I've been my mother's family caregiver for seven years and have watched her go from moderate cognitive impairment to very advanced dementia. She's lived in three different facilities and I go to see her once or twice a week. I've also handled all her bills, medical appointments, taxes, ordering medications, buying diapers, everything. My brothers live across the country and usually visit once a year for a couple of days. I'm spent. The visits with my mom have gotten more and more difficult. She usually recognizes me but she's barely a shell of the vivacious and intelligent woman she used to be. She can't put more than a few words together and sometimes she just moans, like she's aching to get out of this life. I get so depressed when I see her. I try to hold her (she's very affectionate), play music she likes, take her outside, bring her treats to eat. What else can I do? And how can I keep from getting bummed out every time I see her?
(As I look through the topics it's hard to know whether to list this under Caregiver Burnout, Depression, Activities & Recreation or Life as a Caregiver! I'm dealing with all those things!)