musiclover1 Asked October 2011

How do I prepare for my elderly parent coming to live with me today?

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I need some emotional support please. My mother has been confined to facilities constantly for over 2 1/2 years and today I am bringing her to my home to have some quality of life. I have arrangements made but am very stressing. I still have a great career and I work full-time. I love my job. I am depressed this morning before I go to pick her up. I feel overwhelmed. I know this is the right decision. She made me promise never to put her in a nursing home. I have no family support. She has a great mind and no dementia so I will see how this goes. I am soon 61 years old and find that after a hard day at my job I am tired. I have been with her unfailingly for these years visiting and ensuring she has received the best of care. She appreciates me I know this. I never wanted children and dont regret this decision. Now I have a child who is physically fragile. I find my self feeling anger. I am seeing a counselor but really what can anyone say. I like so many others don't have a life now except I have a great and rewarding job. But how long can I go on with work demands, my own health to focus on and all of this. Sorry to vent but I am not in a good emotional place. I am due at the facility this morning soon to bring her to my home. Is anyone else going through in-home care and would like to offer emotional support please? I love my mother, there is no doubt. I never ever knew my life would come to this at a time when I have earned fun and am not getting any younger. Thanks everyone.

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EXPERT Carol Bradley Bursack Oct 2011
Hi Bonnie,
First and foremost, if this doesn't work out, you are still honoring the spirit of your promise. We shouldn't promise not to put a parent in a nursing home as we don't know the future. But we do. That being said, sometimes, after we've done our best, there is no other choice for them or for us. However, for now, you are trying what amounts to an experiment. You are taking her into your home.
I'm really glad you are getting counseling. Please keep that up. Also, please consider hiring some in-home care, if your mom needs a lot of attention. You need to get out on your own sometimes. You need and deserve a life apart - and so does she. She may enjoy adult day care a couple of days a week because that will give her a social life with peers. Many elders kick and scream about ADC, and end up loving it once they start going.
Please keep in touch on this forum. You will need the support. Many caregivers here have a parent living with them, so you'll hear from them.
Do remember - you can't help your mom if your health deteriorates. So, you need to try to strike a balance. This is always harder to say than do. This is where counseling may help you.
Do check back and let us know how today goes!
Carol
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patriot1 Jul 2012
My mom passed away ten years ago. She had been ill for 3 months, and was finally discharged from the hospital. We decided to have her and my dad stay with us until she felt stronger. We made a bedroom for them out of the office on the first floor, so the powder room would be right there. On the 2nd night they were there, my mom got up in the middle of the night, and accidentally opened the basement door, thinking it was the powder room.She fell completely down the basement steps, severely breaking her arm and hip. She passed away about a month later. Now my dad is transitioning to moving in with us. I am still going through major grief from my mom ( I think it is really post traumatic stress due to the fall). I have a husband and two daughters (9 and 16). Our lives are really busy, and I work full time. My husband works out of our home virtual office. Moving my dad in is a necessity. He is 87 and can't really upkeep his house/yard anymore, and he has some health issues. He is very stubborn and even tho we have established a bedroom for him, he spends all day in our family room, watching tv... most of which are war shows I don't want my daughters to watch. We are hoping to get him a tv for his room as soon as we can. I am a wreck. I feel like our lives have been taken away. My dad usually wants it his way or no way, and now he is bringing things over from his house , which we will be selling soon. We never sit as a family in our family room anymore because he wants to only watch his shows. If we try to watch something, he paces in the kitchen. I am worried that my anger will only get worse. My girls have to go upstairs after dinner now, and we can't enjoy any family time. Any help would be appreciated.
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Hang in there the best you can. God provides the strenght for us. Some days are harder than others but if your mom has no dementia it won't be that bad. The things that make caregiving hard are when they can't take care of themselves. A couple suggestions that work for me right now: Meals on Wheels. this is a godsend as they bring mom her meals and I know she is being checked on and also fed on a daily basis. The meals are great and nourishing and very helpful when you are working full time. Plus, if you don't feel like making dinner after a long day of work, you mom has something to eat. I leave my mom things like jello and fruit cups, mini bagels and cream cheese, yogurt and single portion items that she can snack on during the day. The second thing we just did was install security cameras inside the house and we can monitor her during the day at work to see that all is ok. This is great peace of mind to see that she is ok during the day especially if she were to fall or something when no one is home. The most rewarding thing is the realtionship you will develop with your mom when she comes with you. Count yourself lucky to be able to have that. If it ever gets to the point that you need assistance there is a great deal available for the elderly so don't fret. And if she deteriorates over the years and you have to put her in a facility even though you promised you won't, don't beat yourself up about it. Things change and I promised my mom the same thing. However my mom has dementia and if it gets to a point that she can no longer function during the day or it affects my family or my health than that is something that has to be considered. Take one day at a time and you will be fine. This is a great forum for advice. Anything that might come up for caregiving can always be answered here. Good luck and keep us posted on your new journey. God Bless!
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mariesmom Oct 2011
bonnieadams - my heart is breaking for you because I have been exactly where you are 2 1/2 yrs go. I WEPT when I left my house for the last time before I brought my mother home.I KNEW what I was giving up to bring her to my home, but I had promised to never let her go to a NH - and I am a woman of my word. Someone on this forum reminded me once that these promises we make to our parents are made with our emotions - not with our logic. (Its a bit like promising your fella you'll wait for him when he goes off to college), but the reality is that people and circumstances change over time and that keeping that promise might result in doing harm to yourself.

You have a job you love. I assume you NEED to work. Ask yourself what will happen if your caregiving for Mom makes this impossible. This happened to me

I gave up a 52K a year job to care for Mom. 21/2 yrs later Mom is gone (she died at home mid September) and I am without insurance and basically unemployable - no one is lining up to hire someone of my age (55). I am overquaified and too expensive.

I don't regret bringing my Mom here, but the truth is it left me financially devastated with little hope of recovery, and in poor physical health and with no health insurance to assist me. Knowing this, if I had it to do over again I would have moved heaven and earth to find another way to take care of Mom and myself.
There are far too many of us on this forum in your same situation. Some are still juggling the full time work and caring for Mom. Come on back and find the thread with support givers that will work best for you.
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Patti4Mom Oct 2011
I take care of my Mother at her home. It is usually a good thing. I had a good job and home and possessions. I gave them all up to come and take care of her. Willingly! Sometimes it is hard to live by that decision. I am now almost 59. I do not feel I can get a good job any more. No insurance, no income. I am basically stuck. I have all I need. I cannot complain. But, I think other people have expectations of me getting a job and running Mom to the doctors, her clubs and her meetings. I do not have the energy to do all that any longer. I wish I did. If she hired a caretaker they would have to be paid. If she would have to go to the doctors, her help would be paid. I am tired of feeling guilty for living with my mother and feel like I am being judged. If you value your mother, give her your time and love. It is hard living like a daugher and not an adult. I try to take it one day at a time. Counselors are good to a point; they are human and counsel out of their experience or out of other peoples input. We sometimes need some objective thinking but ultimately we have to make our own decisions and live with them. Do what you can live with. That is just my two cents.
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Here4her Jul 2012
When mom moved in with us the only problem was she took over my kitchen. She was in excellent health. I had quit a career I loved to take care of step dad
We could come and go as we wished. Now 7 years later it is a different story.
It will be hard to adjust, but DO NOT quit a job you love. You will regret it.
Now my health has declined to the point we both spend most of the day in bed.
I know mom should go Into a place because it is killing me, but I just can't bare to do it. Going to put her in for month for respite and see if it helps me.
My heart goes out to you also, I remember the day my brother called and said "mom wants to move in with you". We always said she was welcome, but it changed our lives. Some for the better, grandkids getting to be real close to her as they grew up.
Please take care of yourself!!! Easy to say, hard to do. Also realize she will get older and more health problems. Please keep us posted.
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Reader83 Mar 28, 2018
We put mom into assisted living when we knew she could no longer live alone. She has moderate dementia, but is very pleasant - probably more than when she did not have dementia! After 2 years, my husband and I decided to move her in with us. Even though she is really very little trouble. It is still taxing on us - arranging schedules so that someone is always here. We are extremely luck in that we have found someone who comes in 3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week. Mom has the money to pay for this. She does a tiny bit of light housework, and talks to Mom non-stop. Mom loves having her come, and I'm sure she misses her on the weekend. Without Lynn, this would be an onerous chore. You have my sympathy and I encourage you to find a wonderful person to be her companion and to help you out.
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JaneB Oct 2011
Good luck to you. Inhale quit saying, "I don't have a life," like it's a mistake that I have the situation I have, like life is supposed to be some "other" way. Odd as t sounds, it really, REALLY helped me quit arguing with reality and just be with life as it comes. There is less stress for me as a result. I'm about ten weeks into having my Dad move in. I've found that what also helps is not treating him like a guest. Just like I was fine saying "no" or "not now" to the kids when they were kids, I'm learning ti say that now. You love and good vibes!
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I applaud you tremendously, I took my Mom home with me almost 4 years ago and when you sit by your Moms bed at night tucking her in, you will feel so at ease and wonderful! Its tough, sure it is, but so rewarding, so worth it! I used care.com and found help while I was working fulltime. I just retired due to Moms funding that ran out but I still have help here to give me breaks. She has enough SS so I get help now, its wonderful. Email anytime, you must be a wonderful person to do this , sacraficing, and doing it out of pure love.
Luvmom
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Maybe a caregiver can help you...I am ready to help...just contact me my email add...jeanelumayno@yahoo.com...I am graduate of Nursing course and i am a registered nurse here in Philippines...
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