My parents are/were both 89 years old. My dad died in November after a six-week bout of cancer. He was the healthy parent and my mom's caregiver, so this has rocked all of us. I have been involved with my mom's care for the past five years -- she has CHF, kidney failure, vascular dementia, and macular degeneration, and severe hearing loss -- but I live 90 minutes away (on a good day) and was only up there weekly while Dad was there 24/7.
He was on the board of a local nursing home for many years and was very close to the director. In fact, she spoke at Dad's funeral. He and I went straight to her after his terminal diagnosis, and he wanted my mom to go to that facility because he knew she'd be cared for and I wouldn't have to sacrifice my life caring for Mom at home.
Now Mom is in the skilled nursing facility, and she's not doing well. We were warned she might not do well after the move due to losing her spouse of 66 years and her home of 50 years all at once. I completely understand that, having been through several corporate relocations with my husband job over the years. You move against your will, and it's like all of your friends die on the same day. It's very hard, and none of it is your choice.
Her dementia has gotten worse with the arrival of an imaginary boyfriend, and her legs are terribly swollen. She refuses to sleep in her bed ("It's too narrow!"), so she sleeps in a chair all day and wanders the halls at night. This happened at home, too. I was with them for nine weeks during my dad's illness, so I experienced all of it. I cared for both of them full-time, and it "as exhausting. I don't know how my dad did it.
Now my dilemma -- I have POA and I'm also the trustee for my parents' estate. I'm up at my folks' house trying to clear it out, deal with their finances, and visit my mother a minimum of twice a week. I got home last night after staying up there for three days straight doing all of the above, and I'll likely have to do it again next week, too. My brother is moving into the house temporarily next week.
My husband and brother are the only others I have to deal with with all of this, and they have both unintentionally made this much more difficult. My husband announced last night that he talked extensively with a co-worker who just went through this with his mom, and he announced that we should have kept Mom at home with a full-time caregiver. What's more, his co-worker's opinion is that the nursing home isn't caring for her properly. My brother also assumed my husband and I would have moved into my parents' house to care for Mom after Dad died. (WHAT??)
Now, I'm feeling tremendous guilt about nearly everything. Did I make the wrong choice by following my dad's wishes and putting Mom in the nursing home? Am I doing the wrong thing by cleaning out the house and selling it while Mom is still alive? Should I have uprooted my life, moved from my own newish house and into a crumbling 90-year-old house with a leaky roof and a 50-year-old kitchen to care for my mother full-time? Am I killing her by having her in a nursing home?
I'm just so exhausted from worrying about her without the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) criticisms of my husband and brother adding to the guilt.
What to do? Have I done something wrong?