How Many of You Out There Are Taking Care of BOTH Mom AND DAD

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I've been doing a lot of reading on this site and it is WONDERFUL. But from what I'm reading most of it is about caring for only one parent. How are you coping? What do you do when one is needing care at home and the other is ill in the hospital needing care as well?

I've been in that situation once already and it was not easy. It was a real wake up call for my three siblings though. Even though I've been telling them for the past couple of years that they need to be here more often and that I'd like some help here now and then.

Right now my Dad is relatively healthy again, but my Mom is in steady mental decline and her Narcissistic behavior is not easy to deal with, especially since I've been her target all my life.

Just curious.

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Hi Sue, You've been on my mind all day today. I hope you're doing okay.

Feel free to sound off if your mother's driving you crazy. Unfortunately, the accusation will continue to get worse (and ridiculous.) My mom didn't really accuse me of things but she did with my 2 sister-in-laws. Like your mom mainly targeted you and bypassed your son and dad (?), my mom did the same. The more they denied, the more angry she got.

I'm glad you have other family members and your service dog to assist you when you're mom gets aggressive. Take care! Hugs from me!
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Sue, I envy you on knowing how to do minor repairs around the house. My parents house needs constant repairs. Our Dear Brother of Next door can fix most of these repairs but...after constant request for help, I end up calling the professionals. Our shower faucet is running again. The last time it was repaired by the plumber, it cost as $60.00. I came home, checked the faucet and then asked oldest sis (babysitting parents) if plumber came. She said yes. I asked why is the water still running (not dripping but running.) She told him to change the washer. Sigh...So, he came, the householder told him what she wanted done and he did it. He had no shame that he just ripped off the 2 elderly people in hospital beds in the livingroom (diningroom). He could have said, "Ma'am, the washer is not the problem. Since you're already paying me for the 1st hour, I think this is the problem..." He didn't! So, I go ask -again - my Dear Brother of Next Door (whom I had asked and asked and asked even before we hired the plumber - to fix the faucet.) and in upset voice that the plumber ripped us off! Dear Brother sends younger son over - who can't even loosen the faucet. So, Dear Bro sends older son to fix it. Done! That was months ago. Well, the leak is back! And our water bill has tripled! So, tomorrow, we call another plumber. (Yes, I did text askg sis-in-law from next door if hubby can fix leak this weekend. No response. No Bro.)

It gets so frustrating when you have your oldest brother living next door with 2 grown boys and a grown daughter. They mow their lawn and our front yard (only so that they can park there) but will not mow around our house. So, I have to go buy 2 scythes and swing it left and right to cut the clinging vines and these huge scary looking, creepy taro plants that's trying to cover our house..Fortunately, several times the scythes stopped right on my legs. Haven't cut myself yet.

My younger sister took me out yesterday until 3pm (to change parents' pampers). My Niece of Next Door (a teacher) had to come and babysit. Because she was not happy spending her Saturday babysitting Grandma and Grandpa, she just sat there as I was going to change Grandma's pamper. She usually helps me when she sees me changing her pamper. But Noooo, because she has to babysit on a Saturday after payday, she just sat there. I was sooo angry.

I have to keep reminding myself that I will not let them make me slide back to being resentful and angry because they are not helping me. For my sanity and my health, I need to stop it since it only affects me...and my high cholesterol (from Stress, not from food.) Time to sleep. I hope you're all handling your stress better than me!
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Sue-sounds like you have an excellent dog. With your mother, you need her. Please get the lock for your door. Then you can carve a safe space for yourself in the house. It sounds like your Mom still sees you as a child, with it being her house, not as her caregiver. My heart goes out to you.
nursecarebear-You sound like you have become a strong person with what you've gone through. I hope to get there someday, too.
bookworm-AL is such a terrible disease. And scary for you. My Mom isn't violent, but her temper is awful. Verbally, she is very abusive. As the cancer grows, I'm not sure how she will become.
When dealing with a violent person, one thing to try to remember is to always (when you can) position yourself between them and the exit door. Think about how each room is laid out, and where you need to stand/sit in case you need to make an escape. Let them walk into any room first - never go before them and put them closer to the door than you are. I hope that helps.
Right now I am trying to work it out so my Dad can start going to the gym. He has gained alot of weight since coming here. And with his arthiritis, he wants to do exercises in a pool. But my Mom is very controlling of his time and their money. It's been two weeks since he and I talked about it, and he still hasn't asked her if he can join. I know he is afraid to talk to her about it. It's hard trying to do what's right for both parents when one parent doesn't really care about the other one. She resents the fact that he also got cancer and stole some of her thunder. She only seems to ask about his health because she expects him to be here to take care of her. I have no idea what her medicines cost, but she tells me all about his new meds and their prices. Like it's my fault because I take him to the doctor. I told him I will pay his gym membership, but that might cause more problems. I understand the jelousy thing - any time I spend with him makes her mad. Dad is at his desk alot, watching TV or reading while I sit at the computer. Sometimes when we talk, she comes in and glares at us. Just because we get along and I am nice to him. - Becky
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Hi Sue - As I read about your mom, my heart started pounding fast. The Violent Stage is very, very scary. You're going to learn fast to trust your instincts when your mother reaches that stage. Mom was sneaky. She would walk calmly towards me and didn't show any anger until she got close. When I saw the hatred in her eyes, I ran! And she chased. Shiver. Yeah, go get a very good lock. Please don't buy those cheap ones! Trust me, when they get angry, they become Strong! I would also recommend a Plan B if she does get through the door. Or the window. And Plan C if she corners you in the diningroom, laundry room, kitchen, etc...

Hi Sandra, it would be nice to be appreciated like how your mom was to you. It helps a lot when for them. And you know what? When she passed away, you still loved her. And that is something very precious that most of us won't have. Treasure it with all your heart!

Hi Ruby, you may need to check the phone book and first look under the government listing on the elderly (elderly abuse, elderly fundings) They might be able to refer you to other agencies. Actually, maybe you can visit first the local hospital or clinic and speak to the Patient Care department. They will know.
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Hi everyone: I just want to say how much I admire all of you and also how said it makes me to see how many of you are treated. We retired in June 2004 and relocated to Washington state. The next year me moved my parents up to live in a newly built house across the driveway from ours. My dad had suffered a stroke in 2002 and could no longer drive. My mom had multiple health problems, plus she had some physical limitations from birth.

For a little over 3 years, I was in charge of everything from cleaning their home, all doc appointments, medications, meals, etc etc. My mom was diagnosed with a slow growing cancer with required surgery and a bowel resection. She had CHF and so many other problems. I don't know if she was a true narcissus, but she had no problem always making her needs known from coloring her hair and fixing it to so many other daily details beyond what I was doing.

From the time I was a child, being the oldest, I always felt there was some weird competition between us. She just seemed to be bothered by any needs I had or any desires I had as I grew older. Kind of like I wasn't supposed to have anything she didn't have. I learned eventually that the best way to win her was to do for her, but so much could be lost quickly if I expressed any thought that didn't back her up, even if that wasn't my intention, and I found she always showed an certain kind of anger if my dad showed any concern for me. I can only liken it to jealousy. I left home when I was 18 years old and never looked back.

Fast forward, I was the first to retire and my parents were in dire need of help, so we moved them up to live next to us. Slap forehead. My 3 sibs are out of state and can't help.

My mom died in Dec 2008. My dad continued on and suffered a major stroke in July of last year. He now lives with us and needs 24/7 care.

I was very organized when my parents moved here and I so appreciate notlikemom's comments about her calendar and all the things she does. I was retired so didn't have to fit in a full time job, but having a life went out the window.

The last year of my mom's life was difficult because she over did her pain medications and became a worse personality as a result. I think she might have been concerned about dementia, which just reinforced her need to be in control. It was a very difficult time. She eventually broke her hip in a fall. Things went down hill from there and she passed away.

It's been almost 7 years now. Still have my dad and am pretty house bound. My hear goes out to anyone who is trying to help parents and is mistreated in return.

Sue, it's been nice to hear more about your situation. Do you think your dad would consider placing your mom? Maybe the house is an issue for you. No shame in that, just wondering if there is a way to lessen the abuse you both suffer. Keep that sweet dog with you at all times and put the locks on the door. If she goes nuts, call 911 and have her taken in for a psychological evaluation. She needs one.

Cattails
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I'm careing for my father who is elderly, and needs around the clock care. However, I also need to work but us unable to hold a job and give my father excellent care. I was wondering If the State of Illinois in cook county will pay me for doing something that I have no other choice and do not mind doing. But at the same time I need to pay bills.
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My heart really goes out to all of you. I took care of my Mom for years, even after we had to admit her to a nursing home. I visited almost every day, washed her clothes, took her food because she didn't like the food there. I would sit with her while she ate dinner, then get her ready and put her to bed. On Sundays, while she was able, I would take her to church, but the last couple of years, she wasn't able to go so I would go after church and spend the afternoon with her.I have six brothers and sisters, but they all live away except one and we never saw him. Sometimes I was so tired I didn't know how much longer I could do it. I could never go out of town for more than a day, because she would get upset. But I never had the stress that you guys are dealing with. She always thanked me for everything I did and told me she didn't know what she would do without me. She passed away at 93 years old in January. I love her dearly and miss her so much. So, again, my heart goes out to you and your situation. The only thing I can suggest is that you check with Social Services in your area and see if there is any way you can get some help. Good luck and God bless you.
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Bookworm - Not physically violent yet. But I feel it coming. In one of my other posts here I told the story of her trapping me in my room with a bowl of my dad's vomit saying it was my fault that this was happening. I hollered for my son, and if it would not have been for him, she would have thrown that stuff in my face. My dog knows when she is bad and goes into protection mode. Princess is my emotional service dog, and sometimes what I cannot handle, she takes care of it for me. Mom came back into my room again last month bitching about something, and started toward me screaming all the way. Princess bit her to stop her from hurting me. I really don't approve of my dog biting my mom, but if she's gonna hurt me, then what am I to do? My brother told me to put a lock on the door. I believe I'm going to do that as soon as I have a couple of extra bucks. At least it will be some protection, and if she breaks it down, there's the proof that she's violent.

I'm so sorry you had to go through so much with your mother and father. And that you are still dealing with it. I promised I wouldn't leave again, and I won't, because if I do, then the sibs will sell everything and put them in NH. So it's all up to me. AIN'T IT GRAND!!!
Be Well - More later if I'm awake. Sue
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notlikemom - no sleep last night and a bitchy Mom this AM. Took my son to work so I could have the car to run errands (get out of the house alone!!!) I'm so sick of hearing that this is her house that I could puke. Not only do I pay rent, and buy the food I want to eat for myself, I pay for materials AND make repairs to the house myself. I'm very handy around most anything except electrical panels. Other than that, if it's too heavy for me, then my son steps in and take care of things. With the exception of my car and insurance 90% of my income per month goes into this househould. I'm not in such a good mood today, and my feeling is that someday, somehow, I'm going to get that money back, I'm sick and tired of seeing people on here get paid to take care of their parent, and I'm doing the opposite.

Well, off to get prescriptions and do a turn around Wal-Mart.

Later - Sue
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I took care of my father who needed 24/7 care.for 4yrs Mind sharp, but physically very disabled amputee etc. mom needed slight assist then for herself. (dementia)Dad passed last year and now mom needs complete care. I begged for help , had tantrums, but they didnt want anyone strange in house. Siblings "too far or too busy" with own lifes, I thought I was going to crack down. I prayed alot and found new ways to be happy at home all day/night (i live w/them because of their needs) It took alot of soul searching. All I have to say is I am grateful to have been through it, i am stronger and i feel so much closer to my parents then i had ever felt.Dad gone & Now with moms memory going quickly i am appreciating "my hard work" as a fortunate gift. Be strong, reach out and find time for yourself even if its 10min and get some helpers if you can good luck
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