My 97 year old handicapped mother has lived with me and my husband for the past 6 years. We are 70 years old but have only been married for 20 years. We have a part-time caretaker because money is limited. We can't go away anywhere. My siblings are of very little help. They view her as a burden, My mother also has some dementia. My husband and I feel so trapped. I am so angry and sad all the time at what our lives have become. Please tell me how others with an aged parent who cannot do anything for herself cope. Any words of wisdom would help.
Life is not fair. Being angry and sad about that is normal, but not very much fun. You can hubby need to have more time to yourselves. You both need to get away, separately and together, from this stressful situation. More in-home help could enable that. Not as good as a two week vacation, but better than feeling trapped.
You have given your mother six years of in-home care. What a wonderful gift! In addition to being angry and sad I hope you and hubby are both very proud. But you don't have to go on giving at this level forever. Don't ever consider abandoning your mother. Always continue to be her advocate and see that she gets excellent care. But it is OK if she gets that care somewhere else and you visit her often as her loving daughter.
I also highly recommend finding and joining a support group for caregivers of elders.
Do you have a caregiving contract with her?
Have you gotten her qualified for Medicaid?
When you get back, attack the long term: Medicaid seems to me the way to go...My experience is that you can rely upon the people at your county health and human services to steer you right.....A qualified elder care attorney would be nice, but the fees are steep in my experience...
Don't delay or seek agreement from syblings, or "convince" mom that she might go to a nursing home...Just act...
Grace + Peace,
We often trivialize what caregivers are going through. We can't just check our parent into a NH like it was a hotel and our parent has no will of their own. We are dealing with a real person who more often than not does not yet qualify for the NH. However, they may not be able to be left alone for long stretches of time. It would be wonderful if all the family pulled together to provide care, but that normally doesn't happen.
Do you think that having respite time away from your mother every few months would help? You and your husband could go on vacations and have time away from the worries. Some of the ALs and NHs in communities may offer respite services. It is something to check into -- maybe it is affordable.
I wish there was a quick fix for what you're going through. I know it can be a waiting game now and it isn't easy.
Best of luck to you!
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