Follow
Share

I am new here but have been reading these helpful posts and responses for a few weeks now. I am amazed at how many people out there are in the same boat!
I live with and take care of my elderly mom who has dementia that seems to have passed the "mild" stage. She forgets everything you tell her a few seconds later and just does things that she would have never done before. It just seems that life gets more and more difficult all the time. I love my mom and we have always been so close. I have siblings that do next to nothing. I have been astonished and amazed over the past few years at their behavior. I feel like I don't even know these people anymore and we had always been a close family. They have left almost everything up to me. I take my mom out every day to breakfast and take her to all of her many doctors appointments. I take her out whenever I can and spend time talking to her, making her meals and just being here with her all the time or as much time as I can be since I work as well.
I am tired and burned out. I used to exercise regularly and had many things I did for myself that I enjoyed. I can't even read a book or watch a movie anymore. I feel so stressed so much of the time.
Everything I have read says that you must take care of yourself in order to be there and be strong for someone else. I know that this is true but how?? I have tried asking for help from the siblings and don't get much. They treat me as though this is my job and my job only. I don't know how that is justified except that I did live here with my mom before she needed all the help. Their answer is always "Well, since you live there.....". One of my siblings lives with us but has mental problems and thinks HE does everything!! It's a real mess.
Putting my mom in a nursing home is out of the question for me. It feels good just to get all of this out!! Thanks for reading!!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Hi, since I figured out that you do live in California, I will tell you that the adult day cares that are provided through the area dept of aging is awsume. Also, the state medi-call program provides for respite care if you can get the doctor to state that respite care is needed. I work for a NH and we have people who come stay with us for a few days to a week every month. We have one coming in the next couple of days to stay for a month while her daughter goes out of state. This is a great program. Also contact your local Social Services dept (County DSS) as they have a program called IHSS ( In home supportive services) which pays for someone to come and can help with laundry, cooking, cleaning etc for your mom. It might be for just a few hours a week but it would relieve you and give you some time for yourself. You can pick the hours and the person doing the work.(The people are finger printed and background checks done) So I guess what I am getting at is that you could arrange for the IHSS person to come later in the day and it would give you time after work to go shopping, exercise or ? Just a thought.
Good Luck to you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

They do become very dependent on us and want no changes in the routine. Mother's attitude was "why would you need to get away, you are home all day".

Now that she is with another sibling, after two years with us, she feels the same way about the sister she is now staying with. We need no other life than taking care of her 24/7. She is not interested in anything we've done or have planned.

Take the time for yourself when possible, it is very necessary for your own physical wellbeing and sanity.

Hugs and best wishes to all.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi everyone - just had to share. Two nights ago I went on my monthly get-away. For my peace of mind it is essential to get away physically once a month. I try to plan everything carefully, make sure there is enough food, that the neighbors know my Mother will be alone for the night. I make sure she wears her alarm in case anything happens. I tell my sibs I will be gone, put it on the calender ect.ect..... all this for one night away. Last month my Mother called me on my get-away because she had a bladder infection and had to go to urgent care NOW. OK so this month I went with a friend, had a nice time. Got a message, went to dinner, all of the stuff we caregivers are supposed to be doing for ourselves so we get a little bit of a life also. Was feeling relaxed and good on the way home. When I get home my Mom is acting pissed off at me. So I asked her "Are you mad at me"? I was confused. I thought she would like for me to get away for a little bit to recharge. No that is not the way it is anymore. My Mother is so self centered and self absorbed that she could really care less if I get any time off. She told me that I "hung her up" because I was gone for a night. Started to get that feeling of I have to defend myself. Instead I just told her good night and went to bed. The reality is she has probably already forgotten but I am just carrying around that resentment. Just another thing to let roll off my back. One thing for sure - I am not giving up my monthly retreats!! I live for those times. Hugs to all.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi everyone-I'm in this boat with all of you. My Mom is financially well off and everything is in place for the decisions to be made but she fights everything my sister and I have done. We take turns going to her on the WE and shopping and church going. I live closer so I'm at her place 2 more days during the week. When she stopped taking her meds correctly I had to get HH to come in 5 days for a few hours to help her -give meds etc. All she does now is tell me to get rid of the stranger. She says she doesn't need it etc. When that gets going she starts about everything-"I can drive" (she doesn't), I can pay my own bills,clean my own house etc etc. It really wears a person down. I love my Mom and we've been close over the years but I'm not surprised she is so hard-headed,even in her dementia. I do get away when my sister takes over but i'm only physically away. I think about her all the time. My sister thinks we may have to move forward with assisted living residence since bringing it to her is causing her so much anxiety. I think she will react the same even in an assisted living residence. Thanks for listening out there :)
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It's time for you to have Hospice helping you and Mom. Since dementia is a life-ending disease, Medicare will pay for her care. They will send an aide twice a week to bathe her. If she needs a special bed or wheelchair, they will supply it. Most importantly, though they'll be in and out of your home, they'll comfort you and let you vent. Their social workers will lead you to the right answers. God bless you and Mom. If you can afford a caregiver even once a week, hire one. Be sure she or he is bonded, insured, and has a police clearance. Sending huge hugs. I've been there. Done that. Love, Corinne
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

our kitchen table has become a motorcycle workbench. i can do my thing while keeping mom company. she doesnt even bitch about the wear and tear on the table. if things get worse im gonna put a garage door in her solarium. my hobby is my comfort.. gonna build a hottub on my trike someday and fill it with drunk women. what i lack in speed will be made up in ambiance.. i like to kid a bit. its a good release too. mom asked me what some pills were earlier today. i told her we'll mash em up and snort em and find out. well we thought it was funny thats what matters..
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

You don't find time for yourself -- it isn't lurking behind the couch or on a high closet shelf. You make time for yourself. And this itself takes time. So things may seem worse before they get better, while you are putting in the time to remove the obstacles to get time for yourself.

An adult day health program is awesome, if you are home during the day. If you work during the day, it may not give you more time for yourself, but it may give your mother more of a social life.

Your siblings aren't going to help. Give up on that. But that doesn't mean you can't have help. You just need to find another source. Start with your state's Senior Help Line or Agency on Aging or whatever your state has. Research what kind of respite care is available, so you can do water aerobics twice a week or book club discussions twice a month or just sit and read at the library. You NEED some time to recharge your batteries. This isn't optional!

What is your mother's financial status? Does she have a monthly income? Does she own assets like property, stock, bonds, a savings account, etc.? Because Mother should be paying her own way to the extent possible. She should pick up the cost of respite care. If she cannot afford to, then see what programs she may be eligible for. Medicaid has a program specifically to help seniors stay in their own homes, for example.

Good luck to you in making time to take care of yourself!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

My heart goes out to you and my sister who is who cares for my mother. I live three hours away but call each of them every day. You do help me be aware how important it is for me to reach out to my sister and thank her for all that I know she does, plus. At any moment that you need to recharge cross your hands across your chest, take a deep breath and recive grace.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Many hugs to you. I am in the same situation, some help from sibs but not a lot. It is really hard to get time for you. One of the tools I use is that everything is temporary. This helps me get thru the day and even enjoy time with my Mother. I have found that I just do one day, and that is enough. During that day I try my best to take care of my Mothers needs and get some time for myself. Does not always work but when it does that time is very precious to me. Keep the faith and try and enjoy the glorious moments that we are able to get with our Mothers before they leave this world.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Please join a caregiver support group.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This site has been an excellent help to me, a place where I can let my fears, concerns, worries, pains, frustrations out. A place where everyone knows how I feel because they walk the same path, with different twists, yet the same path. I found it is crucial to get some help. Adult day care is a place your mom can go and be with her peers, socialize, get nutritious meals that save you cooking at least a few days a week. Anything that helps use it and do it. I found that a schedule does help very much, getting mom to bed around the same time each night, perhaps an hour later on weekend, and an hour later sleeping in on the weekend too works for me. I try to take the time when she goes to bed for myself, but I am tired too, so I don't stay up too late. I get up early to prepare the house and breakfast before I get her up, so it is a lot to do to get her out for the Day Center but the time to myself is bliss. Riding my bike during the times she is gone helps very much too and gives me more energy,plus stretching.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

call you county area on aging, they will give you resouces that offer several hours a month respite care free of charge, that gives you some time to your self, they will also give you places you can contact like adult day care that she could spend part of her day at, meals on wheels can deliver meals, there is help out there, I am in the same boat, my siblings do nothing, my mom lives with me and also has dementia along with many other diseases, so take what ever services your county offers and if you can afford it, you can hire caretakers from an agency, which I would prefer since the agency does crimal background checks on their employees and drug tests, will keep you in my prayers, God Bless
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I can completely relate to your situation I too am living with and taking care of my mom who has dementia. My sister does what she can considering she has 4 kids and works. My brother lives out of the country. I work also so when I have my days off I feel like I should get my mom out of the house since she's stuck there all week. I don't make time for myself like I should. I can feel the caregiver burnout happening to me. Now that I am beginning to have health issues I realize that I have to make time for myself, even if that means getting up really early in the morning to exercise. Anyway, I just wanted make sure you know that you are definitely not alone.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

to 'vent' will save alot of emotional pain for you. this is a good place to do that. Relatives do that they let whoever decides to tackle it -have it. then when the loved one dies they will swoop in like a pack of vultures. first and always "breathe" then remember you'd be happy someone was doing it for you. then remember when all are asleep-sneak some private time.. and Always come back here to vent -to see how others cope and make friends.. itll help.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

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