For over 6 years now I’ve cared for my 94 yr. old mother with dementia for six months out of the year. My sister has her the other six. I’m a widow, so being alone, I can’t even go to the bathroom without hurrying for fear she will fall. Even though she is legally blind and has hearing loss, she can still shower, dress herself, watch tv, carry on short conversations and get around the house. She is a fall risk and needs the constant supervision and attention similar to what a four year old would need. My home smells and looks like a nursing home a lot of the time. We have daily battles about small things that come up, like throwing her garbage on the floor, sticking her chewed gum all over the place or losing her teeth in her pockets somewhere or throwing them away wrapped in her napkin. She’s angry with me a lot of the time. Seems nothing I can do makes her any happier.
When she is watching her show with her “tv ears” on, sometimes she will cry and talk to my dad saying she wants to be with him. She will cry about all her limitations and the loss of her independence. I think when she has her tv ears on she feels like no one is around to hear her. It’s a regular thing that happens.
I feel bad. I don’t go over to hug her. I do cry a little when she’s going through that, but I don’t feel close to her anymore. I try hard to be soft and caring with her, but eventually it just turns into stress and frustration. Our relationship is just “do my job, take care of her/ battle with her”. I realize a lot of it is my attitude and perception but it’s difficult to shake.
I feel terrible that I don’t feel the urge to hug her and
I feel like I have a cold heart. Actually, most of the time
I just feel numb of everything around me.
I’m I the only cold hearted one out there?