First I'd like to describe Mom, as objectively as I can. She's 88, dementia (maybe late) polite, quiet, still laughs at humor, NOT incontinent, still walks on her own, still eating on her own, clean, (helped by me to keep up w/ hygiene), and kind. Her main problem is she can't stand to be alone, thus, even though she has her own place within our home, she's mostly looking for me all of the time, rarely naps, and pops out of her place every 10 minutes or so wondering where I am, and what's going on, and is it time to eat yet, etc.
My husband and I are both retired. He was ALL for her moving in when she repeatedly asked to leave her independent living apt. to move in with us, as she was lonely. She was too forgetful to make friends, and find her way to and from the dining hall, etc. Hubby agreed to have her live with us. Of course, part of his motivation was the money that she was paying for her lovely apt, he would now charge her for living with us.
SO, three years later, as things have progressed with Mom, he is becoming less patient. At first we could leave her for several hours on her own, leaving notes for her, and she could easily handle the phone, etc. Now things have progressed that we can't leave her alone at all. So anywhere we go, we have to get a sitter. I think my husband thought she wouldn't last three years. It's funny how people think these elders may be gone quickly, when in fact...they have staying power.
What bugs me lately, is the less spontaneous and active we can be with our friends who want us to travel places, go out on social events, etc. the more obvious it is that my Mom is like a pain in the butt to them. A nuisance. A pest.
We do a lot of entertaining at home, because it's just easier than having to pre-arrange a sitter, as well as have the expense on top of whatever we do when we go out. We do, however, get out at least once a week. Last evening some friends came for dinner, and during the evening the friends began talking about their upcoming vacation to a sunny warm place, and how they wish we could be joining them, and on and on....describing in detail all the fun they were going to have and too bad we can't go!!! My husband remarked, "Well I can go. We'll just leave "me" at home with Mom." Ha ha ha. And then, later, as we were gathered around continuing the evening something else was said and my husband said "yes...if only!" and he pretended to have a gun and made the click click sounds, like he would like to dust off my Mom and get her out of the way! Everyone laughed all jolly, like hahaha, what a funny joke. I was furious, and let them all know that I didn't find it humorous. My Mom was sitting right there with us, but it went over her head. My husband said I couldn't take a joke. Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but I don't find one bit of "funny" in that behavior. We all know that "many a jest is said in truth."
I've been thinking about it ever since. Almost everyone of our friends are constantly bugging me to have my Mom placed in a care facility. "She's just too much work." "You're just tied to the home." I have maybe ONE friend who says she understands what I'm doing, and thinks it's right. And another thing the others are constantly insinuating is that I'm ruining my husband's life as well as my own, and it's just NOT fair. I feel it is none of their business if we don't ask them for their opinions, but they give it nonetheless. My husband never comes to my defense, he just acts like the poor, trapped, soul in prison. He doesn't have to bother with any of the work involved. He just cashes the check each month, and happily goes about whatever he wants to.
In his defense, of course I admit we both are trapped in a way. We aren't free to take long vacations, and go here and there at the drop of a hat. But we can plan ahead and do things, go places, which we do. I'm feeling more and more like I'm backed into a corner, with adversaries coming at me from all angles. I am hoping to hold my ground longer, at least until Mom maybe doesn't know me, or gets to the point where she doesn't function at all anymore. But right now, I just can't see myself walking away from her. She was ALWAYS there for me no matter what. She was honestly the best Mom one could ever have in so many respects. I think it's payback time now. Has anyone else had to wrestle with this? Do you agree that friends should just back off and MYOB? What business is it of theirs?? They just add fuel to my husband's push to have Mom put out to pasture. Thanks for listening.