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I have been taking care of my mother for over 3 yes by myself. An older sistervhas not visited her mother in 8 yes and lives 5 hrs away. My older brother lives in Europe and neither have contributed a thing. They don't take my pleas for help seriously. I am so stressed I can barely get out of bed in the morning. My body is worn out. I have no energy for a life or the time. Finally got a private companion for my mother, 3 days wk 4 hrs. I make meals, assist her (short term memory) and too exhausted for me to have a pt job. No break was given to to me. No $ for hiring companion. They don't care enough about their mother or me it seems. He checks in with phone calls because he feelsba sense of responsibility. That doesn't help anyone. I don't inform him of anything. I do not communicate. He doesn't want to hear it. As long as I am here they will do nothing. I never feel great and I'm resenting them always. Don't let anyone tell you the resentment goes away or just forget about them. Not gonna happen. All alone in this and it's hard to believe they put themselves first when she's at the end of HER life.

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The cat comes first? Put it in another room....what? What is wrong with people? I get the digging in the dirt. Distraction and release of stress. Thanks for sharing
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noellecat1, yes I had been a caregiver for my parents who were in their 90's for 7 years, it was more logistical then hands on like many are doing alone.

How I wished I would have found this website years ago, because it turned out I was enabling my parents to continue to live in their 3-story house instead of moving into something more elder friendly.

Enabling meaning every time the phone rang I would drop what I was doing [not easy when in the middle of a business meeting] to rush over to see what was going on. Usually it was Dad who had fallen, Dad usually was doing some fix-it maintenance on the house or was out doing yard work. Remember he's in his 90's. It took me years to get my parents to hire repair people, they didn't want strangers in the house.... [sigh]. Again I was enabling them.

My parents had stopped driving [thank goodness], thus I was on the road more times then I liked getting groceries, running errands, taking them shopping, many doctor appointments, etc. They refused to use a cab or the country's elderly ride-on system. So once again I was enabling them. If they had moved to Independent Living, the community would take them to doctor appointments and shopping.

I didn't think I would live through all that stress, developed a lot of serious health issues. Lost a lot of sleep wondering what would happen to them if something happened to me. I was their only child and I had no children. Dad said they would manage. Manage? Guess that meant they would sell the house and move to Independent/Assisted Living after my death :P
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My mom had a whole litany of " recieved truths". All facilities are terrible places, never sell the house, you'll have to pay high rent.....

It became clear that mom could no longer stay at home, even with help, due to agitation and depression ( probably brought on by mild cognitive impairment). Nothing calmed her except having one of us there. After three consecutive days of having to leave work in Brooklyn and rush to Westchester due to an " emergency", i told her i couldn't do this any more, and that neither could my siblings.

Thankfully, she threw in the towel fairly gracefully and after a false start at an AL, we got her settled into a lovely Independent Living facility. She participated in activities, was able to get to the on site doc gerself, and best of all, there was a geriatric psychiatrist who was able to get mom's agitation under control with meds.

It was also that very wise psychiatrist who insisted that we get mom a cognitive evaluation, which is what uncovered the MCI.

Trying to manage this all by ourselves? We needed mom to be under the care of professional who understood geriatric medicine. That move to a facility? Best move she ( and we) ever made.
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I can relate! my mom is 81 & moved in with me. I have spent my life savings building a sitting room, bedroom and a handicap bathroom with walk in tub and shower. 1 of 4 children, I feel like an only child. My oldest sister lives 1 hr away. No, mom can't visit her because her cat sleeps in the extra bed. When she gets a new bed she'll let her know. My brother cut ties, it's easier for him that way. My other sister calls her regularly which I appreciate. It keeps mom connected. Financialy, she can't help and the others never ask. I worry too about dying before my mom. After much thought and at the end of the day, what happens happens. Should I die before her, my worries are over. I can't live in "the what ifs". This sounds crazy but I find pulling brambles and weeds in my ditch bank helps alot! It's hard dirty work but when I'm finished I'm tired and sore, but it's a good tired and sore. Somehow, it reguvinates me. Some days are better than others. It is comforting to know we are not unique in our feelings. Hang in there!
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Babalou, I agree with you, as usual. I have toured the facility near us.
It is actually walking distance so I even peek in at random times. It is lovely, cheerful, and welcoming.
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Also, you're over-generalizing about facilities. You need to go on some tours.
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Noel, what FF is saying about enabling is this...that perhaps they feel that your mother would be better served in a facility, either Assisted Living or a NH. No, no one cans "make" her go, but there is a fine line between "helping out" an elder who still has the ability to be independent in most areas, and enabling a fragile elder who has become too much for one or two people, helping on an occasional basis to manage.

Your mother is responsible for herself. Her funds should be used for her care. You do not have a moral obligation to provide hands on, live in care for your mother. You need to see that she that she is cared for, to the best of your ability. This does not include giving up your life.

Do you live with her? She with you? What resources does she have to pay for care?
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Also..a parent who has dementia..alzheimers is a family affair.the others do nothing. Ignore calls. Their children are grown adults. Brother retired. Bs
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Still don't get frequent flyer comment. Enabling? Wtf is that? They don't care enough. I'm here. They don't want their lives interrupted. That's the strangest thought I've ever heard.
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I never said his family shouldn't come first, I said he had the insensitivity to say it to my mother's face. He still has a moral obligation. Neither sibling has contributed monetarily, emotionally and ignore my requests. I should not shoulder the entire responsibility in every way. It's killing me not from just the resentment but from being the sole caregiver. I am bwcoming more depressed and does it help my mother? What about my health? What about me?
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Noel, i hate to tell you this, but your brother has his priorities straight. His first responsibility is to HIS family.

Caring for a parent doesn't mean you must be a hands on caregiver. It sounds like it's killing you...does that benefit your mother in any way?
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What are your mother's financial resources? Those should be used for paying companions, respite for you, and, if she's living with you, room and board.

If you are living with her and providing services, you should be compensated from her income for your services. And for respite, so that you can have down time.
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I can't put her in a place she doesn't want to go. Its not her thing. Any memory issues, they put you with people that are worse and its twice the amount of money. I'd rather she get someone here so I feel free to have a life. She's not real bad but they should shoulder the responsibility. Checking in with a phone call is to relieve his conscience. Helps only him
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If siblings did help they would be enabling mom to stay at home and I would be still exhausted? Don't get comment. She's got dementia but it's not 24/7. She has companion that takes her to Sr events and movies etc. Don't get comment. They are selfish people who know I am here and are taking full advantage of that. I can't just abandon her. My brother had the audacity to tell my mother his family comes first. His daughter is grown and ironically attends school in the states. He's got to step up and man up. He's a selfish jerk. They have no clue. Are you a caregiver? Do you work for agency?
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Noel, sometimes siblings will step back and not help out because they feel that it would be in your and Mom's best interest if Mom was in a continuing care facility. If the siblings did help, they would be enabling Mom to continue to stay at home with you exhausting yourself.

Yes, you could pass on first because this task of being 24/7 caregiving is totally impossible to do. That is why 40% of caregivers die leaving behind their loved ones.

What are Mom's physical issues besides short term memory loss? Is there any reason why Mom isn't in a nursing home? She would get caregivers who work three 8-hour or 12-hour shifts who then get to go home to rest, thus be refreshed for their next shift. You don't get to do that, you are working all those shifts. And Mom would be around people from her own generation. I don't know if your Mom can still socialize or not.

If money is an issue for continuing care facility, see if Mom could qualify for Medicaid, to which Medicaid will help pay for her care.
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