New to caregiving for mom and looking for advice.

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I am currently taking care of my mom. My dad is helping but we both work full time jobs. Right now my mom can stay home and take care of herself for the most part. She is not allowed to cook or use the stove but can use the microwave. She has to use a walker to get to the bathroom. We are new at this having to take care of her and we are stressed and scared. Looking for advice.

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Did the ER test her for a UTI? They can cause slurred speech, weakness, falls...and much more! I recently wrote about some of the experiences we've had with them in caring for our parents. She may indeed have had a stroke, but be sure the UTI has been ruled out.

All the best!
Amy
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Are there any day centers near you? my Mother goes a couple days a week and it does make a difference. I know we are lucky because it does cost but it has been good for her and myself, she can be social with people in her situation and i get a little break here and there to run errands or just be by myself. We checked it out very carefully and have been happy with the care. If i can answer anything please just ask.
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My mom is 59 yrs old. She has been diabetic for 21 years. She did not take good care of herself and has been insulin dependent for probably 10-12 yrs. She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure about 13 yrs ago. Up until the last year she was still somewhat active. Leaving to go shopping once or twice a week, picking my kids up from school, taking them to the park in the summer time. She has not left the house since January 21 of this year. She started falling the beginning of the year, she could get herself back up, until last week. She fell twice in one day and it took 3 of us to get her up. She is also morbidly obese. This last weekend she fell again and I told her that was it, I am calling the ambulance, she reluctantly agreed, the firefighters picked her up and she let my dad take her to the ER. She is now using a walker, wearing Depends, and sleeping most of the day.

The only thing they found at the ER was fluid on her lungs, and a high bilirubin count. They tried to do a Cat Scan but she could not lay down for it to be done. We think she had a stroke sometime in the last 2 weeks, her speech is dramatically slurred and she mumbles and is very confused. But other times she is completely lucid and makes perfect sense. She is very weak and shakes all the time.

The reason she is not allowed to cook is the last time she tried to she caught the sleeve of her nightgown on fire. She did not tell us about this until just yesterday!
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Amy, it is hard enough being a working mother ... to be caregiver in addition is a huge undertaking. You are lucky there are two of you. Be sure that Dad gets out one evening a week, and part of a weekend, to bowl or golf or just hang out at the local diner with his buddies.

Make sure you get to your children's band concerts and soccer games and other important activities. And ALSO have some time out for yourself. You should take one weeknight and part of a weekend, too -- not counting the time for the kids' activities.

No matter what your mother's impairments, having regular respite is a way to prevent caregiver burnout.

You say in your profile that Mother has declined dramatically. That will probably continue and she will reach a point where she can't be left alone all day. There are some excellent adult day health programs (day care) out there. I suggest that you look into what is available before the need arises. In fact it might be good to start her soon on one day a week, and add more if/when she declines to the point of needing more.

You can do this! But I'm quite serious in stressing the need for breaks and time off, for both you and your father.

Tell us more about your mother's needs, her age, etc. and some caregivers who've been in similar situations will probably respond sharing their experiences.
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First off, hats off to you for having the compassion to do this. The one piece of advice I can give is always make time for yourself. At times it may seem difficult to do, but if you don't you will grow very resentful. I am thankful that I have a brother who will keep an eye on my father while I go out. If you do not have this option, there are a lot of great programs out there to help. I know of a few in Georgia...not sure where you are located. Make sure to take care of yourself first. If your own health is not in order, it will be tough to have the physical and mental stamina to handle this long term.
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Hi Amy. What is your Mom's diagnosis? Does she have Alzheimer's, or an accident, or disabled from ? Physical or mental difficulties require different energies and worries. When you say she is not allowed to cook, ifs this because she does not turn off burners or is physically unable to manage. Please explain a bit more. We are here for you! xo
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Thank you so much, she has fallen but she always does it when we are at home. We think she may have had a stroke in the last couple of weeks. Her speech has changed, she has no power and she shakes all the time. We took her to the ER and they tried to do a cat scan but she can not lay down because she is so heavy, when she lays down she cant breathe.
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Take it one day at a time. It's great that she is able to stay home at this time. I would consider getting her a medic alert necklace/bracelet in case she were to fall so your dad, you or emergency services can be called. There are several out there so do your research and see which one fits better for your mom via costs, services, etc. You may also want to place a spare key somewhere on the front porch so emergency services can enter or a friend could check on her if needed in the future. It's scary and frustrating, and don't ever hesitate to ask for help. There are some helpful services out there so you may want to check with your local Elder Services. Good luck!
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