I came home to look in on my mom in 2014 thinking she was dying. She lost 80 lbs after my dad died in 2013 and she couldn't take care of the house or her finances and needed help with 2 or 3 of her ADLs. I shuttle her to and from doctors appointments, stay with her through falls and recovery, stroke, and now... she is becoming increasingly incontinent (refuses briefs or padding), serving her meds (she forgets them and I can't deal with her having a more serious stroke and being in a vegetative state or having to get her through months of physical therapy appointments), needs help toileting, transferring/showering/haircuts, and soon will need me to serve her meals because her knees and shoulders are shot.
She is terrified of nursing homes, and I can understand why. They don't staff well at night, so if you need something, like to get up and go to the bathroom (which is always needed like, RIGHT NOW), you might "sit in it" - especially if you complain... the night crew will ignore you until right before the morning staff comes in.
So, she wants to age in place until her dying day. I would turn back the clock for her, and I want to give her her wish. But with this next level of care requirement, I am finding the restriction of it to be more disturbing to my life balance than I think I can deal with. I am 50 years old and haven't gone on vacation in 3 years. I am finding it hard to sleep, concentrate, relax at all. I am grateful to GOD that I have a good man here as a shoulder to cry on and helping me take care of the house while I work and take care of my mom, but this... this is nursing level care and I am afraid I won't be able to keep my job like this and help her too. If I can't, and I give in to serve her every need until she dies... what will happen to me when she does? I can't start a career and get a mortgage much later in life. And rent where I live is ridiculous.
I feel selfish and angry. Whatever blessings God has in store for me for honoring my mother I am certain are shot because my head isn't in it. Her choices are forcing me to watch my mom die, slowly, right in front of me. They are stripping me of having my own home, enjoying privacy with my love, and any kind of travel is out of the question (moot point at the moment because of COVID) because she cannot be left without assistance. I keep cycling through selling her home and getting my own place, putting her in a NH but I feel like I will be letting her down, and letting myself down because I couldn't make it the long haul. I believe, love is taking care of family when they need us - and she has never needed me more than now. But, I really didn't come home to be a nurse. I had no idea it was going to be YEARS that this would go on. When I read that back, even I can see the battle between heart and mind.
It's easy for all of us to just say to someone in my position, "Put her in AL or in a NH! Go live your life!" But, when you, and they, will suffer with whichever you choose... how do you deal with that? I want to solve this problem and end the suffering (hers and mine) but have no idea how to do that. I honestly don't even know how she could afford nursing care. I think she makes too much money to qualify for Medicare to cover it and not enough to cover it with her own finances, which would exchange my labor burden with a financial burden that I don't make enough to carry.
I did tell her that if it comes to the point that I cannot safely care for her without putting my own health in danger (I have 2 titanium hips and bad OA) then I will have no choice but to get her help. I suppose that is happening now a little bit (I have skated once or twice when I walk in and she has had an accident, doesn't tell me, and I step in it). She assumes that means we will bring caregivers in for her. And that would be possible to some degree, but we cannot right now because of COVID.
I'm probably just venting but would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Peace.