Follow
Share

I'm the caregiver for my almost 91 year old mother. She came to live with me this past July. Previously she resided at my brother's house for about 8 years, before that she was living with my sister until she died from cancer. My husband and i were about to buy a home in Lake Tahoe when I got a phone call saying my mom wasn't happy at my brother's and wanted to move in with me. We called the realtor and cancelled the offer and proceeded to scramble to find a house to rent in our current city. I knew my life would change and my plans would be on hold but I had no idea it'd be like this. While living at my brother's my mother was partially independent in regards to making her coffee, taking her meds, getting her own dinner plate, drinks of water, doing her laundry, etc. Since moving in with me she does absolutely nothing for herself except go to the bathroom; and every so often I need to help her with that. I wait on her hand and foot. She uses a walker to get around and has moderate dementia. The biggest issue is food . No matter what I prepare most of the time it just isn't "right". Something is always wrong and if I don't get it to her piping hot right off the stove that's an issue so I make sure and serve her (most of the time in bed) first before sitting down to eat myself. I'm a pretty decent cook but she just makes me feel like I'm not good enough. Either it's not hot enough or there's not enough butter on it or it's too dry or it's chicken or or or lol. There are a billion other ways she makes me feel inadequate and tries to put guilt trips on me and it's really getting hard to deal with. She's constantly moaning and I drop everything to run to her because I think there's something wrong and most of the time there isn't. My life has turned from being a person who has almost gotten her baby off to college, having goals with my husband, traveling, date nights, meditator, upbeat, positive, practicing group Yoga 5 days a week, always finding the good in people to someone who feels tied to her house, constantly waiting on my mom, waiting for that next negative comment, and regretting the decision to have her come live with me (us). I knew this would be challenging but I had no idea it'd be like this. Help! lol

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Sunnygirl1 thank you for your kind words. I guess I just feel that way sometimes because she never seems happy/satisfied no matter how hard I try. And I try so hard.

Thank you for making me think of her behavior as brain damage. Somehow that has a different connontation to it than dementia. In regards to the type of dementia I'm not quite sure what it's classified as. I should probably hop on over to a dementia site and peruse. The doctor did say she is depressed as well. She's been through a lot in her life. Buried her husband and 2 of her adult children (most recently my sister about 10 years ago) and one baby she never brought home from the hospital. She always "handled" everything on the outside. So maybe the depression started years ago. She lived with me 18 years ago as well but then moved to my sisters in SLO,CA for years and then to my brothers. They didn't communicate much what was going on with her besides major things like a stroke and a TIA. Falling is also an issue if she doesn't have her walker. And incontinence; she wears Depends.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thisissohard,
I do feel what you are saying. I went through something similar, except, I didn't know what was causing my loved one to act so strange, disagreeable and snappy.. Later, it became apparent.

I don't know of anything to say that will really help, because their brain damage makes them act that way. I do think that if they are depressed and overly agitated, medication can help. It helped my loved one a great deal.

I am confused that you feel that what you are doing is never enough....really? What you are doing is HUGE. I'd try to accept that and the fact that the problem is that mom has mental damage. That's not your fault.

Most people do not realize just how stressful and frustrating it can be to care for a resistant loved one, who has dementia. It can push you to the brink. People who deal with this understand.

I'd really consider what your options are. What type of dementia does she have? Some stages are more pronounced in the way you describe, but it does vary person by person. My loved one was not extremely disagreeable for very long, though, it seemed that way. Later, she became more content, but there were other challenges, like falling, wandering, being wheelchair bound and incontinent. So, the challenges change, but, they are ongoing.

I hope you can find some help. Take care of yourself.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

CTTN55 when I got the phone call from my brother I felt I had no choice. It was either me or a nursing home and I didn't know if I could deal with that guilt. I pictured her in a facility waiting to die with no family around. My brother (65) broke his hip and doesn't get around real well anymore and I didn't see him going to visit her much and I live 7 hours away from him so I couldn't visit frequently either. Part of me thought I could make her happy. I should've known better; we can't make anyone happy as happiness comes from within oneself. I've done enough spiritual self work to know that to be true. Another part of it was me looking and feeling selfish to my young adult kids (almost 18 and 21). They've been raised with family first.

Rainmom, I love that analogy. Where to start getting back on? I suppose it would be getting back into my Yoga practice which I love so much and the messages I receive there are so beneficial to my soul. My husband and I were so looking forward to it being just us as the kids are pretty independent and starting their own paths in life. My husband travels a lot for work and we value our time together. We had plans of buying the place in Tahoe and living there along with me flying to Vegas when he's at our house there, and me being able to visit him in S.F. when he's working a show there etc. Days at the lake during the summer etc.
Daughterof1930 I don't know what to do. Is this my "service to others" the spiritual teachers speak of? I firmly believe that life's experiences are all lessons; what is the lesson here? Isn't selflessness an attribute? Do I just need to let her comments roll off my back?

MsMadge, Yes I am POA, both medical and financial. She has nothing regarding savings to speak of that wouldn't be eaten immediately in a nursing home. And then there's guilt lol. I have left her for a couple hours at a time and she's been ok. I'd love the name of the facility you spoke of. Thank you! I've never been to Charthouse; I'll have to look it up.

Sendme2help, Thank you. I will download :)
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

To the right on your screen are free caregiving guides and assessments.
FREE HELPFUL GUIDES
Click on "See all helpful guides"

I downloaded CARE PLAN ASSESSMENT, all 22 pages.
FYI
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

PS
I see you're in Reno - I once visited an assisted living facility there which was quite nice - my niece's cousin lived to nearly 100 there - if you like I can try and find the name for you

For years we always celebrated mom's birthday in Tahoe with dinner at the Charthouse - last trip was 2 years ago - when she was 91
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

As I recall, e tickets were very precious, only a couple in the pack

This is so hard,
Your mom has dementia and at age 91 things are only going to become more difficult- does someone - you or bro - have power of attorney for mom both financial and medical ? Does she have financed resources to pay for assisted living ? Some old folks are quite easy going but most are not

Since you are not in a crisis I.e., hospitalization - start doing research on a care plan for mom - in the meantime try to hire a caregiver to come in a couple of hours so you can get back to yoga
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Rainmom,
That is a perfect analogy! imo.
When I used the "E-ticket" phrase about 5+ years ago, I had to explain just what an "E" ticket at Disneyland meant.

But I know what you mean.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sounds like you already know you've got to make a change. This is too much stress for all concerned. Family meeting time to decide on a new plan for mom.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I have a little analogy that comes to mind when I hear of situations such as your - bear with me as there is a moral to my story. Life is like a trip to Disney Land and at birth everyone is issued an "E" ticket - everything. So everyone goes through life using their E ticket as best they can. But after a lifetime of going on the rides, old age along with its declines hits. No longer can they tolerate the standing in line or can't manage the harness that makes the ride safe etc. So what happens? They look around for someone to stand in line for them and jump on their back. Problem is - now you're over the weight limit to go on the ride yourself and the harness can't hold the two of you. So now, no one is enjoying the time at Disney Land. No more rides and sometimes- while you're standing there with this person on your back - you see your siblings and friends zip by on the ride - having the time of their life. Your elderly passenger- now desperately clinging to your back, hoping to extend their time at Disney Land - and go on more rides - they are making it impossible for you to enjoy any of it. No one is having a good time now - and your time at the park is ticking by. Your E ticket isn't good forever and you'll never get another. They had their time at the park - don't waste yours.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

You changed your life a lot to have your mother move in with you. Why does she have to live with one child or another?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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