I’m struggling to live with and to attend to my mother who is at an advanced stage of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and is diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). We have a helper and my dad helps out as well. We all have the greatest exposure in hours of time to my mother and stressful pressures. My dad is often also subjected to her neuroses which understandably also leads him to crack and to avoid her. There is a non-stop barrage of requests from her that disrupt our activities (sleeping included). I am NOT exaggerating (this happens every few minutes) and we can’t take it out on her either because she holds the trump card for suffering. I hear the words “suffering”, “I can’t take this anymore”, almost every day along with crying and meltdowns almost every night. Nights are the WORST. I can guarantee you placing her in a nursing home would subject her to elder abuse in no time. She demands our attention every 5-30 minutes (nights are the WORST), moaning and groaning about her discomfort, sometimes screaming in frustration, none of which I can do anything about because we’ve reached the limits in dosing her meds (muscle relaxant, anxiolytic, levodopa, you name it…). I do not know what to do. I am extremely frustrated with her doctors who do not see the big picture nor are they keen to. With all due respect, there is a huge challenge in getting physicians here to collaborate on a patient’s health care. My mother has multi-systemic health problems (UTI, 8 fibroids warranting regular followups, severe OA (zero cartilage left) that does not lend itself to surgery because of her PD, severe and poorly-managed PD resulting in stiffness, freezing, severe tremors, side effects from medications that suppress her immune function, contribute to obesity (she has gained 14 kg) and is likely pre-diabetic). When it comes to medications (e.g. antibiotics prescribed for her UTI) that can have adverse interactions with her other medications, and we ask her doctors about it, they respond with “ask your other doctor” who in turn responds similarly. And when we raise this issue, their response is, it’s really up to you what you want to do. NOT HELPFUL. Her back is constantly itchy as well and I find myself scratching her back at 2,3,4 or 5AM in the morning because it is so unbearable for her. When I raised this question to her doctor yesterday who performed her health screen, her response was “elderly people have dry skin, just put moisturizer,” despite my mom saying she was sweating the whole time. I am even more appalled she did not bother to take a look at the skin. So much for a $200 consult! It looks like I’m up for another sleepless night tonight partly because my mom is suffering an anxiety attack from an unpleasant exchange with my father. After I helped her onto her bed for the 3rd time, she walked out again, saying she wouldn’t be able to fall asleep as long as she felt her husband was angry at her. I approached my dad and tried to persuade him to play nice because she needed it and she’s sick and I don’t want to be stuck in a vicious cycle of continually putting her to bed every 20-30 minutes all night. But he refused, on grounds that she’s too controlling and he’s had it (we’ve had similar exchanges in the past when I’ve been very frustrated with her care and her emotional hangups and even I have on occasion had a meltdown because of this). I agree with him that she is very controlling and it causes me to resent her a great deal at times. Her anxiety is KILLING everyone. The only thing that prevents me from leaving is the pity I feel for her, but even that is eroding by the day. For the past 2 nights, she’s been suffering from painful cramps associated with PD despite taking muscle relaxants. I wanted to e-mail her doctor but she freaked out on account that I would risk offending him with my question(s). This is part of why it is so frustrating dealing with my mother. She has multiple medical issues that need to be addressed, yet when I pose them to the doctors, she gets upset on account of her interpreting that as me challenging them when really, answering questions regarding patient care is what they’re being paid to do. How are we supposed to know what to do if massages every hour and muscle relaxants have little to no effect on her cramps? Me & my dad cannot continue staying up all night every night attending to her every few minutes. I am very stressed. She screams, yells and cries every night and I am helpless to do anything about it. I believe I will end up in the loony bin before she dies. UNLESS I leave. I will try psychotherapy first and already she has told me she does not want to do it. It took a traumatic childhood, bad genetics from an equally mentally-disturbed mother (who has a history of being institutionalized) with the PD exacerbating everything to get here. I feel very trapped and helpless. P.S. I am not being histrionic. As unbelievable as everything I have described sounds

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I agree with Freqflyer that your mom needs a higher level of care than you're able to give her right now. Maybe consider putting mom in a nursing home for a time as respite care so that you and your dad can catch your breath.

I feel empathy for your mom and her serious medical issues, but that doesn't mean she has the right to take you and your dad down with her. She needs some intensive care. You might also consider a geriatric psychiatric placement, so they can get her meds right and dosages adjusted.

I'd have a pharmacist specializing in elder care review all of her medications for bad interactions. Or just start with your local pharmacist. They're much more educated on medications and interactions than doctors are.

It sounds like you and your dad are at the ends of your rope and it's time to put yourselves in the equation too. Your happiness and mental health are just as important as your mom's. Hugs to all of you. It's got to be tough for your mom, but you and your dad matter just as much!
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One sentence caught my eye " I can guarantee you placing her in a nursing home would subject her to elder abuse in no time."

Please note that the Staff in a nursing home know exactly what to do to help your Mom, as they have been on this rodeo hundreds of times, and this is your first rodeo. With adjustments to your Mom prescription medicine could help her calm down. Plus the doctor at the nursing home is familiar with elder care.

You and your Dad need to step back and take a look at the whole picture. Your Mom needs a higher level of care then either of you can give her.

If your Mom is sweating at night, what type of night gown or pj's is she wearing. If they are flannel, try non-flannel. Flannel makes me feel like I fell into a fire and my skin would start itching. Since switching over to non-flannel, turning the heat down at night, and light covers on the bed, I no longer have that problem.
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