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My Mom is full time caregiver to my Dad. I live 3.5 hours away. Hospice comes once a day he is bedridden and his mind, agitation, frustration is increasing. Changes in condition as in decline coming all the time. What should I be doing to help my Mom. We visit every 3-4 weeks. We have her house cleaned every 2 weeks. Of course the visits are more meaningful I wanted to take something off her plate. She needs more time to herself just to run errands or go to the store. No we do not have the money to hire help for her to get a break. Hospice sent someone to give her a break and Dad had a fit, as in asking my Mom to throw her out. Mom said she would try again because has to do errands and prepare for taxes & she'd love to be able to go to church. Any thoughts, ideas to share?

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you don't need an attorney. I got VA benefits for my Dad. There are lots of organizations that will help you. They will tell you what you need to do. It took me about 9 months. My Mother was totally against having outside help but they will get used to it. Go to Care website. The caregivers know how to deal with difficult clients. Started out with housekeeper and then meals and now 24 hours care.
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If your father is a veteran and served during a war, he might be eligible for help from the VA. It is a long procedure and it might be too late, but if it isn't, then I suggest seeking the help of an attorney who specializes in VA benefits.
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Pray! Go to HIM in prayer daily!
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If Dad accepts the housekeeper coming, can they come once a week, and while he is sleeping, shd could slip out? With instructions to call if he wakes up?

Can he go out? Can he go with her?
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As I see it, one of the biggest hurdles is that dad puts up a fuss. Volunteers from the church or the community would be turned off, I know I would be and wouldn't be back. Mom def needs a break but he complains is the problem. Get someone in there to give mom a break who can take his tantrums. Ex-Marine type.
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FMLA. Family Medical Leave Act. You won't be sorry.
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Something here inspired me to bring up something that I remember about my elderly friend. Someone here mentioned something that reminded me how my elderly friend hated being alone. Be very careful about handling such cases because if you're not careful, the person who hates being alone could start doing stuff for attention and find clever ways to keep you from leaving. My elderly friend pulled various tricks on me until I started wising up to him. Such people most likely have mental and behavioral issues that require the help of a qualified professional. If someone is pulling stunts to keep you from enjoying your own life, this is where you need to find clever ways to start pulling back and introducing other people who could also step in and help you.
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I called my mom every day on my way home from work. She used to tell me I didn't have to do that and I replied that someday, I would miss being able to call her. And I do.
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You say that Mother wants to go to church? Why not start there? In my church congregation, we do sign up for compassionate service of varying types all the time. Giving someone who is caregiving 24/7 would certainly fall in that category. See if you can get something going that way. Possibly your dad would know some of the men from church who could come and just sit with him? Daddy had the same problem , he never wanted to be alone--so we'd arrange for "sitters" to come. Gave Mother a break.
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My step dad was always agitated and yelling and hostile. My Mother has dementia and he would yell at her when she asked things over and over. We got him on Zoloft and he is so much nicer now. And expresses his gratitude and says thank you.
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Also have mom press hospice for volunteers who could come and sit for a couple of hours. If dad is to aggitated ask hospice for something to calm him so she can get away. This isnt just about your fathers health it is taking a toll on mom as well even if she doesnt say so, its happening.
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Perhaps if you dig you could come up with 30-40 dollars a week to hire a private caregiver to sit with dad while mom goes to church and does a bit of shopping. When we make things a priority we find ways to pay for them. Right now this is a priority for moms own health. She is dealing with a lot on her own so please find a way to make it happen. Area Agency on Aging can connect you with respite resources. If dad is near the end ( you did not say) perhaps your job would let you take a family leave to be with them for a couple weeks. I know when you are far away its tough, I feel for all of you. Think outside the box and you will find answers. Many great people here to support you. By all means connect with mom daily, she needs that so much right now. Hugs to all of you.
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I do some hospice volunteering. Part of what we do is respite care visits. It can be very helpful for tired and overwhelmed caregivers to get a couple hours of freedom. Dragonbait is absolutely correct. Mom needs to get out whether Dad has a fit or not. This may go on for a long time. If Dad were thinking straight he would not expect your Mom to destroy her health caring for him. Get a hospice volunteer in there now. Get her out for break. Let Dad yell. It won't hurt him a bit.
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Tell your mom to use all the respite care hospice has to offer and let them deal with the dad's fits. They are not about her. The fits are all about him. He'll get over it. Or not. Men of our generation expect total devotion and cling even more tightly when things fall apart.
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What I'm thinking in addition to all of these good ideas is to also be there for your dying dad because this is when he most needs you and anyone else he's close to. This is your time to be with him, tie up loose ends, and say your goodbyes. This is a time when being near your dying loved one is actually a wise move, even if you're not in the room when they pass. It often means a lot to the dying person to have their loved ones nearby.

As for the idea of giving your mom a pedicure if you can afford it, you can actually do the pedicure yourself, it's really not much different than doing your own hands and finger nails. If there are any services that you can save money on by doing them yourself, this would definitely be a big plus for your mom. This would also be a very good opportunity for you and your mom to come closer and form a better bond during this very trying time.
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I am my mom's primary caregiver my sibs live 4 plus hours away...They rarely come or call....I suggested skyping or facetime but this comes with excuses. I suggested going on family vacations together but again, excuses.....family is everything and should be worked on as a social/activity/obligation....
Excuses are demoralizing & painful.....Anyway...try skyping...
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I agree with Blannie, "The biggest thing is just to be a listener and support for your mom as a safe place to vent." Frequent phone calls from my children picked up my spirits when I was a caregiver, and give me a lift now that he has passed.
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Just be there to listen to mom. Encourage her to get out whether dad likes it or not. She NEEDS some time to herself. Get her a massage or a manicure if you can afford that (and if she can get the time away). A low-cost item would be to send her cards every week. Or help her out with things you could do online - order their food via Peapod or do their banking or help them with their taxes. If she'll turn some of that responsibility over to you, take it over. I started doing that for my folks when they were in their 80s and just couldn't keep up.

If she's a member of a faith community, see if they can send in some sitters for free, to help out your mom. Or check out volunteer resources. I used to do that as a volunteer in my local area. I'd go in for a couple of hours so an elderly woman could attend church.

The biggest thing is just to be a listener and support for your mom as a safe place to vent.
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