Going insane. How do you keep your sanity?

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What is a Respite Place? I am taking care of my 90yr old mother,, I have two siblings that live 3 hours from us, I moved my mom in with us a year ago, I don't want to sound like an evil person, and if I do please forgive me,, But my mother was never around for me, left me at an orphanage when I was 3 till I was 6, never had that mother daughter cognition ( She is not one for showing affection) When I was 11 she dropped me off at my brothers,, needless to say I have been on my own since the age of 13.. I believe that my mom is in stage 5 of her deminsha , I have no one to help,, the other two siblings will not come to see her or offer to give me a break, and I am finding myself more and more frustrated for having to take care of this person that was never really apart of my life,, I am the youngest of 3.. My mom was a mean woman to begin with and having deminsha just makes her some what meaner, mainly the looks and when you tell her she needs to do something that use to be an everyday thing,, She has mean looks all the time, she has not become combative yet, All of my kids have grown and are out of the house, and I have really been feeling like this should be my time to be enjoying my life with my husband, but yet I am taking care of another child basically, I have alot of days where I just want to say @*@* it and put her in a home,, but then when I get to thinking that I have this enormous guilt come over me,, I really have no patients at times,, alot here lately, I guess my question is how do you keep your sanity, cause I cant do or go anywhere without her right by my side,,

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Sparkling Blue:
You have had a wide range of support here. May I suggest that you read all of this thread everyday until you feel ready to act. Keep writing those feelings and experience so you don't feel so alone and can vent...it helps... until you are ready for action...consider it preparation.

Also, please contact the Alzheimers Assoc in your area and see if they can help find an Adult Day Health program for you as a temporary solution (maybe private pay is possible), they also have support groups for you and your Mom, separately and together. There are residential dementia programs as typical assisted living and nursing homes may not be appropriate for your Mom. Just know, everyone who cares for an aging parent feels guilty at some point, because there are "bad days" even in the best of situations. My Mom probably would been considered emotionally and physically abusive, rejecting and neglecting. It has taken a lot of work in therapy and other types of support to land in a place where I believe my Mom was very limited and she did the best she could within her limitations. I learned that since I gave her negative view of the world and her life very little credibility and was a resourceful kid from about age 10, I grew up a healthy and loving mom to my children and a pretty good wife. Sounds like you overcame a less than ideal start in life. Grace
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Elaine, can your dad qualify for MediCal?
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Sparkling Blue, You are hero and I know what you are going through. I am also of 3. Dad came to my place 3 years ago and is in stage 6 dementia. My family has little way of affording the possibility of putting him in a facility. As with you I need break, people have know idea until you've been how exhausting it is. Most areas have adult day care, unfortunately the one in my community is MediCal based and his insurance doesn't cover it. The programs for adult day care can be very helpful the the patient and the care taker. The one here is called Golden Umbrella, they actually come to the home and take them to the center for activities and therapy. I have wanted dad to go there but just haven't figured out how to afford it. You should adult day care in your area.

Love and Prayers to you
Elaine
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Sparkling Blue, please call a local Hospice and tell them you need help. Dementia is a terminal disease (eventually) and hospice does not have a limit on the number of years you can use them. They can tell you the resources they have to make Mom's living at home with you more feasable, including volunteers who will stay with Mom while you have some respite hours. Please learn to take advantage of every little help you can get. Do not worry about spending Mom's money on her. Tell your siblings that you are using it for Mom and keep good accounts of her expenses. If they balk, tell them they are welcome to take on the responsibility.
Corinne
Sending prayers and hugs.
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Sparkling Blue, please call a local Hospice and tell them you need help. Dementia is a terminal disease (eventually) and hospice does not have a limit on the number of years you can use them. They can tell you the resources they have to make Mom's living at home with you more feasable, including volunteers who will stay with Mom while you have some respite hours. Please learn to take advantage of every little help you can get. Do not worry about spending Mom's money on her. Tell your siblings that you are using it for Mom and keep good accounts of her expenses. If they balk, tell them they are welcome to take on the responsibility.
Corinne
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Thank you guys for all of your incite..I am going to be looking in to getting some help for my mother, and my self, And when I brought my mom in to live with me I was hoping to have that mother daughter relationship that we never had, (mom was not that bad when I moved her in) But just hasn't happened. Mainly because my mom has never been one to show emotion, or love, I thank God every day that I as a mother have not carried on those traits with my own kids, which I have 4.. They know every day how much that I love them something that I never got as a child growing up.. I am not writting this for pitty , But to Alwayslearning,,, I know my siblings all to well, and they have done some deceitful things that would make sure that it only benefited them two... meaning making it to where my mother passes they were to get everything, which to be honest I could care less about any money that would be left for us kids,, I do know what money she has is for her and her care, and no they do not feel guilty about anything,, they have gotten over what issues they may have had with her at one time, Me on the other hand I am the youngest of the three, When I was three yrs old I was put in an orphanage until I was six, when my mother remarried, My mother only wanted to take my sister out, (she is the middle child) and leave me and my brother in..my dad told my mother no you take them all out or they all stay, My dad was the one who put us in the home, cause my mother dropped us off and told my dad to take care of us,,, By the time I was 11 I was dropped off at my brothers by my mother and step dad, Which my step dad is a whole different story that my mother knew about but did nothing, By the time I was 13 I was on my own,, and have been ever since,, Will I am married, but you know what I mean,, I never had the mother daughter bonding, my mother left me at the biggest time in a daughters life when was needed, So yes there is some non bonding between us, Me having 4 children of my own, 3 girls and 1 boy, can not imagine not having that nurturing bond, And I guess the guilt that I have is that when it comes right down to it with all the stuff she put me threw as a child and as an adult I still love her,, Yes I know the guilt is something that I am going to have to deal with on my own,, My husband has said the same thing,,,
I am sorry to have ramble on,, have just had alot of emotion built up and not to many people to share with,, besides my hubby,
I thank all of you for listening and the advice :)
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This should be your time to be enjoying your life with your husband.

You do not sound like an evil person. Not even remotely.

You sound like a confused person, doing things that are not mentally healthy for yourself.

Here is my advice:

1. Place Mother in a care center.
2. Learn to live with the guilt feelings, and to shove them out of your way.
3. Get on with your life.

I suspect that you will benefit from counselling as you take these difficult but sanity-saving steps. When you even think about placing her in a care center you "have this enormous guilt come over me." You don't deserve the guilt. You will survive the guilt. Feeling guilt is not as dangerous as feeling insane.

If you need "official" permission to care for your Mother in a different way, here are the words of a well-respected therapist, researcher, and author: "Taking care of someone who years before was abusive or neglectful of you is beyond what is expected of you. Caring for a family member who was or is physically or psychologically abusive is dangerous. These are justifiable reasons for NOT being a caregiver. Talk with someone about your options. Other people can do the hands-on work. If the patient is financially able, set up a plan for professional care. If not, talk with the county social worker to find out about alternatives. Each case is different, but with most, I encourage some kind of continued management -- often through a social worker -- to make sure that the caregiving team or the nursing home professionals are treating your family member well. This may be the best you can do given your history together." Pauline Boss, in "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia."

You can continue to be an advocate for your mother. You can visit her regularly, phone her, send her cheer-up cards. You are not abandoning her ... but drastically changing the role you have in her care.

How do you keep your sanity while you are a caregiver? There are lots of answers to that. In your circumstances I firmly believe the best answer is to give up the hands-on caregiving role and to see to it that your mother gets good care in a professional care setting.

You deserve to enjoy your empty-nest years with your husband. You deserve to keep your sanity.
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You sound like a good person, but you should remember to be good to yourself. It doesn’t sound like a healthy situation for you or your mother. You need financial help and the first place I’d look would be with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Was your father in the military? Many seniors are unaware that there are benefits for veterans (and their spouse) who served during war time (all wars). The veteran wouldn’t need to have left the United States during war time, but would have had to be active in the military during war time. It is based on income and need and will help cover the cost of nursing homes and in-home care. I would also call or email A Place for Mom. You may find that they can give you some excellent advice. Once you get your mother in a nursing home you can be a good daughter by visiting her often and becoming a volunteer at her new home. That would be much healthier for you and your mother. Good luck!
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Hang in there. There is some good advice here. Sounds like you need to gather more facts about her finances and if she can afford assisted living. However, will they take someone with dementia?

You are in a tough spot giving so much to someine who has nothing in return to give. Is your hubby supportive? Does he have any suggestions?

Please keep us up to date on your progress!
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Don't be so sure about your siblings' motivations, it wont help you to make them out to be bad guys. Maybe they've figured out how NOT be driven by whatever feelings you are calling "guilt." You need help with that. Yeah, someone needs to establish a basic level of care for this person, and you are taking it on because she gave birth to you. But what you're describing is you being enmeshed with her, and it's not healthy, and maybe your sibs don't want to be pulled into that. The good news is that your natural health is asserting itself, saying "Wait a minute! This is not ok!" You're right -- it's not ok. Make some changes..... Others have given you practical advice for where to go for help. I'm cheering you on.
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