Follow
Share

First time ever asking a question on this type of site so I was unsure the level of background/detail that would be of value. So when in doubt, the whole story:

I’m 26, an only child, and I have been the primary caregiver for my mother for the past 4 years. Her husband, my father, died in 2007. She is currently experiencing dementia and losing her short-term and spatial memory. Additionally, she is bound to a wheelchair and a diabetic. I have been able to successfully automate some of her care by, and I use this word because I cannot think of another, ‘training’ her to take prefilled containers with her morning/afternoon/night pills and calling me twice a day with her blood sugar readings.

When she became paralyzed I was 21 and didn't really know what to do. I was a full-time undergrad and worked in internship at the local utility. Due to the demands of her care I didn't really pursue any other work while in school. I thankfully managed to get near complete scholarships and worked at night in a janitorial job, so that I would be free’ish to help her during the day. Upon completing college I managed to get employment as a data analyst at a local corporation 5 minutes from home; however, they are very demanding with my time and though the task isn’t physically demanding it requires high levels of concentration and focus reviewing thousands of lines of code. Right when I get home I have to take a nap to alive the headache; however, I cannot take a job somewhere else as it would place me farther away from my responsibility to my mother. To continue my education I enrolled in graduate school right after graduation, online to be home more and keep a work schedule free, but have had to steadily reduce this to half-time or below (which FASFA won’t cover, just great…). I have no social life, no girlfriend, and few friends I rarely see. I don’t like associating with people my own age because I see the lives they are building and I feel envious of them. I continually feel that I am not doing enough for my mother, that I have a debt which is unpaid to her. I do all cleaning, maintenance, upkeep around the house the best I can but I feel that I am always behind. Example: I haven’t vacuumed in a long time, I hate that, it makes me feel like crap. I constantly hear that “I am a such a good son,” but it feels like a lie. The carpet, to continue my example, looks like crap. I know I could be doing more but I don’t have the motivation or the time. I only sleep 4.5hrs a night and take modifinal and amphetamines (script) for focus and to keep going, but my motivation to push forward continues to slip. As immature as it sounds I sometimes just want to sit around and play Xbox, a feeling I felt so guilty being that it is such a waste of time that I donated my Xbox to the Salvation Army.

I don’t expect to be a social maverick or a corporate titian but how do I balance what I need to do to create some kind of life while repaying the debt I owe to the one who created that life? How do I get and stay motivated to go on when every day is a grueling ordeal of work and disappointment? How can I effectively care for my mother without sacrificing my own goals/life?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
If money is not an issue, then you can move your mom to a long-term care facility. Do you have any family members who can help you deal with this? You need a break, it seems like you are too stressed and you need some time off. Caregiving is not an easy task, it could drain you physically and emotionally.

Here's a resource on everything about caregiving, including support organization, it can help you deal with managing caring for a loved one who is long term care dependent:

http://www.infolongtermcare.org/caregiving/
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I too am caregiver to my dad who is in severe stage of COPD along with other issues...AFib, chronic kidney disease, macular degeneration, short term memory loss and atrophied muscle. I am 58 and had a fairly decent job that I gave up to move to AZ with dad hoping climate would be better for his lungs. Seems he got worse since we moved here (from Alaska) due to the heat and dust and now we thought of moving to Oregon where climate is similar to what hes used to for the past 30 years. I feel guilty moving here, buying a house and watching his health decline. I also don't know how to balance caregiving with my life as I am here 24/7 for him and work 6 hours 2 days a week. When I work he doesn't eat right even though I leave him a plate he can warm up. Sometimes I think he's just lazy but then I realize it's that he has no energy & is dealing with being dependent on someone else for his survival. Yes, I get frustrated and angry with him when he doesn't do what he's supposed to but then guilt hit and I feel bad for being angry. It's a roller coaster lifestyle taking care of an aging parent!! I would like to put him in AL or some type of home but am not sure how much it will cost. He isn't a rich man and lives on SSI. The VA pays him to have me as a caregiver but one day that will all stop. We are trying to sell his house here in AZ to move but no luck so far and I don't think I'll be able to make the payments once he's gone. It is getting warm here and that plays h**l with his breathing so I want to get him out of here soon. His lung doctor said a few weeks ago to consider Hospice and still not sure. So many things to consider and with his health failing so fast I am scared where it will leave me. I am POA and Beneficiary on all his stuff so that's a plus but what happens when he goes? I have been taking care of him for the past 4 years but most recently the past 10 months living with him and it has been tough especially seeing him dwindle so rapidly. I am hoping when his time comes, that I have the strength and knowledge to handle his affairs properly and find my life again before I'm too old to enjoy it! Prayers out to all of you caregivers and good luck!! It's a tough job and tougher on the elderly who are suffering.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Everything is on you and you should ask for help. There are services as the others mentioned, look into them and then talk with your mom. You are wonderful to be there for her, but be there for you to.

Im trying to figure out a better schedule or something to balance my situation out as well. Good luck
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You don't owe a debt to your mom. When she had you her first thought was not, "Now you owe me!" I understand where you're coming from but you're putting way too much pressure on yourself in thinking that you owe your mom.

You are a good son. You are doing what you can. And there is nothing wrong with sitting around with an Xbox decompressing from a hard day's work. But like someone else pointed out you are headed for trouble if you keep going like this. You can't keep up this pace.

I agree with everyone when I say consider an assisted living facility for your mom. However, she may not be eligible because of the wheelchair unless she can hire around-the-clock care.

If she is able to hire around-the-clock care that may be an option for you as well. When caring for a parent most people have to quit their jobs because caregiving consumes their lives, as you are finding out.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'll be reading these responses closely, since your post could very easily be mine. I haven't yet found the social/work/caregiving balance, but I have hope it is possible.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Bioskop, you are a gem. I imagine that since you are so young that your mother is also young. Is she on disability?

I don't know if there is a good way for a young person to balance caregiving and their own lives without getting outside help. This is a critical time in your life. You need to be building your career and finding a good mate -- maybe even thinking about children if they are something you want. If you put these things on the back burner, the opportunity could be lost. I doubt that your mother would have wanted this if she were well.

suziq's advice about bringing in someone to evaluate your mother's needs is excellent. Country social workers know what resources are available and how to tap into them. See what help there is for you out there.

And whatever you do, don't forget to nourish your own spirit by getting out among people. This should be the most fun time of your life, but you'll have to find a way to get out more. There are a lot of good things out there if you'll let yourself enjoy them. It is my belief that we really don't owe our parents for being born. Responsibility passes down the line when we take care of our children. What we do for our parents is out of love and respect for who they are. Seeking help caring for your mother doesn't mean you love her less. It just gives you the opportunity to be her son again, instead of her caregiver. It is okay to get help.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

With your mom in AL you can go on to your goals. You can visit her as often as you like, take her out to lunch or just visit and play cards. AL is not a prison, it is a safe place where you do not have to worry about her while you work and while you have a life. My firends mom is in AL, she would prefer to be at home, but that would not be a safe alternative for her. There are people there who are sad, some of those rarely have visitors, but many people there have friends, have their needs taken care of, feel safe and look forward to visits from their happy fulfilled sons and daughters.

God Bless you for all you do
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You get mom to Assisted Living if at all possible. Her SS should cover most of it, and you rent out her house to pay the rest. If your father was in the military, see if she can get VA help. You get on with your life, that is what any mother wants for her child. Your are on the verge of a serious breakdown, and getting her to professional care will save both of you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

What you have done for your mom is admirable. You can not do it all on your own. You need time to concentrate on your career and complete your studies. The assistance available to you will depend largely on your mother's financial situation. Contact your local Agency on Aging to see what services are available for you and your mom. Even someone to come in a few hours a week to help with the housekeeping could be a big benefit to you.

Check out some of the resources listed on the following website:
http://www.michigan.gov/osa/1,4635,7-234-64081---,00.html
You will find a "benefits check up" option listed. That was very helpful to me when I was researching options for my mom.
You have to take care of yourself to be in a position to continue to help your mom.
Best wishes and please keep us updated.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.