Caring for my mom who had a massive stroke in 09, can't move her left arm and minimal on her left leg, right mind but she is so depressed and talks about missing my dad who died in 96, feel like I can't do anything right

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Hi Hope14,
You've already done far more than a lot of people could. It's definitely time for professional help for your mom. I know that you love her very much. That is one reason to get help from the outside.

Caregivers burnout. That's where you are and for a very good reason. You are not a failure. Your mother's disease has reached a point where she may need to be in a nursing home. At the very least, you could call an in-home service in your community and see if they take Medicare for a weekly showering. I've been told that they do. Even so, you are struggling with much more than that.

Your mom would feel terrible if she could understand what this is doing to you. Unfortunately, her brain disease makes it impossible for her to "get" this. So, you have to think of her when she was well and remember that she'd have hated to have your give up your life and your health to take care of her.

Type the name of your state in your browser and type "aging" next to it - Oklahoma aging. This will give your the department of aging for your state. There are many links to choose from in order to get connected with local services. I see that your state is on the PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) which is wonderful. Try that link. They are likely able to send help to you.

The bottom line if that you need help both for your mom and yourself. A burned out caregiver is bound to have a sharp temper and say or do things that they aren't happy with. That is not failing - it's natural burnout.

If you are feeling suicidal, call 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline). Careline at 405-848-CARE is also good option.

Re-read Jeannegibb's excellent answer to you, as well. We are all behind you. Please get back to us and let us know how you are doing. We'd like to know if PACE or another agency in Oklahoma is helping you.

Taking action – such as coming to Agingcare – is one good step forward. Now take more action by getting help for your mom and yourself.

Helpful Answer (0)

You are not failing! You are in a new and unknown territory in your life. Remember things are always changing! You will find yourself having to change in order to get through this. Understand that this is a process and in order for you to survive you need to not be too harsh on yourself. You will get though it all....remembering the love you have in your heart. My parents modeled patience for me and I continued to take pride in the fact that I inherited it. However, when my dad was in the beginning stages of dementia, I found that it was starting to wear thin. It was difficult to process that he was different ..stubborn, irrational...just plain infuriating at times. I lost my temper plenty of times and said things I NEVER would have dreamed of saying. It was an outlet for me but I realized hurtful to my parents, and guilt on my part. I always, after calming down and realizing what the real issue was ( they were no longer the strong ones who held me up...role reversal) made it a point to apologize to them. They really can't be held responsible for their actions as they once were. Because under the anger and frustration, we all knew the love was still there. As they continue to deteriorate mentally and physically, I find myself in situations that once would just set me off...I now look at them with a full heart of love. Their days are now counting down and I am really going to miss them and their love that they gave to me. Actually, my patience has become evermore present...and...I am more at peace with them and myself for it. I realize everyone is different and all situations are different....I only hope that I have been of some help to you in your journey.
Helpful Answer (12)

I too have been dealing with my mother. My dad who passed in 2006 had left her shocked. She could not accept his death. Today she had dementia and forever moves things and hides thing, Everyday is almost a hunt of sorts to find thing people just use everyday. like tv remotes. I too have gotten angry after working hard all day to come home, only to now have to search for everything. Some things, i have never found to this day. Yes, i get angry and have voiced and got upset. I might add that this is almost every single day. My Family never understands and tells me that I got to calm down. HA Ha, they offer hardly no help at all and for years turned their faces away from me and this situation. And now they expect me to walk on water So its been 6 1/2 years, ive been at this and they do nothing, yet will be quick to be so uncaring to me in the situation, which makes it all the worse. QNo my friend...I understand you complelely. Just do what you can. For a while your life has to be spent. I know you love your mom. I love my mother too. May God gives both of us the strength to stand and keep on with this. Ask God to see you and see what makes you tick inside. Tell him how you feel. I am hurt from my Family, I have been let down and like you i feel like a failure and at times its all been overwhelming, It really is too much for one persaon to handle but too often its put on one person. My family is self centered like a lot of families and i always thought they would love and be their . Man, was i wrong about that. Stay strong and just talk to God and tell him how you feel. Tell him how you feel like a failure and you do not want to feel like that. God bless you and God bless you for taking care of Mom, like she did you. My mother is wonderful and I love her dearly in spite of her ways. Remember, you are never alone in this.
Helpful Answer (11)

Anger and stress coincide alot. You have to keep reminding yourself you are doing the best possible thing for the situation you have been given. When it comes to our parents we all feel like failures sometimes. We keep comparing what would of they done and they were always so much stronger than we were. We forget that they raised us with the same strength and courage they had. Just do the best you can, if you need to take a walk for 5 minutes do it, count to ten do it, four deep breaths thru your nose and out your mouth. Whatever is happening at the minute can wait 2 minutes for you to compose yourself and get your anger under control. talk to your moms doctor about the depression some minor medication can definately help and talk to him about your moods too.
Helpful Answer (8)

You are not alone, believe me. It's hard not to some times because you get scared that they might hurt themselves, they hurt your feelings, etc. I just pray all the time asking God to give me patience and to help me keep my mouth shut. You certainly are not failing, you are human, and a good person for taking care of your mom. Keep your chin up and like jeannequibbs said talk to your doctor, maybe he/she can prescribe something to help you out. I have a therapist I talk to once a week, because my anger had gotten so bad, and she keeps telling me just what I told you. And Remember Take Care of YOU!
Keep coming to this site and venting also, it really helps! :)
Helpful Answer (8)

I'm often in the same place, and I feel for you. I don't particularly have any other answers, other than what those before me gave.

There's a great article here ( that was liberating for me. Yes, I tried to fix it all when I came to live with my mom and, 3 months in, felt like a failure.

Now, I look at it as the article suggests - at the end of the day, is she safe? Yes, at least as safe as I can make her, given the parameters she's set for me.

Is she clean? Well...mostly. :-) If I suggest I offer to help her shower or wash her hair...she says, no, I'll do it and she does.

Is she fed? Well...again, mostly. If she refuses to eat, I put her dinner away and eat my own.

Is she warm? Yes, I paid the electric bill.

Is she medicated properly? Yes, because I will NOT give up control of her meds, no matter what she wants.

Have I advocated for her? You betcha. Always and forever. Wound care wants to drop a feeding tube in her? Over my dead body. The physical therapy assistant at the rehab center refuses to work with her as I direct? Who tells her that she can't go home because she won't do as he says? New physical therapist who will work with her to keep her as safe as possible within my mother's parameters (yeah, that pta was a real jerk, LOL!).

Is she well-cared for? Well, I think she is, to the best of my ability and within the parameters she has set. Would I like to have her accept outside help? Of course. Would I like her to be in assisted living? Yup. But she won't and she isn't, so I deal as best I can with the hand that's been dealt me.

I'm not saying I don't lose my temper anymore. I do. But less frequently and less, um, explosively. I, too, apologize. But most of the time now, I kind of mentally throw up my hands and walk away. When it's bad enough, I drive away. I go shop, I go eat lunch out, I go do something JUST FOR ME.

And that all helps.

I read another article here that talks about putting yourself into THEIR reality instead of trying to drag them into YOUR reality. That helps too.

Good luck in finding what works for you - all these suggestions are great. You'll need to find the right combination that works for you...and I know you will! It'll take a while and, yes, it's a journey, but you'll get there.
Helpful Answer (8)

Can you walk away from it for a bit? I find that when I am frustrated or angry the best possible thing for me is to walk away from it and come back after I have had a little break. It's not our fault, it's not their fault but it is a really tough situation for both of you. When you have had a really tough day make sure you get away, even if it means you are in another room of the house doing something for yourself. Treat yourself to something special, you deserve it!!
Helpful Answer (7)

These are feelings of a human being. After a while we do feel like failures and this frustration leads to anger and resentment. We can only do our best. Sometimes in order to do our best we need to step back for awhile. I have the same feelings of anger and frustration. I take it one day at a time knowing that whatever I do it's "nothing". Pray and pray again not just for your mother but for yourself so that you will be able to continue to give her care and maintain your health physically, mentally and emotionally.
Helpful Answer (6)

If some type of respite care is available in your area, please try to take advantage of it. You are just as important as your mother, and it sounds like you need to take care of yourself and make time for some fun in your life.
Helpful Answer (5)

Similar situation here, also since '09. Mom's doctor explained that depression is common in stroke victims and has been treating her with antidepressants since the stroke. She went off it once and the depression was soon evident. Talk to her doctor. He/she should know best.

I also had anger/depression issues as I began to care for mom (and dad) after the stroke. There are many ways to deal with these issues. Talk to your doctor if you can. For me, medication wasn't the answer, but talk therapy, exercise and meditation helped. It's important to remember that unless you care for yourself first, you won't be properly able to care for your mother.

I wish you the best.
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