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Mom fell recently and recovered after an ER visit. She looks better but is now depressed. My mental and physical health is at stake if I continue to be a 'caretaker'. Her medical follow up is a routine blood lab at this point. She is refusing routine medical care she says. This is where I draw the line. So I just sent a message of 'notice' to family members regarding my mother and her future care. I told family in the message that if she were to fall in the future and require rehab, that if she needed further 24/7 care at home I would no longer be able to provide that level of care and she would more likely have to be placed in long term care or assisted living. For the past seven years, I've been a family care-er, for a sister who fell ill, long distance for an aunt, and at home for my mother, all while having a teenager whom I feel has been deprived of my attention and resources. I've tried to manage caregivers, recruit family and friends in tasks and sometimes it's been successful but mostly the colossal load of grunt work has fallen on me.


Just in the past year, I can feel my own aches and pains and have neglected routine medical appointments. I've paid to have help come in, but each have moved on, and the process of finding someone begins again. Family and friends visit when they want but on their terms and never to formally relieve me which bugs me - I've been clear I needed time. It turns out for family members visiting I have to present as well to entertain or facilitate the visit. It gets tiring or I find myself annoyed at gratuitous offers of advice. When I have listen to what other's feel is needed in the current circumstance, I find myself cutting the conversation short and probably come off as rude. Everyone has their comfort level and capacity limits and I am learning to be more accepting, I've been fortunate that my own support system: a caregiver group, reading this forum, friends that regularly walk with me, and a long distance sort of relationship have been a lifeline.


I think I have to draw the line to save myself if there is to be a me and draw the limit of obligation. My sister and my aunt were acute cases where there was no time to process their situation fully and instinctively I cleared everything to be available, whereas my mother has declined with age and I've been here over the past five years increasingly full-time. I know mom's wish is to remain at home until her death. If there were support, maybe would be possible, maybe not. I just know now I need my home and my peace of mind and to pay attention to my son.

Go take care of your son. Your mom's life is coming to the end, but your son has his in front of him. Sorry I think that raising children trumps trying to keep a senior that needs 24/7 care in their home.

If you look in a dictionary that would be under selfish!
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Don't short change your son, that is just plain wrong. Your mother is at the end of her very long life, time for her to be in AL, there is no logical reason not to do this for her and you both.
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Reply to DollyMe
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Don't wait for her to fall. Hand in your resignation tomorrow and restart your life and your son's life.
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Reply to Geaton777
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You have so much on your mind. You’re torn in a million different directions. That was me too. I have regrets.

Don’t feel guilty about wanting to be there for your son. It destroyed me taking care of my mom and not being a part of my daughter’s lives as much as I wanted to.

Follow your instincts. Your son comes first.

I agree with other posters. They gave wise advice.

Hugs!
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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You have reached your limit. The question now is not really the effect on anyone, whether there is anger, sadness or depression for Mom or for anyone else in the family. The question is, will you proceed forward now to do what you know you must do for yourself and for your son? You Mother will almost certainly be sad and depressed. Is that not a proper response to but one more loss in what is, at the end of life, loss after loss after loss? Allow her to express her grief, even her frustration. Even her anger. Allow the family to do the same. Tell them all that you are so very sorry, but that you have reach now the end of what you are humanly capable. Remember the end for all Saints. Shot through with arrows and an eternity of people praying to them to fix everything that ails them. It is not a very attractive job. Please take care of yourself. Your Mom now needs placement, and your loving visits when you are able. I am so sorry for all you are all going through.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Pasa18 Nov 2, 2019
Thanks for the image AlvaDeer. Saints shot through with arrows with an eternity of people praying to them to fix everything that ails them. My mother, of course, sent me to catholic all girls high school, but it didn't take very well.
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I agree with everyone!! Take care of you and your son!! Don't feel guilty!! Your son comes first!!!
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Reply to elaine1962
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Maybe it will, but you'll be more depressed and broken down physically and mentally to stay in the situation you're in.  We may not always like the few options available, but these are all we have.  You've got to maintain your health and sanity, and do what's best for you, which will be best for her, too.

Since your siblings aren't responding, make the decision, and get her in AL as soon as possible.  Let them know your decision, and where you choose.  Ask the AL people about affording it and any financial help available for her.  Pick an AL close to other family members so they, too, can assist and visit her.  After you've visited some ALs, take mom to see your best choice/s so she's involved in it.  Emphasize to mom that it'll be her own new place where she can make friends her own age with activities and meals she likes and the 24/7 help she needs for safety.  Be kind but firm that this is the next step for her and her safety and happiness (and yours!). 

Good luck.
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Reply to lilhelp
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jjmummert Nov 5, 2019
Amen.
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Thanks to all who responded here. Not a peep from the recipients of my message to concerned family members. Like talking to the wind.
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Reply to Pasa18
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rovana Nov 2, 2019
You informed them.  If they refused to help, then it is YOUR decision - they have no say. The fact is that your mom almost certainly is beyond assisted living - and nursing home level care at home is almost impossible unless you have lots of money and willing family. Since you cannot continue without risking severe damage to your health, and your first responsibility is to your child in any case, then I don't see any choice.  I'd just proceed to find placement. Hopefully after you have made the decision, things will begin to fall into place.  There is lots of sorrow, tragedy, etc. in life. Just the way it is.
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Your mother is 96 for goodness sake. Good on you for making the decision you have. Now stick to it. Let someone else take this on
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Reply to anonymous967666
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Your post is an exact duplicate of my situation. Would you be the one to place her in a nursing home if she were to fall again? When my mother lands in hospital and is asked if she wants to go to rehab she says no! And i say yes for awhile. But they always abide by her wishes no matter how i feel. I keep hearing that loved ones outlive their caregivers. With the caregivers decline in health, i sometimes believe this is the case! I have a back injury and pinched nerves and like you, wish my brother would relieve me for a while. But he's too busy and can't be involved. I say do whatever you need to do to regain you physical and mental well being!
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Reply to EssieMarie
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Pasa18 Nov 2, 2019
EssieMarie, I have been reading too about caregivers falling ill or dying and some days it feels like it doesn't it. I somehow strained my side and was incapacitated for a few days after the last ER visit. I didn't feel it until after we arrived home. Absolutely not one person showed concern about my inability to function, which effects my mother. If she is admitted to the hospital a next time, I can say that she is no longer safe to return home because there is not 24/7 care available at home and a discharge nurse will find placement in rehab. I've tried to respect her wish, but it's a sacrifice on my part that I can't afford. I put in time for a sister and an aunt, and now my mother for five years.
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