All alone caring for my parents and need support.

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My elderly parents live in a remote area where they chose to retire many years ago. In the last few years my dad has started losing his memory and has more and more signs of dementia. My mom is still in fairly good health but is not used to driving and caring for the house etc.

They are fiercly protecting their independence.. even my mom. I have mentioned that it might be better for them to move closer to me.. but my dad absolutely refuses and thinks moving closer is the next step to me putting him in a nursing home. He no longer even wants to come and stay at my house because he thinks i am consipring to put him in a nursing home.

The house they live in is too much for them to handle, my dad should not be driving at all and my mom is not very comfortable driving and only drives in the immediate area. Every week I make the 90 mile treck with their groceries, I'm looking for someone locally to mow their 3/4 acre which is no easy task in that remote area. I worry about them constantly and feel responsible for them..

My siblings all live in other states many miles away. Occasionally we will talk and they will sound like they are going to help.. but nothing ever comes of it. They are too busy with their own 'lives'. .. Wish I could have my own "life".. :(.

I work full time and spend many hours researching, trying to find things to make their life more livable there.. caregivers etc. Recently hired a caregiver to help my mom out, run errands for them and to get my dad involved, talking, walking.. etc. This caregiver has only been there twice.. and now my mom is only using her as a housekeeper and informs me today that she only wants her to come once a week. She doesn NOT want her driving them anywhere.. she can do it herself! (its fine for me to do her grocery shopping.. but not the caregiver)

They are so isolated up there and are fiercely protecting their lives and independence. My dad is slipping more and more into dementia. Occasionally my mom shares her concerns and worries.. last weekend she actually cried. This is the first time I have ever seen her cry in my life.

I feel so alone and have the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Thanks for listening...

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When I suggested a neuro-psych referral for my MIL, he almost fell off his chair and thunderclouds gathered over MIL's head. Katie, they call it the "D-word" because doctors won't say dementia. The patient will revolt and fire the doctor if that word floats around the room. I tried to be polite, I talked about vascular issues, lewy bodies, Aricept, Namenda, memory issues but not the D word. But as soon as MIL heard the phrase "psych" the conversation was over. She will have nothing to do with it. I feel like the elephant is too close to me.
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Thank you all for your comments. Just reading these posts is very emotional for me. I know we eventually will have to face "the elephant in the room". My mom still has not faced the dementia issue....she does not even say the word.
Maybe hoping it will just go away.

Its hard for me to talk about it as well..but its good to communicate with people who understand what I am going through.

Thanks again..
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Mom broke down in tears because she sees what is coming and does not want it, but it is coming nonetheless. You can tell her, look, your keeping things together right now and I want you to have all the independence and freedom you can - but if Dad gets worse, or if God forbid something happens to you, we need to have plans and papers in place and I need to know what you really want for me to do...just in case...and please, Mom, I'd love to be able to do everything for you but with you living this far away, I just can't. You need to keep the help you can keep for these things and not just count on me all the time, OR you need to move closer.

Talking about the elephant in the room may actually make it smaller. She is scared but being able to talk about it and plan for it may be exactly what she needs most even if she initially resists with every fiber of her being.
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My heart goes out to you and you do have a heavy load. I'm sorry you don't have the support of your siblings - so many of us on this site go through taking care of parents all on our own - it is not easy. You are a wonderful and caring daughter and doing everything possible to help. When parents are fiercely independent, it's important to get some outside support.

I contacted the elder services in the town in which my parents lived. It might be a good place for you to start. The local elder services or whatever it is called in their area - will have social workers, counselors, etc. to give you support. They are a wealth of knowledge as they deal with the elderly problems on a daily basis. They gave me ideas I never would have thought of on my own and even convinced me to speak with a counselor. I had resisted, but they were right and I did need their help. For the first time, with their help, I did not feel so totally alone with insurmountable responsibilities, and I lived 90 miles away from my parents as well. There is only so much you can do; especially by yourself. Hugs to you across the miles. Take care.
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When my dad started getting memory problems my Mom covered it up, so that when it got really bad we just thought she was complaining. They lived 2 hours away and I am an only child. They tried to protect me. Then on my occasional trips back home I started noticing things, like the lawn (3 acres) was not mowed, the new tractor was sitting in the middle of the yard ( It "broke" ) etc. I called a local yard service.. said I paid for it.. The bills for tractor repair showed Dad was not taking care of it right, wrong gas, etc. Then Mom ended up in the hospital and I got a real big wake up call! I had to take over, move them here. Their house was also too much for them. I sold it ( not a fun activity with Dad wanting to go home.. Mom was on board but depressed). So I do understand how you feel, it sure is not easy to have to deal with this. It was easier for ME when I had Mom transfered to rehab here instead of 2 hours away.. AFTER I got home aids for Dad who could not be home alone and wanted to visit Mom every day, and Hubs and I work. you come to a point where you have to decide what is best for everyone, and it may not make everyone happy. Good luck to you
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You are not alone, there are many of us here in similar circumstances. We are always willing to listen. Hope you are too. hugs.
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