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She has dementia, Parkinson's and arthritis. None of her conditions are severe at this point, but the emotional and psychological drain of 24/7 care is getting to me. She is physically easy to care for but is still very needy. A caregiver comes in once a week for 6 hours but I need more help. Once in awhile my sister will stay the weekend so I can get a break. It's getting more difficult for me to hide how it's wearing on me and it is affecting the quality of care I am giving. More and more I do just the basics. I do not neglect her in any way but I just don't have it to do more than what is required. She doesn't like to leave the house anymore but I still take her to eat or an occasional movie if I can talk her into it. Any suggestions for how to present this to her without it being too upsetting for her?

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One resource I found very helpful is senior day care for giving me a break to do my work/tasks/etc. My grandmother has dementia/Alzheimers and so I provided all the meds and care throughout the day...only getting some relief after putting her to bed each night. She had gone to the local senior center for a time long ago, and once I figured out that she is a worker bee so-to-speak and working is her purpose in life, I told her that a different senior center would like for her to "work" for them. Well, she thought that was great! So every weekday, we both would get ready, and off to "work" we would go. I would go into the senior daycare with her as she would only be okay with it as long as I was there working in another area. I would merely walk though the seniorcare area and out the opposite end door that was out of view. "Do a good job grandma, I'll be in another area working today, but will be coming to get you to go home just as soon as I can." So for the weekdays, "work" was a blessing for me to maintain some semblance of a normal schedule. The price was less expensive than an in-home caregiver (tried many of those with varying results) with more staff to keep an eye on her, keep her engaged and doing things, others her age and condition for which she would help as part of her "job".
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I am in the same spot. Mom feels that I should not need help and she doesn't want anyone helping her or staying with her other than me. I have one caregiver who comes one evening a week when hubby and I have to go out (self employed - sell on eBay - need to go to a local auction hall) She is such a nice person, loves spending time with my mom and came to me highly recommended. But mom does not like her. I know though that it is not her - mom just doesn't want me to ever leave her side. I am feeling myself falling into a deep dark abyss that I fear I won't be able to get out. I am exhausted and I have fibromyalgia (a chronic pain condition) I can not continue at this pace much longer so I know that i need to bring in more help - despite mom's protests.....
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Thank you for your suggestions. The woman who comes in once a week mom really likes her. She is available to work more so that is the next step.
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You can't reason with dementia or bargain with dementia. Nor would she remember anything if you did. Just get some help for her, paid for from her funds. You are no Spring Chicken yourself. Soon you will need to place her, so look around at what is available in your area.
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"Mom, I need some help around the house, so I am going to hire an aide to come in a second day of the week (a cleaning person/ / someone to do laundry / yard maintenance / whatever you think would help.)"

The way to tell her is to tell her and then to do it. If she has concerns you can discuss them with her and reassure her, but your decision isn't negotiable. She could perhaps decide whether the extra day for the aide is going to be Monday or Thursday, but not whether there is going to be an aide another day.
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With dementia and Parkinsons, your mom's reasoning ability and logic may be minimal or certainly impaired. So you have to become the adult and do what you have to do for your own sanity and well-being, whether your mom initially likes it or not.

My mom fought and fought having girls come in 2X a day to give her meds - because she was forgetting to take them. I went along with her obstinacy until it affected me - we spent hours in the ER and then visits to a vascular surgeon when she forgot to take her blood thinners and had a problem with her foot. At that point, I told her we were getting help in, whether she liked it or not. I got it set up and now she's fine with it. Most older folks don't like any kind of change and they'd prefer to have their own child to anyone else, so face the fact that your mom may resist. But that's not a reason to not do what is best for both of you.

If you get nice aids (and all of the ones around my mom have been very nice), she'll probably come to like having them around. I'd see, if she likes your current aid, if that person could be the one to spend more time with her.

And make sure when you get more help, you get out and do what restores you. Get away and do what you like to do. Hugs to you and hang in there!
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Ask her for suggestions on what to do when the time comes when you find you are too old to help you like you wish you could. That way if the ideas are her's, she would be more acceptable to whatever changes she suggests. Then she might allow a regular caregiver to come in weekly instead of once a week. I don't know if you tour an assistant living center with your Mom, have lunch there, who knows she might even see someone she knows from the past who lives there :)


I wished I would have done that with my parents years ago, because now I have to say *no* to more than half of their requests. I just can't do it anymore because of my OWN age related decline. Yep, I am getting old, too... and yes, I am a senior citizen which my parents fail to notice :P
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