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I have been living with my 81 yr old mom since April, 07. I am her main caregiver. I have 2 sisters, who live close and a brother her lives out of state....several states away. After a family conference Friday night (excluding my brother) it was decided I need a caregiver support group. I haven't found one locally yet. My sister found this web site for me and said it would help. So here I am.

Mom worries constantly about money. So every time it comes to bill paying...there is problems. I pay half of the bills. I know she lives on a fixed income, but so do I. I have also tried to realize and understand since I've been living here, is that she lived through the depression and the worry about bills and money is normal. Just makes me crazy every month.

During the family meeting it was also decided that mom and I both need family couseling...because we're like an old married couple trying to live together. I have taken care of that.

I handle all the bills, dr appts, dental appts, procedures, and medications. My sisters said they do need to help out more..so thats a help. They did say that since I was the one that lived with her...and knew how she acted or whatever was going on with her...it was best that I do the dr appts. Also, alot of people didn't need to be messing with her meds. Mom and I go to the same dentist...so I set appts at the same time. Any procedures they can take her to.

It was also decided to need to get out more, I know that and am going to start getting out more.

Anyway....this may be just rambling...but it's a start.

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yes its hard, but you arent being a baby. i know that i never imagined that id be going through this. im terrified!

its so great that you got to get out and have some "you" time. i bet it was fun and a great breather.

your sisters recognized that you are strong in what you are doing. they are thanking you for that strength.. id have broken down too..
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Oh my oh my....you guys do have it much harder. I can leave mom....she doesn't have Alzheimer's...she's almost blind....she has osteoporosis real bad...has broken 6 bones in the last few years. I can get away...I just haven't... We've got mom set up with the necklace around her neck where she can call for help if she needs it.

I did find a support group for me for caregivers. I have found couseling for mom and I (she just doesn't want to spend the money). Oh yea guys I met with a girl I graduated with this afternoon and had coffee.

I guess living here and mom depending on me more and more...it's just hard.

I guess I'm being a baby or something.....my younger sister said that she hasn't told me, but she thanks me for what I do....and my older sister said the same.... I broke down and started crying....I guess I wanted to hear that.

Thanks so much to everyone....and you all are doing wonderful services to your moms/dads.
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if the help works out, greyson.. spring isnt that too far away! i dont see with all these resources available why we cant enjoy things like that
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Im in the country. I step outside and never see a neighbor, and occasionally engage a deer in conversation...note they do not run away, but stare at me wondering what is this ding dong doing?

I can't goto sleep until I hear him snoring.

I won't leave until I have someone who can take my place...I called the scooter store today, I too need something to charge.

And its just too dog gone cold to go fishing...
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Hey there Bamaellie,

I am 24/7 too. I read all of the posts, and wanted to suggest something. During this family meeting - which sounds great, but want to suggest that as a 247 with a family that sees what you do, should offer (with or without mom) to pay for & subsidize you for 1). support group counseling and 2). respite day off.....maybe even one sibling can take you to lunch while the other watches mom.

Even if you only go to a once a month group at your local senior center or area agency on aging; even if you only get out of the house 1 afternoon a week and go to the park, zoo, or anywhere with other humans and sunshine you will have such a better outlook on things. It will help your physical health too. Once you are immersed in the day to day of being a caregiver, these small things fall away until nothing is left and you start to who that person in the mirror is.

I am a single caregiver for my mom and have been doing it all for over 6 years. No one else in the picture. The first respite day I ever had I didn't know what to do with myself. But it opened up my eyes to how important it is - and those few respite days are like gold, recharging me for the times that I will be up all night or at the hospital, or just dealing with all of the small stuff that cause us to feel bone weary.

It always amazes me how much energy we expend as caregivers, but how little understanding there is. As your family to help - ask them also to help plan and go on an outing with your mom if she is able to get out. This site is the best support group I have ever found, and I am in a metropolitan area, however you still need sun and to be out in the world once and a while. I always worry that I will end up like the daughter in Grey Gardens (sans scarves and cat food cans) if anyone has ever seen that documentary or play.

Happy New Year.
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My life before my mom is quickly fading. i moved from the country where on my days off id go out to my grannies and mess with the horses and puppies and peacocks. Walk out on the property where i lived. i need to get my mom out of the house. its the best for both of us. charge her chair real good one night and go for a long walk. maybe across the bridge to the little shops and have some lunch. its hard to go out and do anything by yourself when all you can think of is "whats going on?" its why i cant sleep at night. when i know shes down for at least 2 hours without fail, ill go downtairs and sit out in front of the building or to the 24 hour grocery. not fancy at all. but its not here.
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Try telling the person you're caring for that you need sometime.

My dad cannot be left home alone, yet EVERY single day he pesters me about getting him into his bed, and going to get myself a cup of coffee at the diner. Its irresponsible for me to comply, which causes him to get quite upset.

I always live by the rule of, the most hardest thing to do, is most often the best thing to do.

I have a sitter coming out to meet him on Friday, than we can arrange times that she can be here, and I can go have some Greyson time.
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oh haha, greyson! :P

Bam, so true about volunteering at a hospital. Library? i know i read a lot! Animal shelter? Or is that just me? but then id just want to bring them all home. I used to be a candy striper when i was younger..much younger haha and I used to do Meals On Wheels. The people i volunteered with were great to chat with as we prepared all the meals! I remember this little asain couple that would wait for us at the back door with a tray. he would come out we'd bow and id give him their meals. i was helping the elderly and disabled in a much different way. just a smile and it would brighten their day. without getting too involved!

pearlie, the joke is on the "housekeeper" then isnt it? she wont get anything out of it and your dad still has that so-called companionship. My mom and i talked lastnight. although i want t apply and get paid to be her paid caregiver, that would mean hers would no longer come here. its a little respite for both of us i realized. she and i are in the same situation with our moms etc and my mom really does like her. it works for us all.
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Kelley you ABSOLUTELY DID NOT OFFEND ME!!!!! I appreciate the input - knowledge. I now handle all his finances, so I know he cannot give her any more money without my knowledge. I'm not 24/7 (even though sometimes it feels like it) - so for those of you that are my heart, prayers, support and everything goes out to all of you. Remember yourself first. Thanks to all.
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Greyson....I also meant that comment for you too...duh...I am so dumb sometimes. Dad gets out....and you need to get out too. Check some things out.
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Kelley, you and I do need to get out. Is there a away you can get someone to sit with your dad...a few hrs a week. I know with mom's hip replacement and I had got home health to help us out, they did have people available to sit. Of course, there was a charge there. Is your dad on medicare, medicaid, supplement insurance or anything like that? I know I may be getting personal here...if so...I don't mean to offend....:)...if no medicare or anything like there... there is state agencies that can help. Just a thought.

And Greyson.....duh....I did not realize there was a spell check on my tool bar...silly me. But wow it works great! Thanks!
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And Kelley offended me!

;)
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Im 24/7
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Pearlie does your handle all his finances? I guess he does....but is he really able to? And I know how hard this conversation can be....I remember before dad passed away..he passed away in 2007....and in 2005 I tried (remember the word TRIED) to talk to him and mom (dad had all the say about things) about getting the house out of their names because if they at some point had to go into the nursing home the State would get it...I said I don't want it in MY name...there are 3 other siblings...he response was that he wasn't letting us take everything away from him.....end of conversation.

Mom had to have a hip replacement over a year ago and I got home health in to help me. Well the social worker came out and met with mom and we 3 daughters and that was one of the discussions...well without much else said....the house is still in her name.

Kelley, I know your 24/7....Greyson are you? I am. I've realized after the "family meeting"....I've got to get out...I've got to get out around people... I emailed my sister yesterday...and told her I was going to look into volunteering at one of the hospitals....she emailed back about doing something else....because that's being around sick and some elderly.... didn't even think of that....LOL....even in my mind that's all I'm thinking about. Over the last couple of years...I've laughed and told people....my social life involved meeting and talking with people in hospitals and Dr offices...and its so TRUE.
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i sometimes wish for the comforting voice or want to HEAR the frustration in someones voice. makes me feel even more that im not alone. one board i think i almost offended someone and that was SO not my intention! same here, i was hoping i wasnt offending pearlie!
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I dont know what more I could get at a support group that I don't get here... well maybe some of those needed hugs, but I can handle the virtual sort. The comfort of having people who know and understand all that one says, is really helpful.
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its not like you can take his phone away. hed just get another. you cant be with him 24/7 like some of us are. try laying down the facts to him. give him a layout of how much money he has given(food also) over the years and then show him what you KNOW she hasnt done around the house as housekeeper. ask him what she HAS done to repay the kindness...to warrant such kindness besides being 20 years younger..
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KelleyBean,

She is not his age. Imply away - my feeling is she is after his money and taking advantage of him. As for my father I have a feeling he likes the fact that she is 20 years his junior. It is hard for me to talk with him about her, because he knows I absolutely detest her. If she was housekeeping for him then she needed to be fired a long time before I did it. His house was disgusting - in his words she would come over watch tv, sleep and eat. She would clean up the house before I would come for my visits so I never saw how bad it was until his recent hospitalization - and she was caught off guard. I really just need a place to vent and someone not close to my situation to throw something out that I maybe haven't thought of. Thanks.
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hi pearlie!
It sounds like since she knows little things here and there that you dont, he feels more comfortable calling her.. try encouraging him to share a little of what he is calling her for and ask if you can now help with them.. small steps where that is concerned..or is it someone his age? needing to talk? did it hurt him, speaking to her before? and no i hope you dont think im implying anything :) i DO remember reading about your mother.
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WOW - What a relief to find somewhere to share. I've had my mom in a nursing home for the last 11-1/2 years. She is paralyzed and wheelchair bound from a stroke. Just recently starting caring for my dad (both are 73). Dad just recently moved into a senior apartment - he can do most everything by himself, just no driving for the next 6 months due to seizures. I'm now handling his money and all his bills - he is actually adjusting well, after moving 260 miles to be closer to me and selling his house. I'm just having an issue with a past "housekeeper" (I use that word loosely). He GAVE (paid) her lots of money in the past, I thought I had ended the situation with the housekeeper, however I check his cell phone bill and found out he is calling her and she is calling him. When I ask him about calling her he gets defensive and tells me does he not have any rights.
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i make it hard on myself, bam..its why i joined this site..theres alot of issues we are avoiding as i cant take responsibility, but my brother doesnt want to talk about it...im getting more and more advise every day and its helping.. i told my mom i joined and she said "so youll sit there and tell everyone how horrible i am" instead of getting angry like i normally would i asked her if she thought she was a horrible person.. when she said no then i asked her why would the tell people that.. argg.. im just still clinging to my life i had away from here and afraid of what will come after this.. and if i can do it. it is affecting me, but its getting better everyday.. ive GOT to call her social worker! hopefully she can connect me to a local group :)
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My younger sister and her husband has mom's Power of Attorney...I DID NOT want that. And my younger sister and older sister do not want to handle the bills or balance the bank account because they said they could not keep their own balanced. My older brother who lives out of state really doesn't want to be involved unless there is a serious illness. He'll be involved the 3 or 4 days he visits in the summer.

Kelley....here I've been ranting and raving and you have it rough...it's hard I know...but keep hanging in there. Mom had refused going to the senior citizen all this time until the "family meeting". So thankful she's agreed to go on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Greyson....is it very good you have an uncle who helps you out. *Grin* thanks for the heads up on the spelling....LOL

I guess the saying is true....you think you have problems until you hear other peoples problems.

Have either of you thought about going to a caregiver support group?
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haha same with me and my spelling greyson.. i wish my mom was into things like that.. ok not quite like that as i refused to sing when i went with my friends years ago.. but SOMETHING at least.. she refuses to go back to the adult day care.. *sigh*
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My dad's older brother, who of all the brothers, only seems to have an issue with his prostate, handles my dad's money. My dad put him on his account a few years ago, in case something like this happened.

I have to only keep track on stuff he wants to buy, or how much he takes out of the ATM, um no, simply the amount I allow him to take out. Than I just let my uncle know. He helps me, by driving us to the docs, going to town and retrieving prescriptions...and helping dress my dad head to toe in his cowboy get up, and heading out on sat nites for some socializing and singing at a karaoke experience. Im in Northern Arkansas, and I often find it soothing to yodel. I figure it fits the environment.

Hey bram, im probably just a tid bit anal....i go through my comments and right click on anything that has a red line underneath it....but i sure don't really care how other people spell. :)
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i havent been able to really take her with me.. ive had a couple surgeries and had a tube in my kidney for a bit.. i couldnt leave the house for more than 20 mins.. she didnt understand that it was physically impossible for me to take her since i couldnt lift her wheelchair at the time... thank goodness im not the only one who gets run over! she gets so angry when she cant shop.. she just doesnt get that theres no money..
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Your are organized....don't sell yourself short. Does your brother help out? And no....not your fault! We have alot to deal with, along with our own bills and things. I use take mom grocery shopping with me. She rided the little cart and follow me....can't tell you how many times I've almost been ran over...LOL... After the family meeting Friday night I realized (I guess) I need to start taking mom with me again....so she can help shop, etc. Not an easy thing to do....but I guess I need to start doing that again.
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wish i was as organized as you are! i keep the receipts until they have cleared so when my mom asks why $156 was spent at the grocery i can tell her exactly what we bought.. i dont want people thinking im going out to get junk and stuff.. thats my brothers worry! my worry too now.. last time i allowed her to go by herself somewhere she came home with $100 of sugar.. powdered, brown, confectioners, fine grain..she lost the receipt!! my own fault really..
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Oh my....was my sister, Pam right about this being helpful! I can sit here and b@@@@, rant and complain....LOL.

Kelley....oh my ... mom does the exact same thing. Mom is almost blind...and we have one of those thingys...looks like a tv and you put whatever your reading underneath and it magnifies...she'll, but the bank statement under there and starts question everything!.

I have her bank account on line where I check if not once a day, every other day to see whats cleared and whats not. I sit her beside me here at the computer (I know she can't see...but) and tell her whats what. And when the bills come in, she sees them and knows what owed. And when the bills are paid...I tell what the amount was to start with, and what and how much was paid....and what the balance was after that...then tell her how much my part of the bills are and adding my deposit how much the amount is then. I also keep a sheet with how much each bill is...and how much my half is...and then write a receipt and staple that to the sheet of paper and write down my check # and date paid...LOL... in case the family audits me....LOL.

Greyson, I totally understand! You sound calmer than I do. Maybe family couseling would help...but your dad may not go for that. I checked into family couseling for both me and mom (because that was one of the suggestions at the family meeting), but mom doesn't want to pay any MONEY. I checked with one licensed family couselor and she'll work on a sliding scale...$40.00...$20 for me and $20 for mom. Mom thinks thats too much. I've decided though I need it for myself. I'm also looking into a support group for Alzheimers. Eventhough, mom has not been diagnosised (okay...so my spelling sucks), she does have some demintia.

Thanks to all who has responded....this does help!
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bamaellie, for shame!! take care of yourself first and foremost!! i know this firsthand!! i know that its hard, but seriously, what about you? this is why were all here. To take care of ourselves. we NEED to.

greyson, thats exactly what your dad is doing. my mom is sitting behind me right now going over a bank statement and has no clue what it is that shes reading. She keeps repeating questions and driving me bonkers right now! but it makes her feel like shes in control still. Ive told her that im not answering anymore questions until she writes down what i say. i give her that. I have all the properdocuments online and such and let her sit with the paperstatements. the past couple of days she has been wandering more lately and getting more confused. but right now she feels in control. as i type im sitting here nodding my head and mumbling "oh really?" shes happy.
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I have a similar situation, however my siblings are like 9 hours away. But my father and I could use some counseling cause boy we sure rattle one anothers last nerve.

He's divorced, and my mother is convinced he does what he does because he's trying to control his environment, cause, he can't walk, or move much of anything on his left side....men do not like feeling helpless, maybe women don't either, I wouldn't know being a man and all.

I simply have to suck it up, and put an end to any argument - I walk away, my parting words are, when you feel like being civil, I will come back and finish the task at hand. But most of the time, when he starts ranting, I just tune it out.
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