How do you handle being a caregiver to a parent when you're already a caregiver to another family member?

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I am the parent of a mentally retarded autistic adult with health issues who will live with me and my husband his entire life. He is self sufficient to the extent that I can leave the house for a few hours to do grocery shopping and other necessities but could not be left overnight alone.


My mother has dementia but still lives in her own home about three hours away from me. My sister lives about twenty minutes (or an hour depending on traffic) away from her and does all the routine caregiving duties-pays her bills, cleans her home, takes her out and does her grocery shopping usually on Sundays in addition to her regular job. My mother's house is in terrible condition but she has no money for repairs. Early on I suggested that she sell it and move near me--she would have made a very handsome profit as real estate is much cheaper here and I would have been available to help her every day, but my sister (she has POA) wouldn't hear of it. There's a lot of emotional baggage that I won't go into here.
My problem is that my sister is angry and resents my inability to help out more. I've taken mom to a couple of doctor appointments and have come up to clean her house several times. In order to do that, my husband has to take off from his job to stay with my son and I have to pack a suitcase and at least stay overnight with mom. While I haven't had a vacation in twenty plus years, I've come to do the caregiving while my sister vacations in Europe and Mexico but she acts as if it's the least I could do because SHE needs a break!

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I really don't think that anyone needs to go live with anyone even on a short term basis for I'm afraid that would be too stressful and escalate into more mess.

Trips to Europe and Mexico aren't cheep. Does she personally have that much money? Does your mother have enough money to pay for more care in her home that she has right now?

I must ask, does your sister have her own family and if she does, does she have autistic adult living at home. Does she even understand what that means. Or is she so busy jet setting off to Europe and Mexico to grasp all of that which would explain why you only have so much time and energy?
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And any other $ expenses and add that dollar amount to the "bank" for a caregiver and contribute that way
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If your sister can afford vacations to Europe and Mexico she can afford to pay for home caregiver help several times a month. Sorry no sympathy for her. The only thing i would suggest is have mom come and stay with you for a time or take your son with you to stay there. You have an obligation to your son and husband. If she has a hard time understanding that well, too bad. What you may also try is figuring your time ,gas expense ,groceries
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Hugs to you, Sendme2help! You do get it. :-) Living with someone in the Autism spectrum is, well, a unique experience.
My son has invented new names for many things and places in his life. Hartford is "Saskatchewan", the minivan is a Bluebird bus, the convertible is "the Lincoln Town Car." Pity the person who forgets and calls them their real name in his presence. LOL! EVERY restaurant commercial triggers a barrage of requests--can we get that new hamburger, when are we going, can we go now, why can't we go now (you were just there yesterday), can I get fries with that? Yup, we gotta laugh!
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If sis can afford overseas travel then she may be able to afford respite care? I think you may also need some respite!
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That is funny, when we think about "respite" as 'sometimes, in a strange way' it is almost respite! What an accurate description!
Will sleep well tonight, after the big smile of understanding you have put on my face, and shared so accurately, my life that is sometimes, in a strange way.....!
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Humor helps tremendously! Larkspur, I get that going, changing the scenery can be a sort of respite. Leaving someone home with aspergers is always a challenge when returning. Has the electrical been re-wired and now doesn't work? What has he done, how can I find out without waiting 3 days to discover the often funny things he's done. It is also more of a challenge to take him with.
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Sendme2help, I have taken my son with me to visit Grandma. Mom vacillates between being glad to see him and being agitated because she thinks he's "getting into something." (He's not) So last time Grandma tripped and fell on the vacuum cord even as I was telling her not to move. UGH. Sendme2help, as you said you've "been there done that" you'll understand when I say that sometimes, in a strange way, going up to take care of mom for the day is actually a bit of respite for me, if only to have a change of scenery. I try to have a sense of humor about these things.
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One can always take shelter for their own safety, between a rock and a hard place.
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I absolutely DO understand how much my sister does and have told her how much I appreciate it. Mom is VERY difficult! I did offer to be Mom's full time caregiver because I'm already doing it with my son, but my sister wouldn't allow it. When I did take care of mom while sis went on vacation she complained that I didn't do a good enough job. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place. Thanks for letting me vent...*sigh*
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