I'm new to caregiving. Overwhelmed and lost.

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For nearly 4 yrs now we have suspected mum has had a problem. Just recently she has had a cat scan which didnt show anything but has since seen a specialist who after assessing her has said she shouldnt drive until further tests. Mum did not do well on spacial or cognitive testing and after being with her all day for the last 2 weeks i am astonished at how she has coped for so long. I dare say theres been alot of deceit on her part and have since found notes to remind her about "what not to say" to us.. she also seems to have a stash of beer somewhere as she keep buying beer but i always find a different brand in her fridge so i quite often keep her beer here now and if shes low ill just bring some up and have a drink with her. I have a sister who,after storming out because mum wouldnt hand her keys over has not contacted mum or myself in a number of weeks. I actually ended up taking mums car without a problem and that may have been a bit of a slap in the face to her. Funny that family members have not been forthcoming at all in the way of help since she cant drive. My sister works 7 days so i understand her not being able to help but i have 3 young kids, a partner that has finally found a job after 5 months off work and is fifo. So i guess im struggling. Every day is different. She has good days then some reallly bad ones where i have to set her meals up and label them between when i pick her up (and if she insists at 530pm as im dishing dinner up for 3 kids that she wants to be home for dinner instead). I have made a conscious effort to exercise more but am losing weight which is not necessary. I eat well and make small times to cat h up with friends-all healthy things to stop me from drowning. Does this ever become managable or do you constantly feel like your drowning!

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Thankyou. It's a small confident boost to know that some of the choices ive made have been good ones. She did want me to drive back up the shops yesterday for a newspaper. It was 5pm and i really needed to get back to my children to organize them as hubby is away and neighbours are helping with kids. With such a gyluilty conscience i said "we got one its on the couch" knowing she'd forget. So on my way home i grabbed a paper and dropped it off the next day. My sister is poa and im finding that difficult as it would help to have access to mums money for day to day stuff (ive actually written another conversation on the topic). Anyhoo, ive looked at assisted living etc and in the process of getting theACAT test done. Im ok with it all and the process its family support and the finger pointing thats hard.
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Welcome to the world of caregiving! Great advice. Those boundaries are crucial. Once you establish them stick to them. You did the right thing by getting involved with this discussion group. Stay strong and full steam ahead!!!
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It is bound to be overwhelming, there is so much to do and so much to learn! The first thing you need to learn is to set boundaries... they say when the oxygen masks drop down on a plane to put on your own first or you soon won't be able to help anyone else.
She may demand meals at 5:30 but there is no reason you have to give in to those demands, it won't kill her to eat at a time more convenient to you. And its great that you leave her meals, they have frozen dinners at the supermarket as well, not home made but adequate.
You can set the meds up in those weekly pill containers or have the pharmacy put them in blister packs.
As for not driving, investigate the alternatives available to her; taxi, public transit, even volunteer drivers. It is a big change not being able to come and go as you please but it is a new reality she has to accept. You might want to limit the time you will take her out, you are not her personal taxi service!
As Windy suggests, when you are feeling less stressed you need to think about the long term; ensuring legal documents such as POAs are in place and looking into where she will live and how she will be cared for as she continues to decline.
For myself, as I look back I'm amazed at how far we have come in the past few years and how quickly the unthinkable changes became the new norm. Soldier on!
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Stoping the driving is a huge accomplishment. my Dad still drives a little but I may have to intervene soon. Caring for the elderly at homing is overwhelming for most people. And it's just going to get harder as time goes on. You should be formulating the next step and look at assited living or nursing homes in your area. Start thinking about finances, Medicaid etc.
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Grab an air hose, we are drowning. We are being forced into a situation where we have had zero training.

Just recently I realized that my parents had been hiding much more than I thought about their ability to continue to live in their house. I had never pictured my parents aging as just a few years ago, in their late 80's and early 90's, they were still walking 2 miles a day. And Dad was still driving.

And all that changed over night. I had no clue what to do. How I wished I had found Aging Care back then, I could have made more changes, not have enabled my parents to a point of why should they move, they had no reason to. If only I could rewind the clock and start over again !!
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