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I'm in early 30s. Mom diagnosed with early onset Alz at age 59. I spent my early 20s building a career, been with my boyfriend for 15 years and we've talked about starting a family but it seems impossible. His mother had a CT scan 10+ Years ago because her walking wasn't great. It showed severe brain atrophy. Her dr said that means Alz & referred her to neuro but she wouldn't go. He is AMAZED when he sees us and asks about her bc she hasn't changed a bit since then! BF father died 8yr ago, his sister I'll just say is a mess and now we're her entire source of care, but she is still able to live alone, we just have to handle things for her because she doesn't drive etc. Now my mom diagnosed Probable Alz, maybe Parkinson's they just don't know. My mom needs 24/7 care. She can't stand on her own without us helping 'push' her up and leans back & to right so we have to hold her up once on her feet & attempting to transfer. She's aprox 200lb so that takes a lot of physical strength. My dad his her primary caregiver and she has a sitter 4days a week, I take Fri so my dad can still work. We have no one else to help out so he depends on me when he needs to take care of things. I don't see how I could handle her and being pregnant at the same time yet my time to have a baby will be running out soon!!

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Have your parents applied for Disability benefits? I think that they the disabled are entitled to more benefits. I would consult with a social worker to see if their office can apply your parents for all services that are available. You may need to see an attorney about applying for disability benefits. I think legal fees are deferred until they receive an award. It's worth checking out.
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"if something happened to me my parents wouldn't be under a bridge but it would change their quality of life "

Why is the quality of life of your parents more critical than your own quality of life. If they had to settle for a lower quality of life and it allowed you to fully live your own lives, and perhaps start a family, would that be terrible?

When my husband developed dementia, that had a huge impact on our quality of life. We definitely weren't living under a highway overpass, and we got by. And now that I am a widow I'm still getting by, but at a lower standard of living than if dementia had never entered our lives.

But expecting any of my children or grandchildren to lower their quality of life -- especially in the realm of personal relationships and their own families -- would NOT be acceptable to me. Sure, I'll take all the reasonable help I can get. But for you to give up the possibility of raising a family seems to me way beyond any "reasonable" help you should provide.

How do you know that they "make too much money" to get help? Is that an assumption or have you had an intake appointment with someone from the county's human services department? Since your father is still working he may not qualify for help himself, but what about help for your mother? Who is paying for the 4 days of care now? Why isn't it 5 days or 7 days?

What would your parents be doing if they were childless?

But my real questions is, why is their quality of life more important than yours/
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Does your small town have senior center? The tiny town my aunt lived in had one and for many years after her husband died she went there to have lunch, play cards, gossip, etc. She played in their kitchen band. You are very right that some social interaction is healthful!
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Any real suggestions on how to help my daddy find more help? They are both too young for Medicare, make 'too much' money for any other aid, we live in small town with no day centers etc. I've checked into this because I think it would be good for mom to get out and interact with others. We have no family that's both willing and physically able to help. If course as one person stated if something happened to me my parents wouldn't be under a bridge but it would change their quality of life because my dad wouldn't be able to work and maintain health insurance. He also can't afford the cost of nursing home care.
Lastly, someone mentioned modifying vehicle to more easily take loved one places, any ideas where to look into that? Getting mom in car is becoming nearly impossible, I can no longer do it myself. All suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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HelpnGA,

Wow, that is a lot. You did not mention if you have options for out-of-home care or respite at all...and yes, early thirties is time to start the family before fertility wanes...and yes, needs could increase to where Dad can't be primary caregiver any more. Besides all that, I'd bet the parents would like to be grandparents. I would say even if you are not quite ready for another step, start researching options for more extensive home help and/or assisted living, maybe even life care community options.

If there is reason to think the early dementia and brain atrophy is genetic, such as previous generations affected, you might want to look for an adult genetics service and see what is possible. They might be able to assess you and boyfriend with a good neuro exam, and/or look at the pedigree and reassure, or determine what genetic tests would help you. There are a few things that are dominantly inherited, and a few even get worse with earlier onset each generation, with a 50-50 shot at any child of an affected person being affected versus having zero risk personally and zero risk of passing it on.

My own children were near grown when my mom developed symptoms similar to yours, and we never actually even tried home care as she did not want it and I needed to work full time as well. I could barely manage Mom's transfers and we would have ended up needing a patient lift and all that - which might not be a bad idea. We did end up adapting a vehicle for her in her wheelchair so we could take her places around town, and I still spent a lot of time and energy with her and dad with a lot of travel before I could move her here. I could not have held down the fort if I'd been doing infant care at the same time, unless I'd been blessed with one of those babies who sleeps all night after a few weeks (neither of mine did, LOL - I hear stories from some parents and still feel the envy!!)
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You seem to know the answer, but are hesitant about getting on with your own life. You say your mom can't be left alone, can't walk and is about 200 pounds. This is a huge responsibility. It's just not feasible for a pregnant woman and/or a woman with a baby to take this role. And she will progress, so trying to keep her with the increased demands of her care is not realistic for a pregnant woman or woman with a child. The progression can go fast or slow. There is no way to know how long it might take.

And even if your dad did retire and stay home with her, it's still a huge job for one person, even with your help. If you read many of the threads on this site, you will see how stressful these situations can be, especially when the caregiver gives up their life for the care of a family member. Do you think if your mom were thinking clearly she would want you to give up your life and child bearing years due to taking care of her? Only you can answer that.

I wish you all the best.
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Just to verify, it is BOTH our mothers! Right now, his mom is difficult because she wants things her way no matter what, but overall she's actually not too hard to handle. If I were pregnant, I can still do some for her and BF can handle the rest. His sister is NOT an option for his mother's own good actually!
We were beginning to make plans when his father died unexpectedly and our lives felt turned upside down. Before we knew it 7 years had passed and then my mom changed nearly overnight to needing 24/7 care. My daddy is too young to retire with full benefits, has min 2 more years. I've helped evaluate his situation and helped come up with the current plan because although it's nearly cutting his salary in half, it's better than if he retired, especially due to health insurance!! He absolutely hates asking me to help, but I don't mind because I want him to stay healthy(he's had 2 heart attacks in past 13yr) and have somewhat a normal life(not sit at home EVERYday). I know having baby wouldn't be simple, guess I was hoping to hear others had made it work. I am also very concerned if either of our mothers conditions are genetic. Feels selfish to have a child if we may be like our mothers by the time the child is 20, then child spend their time caring for us rather than living their lives.
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Wow, thanks CWillie. I missed the part about it being boyfriend's mom. I agree with CW. Time for a new plan. Listen to him. He's absolutely right.

I would strongly suggest you extricate yourself from this caregiving before you get pregnant. Doing so is going to be very rough on your relationship
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All great advice, but I gotta go with Jeann here. Even if you could unload some caregiving responsibilities this only gets worse and more demanding as time goes on. Take a very, very hard look at this before you decide.

And there's plenty of babies in the world already. Too many actually. Could you consider adoption? Foster parenting? Why go through pregnancy?
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Start your family. Look at resources that are available that might help your dad care for your mom. Sounds like your bf can do most of what his mom requires without a lot of help from you. If you give up having kids, you may grow to resent those you are caregiving for. It can be balanced with some help and planning. Won't be easy, but it is possible.
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Do not give up your desire to start a family in lieu of caregiving responsibilities. You are far too young to give up your future to caregiving, but not for motherhood.
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So lets see if I have this right.
BF and you have been together since you were in your teens but you chose not to start a family until you established yourselves in your careers.
BF's mom was diagnosed with brain atrophy over 10 yrs ago and lost his father a couple of years later and she lives alone with your support.
Your mom has now also been diagnosed with early onset alz at age 59 and your dad is her caregiver.
Wow. You both sound like stellar people who have undoubtedly sacrificed a lot to be there for your families. I am going to give you "permission" to be a little selfish and put yourselves first. You need to sit down with your dad and tell him he needs to make a new plan, one without you in it. Make it clear you are not abandoning them, but you need to focus on your own life for now. There are folks who work full time or have no family at all to help and they manage, so he can do it. Good luck.
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You are right to be concerned.

No. You cannot manage a pregnancy and raising small children and continue to have the responsibilities you do for other family members. I am sorry to say it, but I think you already know this, don't you?

So you and your sweetie better decide, do you want to have children? And if you decide not to, remember that it is YOUR decision. Do not blame it on fate or bad luck or your parents or other family members. You can decide.

If you decide you do want a family of your own, start planning immediately how to transfer some of your other responsibilities, to make it a least-awful transition.

If some terrible awful event happened to you and Sweetie, such a plane going down with you both on it, would your loved ones be living under a highway overpass, sleeping on cardboard? I don't think so! We do have safety nets in this country. Not always perfect or even adequate, but people with dementia can get help. It isn't you or nothing. Sweetie's sister has been very lucky to have you. But there are social agencies that can help her, too. My heart goes out to all the parents in this scenario. IF you want children, the best thing you can do for them is explore what else is available for them. Stop putting your effort into personally helping them and switch to putting effort into how to get help for them.

I could be wrong -- all mothers aren't the same -- but I suspect seeing a grandchild or two would be amazingly happy news for your mother and his. Most parents truly want to see their own children successfully living their own lives. And even if any of your parents aren't in their right minds enough to express that, you still deserve it.

I don't think you can raise a family the way things are. But if you want to, you can change the way things are. Easy? Oh my, NO! But do-able and worthwhile, if that is what you want.
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