How do I cope. I just don't know what to do?

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My 92 yr old mother is constantly distressed over medicine (the pharmacies do kinda lame things) and $, and I am the only child. I can't take this much anymore.

When Daddy died in 2006, I finally got Mommy in an independent senior living home (which is just lovely, with wonderful staff and residents - not that she has ever tried to socialize - residents know me much more than her - I still don't understand how people can just drop their parents off never come to see them) about two blocks down the street from me. I quit my job for a few months after Daddy died to take care of Mommy & get her settled. I did more than good. Got another job for several years and then had to quit in order to give Mommy pretty much 24/7 attention. I then fell into a deep depression & went to a phsyciatrist for meds & such. Haven't worked in two years. Money is running out and so is Mommy, in my opinion. I've got to get another job & it's just not looking good. Mommy has made me promise since I was about 6 yrs old that I would never put her in a nursing home. She has fallen a couple of times and had to go to rehab. She can't bear to have someone else share her room & one time they moved her to the pyschiatric ward so that she could have private room. That was the time that a woman came into her room, raising her cane, told Mom she was evil & tried to wack her. It's hard to get her to even consider going to a nursing home - especially because of that - but she is getting weaker & weaker. Her muscles in her legs just won't support her anymore & she gets dizzy all the time. The geriatric doctors at Emory aren't much help. They just keep giving her drugs (or taking them away) and she says they make her feel worse. I guess there's nothing that they can really do anymore. I've got to get a job & get a sense of feeling productive in life again. Thank God for my friends. I'm sorry I'm rambling, but I just had another episode today (her calling me up & crying while I was working for a friend to get some kind of $) & then tonight she called complaining about her medicine ( the NEW pharmacy kinda made a mistake) & I JUST WANT TO DIE!!! (except then Mommy & my cat would have no one) She's confused & scared & thinks her doctors are quacks. But sometimes I just have to say "Mommy you are 92 yrs old! That's what's wrong!

I'm at a loss. Any words of wisdom, my fellow brothers and sister?

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Ferris 1 is right. I think there is a serious underlying problem. Does your mother ask you to call her mommy? It sounds like she is controlling you and has been grooming you since you were 6 years old to be her caregiver when she got old. Maybe she has always had a fear of abandonment. Even if it was her plan, you weren't put on this earth to live solely to take care of her. Stop feeling guilty and get a life of your own. Not saying you have to abandon her but she doesn't have to be your whole life either. I hope you find peace and happiness in your life.
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I feel your pain, Wendy! I, too, am caring for my 95 YO mother, who is still able to live in her home a couple of blocks from me. Her good health is both a blessing & a curse, as she does not qualify for any in-home assistance, but since i am the only daughter living near, it is all on me. I have been caring for her since my stepdad passed away 6 yrs ago. I am 74 yo myself - with upcoming joint replacement surgery, & my dear husband passed away last Jan. This has been probably the hardest year of my life, and i am just simply physically & emotionally exhausted! I have found a Grief support group, which has been a tremendous help-- i only wish i had found out about it sooner! .Like you, i do not see any way out, & it is sucking the life out of me. Fortunately, i have wonderful children in the area, and an amazing church family/friends. I also have a really strong faith in God, which is my biggest support.
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Wendy, I'm so sorry you are alone in this. First I'm concerned about you. You did not mention how old you were. But by your mothers age you are nearing or should be retiring. I would remind your mother of that, that you also have to look out for your future. I'm fortunate my mother always had said she did not want us having to take care of her, but she also said she did not want to go to a nursing home. But she would prefer that over us sacrificing our future. So don't blame her in statements you make but mention and discuss with her how it's effecting you and your future. Most mothers don't want their kids to sacrifice or hurt themselves financially. I'm sure you have "repaid" any "obligation" to her by now for her raising you (that's why they think it's OK to ask so much). God Bless
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Sometimes tough love is the only solution. I have a very independent mom who insists on doing everything for herself and cant. I had to say to her that you are no longer able to do the things you are used to, its hard but I love you and will help you accept this. I just made the decisions and she had to get used to it. However it is such a burden on my heart because my mom and I are best friends and did everything together, travelled together, spent awesome amounts of time together camping, going out for drinks and supper and laughing all the time. never was there a dull moment with my mom. Now shes dying, she knew it before, but as her illness has progressed doesnt even realize where she really is and what to do. Sometimes my dear, you DO have to take the bull by the horns, be kind, loving and supportive and make the decisions you have to. Dont let your mom bully you by crying, just cry yourself with her and tell her why, how and how much you are sorry that that had to happen to her. Blame it on the docs, but always tell her how much you love her and will do anything within your power to help. She has to realize you mean well, but is preying on your emotions, I know its so hard but stick to your guns and I am positive she will eventually come around and say she loves you, even if she doesnt think she does right now. Trust me, if she is a good woman and great mom it will happen.
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Wendy: My mother did the same exact thing to me and I promised her and Dad that i would never do it. I did not know what I was promising because many times there are medical problems and issues that arise, that we have no control over and we can no longer keep those promises even though we wish we could. You have been a good daughter and tried to care for your Mom the best you can. If you can no longer care for Mom, you want to make sure she is cared for even if that means putting her into a nursing home where the professionals can care for her, possibly better than you can at this time.

I also know what you mean about losing your life....I am in the same exact spot! I began having panic and anxiety attacks due to being cooped up all the time! I am trying to break free......I feel for you!
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I see your use of Mommy as your special word of endearment and not a sign of immaturity. I am glad you DON"T say "what is wrong is that you are 92 years old" - aging is not a disease, living longer increases your odds to GET disease and for your body and soul to just wear down... sometimes out. There are 92 year olds who don't have as many problems as some at age 70. I'm sorry, that's MY rant, not your problem. I hear your frustrations, and you are wise, you are doing everything right in my opinion. These are bad times, and she will feel better soon. She may plateau into a peaceful acceptance and if not, you are doing all you can. You need to hang on. I can understand why is not up for making new friends. I believe that we are able learn less and less as our brains age and so if we can't remember details of a new person, how can we ever become new friends? Comfort her with memories when you can. Remind of the comforts around her that are due to her own (and yours) efforts around her and that it is time to appreciate the fruits of her own memories. And appreciate nature and its gifts. No need to worry about vanity or money any more, that's one small benefit of aging! Just enjoy each other's company and love. Don't forget to actually enjoy being with her, don't be there just out of duty. I think she will be able to tell and she will know she still has value to you at least.
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Always so pleasant and uplifting......sigh.
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Wendy, you first have to take care of yourself, if you don't you have nothing to give to your mother or anyone else. Taking are of yourself is not selfish.
I was at a caregivers workshop last Saturday and this type of problem was covered several times. A promise made in these cases depends on the situation staying manageable. You situation is not manageable as you promised not now. So you have to do what is manageable, get medical advice and follow that, if it calls for a Nursing Home, that is what she gets. I also suggest that you find a Counselor for you to help you over the bumps and to get your thinking on whats best for everyone not what you mother thinks she wants. As stated by several others roles are reversed now, You are the one in charge. By all means do not take your mothers demands personal. She is not well and sickness is not rational. As a Elder Care Attorney, I give this same suggestion to many children of my clients.
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Wendy, how old are you? You are still calling your mother "Mommy" and the stress of her complaints want to make you die? Go back to your psychiatrist and tell him/her how anxious all of this stress is making you. With the right diagnosis you will be eligible to receive social security disability. I am sorry you are having a difficult time, but most of us caregiving a loved one have your thoughts, but we just hang in there.
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Wendy, I want to offer you hope. Nursing homes are NOT what they used to be even just 5 short years ago! Nowadays there are multilevel care companies that are luxurious and offer all levels of services to residents, so transitioning from independent living to assisted living and even to memory care or nursing care, is not a big deal because all levels of care have the same types of facilities and are furnished luxuriously. The only difference is you get more care and more care. Please look into this type of facility for your mother and make a move. You will be glad you did!

I was amazed, since my most recent experience with nursing homes had been with my aunt who was in a traditional nursing home until her death in 2000. When I went to look for a place for my parents, after my mother was diagnosed with dementia, I found out how extraordinary new facilities are with multiple restaurants, gyms, pools, dog parks, and nice apartments for the residents. The residents all have keys to their rooms, so only the staff can come in the room unless the resident leaves their door unlocked. This is true of all levels of care. This is drastically different from anything I had ever seen before!

I think that you will feel better when you get out and look at these facilities for your mom. Then you will realize that she can have a wonderful life no matter what amount of care she needs. When you move her, instead of allowing her to hang out in her room, when you visit, act as her concierge and take her to events at the new residence and introduce her to other people who live there. Then leave immediately after the event is over so that your mother can socialize with her peers.

You promised not to put your mother in a traditional nursing home, so don't. Put her in a multi-level care facility. Here is an example of one such company: Sunrise Senior Living - which is nationwide in the US and in Canada and the UK.
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