My 80 y/o mum had a fall and broke her ribs, I'm so worried about her. She refused hospital to paramedics so I'm the sole carer for her in her home. I have two older brothers but I'm doing everything as they are working and the one has a bad heart and diabetes etc, he's not well really either. I'm feeling just a tad overwhelmed at the moment and guilty for feeling this way.

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Shazzer - I'm talking about HIRING extra help, not expecting your family to take up the slack (although a 17 yr old should be helping out around home routinely anyway). Your brothers may need to be given specific tasks, some people are truly clueless and will never figure out what is needed on their own. "Hey bro, I need you to visit with mom every Tuesday afternoon so I can go home for a few hours, you can bring takeout for your supper".

And where on earth is the guilt in all of this, nobody should feel guilty for not being super human!
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Normal? 🤣.... IMO if you aren't feeling a tad overwhelmed then you aren't doing much caregiving. You MUST find ways to add personal time into your daily, weekly and long term routines - hired caregivers for mom and/or perhaps delegating your own chores like housekeeping or home/yard maintenance, adult day care and respite "vacations" at a facility are some tried and true methods.
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Shazzer Jun 2020
I've roped in my 17 y/o daughter for shopping, washing up and other chores at home. My husband works.
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First Don't feel guilty. Caring for anyone even someone you love is very stressful and will at least at times be overwhelming. I started caring for both my parents 5 years ago, my mom passed 2 years ago and I still take care of my dad. My mom had physical problems, luckily she was small. She had to be helped to stand and walk. I got up with her during the night for the rest room etc. My dad has dementia which is very challenging, and will progressively become worse. What I do when I'm feeling over whelmed is to take a step back, think of the 7 fruits in the bible - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Galatians 5:22-23. I try to use these tools to help me to remember how everyone should be treated, even when I'm having a hard time. I also ask for God to direct my emotions, and understanding and especially patience. I don't want any regrets on how i cared for them after they're gone.
I hope this helps in some way. Good luck
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Help4ourmom Jun 2020
I'm glad to see someone mention calling on the Lord. I pray often for improvement in my Mom's mental, spiritual and physical health. And also for mine. Our relationship thru the years hasn't been easy, but I'm the one of three daughters that steps up and helps her the most. It's not always acknowledged or appreciated. I remind myself that God is my Heavenly Father and he sees me, and knows my heart. It's his approval that I should seek, not my Mom's or sisters, or anyone else. Guilt rears it's head every now and then, but it's becoming less frequently. Both sisters live out of town.
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Thanks, 😉👍I feel so guilty because I'm the only one in my family that's doing all the caring for mum. I couldn't begin to imagine my bros 'washing mum' lol but they could spend a decent amount of time with her when they visit so that I can Nip home for an hour. I'm only 5 minutes around the corner.
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Unfortunately, our “good” intentions, at the offset, in caring for our love ones Is noble, just and the right thing to do. We have NO IDEA the personal toll it will demand. It a stressful, thankless sacrifice.
Stop minimizing your feelings as a “tad overwhelmed”. It’s up to you to take control. She’s 80 with broken ribs! Don’t feel guilty. Do the right thing by your mom but don’t follow her down a worm-hole. Get help: Visiting Physicians Association, CNA, PCW, social services,
Respite, the church & community. You’re there to make the hard decisions where it is best for You then mom.
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Every caregiver at some point feels overwhelmed.
I think in everyday life it is normal to feel overwhelmed at times.
Feeling guilty should not be part of it.
Are you honestly doing the best that you can? (of course the answer is yes) So there is noting to feel guilty about.
What you do need is help.
The first thing you hear when you join any support group is..."you need to take care of yourself first" If you don't you can't care for someone else.
Hire someone to come in even 2 days a week for 6 or 7 hours. Even 4 would make a HUGE difference. You would not believe what 4 hours of help can do not just physically but emotionally and mentally.
If mom is resistant..these 4 hours are for YOU not her.

And you might want to start "THE" conversation.
You now know that you can not take on the role of caregiver full time.
You know your brothers will be of little or no help.
Will mom need more help when she is healed from the rib fractures? Will mom be able to live on her own? Can she go to Assisted Living? Does she have any other diagnosis that would indicate she would be better in Memory Care or could she handle Independent Living facility if other than her current condition she is usually "hale and hardy"?
Tough conversation to have but you are in a position that you have had a crystal ball knowing what it might be like when she has healed.

For the now though....
Are you doing more than you should? Can mom, as she gets stronger resume some of the tasks that she has done in the past. If not then speed up the timing of "THE" conversation. Give a timeline as to how long you can do this. 6 months? If after 6 months she is still not able to care for herself then it might be time to look for Assisted Living.

Use this time to also make sure all paperwork is in order. POA? Will? Advance Directives? or POLST? Have you/ has she consulted with an Eldercare Attorney?

Overwhelmed is fine, there is a lot to consider but remove the guilt from your mind.
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You’ve been given some excellent advice. Read it over with your brothers and maybe mom until it sinks in.
Your brothers are part of the team as is the 17yr old. Have team meetings. You may give them a free pass on personal care but they can sit with her just like they may be sitting at home.
Give them specific hours. Saturday afternoon at 2 as an example. Potty mom before you leave.
I agree with CWillie that a 17 yr old should be able to help but don’t make mom her responsibility. Get her input. Perhaps she would rather clean your home.
The first thing that popped out to me was that your mom didn’t have the right to make an independent decision on going to the hospital. Not when she expects others to pick up the slack. I can appreciate her being worried about Covid and maybe you were too. Broken ribs are very painful so I’m not unsympathetic but you are on a slippery slope that probably won’t end when the ribs heal. Since she is only 80 she stands a good chance of recovering if she doesn’t become too dependent.
I would call her doctor and ask if she/he could ask HH to come evaluate mom for services. They can get therapy out and do an assessment on whether therapy would be helpful. At the least the therapist can drill down on what caused the fall and suggest home modifications for safety. They can also set up her meds, check her vitals and provide an aide to help with bathing. She may or may not qualify but you will have an extra layer of help if she does. Mom can most likely visit her doctor on a telemedicine appointment and you won’t even have to take her in. Check into it.
I want to suggest to you that your life has changed more than your mom’s life with her fall.
Dont leave your brothers out. This is an emotional job, not just a physical one. You need their support. It can bring you closer. The minute you start taking action to share the responsibility you will feel less stressed. I suspect you are labeling stress as guilt. It’s very hard what you are doing.
Giving up your own life. Thankfully mom doesn’t have a bad disease, again not discounting the pain of broken ribs. This experience does give you a preview of what’s to come so you have a good opportunity to set some standards going forward. Check in and let us know how you are doing. We’ve all been there in one form or another. We care.
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You're doing remarkably well, but you do need to set boundaries for yourself, your brothers, and if possible for your mother. It is entirely normal to feel stressed, because the present challenges in your life ARE stressful. You might take a look at Matthew Johnstone's "The Little Book of Resilience: How to bounce back from adversity and lead a fulfilling life." The challenges are not going to go away, so you are going to have work out how to keep the stress at a reasonable level.

My wife is 10 years into Alzheimer's and is (happily) still at home, even though she has not been out of bed now for 22 months. There are a lot of things to do. However, I have CAREGivers in from a local agency, Home Instead--it's based in the USA and you might find one near you. That helps a lot. Also, my daughter is now living with us, so that reduces the stress, too.

It might be helpful to try to be proactive. Think ahead as to what the next challenge might be--another fall? incontinence? refusal to cooperate from your mother? failure of your brothers to help in any way (could they contribute financially for a caregiver?), drawing up a will? Don't try to look too far ahead, but just think of what you might have to deal with in the next few months. That could reduce the stress, because you will not be so surprised when that next challenge arrives.

Prayers and hopes for new events, relationships and events that can reduce the stress.
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Horseshoer Jun 2020
So glad to hear your wife is still at home. Hopefully she still has some memories because you really love her. It's obvious. Thank you for the think ahead. I tend to be reactive not proactive. Need to change that because by the time you react it's a bad situation all around
A fall especially with injury requires X-rays and scans. She could have hit her head with brain bleed or broke her hip. How would you know without the tests. IF she refuses treatment call her doctor, let him know, and ask him to put her on Hospice.
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Grandma1954 Jun 2020
broken ribs would not qualify a person for Hospice. There would have to be a diagnosis (technically) of 6 months or less. A person can remain on Hospice more than 6 months but there has to be a continued, documented decline and they have to meet particular Medicare guidelines
Caret taking IS overwhelming. The broken rib situation is probably temporary, but if there is going to be a long term need for care, begin planning now for facility placement or for hired care to give yourself some time off. Will your brothers be able to contribute some toward paid help or living situation in lieu of hands-on help?
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