Not an only child, but the only one able to care for Mom. My sister who had a stroke many years ago was an RN. Now, when I ask her something she just says I wish I knew. Mom lives with my husband and me. He is a wonderful help, running errands and cleaning the kitchen and other things that have been my job but are hard for me now.
Even so, I feel alone with Mom's care because I must make all her decisions. Until recently she could move around alone with her rolling walker.. Not now.
Now she is unable to bathe in the shower or dress herself alone. I must decide what to give her to eat and hope she won't reject it. It is hard to find someone who understands enough about her to take care of her so I must do it myself.
She is forgetting how to take a step to get started and If I nudge her to help her remember she screams that I am shoving her and will make her fall. She
knows that I am her daughter sometimes but mostly refers to me as 'she' or 'her' or 'that woman'. She tattles to me about me and insists our home is full of people. My husband is multiple people, too. She got very angry when She was tolk that we were married 52 years and no one had told her.
My husband retired in 2002. We attempted to travel a bit but couldn't stay away because Mom would wind up ill. Not contrived, really ill. This stopped all
of everything we could do. Mom lived at home until she broke her hip but I made her food and he delivered it for years. Did all dr. visits and grocery stuff and we had to take care of her business because her mind was going. He has been a rock but has never gotten to fulfill any of his dreams for retirement. We are in our 70's and Mom is 91.
Sure gets heavy sometimes. Much more for him than for me. I feel so badly for him. Like he is being sacrificed... claims to be willing but always resentful.
I took care of his mom for 6 years. She lived with us only a few months but I took care of her meals, cancer treatment visits doctor visits, hospital stays,
we were on the road nearly every day. He feels guilty now if he doesn't do
everything he even thinks I want. I think I can accept my lot, but I don't know how to help him....
Too much yak, yak... but I am FULL of it....

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Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. In August our daughter took her vacation time and came for nearly a week. It was great to have that time. We went to our favorite hotel in Daytona and mostly just enjoyed uninterrupted rest. We didn't even go onto the beach but we did feel better when we got home.
Mom has slipped back enough now that I wouldn't want to leave her alone with only one person for that long. She is a handful and must be tracked on every move. Probably evan a professional caregiver would be wiped out after a shift!
Perhaps if my sister who lives several states is able when she comes next to visit Mom we will see about the duo thing. That sounds workable. My sister is disabled and tries to take care of disabled daughter and grandson. Her boat is LOADED! She does try to come here a couple times a year. Normally she drives very little but does drive 14 or so hours alone to get here!
It is good to have contact with you... Thank you very much...
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Daisyclown what you are full of is love and compassion and concern. You were a wonderful daughter-in-law and are a wonderful daughter and wife. Warm hugs to you.

I have been caring for my husband with dementia, congestive heart failure, other concerns, for 9+ years. He is now on hospice. At your age it is not unlikely that you or your husband will eventually need some care. You are both wonderful people and I have no doubt that either one of you would take excellent care of the other. But before that happens, please, please, try to live some of your retirement dreams. Even if you have to scale them back, do what you can.

You say that "It is hard to find someone who understands enough about her to take care of her." I'm sure it would be hard -- maybe impossible -- to find someone who could take care of her as well as you do. But she will survive periods of somewhat lesser care. And it is not impossible to find caring, competent personal care attendants or health aides or companions. Ideally you can find someone with experience with clients who have dementia.

You and your wonderful husband should go out to lunch or dinner regularly. You should be able to get away for a few days together. Go to plays or concerts or whatever turns you on!

Maybe taking a three week cruise is not a realistic goal. But four days at a nice resort should be possible.

Could your sister come and stay at your house while you also have a hired caregiver there? Would that give Mom more comfort in your absence?

I urge you not to wait until Mom is gone before you and your husband start to enjoy your own golden years. No one knows what lies ahead. Grab some happiness now!
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