I have just recently began 24/7 care for my mother a few months ago. Although I have always managed her medical and dental treatments, she has always been independent. After her hospitalization for congestive heart failure, she returned weak and with poor memory and judgement. She already had a few other conditions where she was under a doctor's care. She is in control of all her hygiene needs but I need to dispense all medication and serve her all her meals. If I don't, she will not eat or take meds properly. I also have to make sure she is getting in her walks and exercise routines. That is where the 24/7 care is needed. My problem is as I said before she was independent and either doesn't understand what is truly going on with her or is in denial. She now lives with my family and although we have made accomodations for her and all pitch in to help, she is not comfortable around us and wants to return to her previous living situation. I feel I have a very stable routine for her as is both her doctor's recommendations but she keeps telling everyone I won't let her go stay with the relative she was living with before. I hope someone can give me some advice on how to deal with this so I don't feel like a prison warden
The relative she was living with is older than her and has her own medical problems. My mom served mostly as a companion, but she would also make sure she would eat. After her hospitalization, my mother's judgment has dwindled quite a bit. As I mentioned before, she would be incapable of taking her meds correctly. She also opens the door to anyone who knocks on it. This in itself is very scary to me. Last cardiologist visit I brought up the issue of her wanting to return to her relative's house. She explained to my mother in great detail and various ways so she would understand that it is not possible. That is where the stubborness comes in.
As far as my siblings go, it is one of those situations where they do not talk to me. At this point, I no longer wish to have anything to do with them. They tried to block me from bringing her home and were going to put her in a facility. Wonder who they think would pay for that! Sometimes, I have to laugh at those things so that the thought of them won't upset me. One of my siblings tries to force contact with my mother, but she always ends up yelling at my mother and upsetting her. This is when I have to explain to my mom that she shouldn't feel she has to talk to my sister and that if she keeps yelling at my mom, I will have to intervene. Shortly after my mother came home, my sister slammed open my house door and started calling out my mother's name. My mom went out to talk to her but after I overheard what she was telling my mom, I told her to leave which resulting in a knock down cat fight and my mother fainting. For this reason, I don't want to speak to them. Unfortunately my mother doesn't feel the same. We got my mom her own telephone line so it is hard for me to stop my siblings from having contact with her. i do let my mom know it is not my mom but my siblings that make me uncomfortable. She seems to ignore that anything is wrong and carries on as if we are this one big happy family.
From all the comments, I am reassured that I am not alone. Each one had something I am going through. I very much appreciate your support. Thanks again.
welcome, this is a good place to come to get differing opinions insights and options on how to handle your caregiving issues. Having a mom with similar challenges I feel for you and it sounds as if you are doing a good job. I would like to bring something up that may help you.
If she was debilitated and has multiple problems, concentrate on providing nutrition to build her back up. As the doctor to run a blood panel to see if she needs supplemental nutrition whether it be B-12 or the full spectrum. Also check her frequently for UTI's. Both those issues make a person confused, fussy and bring out more difficult behavior.
Now another thing you can do is listen to her and watch her to see what really makes her uncomfortable. It could be the routine, it could be the privacy, it could be anything down to lighting or missing a personal item....remember when you were a kid and you felt homesick? It may take time honesty and adjustment...but don't give up. Find some things you both like to do together and please don't become disheartened.
You are not the warden - you are the caring kind daughter. One of the best things about this site is that it gives you a window into what everyones relationships are with their elders and family - - so you get to choose how you want to guide yours. If you feel good about your self and are not harboring issues then your ability to inflluence and care for your mom will be easier. Fighting and issues is never productive - and although venting is fine, when you read through these posts pick and choose the reality you want for yourself - your personal experience is your own.
I have given up alot - but I also tend to be a positive doer - so if there is a problem I try to analyze it and find a solution or negotiate a compromise. It works for me. My mom can be pretty definite or feisty, but a hug beats angst anyday...
Good luck, all of us have expertise and good wishes for you!
Presentation is sometimes hard to do, because this is life changing for everyone. Sometimes our elders get that choice, others do not and then its having to deal with that type of a scenario.
Perhaps her doctor can help intervene if you discuss valid concerns with them. For some reason doctors are always the professionals that seniors listen to, so possibly use it to your advantage? I guess it all just depends on the situation, but definitely a lot of ideas around here to help you.
Keep in touch!