My mom is 84 with end stage COPD and is getting ready to head back to AL after a hospital stay and 4 weeks of rehab. I’m cautiously optimistic that she will be able to stay but she has declined a lot on the past 6 months.
While she does not live with me, I am her primary/really only support and I’m just worn out as I have 3 children, 23, 13 + 10 and work full time at a demanding stressful job and have a million other things going on.
My FIL is up visiting and we had a long chat about my situation as he cared for my late MIL who suffered dementia and numerous health problems for over 10 years. He told me the best decision he ever made, and one he wished he had made sooner was to just stop pushing and controlling and to just love her. If she didn’t want to get up and walk he didn’t make her - If she wanted to sleep he let her sleep - if she didn't want to do her whole breathing treatment he suggested gently and then backed away.
It made me think a lot - I DO push my mom. I get upset with her when she doesn’t want to finish her nebulizer or do her PT or walk to the bathroom when I think she can and know she has to do that to get back to AL. I guess I think I’m helping her but when I really think about it, I get stressed out that she’s not listening and then she gets upset and defensive and upset with me because she’s tired and it makes for a miserable visit.
I guess I think if I don’t push her I’m not taking good care of her as she has cognitive decline and doesn’t remember or process things she needs to do.
While she is ‘end stage’, on O2 24/7 she says she’s not ready, so I feel like I should push her ... but maybe not? Maybe I’d back off and just focus on her being happy that is better? Does that make sense?