Taking care of my Mom (95).

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My husband and I have just started taking care of my 95 year old mother. I'm completely stressed and it's only been 2 weeks. Looking for support.


Sounds like you have an impossible task for 2 people to do for one person with mobility problems 24/7. Does she have any resources to pay for a paid caregiver to come into the house? Does her doctor think she can continue to live in your home with your help?
Tell us more about your mom. My mom just turned 95 and is able to live on her own (in independent living), with a LOT of help from me. As a friend said, "She's in assisted living and you're doing the assistance." That's true. It's frustrating, draining, joyful, scream-inducing, sad, funny, all kinds of things.

My mom's biggest issue is she has no short-term memory, so trying to get her to remember things is impossible. What's going on with your mom that is so frustrating for you?
Mom was living on her own until we had her live with us. I'm getting little, if any support from my siblings who now live 3 hours away. Before the move they lived in the same town but did the minimum in terms of helping her or inviting her to social events. She uses a cane but is still very tentative walking. Her short term memory is diminishing and she can get very agitated when things don't go her way. She is also extremely possessive of wanting me with her at all times...which makes it difficult to do things on my own or with my husband. I feel like a teenager all over again. :-/
The first months are difficult, because everyone is adapting to each other. Hopefully it will get better soon as people adjust. The thing I would find most worrisome is her depending on you too much and shadowing you. That can become habitual and is a huge stressor. Maybe you can set aside blocks of time for you and her to be together. I think your husband's and your relationship should take priority, however. Maybe you can have one night out every week or two without your mother, and maybe a certain time in the evening when it is just you and him doing things. Your mother should understand your need to spend time with your husband. If she doesn't, you'll just have to tell her that it is the way it is.

I imagine that you and your husband thought this out carefully, and knew it was the best solution for the moment. If it were a simple roommate you moved in, it would be easy to see that the roomie would just have to fit in with the primary relation between you and your husband. It complicates it when it is your mother. They can be so bossy and demanding at times. You'll just have to be firm with her or risk feeling a lot of resentment.

Are there things that she likes to do? I know things are limited at her age, but I wondered if she might enjoy making new friends. It might make her less dependent on you for company.

It isn't easy. I hope that you'll be able to work things out so everyone is comfortable. I know your mother is also feeling uncomfortable, living in a new place. You are probably her touch stone of familiarity. Maybe there are other opportunities for her out there, perhaps at church or the local senior center. Much luck with the new life. We know how you feel.
Thank you for all of your support. I'm so glad I found this site. I don't feel like I'm being irrational about my behavior anymore. It's nice to know that the things I'm experiencing with my mom are within the normal range of conflicts and adjustments. Your suggestions also give me the courage to stand my ground on setting boundaries and establishing times to be with my husband...and to be alone. Thank you again for the words of wisdom. I'll be checking in regularly and hopefully I'll be able to help someone else who is in a similar situation.
The other thing to consider is whether to get your mom on an anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication. Does she have a good doctor who is skilled with dealing with elderly patients? The agitation you talk about is what I'd want to look at and get treated if possible.

Also consider a daycare program for her if you live in an area where those are offered and she would be willing to try it. Or bring in a companion for a couple of hours a day or a few times a week, so you get some "me" time and she gets to interact with others.

It's hard when people get to our moms' ages, they don't have many friends left, so they turn to us for their social outlets. I have a brother in another state who's only involvement is a weekly phone call (that I insisted on), so I could have one day away from my mom. You'd think he's the primary caregiver if you talk to him, LOL. So I know about uninvolved siblings.

The hard thing for me is I'm literally my mom's only contact with the outside world. That's a huge burden to put on anyone. My mom is very independent and likes to read and do Word Find books, so she doesn't need constant hand holding, but since I'm her only human contact, I feel compelled to talk to her frequently (2X a day and then several/multiple visits a week). The sense of responsibility is draining.

And my mom has no short-term memory, so keeping her on track and functioning can also be draining. So hugs to you from another caregiver for a 95-year old mom. It's a tough job!!
Thanks for the hugs! ((()))

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