I'm ready to be done.


I've been taking care of my mom since my dad passed away in 2007. I'm 34 years old now and my mom is now 70. So for the majority of my young years I've been using it taking care of her. It wasn't SO bad until this past year. My mom previously could dress herself, walk around (with a walker) and she was pretty independent. The only things I had to do for her was laundry, cook, put her medicine in her pillboxes and take her to doctor's appointments. Then she had a slip and fall accident last year and bumped her head on the floor really hard. It screwed up the nerves in her neck and stopped her from being able to walk or even move correctly. She had surgery. But now she went from being independent to being TOTALLY dependent. I now change diapers, bathe her and do everything under the sun for her.

I'm just 34 years old. I'm SO tired. I want a husband before I get too old. I may want a kid. I want to LIVE. I feel like every day is devoted to her. Where is my life?

I feel bad. And I also don't know what to do financially. I work at home, but it's not enough to pay the bills. So how can I even live on my own? It's just been her and I for all these years. But I need to figure this out. I decided that i need to give myself a timeline/deadline in order to figure out what I'm going to do financially, so I can live on my own and my mom can be in a nursing home or something.

I need to be able to live my life before I look up and it's over. I have nothing, I've done nothing... I've helped as much as my sanity can take it and then some.

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As the caregiver of my spouse with Alzheimer's and the mother of a 25-year-old daughter, I tell you to go and make your life. My nightmare is that she will get trapped by our infirmity and wake up alone and poor at age 50. That's not why I had a child. I want her to have a life of her own.

If your mother were young and healthier, she would want the same for you. She is so vulnerable, but as they say, you don't have to be the one to give her physical care. You can love her and ensure that she is well taken care of, and begin to find your own path.

My mom has had issues all of her life practically. My dad took care of her before he passed away. My mom has been in and out of the hospital for back surgeries for years. I think she's had 13 back surgeries. 3 total knee replacements (they had to redo one because the knee got recalled), she has heart conditions and diabetes.

Her instability (use of a walker) made her fall. After years of using a walker, her shoulders started to give out, so it was hard for her to hold onto the walker some times. She walked into the kitchen one day and fell backward and hit her head... ever since then, it was a fast decline.

Thanks all for your suggestions and your encouragement. It's what I needed to hear. I really will start working on this... I have to start living my life. Not to sound callous, but my mom has lived a full life. I hear stories of her life all the time... but me, I have no stories really. The only thing I get to say is that I took care of my mom... and even though I have people telling me that I'm such a good daughter, they have no idea how much I want to scream, how much I need help, how much I want to be free.

Jenny, my gosh your Mom is so very young to be dealing with this type of medical situation. May I ask what were her medical issues that she needed your help back when she was 61? Did this all happen right after your Dad had passed?

Do you know if your Mom had a brain bleed on that serious fall? My Mom [98] had a fall like that which placed her into long-term-care with accelerated dementia. One week she was pretty sharp for her age, the next week she didn't know where she was, couldn't walk or stand, and her memory a mess.

See if your Mom can qualify for Medicaid. Or if she can self-pay for awhile, then use medicaid to help pay for a continuing care facility. Like others above had mentioned, your Mom now need 3 full-time shifts of caregivers.

Note that 30-40% of in family caregivers who do all the work themselves pass leaving behind their love one. Then what? You need to get out into the world, find paid employment and start building up your retirement, while in the mean time meeting the right person.

I agree 100%. You are not required to sacrifice your life for your mom's. One day your mom isn't going to be there and where will you be then if you continue going on like this? Standing in the middle of an empty house wondering where your life went and having to pick up the pieces and figuring out what to do next.

Get out now while you can. You won't be abandoning your mom. You'll still be in her life, a part of her care, but her care won't rest solely on your shoulders anymore.

Start your planning! You deserve....you NEED....your own life!

Don't ever "throw in the towel." Continue to relate to your mother with love and to see that she is provided the care she needs.

BUT ... seeing that she gets the care she needs does not have to mean personally providing each and every aspect of the care she needs. It sounds like your mother needs a nursing home with three shifts of trained staff who are paid to provide care, and who have a life outside of the caring. Staff who have spouses and children and camping buddies and bowling league friends. Staff who are doing this with love and for a profession, for whom it is a part of their life but not their whole life. Staff who don't spend their days crying. Your mother deserves that.

And you? My goodness, lady, you deserve a life! Visiting Mom and advocating for her and ensuring she has what she needs can and should be a part of that life, but giving up your life for hers -- what kind of sense does that make?

Maybe instead of or in addition to therapy right now you ought to focus on talking to people who can help you get Mother placed in a good care center. At the same time, move forward making plans to support yourself in a more fulfilling way. You have not been freeloading! You've more than earned any reliance you've had on your mother's finances. But now it is time for Mom's care to be provided by professionals, freeing you up to plan and live your own life.

You can do this!

During the years I can't tell you how many times I've been in and out with her at the hospital. In and out of emergency rooms. I had to pack up our apartment because we lived in an apartment that had 4 stairs and we moved to one that was flat level. I did that. All on my own (except to hire movers)... in and out of doctors offices. After she fell, I had to walk her to the bathroom room and as we walked to the bathroom, she would urinate (her nerves were failing because of the fall)... constant cleaning and laundry. And doctors saying they didn't know what was wrong. The months we had to wait til we seen a neurologist, the months we had to wait for her to see a surgeon. Then she developed UTI and pneumonia and it stopped her surgery. It's been a constant battle. All I do is cry and when I'm not crying I'm doing everything I can to hold it together. We have no other family out here to help, friends can't help... it's just me. Everything is on me.......... unless..... it doesn't have to be. I need to know when to throw in the towel and I need to do it soon. I'm so tired. I'm depressed and frustrated and miserable. I recently got into therapy, but therapy doesn't work. I just... I can't do this anymore. I want to know what it's like to breathe, to just worry about me, to just have a life.

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