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I have a mom, age 78, widowed 1 1/2 years. She immigrated here 40 years ago, doesn't speak the language, doesn't drive. She lives by herself but she needs her children for everything, remember doesn't speak the language or drive. My siblings and I are burned out.

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cwillie makes a very good point. if there is a community of people who speak her language they may have suggestions that can help you.

Also, I'd think that this would be a good place of support for you since there are likely other adult children in your situation. They may be able to share tips with you. If not, at least they can share your frustration.

I wish you the best. This is hard enough without the drawback of language difficulties.
Carol
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If she has managed to live in your area for 40 years without picking up any English then there must be a community of people in the area that speak her language (at least I hope so, I can't even imagine the depth of her isolation otherwise). Reach out to them to try to find caregivers or facilities that can welcome her.
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Caregiver burnout is difficult to treat. It seems the only way to overcome burnout is to step away completely for an extended period. However, in your situation, that may not be so easy. I suggest that you and your sibling work out a schedule where one has complete responsibility for a short period and then her care rotates to the next sibling.
Investigate whether there are any "culturally compatible" caregivers, ones who speak her language or are from the "old country." As others have said, be careful about opening your door to strangers. Caregivers, even for a few hours a day or a week would give you and your sibings a much needed break from caregiving.
It is very hard to stay healthy for the long haul. Good luck and do reach out to this group.
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As I was reading your post I thought you were talking about my mom. Moved here 36 years ago and still not a word of English. My dad also passed 1.5 years ago and immediately had to move my mom with me. My brother and I are exhausted and yesterday we moved my mom into Assisted living which will help some. I understand your burnout too well. In our case it was expected that we do everything and not complain because it is a priviledge to take care of your parents (according to my parents).  Unfortunately their peers were similar so no help there. Sadly I have no answer except to try to answer the phone less often. Spread the responsibily as much as possible. To reduce time spent dealing with her stuff try to schedule chores on the same day to reduce trips. I feel for you. It's a whole other level of burden that kids of immigrants can only understand.  I've been at this since the age of 13.
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This is when Restbite Care is really needed. Contact Your Local Public Health Nurse and tell Your circumstance to the Nurse, and inform Her You are really burnt out and request two weeks Restbite Care for Your Mom. It is FREE and it is for the Carer. While Your Mom will detest the idea at first, Shel Love the Care and attention. I would not worry too much about Your Mom not being able to speak the Language as People can mime as They speak to Your Mom. Here in Ireland We have many People from East Timor and every Nation in the World Who can not speak Our Native Tongue, but We mime as We speak to Them and We make Ourselves understood. It reminds Me of Stan and Ollie, of Laurel & Hardy.
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Can you hire someone who speaks her language to help her out on a weekly basis? There are groups like visiting angels who help elders out, do their errands, drive etc.
I know many people who have done this. May give everyone the break they need and mom can have a new friend.
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Good luck--unless she is on Medicaid you have no help whatsoever. None.  Respite care is *NOT* free in most cases. Depends where you live. However, be mindful if you let volunteers in your home it may open yourself up to whatever. Volunteers can be anybody off the street and even if they claim to fall in your home you can get sued. That rarely happens..but it can happen.
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I wouldn't give up on your mom. She's relatively young in my frame of reference (my mom is 97). I would get her enrolled in some English as a Second Language (ESL) classes where she can meet some others who are learning the language. Does she speak a language that is fairly common in the US, or is she speaking something more unusual?

I'd try hard to get her out and integrated into the community where she can make some friends and be able to use some other transportation options so she's not totally dependent on you and your siblings to go anywhere and do anything. What's her personality like? Is she open to learning or trying new things?
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Not speaking the language and not driving is certainly a handicap. Does she also have health problems? Does she have trouble getting around? Need to take a lot of pills? Is she incontinent? Can she still cook, operate a stove safely, etc? Besides communications and transportation, what kind of help does she need?

Did your father speak English? Was he doing all these tasks for her, or did she used to do somethings for herself?

I wonder if it would help if you and your sibling set up a schedule and limit your help to the schedule? On Mondays you drive your mom wherever she needs to go. On Thursdays a sibling does that. No other driving mom around except for emergencies. Going forward she makes her appointments for Monday or Thursday, because that is when she has transportation. On Sunday siblings take turns inviting Mom over for a meal, or taking her to a restaurant. If she needs household help (heavy cleaning, setting up pills for the week, changing high light bulbs, etc) one sibling takes that on once a week for a month, and then it rotates to another sib.

I am trying to think how Mother's needs can be met by her children, as she thinks they should be, without completely burning out all of her children and building up major resentment in everyone. Would it be less stressful if the help were limited to a certain schedule, and spread across the family? I don't imagine that Mother will welcome this with open arms but she is going to have to be flexible in order to get what she wants.

You mother doesn't speak the language of her community. That is Not Your Fault. Your mother doesn't drive. That is Not Your Fault. If she has health problems that is Not Your Fault. This doesn't mean you shouldn't help her but it does mean you shouldn't feel guilty if you cannot help her in exactly the ways and the timeframe she demands. Don't let feelings of guilt make this any harder than it already is!

Come back often and let us know how this is going.
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I have a question to stillevolving.
When you and your siblings are not around, how does she amuse herself? Does she watch T.V? Does she listen to the radio?

My grandmother, an immigrant, also said that she did not understand nor speak English, yet she watched T.V. She laughed at the parts of the English speaking shows, where she should laugh.
It was concluded that she preferred her native language.

My father, an immigrant, did all the business duties of the household.
Thus mom's English was not the best.

Once Dad passed, I made Mom do the business chores and speak with people who did not understand her native language. Her English has improved.

I do help Mom when the situation is complex, for example filling out govt forms, other than that, she is managing and is happy that she can do things on her own. By the way, my Mom is 88.
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