How do I emotionally deal with caring for my 96-year-old mom who is living in my home, and I am the only child caring for her?

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Karen: Wow - this is a tough spot to be in..I admire you for taking Mom into your home, it's something I could not do. My Mom is 90, has all her wits with some short term memory issues but severe arthritis that makes it unsafe for her to be in her home..

First, let me say that it's completely understandable that you'd be stressed and that it is absolutely okay to seek help in your home or to move your Mom. I watched my parents help their own parents, plus I helped with aunts & uncles during illnesses and old age. My parents stressed to me that I should NOT sacrifice my own health, my relationship with my spouse or own kids, or give up my own long-term financial security to care for them. Think about your Mom 20-30 years ago, what would she tell you now?

What about your own health issues? Is there a risk that one or both of you could be hurt as you help her move around the house, to bed or bath, to the bathroom? Is the condition of your home adequate for walkers or a wheelchair? If not, it's okay to consider her options - assisted living or adult group homes.

For help and support please contact your county Area Agency on Aging. they can help you begin the process of moving your Mom. After you move her, it might be wise to seek some help to get your own life back. You can still visit your Mom, help her in her new environment but it's important to begin doing things you enjoy. A care-giving support group might be a good idea now and after she moves. Good luck to you and to your Mom.
LynnPO
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