I'm the mother now. Single women taking care of both her parents.

Started by

Emotionally and physically exhausted am I. I'm a single woman, taking care of both parents (one a stroke survivor, the other living w/heart disease and an uncle of diminished mental capacity. Brother, sister live out of state and barely even call to speak to them much less ask me if I need any help or anything.

I'm hearing a lot lately from the older generation of aunts and uncles, that it's a good thing I never married and/or had children since I'm now the "mother".
I hate when they say that, I really do. I'm no one's mother!!! I'm a daughter and a niece. Make that a burnt-out daughter and niece who is fast reaching her limit and have for the past few weeks daydreamed what would happen if she went out one day and never came back.

I'd never do it of course but I never thought I'd get to the point of even wondering about leaving these people I love in such need. But, what about me?


oh the invisableone , , u are so alone and this is the right place to be at ,
vent all you want and uw ill feel better ,
i swear if i didnt know this exist i would nt know what i be doing now .
you sure do have ur hands full . plz go find a home health care or somethings thats out there , ask the doctors if he could order a nurse tocome out , they ll help bathe em also . give u a little break ,
im taking care of 87 yrs old dad and it is hard and lonely and depressing , im not too bad now since i found this site .
ya learn from others and take the best advice there is .
hire someone toc ome in for few hrs or longer so u could get out and have time for urself ,
i dont hire anybody cuz my daughter will come and sit with my dad if i needed to get away . so it all works out ok for me .
keep coming here my friend and i know u will feel so much better . theres so many out there that is going thru so much also .
welcome !!! xoxo
Ihard is so right and has been so supportive of us all I do not know how this site popped up on my screen one day years ago when I did not know how I could go on with the unendless care and verbal abuse of my husband and right away when I vented I got such an outpooring of support and could not believe those with such burdens of their own could take the time to listin to my pathacit whinning and respond pt was like a light in the tunnel. People would ask what they could do to help and I said to one person give me a call now and then she didn't -probably thought she would bother me when what I needed was a well person to talk to so bably and was so happy to find this site-and you can come on all hours of the day and night and there will be others doing the same thing it is amazing. come here and vent any time we get it we live it-my husband passed away a year ago and I come back to see how my friends are doing and sometimes am able to help others I had so much unwanted experience to share.
Invisible, there's always room for more venting. What a great site this has been for so many people. I think I would've gone crazy if I hadn't found this place. One evening after the nine millioneth fight with mom at her house, I came home furious, sad and crying a sea of tears. Got on my computer and found this haven. Mostly what we want is someone to listen, really listen and to share and to learn and along the way, the bonus of a good laugh.
When I first started here, my mom was difficult at best. Since then she decided we (my kids and me) weren't good enough for her and she no longer has anything to do with us. I've been able to express my hurt and disappointment here, probably so much I've made others sick of hearing it! ;-)
In 3 wks, I'm taking early retirement to be my one yr old grandson's caretaker (paid) and to spend more time with my husband, who's health is decling day by day. He's the love of my life and I don't want to have any regrets of lost time with him.
Don't get me started on the help I never got from my sister, mom's golden child. I don't see how she sleeps at night. If your sibs haven't stepped up by now, they probably never will.
How insensitive of your relatives to make such comments to you. You are you, a caring person who is doing what you feel is right. I hope you can find some respite because you deserve to have time for yourself.
Hi Invisible!

Welcome to our haven of rest & encouragement! You'll find that alhough we're in the same boat that we still take the time to be there for each other! This site has been a life saver to me & so many more!

I am SO sorry that you're having to go through all of this & that your siblings aren't there for you, their parents or their uncle! You really have your hands full! And I'm also sorry that mean & insensitive comments ahve been made to you!

I totally understand about sometimes wanting to "escape"! We have a major interstate about 10 minutes from here & I have often thought of getting on it & just taking off! But I am the only caregiver for my husband, who is fighting Parkinson's Disease & I just couldn't go off & leave him. His kids have a lot in common with your brother & sister in that, although we live in the same town, they NEVER call, let alone come to visit! They have never asked if there's anything that they can do to help or if he needs anything! That breaks his heart, as I'm sure that it does your parents & uncle! I'm glad that they have you to be there for them & to be so caring & loving for them!

Now, what can we do to help you?? We can offer suggestions...please feel free to vent all you want...We'll be there to listen & give you support! The suggestion of getting a Home Health company to help is a great idea! My husband has one that has come & done physical therapy with him & he also has a nurse that comes every 2 weeks to check his vitals. You can find Home Health companies in the yellow pages of the phone book. And if your parents have Medicare their services will probably be covered with no out of pocket expense to you guys! They should also have a social worker that might be of service in helping you to get some much needed help & rest. We've never used it, but I've heard that respite care is very beneficial & will give you some much needed rest.

I'm glad that you've found this site & won't be alone anymore! We gotta be here for each other! I know that it's not always easy, but please make some time for JUST YOU!!! You deserve it! You're the only YOU that there will ever be!

Hope you'll have an easy afternoon!
(((((((((((((((((((((((Invisible)))))))))))))))))))))))...This is a cyber-hug...next best thing to being there!
Hi Invisible ~

Looks like we are all sneaking in your back door.

You HAVE found the best friends I could imagine! Huh, Peach?

I too am single, never had kids. Finding myself alone with eldercare is exhausting! For months I barely ate & rarely slept. I'm getting better at it all now. I simply gave up on true help from my family. Lot's of grand gestures & heroic acts, but nothing that really helped.

I like you started a new topic! Watch out .... it will catch on!
Our computers are our best friends ... or I should say the people on our computers.

Cheers ~
I don't understand the thinking of the absentee adult child who will totally blow off the parent once they get sick. I honestly would like to know what their logic is, and how to talk to them to find out. Can a person talk to their sibling who won't help and, without jumping on them, find out the 'why' of not helping? Are they afraid of seeing the parent frail and weak, or are they just lazy? Are they taking this opportunity to pay back some wrongs done by the parent while they were growing up? Maybe by knowing what their thinking is, a person could negotiate around that somehow, and get some help from them. Has anyone ever asked what the deal is?
It's kinda like knowing exactly what your disease is, then make a plan on treatment.
I'd like to know their logic too!
If you ever find out, please share.
I have 3 older sibling, two are somewhat supportive yet not involved.
The other has vacations & wealth to tend to.
All with educational Master's & PHd's ... none seem to have any basic sense of aging. They are getting there themselves.

It's easier for me to do it all. It works fro them.
My absentee sister lives across the country so I have to give her a pass in that area. But flying in to spend 4 days with mom every 3-4 yrs didn't cut it. Sister said her vacation time was HER time and she wasn't going to share it every year with mom. My sister is a widow so it's not like she has to deal with an objecting spouse. Her son has not come to see his gma in 25 yrs. My sister has always said she can't handle unpleasant situations so I'm guessing adult diapers, insulin shots, wounds, 10 hr stays in the ER, etc. would fall in the unpleasant category. Sister has always been the weak one, and to be honest, I don't think she could handle it. I asked her one time why she couldn't do it for me at least and she said she didn't want to. There ya go, I got my answer.
Naheaton - in our case my sister lives near Mom and since my husband has died I have been out there to help with Mom but I think my brothers as Rip said have no sense of aging and my Mom helped my sister a lot when her kids were young so I think that is part of it also my Mom can put on a pretty good act when they do call they think she is fine because they have said that to me in passing and I tell them she is not all that great she sounds ok for a 5 min phone call but if you spend any time with her you will see how frail she is also Mom can have a sharp tongue also is very careful who she says what to-I was talking to her the day before my sister was going away and Mom told me she had been sick for days but my sister did not know-my sister talks to her at least twice a day but she did not let on that she was sick and in the past she has told me and my sister half the facts so we have to call each other to piece things together- after she had an accident she only told my sister her car door would not open -nothing about an accident until deeply questioned-some times I think she is sharper then us adult kids so I think there are so many reasons sibs do not get involved also our grandmother was so independent so late in life they may think it is the same with our mother-but this seems to be the fact generally one or two sibs do it all and then a parent dies and everyone one else is looking to see if there is any money to be had. We all will have to face judgement day and some will have an easy time of it and some will not.
always, Not everyone can handle poop, diapers etc. Myself included I'm afraid. You said yourself that your sister can't handle those things, but she can still be of assistance. Can you tell her, 'I know you don't like the grossness that is part of taking care of mother, and I totally get that. But would you hire someone to come in a few days a week so that I could have a break?' Would she pony up some money for that, especially if you gave her the power to hire the person? I know if it were me, since I gag easily with the whole diarrhea thing, I would gladly help my sister in that way if I possibly could. I don't know, maybe you've already been down that road with her...

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support