meemaw Asked October 2011

Where do you draw the line between doing too much for your parent and not enough for yourself?

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I am on year 10 of caring for my mother. I was living in an apartment when dad was diagnosed with dementia and cancer. Moved home temporarily to help. So much for temporarily, eh? My mother is legally blind and has lots of other health problems including broken hip and diabetes. I have siblings but they act like since I live there, am single and have no kids (they don't have kids either) that it's all my responsibility. When they do come by they usually just make the situation worse by upsetting mom. I call them the "sea gulls" - they swoop down, sh*t all over everything and fly away. My friends all gave up on me a long time ago, and I haven't had a date in 8 years. Too much baggage for any man to take on I guess. I don't know what the answer is, except to try to carve out moments for yourself during the day. When mom is resting I go outside with a cup of tea and a good book and just relax for a minute. I know this isn't going to last forever, so I try to do small things for myself in the meantime, like buy good smelling bath products and pamper myself a little, or when mom is getting her hair done at the salon I get a pedicure and manicure. Small things, but they keep me sane (well, fairly sane anyway)...
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hoping Oct 2011
This is hard. I am a full time caregiver for my parents and it is hard. it would be easier if we all could live in the same house for I spend all my time going back and forth. I don't to get to do anyhting or go anywhere for my self very much. My husband had rather me stay with them at night and the way it is but I sure get weary.They want to stay at their house also and that is the best. I Dread winter coming on for the cold is hard to go back and forth all day.I get so tired and weary and feel guilty when I lose my temper and patience. I have 1 brother who lives a few states away and comes in about every 6 months for about 2 weeks but I am still tied down I have to set my dads dr. appointment and have to stay close for if I just take off this long my dad will get weaker and then I have to work harder when my brother goes back. I get really angry as I have to give up everything and go without so much just to do this. I had to buy a lift van to take my dad back and forth anywhere. They paid some on it but I have to make payments each month I feel guilty when I get so angry as they get weaker I need to be stronger but I just get worn out. Good Luck to all the caregivers out there.Stay strong and rest everytime you get the chance you get. For if we totaly give out the elders will suffer also.
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sosad2 Oct 2011
DeDe51 -- What you do sounds very similar to where I'm at. I, also check on mother each day, make her something to eat and have finally come to terms with the fact that until something happens which will make her relocate, then this is what we will do. yes, she does get meals on wheels also, which helps, but there are numerous needs as you know. I'm right at the place, where the chips will fall as they fall, because mother's ups and downs are way out of wack and absurd. There are days where I have to retreat and then i go back in there. I find that if they socialize, they're better off, but that's easier said than done.
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DeDe51 Oct 2011
P.S. I also have offered several times in the past to take her to adult day center or a senior center to get her socializing with people her age, but she refuses....
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DeDe51 Oct 2011
My mom will not move in with me, and refuses to leave her house for assisted living setting, etc. She is bipolar, and add dementia on top of that, it is a fine line when she is "herself" or when dementia kicks in. Right now I go day to day, and unless something happens to have her relocated, it is what it is. I will check on her this afternoon and make sure she takes her meds and fix her a sandwich, even though she gets Meals on Wheels. Take care, all.
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sosad2 Oct 2011
The line is not straight that's for sure for caring for an ill elder person. Believe me, you're not talking about dealing with another capable person, so draw the line when you have to ask that question. I agree with cp54.
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cp54 Oct 2011
Where do you draw the line between doing too much for your parent and not enough for yourself? ANSWER: As soon as you reach the point that you ask that question. And it is NOT easy to do! Good luck.
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sosad2 Oct 2011
yes planeman, there are options if you have quite a bit of money. Assisted living costs are very extremely high and they tend to charge extra for things that are sometimes needed.
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planeman Oct 2011
There are options that go beyond a nursing home or nothing. Have you examined something called, "assisted living"?. Often you can even move some of your parents; furniture in to make them feel more at home. Some assisted living places have a nursing home along side the other option so that if the time comes it is already taken care of.
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DeDe51 Oct 2011
Just checking in and thankful for all the helpful answers, and that I am not alone.... mom finished her last antibiotic for another UTI yesterday, and I took a "day off" today.... prayers to all going through this... it ain't fun, but looking for the positives to gain from it, and keeping a sense of humor when I hear while vacuuming her house (shut your mouth; get the h*&^ out of here).... :)
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