Overwhelmed with caring for elderly mother.

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I'm a 53 year old male who is unmarried and is the caregiver to my 88 year old mother. I feel overwhelmed with my life caring for my mother and having a full time job. I have three sisters who live out of town and offer no help. My mother suffers from a heart condition and lumbar spinal stenoisis. She uses a can to get around. She has very poor mobility. My father died when I was 15 and these are the cards that I've been dealt. I cannot do anything on my own and if in the rare occasion I do go somewhere alone, I have to rush back home. It's very depressing to me regarding the situation I'm in plus it pains me to see the rapid decline in my mother. I hope people realize what "children" go through when caring for an elderly parent. I don't have a life and feel guilty somewhat when I get this trapped feeling.

4 Comments

Roscoe, does your Mom have any financial resources? Use them for her! Hire a companion for a few hours each day or week. Have her go to an adult day care facility a few days each week. Speak to your house of worship and ask if someone would be willing to visit. You CANNOT do this all alone and work full time and not go out of your mind. I am barely holding it together and my Mom was in an assisted living facility. But, the caregiver still visits, oversees, pays bills, shops for the incidentals, etc etc.
Caregiving is too hard for one person alone. You are already experiencing signs of burnout if you are feeling guilty and trapped. I encourage you to contact your area's senior services. Often states and counties each have an office. When I cared for my mother, senior services arranged a grant to cover the expense of respite care. A few hours alone while your mom is in competant hands can help. Ultimately though you will need to get regular assistance from family or professional caregivers. Bless you for taking on the responsibility of one you love. Please take care of yourself. A wise person once told me, "You can't give someone a drink if you let your well run dry." Perhaps it's time for your sisters to visit for a few days.
I feel your pain, Roscoe. My mother also has lumbar spinal stenosis. She uses a rollator when she goes anywhere. My mother doesn't have heart problems, however. That complicates things. It is not like you can encourage her to go for a walk like I do my mother.

Does she stay alone during the day? If so, it is good that she still has some independence. I can leave my mother alone for a few hours without worry. I am concerned about what will happen when I can no longer leave her alone. I imagine that you are worried about the same thing, but just taking it a day at a time right now. One thing I could suggest (for both of us) is think about what you will do whenever she requires someone with her all the time. Since you work full time, maybe you can start looking into places that your mother might like. Many older people are reluctant to leave their homes, even after it has become impractical for them to remain. Many times, however, they are content with a new facility after they have time to settle in and make friends. I hope you can find something and get some of the stress off of you.
Hello Roscoe. I came across your entry when I typed on the search engine about feeling overwhelmed when taking care of a parent. I noticed that this was entered by you 5 years ago. I am 54 years old and taking care of my 87 year old mom. I am one of 11 children. 5 siblings live out of state, one is deceased and the remaining 4 live not too far away but they do not always step up to offer help. It has to be my mom that calls them or myself. I have my mom living with me. I also have my sister and nephew living with me. My sister does help out every now and then but feels/wishes other siblings would offer help. It has been where even she does not really offer to take her out on weekends. It seems to only be me. I find myself getting angry and feeling depressed. I am in need of selling house and I am just to overwhelmed with caring for mom that I do not have the energy to dedicate to getting place cleared up and prepared to have it sold. My mom has accumulated so much that there is just too much in the house and I do not know where to begin. I was wondering how things were going for you?

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