I have cared for Mom (93) for sixteen years and lived in her world of physical regression. Advice?

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Recently received wonderful news that 1st grandbaby is on the way. I want very much to see life through new eyes, but most of my time is spent caring for Mom. How to move forward without the guilt? I know it is accomplished by many, but I feel so depleted at this stage of my life.

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The right home help could be what you need, depending on the amount of care your mom requires. That saved my life when my MIL was with us her last year; I was able to keep my day job. My kids, then grade-school age, were a lot of help as well.
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Thank you for your responses. At the time I asked the question, my mind was reeling from thinking too far ahead. Now, I feel more centered 😀
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Start planning now for a week or two of respite care when the baby arrives, whether that involves assisted living or skilled nursing care. The way to stop living and thinking like an old woman is to focus instead on the excitement of a new grandchild.
I have a neighbour about my age who looks after little kids for a living, I on the other hand look after a 96 year old woman. There is no doubt in my mind that being around young people keeps you young, while focusing solely on the frailties of the elderly can make you old before your time!
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I think this depends at least a little on geography. Do you live with your mom and will the new baby live in the same location? Spending an afternoon with a baby who lives 10 minutes away is different than flying cross country to spend a week getting to know the new arrival.

You have given 16 years of caring to your mother. You say that she has regressed physically. Is it getting to be too much for you to care for her? Is it time to get some help, either in-home or in a facility? How is mom mentally? Maybe it is time to look at alternatives with or without a grandbaby in the picture.

This may be an opportunity to let mom try an assisted living facility. If you plan to spend a few days or a week helping the new mom, look into respite care at an assisted living facility for your mom for that time. This will give you a chance to see how mom would like the facility and give you a chance to focus your full attention on the new arrival. Congratulations! Grandchildren are the best!
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I also see a possibility of blending caregiving for your mother with celebrating the arrival of a little one in the family. From what I've seen, babies and toddlers awake a special response in the elderly; perhaps it's what Melanie Hamilton famously said in Gone with the Wind: "children are life renewing itself." I think older people see that and find babies so fascinating.

Perhaps you can think instead of an either/or situation how you can integrate your mother's care into visiting with the grandbaby. I would think your daughter or DIL could bring the baby for visits, and all of you could enjoy some respite time. Cleaning and laundry and all that stuff can take a backseat to family visits.

In addition, can you afford some part time help with the household chores so you can spend more quality time with both your mother and daughter/DIL and baby?

Change the guilt to rewards as you think over everything you do and how you can redefine it so you have quality time with both the older and younger generation. And don't think that you're spending less time with your mother - you're spending more quality time and helping her by bringing in the newest member of the family.
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I'm surprised no one's weighed in on your question yet. Hopefully this will bump up your question.

You've put in 16 years of caregiving. That's extraordinary. You are entitled to a life that has grandchildren in it!

When I was very little, too young to remember, my dear grandmother cared for her father at home. I spent a lot of time with my grandma and from the stories I've heard I really took to my great-grandfather and he really took to me. I wish I could remember all of that but I was a toddler. But I spent time with my grandma while she was caring for her father. It can be done. You don't have to choose if you don't want to. You can have both. You can be both: caregiver and grandma.

Another option would be assisted living for your mom if she is still able to live in assisted living. I think you deserve a break after 16 years. You deserve to have a life outside of caregiving. A life with a little baby in it that you can spoil and spend time with and babysit for.

Congratulations on your first grandchild! What a wonderful gift!
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