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Good morning,
My whole family is (everyone in the family) going on a vacation to the beach very soon. We asked my mom if she would like to join us but she said no thank you. All because she refuses to leave her dog. She’s very stubborn. We told her she could bring the dog but she still won’t go.
See the problem she has a lot of chronic problems. She’s in chronic A-Fib with her heart, diabetic (takes insulin when she remembers) she was also diagnosed with Dementia. Her list of problems is very large. I can see that each day she’s getting weaker, her hands shake a lot and her walking is unstable at times. She has also fallen several times. She uses a cane but not indoors.
When we lost my dad we had her move in with us, so I am her main caregiver. I refused too have my parents go to any type of home bc I have worked in them and saw too much. So I am her main caregiver and my husband helps me too. I don’t get any other help from my family.
The reason I am feeling guilty is bc I don’t want to leave and something happen to her. I will be at least 9 + hours away. However I have a new grand baby and REALLY want to spend time with him. I also have been working full time on call on the weekends so I really feel like I need this break. I just feel so horrible about leaving her alone. I keep thinking about all the “ what if’s “ and it really doesn’t help bc I am a medical professional so I really do understand what could happen if she forgot’s to take her meds or falls or takes her insulin and doesn’t eat. There’s so many to text but I think you understand. BTW she won’t wear a medical alert to help with the falls. My husband is there most of the time except for when he has too work.
I really don’t have any one that could come over and check on her. Unless I can get Homecare but this would just make her mad and I am not sure I want anyone in here that I don’t know or trust with out me here to keep an eye on the person. I am stuck with all these thoughts in my head.
I know it sounds like I am being greedy but there’s been so much that has happened in my life in the past couple years. I have had a decline in my health. I have been diagnosed with a couple different chronic problems that are pretty serious but I get up every day and push through work and everything I have to do after work. So I really feel like this vacation will help me kind of put things into perspective for me while spending quality time with my family that I don’t see much.
I really need an outsider opinion on this. I really do appreciate ANY and ALL feedback bc I am tearing myself apart here.
Thank you for letting me vent.
Have a good day.

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Greedy? Because you NEED time away? Not a chance. We all need breaks.

You are doing a good job of thinking up all the reasons to not have any help available for mom, though. You know mom needs help. A caregiver could come to stay with her in her home. But, not unless you are there? Kinda defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

Not a respite stay in a facility either? There are many that could provide that for mom. She may even enjoy it. As a medical pro you could certainly get recommendations and check references on facilities. Maybe a friend has even used one. No facility is going to be perfect, mom could even take her dog, mom may even enjoy it.

Stop finding reasons for you to feel guilty about needing a very well deserved vacation.
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Reply to gladimhere
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You need a vacation! You sound like you are past burnout.

You need to get a home healthcare agency involved to check on your mother each day. It doesn't matter if she gets mad. How are you going to have any peace of mind on vacation if you're worried about your mom?

Call an agency today so that you can start having caregivers come in while you're still at home. Tell your mom this is for YOU not for her; that you need the peace of mind.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Agree with Barb. Hire a home care agency and pay to have someone come and check on her.

No no matter the cost; your peace of mind while 9 hours away on a well needed vacation is PRICELESS. You’ll be worried the entire time.

The CG is for you, not your mother. Your mother will have to just deal with it. Not fair to you.
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Reply to Shane1124
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AT1234 Jun 22, 2019
It’s also eyes on situation, and it’s not up to her. Seems like this might be an ongoing help once a week or something to get to know CG.
(1)
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I don't know the dynamic between you and your mom but what you describe sounds contentious - does she realize the sacrifices you have made for her? You need to have a heart to heart discussion about what her half of this bargain is that enables you to keep her out of a facility, if you are going to make this work the sacrifices can't all be yours. Personally I would make it very clear that some kind of oversight is non negotiable, she can wear an alert pendent and accept home care or she can go on a holiday of her own at a respite facility (at her expense), she needs to choose one.
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Reply to cwillie
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Guilt of leaving my mom should some calamity befall her prevented me for decades of taking vacay. Now that she has passed, I won't spend the money.

Go. Rick Steve's and I on PBS are tight,but not same thing. How ever, might I recommend his travel insights.
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Reply to Segoline
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Is your husband going with you too?

Can your Mum make meals? Sandwich for lunch, reheat dinner etc?

Would a stint in respite be safer? I know you don't want that, but it's only temporary.
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Reply to Beatty
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You really do need this vacation, I agree. You've given a dozen or so excellent reasons, and I'm sure it is extremely well earned.

But you have got to get cover for your mother. She can't be left alone, and if your husband has work commitments I don't think it's fair on either of them to put him in charge. Nor all that safe, either.

I think you might be making assumptions about home care services that aren't necessarily true. Have you got in touch with any agencies and discussed what they might be able to offer?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Respite, as some mentioned, most likely won't work because of the dog, but for sure hire a caregiver. That's the only way you can enjoy your vacation.
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Reply to ArtistDaughter
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It’s be nice to have an update on your bio as it says you are caring for your father. You don’t say how old your mom is but I’m guessing 80’s-90’s.
First of all I don’t see where you are greedy. You have a life that is more than just your mom, right? And it is natural to want to live that life which includes seeing other family members as well as and certainly as seeing a new grandchild. So that is NOT greed. That is love. So quit guilting yourself.
Your mom has lived a long life and it is not your fault she has all these health conditions. It is what it is. The longer I’ve seen the state elderly people live in with diseases and dementia the more pragmatic I’ve become about death. So if she falls then what? She goes to hospital.
Personally it is not up to your mom to set the rules. She’s in your home under your care so you make the rules. It isn’t her best judgment to deny in home caregivers. For that matter she could spend that week in a respite place. If you really want to go, you can. But first you must stop projecting the future "dire circumstances " that only might occur and deal with the hear and now. You tell mom you are going and then say here is the plan for your care and safety while I’m gone. Tell her you are responsible to be sure she is safe and this is the plan. If she balks so be it, let her. What is she going to do? Nothing except maybe sulk. You need to take control of your life and not let mom overtake control of yours. You are actually the one holding the power here but you are giving it away to her.
Stand firm, set boundaries or your continued life with her will make you stressed even more and affect your health more than it does her's.
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Reply to Harpcat
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Hi, my answer is going to sound harsh but I hope you hear me out.
I have been in a similar position, until I realized that my killing myself was being selfish actually. Maybe you feel guilty because you don't want people to judge you if something happens to your mom. And you don't want to remember how she got hurt when you were not there and she depended on you, yet she could have gotten hurt just the same if you would have been there. Meanwhile you are killing yourself and will soon be of no benefit to her anyway.
You wrote of various ways your mother refuses your requests to accommodate her for your ability to take this trip and she has refused. She refuses to wear an emergency alert device or take her dog with her. So even though 'she would hate it' to have a home care person while you go, she has made that decision herself by refusing your options. You must make arrangements for home care for her and go on the trip or you will totally burn out and worse, you will grow to resent her and how she has kept you from living your life. You will feel manipulated and unappreciated, and that is no way to spend the end years of her life with her.
Start calling reputable home care services now. We caregivers need a break now and then to stay well and helpful to our loved ones.
I wish you well.
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Reply to Tea333
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