yes I guess scared is the best way to say it.... over the last year as my moms Alzheimers progress little by little I have been spending more time at my parents house, I now spend two days (an overnighter).... summer is coming and my job has changed.... I run a bakery durning the summer months, may until sept..... I am two ferry rides away from my parents. I have discussed this with my dad about not being able to come once a week but every other week!!! this is the first week I have missed in year.... I am feeling scared and guilty about missing my overnighter thing... I so much want to go over but work restricts me.... I know that I have done everything in the way of landscapers, housecleaners to help around the house. but I keep thinking that perhaps it isn't enough..Will they phone if they need help? Will they eat properly? will they, will they, will they..... on and on it goes...My biggest concern is will my dad be okay without the break.....will he tell me if it is to much..... I sererioulsy don't think so....I think I will call my brother and TELL him to get down for a visit this weekend, he is only 3 hours drive away and my dad loves it when he visits. okay so I answered my own question about what to do... thanks for listening, sometimes it take writing things down to see the light at the end of the tunnel...... thanks for this venue and being here....
So here I am after talking to my brother and I am crying because he can't come down as he and his wife are booking into some recreational outing this weekend.....he said if I had given him some notice, that calling with this short of notice he just couldn't SCEDULE it in..... oh god am I mad..... why do I bother is beyond me!!!!! and now I feel guilty for even asking him cause it may have upset their plans. when will I learn ..... go figure......
I'm so sorry that anyone has to go through these uncertain times with our loved ones. Believe me when I say you can't do it all. I have tried and it just makes you crazy. For years I have worried and cried and it does not help at all. Well, I take that back sometimes crying makes me feel better. But then I just look terrible. LOL
You must try not to feel guilty. People told me that and it just didn't register. Guilty is my middle name. Just do the best you can and don't try to be superwoman. The "what ifs" will drive you nuts. I've taken care of Gram until she passed at 97 and now Mom for the last, I don't even know how many years. I'm getting older and I finally realise that I just do the best I can and pray that its enough.
I really do understand how you feel. We have all been there. And its a terrible feeling. When you do ask for help, help doesn't come. Sometimes its more than I can take.
Just try not to be so hard on yourself. Try not to worry. It really does work out in the end.
Guilt makes it all ever so much worse. I had to go to a therapist for 2 years after I left my mother in the care of my brother, and soon after that in a NH. It took me 2 years longer to find out that promises such as "I will stay with you until you die" can be re-interpreted when the circumstances change. I would have done so IF Mom had some disease where she was still halfway rational. What I really MEANT when I made that promise was, "I will do anything in my strength and power to get you the best possible help." The best possible help turned out to be a nursing home, and before that, my brother and SIl's care so I could recover. I had made myself sick for over 5 years, with worry, fear and guilt, lack of sleep, etc. I had heart irregularities, high blood pressure, acid reflux, dizziness, suicidal thoughts. I was a mess.
Is there anyone else who can help you take care of your Mom? Friends, relatives someone closer to them than you? You need some help and you cannot do it all. Check with your parents church or social services in their area or maybe getting a daily caregiver to help out. I know when my DH was diagnosed I checked into adult caregiving at the local ALZ association as well as through friends who had caregivers for their loved ones. Guilt is the one thing that will take you down and we've all been there. If you can find someone who you can check in with daily it will help take some of the burden off of you so you can have some kind of life.
I "ditto" everyone that has responded here. I did try to be "superwoman" and found myself with high anxiety, high blood pressure, and numerous other things to deal with because I didn't ask for help.
My thought was that it's very obvious I need some sort of help, and I don't want to ask. Well, sometimes, siblings don't realize the stress YOU are under and all that YOU are doing because they are not there when all of this began.
I'm now getting the help I need only because I really poured my heart out to one brother who relayed to the next. There is still a lot of work involved when it comes to my mom, who is in a NH now, but at least I'm not going it alone.
Best of luck, and when someone asks what they can do to help...tell them!
As far as guilt...I just got rid of it this week. My mom wondered where her mother was and asked if she was gone. I told her she was up in Heaven. She died about 30 years ago. My mom is living in the past...I'm still in the present and dealing with selling the home Dad built. The house is empty and needs a loving family..not my little glimmer of hope that Mom will get better and come home. It isn't going to happen. Guilt is something I rid myself of yesterday. It was good for me to see how far gone Mom really is. As sad as it is with her condition, at least I know that selling her house isn't even crossing her mind...at all.
Last edited by sunnydaze1; 05-22-2008 at 06:59 PM.
I also wallowed in the guity super woman phase for way too long. I ended up with elevated blood sugar, too many extra pounds, high cholesterol, and triglycerides elevated. I had mysterious aches and paines, could not sleep, was short tempered, and generally not a nice person to live with. I spent more time with Mom and Dad than I did with my family and when I was not with them I was on the phone with them or worrying about what they were doing. No matter how much I did or worried it just got worse. So we had no choice but to move Mom and Dad to Assited Living. Now I know they are well cared for and I can sleep again.... have lost 55 pounds, my blood work is back under control, and I like myself and my world again.
I threw out the guilt because I did the best I could. My parents are now where they need to be and I have my life back. That is actually what my parents would want. It was not that they didn't want to go to a "home".... they didn't want this disease that made it impossible for them to stay in their house. I couldn't prevent the onslaught of the disease and had no choices after it took them away from me. As I have said before, we have to give ourselves the same forgiveness and compassion that we give to others. We have to be understanding, forgiving, and compassionate towards outselves.
Don't expect honesty about what is going on when you are not there. I never got it. I might be time to discuss help of some kind whether it be placement or in home. If you feel it is unsafe for them to say alone you are probably right.......
I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers....
guilt, fear of the unknown -
my mom has alzheimers and when she lived with my now deceased dad in their home I was constantly worried about them, went every Saturday and did all their chores, shopping, laundry. My dad was 90 and getting weak from old age, but his mind was good. My mom's illness took a heavy toll on him and he worried about her future if he wasn't there for her.
Well, Dad died last year, mom is living with my brothers and sisters-in-law, rotating a month at a time. My mom has gotten worse in the last year but my sisters-in-law are coping.
The guilt: I have to work, my sisters-in-law are younger than me and don't work - one of them cares for her own mother in addition to my mother. I don't even want to call them to find out how mom is doing because I am afraid they will say they cannot care for her and then i have to worry about:
1. Nursing home or assisted living?
2. Mom's money going very fast in that case and getting her on medicaid
3. Worry when I put her in NH that I don't sign my name so they can get to me in the future to pay bills
4. Worry about mom's inner fears - right now she eats, walks slow, can go out with us to eat, but doesn't know where or who she is with (think she in stage 6) - don't know what she is thinking about. she doesn't remember her house or her husband or that I am her daughter - she just knows me by name and that I am a comforting face she sees and spends time with once a week.
5. We go to my parents home which is now unoccupied every Saturday and she doesn't even know where the bathroom is. the house is in a life estate with me and my brothers names so eventually we will fix it up and sell it - this breaks my heart because my parents lived there since 1960 - I cannot afford to buy my brothers out and live there myself.
6. Worry about how I am spending her money which is only on her - fear medicaid will be refused when the time comes - I understand the application is a nightmare and you can be rejected - then what???? does the nursing home throw her in the street? fears, fears, fears
I heard that 80% of what you worry about doesn't really happen.
Then I say to myself "maybe it would be better if she died of something else before all this has to come to pass' - well, the guilt here is that I am not doing God's will for his plan for my mother - so I keep saying "stop thinking like that' - and it happens all the time, day in and day in
Worst fear: money running out, nursing home or assisted living, selling their home.
Thanks for listening - I see mom tomorrow and just feel awful when I see my sister in law even though they don't complain about watching mom.
Yes I know the feeling of not wanting to call incase they need me and I can not get there!!!!! I think that my mom is still in around the stage 3??? we have not had her tested recently but she is still capable around the house she has just lost the short term memory and the insistent re-asking questions sometimes is annoying..... but my mom is good with most things. It is the cooking that I worry most about... we about lost my mom last winter, she went down to 90 pounds from 140 in a couple of short months and we truly thought she was on her way... I spent 5 days of the week nursing her and trying to get her to eat, I finally told her that if she dropped down below 90 that I was taking her to the hospital and she would be staying as I refuse to watch her die lying on the couch.... something clicked I am not sure what is was but she rallyed and now weights in around 110, and is finally eating well... so her eating is so important to keep what little weight that she has gained on....My dad is a saint and has been on a big learning curve... He loves to shop for food but sometimes he gets things that are just to much for mom to cope with.....whenever I am over there the first thing I do is clean out the fridge of stuff that should have been cooked days before and all the other things. I always tell my mom that we will clean out the fridge and start again will all fresh stuff... she loves to clean so this is so agreeable to her....
Well I am feeling better about everything today, I guess if my sibblings do not want to help out that is the way of it and I should just get over it and do what I think is best for my parents, be it hiring help or what ever.. Next time I am in I will look for someone to come over two afternoons a week to do the things that I would do when there.....
thanks again for listening.
prayers for all of you going through this and much worse...