well...lets not go there ;-). We do have a DPOA, thank goodness.
If she has very basic pc/tablet skills you can use a free web site called plumbmetrics. I travel and use it to get status on my Dad each morning. Not the same as being there, but helpful when trying to get a few health details, or just show them you care and thinking about them. Good Luck.

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