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Mom has breast cancer, broke her hip 3 yrs ago, lives alone. I live 1&1/2 hrs away. I am an only child, am married. She is 70 yrs.old and is divorced 50 yrs. She has no friends, is estranged from her brother and sister. I am spending one week with her and one week at home with my husband. She has 2 cats that she won't leave and I am allergic to them so she doesn't want to live with us. She can't understand why I can't stay with her all the time. I assume this is because she hasn't been married for so long she doesn't understand. She is hospitalized for 9 days now due to being neutropenic, having a bladder infection, a low platelet count, shingles, and some other things. She also has trouble keeping up with her meds - she is also disabled, I have fibromyalgia and major depression along with being bi-polar. My husband has had heart surgery and a surgery to do a biopsy on a mass within the past month. I have called Respite Care and the CAP program in her area but they all have waiting lists and must have someone in her area to service her. She lives in the "boondocks", so it is hard to find anyone. HELP! I am about to crash. I have been manic for so long that I am going to crash into a large depression, therefore being of no use to my husband or my mother. She needs someone to cook, clean, and manage her meds. She doesn't draw enough to pay for private care. I have contacted the Cancer Society, but they don't have any services in that area. Any suggestions?

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As above call Dr today, depending on dx
She could use care, perhaps stepdown
Care, she could be weak etc and needs
To get medical for several days....this
Will give you breathing room.
I am suspect that there are no assistance
Available due to waiting list....I am
Also shocked what the cancer society
said......in your area....are there resources
Available? Perhaps getting an apartment
in your area will work.
The other might be looking at assisted living
Or nursing home care.....I don't know the
Complete picture, would she qualify for
Hospice.....
sounds like alot of work ahead, but I think
There are options.
I wish you well.
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Talk to her doctor. Tell him what you told us. Tell him she needs help. It may be time for AL or NH. Any assets she has can be used for her care - then Medicaid. You certainly won't be much use to her if you CRASH AND BURN. Take care of yourself or you won't be of any help to anyone. Someone will be taking care of YOU. I feel for you. You have some very difficult decisions. But, often, if they have been hospitalized they can be moved directly into a NH to 'regain their strength' - often for several weeks and Medicare will pay. Call her doctor - insist on answers.
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Does she have a church she attends? They may have some services that will help, meals on wheels, a senior group that would come in and help run errands, etc.
You could place a local ad for a part time caretaker and start interviewing (and/or go to local senior center, senior care facility, etc. and get references); do a background check on person and then make sure that is the week you are there to see how it goes. If there is a college or community college nearby -- see if they have medical programs, nursing asst programs, etc. and you might find a "student" willing to do this part time -- come in a few hours daily.
Cold call on neighbors and ask if they know a cleaning service or someone who can come in and help with preparing meals, errands,etc. You might have to hire a few people.

You need to take care of yourself. Have a sit down with your mom and explain what is happening; get her some help and then tell her you won't be visiting for a couple months while you take care of yourself and that is why you are helping getting her services in place. She may not like it; but for your own health and well being you need this break. You are no good to her when you are at the breaking point.

If you do all you can and she makes other choices (refuses the care/assistance, outside help) then you have to just step back and let things happen until situation changes and she has to go into a care facility.

I know as I'm going thru this now. I set boundaries and my mom is on her own now. I didn't have success, she fired everyone I hired or cancelled services. Amazingly, she seems to be managing on her own. I only occassionally call now and no longer want to visit for awhile. I don't want to watch the drama. She knows how to reach me if she needs help. As of now, she tells me she doesn't need or want my help.
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