Follow
Share

My mom's health has declined tremendously since the beginning of the year. We finally got to the doctor, she did have a mild stroke. She does have a pulmonary aretery issueand enlarged heart. She has to have an EEG, cognitive test, and MRI.

They are testing her for MS and GOD knows what else. I suspect she has some form of dementia, or parkinsons.

I am a single parent of 2 boys, we live with my parents. I am worried about both of my parents. My mom I know is going to pass sometime in the near future, whether that be today, 2 months or a year from now.
My dads health is generally good, but just this past week he has started to have mini break downs. Over little things, I know he is stressed, he talks to me about how difficult it will be to afford a nursing home if mom ends up there. Or how hard it will be to afford a home health nurse.

How do I deal with worrying about both parents at the same time? I tell my dad he cant stress, but how can he not, I am not financially responsible for my mom and I am stressed, scared, worried.

Her "sundowning" has taken a toll on all of us. She gets incredibly mean and says mean and hurtful things. My kids hate the way she talks to me.

I guess I am just venting but thanks for taking the time to read/listen to my worries.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Please listen to what prsimon has written she is right on, YOU AND YOUR DAD NEED A GAME PLAN. As soon as you are able to get some answers and get things down on paper as to what you are going to be doing, it will take an enormous load off both of your minds. I have to ask you this, "Do your parents have a trust?" "Do you or another sibling have a POA written up so when the time comes you can step in and take over for your Mom and Dad?" This all needs to be done immediately. I would say to seek the advice of an Elder Care Attorney first as they can lay most everything out for you. Senior centers or other agencies may be able to help you find one that is reasonable in cost.

I do not know how old you are, but you may have a lot of growing up to do in a very short period of time by having to help your father make some tough decisions. If your parents attend church, ask your pastor/priest if they can stop by to visit and give some words of encouragement to your Dad and you. What I have found that works for me is that I sought a therapist that I can go and speak to each week, it puts everything into perspective and seems to lighten the load. Your father may benefit from this as well. There are support groups to that you each need to attend to build friendships and to know you are not alone in all of this.

My heart goes out to all of you in this time of need....God Bless you All!!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hello my friend all the responses are excellent. I have little to add. I do caretake my Mom she is alert, forgetful at times, decreasing appetite but drinks water daily, she fell once r/t dehydration and I took that time she went to hospital to get her lifeline. There are no easy solutions. My Mom is 90 lives in senior housing near me can still dress, wash up. I shower her. She continues to refuse to allow aides to go in. At present I am honoring her wishes. I work 32hrs wk. no kids or hubby. I do
"worry" but not like I used to. I attended local caregiver support group and know that it will not help. It truly is one moment at a time. If you focus on all that needs to be done you will miss the experience of being with your parents. Not all of it is awful, not all smiles. What helped me tremendously was knowing, really knowing that I cannot control her or all the outcomes, each of us has a life path so to speak.
Use a notebook to keep track of appts. things that happen such as change in meds etc. it is confusing to try and recall chronologically events. Go back and write down some of the info people have given you here it is all so helpful. also keep all phone nos. medications in notebook, insurance info too so it is all in one place. Taking care of you and kids is important. YOU set the tempo and the mood.
Believe me I am no saint and get frustrated and scared but I know that I can only control my responses. this is a great site and this was your step in seeking support. we are all here for one another. I wish you peace and love.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I know how you feel. During a period of several years, both my belovedu Father and Sister were battling cancer, then, shortly after, my Mom was diagnosed with AD/dementia. I couldn't breathe during this time. I had to give up my job, my house, my friends, MY LIFE and take care of everything. It's been a few years and my Father and Sister has since passed on. Even while writing this, I am choked up. Currently, I moved my Mom with me as I am her 24/7 caretaker. Her AD has now advanced severely -- she is confined to a wheelchair, completely incontinent and is incoherent. During those dark, dark periods, the only coping skill that helped was taking things one minute at a time, then one hour, then one day at a time. The big picture was TOO OVERWHELMING. I thought after everything, I just wanted to check into a mental hospital. My brother is a physician and I begged him to just keep me sedated. He didn't. So, I kept going, mainly to care for my Mom. Take a breath and deal with one crisis at a time. It will be okay. Find support wherever you can -- there are no easy answers in this caregiving journey. God Bless.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Your faith will keep you going, Amyrup. You are awesome and your son is a blessing to you and your parents. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks butterfly! Yes I meant July, I am still trying to wrap my head around that half of this year is gone! I know my parents are young, my mom has not taken care of her health for a very long time. It is all catching up to her now and is very painful to watch. My 9 yr old son saw some disturbing things last night and ended up asking me to talk to him in his bedroom with the door closed. He asked what will happen to her when she dies. We are a very faithful family so this conversation was easy to have with him, he was baptized last October. he understands she will be in heaven and completely healed. Once I said completely healed he was ok with it, he said so she is gonna be ok someday?!?!?!

He has a wonderful heart for our saviour!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Heaven is a beautiful place! Did you mean July 11th? and July 18th? for the test results? Thanks for giving more of the information. Your parents are very young by today's standards and fortunate that you are there with them. You are an awesome daughter and your boys are lucky to have you for their Mom. Good that Dad is stepping up for them. Blessings and prayers for you and yours. xxxooo
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you all for your advice. Let me answer a few things. I am a partner family with Habitat for Humanity. I will be building a new house next year. It was suppose to be this year. But that didn't happen. So I look at living with my parents as a blessing in disguise. I am here to help my dad. My mom just turned 60 and my dad is 59. My dads health is fine. I worry about his stress level. Dad and I both work full time. My x husband is aware of the situation and is willing to help with the boys. My mom cancelled her MRI. which was to test for MS. She sees a cardiologist on June 11 and gets neurology results on June 18. I think she knows her time here is short. We had a conversation about it last night. She knows she is going to heaven!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Sorry, I just noticed that there are no girls! Big brother.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

What about getting a Big Brother and Big Sister for your kids? I believe they are intended to protect kids from some of the problems of an overstressed single parent. If the kids can have a special event or two to look forward to, they will be happier, and you can feel that they are being taken care of for a while. Then you can feel freer to do something for your parents, or clean house undisturbed, or take a nap.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Prsimon: Very well said!!
Amyrup, Many have given similar advise in this post, but a ton of your personal stress will be relieved when you accomplish the practical aspects of arranging for future care. I would look into everything Prsimon said. I think it is fabulous that you can still have intelligent conversations with your Dad. His concerns are also valid and he will feel empowered by your teaming with him to accomplish the goals stated by Prsimon. Please keep us posted with your progress!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

First of all, bless you for all that you are doing. I like all of the post above and I agree, talk to Nursing Home Directors, Elder Care Attorneys, DADS, your local Elderly Care agencies, A Place for Mom. I too was in your situation of caring for both Elderly Parents, I utilized all resources that I could find and I came to this web site often to vent and to share. I soon found that all the worrying in the world didn't change a thing, I had to change my approach to care giving to save my mind, physical well being and to preserve my total family relationship. Involve your Dad in future planning options and just know that you will be faced with some tough decisions but also know that you are doing what is best for everybody.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I can fully understand your fear and worry and your dad's angst. Like has been said, try and keep it in the day. Sometimes you just have to put one foot in front of the other, and if you look at the whole thing it can just floor you. I agree that now is the time to get POAs in order and figure out what is what financially. I also understand what a hard place this has put you and and your children. They are 12 and 8, going through caretaking at 60 is so hard for me emotionally and I can only imagine how it must be for your kids and you at 38. You don't say if you are working. Have you thought about getting yourself a place of your own so you and the boys have your own space, I am not saying not to be part of the caregiving, I mean can you give yourself and your kids your own refuge. I am not sure how old mom and dad are but if they are in their late sixties or early seventies there is some planning that needs to be done, and today they could live well into their nineties. Do you have siblings that can help or any family that can help you? I am just concerned about the stress on a young boy going into teens, this is a hard time as it is for a kid. Anyhow, I am far from an expert, I just want you to know I hear you and I sure hope all works out for you and your kids and parents, but remember you and the kids are your first priority, well at least that is how I see it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

And I wanted to add, take notes so that your own children don't go through this when you are older. I am getting rid of junk, around the house, and talking with my husband about long term health insurance.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

A good elder care attorney can help you get the answers about
homeownership and social securty, medicare and "spending down" to medicaid.
It may help you get rid of alot of stress just knowing what to do.
They have been a real help for myself and my mother and father.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Your dad may be better off than he thinks. Maybe he could talk to the finance director at a nursing home. If not, there is always Medicaid. Does he have credit card bills? Or is their any equity in his home?

Good luck to you. Both my MIL and mother are in AL/nursing homes.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I don't know, but it can help to take a day at a time. In addition, it can help to cut back/eliminate caffeinated beverages, if you drink any. Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant, and caffeine is about the last thing folks under stress need.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Bless you for taking care of your parents, your children and yourself...yourself needs to be at the top of the list. With the health problems you share about your Mom, Hospice would be a good place to start. Talk to her doctor and have him send the request to them. They will manage her pain, send CNA's to bath her and volunteers to come and sit for a couple of hours; we have that service right now, the CNA comes 3x's a week to bath and dress and the volunteers come 2x's a week for 2 hours each time. They also manage his pain - he has a brain tumor and ALZ. We have most of our children close by and they step up too. I'm sorry your children hear the mean and hurtful things she says to you. She is scared. It is not pleasant for grandchildren to witness those things. Our son heard those things as a 5 year old from my Mom when she said nasty things to me. I knew it was not really her talking and I explained it to him many times. Now we're in the same situation with my husband and our son hears it again but he is 36 years old and now understands it. It is a tough road, but take it one day at a time, lots of prayers, and don't be afraid to ask for help. xxxooo
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The stress in itself will eventually take a toll on your own health. You have two children to have to look out for, so you can't afford to have a break down yourself. You need to take it as it comes, your job is extremely hard being a single parent and trying to care for not one but two elderly parents at the same time. YOU are going to need some help, do you have any family members that can come in and give you some very much needed time once or twice a week? My heart goes out to you and hope you find some relief. Take care of yourself
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I too have had the opportunity to care for both of my parents while living with them in their home. For years, my father refused to establish legal protection for he & my mother in the event of nursing home needs. Consequently, one month before he passed away, an attorney who advertises in our church bulletin came to our home and provided not only advice, but a resolution to the situation. A life estate was what my parents eventually chose to do. This allows them to remain in their home during their lifetime without having to worry about losing all their real estate assets should they have to go to a nursing home. It takes so little time to set up. A designated person is assigned the house upon their passing. This is protection for them, and provides a great deal of comfort and relief from all their worries. Please consider this. I am sure that an attorney who is elder-friendly could visit your home and help you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Although I completely understand your need for empathy and emotional support, I think you know that already. ANY support group you can find through Agencies on Aging in your area will help you not feel so alone.

NOW: for the practical part. I think you need a full game plan here including full knowledge of all finances, assets and medical plans for both your parents. Only with this knowledge can you try to map out a path going forward. See what you can or cant truly afford. Talk to their accountant or attorney if they have oneto discuss their situation. If no LTC insurance then start checking local colleges, especially ones with nursing programs. Students will come and sit, assist or whatever for much more manageable rates than agency people. Call local churches. They often have volunteers to help seniors. And please, do not say you dont need help yet - you do! That help can truly be two hours to go to a movie with your kids, or lunch with a girlfriend, or just go and sit and get a manicure in peace!

I dont know if your ex is a good guy or the ex from hell, but if there is any possibility of his helping with your kids, now is the time to ask him. Take them to an extra dinner or movie during the week or weekend. it will make you also feel less guilty about them watching the show at home.

a lot of stress in worsened by the fear of the unknown. Dad is scared about financial security, about losing his partner and being alone, about living alone once she is gone, about how horrible it will be to wait while she dies and a host of other things. mostly this all then falls under the male "I have to DO something" or I am not being a man. If he is clear enough, have him help you work out a financial concept. Dont judge what you DONT have, just figure out what there IS available to you guys and how to make it work to best serve your needs.
BTW if Dad is a veteran there is Veterans Aid and Assistance for him and his spouse, but be prepared to go through beauracratic hell to document and apply and then wait for months to get an answer.

Good luck.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

I've sort of learned that the worrying does NO GOOD. What will happen will happen. It's out of our control. How we REACT is in our control. I agree with both of the above posts. Learn to meditate. Get outdoors (parks) as much as possible. Nature is healing for you, your kids and your parents. Walks are also good. Don't buy in to confrontation. I'm also trying to learn to keep my mouth shut and not feed into arguments. My husband will not like my suggestions, so if I see an article that may help, or something with instructions and he wants me to read it I say no, he needs to read it as he doesn't believe me. That has worked so far, but may not in the future. Short prayers (for me) is similar to meditation, so I do that when I feel stressed. Writing your feelings down will help too, and maybe also good for your dad. Talk with your doctor also. Blessings!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I know how it feels. I cared for both parents at the same time. I had to put my mother into an assisted living home, and had my father move in with me.

When it comes down to it; try to get all the help you can. Ask DSS for help. See if someone can be paid by the state to watch one of your parents.

Take time for yourself. If you become sick; who will your parents have? See all of the resources available to you.
Tell your Dad that him stressing himself out over your Mom; would make your mom worry.
Write in a journal and put down your feelings. There are support groups too. You are not alone.

I actually have enjoyed my time with my parents. I got to hear some awesome stories, and I got to see how incredible my parents were. They are my heroes for going through all of their sicknesses and still laughing.
Tell you children about your mother's health issues. Let them know she doesn't mean it. Sundowners isn't her fault.

Just post on here if you need to talk. I am available and have had the same problem; only I have no kids.
You are amazing for doing this!!! No matter what happens; know you had the strength and courage to tackle a big project, like this, head on. Your parents are proud of you; even if your mom can't say it.

God Bless you and good luck!!!
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Venting helps a lot. This place is great for that. The only answer I can give you for your question is.....one day at a time. Try to get through what's happening now and save the rest of the worrying for later. If you dwell on the "big picture" it can overwhelm you. Take each day for what it is, and visit here often for support. I am sure some of the veterans and experts will have better answers for you. All I can do right now is say.....this community is the best place for help and support. It's a long journey, but we will be here for you.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

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