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Old 12-03-2008, 02:28 PM   #1
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I feel bad

My mother who has dementia is in my care for a month. She is dealing with rapid decline in her memory and after looking after her around the clock for several days straight I was a bit short with her yesterday when she refused to take her medication. God only knows I feel so bad for doing that, I did apologize to her but feel like a terrible person for losing my patience with her. I was tired, and not feeling well but that was no excuse. I feel like I failed her and I am so angry at myself for losing it.

 
Old 12-03-2008, 03:32 PM   #2
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Re: I feel bad

Please don't beat yourself up over it. Keep in mind that it is because of your love and devotion to your mom, that she is in your care. Not many people can take on that challenge. I tried for awhile by making daily visits to my mom; but with my own family to care for, I began to feel so very frustrated and being pulled in both directions. I admit, I just couldn't do it. She is now in a nursing home which is literally right next door to me. How lucky can I get? She has good days and bad days, but at least I know she is safe.

Perhaps you can arrange for an adult day care program; or someone to come in for awhile several times a week just so you can feel like yourself and do the things you enjoy.

All my best to you and vent any time you wish!

Last edited by sunnydaze1; 12-03-2008 at 03:34 PM.

 
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:10 PM   #3
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Re: I feel bad

I agree - it is hard, frustrating thankless work. Just keep trying and the month will soon be over.

Love,

Martha

 
Old 12-03-2008, 04:13 PM   #4
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Re: I feel bad

Thanks, because my mom comes from a different province, there is no coverage or help for her temporary stay so I will have to depend on other family members to give me short breaks..

Having your mother so close and cared for must give you a great sense of relief and like you said it couldn't have worked out better or closer for you?
Right now, mom isn't agreeable to go into a Nursing Home and wants her family to look after her, but I am finding that she needs more help than I (we) can give her for long term. She wants someone to be with her around the clock, and it seems that almost all my time is spent caring for her. I haven't had her in my care for that long, but I find I'm losing patience already. Maybe it will get easier, but I will have to change the way I do things around here or I won't last long so won't be any good to her.

 
Old 12-03-2008, 05:19 PM   #5
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Re: I feel bad

My mom was not too enthused about assisted living (where she first went); but she was still cognitive enough to know that she was in danger, and I was being hard pressed caring for her with being a wife and mom to my sons.

What worked for me was to take her to a well-known AL facility for just a tour..."hey, we have to go to the doctor/dentist/bank; let's stop for a minute just because I need to go potty "...make up your own excuse as to why you need to stop wherever..or if there are any people in her town that she knows lives at a facility would help make her a bit more agreeable.

If you are in Ontario, there are many places "over the bridge to the states" that could help you.

Whatever it takes, you have to realize that your life is just as important as your mom's..and if a facility can take care of her when you aren't around, do everything you can to convince her that it's the best choice...FOR HER.

Last edited by sunnydaze1; 12-03-2008 at 05:19 PM.

 
Old 12-03-2008, 09:26 PM   #6
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Re: I feel bad

Dorri.... you are human. Or at least that's my excuse when I get short with Mom or Dad. it is a never ending job and much more than one person can deal with. Give yourself a break because the frustration and stress will get to you from time to time. Also, you are the one that remembers it. You Mom has probably already forgotten about it. Follow her lead on this one. Tomorrow is another day.

Mom and Dad were determined to stay at home. They flat refused to move or any help at home until it was impossible. Mom chose help at home but managed to run off the angel caregiver we found for her. Then it was off to AL. We finally had to just do it and not give her a choice. The only choice she had was which AL. We took her to three and she chose which one. I think even she was amazed how nice they were. Adjustment has not been perfect and there are still bumpy days but at least I know they are well cared for and safe. If the decision had been left to Mom it would have never happened. We finally realized she was not capable of making the best decisions for her own care and did it for her. That is a difficult step to take but one I will not regret.

I do hop your family will step up and give you some breaks during the month. You do need some time away from your Mom to renew yourself. I hope the time goes quickly and well for you...... Grab a towel and drag up a drink. Come back often if just to vent. We all understand what you are going through....

Love, deb

 
Old 12-03-2008, 10:37 PM   #7
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Re: I feel bad

Thank you, you are all so kind, especially since I feel undeserving of it. Mom has an assessment appointment in the new year, but her doctor already told the family she is not a canidate for a Seniors Home and to put her on the list for a Nursing Home which I am assuming is the same as AL

We are hoping that mom will realize on her own that she requires more care than what the family can give her and willingly go into a Nursing home on her own? At this point she is putting each of us through through quite the test, yet she doesn't seem to connect that caring for her is a hardship for us. I feel guilt because I am running out of steam and I have just begun. Mom has 4 daughters and we are taking turns caring for her until something can be settled or until she can agree to go willingly.
We are trying.

I hope she does forget that I was impatient the other night.

Thanks again...

 
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:59 PM   #8
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Re: I feel bad

Don't put much faith in her deciding to go willingly. She has no idea what she is putting any of you through. In her mind she is perfectly ok and she's just not sure why the world around her has gone crazy. You are going to have to make this decision for her because her cognitive abilities are not adquate for her to know she needs that level of help.

I have three sisters and my parents wear us all out. Caregiving for a loved one with ALZ is a 24\7 undertaking and nobody can function at that rate for long. Throw in the fact that you have to be alert at all times and put up with all their antics and bizzare behavior.... if you didn't lose your cool once in a while I would be surprised. I just lose mine in the hallway, the shower! When I get so stressed out that I am out of control I tend to walk off and bunch a pillow, scream, cry, or do whatever it takes to gather my wits so I can go back and try again.

Be assured that Mom has forgotten. Current memory is the first to go. So just get up tomorrow and start again.

Your Senior Home is probably more like our Assisted Living Apartments. The one Mom and Dad are in is designed for dementia patients. If necessary, they can be moved to a locked facility which affords more care in a different area of the building but most times they can stay in the room they are in. At this point Mom and Dad have their own bed and other furniture. When needed they just swap out their bed for a hospital bed. Towards the end they bring in hospice. Unless some medical condition mandates that they need a nursing home they can stay there until the disease takes them. We hope to leave Mom and Dad right where they are for the duration.

Keep typing. I know it is difficult, especially when you are dropped into the situation, but the month will go by faster than you think. I do hope you find placement for you Mom. She will be better off and so will you

Love, deb

 
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:12 AM   #9
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Re: I feel bad

Dorri,

Your Mom won't remember that you were impatient with her..and she won't go willingly into a home. You are more likely to get an elephant to move into your house than you are to get your mother to move into a home willingly. She would probably dial 911 if she could and scream elder abuse if she could!

She doesn't see that you are doing anything that is abnormal and that you shouldn't be doing to care for her. In fact you should probably be doing more in her opinion. So don't hope for that too much...

Good luck and welcome aboard

 
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:43 PM   #10
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Re: I feel bad

hi, i just went through this. the guilt is tremendous, but if it helps your sanity you have to do it. time is a big factor and if you give yourself the time, you will feel much better.

 
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:11 PM   #11
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Re: I feel bad

Thanks, it's nice to be aboard with people who understand. I do have more questions but for now wish to thank each of you. I'll come back when I have a spare moment.

 
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:53 PM   #12
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Re: I feel bad

Guilt is a waste of your energy. When my wife was still at home and I was doing 24/7, I woke up every morning knowing I would lose it at some point or another...and that's ok. Forgive yourself. I had to a LOT. I even have a Calphalon pan with the side flattened on it where I threw it against the dining room wall. I keep it to remind myself.

The others are so right. A dementia patient has no idea what they are putting anyone else thru or whether or not they need to go to a facility.

I saw a video a few months ago that put it in perspective for me. THe take away was that we have to make these decisions based on what is best for the ones who are living, not the ones who are dying. ( I have a 15-year old daughter who was living with it every day, too).

I probably waited too long. My wife is very content at the NH now. And we are very content at home.

 
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:55 PM   #13
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Re: I feel bad

You are so right Kenbob .. my motto has become ''choose life!"

I now spend much time helping with grandchild care. What a difference this is. Some people have a gift for Eldercare and even do it for a living, for strangers. God bless them all richly! I can't do it. The 5 years I took care of my mother were really hard for me, and I was glad to be able to escape when my brother took over ... I just couldn't deal with it. People always told me that since I taught preK kids, I only needed to treat my Mom like one of the little kids ... but it didn't work. The little children get smarter and more capable every day, what you teach them is remembered, they grow and expand. Mom shrunk and lost capacities and capabilities. It was the saddest, hardest time ever, and yes, I used to go into the bedroom and scream into a pillow so Mom and other people could not hear it... it was devastating. No guilt - we all do the best we can!

Love,

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Last edited by Martha H; 12-04-2008 at 05:55 PM.

 
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:55 PM   #14
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Re: I feel bad

You are so right, there is a difference between child care and elder care, a child you can put to bed and in most cases know they will stay there, atleast after midnight? My mom gets out of her bed at all hours and forgets which room she came from so wanders through the entire house, opening doors, turning on lights, wakening and disturbing those who are sleeping. In the morning she thinks she slept all night without having to get up once.
A child gets absorbed in play, my mom has unrealisted expectations thinking she should be given full attention 24 hrs 7 days a week.. It's so sad, she can't even help it. In a sense there is more stress and worry connected to looking after my mom...well, atleast for me, I can recall that raising my children was a very happy and content time in my life, with mom, it's so depressing watching her go through this torment and not being able to help her.

 
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:29 PM   #15
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Re: I feel bad

I'm sorry that I am back again to cry out my frustrations, at this point that is what I'm doing, crying.
My sister took my mom to give me a break but mom fell at her place and came back here with a sore back, so not only am I trying to deal with the dementia part, but also with the sore back. Mom does not remember falling at my sister's and is telling everyone she fell at my place.
My sister also asked me to ask her how she felt about putting her name on the Nursing Home List around here, but mom had a very upsetting reaction saying that we are all trying to get rid of her..she was angry and mouthing off for several hours after that.
I'm tired..so tired...and it's only just begun.

 
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