I am pushed beyond my limit and then criticized. So hard!

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Hubby and I cared for my mother for 15 years, letting her live in our apartments rent free, taking her to doctor appointments, helping with shopping, etc. When the time came, my very large family let me continue caring for her in the nursing home nearby for the next five years. I continued to go with her to doctor appointments, dealt with the nursing/doctor staff at the home, washed her laundry, did her personal shopping, and sat and listened to her complain and tried to manage whatever problems I was allowed by her to handle. (She was paranoid about her meds, assumed the staff didn't like her, etc. She didn't want me to handle any problems, just to listen to her complaints. She got mad when I felt I *had* to take action.)

I was the only one who visited; indeed, the staff there thought I was her only child, not knowing that we were a tribe. When she fell and went into a medical crisis, I was all of the sudden incapable of caring for her. A lot of childhood patterns re-emerged (we are not the healthiest of families), and my abusers came back in full force. I was accused of all sorts of things: denying my mother medical care, ignoring her needs, incompetence, forcing my decisions on her, etc. All of which were false, especially the last one: my main focus was insisting that Mom make her own decisions for as long as she was competent. That was important to me. She told me what she wanted: she was ready to "go home" and didn't want to prolong her life. Sisters didn't (want to) understand.

It didn't help that my mother is a martyr and victim, and whether she knew it or not, was playing us against each other for more attention. It got so bad that the staff there was concerned for me. Not mom. Me.

Eventually the sisters convinced Mom to let them take over her care. They put Mom on dialysis - something she had refused before. They insisted on surgeries that she didn't know were coming. She couldn't even decide whether to sit up or lay down for dialysis - that decision was made for her. It made me livid that they were doing everything I had been accused of, but I had to understand that Mom chose them. She chose their care. I could do nothing legally any more, so I abided by my mother's decision to let them care for her. And bit my tongue every time I went to see her. I was not about to rip the family apart or cause more problems for Mom. I still listened to her complain - about the sisters, now.

She died after 2 years of dialysis. The family was not even notified that the end was near. I cared for my mother for a huge part of my adult life, and was not even allowed the chance to say good-bye.

As hard as it can be to be a caregiver, sometimes the alternative option is just as painful.

Dear NeedHelpWithMom,

I hear you and your feelings are natural and normal. So many daughters and sons get into the caregiving role and then the weeks, months and years just flash by.

I know some of it is cultural expectation but the feelings of resentment are real. And then to made to feel guilty for them is horrible. Because no one knows how it feels to do it all day in and day out. Its a lot on a person.

I still have terrible regrets about my father. I tried to care for him and then the anger and resentment affected my judgement and compassion. I wish I knew how to ask for help or to look for more supports in the community or church. Even finding this forum sooner would have been invaluable to me.

Please know you are not alone. Thinking of you.

Polarbear, i hear you! I'm not even the caretaker but i get exhausted just from spending a few hours with my mother; she hates everything and everyone, food is never good, she waits till the last minute to void and then urinates down her legs, the car smells of urine Galore, we cannot even mention it because she gets angry and it goes on and on and on. Yesterday she decided to wear the diaper underwear which is a positive thing! Hugs to all

To poetry 21
That is exactly what is happening too many senior children who are still caring for their elderly dependent parents, this is becoming an absurdity!
I have heard of so many families where the elderly useless person continues lying there in a bed while the caretaker children start dying off; just last week a 60ish man that i knew passed on while his 90ish mother continues under the care of her two other kids.
We are spending fortunes on useless humans that would have perished already if society functioned the way it did 50 years ago.
It may sound like i am a heartless person but I'm not, i simply have run out of patience and seen too much Injustice.
Unfortunately our generation and the ones after us do not have the resilient bodies of our parents and we end up not living our lives in order to prolong theirs!
Life is a gift for everyone even the caretakers!

I totally understand how you feel, our family has one of those too!
Our mother has had mental issues all her life and has Forever been dependent on her Four (now 3) kids for everything and things are getting more and more difficult, but she still wants to dominate her two daughters that live closer to her; we have no right to voice our opinion because she gets agitated and accusatory. The old ttheory that the parents raised us and we have to help them out in old age is being outlived out of proportion because many elderly people are living useless lives for decades and their elderly kids are dying off before they do...
It's difficult to release the guilt but what about our lives? Are we not entitled to live our last years of independent living to the maximum? I have great difficulty with this issue and feel rather selfish because the years fly by and if we live long enough pretty soon we will be the ones requiring care!
Sorry that i am unable to provide a helpful solution for i am in the same boat as you... All the best.
I believe in medicating the dependent care receiver when things get out of hand but my sister refuses to do that. Where i live doctors usually prescribe risperidone (i think this is the English name) to calm down and control psychotic behaviors of the dependent person.

NeedHelpWithMom - Reading your posts, I can tell you are such a sweet caring person. I understand what you mean about wanting to be just a daughter, and not a caregiver.

I am sorry you don't have that relationship with your mother and that you don't have a life of your own. Many of us here are in similar situation. My kids and I feel like we are trapped in our own home. We can't go where we want to and when we want to. Everything has to be planned around my mom's needs. My kids used to love grandma, now they resent her. And I don't blame them.

I love my mom dearly. I am fully aware that friction happens with too much togetherness and her real medical issues. I know it doesn’t help if I lose my patience which can’t be helped sometimes. As everyone here knows, caregivers are exhausted!

I have put her first so much that my health health has suffered. The situation puts a strain on marriages, etc. Definitely hard at times.

I catch myself thinking about how much I will miss her when she’s gone. I know I do all I can but never feel like it’s enough. Is that normal?

I guess I can hardly remember having a life of my own anymore. Know what I miss? Being her daughter. Does that sound stupid? I dream about when I was simply her daughter, not her caregiver. Everyday things, taking a ride to walk in the mall or go eat lunch, etc. Those days are long gone!

Now it’s scheduling doctor appointments or buying senior citizen products. My mother was a very stylish woman who loved to window shop with me. She came from the ‘glamour age’ and didn’t even go to the mailbox without her lipstick!

Years ago she made me giggle so much when I caught her putting on makeup to have cataract surgery because they showed the procedure on a television to the patient’s family. Her opthomologist made her wash her face. So funny! She had an adorable personality and I miss just being her daughter so much. Being a caregiver changes our perspective in a way.

My mom is 93. Her brother is 96. He also has Parkinson’s. He is in nursing home in another state. They used to speak on phone weekly and looked forward to it. But he is going downhill. He can no longer hold telephone and is also going deaf.

Every once in awhile his children call and hold the phone for him to speak with my mother. I wish they could speak to each other more often.

My mother is a ‘half empty’ personality which I do understand that she has real pain and frustration, but when she hears others say they have certain symptoms she automatically thinks it will happen to her too. I try to be patient and tell her that all people are different with different reactions but I’m not sure if it sinks in. Is this common? Do most elderly people always expect the worst case scenario?

She doesn’t always listen. I beg her not to reach for things because then she falls. It’s been very tough for her to accept that she can no longer be independent. Yet, she is becoming more fearful at the same time.

She does use use a walker and has mentioned that she’d like to be in a wheelchair. She’s tired. Her doctors do not want her in a wheelchair because they say she won’t ever get out of it if she becomes dependent on it.

Yes, I have siblings but I am primary caregiver. I’ve always been closest to my parents.

They don’t help with her needs because they say it is a woman’s job. The isolation gets to me sometimes. My husband travels with work. My children don’t live near me.

The falls are what scare me the most. Staples in her head with last fall. Thank God, no broken bones.

I did order bedside commode and waiting to get car cane so she can get in and out of car easier for doctor appointments.

She has open open sores on her bottom which she didn’t tell me about. That upset me. I don’t want her to be embarrassed about anything.

I don’t allow her to shower alone but she still washes private areas herself and she didn’t tell me.

Why do older people go to go to the bathroom so frequently? She is up all night long and I’m terrified of her falling when going to the bathroom. Should I ask her to wear diapers at night? She has only worn the pads.

She is so weak from sitting all day. Doctor ordered physical and occupational therapy. I hope it helps.

You have NOTHING to feel guilty about! If anything, if there are other family members who aren't stepping up--they should feel guilty!

Come back with more info. This is a great place to vent and rant. No judgment. Just people who "get it".

From NeedHelpWithMom's profile:

"I am caring for my mother Inez, who is 93 years old, living in my home with age-related decline, hearing loss, incontinence, mobility problems, and parkinson's disease."

No wonder you are tired and growing resentful!!! Who wouldn't feel this way? Your mother has a lot of needs. Are you the only one doing the caregiving?

Is there any other family?

How old is your mom? I have similar situation. My mom came to live with me 14 years ago and we had a hard time of her adjusting in a family, it was my fault, I should from the beginning let her live alone and as she was sharp in memory that time, may be she would learn english and it would not be so hard now for her. We sacrificed a lot for her, not having vacations without her, going everywhere with her and with years it became worse and worse as she is stubborn and loves to put guilt on me. Finally her memory declined, other problems arises, I had my cancer diagnosis, so long story short she is now in long term care facility....Guilt is over me although I understand I had no other choice, but yes, guilt killing me. She lived a long life, she is 90 and my main problem, that I can not understand that I did for her more that I should...but its not in my head, its in my heart, so can, some can not....

Hi NeedHelpWithMom. I feel your pain. Your screen name is exactly what most of us here agree. I have been caring for my mother for 2 years, and I am sick of it, so I can't imagine doing it for decades and be criticized on top of it all.

Do you want to share a little more about your situation, your mom's condition, any help, any siblings?

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