I took care of my Mother for many years, the last eleven being especially difficult as I was working while taking care of her in my home. She has thrived very well at home, however due to her dementia worsening I had to quit my job when the pandemic started to care for her full time as I couldn't take the chance of placement during the pandemic.
Gradually over the years I feel like the life has been slowly sucked out of me going into her. Giving her my energy gives her life. I have managed throughout the years, but recently at 65 I feel like it's taking away my health in a bad way. She was thriving bright eyed and bushy tailed while I've been slowly drained, becoming exhausted with everything.
Over time I developed compassion fatigue but dutifully kept at her care, not wanting to put her in a Nursing Home for fear she wouldn't be properly taken care of. Our family are all gone now, I'm left to help her.
Recently on the 20th of this month she had a stroke and is currently in a rehab center. I can only visit her 40 minutes a day and can't participate in her care or see her room as family are not allowed into the nursing home. Due to an error in scheduling I didn't see Mother for four days (they didn't put my name in the schedule book as promised). My worst fears about nursing homes are true. When I saw her she was dirty, hungry, thirsty and had generally gone down hill. The day before I came in she slid out of her wheelchair and fell to the ground hitting her head, because they couldn't be bothered to put on leg rests, even though I pleaded and insisted they do so at a previous visit. Some of the staff seem incompetent, indifferent, and lazy.
Yet if I bring her home and give my life for hers she will thrive but I may not. If I leave her in a nursing home she won't thrive and probably will die, then I live with that for the rest of my life.
It is a terrible time to go into a nursing home because you can't monitor the care properly because they won't let you in. Yet, I'm so burned out with caregiving that even hiring a part time aid to help me sounds overwhelming. I tried contacting small Adult Family Homes, but the good ones are full, Mother is on Medicaid and VA and we live on an Island which further complicates things. I'm wondering what options are left? I don't think I can handle any of the ones I mentioned (putting her in a NH or bringing her home). I guess I'll have to bring her home, but emotionally I'm at my wits end, I don't know if I can stand to continue on with her all consuming care. Feeling alone and in despair.