I am new to posting here. My mother is 96, and totally bedridden, incontinent, and has to be fed, and has dementia/Alzheimers, and lives with myself & my husband. I am her only caregiver, but do have enriched nursing care come 1-2 times a week in to monitor/help care for her pressure ulcers that only recently started to develop. All the nurses say that I am doing an excellent job of caring for her, given the situation. I am always feeling guilty that I am not doing enough, and know that she may be soon reaching hospice level - she has been on the decline for the last 3 years, in the past year, losing the ability to walk, and now has to be fed almost like a baby, and is sleeping a lot more lately.
My Father's dying wish was that I 'take care of mother' and I have tried to do the best I can. It was also her dreaded fear that she would have to go into a nursing home, and she often stated she would rather die first. I promised her that I would take care of her, and also do not want her in a nursing home. She was always dependent on me for most everything, and I have tried to be a good daughter, but find myself often feeling resentful that she always demanded a lot from me, even when Dad was alive. In fairness to her, she was a good & loving mom, as far as she knew how to be. I also adored my Dad, and miss him very much - we had a loving home because of both of them. I am now almost 64, and I am worn out & stressed out, as I also have to care for my husband who cannot do much because of his COPD. My only sibling is a brother who lives in the next city, and is handicapped, and he & his wife are dealing with her elderly mother, so I can't expect much help from him, and want to remain on good terms with them. I don't expect him to come over & help, which would be difficult for him anyway.
I guess I would feel better if I knew I wasn't alone in feeling pulled in 2 directions - guilt that I'm not doing enough for her, and resentment that I am doing all of this on my own. I have faith in the Lord, and ask for His help daily in caring for her & dealing with all the emotions that go along with seeing her decline - anger that she is like this - like "WHERE IS MY MOTHER & what have you done with her"? I want so much to be able to talk with her again, and learn more about our family history. Never realized how much I would miss hearing those old stories. Seeing her frail little body, and remembering what a beautiful strong woman she was. Wondering how I am also going to end up if I live to be that age, I have no children to watch out for me.
When the time comes - I know that I will be grateful that I was able to care for her, but it's the process that is so difficult. Sometimes I wish the Lord would just take her home, as I know that she would not want to be like this. Then occasionally she surprises me, and out of the blue - says something that actually makes sense, like "I love you honey", or "thank you honey" when I feed her or wipe her mouth. It's then that I miss my "normal" mom so much, before this scourge of dementia stole her mind, and realize how much I will miss her when she's gone. No wonder she used to have this saying before her mind started to go... "Old age is cruel"..... Thanks for listening - I guess I needed to get this out.