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I am in the UK and we are now being told to stay home but are not on total lockdown yet. I just don't know how I'm going to survive being isolated with my 93 year old mum who lives with me. I've coped with it the past 3 years by going out for a few hours and getting away from her as she has caused me awful depression. But just the thought of having no escape from her and not being able to see friends and my children and grandchildren is just awful. Having my mum live with me has been a huge mistake and has affected my health both mentally and physically and I'm so worried that being with her 24/7 for weeks is going to finish me off!!!! HELP!!! How can I get through this???

@ NannaJ

I know what you mean, exactly. This is a huge challenge for many us.
But this will be temporary. It won't last forever. It is a limited period of time.
After this nightmare will finish you can change all the rules and reinvent your life again.
I offer what the emergency psychologist told me as a tool of survival for this:
divide work and rest. Have a place, a room, the garden, the attic, whatever you have at your disposal to claim as your own, private, place and follow a schedule. Fom x hour to y hour you will "work" caring for your mom, the rest of the time you will go "back home" in your safe place.
Set Skype for calls with your children and grandchildren and friends.
Call your friends everyday when you are in your safe place.

I will be thinking of you sending you thoughts of resistance.
Please keep in touch here, we will be in touch with you, every day.
This too shall pass.
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NannaJ Mar 24, 2020
Thank you. I can go to my room or my garden. I do need my own space even if it feels very lonely. I need to calm my anxiety somehow and increase my tolerance levels. I just feel like I would like somebody to care for me for a change.
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Where are you, NannaJ?

Are you a member of CarersUK or any online group like that? Are you in touch with your local authority's Adult Social Care team? If not, do those things - support is being set up, there will be lifelines available for people in your situation, so make your presence known!

You are far from alone - a client's wife said to me last week "we're all going to go mental!" Well, yes, the idea of being locked up alone with a demented loved one for two or three months is just not funny. We WILL find ways through, hold on.
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NannaJ keep in touch with us regularly - having a safe place to scream your head off, even if it's only virtual, can help.
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All I can do is say I can relate. I on the other hand can still go to work due to being an "essential" business. And I'm beyond grateful. There is no way I could stay at home with her all day. I think she thinks I should quit my job and just take care of her - she's 93. She can still walk, bath, and cook. She has slowed down but is also still fairly cognitive. Just being home on the weekends - and I do all major shopping and errands - I still can get so burned out by her negativity! There is no gratitude for all that I'm doing. She recently gave me grief for buying some clothes on the clearance rack - well I've worked for 40 years, have taken care of myself, and still work 5 days a week. I told her it was none of her business. Then she tries to turn everything around that I'm being mean and talking rudely to her. I'm so tired of her - yes we are supposed to love our parents but when I look back on all her verbal abuse of me - the criticism and the slights - the manipulation - I really don't feel anything. I will provide her a clean, comfortable home and it's well stocked with food. She even complained about THAT!!!! I had the fridge so loaded up with groceries she couldn't even get in there...wow. I said there are so many elderly that are ALONE and probably wondering where they will get their next meal from. There is no pleasing this women and I just want to be DONE. We have lived together a total of 20 years - recently she's been back with me for 3. I've done my time and want my life back. All I can say is hugs to you - get online and try to play games and maybe meet some support groups. This group has been a life saver - sometimes I just need to vent and some of my friends are not very understanding as they see my mom as this sweet little old lady...nope - she is not always to me. God bless!
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GuiltAndSorrow Mar 27, 2020
Amen sista! This group IS a lifesaver. A place where one can vent (without judgment) to others who know exactly where you are coming from.
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I am so very sorry you are struggling with this. I think countrymouse has excellent ideas.

I agree with Arwen. This will pass. It’s very difficult at this time. I wish that we could help you more than just offering online support.

Please stay in touch and continue to reach out even if only to speak to others about your concerns.

Take care 💗.
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Dear NannaJ,

I too, lived with a mother in law who made it very stressful. I'm so sorry. I hear your pain.

This isn't easy. You will have to go to your own room and have time alone from her. I know it's not enough to say don't let it bother you. I understand. Exercise might be good. Prayer. And talking to friends and family. Maybe have your children call to her everyday.

These are difficult times. I hope you can find some separation. I pray you will grow in grace and peace, friend.

You might find an online counselor you could talk to once a week online. My family member just started using an online counselor from BetterHelp.com. Talking to a counselor really helped me when my mother in law moved in. I wish I had gone longer.

Online Counselling UK Success Stories | BetterHelp
https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/counseling/online-counselling-uk-success-stories/

Take care and check in here. We care about you. Let us know how you are doing.

gratefultoday
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If your mother suffers from allergies, and allergy season is starting, ask her doctor about giving her diphenhydramine. It makes most people sleepy. While she takes a nap, go outside and stand in some sunshine or take a walk around the block.

Please do not lose hope. Please let yourself take care of you. You matter.
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NannaJ Mar 24, 2020
She takes a fair bit of medication and does nap a lot during the day. We are not supposed to be going out but I am walking to the pharmacy to get her medication and to the shop to get essentials. Doesn't take long but it gets me out whilst it's still allowed. Possible lockdown on the cards though which will mean no going out at all.
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Hi NanaJ, I'm in UK, what follows is absolutely not a criticism. I agree though that you're caught in a mind set of escape.
I truly understand, both my "parents"(?) made Hitler and The Spanish Inquisition look like a walk in the park and caring for them at end of live almost broke me again. Almost, because I hung on to the thought that they done it once they didn't get a second chance.
It is difficult being suddenly confined with people we should and do love but have long term irresolvable issues with. Also tough being with people we're fine with but not used to spending time with on such a basis or being completely isolated with only contact being via technology.
I am disabled and so it's difficult to get "out" in the garden or for the essentials. I do but it adds to the stress.
I have found it an enormous help to have "nature sounds" playing in the background. During parts of the day birdsong and such at night I have thunderstorms and rain. Sounds crazy but it puts me to sleep fast and if I'm woken in the night it helps me go back to sleep (I have a 10hr one I really like).
They are on youtube and free, try having it on low for your mother too it is incredibly relaxing you stop hearing it but the effect remains.
Good luck, thinking of you.
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Isthisrealyreal Mar 27, 2020
Love the gentle rain and thunderstorm white noise tracks. They are wonderful for taking me outside my own head.
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My mom is in lockdown in her AL facility. I call her almost every day and have brought her care packages of books, playing cards, ice cream and a jigsaw puzzle. My adult daughter with autism is however, another story. Everything in her life is closed down, day programs, library, weekly bowling with friends which she loves, YMCA. She was ok for the first week. As this goes on, we are having to be more creative as far as activities, one of which is simply getting into the car and taking long drives just to get drive through ice cream. She sits in the backseat, I turn up the music, and away we go! She can be very negative and cannot understand what is going on, (can any of us?!). Communication with her is very limited. Separation, “downtime apart” is a very good strategy. Taking my dog for long walks outdoors has been a godsend. I’m currently working on a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle while listening to music. Good luck to all as we manage this. Yes, it will pass. In the meantime, take it one day at a time, and be grateful for even small things and people in our lives.
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I agree with Isabelsdaughter. I was in the same place you are a couple years ago. My mom with dementia moved in with me when I retired. Things weren't great, but managable until I had back surgery and she had a stroke one month later. She was in the hospital, then rehab, then I brought her home. It wasn't long before I was overwhelmed, exhausted and yes, resentful. My entire life revolved around her needs.....24/7. No matter how good your intentions are or how much you love your mom, that is not a good situation. I did my research and was lucky enough to get mom into the long care facility in our area with the best rating. She's been there for 3 years now and I visit about 3 times a week under normal circumstances. She is safe, her medical needs are being met far better than I ever could have done on my own, she can be as socially active as she wants to be and I can have a life without constant worry about mom. The bonus is that our visits are pleasant and our relationship is not strained anymore.
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