The struggle, the nightmare.

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my mother is 87 and is so stubborn. she is refusing to wash, (dressing now recently becoming an issue too )she is not eating ,only drinks Complan she wont use a walking frame, so she just sits all day. my father has dementia and he is the main caregiver to her. the house smells, they refuse to have any caregiver come into the home,these are just some of the problems I have. my siblings also do what they can but my parents expect a lot from all of us. they live near me so my mother expects me to be at her beck and call.. I do as much as I can,but I have my own handicapped child and take care of my own family as a single parent. I help out with my grandchildren and find it very difficult to keep up with my mothers constant complaints and demands on me. I don't know what my question is really. I just need someone to understand. I am neglecting myself caring for everybody else.

9 Comments

As you are finding out not taking care of yourself first doesn't work. There is no way to make it work. You have to make a change.

As you probably already know your dad shouldn't be your mom's caregiver because he has dementia. That's a recipe for disaster. It sounds like your parents need too much assistance to be living at home. It's time for a family meeting with you and your siblings to discuss what to do about this situation because it isn't working.

As far as your mom's complaints and demands, if you cut off the "supply" of jumping every time she snaps her fingers that may decrease her "demand" that you to jump every time she snaps her fingers. And if your parents need that much care where you have to go over there all the time to take care of them then they need more care than you can provide.

Item #1 on your list of things to discuss with your siblings might want to be your dad. He can't be a caregiver with his dementia. What do you all want to do about your dad? Talk about this, figure this out, then go from there.

I think most people here will totally understand what you're going through. Putting our elderly parent(s) first in our life doesn't work. It's bad for us, for our mental and physical health and bad for our own families. Take care of yourself first so that you can be there and be capable of being there for your own family. Your parents should be 3rd on your list of priorities after you and your own family. Once you've got that straightened out if you find your parents can't live the way they're living it's time to think about an alternative.

Please keep coming back here and sharing what's going on. My died passed away a year ago and this site was a godsend to me. And my dad was a lovely man and I had the support of my brother and even under those near-perfect conditions I was still an emotional and anxiety-ridden wreck.
* I typed "died" instead of "dad".
Brenglee, I completely identify. While my husband was dying with cancer.....my in laws were getting less able to care for themselves but stubborn as mules about everything. They lived next door and their house was a smelly mess. I brought their meals daily and did their laundry. I also worked full time from my office in our basement.
Trumping all of that in importance.............I took care of my wonderful husband.
Anyway as time went on my inlaws got worse. They were hoarders and although they allowed me to clean to a point.........I wasn't allowed to throw anything away. Yes, I snuck a lot of moldy food out of the house disguised as laundry. (In laundry bag lol).

In 2010 my husband died and the light went out of my life. He was awesome, just awesome, and I miss him in every corner.

His parents continued to live in their own house for another 2.5 years...........till FIL got pneumonia and was hospitalized for 4 weeks. During that time, I moved MIL into my house. Then FIL straight from hospital to my house. FIL died in Oct. and MIL with Alzheimers is still here.

BTW, for many years - my husband and I tried to talk to them about planning for their care etc.......... but to no avail.
So we were left with a mess. They could've died long ago but they didn't and I just kind of waited for the "ax to fall."
We did as much preparation as we were permitted but in the end........ I had to wait it out to see which of many scenarios would happen to me.

So Brenglee, a new event will likely be the catalyst to propel you into the next stage. You're just "in waiting" till then.
No matter what, when the time comes, you will find a way and you will be okay.
thank you so much. such comfort in your words, and wasn't your husband a lucky man to have left his parents in such good hands. they are very lucky to have you. you are a saint to take on old people who are not your parents.
my grandpas house burned down in his last few years on earth and him and grandma lived in what was once the chicken house. gosh, stop imposing your fantasies on older folk who are happy with what they have.. dont mean to sound demeaning but everyone dont care to live to your standards.. they drank out of a spring and i clearly remember the water was delicious out of the tin pail and dipper.. the frogs moved aside and respected the human requuirement for the water too..
what the h*** are u talking about captain?? my mother will never be happy no matter what she has and she wouldn't live in a chicken house to save her life. your grandparents sound like normal down to earth folk. my mother thinks shes a queen who expects everybody to answer to her every whim. she lies,she manipulates,she does what she has to in order to get attention.There is no comparison here. Is it a fantasy to expect her to wash ??? you are out of order with such a reply to me
It might sound cruel but I think you have to say "no." I don't know exactly how you and your siblings will approach your parents, but they somehow have to allow a caregiver in to take over a lot or all of what you've been doing for them. Just be honest and tell them that you love them and care about them but that you can't manage two households. I'm not saying they'll like it or go along with it, just saying that's the start -- for one, it puts you in the mindframe that you have to cut back on some of what you're doing.
thing is, they don't understand, they don't care and they wont co operate. yesterday I called In with their great grandchild who is 3 yrs old, she was called a spoilt brat, she was told there was a monster In the house who would bite her if she went upstairs and that she would steal things and my daughter who has a mental handicap had to listen to her b***h about me while I did her laundry. im so angry.
sorry, maybe your mother isnt the same breed of hill folk that my family was..
sucks for you and yours cause were easy to please. i had a dam good man explain to me once that you dont deserve anything until youve first learned to appreciate what youve been blessed with. dont rip my azz, im a contented old man..

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