Follow
Share

People seem to want explanations I can't supply and sometimes I feel that they are somehow seeing me at fault in my care of her. How do I handle this?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
I love this site. It helps me to know I was never alone. Others deal with the same stuff.. I have worked for the same orthodontist for five years so I am pretty close to my co-workers. They knew of the challenges when I decided to become a caregiver for my mother..I really got sick and tired of everyone asking how my mom was doing. I started only sharing the funny stories,, there have been quite a bit my mom is full blooded italian with frontal lobe dementia if you can imagine. So sweet can go to devil in no time, she started cussing alot too.. One story in the beginning comes to mind.. It wasn't that funny at the moment but I look back and laugh and her case manager laughed for five minutes when I told her.. I took her to have her blood done and the waiting room was packed, I didnt know much about castrophic events at the time.. I learned real quick she cannot be in a crowded waiting room for forty minutes but that was after she stood up and called everyone a m------f-----. akward moment to say the least.. I'm close to alot of the parents that bring their children to us for braces because we treat them for two or more years,, now when they come in every six weeks a select few say hows your mom doing?? I tell them she is growing younger everyday becoming more dependent instead of independent.. That usually works and I change the subject. I broke my ankle once and at the end of the six weeks I was so sick and tired of being asked what happened that I made a point to never ask someone in a cast what happened.. lol
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I'd tend to treat their question about your mom, as I do with the standard, "how are you doing?" Depending on my mood and my level of intimacy with the questioner, I'll respond, "got an hour? or ten?" Otherwise, the simplest, truest answer is sufficient. I agree with the others, I suspect they're just being compassionate.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I believe this is a way for your Co-workers to acknowledge the challenges you are facing. They are trying to be kind. Need a touch of reality, "my mom is doing all right all things considered. I feel lucky to still have her at this age but my brain tells me she won't be with me forever. Thanks for asking."
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

the gangster, johnny tight lips on the simpsons when asked how his " mudder " is doing, always replies " who sed i had a " mudder " .. johnny tight lips just doesnt divulge much..
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Daughteralone, Is there one of these people that you feel close to or trust? Maybe you could have a longer conversation with that one person, to find out what they really think? When someone has cancer, for example, some people want to offer information on a possible cure. Maybe they think it's helpful, and all they really want to do is to let you know how much they care. If you can take the questions as verbal pats on the shoulder, you can stop feeling blamed. You don't deserve to feel blamed, but you are the only one who can change your feelings.

I think I might answer their questions by saying, "She's comfortable, but she is failing. It could still be a few years, but I'm afraid the end is in sight. She's had a good long life, and I am lucky to have had her for so long."

Once that fact is out there, it will be obvious that nothing further can be expected to reverse things. People just want to know what to say. You could answer further questions with a story about how she enjoyed the chocolate pudding, or the TV show, or the good night's sleep she had. Then they can say, "Oh, that's good." Comfortable end of conversation for everyone.

You do deserve to feel loved and supported. You can usually get that here.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Wow, Daughteralone, my hat's off to you. My mom is 93 and has outlived all of her siblings and most of her friends. I'm pretty proud of myself that I've helped get her to this age and stage of life as her caregiver. So with a mom at 98, you've done one HECK of a job of caregiving! Like BonniChak says, don't mistake concern for criticism. I can't imagine that anyone would criticize what you've done to this point.

Most of my friends' parents died much younger and my friends never had to do the kind of long-term caregiving that we have done. The people who talk to you may be the same - they really don't have much experience, so don't know what to say. So they may just be somewhat insensitive (unknowingly).
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hi new here! My mums only a baby 74yrs and may have dementia we are waiting for diagnosis! 98 is a great age you must be so grateful also its great your friends even ask how she is my friends have retreated and dont even call anymore people are terrified of dementia and dont want to know!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Maybe if you just answer with a non specicfic kind of answer, something like "She's doing pretty well for for her age, don't you think? Or "You know, some days are better than others". I think people ask about our health, but they don't really want to hear all the details anyway, so just a generic answer might put an end to that topic and on to the next. Good luck, 98 is very old, my Mom is 84 and physically strong but mentally failing.. She's having brainscan next week so we'll find out if somethings amiss. Good luck with your Mom.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

They are not seeing you at fault dear one. That's the crazy guilt in your head, that we ALL feel, because we wish we could do more, to slow decline, but we KNOW we can not.
Please don't mistake their concern for criticism. We do that enough to ourselves. Just say something like... "She is doing as one would expect at her age. Let's talk about something less depressing.....How bout them Mets...." and change the subject. You ARE doing your best to give her a, day to day, higher quality of life. Don't you let anyone, including yourself, make you feel like you are not. Come here often for support...I find it helps tremendously, to realize EVERY caregiver feels that same guilt, from time to time. It will eat you alive if you let it. Be strong, and give your momma a kiss on the cheek from me.;)
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I have done my best to care for her, but the last year was a rough one for her and she has lost her old energy and seems to be in decline. After all, she is 98! But with the help of an aide, we are trying to help her. She doesn't seem to be getting better. Since she was always so strong for her age, it seems like some people just can't understand that she couldn't stay that way forever.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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