Frustrated with my family and caregiving. Where can I find emotional support?

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i don't like to whine,but i moved 4000 miles to move back in with my 80 yr. mother who has arthritis and hearing problems.the tv is so loud and i have to constantly hollar to be heard.she has hearing aids in both ears but they are not much help.she's also very forgetful.i do the cooking,cleaning,yard work,trips to wherever i'm sure this is all common stuff.but i'm a 55 yr. old construction worker and have to go back 4000 mi. to the next job in the spring.i have 3 sisters who are married and live 20 mi. from here but they never or rarely ever come around.i can't find any support groups in the area.any suggestions?

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Old habits v. new habits and needs - he's gone from her making him food, after asking if he'd like something to eat to him being proactive and making her food, without asking. My dad (AD) wouldn't eat unless my mom also had food in front of her (the ingrained habit of looking out for her). It took some doing and time for my mom to accept that she needed to go along with it and have food too, even if she didn't want anything. She didn't need to eat it, he just needed to see that she had some too. It was tough for her to get this new dynamic but she did.
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Thank you Vicky64. As you noted, the only reason I can come up with is because he would then be the "woman of the house". He never had to do anything and he is not going to change at 88! Yes, we are also trying to push the fluids! Thanks again.
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Just a guess, but I would say this sounds like my Mom, and there are definite dementia issues there. Dad needs a hand on his arm to guide him to the bathroom, dining room or wherever. Mom has always been dependent on his opinion and guidance!! It is hard for her to fathom that she has to watch out for him. They are in Assisted Living, together, and doing well. Her memory is going, too. Your Dad sounds like the effort of arguing with your Mom is more than he can handle. As you said, he never did care giving for anyone else, so he doesn't feel the responsibility that women sometimes do. I wonder if putting the food in front of her would make him feel like he was the "woman' of the house.?? I don't know. Sometimes resistance is the last bit of independence they have!! God Bless you for your efforts. Hope it all work out and mom stars gaining weight. Oh, and watch her water intake, very important. You probably already knew that! You are doing the very best you can. Kudos!!
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We are ensuring she has a good meal at least once a day. They say she has cereal in the morning. I just don't understand his lack of cooperation. He says she argues with him and doesn't want to eat. We are getting her doctor more involved but it would be so helpful to have him cooperate more. He is very worried about her so I can't understand why he is acting the way he is. The only thing I can think is total ignorance. He never had to take care of anyone. She always took care of him. I'm sure some is anger over her illness as well. Thank you for your input. We just can't figure it out. We also have help coming in a few times a week that makes sure she eat's lunch, which he hates that someone is there but we are not going to stop it. We work so can't be there all the time. It would be such a great help if he could help with her well being.
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What is wrong with him? Passive/aggressive behavior? Anger over her illness? Total and complete ignorance? A subconscious wish for her to die?

You know him. I don't. What do you think is wrong with him? Do you think it would help if a doctor explained to him the value and purpose of offering food without asking about her appetite? Sometimes a message from an outsider is taken more seriously than one from mere children. (Sigh.)

My husband was "not hungry" the entire ten years of his dementia journey, but he ate at regular times and enjoyed going out to eat. I think that is fairly common in dementia.

Are there enough friends and family that you could set up a schedule to drop by daily and get your mom somthing to eat?

Do discuss this with your mom's doctor. She is being neglected by her main caregiver, and that could have serious consequences.
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My Mother has Alzheimers and won't eat on her own. If I give her something to eat (without asking her if she is hungry she will eat it. My father makes something for himself and doesn't give her anything because she says she isn't hungry. She has lost a lot of weight. We have asked him hundreds of times so just put the food in front of her, don't ask her. He just won't do it. What is wrong with him and why won't he make sure she eats?
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Hi ya'll. I'm 55 and have a bunch of brothers and sisters and not only do not get any help from them, but am constantly being accussed of things that I have not done like stealing from my own mother! Even if they visit once a year they don't even help while they are here, but they sure are full of demands and "suggestions!" I am not only expected to continue doing everything for my mother while they are here, but I have to act hostess to them also!!! My mother is lucky to even get calls from them. All I want to do is take care of my mother and my siblings have made my life a living hell! I've been told that I am a terrible caregiver and that my mother would be better off in assisted living. I know that at this stage in her life that she wouldn't survive even a year there. She requires WAY too much attention. They'd probably kick her out anyway. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my mother, but she can be VERY difficult to deal with. Anyway, you may actually end up being better off without your sister's "help." I have actually had to disown all but one of my siblings just to stay sane!! I have felt so much less stress since then! Well, up until I read an e-mail a couple days ago and began shaking again immediately! Should have known better than to read it!!!! I guess what I'm trying to say is sometimes "help" isn't all its cracked up to be. I just know that in order to continue taking the best care that I can for my Mom, I had to get back control of my life and quit trying to please everyone else. What is important here is my mother.....I signed up to care for her, not my siblings so I am just going to continue doing the best job I can. All my Mom's doctors are very impressed with how well she's doing and I get thanks from strangers I meet for what I'm doing for my Mom, so this is what is real and what is true. I am moving on with my life without the support and help I need, but am better for it. I do hope that you will find a comfortable place for yourself also. What we do is so very difficult on so many levels that noone will understand no matter how hard we try to explain what we do and what we go through. Its definetely one of those things you have to experience to understand. It is just so wonderful that we have sites like this for support. This is my first time on here in a very long time and really didn't have a lot of time to spend on here before either. I am going to try really hard to make myself read more on this site. It makes a world of difference so thanks to all of you that offer support and share your stories! I look forward to learning more and better ways to care for my Mom and myself so that I can be a better caregiver!!!!

Just realized that I typed the above, above the following paragraph. Leaving it in just to give you guys some info on my life. My Mother is 81 and has dementia. She is doing pretty good, but her shortterm memory is gone so I can't leave her alone for very long. I do not have control of her money and they have decided that I get 10 hours a week away from her. If I go over that I have to pay for the homecare myself. I recently paid a bill that was over a thousand dollars!!! I am on disability myself and get a decent check each month and my mother owns her home and pays the bills, but I pay for all my personal stuff. My siblings think that I'm getting a "free ride" and that ten hours is enough. They say/think that I am "banking" all my money and living the "high-life." I actually got a huge lump sum because it took so long to get my disability, but it is all gone. They were looking at all shopping and receipts so I always buy my Mother what she wants/needs with my own money just so I don't have to answer to them. God has always taken care of me and I believe that he will continue to. Things just always seem to work out for the best for me and I will continue to believe and live that way cause it seems to be working.

Anyway, hope someone, somewhere got something positive out of my post. I'll take any suggestions or comments that could help me also. Anything to make the lives of our loved ones and ourselves better is always appreciated!!!!
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Johnb,
(8) siblings we had communications problems. I set up email addresses for (8) siblings names and (5) grandchildren's names. So many of the siblings are out of state. So when a crisis comes we do the email thing. It works. Try getting your sisters email addresses and let them know by email that you need their support.
Meantime be encourage, God knows your heart. Also, try looking for an assisted living facility or a nursing home. I know a nursing home is a taboo word for most people and it is the last resort. We had to place our (83) year old mother in a nursing home after a massive stroke. She is not happy there, but we couldn't care for her physically, she had gained so much weight over the years, that several of us injured our backs trying to lift her. So do what is in the best interest of your mother. In a nursing home she will get 24 hours care, But again it is the last resort. Take Care, God Bless
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Nanny05, I see that we're a month late in answering you. If you are still around ...

My husband is 86, is in his 9th year with dementia, and cannot be left alone. We cannot afford all of the costs of his care, but we applied for Medicaid early on. We have a fairly large monthly "spend down" but expenses above that are covered. (Kind of like paying a deductible.) Medicaid does cover varies in-home services. If you haven't talked to a case worker from Social Services, do not draw conclusions about what you can afford. You might be surprised.

You absolutely must get out some. That is not optional. Once we could count on our husbands to do many things, like fix the leaky laundry tub and fill out the tax forms and run errands and be considerate of our needs. Alas, we have lost all of that. Just as we've had to figure out how to take on or have somebody else take on the other tasks our husbands used to do, we have to learn to take care of our selves without their encouragement. It is sad, but necessary.

I'm sure you know that the increased selfishness is the dementia, not a change in his love for you. If he were in his right mind he would want you to take care of yourself. Please do!
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Nanny05 - This solution might sound very crazy, but it works at my house with my 86-yr old FIL who has mid-stage Alzheimers. Get the lady to come to your house, but have her put on a scarf and a name tag (with a name other than hers). "Introduce" the new person to your husband and say that she will be visiting with him. I do this myself with my own FIL because he won't listen to me about eating or taking meds, but when "Margaret" comes to work, he does everything "she" asks without even complaining!
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