Stressed out and needing a change. Caregiver for mother for 10 years.

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My mom moved in with us when my dad passed away in '06, living 6 mos in Florida and six mos with us. We converted our basement into a large in-law suite and forced a walk-out-up. She contributed money to help with these changes and living expenses. It has been 10 years and we've all changed a lot. It's effected my marriage, my health (weight and stress), my job opportunities. I no longer work. She's now 81, still fairly independent, driving and running errands. I help with more distant things and doctoring, surgeries, etc. I'm so burned out. I'm now also watching my grand-twins since birth for a whole year. I'm not available for mom at all now. I pretty much replaced my father as companion and lunch buddy, but now can't do much of anything with her for lack of availability. She's getting more sassy and mean, very negative and has fits and stomps away crying to her room. I'm beyond knowing how to handle this phase of her life. She's got heart disease and diabetes and refuses to eat properly which adds to the emotional drama. I'm no longer enjoying my home when she's here, my husband just hides in his office. She can't afford her place in Florida AND a place here unless she stays with us. I so want her to stay with one of my siblings for the duration, but my brothers both have high level jobs and their spouses shouldn't have to care for our mom. My sister wont take her...I've asked. What am I to do to get my life back...what's left. I'm 55 and exhausted from caregiving. This is not my life gift but it's all I'm doing. What in the world can I do?? And the guilt from feeling like this....endless


Nana, time for mom to make up her mind where she wants to live. Is she still on Florida six months out of a year? Why does she not live in Florida?
Gladimhere: She gets out of the heat. In her mobile park are mostly snowbirds that leave in the summer due to the raging heat. So it's lonely and pretty empty. So she heads north for better weather and companionship.
If your mom can decide where she really wants to live, you can then start looking for low-cost housing for her. Also check for any federal programs for elderlies with low income. If she qualifies, she will need to apply and go on a waiting list.

Your mom is independent. There's really no need for you to always be there for her. Remember, one day, she will be too old to be by herself. So why rush your daughterly duties now when it's not really needed yet? You need to sit down with hubby and discuss Setting Boundaries with your mom in your home. What is the reasonable rules you will expect from her?

Regarding appointments, she does she tell you the dates in advance? Is it feasible to re-arrange her appointments from 2 separate days to just one day (maybe one in the morning and one in the afternoon?) So instead of taking mom 2 separate days to an appointment, you got it down to 1 day.

What's your rules about dinner time? You all eat together? Is this a good time to catch up with your mom? If not, how about after dinner? After you do catch up, then the rest of your evening is yours, hubby and the grandchild. It's really up to you and hubby to figure out where to draw your boundaries.

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