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I just joined this site. There is a lot of support and knowledge! I too have my 84 mom living with me she has been here for 9 years. Her decline has been gradual but lately seems more rapid. Recently had another mild stroke and is much weaker. Has vascular dementia. Juat stopped driving (voluntarily) 2 years ago. She is able to do a lot of things for herself though it takes forever!!!! If she has an appointment, I help her. I think she likes that because she really doesn't want to do much. Did lose most vision in her rt eye but 20/20 in the left. Has been 2 years and she still complains about it every chance she gets. Memory worse, i now do her pills, eye drops & dinner. She is not as clean as she used to be. Throws paper in any bag close to her and floor. Im constantly cleaning her bathroom & flushing her toilet. She is not interested in exercise, workbooks, going out (except to beauty shop & church every 2-3 weeks). She has a life alert and it took a couple of falls and a rehab stay for her to keep it on. . My siblings live 5-10 hrs away and she used to go there for 2-3 months per year, now she doesnt wànt to travel. I'm only 49 and have cut my hours down to 32 / week. She talks about wanting to die. Its been hard for me just watching her misery and I am angry. I get frustrated with her turtle speed and complaining about what she can't do. Has only vague symptoms.. Oh I just don't feel good. Period. Loves too sleep. I feel guilty because she has had a hard life. But was very active & energetic. Ahe has never shown love thru hugs & kisses. But will & has given me her last dime. Shes on lexapro and aricept,. It's very hard to watch. I pray for patience and understanding (sometimes out loud). I cry, she cries when I get upset. Thanks for all your posts, they are helpful!!!

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Thank you for ALL responses!! Daycare &/or caregiver are next on the list though she will probably not like it. Especially daycare because she will have to get up early, but, i think she definitely needs the stimulation. Thanks again and take care!
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Feel good about yourself that you have chosen to have your parent live with you and you are doing everything you possibly can for them. You caregivers who have taken your parents in or you who have moved away from your lives to be with them are saints. It surprises me how much you still feel you are not doing enough! I live 1500 miles away and am an only child, 58 yrs old with husband and life here on West Coast. My 93 year old Dad lives in New Orleans area and refuses to move out of his home. I travel 4 -5 times a year to be with him and relieve his caregivers, and I spend about 10 - 15 hours a week on phone and computer managing his care from afar. I've had people tell me what a good daughter I am. But YOU are the good daughter. My Dad does not have dementia though he has huge mobility issues and has a lot of the emotional symptoms you describe your Mom having. It is SO difficult to hear his decline every day I speak with him on the phone, or to hear about it from the caregivers, neighbors, friends and extended family he has there. Feel GOOD that you ARE doing everything and more. I know how painful it is, but at least you are THERE with your parent every day and hopefully you have siblings and can get the relief others on this site have mentioned. The fact that you have made your parent a part of your life for 9 years and counting is enough in my book to say you are doing absolutely the right thing. Hang in there and be good to yourself.
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Maybe check to see if the meds are playing into this. But my 93 year old Dad has become the same way over the last two years. But with him there is a decline in health - he can't hear and refuses to get a hearing aid, has urine incontinence and some dementia.
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Welcome to RELIEF and UNDERSTANDING CENTRAL CD!!
You are so GREAT. You are doing the best you can and forgive yourself when you get angry or annoyed with Mom. Do you have children yet? The age your mom is now is just like a 15 year old teenager. She WANTS to be independent so bad. But she needs your help and really doesn't want to bother you. You are going to do just fine. Stay on this site! Ask questions! The biggest thing all us caregivers have to face is the lonliness and helplessness we feel when we are doing our best with our elderly parents and our best doesn't seem to be enough! Anyway........I will stop babbling and end with.....
She is sooooooooooooo lucky to have a wonderful, caring, sincere, helpful daughter like you.
Kathy
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It is very difficult for your mom to travel the distance. Try and arrange for your siblings to come "visit" for a few days to a week so you can go on a vacation. My sisters come for weekends when I want to go on a Boy Scout activity with my son and one is coming soon so I can go on a real vacation for a week. It allows Mom to stay in her home but allows you a much needed break. If you cannot afford or do not want to leave then ask the siblings to financially support day care and/or "visits" as mentioned in some other posts to help you with things around the house and free you from the responsibilities of laundry. I have a caregiver that I introduced to Mom as my friend and she "visits" Mom when I need to run errands. Mom thinks it is nice to visit with her friend. It is good for Mom and me. I also started bringing her to day care 2-4 days/week and it has been a wonderful break for me.
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Welcome to the site. You will find most posts empathic, however, you will have to deal with the symptoms of your mother's dementia by learning as much as you can about the disease. The slowness is the inability to move the muscles, the putting tissue on the floor is lack of coordination, sleeping too much is depression, and not wanting to visit is lack of speech which robs the mind of words to form sentences. At 49, you too will perhaps get this disease as it runs in families so I hope the person who takes care of you will also be patience and understanding and not "blame" the symptoms you witness on the person. This is a horrible way to die without emotions which are depleted from lack of dopamine and other feel good neurotransmitters which makes a happy person. So love her the way she is now and appreciate the special gift you have been given. You don't have dementia.
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I understand where you are coming from. although everything is done for my mother still the outbursts will continue from time to time, she states she wants to die, she would rather be gone,i wish I was away etc.it is frustrating and of course you will feel angry, you feel you can do no-more, but when you hear her saying she wants to die, you tend to feel she is being selfish, does not appreciate what you are doing for her.but we will never know what we would say should this illness occurs to us? you say she has been to rehab once, why not get a weeks respite for yourself by letting her stay for a week every 6 weeks, you will feel more able to cope when she comes home, you sound really depressed and in need of a break, get some me-time, my mum is going into respite for the first time next month, 3 days to begin with thereafter 1 week every 6 weeks.although youre mum never tends to show her feelings, she cries when you cry, this tells me she feels for you, she is aware of what you are doing in regards to helping her. go and see youre doctor, tell him how you feel, he will probably try you on a low dose of anti- depressents, but I would urge you to look into respite homes.tomorrow is another day, I hope you will feel a little better.take care.
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Does your mom get enough Omega 3 fatty acids? Omega 3s help with mood and memory. Fish oil is a good source for it. Coconut oil also helps.
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I was in your position last month. My fathers health declined in the last five months and we recently moved him into a nursing home. It was a very hard decision, however he is getting the best care he needs, the socialization, the stimulation and now his health is the best its every been. I always had a negative view of nursing homes, but finding the right one that worked for him feels good for everyone. It is best to be sons/daughters rather than caregivers. I noticed our relationship is in the best place it is has ever been. Take care of yourself on this journey.
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You need to be sure you have back up as this goes on, for your own well being. If necessary, you may have to tell your Mother....'Hey, if I cannot take care of myself, then, I'll not be able to help you either..." If your siblings are willing, I believe you should push on the periodic visits with them, so that you and she can have a break and so that she is in different circumstances too to liven up her life. Also, the elderly do get to where they don't want to step outside their routine, and dementia makes it worse...but they NEED stimulation, so it may be that sometimes you need to say, "Mom, this is what we're doing today..." or perhaps, even look into a day care program that gets her out of the house on a couple days that you also work, so she is with other people. With my folks, I used their money and paid for a part time caregiver to come in. I do not know how you all do it who have a parent living with you 24/7 and still working an outside job in your case. I am doing it long distance, for two parents....one at home, one placed, but perhaps, cause I am almost 70, with a home biz to run and a husband in my life too...is the difference? Our situations are all different, but I know, I NEED to keep that distance and hire the helpers, to keep myself sane, due to my mother's personality. Sounds like you have a wonderful plan there, but that it may be time to plan more downtime for you into the picture and more stimulation for your Mom, whether or not she says she wants it.
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Can you afford a housekeeper to come in 1 or 2 days a week? Tell your Mom that you've decided to hire someone to do some of the work to help YOU. Perhaps 4 hrs. each time they come and they can clean and do laundry, change linens, etc. Privately though, the housekeeper should have some experience with elderly and be able to fix your Mom's lunch, for example. This will get your Mom accustomed to having someone in the house. As your Mom's needs increase you can increase the days/hours that someo9ne is there.

IMO, if your Mom is capable of doing things, but lazy or somewhat depressed, then you have a challenge of getting her to do as much as she can do for herself. Does she have friends who might call and take her to lunch? YOu can arrange to give them money secretly to pay for your Mom's lunch. Ask your siblings to share in the finances of having someone in the house to help with Mom. If you don't ask for help now, you won't get it later on when everything will be more demanding.
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Welcome, CD1WAT,

You're in the right place. It sounds like you have everything under control and have provided your mom with a loving home.

Age-related decline is to be expected, as you know. The more your mom declines the more work there is for you. I hope you take time off from being a caregiver. A few hours, a few days, whatever you need. Getting out of the house to go to work doesn't count.

I'm glad you posted and I hope you continue to come back and share your experiences.
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