Follow
Share

I work very hard at making certain she is still my mother, but I have to make good decisions for her just like she had to for me at times. Does anyone else experience this? I am working toward a peaceful relationship as much as possible with my mother and look forward to hearing your advice and experiences.I have been ill and know that eliminating as much stress as possible is important in order to be a healthy caregiver.?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
My 92 year old moved in with me in July. She had been falling with increasing frequency. She didn't seem to hurt or break anything but she couldn't get back up by herself so either my brother or I had to go to her house and help her up. She had a "lifeline" she would call and they would call us. We were afraid that eventually she might hit her head in a fall and not be able to summon help. She was doing some things for herself before she moved in like preparing simple meals, making coffee, going to the bathroom by herself, etc. but we thought some of the falls were precipated by this activity. I made a big mistake when she first came by trying to do too much for her. I should have encouraged her to continue to do as much for herself as she could. The problem is, she walks but with great difficulity using a walker. Now, she tells me that she is not sure who is the mother and who is the daughter. I tell her that I am still the daughter but now I am also caretaker. I think this stems from the fact that I insist she bathe more frequently than she did when she lived alone. Believe me, I fully intended this change if and when she ever did move in. Now, because I have a back problem, helping her bathe is very hard for me. I am very lucky that I have someone that comes twice a week to do this service. I think since I am no longer so insistent that I help her take a shower or sponge bath she has stopped with the remarks about mother and daughter.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It is really difficult when you start feeling like you are becoming your parent's parent! My mom is 92 and has dementia, but that doesn't stop her from wanting to be in charge! I have to give her credit, but at times, it can also be very frustrating for both of us. It's kind of a fine line of helping and doing what you feel is in their best interest while not having them feel like you are stepping on their toes.

An example is my mom kept wearing the same old ratty sweater every day. I tried to get my dad to help her find something else, but she can be very stubborn and I don't think it's worth the "fight" as far as he's concerned. When her birthday came along, I bought her a new sweater which she said was beautiful, but then she was back to wearing the old one because she didn't want to get the new one dirty! When she came to visit on Christmas, I had another new sweater for her in a color I knew she would like. This time, when she tried it on I was able to put the old one aside where she forgot about it. Much to my surprise, she is now wearing both the new sweaters!

Just do the best you can. Be understanding (it can be difficult) and try to guide your parent. It's easier said than done sometimes, but you'll be surprised at how creative you become.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I am taking care of both of my parents...my father is 90 and has many physical conditions...he needs much hands on help with everything...my mother, who is very independent minded is 89 and has dementia it is tough...I grapple with "am i a caregiver trying to act like a daughter or am I a daughter doing caregiving" i just try to do my best my mother is the bigger challenge because she thinks she still does the cooking, cleaning, etc. but she can't so I have to try to constantly make it seem as though she is still accomplishing these things it is an art this whole caregiviing thing and it is impossible to get it right all of the time...just trying is enough is what i feel
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

DearRLP,
I understand your concern about being patronizing.

My beloved husband is seven years into Alzheimer's with Aphasia, and now needs help with his personal care. I always to treat him with respect, and make suggestions to him calmly, as if for the first time.
If I am overtired, I can be crabby, but I always apologize right away. He always accepts the apology.

I regularly let him know how much I love him, and I thank him for letting me be with him and for trusting me to care for him. I encourage him to be successful in his tasks, whether dressing himself or toileting, or folding laundry or handling his silverware at the table

The other day after multiple pairs of wet pants, I asked if he would please put on some Depends so that if he had trouble getting to the bathroom at least the outer pants would stay dry. I showed him how they worked and I explained that I used pads sometimes too. He understood and he agreed.

A few minutes later he began a conversation which touched my heart. In halting words, he thanked me, and our caregivers, for caring for him in such a way as to allow him his dignity. He thanked me for my patience and for doing all this personal care for him so graciously. We both had tears in our eyes.

My husband was a great teacher, who had the understanding and ability to convey his subject to each of his students. I have learned so much from him, and hope that now I can help him to get through this chapter of his life.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

RLP, I think your mother is lucky to have you to care for her.....You are kind to try to avoid making her feel as though you are "patronizing" her. Caregiving is an art which we can fine-tune as we go along. And we can find ways to help in a way which treats the situation as adult-to-adult....I think that helps. My mother is deceased now, but she was very independent-minded, and I knew I had to tread carefully as I began to help her with certain tasks. I found that allowing her to do everything she possibly could, before I stepped in to assist, was helpful in preserving her dignity.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I think you voiced what I was thinking I needed to do with Mom. I have retired after
35 years of teaching and feel old sometimes even though I am 56. My mother tries to be as active as she can, but she is beginning to show a need to slow down some and think things through due a traumatic brain injury. I am her next to the youngest child and the youngest girl. We have been close ,but I have not been afraid to stand up to her like the rest of her children. I want to create a relationship that is fun for both of us no matter what the health issues are. Thank you for your answer.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said 'like she had to do for me at times'. If it were my mother, I would sit with her and have a heart to heart talk. I'd confess that I feel like I'm bulldozing her sometimes, but I love her and only want what is best for her. I'd let her complain and tell me she hates it, but the end result would have to be the same, you need to do what you need to do. period.
Just like she had to do what she had to do when you were in need as a child. period. Getting old stinks, I know.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.