My Mom is my Dad's 24/7 caregiver, but she won't let anyone help and complains to me everyday. How do I handle her? - AgingCare.com

My Mom is my Dad's 24/7 caregiver, but she won't let anyone help and complains to me everyday. How do I handle her?

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My mom wants to live up north and my dad wants to stay south. I'm worried that my mom is going to have a stroke with blood pressure sometimes running 200/110. She complains of the stress from 500 miles away. I'm am stressed beyond my max. My husband and I are also dealing with his mom who also needs us. They have all asked to come live with us but we have no children, jobs and a 1 bedroom apartment and can't retire for 4 years. I believe they all feel we should up-root our lives for them, rent a house etc.. I have them all on a list for Sr. Housing 1 mile from us but apparently the list is moving fast enough and they are scared they my dad's health will decline and not be able to make the 500 mile trip back to us. I am at my wits end and making myself sick with worry. Any words of encouragement, advice or a Plan B,C,D???

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Forgot to mention, if you live north, vacation south and vice versa.
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I'd have to ask questions before attempting to dispense advice. You don't state how old your parents/in-laws are or whether they have immediate health or financial concerns. Or whether you live north or south. Or whether you and your husband have siblings. I certainly would not plan to take in extended family - you don't have time or space. Interesting they all want to all come live with you. I think they all want a plan in place. This is a big picture thing. And it calls for a family conference if you have siblings. Mom and Dad are trying to position themselves for their last move. Independent senior housing with an option for assisted living as needed is a good choice if affordable. They have social activities that will get them involved with other people, which will offload you. Believe me, you do not want to be the go-to person for everything. If they are financially struggling or struggling trying to manage their day-to-day affairs such as bill paying or driving, there are social services as mentioned above, to help with getting assistance.
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First your mother needs to see her doctor about her blood pressure exceeding the recommended limits 120/80, and get her on a statin if necessary. Secondly, you are doing your part, getting them on a list, and there is not much more you can do but wait. Stop worrying about the future and your father's trip. People are more resilient if given the opportunity, and if you check with his doctor about making a 500 mile trip and he/she gives approval, then do it. Do not make yourself ill and tell them all you can only do so much. A one bedroom apartment cannot accommodate six people! Stay calm and just take each day as it comes.
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What would be nice is that all the childen should help as much as they can. I hate where people feel your the oldest its ur responsibility. It should be the one more equiped. Being in split level I can see where my Mom being here for a long time just won't work. If she becomes wheelchair bound, won't be able to get her outof the house. Today she was crying because there is nothing to do. No, there isn't. With her Dementia she forgets how to use the phone and remote. I leave her bed for her to make. She has forgotten how to a point but it is good enough. She told my daughter she was thinking about going home for nights and coming back here during the day. Her bed is here. She can't be alone. I think she would enjoy the local assisted living. Problem is her money goes to paying her house bills. Hoping I can get it sold then I'll have some money.
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P.S. And do not feel guilty about sustaining your own life! They have no right to ask you to move or do anything above and beyond help to them in their old age. They're grown ups too, but what I learned from my parents is that the older they get the more scared they get and will be much more demanding and selfish. You have to be strong and not let them run your lives. I know this may sound heartless, but believe me, even if you only did the bare minimum to help you'll still be wanting to pull your hair out. Hang in there.
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First, there's some great advice in these answers. Do them. There's services out there that are there to help. Let them. Second; if they're doctor says they need assistance, after review from a nurse and social worker, they can get an aide for 4 hours a day from Medicare if they're on it. Medicaid, with the directive again from a doctor, and involved social worker, will give them more hours and potentially a live in. Third, get on the phone and internet and start listing your options. Moving near them, giving up your lives, jobs & friends is insane. You'll only end up resentful and angry. It's not your job to take care of them. Help them, yes, but take it from one who knows, you do not want to be their caregiver. It'll destroy your happiness, health & marriage. Seniors get more and more difficult as they get older, not better. Keep your distance, believe me, the phone calls alone will make you want to pull your hair out, but at least you'll be where you want to be. In your own home. Now go check out those services everyone's suggesting. Take lots of notes. And when you're off the 20th in a row phone call, hang up, hug your honey, and watch a good movie! Glass of wine wouldn't hurt either.
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My Mom and Dad were similar, and long-distance. I stayed with them to watch and care for Dad for a few days when Mom had a birthday celebration and her 3 sisters flew in for a week. I got an accurate idea of what was going on, and Dad's needs.

A good friend of my mother's gave her an article about the percentage of caregivers who die before their spouse. My brothers and I discussed it, and all three of us called them later. We all said we were very concerned that she would die from caring for Dad. We recommended getting aides, or going to a nursing home. We also stressed that it was their decision, and we would not force it. I knew that was Dad's fear, and I knew he was listening on the other phone. They made the nursing home choice soon after.

Each situation is different, but I did use AAA for my aunt, and it was an eye opener to hear a non-biased evaluation. I also went with her to see her doctor, and got his eval. Both were so different from what my aunt had told us. We lived 3 - 4 hour drive away, and aunt Rose had no children. She refused to change anything until we visited and had her hospitalized for possible mini-stroke. The doctor was totally honest with her about how bad her memory had been when she came in, that she could never drive again, and shouldn't live alone (this timeshe listened).

Lots of good experience here. Please keep in touch.
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I never realize that I could or would get so much fantastic feed back from obviously strangers who have been there or can totally relate! You are ALL right in your assumptions. My breaks do squeal, my mother will find something else to complain about, I love them all very much, I need to take care of me and my only sibling is finally involved. As for paperwork, we took care of that in Aug 2014. Also, moving them closer I believe will relieve some of this stress and I will have to monitor how much I allow myself to be a caregiver vs getting assistance. I can't thank anyone enough for the input... it really made me realize...I'm not alone in my thoughts and got some great services AAA and advice!!!
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I agree, don't uproot your life. You may have enough decisions to make without changing your life. Looks like you are close to retirement. You need to look ahead to make sure ur not in the same position. I guess no siblings? If there are, they need to get involved. Not fair you dealing with it all.

You all make me feel a little better. I feel selfish that I want my Mom in a facility eventually. I am retired and was/is watching my GS until he was ready for daycare, this year. Then Mom's last hospital stay showed she couldn't be on her own so she is here. At 87, she is healthy but has Dementia. She could live another five to ten years and there goes the time my husband and I have together. In that time, we could have our own health problems.
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Does the AMA help middle class people, or is it another low-income benefit. Since it is govt I assume only low income are helped.
Re--"Medicare will pay for 24 hr care" or Medicare paying family caregiving. ....I think you have MEDICARE confused with MEDICAL ASSISTANCE. As far as I have found Medicare does not pay families.
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