What happens if I need to have an operation of my own?

Asked by

Those of you who are 'regulars' may remember that I am mom's only caregiver, she is 94 with congestive heart falure and hemoglobin insufficiency. No, there are no family members, church members, club members or any friends who are at flexable enough to step in and help with 24 hour care. We cannot afford live-in help. She is also demanding and narcissisic if anyone remembers my posts. I have mentioned a couple times that at 68, I have a few medical problems of my own. The most important of these is that I was diagnosed with a heart murmer a few years ago, and they have monitored me since then, The latest echo indicates a general weakening of my heart muscle, and the aortic regergitation has gotten worse. Doctor suggests that although an immediate decision is not necessary, within about 6 months I need to consider surgery. All that is one thing, but the main obsticle is mom. Her hospice nurse called Friday to check up on her and I told her this on the phone that I had told mom but she passed it off. The nurse said "Your mother surely would not do anything to jeperdize your health, would she?", to which I replied "Sure she would if it meant giving up her own comfort." The nurse was agast, being one who puts their faith in "warm and fuzzy" solutions, but they do not know her like I do. Today the social worker came and mentioned it to mom that I would not be able to take care of her for some time after the operation and that a short stay in a nursing facility can be arranged, there are other arrangements that can be made. Mom said "I'm not going to a nursing home!" (Period). Amy's eyes got about twice as big as they usually are...I do not think she could believe her ears. Mom does not have dimentia or anything except a bad temper and a selfish personality, but she is my responsabillity, end of story.

Has anyone had experience in which a parent without dimentia must be bodily picked up and placed in a care facility when they reuse to go? Mom thinks the whole thing will just go away if she does not think about it or lets me handle it as usual. There are more details that I want to think about myself to prepair for this, considering house, dogs, cat, etc., mom is not helping. Please do not exhort me to "take care of myself" (I try), or "trust in God" (we have never been churchy people). I need something solid..

Answers 1 to 4 of 4
This is a hard situation and I have been in your shoes with my dad. Maybe try "rewording" the words nursing home. Respite care is usually available at local nursing homes. Try to find one that is very home like with their environment. This may help. Try telling her that you need surgery and will be unable to care for her for a short time. Tell her that she will be going to a short-term care facility, instead of nursing home. I told my dad that he was going to a rehabilitation center to help him get stronger, so he could go back home. Mine was a different situation, but the words nursing home set him off. I hope this helps. Maybe even allow her to look with you, if possible, and pick the one she likes. I wish I had a failure proof answer, but I don't. But I have found that wording things differently can help a lot.
Top Answer
She knows I need surgery, she just did not want to accept the fact she may have to put herself out for awhile. "Dressing it up" does not work either. I am reminded of when I was new here I suggested to her doctor at the time that she may benefit from an anti-depressant, but that she would not take it if it were presented as an anti-depressant. Doctor understood and said she could make it just sound like a pep pill and gloss over the anti-depresssant quality. It worked OK until the first time it was refilled, she read on the information sheet that must accompany all medications that it was an anti-depressant and she refused to take it anymore (I DON'T NEED AN ANTI-DEPRSSANT!). However, today we had a doctor's appointment - her doctor that she has been seeing for several years now has a great way of talking to her and he told her that she must be flexable in this for it effects my life, she grumbled but agreed. I am going ahead to make plans now. Thanks.
Thats good. I'm glad its working out.
Thanks - it would still be interesting to know how others have dealt with aging relatives who would physically and emotionally resist placing them in a care facility just because they don't want to go.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support