Caring for Mom; Just a vent...

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I work full time and take care of my 85 y/o mom with dementia and COPD the rest of the time. I am sick of people that ask about my mom, but really don't want to hear anything beyond, "Oh she is fine." If you don't want to hear why the heck do you ask? Don't get me wrong, I don't go into huge detail with everyone, but sometimes I need to get it off my chest and then I hear later that they didn't want to hear.

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Little paws, since you said you can’t get out during the evening, have you looked for an online support group? Everything is online now! FaceTime is a wonderful thing!
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12LittlePaws Aug 30, 2018
This is the first forum I searched out and found. I think this is a great idea and I will look into it! Thank you!
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12 little paws -
Hang in there.
I have learned that when people ask about how a loved one is doing, it is often about them. They would feel guilty if they didn't ask. And sometimes... They want the simple answer and we can give them the benefit of the doubt, that they want your loved one to be improving.
I hope this makes you laugh... I secretly snicker every time I hear the phrase "I'm fine"
Thanks to the Italian job movie. They define fine(acronym) as
Freaked Out
Insecure
Neurotic
And...
Emotional

So I never say I am fine, LOL. I do usually say... It is so sweet of you to ask about mom. I will tell her you asked about her - that will be enough for someone wanting a simple answer. Someone who really cares will keep asking questions.

I am rather isolated, at least 60 miles from the closest caregiver support group. Not an option at this point. So aging care is my support group. I come here to whine, cry, commiserate, laugh. help, share, learn and be understood as well as understand.

You can come here any time and vent or do whatever you need.
Keep hanging in there!
I hope this helps.
Hugs.
Sparkles
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12LittlePaws Aug 30, 2018
I will definitely continue to come back here. I have commented a few times and am getting braver each time.

It is is so hurtful when you open up to someone thinking they honestly wanted to hear and then find out they didn’t want to hear at all. I will definitely just give a stock answer from now on. All my life I’ve been private with my feelings and my life except to one or two people. I guess I will go back to that. Really tired of phoney people!

I so so much appreciate the fact that I can come here and learn, vent, cry, laugh and maybe even help someone else.
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I know, I know. My daughter is an RN and got tired of hearing about gma and what was going on at the AL. I am kind of OCD. Wanted things as perfect as can be.

People who have never done caregiving have no idea what is involved especially when caring for a Dementia LO or stubborn LOs. It was funny that the women in our church rallied around the man who was caregiver for his wife but I wonder if they would have rallied around a woman that was in the same circumstances.

I guess you just have to say, she is just fine with a smile.
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12LittlePaws Aug 30, 2018
Yep, a smile and a noncommittal reply will be what they get from now on!
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You can roll your eyes and say, “Oh, you know how it is...”. When people ask about your mom, unless they are relatives or lifelong friends, they’re just being nice. That’s all. Who’s telling you that when you vented to someone that the person “didn’t want to hear”? That’s a little snarky. Why would they tell you that? It makes you feel bad and makes the person you told LOOK bad.

If you need to “get it off your chest”, research Alzheimer’s support groups in your area. These are people who truly understand and want to hear what you have to say. Or speak with your pastor if possible. And you can always come here.

Sending hugs...
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12LittlePaws Aug 30, 2018
Thank you for your reply! I think I will use that or just say she's fine. I won't be opening up, even slightly, at work anymore, that is for sure.

I do need to get it off my chest from time to time and there is a support group that I would love to go to, but my problem is I have no help with Mom and if she is going to get confused it will be in the evening, which is when the support group meets.

During the day she is pretty high functioning with just some short term memory/long term memory deficit, but not much if any confusion, which is why I can go to work during the day and just check in with her by phone occasionally as well as peek in on her with a camera monitor I installed. I try not to take any more of her independence/adulthood than I have to take and as long as she is safe at home alone I am going to keep things like that. Her doctor and I both agree that she is safe at home alone in the daytime for now. SO, since nobody in my family has ever lifted a finger, I am limited on my ability to spend time away.
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Little paws--

WOW, I hear you.

Not caring for mother anymore, currently....but hubby had 2 heart attacks in June/July this year and I can count on the fingers of one hand the people who asked me how I was doing....

it may be natural and normal to ask after the patient only, after all, they are the one who is ill, or declining, and they aren't going to get "better".....

But as a caregiver, I would get so down and depressed. I just needed ONE person a week to ask after me--and actually ACT on the question"How are YOU? What can I do for YOU?" Several people asked, I honestly replied that I needed to get out of the house and go to lunch or just for a walk and not one person ever followed through.

I'll give you the advice that I got from my therapist: Don't EXPECT ANYONE to take care of you, but you. Once you wrap your mind around that, then set aside a chunk of time for yourself when you can get away if possible, or just go to a quiet room and either nap or read. (I wear industrial strength earplugs!)

Eat well and healthy-and try to exercise. Also, a massage every 2 weeks has been helpful. We need "healing touch" and I know I was doing that for hubby, but he isn't good at reciprocal care.

It sucks and it's not fair. Come here to vent away. We have feelings and thoughts that would shame us if they became known, but we're human and need to be loved and cared for, and all too often we are the last to get even a hug.

Yeah, and depending on the person who is asking--just keep it light. People DID want to know the gory details of hubby's heart attacks and they (and the 3 midnight runs to the ER with panic attacks--) were just too much for me to keep talking about. He's slowly, and I mean '10 steps forward, 9 back slowly'--getting well. He will never be OK again, and that's just because he refuses to exercise on his own, so once PT is over he won't do a thing. Just trying to adapt to a 66 yo hubby who act 90.

Good luck--you certainly are not alone.
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JoAnn29 Aug 30, 2018
So sorry about hubby. Maybe he should see your therapist and by the way, I agree with him/her. DON'T EXPECT ANYONE TO TAKE CARE OF YOU. If you don't expect, you can't be hurt.

I guess you know that recoup from a heart attack takes months to get your strength back and your husband had two. Depression is a big thing. I think he can do rehab again after a few months that Medicare will pay for. I feel for you because my Dad didn't really do for himself. He expected Mom to wait on him hand and foot.
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