I am doing my best to assist my 71 YO mom as she recovers from ankle surgery. She lives in Illinois and I live in Florida. I have a brother who lives about 20 minutes from her and another brother who lives 90 minutes away. My brothers have been able to help with getting her to and from the hospital, but I have taken on a lot of the administrative and research tasks, as well as doing my best to support them financially (paying for car rentals, etc).
I have been able to coordinate a lot for her, including setting up home health for her—including in home doc visit and labs (this was for an issue unrelated to the ankle), working with the social workers for each hospitalization, and getting her set up for a stay in rehab post surgery. I’ve also been working with local agencies to help with things like installing grab bars in her shower, transportation, etc. Her husband has early onset dementia, so I have been researching resources for him as well, including respite care for my mom, as she is his primary caregiver.
While I think I have been able get a lot accomplished and take the pressure of hours of phone calls and research from my mom, I still have awful feelings. Am I doing enough? Am I doing the right things? No matter what I do, another crisis seems to pop up. Is it my fault? If I have a good day, I feel guilty. I have had a few people express concern that they feel I am running myself down, but I still feel like if I can’t solve all of the problems, I am not helping. I know this is an impossible task, but I still feel terrible and like it is somehow my fault.
My mother in law told me recently: “this is your responsibility since you are the daughter.” That made me feel even sadder for living so far away.
I have a very happy life in Florida. I do not want to give it up. That said, I am living in an almost constant state of anxiety and guilt. My mom is only 71, and prior to the ankle issue, she was getting along well. She is very independent and I want to support her. It’s just been all consuming lately, and I am feeling burned out and helpless.
I know there are many long distance caregivers out there. Any advice on dealing with these feelings? I really am doing my best, but I can’t help but think that my best is not good enough 😢