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We've recently moved my 83 year old mother in with us into a home addition we built especially for her because we saw it coming and she has been diagnosed with AD. We are still in transition and on her good days she asks to go home or writes herself post it notes on many things. I could write a whole list of things I am up against with her and we have joined an AD support group that meets once a month, but the biggest thing I am up against at the moment is "feeling tied down with her". We live in one of those HOT states and so the past weeks has been 100 degrees plus and going up so I don't want her outside only for dr appts. I feel guilty when I have to go out to do anything and she doesn't get to go. I tell her how hot it is and she does not need to be out in the heat and stay inside.
I keep telling myself the smartest thing I learned so far is I can't be responsible for her happiness but I can and am responsible for her safety.
I still feel bad when around her. Any thoughts?

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I would encourage you to see a therapist in order to gain more freedom.

Sounds like your emotional state is still very tied in with hers. Why this is so and how to get out of it most likely will take some therapy if you can afford it and get a good therapist.
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I had some similar feelings when my mom first moved in with us. I think it is very normal to feel "tied down" when you are taking on such a big and frankly unknown responsibility. Not that it is a supposedly happy time like when having a baby, but it is similar to some of the ambivalent feelings that new moms can have after bringing home baby. Most new moms without even admitting it probably have the thought cross their minds once in a while, "What did I get myself into?" or "What was I thinking?" It is not that they do not love their babies or that you do not love your mom and really want to take care of her, it is just a very big adjustment. It can take some time to get used to the new arrangement. Your mom is also going through a very big transition, too. So be gentle to her and yourself. And give it time.

I know what you are talking about with the hot weather and trying to find something to do in a cool place. I have been having some of the same issues this summer. I don't know where your mom is with the AD. If she is in the early stages, I am going to venture to say you would like her to still be a part of life as much as possible before the later stages. It does not mean you have to provide her with entertainment every moment of the day, but may be just some time out a couple times a week. Summer will not last forever and there are a lot of places to go that are air conditioned.

Going out to a restaurant is one idea. Is taking her to the mall just to walk and window show an option? If she cannot walk the mall should have wheelchairs to rent. Are there any adult daycare centers or even a senior citizens centers in your area. She may enjoy going a day or two a week. You might have the option of dropping her off so you could go out to do something on your own. The time out in the heat to go should not be any more than going to the doctor.

Also for days that she stays home watching old movies or old TV shows she may have enjoyed many years ago might give her some entertainment, too. Even if her short-term memory is not there, her long-term memory may still be strong - again depending on the stage. If she can no longer read, may be read books to her or let her listen to audio books even if she has already read the stories before or even listen to her favorite music. There may be companion services provided by volunteer services or even for pay. May be this would also be a good time to try to record stories she has to share.

The most important thing at this time of transition is taking care of yourself. You do need some time for yourself and to go out on your own. You do not want to become isolated from the outside world and feeling cooped up in the house is not pleasant. I started getting claustrophobic after taking care of my mom. Even though it as been over 8 years since she died, there are still times I cannot go into certain situations without feeling a panic attack coming on. It is just the feeling, luckily they do not actually happen.

Best to you and your mom.
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