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I am living with my elderly mom who is 88 and her aging is causing me anxiety, sadness and depression. I love her with all of my heart and she has done so much for me but I feel as though my life is falling apart from all of the stress. Should I move out to feel at peace ? Or would I feel guilt leaving her alone? I think she would miss having me around but my mental health is suffering. Thank you

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Hey September21,

Thanks for sharing, I am sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time with your mother. Have you tried just sitting her down over tea and telling her how you feel. Tell her that you are scared of losing her and ask her what thinks. She will probably provide some much-need motherly support and comfort. The transition for her from caregiver to care recipient is probably a complicated one for her as well.

I agree that you do need time apart, maybe you could hire a part-time caregiver so that you could take on an outside volunteer opportunity or job.

Good luck,
Bill
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I agree with 195Austin
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I think that it is too stressful for you to do it full time if she is not eating or taking her meds you really can not make her do it she will just get angery usually unless she will allow you to assist her with there things but no one can be respomible 24/7 if you want to be her main caregiver you will need help-are there any siblings willing to assist you or can she afford paid aides but many will not assist with meds but would be able to fix meals but it is very hard to get someone to eat I did go out and stay with my Mom for two weeks to give my sister a break and found out if I cut up things is small pieces and put on a serving plate and let her take what she wanted she did eat more but some days she would only eat pudding but I told myself we would not get into a row about it. You need to have a social worker asses her to see where she is and if she can continue to care for herself with you assisting but not living there-you should not give up your life-get othere involved if there are siblings and they will not help personally maybe they can do something else-my brothers drive me out to Moms when I need to go or maybe they could pay for aides-DO NOT TAKE IT ON BY YOURSELF and do not promise to never put her in a nursing home if you have choose one nearby so you can visit often.
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I moved in with my mom than moved out again just to move back in. She started not eating,taking her meds. and wondering. So it was easier to be close than to have to worry about her or check on her all the time. But you have to have time off. You can't do it 24/7 or you will go crazy. I am almost there.
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You would benefit from respite care (either free or paid form). Do you have any family or friends that you can depend on to help your mom for even a couple of hours in the day? Sometimes churches offer these kind of services as well.

If it is something you really can't handle, then do what you must to be the best person you can be to yourself and to your mom. But it doesn't have to be a drastic move either, if you know where to get the help.

There are solutions. I think you would benefit from joining a caregiver support group as well if you don't have someone or some people who can relate to your experiences.

~Rose
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Can you move out? What happens to her then? My 85 year old mom lives with me and is beginning to have many short term memory problems...I'm beginning to wonder about my own sanity?
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Thank you and you are correct. If I move out I will still feel this anxiety when I visit her. I hope to find a counselor who can help me through this. I am not accepting her aging and I need to.
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I don't think so. Wherever you live, your mother will still be aging. It isn't where you live that is stressing you but how your mother is. You have to come to grips with that - not easy to do but you can do it! I found a counselor to be a big help in looking at this issue.
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I was very happy that I had other interest years before my husband passed so I now have activities that I have been involved with for a while start small and do one thing and you will meet people who are involved in other things and you will go from there you will find the people on this site so helpful and just staying involved may be the best for now-it was very hard for me to start going to my senior center without knowing anyone and was very quiet at first but am so glad that I reached out good luck to you and let us know how you are doing.
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Why have you never moved out and been in your own environment? I'd be depressed too if I had lived for X amount of years as an adult w/my parent and never felt the satisfaction of being on my own.
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I am unemployed at this time so much of my focus is on her when I am home. I did get away for a few days and felt better so I need to find a job or get involved with something that I love. I feel that it is too late to separate from her emotionally which is what a counselor told me but I will do my best and I appreciate all of your replies. It is true that my Mom has been my whole life even though I do have friends and relatives that truly care about me. I think a lot of my distress is just thinking about life without her. Thanks to you all
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I am glad to hear that you get out with friends, september21, but if your mother is "your whole life" as you say, I would suggest that before your mother (or YOU) get any older you need to have more things "going on" in your life or you will be totally lost when your mother has passed on. I presume you work outside the home but do you have time to do some volunteer work? Choose a volunteer job that is connected to one of your deep interests: for instance, if you care about animals, volunteer at an animal shelter. In such a way you will meet people who share a similar interest with you. Or join a club -gardening, photography, outdoor, music or whatever where you would meet people who would share similar interests with you. You need to prepare NOW for the time in your life when you will no longer have your mother as a companion. It appears to me that you are dreading that time so I would like to suggest that the best way to deal with this fear/concern is head-on. I think you sense this and that is why you wrote in for suggestions. Good for you. You CAN deal with this fear/dread and if you need help from professionals to do so, go for it. Best of luck.
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I think you need to find a good Caregiver Program in your community. This would be a program to help YOU manage all that is happening with you mom. There are many of them that are actually free.
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If it is possible for youm to get counseling it would probably help or a caregivers support group would be great so you can see our feelings are real and important and if you are lucky you will meet someone on your wave length and gain a good friend for life. Also maybe you could find someplace to voleenter so you can look forward to going someplace where you are helping others many places need help
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I have lived with my mom all of my life and have enjoyed every moment of being here. I am not sure why I am difficulty with her aging. I feel it is a fear of her loss eventually. I am not sure how to handle this. I have never moved out nor made a life of my own. I have no husband or children so she is my whole life. My mom is healthy and able to care for herself - I think it is just my sadness when she is no longer here. I know that if I left I would feel sad and depressed and miss her. I am so torn. I do get out with friends but when I return home the anxiety comes back. Please help me to understand what I need to do. Thank You
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September21, as ezcare wrote, you did not mention what aspects of your mother's aging are causing you stress. Could you explain more to this agingcare.com community of caregivers? I look forward to a further explanation from you as I think it would help some of us to offer suggestions. How long have you lived with your mom? Does SHE need you to live with her or have YOU needed to live with her? Do you have siblings to whom you can talk? Do you feel that you "owe" your mom? These are just a FEW of the questions I have. Please tell all of us more so we can try to help.
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Dear September21,
You do not mention what aspects of your mom's aging is causing you stress. If it is her health or the realization that it is not safe for her to be alone for any time, then getting outside help will definitely alleviate that stress. However, if your mom is aging well but this is forcing you to face your own future, then you need to confront your fears and stress head on. Watching your mom handle the joy and sadness of her golden years will provide you with the fortitude and courage to face your own golden years. This is both natural and rare in our present culture. We want to believe we are going to be eternally youthful. Moving out will not only deprive you of a great opportunity, but it will set you up for a very tarnished golden sunset.
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You didn't mention your age, or if u had a spouse or children of your own. Stress is a big thing and I agree with Jaye about help in the home and respite care. You need some time for yourself and to be with friends. You will be surprised how your depression and attitude changes after being with friends for a while. As caring and loving u sound about your mom I'm afraid u would carry guilt with u if u moved out. So my advice to u would be to get some help and time alone first and if that doesn't make a big change in your attitude then rethink the situation and go from there. Dane
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Can you get some home care help to work with you... An aid to bath Mom and a nurse to help with medications. Maybe even think about respite care. This would involve someone who will come spend time with Mom, and give you the opportunity to get out and do some things for yourself. Many home care agencies have folks who will do that or will reccommend someone for you. I would strongly consider getting some help. take care, J
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