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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.

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Lynette, you sound so normal to me. I've been taking care of my parents in their home for five years. My father died three years ago, but my mother is still here. I feel a lot of resentment, then feel guilty for feeling that way. I do so much for my mother, but feel guilty that I don't want to do more. I see my own life passing me by while my mother is in her final years and wonder what lies ahead for me. I know I've dedicated such a large part of my life to being here. I wonder if I'll ever be able to rebuild anything that looks normal.

I guess you can say that we get torn between helping them and rescuing ourselves from the potential harm that comes from neglecting our own needs.
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Thank you all for your support, caring & understanding - and empathy.... It really helps to know I am not alone in how I feel. Wish we all lived together in one neighborhood to keep each other uplifted - wouldn't it be nice to meet up at each other's houses for cheesecake & wine & chocolate, of course!!!

God bless you all who took the time to answer my question. Looking forward to joining in future discussions. I am glad I found this site.
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Yes I will agree also that the way you are feeling is normal. I'm sorry for your situation and want to tell you I honestly understand how your are feeling personally. I have had same feelings as you do mine I guess are bad because I feel resentful awhole lot and for me that isn't such a nice way to feel all the time. I myself do not have children so I believe God will see in your life if you are ever in need that you will be helped feel he will make sure of that blessing. Also seems to me you are good daughter and doing a great job taking care of your Mom feel free to vent to me anytime and sure all of us on here feel that way a lot of people on here have helped me .God Bless You and remember to try and take care of you to. Take Care Sandy22
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Yes, it is normal to be both guilty & resentful. You are doing an exhausting 168 hour week job that you were never trained to do, unless you took courses and had worked for a caregiving agency. I doubt professionally trained caregivers who have clients feel guilty about their work. They are able to go home after their shift and enjoy their family life, sleep well, and awake fresh for the next morning.

Resentful, of course. My parents [mid-90's] had a wonderful fun-filled 25 year retirement. I keep wondering when will my retirement start, and it won't be as exciting as theirs as I am now in my own age related decline. I still have my career and refuse to give it up... it's my sanity. My parents still live alone in their own house, which is not elder proof. I am a basket case of worry.

As for nursing homes, our parent's generation had a different concept to what nursing homes are all about. They never have had the chance to see what TODAY'S homes offer. They still think such a place is dark, drab, with unsmiling faces. I tried to get my parents to see a wonderful retirement village which would be like living in a 5-star resort... Dad said, maybe in a couple of years... [sigh]. Even though I told him it's not a nursing home, he and Mom still wouldn't budge. I probably will be living there before they do :P
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Reading your honest words helped me connect with those same feelings that I've been suppressing for almost two years taking care of my 92 year old Dad. I so know how you feel. The daily frustration is real and self-hate a real possibility, however irrational. I have a brother who offers to "help out" but what he really intends to do is to take Dad and place him in a home and get access to his money and spend it all - leaving Dad finally with me, having used up all his money. He hovers over us like a vulture. So I do all the work myself and take on every responsibility. I know Dad appreciates it but it is heartbreaking to see him in the decline. I never know from one day to the next what "adventure" we'll be having. I too am single with no children. I found it interesting to read so many posts from women like myself in the same boat. None of us knows who will take care of us in the end. I wonder if there is a tendency for single women with no children to take on this responsibility. I guess it doesn't matter. What matters is that we try to stay as sane as we can, get good exercise like someone posted in a suggestion, and try to keep up our spirits. We have to give ourselves a pat on the back every day for doing what we are doing. It never feels like enough because we are looking everyday in the face of someone in pain and misery because of old age who we love so dearly that we are willing to give up just about everything to take care of. No wonder this responsibility makes us sad. I will suggest to you what I tell myself and that is to give yourself as much tender loving care and understanding as you do for the person you are caring for. I know there is precious little time for yourself, but just take a few minutes out each day to sit quietly and thank God for being alive and able to help. When there is nothing and no one anymore to depend on, we just have to trust that it will all work out somehow. Blessings on you!
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Dearest Lynette, you are your mothers best friend and it's not your fault she isn't able to be the mother you knew growing up. She needs you, all of you as you did her when you were a baby. You are doing a great job so don't feel guilty, and it's ok to feel resentful, it's your minds way of protecting you. I have to say that when I read your post it was the first one I ever read here as I am new to this also but let me tell you something, while I read through I could have sworn I had written it word for word. I cried from the begining and still have tears in my eyes making it difficult to type. I haven't cried in years my dear I just haven't had the time since being the caregiver to both my parents, 90 and 92 years old. I love them so very much and like you my brothers live to far and can not help other than calling. Your story has inpired me and knowing that I am not alone is strength to lean on. My prayers are with you and I hope it gives you comfort knowing you are not alone in this journey.
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Of course. Guilty because we can never do enough or live up to our own expectations of ourselves let alone others...Resentful, because "this should be our time" to enjoy grown children, friends, winding down of lifelong careers, promised trips, and just plain life and time to smell the roses...but that "time" is now robbed from us due to care needs from others we hadn't planned on.
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I am new to this website as well. I read your post and have to say that you are normal as normal gets with emotions. You resent the disease that is robbing your mom of everything. You hate it!! You feel quilty because you love her. You're doing the best you can possible can. If your time allows...look for a support group. It will help with many issues.
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Lynette, I don't know how you do it. I think all of us miss our "Mothers" as they were in the past. I don't feel guilty anymore or resentful, as I see a counselor and find this group to be so supportive. Stick around, as there are wonderful people here that really care about you. What you are doing is a wonderful thing. Try to enjoy life as much as you can. It is great that your faith is so strong.
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You are not alone. My mom is only 73. Extremely healthy except for breast cancer that keeps coming back. She has required moderate care the past 12 years. Two years ago it metasizes to her brain. The last 2 of those she has been completely dependent on me. The whole brain radiation completely destroyed her. She can't walk, can't remember, is incontinent at times. My brother 30 minutes away will not help. At all. Ever. I am married and have 5 kids. My oldest graduated HS last year and I feel I missed his last year at home because all the care mom needed. I then have a 16 yo, 10 yo, and two 5 yo. I feel so resentful of the time I am losing with them. I feel depressed as well so then I feel guilty I don't give my best when I am home. I resent the time she takes a lot. And yes, this guilt is awful! She was a great mom. We did a lot together. I hate feeling so angry at the situation she has created. It's not like she chose it. I'm sure she hates it too. I feel awful because I wish the Lord would just take her home. Where she would be whole again. We are all believers so I know I will see her again. She is so lonely and I can't be there 24 hrs a day. I hate these thoughts and try to pray through them. Makes me feel like an awful, uncaring, and unChristian daughter. I'm tired. I want my life back. We can't get outside help either. Medicare won't pay for outside help. We can't do Medicaid due to home recovery. She lives right behind us in a granny house and her house is considered part of ours. We have always been the ones to pay the mortgage and taxed but her name was on the deed up to a year ago. They look 5 years back. I am just stuck. If she gets any worse I do not know what we will do. Wish I had some advice for you but I don't. Just know you are kit alone and your feelings are understood.
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