Burn out; Mom wants to be with just me it appears. I am about to lose it.

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i moved my mom in 3 years ago after my step dad had a massive stroke, he has since passed away. I’ve sold their home, cars, hired an elder lawyer, had her will redone. Since being with me she has had 2 strokes, a heart attack and pneumonia. Feels like all I do is either go to the hospital or now constant doctor appts. My mom doesn’t want to do anything. I have asked my siblings for help and have sent my mom to visit them in Florida and West Virginia. But when she comes back we end up with her in the hospital. I have told the family from now on if you want to see you must come here. Well one of my brothers did and she stayed in her room almost the entire time he was here. The day he left she was up bright and early to spend all her time with me. My mom can still get around with her cane. She just wants to be with just me it appears. I am about to lose it. I feel guilty if I want to go to the grocery store by myself or just go fishing (which I use to do a lot). I use to volunteer at my church. Which now if I take her with me she is a risk cause she doesn’t always think about safety first. Which means I watch after her and can’t get much volunteering done. Everyone gets to go and do what they want when they want. I feel stuck in this rut. I miss being with my husband and if we go out to dinner I feel guilty that I left her at home. I just feel hopeless because I have lost who I am and I’ve lost the person that I once was.

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Hi Joanne

My parents have a 24 hour caregiver coming in as I said I cannot care for mom upon hospital discharge this wk. She is psychotic and has dementia - I did not agree to her coming back to the house but said NO MORE as I tried to care for her first time she fell - she awoke with panic and accelerated screaming pain one day - we had helper from 8-5 but I was the carer after 5pm - up all night on and off.

She is coming home this wk and its not going to go over well - Dad in denial and his health is getting worse. I have to walk away as I cannot get family to understand this is not tenable.

I cant do this at this level. I am ok with saying so even though it makes me the bad guy and potentially homeless.
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Reply to Scaredtaker
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If you belong to a Church, see if there is someone who will visit Mom while you volunteer. There was a man in our Church who had volunteered for years. His wife had Dementia. The woman in the Church took turns in watching her while he volunteered.
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KimmieK Aug 29, 2018
I have reached out to my pastor. Hopefully I will have some help.

thank you!
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I think most caregivers who reach that three year mark of caregiving have this feeling, I've heard it a lot, been through it, I myself am just coming back from my parent being in the hospital for a week, minor thing, but he wants me there all the time, all day.  This feeling passes, it did for me, you have to adjust your caregiver routine to fit in time for yourself and you have to adjust your mom to that routine, your time to yourself becomes part of her routine, you interject activity for her for herself, while you have time for yourself. 

Also your mom probably knows how you feel, all the same as caregivers we need some space.  I put myself in my parent's situation, and really thought long and hard how I would feel if I were exactly in their shoes with my daughter.  I would likely have the same fears, be so grateful that one of my kids would choose to take care of me.  If one of my daughters was irritated with me, I being the way I am, I'd feel maybe I did something wrong, and I would actually want to spend more time with my daughter for that reason, also if my health was failing I would want to spend more time with my kids, all the time I could.  It's hard, as caregivers we do lose a portion of our life to it.  But in the end you will be loved for it forever and you will not regret every moment you spent with your mom and knowing you did the right thing by her.  You do need time to yourself, find something mom can do, that she won't put down for an hour or two at a time, find something that makes mom really happy and makes her laugh, like get some of those old comedy shows she can watch, my parents both loved those.  If she's stable at home alone for awhile, find her entertainment that she loves and set her up with that and her phone, and tell her bluntly mom, love you, hubs and I need some time, we'll be back at ....., give her a big hug.  I hope it helps.
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KimmieK Aug 29, 2018
Thank you, unfortunately my mother is a negative nelly. She has always had that “victim” mentality. I understand her wanting everyone to dote on her to a degree but ppl get tired of the negativity, I call it the eyore syndrome. I’ve taken a few small steps to regain “me”. For instance I went to the grocery store by myself And have been meet with “while you were gone i had this happen or I felt sick etc.” I’m in constant conflict with my own guilt of the be all do all daughter.

Thank you for taking the time to share with me
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I want to add that the solution is not always for family to "step up".

Sometimes, our loved ones need more care than family can give.

I know that I would not have caught my mom's several bouts of pneumonia that occurred in the NH. Often, one of us would just have visited and we'd get a call from the APRN that they had started antibiotics, due to pneumonia. WE were not medical professionals. THEY are.
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Sounds like you are living my life!

I am trying to go back to working in a FT job - family and my dad are angry for me doing so but none of them have stepped up - so...here we are

I know about guilt - and shame - it does not feel good.

I think a lot of the guilt for me comes from my family shaming me if I leave - (heck, even if I don't!) and a lot of it is putting myself in my mother's place as if it were me. That gets me. UGH

After the guilt and shame I have lost my confidence - trying to stand up against familial attacks results in me being squashed like a cigarette. Hence, I feel so inept that I am not even sure I can work in a FT job for which I am being considered. So weird.

I can empathize with you on so many levels. I try to refrain from advice because I would be contradicting my own actions!

Getting old is difficult - having a front row seat to it as a daughter or son is not without challenging questions about our own aging process - in some ways that is a good thing...but it can be very depressing.

Only you know your heart - what you are willing to consider in reference to what you can and cannot do.

I do feel many of us fall into the landslide of snowballing care. It is like caring for an adult reverse aging to being an infant - but without the milestones associated with parenting. Sure there are milestones - but they are different.

HUGS
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JoAnn29 Aug 26, 2018
If your looking for FT work then Mom and Dad must be able to care for themselves. Your not saying how old ur but your future is at stake and they should understand that. Tell them you need to put money aside for when you are there age. You need to get some credit for SS. What do they think will happen to u when they are gone. Grab that job.
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What Barb said. Get respite with moms money and loose the guilt.

If she is okay sitting in her room while her son that came to visit is in the other room, well she can learn to let you have some you space and time. Like it or lump it.

Im not trying to be mean, you would never allow a child to behave with such manners so why would you give up your entire self to accommodate a grown woman.

It is time to set some boundaries so your mom doesn't outlive you.

Let her pout, don't buy into it. Try explaining that for you to continue being her caregiver you MUST take care of you.

My dad thought the world revolved around him and would try to punish me if I didn't act that way. He found out that he was the only one being punished. I had a life and oh you aren't going to see me today because you didn't get your way yesterday? YAHOO! Vacation day. I found it difficult to be the adult authority in the relationship, goes against nature but it must be done.

Best of luck finding the balance for everyone. I also think that adult daycare 3 or 4 days a week with a night respite (hubby time) would be better than 2, 4 hour shifts. But that is just my opinion, I love my alone time.
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You need respite care for your mom, at the very least! How about twice a week for 4 hours?

Hire caregivers with her money. Or look into Adult Day Care.

It doesn't matter if she doesn't care to, doesn't like it, etc. She needs to do it for your well-being.

Look into Palliative Care for her; does she see a doctor who specializes in Geriatrics? Once we got my mom to a geriatrics doc, we lost the neuro, the cardio, everyone really, except for the eye doctor.

Would your mom thrive at Assisted Living? Before you say no, take her to a couple of places for the free lunch and tour. You might be surprised.
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KimmieK Aug 29, 2018
when I’ve said to her that I need some time to myself or with my husband I get the “I know I’m a burden” speech. Then she gets all sad and won’t interact with us. In a sense she is pouting. I quit my job to stay home with her. i mentioned just yesterday that I need to find part time work at least to add to my social security. Her answer to that was well you can do that once I’m gone 😳

thank you for your comments and support
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