Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
And jellybean...I'm in your shoes too.

agingcare and all the people are the best!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Luv your post jeannegibbs!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Erinm60: I too went from having kids at home and a father to take care of. (Excuse me if I'm clumsy, I just found this forum 3 days ago with my own burnout question) You may feel overwhelmed not getting a break from raising your child to now also a caregiver to your parent. This role reversal is a tough one to tackle. My dad has only a slight cognitive impairment but the change in personality is hard to deal with. For me there are issues of lying and anger coupled with health and age issues. I find that I am trying to do everything, from meals, laundry, housekeeping, Dr appts, paying his bills and the list goes on. Does that sound familiar? I had to shop around online and find an in-home caregiver for during the day and several days a week was all he could afford. It at least took the burden of light housekeeping, grocery shopping, and companionship off my "to do" list. You said she has a long term care policy. My dads policy pays for in-home care. It does not have to be in a facility. As long as your mom meets the standards for "activities of daily living" (ADL) she should qualify. Contact the insurance company and get an appointment with her doctor to get the required forms completed. You have to pull the information out of the insurance company. If you need help with that, it's still fresh in my mind and I'll do what I can to help you. In all honesty, I'm still in the being "thrust into" and "burnout" stage. But thanks to some folks on this site, I'm having a moment a clarity.
But I find myself being constantly upset with his behavior and thinking I could somehow change him back to happy and positive. That's not going to happen. So suggestions have been to set boundaries, learn to say no, and get help so you don't lose your mind. I've been doing this for 10 years and it caught up with me last year. Getting outside help came with another set of problems I didn't foresee. But I had to weigh my options. Don't do what I did and just keep trying to do it all yourself. It will actually affect your health in ways you can't imagine. This may not have been helpful but I hope there's something in here you can use.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you Jeannegibbs. You are so right . There are no manuals and I guess we all are doing the best we can. Thank you and every one else who responded. It does help
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Oh Erin, this transition from having Mother as a member of the household to having her as someone who needs care is a huge life change. It is normal to feel overwhelmed at first. It sounds like you do not have a physical burden of bathing her, dressing her, changing her disposable underwear, etc. But the emotional stress is huge. Be gentle with yourself. You will grow into this role. And when you do reach the breaking point accept that it is OK to find another way for Mother to get good care.

You have raised and nurtured a daughter, and now she is on the verge of adulthood. This must give you great pleasure and pride.

And just as your job as caregiver to a youngster is ending, you are thrust into a very different kind of caregiving. Your daughter was growing and learning and becoming less dependent on you as the months went by. Caring for an elder with cognitive issues is very, very different. They are not growing -- they are receding, going backward.

If your daughter read an illustrated book or watched cartoons where bears talked, you did not worry that she had delusions or untrue views of nature. There was a time for, "Who's been sleeping in my bed?" and tooth fairies. You knew that time would go by all too quickly.

But now, my goodness, Mother seriously thinks her dog can talk? Is she back to being 5 years old? Well, yes, on that topic she is. But she may never grow out of this belief. Just hope the dog says pleasant things to her.

I remember well the thermostat wars of my husband's early dementia. Just as I had started researching a locked box to put over it, that obsession passed.

I had to promote my husband from launderer to clothes folder and then to only towel folder.

She doesn't want to leave the house. But look into an Adult Day Health Program (ie. daycare) for her. Generally a bus or van picks them up, they have a hot lunch, and plenty of activities. The van brings them back. Mother might fuss about going but I think it is worth insisting she try it for one day a week for a month. It will be good for her and nice respite for you.

Sometimes I feel a twinge of guilt for sitting and reading for hours on end. And then I remind myself I'm retired. I've always looked forward to being able to just read as long as I want to. Well, I in that place now, so being glad is more appropriate than feeling guilty. So to an extent your mother's desire to "just sit" is understandable. She should be allowed to do that in peace. She doesn't have to be active all the time, but some diversions and activities would be beneficial.

You don't get a manual for how to take care of your mother when her thinking and reasoning abilities fade. But come here often with your concerns. Someone will surely have faced the situation that is challenging you.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Wanted to add , last August is when she saw her pcp and was prescribed aricept. She did horribly on a memory test. Later that month, I took her to a neuro psychologist who gave her a 2 hour test. That was when she was diagnosed with MCI with amnesiac features. Her MD never said any diagnosis to me. Just basically said aricept may help. .
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you , those who posted for your suggestions. I am very new to this site. I think getting a "friend" to come sit with her makes a lot of sense. Part of the problem is that she sits here all day watching news. She has no interest in senior activities. Every day here is like the movie Ground Hogs Day. Her one sister who lives in another state , suggested she join or go to some activity. Of course I would drive and pick up. Her response, " I worked all my life , I want to sit". We also except for the day, last August, do not discuss her memory loss or diagnosis. I have a 21 year old daughter who is in college. She comes home every weekend. That is a positive in my life. Does anyone have suggestions on how to discuss with their parent their memory loss and its effect on the family? My mom does have long term care. I don't think she's ready for a nursing home. Her brother died last year of dementia. He was 73. The other 3 siblings are fine. Thanks for being here. It helps knowing I'm not the only person in the world living with someone with dementia
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Dear Erin,

Good of you to care for your mom. Its hard being an only child facing all the responsibility and increasing care on your own. We all do the best we can but of course as the years go on and on, it can feel overwhelming. Even though your mom can still do a lot on her own, things can escalate. Don't ever be afraid to recognize when you've had enough and see out community supports or explore all your options. Getting a day to yourself is also very important. Take care of yourself.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Lol. Thanks for that last part. My Daisy ( Jack Russell) is amazing too but she can't count.
I know about that thermostat. Once my young daughter who was cooking for her great aunt ( dementia) swore aunt was turning the ac to 80. Finally figured out it was the batteries in the thermostat. Was about ready to put a locked case over it. You need to get help in. Maybe a " friend" to come keep mom company and give you a regular break. As things progress you have to make adjustments. If you wait too long you lose all perspective. Come here to vent any time but consider help as a relief valve. 79 is not old these days. You have to pace yourself for the long haul.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Erin, everyone's breaking point is different. Plus, you can have several breaking points. Then, one good night's sleep and Voila, different perspective. It's important to have me time though. Can you get someone to relieve you?
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Want to add she's 79. Thinks her dog can talk and count
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you. It's not that bad. My mother has MCI with amnesiac features. On aricept. She's lived with us for 20 plus years. She was a fun person. Worked for years. It was all good. Now , she is not. Totally losing it. Can still bathe by her self. And dress. Just so forgetful. So dependent. So over whelming. I guess I'm just whining. I feel overwhelmed by her loss of rational thinking. She turns the thermastat off. Versus adjusting it. Wants to do laundry. Puts all clothes together. It sounds so petty. She hasn't been away for 5 years. I'm an only child. From reading these posts. That may be a good thing. Not to go on, but God Bless the care giver who has siblings who do nothing wanting bank accounts. Any way. Thank you. I'm 56. My dad died in my 2.0's. I'm just not used to dealing with dementia.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hi Erin
What's going on? Tell us more. Is it possible to get a good nights sleep? Can you call anyone to come over and relieve you? Give us more details and maybe we can help.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.