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I was talking to my sister the other day and told her that I don't want my children to take care of me like I am taking care of Mom. She asked me "then why are you doing it?" I didn't really have an answer.

So, why do we (you) do it? I think the main reason I am is because my Daddy did it and while Mom needs someone with her 24/7, she still has her mind (99.9% of the time anyway, and we have noticed a decline) I am not ready to place her in a nursing home. I do have great caregivers for us during the day, and care for her every other weekend in order for me to spend time with my family and have a life. Are there days when I say "Screw it I am DONE!"? You betcha...but then I "get over it" and go right back at it.

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This question " Why Do We Do This?" has been on my mind ever since I answered it one week ago. I still agree with my first response but there has to be more to why I'm doing this. I have known all along that there will probably be nothing for my brother or I to inherit and that's ok, I have no problem with that. So why am I doing this?
I realize that with Alzheimers Disease there can be years between the time when a person can no longer live on their own and their death. I also realize that as the disease progresses there will come a time that I will not be able to care for Mom in my home and I will have to place her in a nursing home. When that time comes I don't want Mom placed in some dumpy facility. So it's important for me to be a good manager of her money so that when she does have to go into a nursing home she will have the funds to be put in a nice, high quality facility. The longer I can care for her in my home the more money she will have when she does need that nursing home placement.
I guess it does come down to a financial reason why I do this. A financial reason based on love and wanting the best for Mom.
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10 meals is only two days.
But, I am there 5 days spread out to include two meal times. That is my decision, my goal and what I am able to do, and still have the smile, love and energy to keep going.

Before, 10 years ago, I did not have those choices. We all have stages of this. It always gets worse, better ,worse, better, then we realize this is the dance called life.
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I do this, because like all of you 10 years ago my mother was diagnosed with Alzhiemers's. Two sisters close by. We all have lives, it is not a sit down discussion of ok, who is going to do what. It is a gradual phase of events, then one steps up to the plate, or none of them do, or only one does, it is a mixed bag. if all of us were the same this world would be very boring, and yes, I find extreme happiness, regardless of my needs, that I am caring for my parents, now in assisted living, which yes was very hard, and I think harder on the children than the parents. But they had two years 9 months with my husband and I, then my mother declined further, and we moved her alone to assisted living, because it was literally "killing" my father to be there with people in a shell, and try to answer her repetitive questions, or illusional life.
Now, 10 years later, father has progressive aphasia is mute, he lives with my other sister. one mile from the assisted living, he sees my mother every night for two hours and they talk about things that my mother wants to talk about. Remember I said my father is mute, so isn't that interesting. A couple married 69 years, still so in love, living apart. one not talking, and just rubbing her hands and head, and the other talking about the bus ride that took her to where Toto lives in kansas? Regardless of the truth, to me that is their happiness for today, and no they did not expect to live this long. Both will be 89 in a few month's.

When I say I am caring for them. I show up for 10 meals a week and assist them with eating, cutting food, getting food to their mouths. I do my best, and my heart hurts when i leave because it is truly like leaving your young infants in a daycare.
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This is a really good feeling thread. Most people are doing it out of love and compassion. It is like there is hope in the world.
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Ashlynne my Mother is also in a family-run type nursing home that sounds like exactly what you have described. They get the weekly activities sheet and the staff couldn't be more loving and kind.

I felt such guilt when we first placed my mom there but am now sure we did the right thing. I couldn't begin to care for her as well as she is being taken care of there.

I did all I could for my Mom for years but when it was time to transition her to a nursing home I knew it. But the reason I took care of my Mom was simple. I love her more than anything and it never crossed my mind that it should be any other way.
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I have to agree with JesseBelle. I also think that one of the reasons I do it is because of my Mom and Dad's beliefs. To them and others of their generation it is extremely important to leave the next generation an inheritance and there is a certain expectation that family will care for them so that they can do that. It doesn't matter how much the inheritance is but it is incredibly important that they leave something financial to their children, it's almost like it's burnt into them. Personally I do not agree with my parents belief and there is no way I want my family caring for me as I have done for my folks. Any money I have when I can no longer live on my own I expect to be used for my living in a caregiving facility. The greatest gift I can leave to my family is their freedom. To me there is no amount of money that one could inherit that would compensate for the losses that a family caregiver sustains. But, I also honor and respect my parents even if I don't agree with them. So I will do what I can to help them fulfill what they believe and that includes being their caregiver.
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Sounds like you have a very balanced caregiving plan with caregivers during the day. Good for you! Makes sense to me. Guess you are the right person at the right time for the job, and you care, that is why you do it!
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I had my mom move in with us a year and a half ago, thinking it would be best for her. She has CHF, COPD, afib, and dementia as well. We both work fulltime and have fulltime caregivers coming to our home. The responsibility of her medical care has become too much with recent medical complications, and we are moving her this week into skilled nursing to figure out how far she can regain her strength from several hospitalizations so we can find placement in either assisted living or a nursing home as medically appropriate. Recently my mom told me it was time to find a place for her . She told me she and my dad (gone three years now) had lived their lives, and we needed to get on with ours. I was very touched by her sentiment. And by the realization she was right.
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cwillie my mother (89, parkinsons, dementia & many strokes) has been in a NH nearby for two and a half years and it's anything but bleak. Every resident gets a monthly newsletter with a calendar of the day to day activities and there's something going on all the time.

With just 60 residents, it's small and an older one floor building but it's owned and operated by the current adult generation of the family who founded it. The staff are wonderful, some having been there 30 or 40 years.

I think that's the difference between family owned/operated and corporation owned/operated, the latter just being in it for profit and providing the barest of everything.
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I do it because it makes sense financially for both of us, and because as an introvert it suits my personality to be at home caring for my mother. At this point I think the shell of my mother would probably be fine in a nursing home, but when I actually look at the bleakness of the lives of those like her living there my soul just cringes. I may be frustrated with her inability to be "there" any more and her physical difficulties, but I feel fiercely protective of the woman she once was, and perhaps still is somewhere deep inside. I do know that giving in to my hermit like tendencies is not necessarily good for me and in the long run I will have to get back out there and rejoin the real world, and that is a scary thought.
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savinggranny, I couldn't answer that question, either, if someone asked. It may be that it is basic human instinct to care for people in the family when it's needed. It may not be fun, but someone needs to do it. We can either do it ourselves or pay someone else to do it. Both are valid ways of taking care of our aging parents. Each one of us probably does what makes the most sense at the moment, given our own situations, our parent's preferences and financial situation, and our relationship with the parent.
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You stated that you are not ready to place her in a nursing home. Why not? It sounds to me like your are both ready for it. I know it's not easy to do but it's the only solution for you and all the other "I want my life back!" Folks. Look at all the busy threads on this site regarding how desperate, nuts, no life, exhausted, hate mom, I'm so guilty and on and on and on........... When you find yourself venting like that it's time to take action.
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Why do we do this? Could it be because our parents never expected to live this long? That is what my Dad had said to me a couple of years ago, he never thought he [93] would still be alive, nor Mom [97].
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