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My mother has severe arthritis and mobility issues, uses a wheelchair and potty chair, often has to get up during the night, and has vascular dementia (so far mild). She's had one minor stroke and more falls than I can remember, so she cannot be left home alone safely. I am the only child and sole caregiver. After several years of escalating health problems, I'm thinking of hiring a live-in caregiver at some point. Right now I have her in respite because I was out of town, and to be honest, I am not looking forward to bringing her home because I have been overwhelmed. Since I started caregiving, my own health has deteriorated (now am on two meds for hypertension when it was fine before and my dr recommended an antidepressant). I've read about people who are not cut out to be caregivers and I am afraid that I might be one of those people but promised that I would take care of her. I've been making do with some home help but can see the time coming when, if I can find the right person, a live in caregiver would let me have some kind of life for myself and relieve a lot of the stress. Thanks!

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Dana
have you seen an elder attorney ? Will you have a place to live if you reverse mortgage the house ?
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Thanks. Now she is going to need surgery for rectal prolapse. I just hope the colonoscopy does not reveal anything more serious.

Hoping that the surgeon will agree to do sedation with a spinal rather than general, because I'm afraid that will make her cognitive issues worse.
Trying to take it one day at a time and praying for strength.

The money will be gone soon but if necessary we can reverse mortgage the house. I'll keep taking care of her as long as I can.
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Me neither. Mom is here, beginning her sixth year in my house, and me, beginning my 6th yr of care giving. Only time will tell you and me how much we can do, or who , what, help, place, facility..............
If you take good care of yourself, I agree, you are helping your daughter........
Be nice if all people were as considerate as you.
No guilt
No regrets
I will try to embrace those words............
M
8
8
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Dana
Your feelings are normal especially if you're on your own - long before my mom had dementia I said as long as she could get herself to the bathroom she could stay home but that was then and this is now - I feel terribly about her situation and some days I think maybe I should try once more at home but then one of her sitters will not show up or I'll have to work late and I return to reality

I have a friend who takes care of her mother with Alzheimer's with the help of a caregiver while she is at work - her motto is no regrets and no guilt - I haven't reached that level of acceptance yet
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Nasmir
Yes I'm familiar with the Medicare site -memory care facility is private pay though and is highly rated so daunting to think about what other facilities might be like
Thanks
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Thanks. It's very expensive both to have caregivers come and for a nursing home. Respite is very expensive - I needed it for her while I was out of town but now have seen that the care there is better than I can give by myself. She needs help getting out of her wheelchair to go potty, and she tends to be a very dominant personality, and I'm not. She's had a couple of close calls with falls there. I'm seeing more and more how I will not be able to leave her home alone at all.

I made a promise and I will do my best to keep it, though, and pray for the strength and grace to see me through, and try to hold on to something of myself.

I feel such guilt for admitting that I do not like caregiving. Sometimes I wonder if I am a selfish monster for feeling resentful that my life as I knew it is gone.
I do want to make her last years as pleasant as possible. I love her, and she has been very good to me, but still, I feel overwhelmed, stressed, and depressed.
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I think a lot will depend on your mom's attitude as well - I kept my mom at home far longer than I should have given her falls and memory issues - she had a terrible fall before Halloween and came home mid December with agency hired caregivers while I was at work - total disaster - she couldn't accept strangers in the house and ran outside and fell twice - she is now in memory care which also is a nightmare
Memor care is considered assisted living and despite the cost they do very little to help her - so now I have private agency hired caregivers with her there 12 hours a day and it's still not enough - we will go broke soon if I can't find a way to cut back on private caregivers or find a secure cheaper facility
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Dana, for my Dad [94] it all started out being mobility and when Dad couldn't do the stairs in his house any more [even with the help of caregivers] it was his idea to move to senior living.... whew.

I am also terrified of the progression of dementia... I have noticed with each new fall a tiny part of my Dad's memory disappeared with that fall. It is such a tough thing to wrap my brain around as Dad was always pretty sharp. Couple months ago I started to notice "sundowning" which really rattles me.

Don't give up the gym... it's a great release.... I use to be a gym rat but had to give that up back when my parents stopped driving. I became their wheels and any free time was out the window :(
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Thanks to everyone who answered. I've been caring for her for about six years now. I had an idea where this was heading when I almost had to fly back and miss my daughter's graduation because Mom fell again (that time I had a friend who stepped in and got her admitted to the hospital). I've been researching it and there are agencies that will do this with two or three caregivers in rotation. A friend knows an independent caregiver who will do overnights.

At first it was just mobility issues, helping her with dressing. I've already hurt my back once but it has pretty much healed. Now I am terrified of the progression of the dementia.

For now, I'm going to hire caregivers for when I'm working and so that I can get to the gym or just out of the house on my days off. I'm thinking that if I pace myself, I can keep her at home longer, and working out is probably the best thing I can do long term for my daughter. She will not be allowed to be a caregiver!

Mom hates assisted living, and she seems to have deteriorated in respite. Either way, the money will be gone soon.
No one ever told me about this! So glad all of you are here.
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Dana, just like you mentioned, not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver. For me it was my own age and age related declines, aches and pains, plus I had my own serious fall. If I was years younger, maybe I could have done the work, or maybe not. Yes, you had promised your Mom you would take care of her, but you didn't promise your Mom you would ruin your health helping her... and if she was in clear mind she wouldn't want that for you, either.

My Dad now has 24 hour around the clock caregivers. The caregivers are through an Agency which is licensed, bonded, insured, and has workman comp in case one of their employees gets injured on the job. It's extremely expensive.

Why I chose the Agency route is because no one person can be on-call 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week. The night caregiver is required to stay awake the whole time. But that caregiver gets to go home to rest, so to be fresh for the next day's shift. If you hire an "independent contractor", then your Mom would need to add a "workman's comp" rider to her homeowner's insurance.

Now, you need to see what will be the cost. Mom staying in her home with 24 hour paid care.... or living in Assisted Living in her own apartment with Staff on-site 24 hours. You will probably find Assisted Living to be much cheaper. In fact, I am now looking that route for my own Dad to transfer from Independent Living over to Assisted Living, as 24-hour care will shortly break the bank.
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Labor laws now prohibit you from asking a live in to work all day and be up at night for potty calls. You need a second person to take an 8 hour night shift and you need a relief person for required days off and vacation time. Quite honestly, your health comes first. I would recommend looking into Assisted Living if possible.
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Taking care of her does not mean that you do the hands on. It means you do your best while you can, then when you run out of steam find appropriate care for her.
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Dana, how long had you been caring for mom? Why move her from the facility where she is if it worked out well? You need to take care of your own health as you have found out. We all have our limits it sounds like you are at yours. Mine was a year ago. There are few here that continue to the end.
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