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My mother (77) recently moved in with my husband (44) and I (48). We do not have kids but do have 3 dogs and 1 cat. We have bitten off more than we can chew in the general stubbornness and self-centeredness of my mother's behavior. I work from home so it is not unusual for my work to be interrupted multiple times a day. I think it would be very helpful for me to go to a local support group. I'm in Renton, about 35 mins from Seattle. Anyone know of any good support groups in my area.
Also does anyone have any advice for someone just starting out with caregiving?

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suhikes, it wasn't talking my mom into going really, but I guess it could be interpreted that way. Every day is somewhat of a battle to get her to daycare. I make up all kinds of things from telling her we are meeting with the nurse, she is volunteering today, going shopping, whatever I think will work that day.

I could not do this without day care and once mom gets obstinate to point of refusing to go, then it will be facility time.

Another idea, are there any Chinese cultural clubs or organizations in your area where she could volunteer or just go to activities? She would begin to make friends and may look forward to spending time with them. Or maybe a church that does services in Chinese. These cultural organizations may have a wide variety of ideas for you. Maybe a church that publicizes services in Chinese. Your local Agency on Aging should have information on a wide variety of activitites
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Thanks Glad,
I just took a look at the Alzeimer's Assn website and found a group closeby. Of course it's too late now to contact them but it's a good place to start I think so thanks!

Jeanne,
Thanks also for your response. My mother has been living with us since June and I feel I'm already there...mental breakdown stage. Terrible isn't it? :') I know respite is important but my mother gets so upset when I leave for a couple of hours. She previously lived with my brother and was alone most of the day when my brother was at work. I thought it would be better for her to live here since I work from home...I would be there if any emergency arose. Now she is used to my being there and she expects it from me.

How did you set boundaries? I don't think my mother has dementia or alzheimer's but she refuses to go see a regular doctor of any sort, for medical issues much less for testing for alzheimer's or dementia and much less a specialist and short of physically putting her in the car there's nothing that can be done there.
How did you convince your mother to go to an adult day care? I know that my mother is lonely, but she doesn't feel that she can relate to anyone who doesn't speak Chinese (or isn't Chinese) even thought she speaks English.
There is a place in Seattle's International District, half hour away but even though I offer to take her, she can't ever seem to get ready in time to go since they close at 3p. Stays up all nite, then goes to sleep early in the morning and gets up around 11a. She moves very slowly, takes half hour to brush her teeth, 1/2 hour to use the restroom. 1 hour to dress, etc so it's impossible to be on time to any appointment. She also can;t plan ahead by 1 day much less one hour. When she runs out of something like her special no sodium bread, we must drop everything and get it.
I guess I just have alot of frustration that I can't do anything to help and I feel I have no control over my own life anymore. I feel like I just wait around for her to be ready. I also need a place to vent I guess. :')

Thanks for listening and if you have any examples or advice on how you dealt with these issues please respond again. Take care!
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Google search for Renton WA caregiver support group. Also contact your Agency on Aging.

There are often support groups for persons caring for those with specific diseases, such as cancer, dementia, stroke, etc. If your mother has a particular condition finding a group dealing with that is very helpful.

I worked from home while caring for my husband with dementia. It nearly always took me 7 days and working lots of odd hours to get my 40 hours in. Interruptions are a fact of life with dementia. It was easier to accept it and plan for it than to get anxious over it. My work life got much easier when I got an aide in for several hours a day.

My advice for a beginner is to PLAN FOR RESPITE. It is simply not possible to do 24/7/365 caregiving and retain your sanity. Respite means some time to yourself. Having Mom go to a day center one or more days a week is one way to have a little time to yourself. Arranging for a relative or other reliable person to come into your home and stay with Mom while you and spouse go away for a weekend once in a while, and for a week's vacation now and then is another way. If there is no one to come into your house, many assisted living facilities take people in for short respite periods. (This is not inexpensive, but neither is a mental breakdown!) Ask you Agency on Aging for a list of resources like this. (They can probably send you a booklet.)

Plan respite ahead. Do NOT wait until you are facing burnout and it becomes an emergency. You need regular breaks and periodic vacations.
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Check with the Alzheimer's Association for support groups. Also some churches have support groups that are not affiliated with Alz Assn. Many assisted living facilities have groups as well.

For your sanity I would find a day program for mom-in-law where you could take her. My mom started with a day program almost two years ago with just a half day a week. She now goes 5 days a week and loves her friends there and the many activities that they have.
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