My mom has lived with me for four months and can't stay because of her COPD. We live in a high-altitude area and she has to be on oxygen 24/7 here. She can't stand it anymore and is going back to live with my sister in NY. So many emotions going thru me right now. I feel guilty because she can't stay here. I feel relief because I will have my life back. I feel bad for my sister who will be tied down, again. My mom lived with her for a year when she had her stroke. It was bad. My sister almost lost it. She would ask for help and now I know we need to give it to her. You don't know what it's like until you live it. I feel like I am deserting my mom. How to turn off all these emotions????? :(

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When you promised your mom that you wouldn't put her in a nursing home, did she promise you that she would never become blind, hearing impaired, mobility-challenged, and have dementia? I'm just pointing out that none of us can foresee the future and no matter how good and how strong our intentions are, sometimes reality intervenes.

Hi, jeannegibbs, and thank you for your comforting words. My husband's job is what brough us to Utah, otherwise we would still be in KS. I really do love it here but I don't have lung issues. My mom owns her own house in KS but can't take care of herself to live in it. All of us are married with children of our own and can't just move in with her. All the grandchildren are in college and/or married also so this makes it difficult for them to move in with her too. She needs 24/7 care. She is legally blind and can't hear well. She has the beginnings to dementia and is very unstable in her mobility. You literally have to put her in the shower, give her her toothbrush, fix her meals, everything......It is hard and not complaining but it is a full-time job. We always told my mom we would never put her in a nursing home and that is what we are trying to do. We don't trust anyone with live-in care at her home because we have heard some horrible stories. Wow, just never thought I would see my mom like this. Love her so much and feel so helpless. :(

You did not cause your mother to have COPD. When you chose where to live you did not foresee that high altitude would be a problem for your mother. So, this is Not Your Fault.

But even though you logically have nothing to feel guilty about, guilt is kind of the default background feeling for caregivers. I don't think there is an Off button, but you can try to turn the volume down and continue with what you've got to do.

Are there any other options for Mom besides living with one of you? Could she function on her own in Assissted Living, perhaps? What kind of help does she need?

I'm sure you'll do what you can to help your sister, now that you understand the needs of caregivers.

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