She will be 94 in Aug. She still feeds her dog and takes care of changing her pads herself ( cleaning herself) but after wrecking her car, then I took over her financial stuff (bank acct) she would have meltdowns / I got her on 2 pink pills a day which helped but still... it’s rough. We’ve lived together for many many yrs 14 or more... when she got divorced, in the middle of that he died, so I’ve stuck with her helping her mess, probate, lawyers, then realtors that talked us into a place we couldn’t afford and lost... then her dog died, I lost my job after 33 yrs, and my 12 yr relationship ended... it’s been like my life was set aside and I’ve gone through the trenches with her , now the dementia! It’s been SO hard living with my mom as a grown woman to begin with now dealing with unfamiliar ground with this dementia taking her over. She went out in her 80’s got a young dog... cause I had one, she accuses me of taking her things, calls me a liar, doesn’t appreciate all I do yet I continue. I treat her well, cook for her, make coffee for her, cut up her food, etc. She has one neighbor friend, and mills around the house obsessing on her electric blankets or whatever. I want to try and figure out how to get her to a daycare once or twice a week she probably will fight me on that. Everyone who knows my situation all have said she needs to be placed because it’s very stressful on me and more. But I just cannot bear separating her and her little dog , and can’t fathom telling her mom you’re going to live somewhere else now without your dog and leave your home. I just can’t find it in my heart to do that so I’m taking on all of this I don’t suppose I will place her till the day comes where she doesn’t know who I am then maybe. Just the thought of telling her you’re going to stay somewhere else now mom it terrifies me. I wouldn’t/ couldn’t even think about that day. It would not be one of those great big money sucking places, but would try to get her in a group home perhaps although those are pricey too, but not as bad. I dread getting out of bed every day. I have no life, no boyfriend, and when I go away with a girl friend of mine she acts cold to me after. Then the guilt.... this is depressing. I never thought I would go on antidepressants , but I am on them and still am struggling. She is no fun to be around that’s for sure. My life is just a sense of dread.

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I skip the antidepressants & stick to ice cream & potato chips. However, nothing is going to make you feel better, I know. You have to take a break. You’re not going to hear kind words of Thank you, or I appreciate you for taking care of me. It’s a thankless job.

Thank you Cappy for your acknowledgment and validation.....

I am in a similar situation as you, except that I don't live with my mom. She has caregivers who come in to her home( in the same town), but I am constantly managing, going over, buying groceries, fixing things, and filling in when the caregivers are away. It is VERY difficult. People keep telling me, too...that it is time to thing about a place to put her, BUT she has a dog, too and is attached to beyond belief.I could NEVER put her anywhere without her dog. My mom can still get around..cannot bathe herself( I do that),understands a lot of things. I looked at a place that SAID they allowed pets, and there were so many restrictions that I finally realized that it wasn't going to work out. It was just a come on, especially in memory care. I understand. So many people can give advice, but they don't have YOUR mom, YOUR situation, etc. I am very down and have been for a while, but honestly...the thought of visiting a counselor? With my free time...I want to do something fun for myself and husband. I can only tell you that I understand what it is like to be a caregiver and wish you the best of luck. Can you afford to have someone come in and relieve you for a few hrs? Oh, by the way...I found the day care, took her a couple of times and she refuses to go back.

Sky (((((hugs))))).
I'm sure the person you'd most like acknowledgement from is your mom, but yes, you ARE a saint!

We mentioned your meds because sometimes anti depressants stop working. Or you need a different one. Or more than one. Not just you. Mine. My husband's. One of my kids. ( not all at the same time, just...over the years!).
You are under a lot of stress. Tough to take care of YOU. (((((((((More hugs))))))))

My meds are where they should be.. twice a day. No there is no one else to help. I have thought of nothing else BUT her. I AM seeing a counselor. There were some helpful suggestions in the first reply thank you for that. I... think I have been a saint to mom, bending over backwards, I take her out to breakfast, some shopping ... didnt hear much of an acknowledgement for how long I’ve stuck with her... especially how bad it’s gotten this past year.... this is all NEW to me,, yea I’m in the deep end of the pool. 2 if the 3 replies, felt to me like a sting rather than an encouraging word. Like “I” need my meds checked? Really? I felt my thorough explaination was a waste of time late last night in bed. Thanks anyway ladies, but somehow feel worse. Onward.

I might discuss your continued feelings of dread with your doctor. Sometimes, medications need adjusting. I'd explore if yours is on target.

I might also ask for a counselor to help with sorting through the details of your situation. With a person who has dementia, they aren't capable of meeting our needs for conversation, communication or cooperation. Dementia patients are often resistance and seemingly difficult. It may be that your expectations of what your mom is capable of may be too high. Thus, you get let down a lot.

Making decisions on behalf of a person who is disabled may require some tough choices. I'd ask for help in how to do that. Is there anyone else available in the family to help support you? I've read that when caregivers get overextended and exhausted, they feel overwhelmed. I hope you can find some help that makes you feel better.

Chicken, egg, chicken, egg, chicken...

It can be terribly hard to know and see where to find your starting point.

Your mother prevents you from leading a varied, fulfilling, hopeful life.
Having lost key aspects of the life you enjoyed - relationship, even more importantly (in my admittedly jaundiced view) your job of 33 years - you have been battered and are finding it hard to know where and how to begin again.

Tackle mother? Tackle life? Where do you start?

The mere thought of introducing to your mother - never mind placement - a day or two a week at a day care group: you're trying to "figure out" how to do that. What's to figure? Find group. Take mother there. What makes it so complicated? Well, what makes it complicated is that, at the moment, you want your mother to go to a day centre because you can't stand the sight of her 24/7 and it is driving you out of your mind. This is not a flattering or comforting thing to tell her, is it.

But. Suppose instead you were saying something like: "I'm starting at the library/McDonalds/Henriette's Haute Couture/Citizens' Advice next week, working Monday Wednesday and Friday, so I've arranged for you to have company at the Ladies Who Lunch Club on those days." Isn't that a bit more win:win? You have purposeful, scheduled appointments. She has company and lunch. And nobody even has to mention that she is becoming too heavy a burden for one person to bear.

So, to summarise, I'm suggesting you look around at what something new might trigger one key change, leading to others. Get out your CV, dust it off, and see what doors your skills might open.

Sky; How long have you been on your anti depression meds? Do you have a check-in with your doctor once a month or so to allow her/him to assess your mood and if you need a medication adjustment?

As you say, your mom's condition will continue to deteriorate. I'm not sure I see the sense in waiting to place her until she doesn't know who you are; the smart money here seems to be on placing parents in a group situation when they still have the cognitive skills to adjust to a new routine and get some joy out of socialization.

There are places that allow residents to have dogs; have you looked at any places?

I can't imagine how bored and lonely it must be for your mom, living with you. Did you ever think of it that way? That she's got no one her age to talk to, to reminisce about the good old days with? To listen to the music of their youth?

Take an hour this week to assess mom's finances. Call the local Area Agency on Aging and get her a "needs assessment" so you have a good idea what level of care she needs now. Then start looking around at what mom's resources will get her, and what assistance is available.

Come back here for support and to let us know what progress you've made. We care!

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