My mom had a stroke 2 yrs. ago when she was living in our home. It paralyzed her right side and she is unable to use her arm or leg even after therapy. She says she wants to come home, which makes me feel even worse knowing that she needs care that I can't give her. She is mentally alert and aware of what is going on. We have transportation to bring her home a couple hrs. once a month, but it does not make me feel better when she goes back. She is wheel chair bound and have to depend on public transportation for a little time at home. What can I do to accept this? She lived with us for 7 yrs. and my husband and I promised to take care of her.

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Here's what l would do to feel better if i were you:
Paste on a big smile and go visit your mom and take her something beautiful or whimsical to make her day happier. Flowers, a picture or poster, a wreath, a music CD or a pretty blanket or pillow or lap robe or a new sweater, hat, or jewelry. Brighten up her surroundings as much as you can, and extend that to her roommate if she has one. No apologies out of your mouth for her situation. You didnt cause it, and you are doing all you can to make it better. Remember:
All you can do is all you can do.

Express your gratitude to the NH staff who care for your mom. Be profusively thankful because (1) they are doing for your mom the things you want to do but cannot, and (2) if they know their effort is very appreciated, they will do even better for her. If you can take them little gifts, that's great; it will make their day just to know you appreciate them. Look at how pleased they are for your gratitude.

Smile, even if you're crying, and remember that you have done the right thing for your mom and your husband, too.

Do something special for him, too. He has put up with you and his MIL all these years! What a great man! Give him some lovin' and tell him how much happiness he brings you. No whining allowed about how much he puts up with, just tell him how good-lookin' he is, talk about how much fun you have together, and how happy he makes you every day.

Sometimes I find that pretending everything is OK is the first step toward getting there, and I've never felt the worse for doing something nice for someone else.

You defined your life for years in a different way than it is now. You need a new and positive description for yourself that includes gratitude and happiness. Don't let that get away! Go get it!

All this being said, depression can be a physical problem, so if your best efforts to get past this don't bring you relief, by all means look for a support group and/or discuss your concerns with your doctor.
Helpful Answer (34)

I think of Nursing Homes as akin to sending your child to school.

When our children are little, we can take care of much of their need for care at home if we choose not to work outside the home. Caregiving for an infant or toddler is intense, but mostly if we are young and strong, and can go without sleep for a couple of nights, all is well. Our children grow, thrive, develop new skills and need professionals to instruct them in the various subjects that they require to be successful at life.

My mother also had a stroke; then she broke her hip. She requires young, strong folks with specialized knowledge to get her from bed to chair, chair to toilet, upright to walk, aided and with a gait belt with a walker for 20 minutes every day. My mother also has dementia and becomes depressed, paranoid and has delusions from time to time.

I'm 63 years old; I have a husband with chronic heart issues. I have neither the strength nor the training to give my mom the care she needs and deserves.

I don't feel guilty at all. Sometimes, loving someone means getting them what they need, not necessarily what they want.
Helpful Answer (21)

My dear kaf1954, you ARE taking care of her. She is where she can receive the care she needs - the care that you are no longer able to provide. It is not a fault of yours, but the facts of her physical condition. You continue to visit, and bring her for visits, and look out for her needs at the nursing home. You are fulfilling your promise to take care of her. Bless you!
Helpful Answer (19)

My mother had Alzheimer's and I cried when I had to place her in memory care. She could not be left alone and I had a full time job. You do what you can and that's all you can do. I visited my mother every day and I did the best I could. You are doing the best you can. I strongly recommend exercise and taking care of yourself as a care manager, which is what you are,
Helpful Answer (19)

I hit "Post" too soon!!! Think about perhaps counseling for your own feelings - it has been two years and if you are still crying and depressed, it might help you. I hope so - you sound like a very loving person. You deserve to love yourself also.
Helpful Answer (16)

Kaf, think it through.

Nuts and bolts of it, what would it take for your mother to return to living in your home?

It's possible. People with the most severe disabilities live in ordinary, private houses, after all. But what, exactly now, would it take?

Make a list. Then you add up, how much would it cost? In dollars, in hours, in resources - where are you going to find the money, where are you going to find these people, how will you guarantee their professionalism and their personal trustworthiness?

What I expect you will find, at the end of all this, is that it would cost your mother, your husband and you *far* more money than it currently does to - and here's the real sting - provide a *lower* level of care.

And meanwhile you and your husband would be at risk of buckling under the strain. You think your mother's aiming to split you up?

She lives at the facility because that's where the equipment and the trained staff and the dozens of pairs of hands are; but you and your husband love her just as much as you always did, and you don't care about her any less.

Try to shed the guilt so that, instead, you can enjoy her company and her visits to your home. If your heart is lighter, so will hers be.
Helpful Answer (14)

You said that you took care of her for seven years. Now she is paralyzed and in a wheel chair. I don't know the details but it seems to me that taking care of her at home would be very challenging and she would not likely receive all the care that she needs. Frankly there is no good answer in cases like this. Nursing homes, even the best ones, are far from ideal environments but sometimes there is no realistic option. My advice is to visit your mother frequently and do as much as you can for her.
Helpful Answer (13)

1. Remind yourself that you did not make her have that stroke.

2. Remind yourself that her care needs are above what you can reasonably do.

3. No one likes being in a nursing home and they about all say that they want to go home.

4. Bringing her home once a month may actually be making things worse instead of better for both of you.

5. See your doctor and ask for an anti-depressant.

6. See a therapist about this irrational guilt for you have not done anything wrong.

7. Try to stop beating yourself up over things that are beyond your control.

8. Also, it sounds like you may be having anticipatory grief in anticipation of your mother dying one day. That's normal.
Helpful Answer (12)

I am sorry for your pain. I agree not an easy time. Your mom is being cared for. Now it's time to take care of YOU. Talk to your doctor about seeing a therapist and getting some help. When you start feeling better, think about joining a support group with people who are in a similar situation.  You will be of better help to both yourself and your dear momma. Please make this a priority and reach out to your doctor today.
Helpful Answer (11)

You are taking care of allowing people that are trained to care for her care for her.
You can be a Daughter first and an advocate for her. So you really are still caring for her it is not just the day to day stuff. If you do not have a place that is set up and you do not have the equipment then that makes it even more difficult. Not only could you get hurt trying to transfer her you could hurt her. And trust me even with equipment things happen.
And I read something that made a lot of sense to me.
Then someone says.."I want to go home" ..that often does not mean they want to go HOME it means they want to go back to a time when they felt safe and well. Often that is a childhood home or maybe when they were first married but it may not mean they want to go to the home were they most recently lived.

Another thought...your Mother probably would be the first to tell you that she would not want you to give up your life caring for her, that she would want you to care for your family first. I have often said it would have killed my husband to know what he put me through the last 4 years of his life. He would not have wanted that for me or for himself. I am sure your Mother would feel the same.
Helpful Answer (10)

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