Hello all. I don't want any one to think I'm complaining. I guess I just need to vent. Our situation isn't as drastic (I guess you'd call it) as others I've read about on here, but it's still tough at times. Quick run down . . . . . Dad 77, good shape, still ok and independent; Mom 78, not so good. Started as depression, we think it's changed to alzheimers/dimentia. Again, not diagnosed, as she won't leave the house and hasn't since I don't remember when. She's lost tons of weight, now down to 74 lbs on a good day. Lives on cottage cheese and ensure basically. Doesn't eat enough to sustain a small bird. Memory is shot. Talks in circles lots of times and doesn't make much sense. Tells the same thing over and over. She's kind of just waiting to die. I've even come right out and asked her. I guess she doesn't feel she has a purpose, and we can't get her to 'want' to have one either. The only thing that sparks some life or enthusiasm in her is our 2 girls (ages 5 & 9). Needless to say, we are over there as often as we can be. That, of course, brings up my next issue.
I'm exhausted most days. My hubby and I live about a mile away. I work part time and run the kids around to softball, preschool and whatever else happens to be going on at the time. In between my stuff, I do whatever I can for my parents. Dad is just tired and can't do it all, but is the type of man who doesn't like to admit that he can't. Very headstrong and very proud. Always says, "I'll take care of your mother." Which, yes, he does and does a great job. He's surprised me at how patient he can be, although there are times he bites her head off for stupid things. But, I have seen the way she is when my girls or anyone else isn't around---she's getting to the nasty, bickering, cynical, mean and crotchity stage. [quick note--hubby's grandfather was at that stage for almost 20 yrs with alzheimer's] It's just tough to take care of 2 houses. Mine is definetly not as clean as theirs, nor is stuff getting kept up with at times. I'm just really beat! My brothers have all mentioned getting a maid for them, but Mom won't have it. She'd probably throw one out of the house at day one. Dad has mentioned it but doesn't feel comfortable with one. So, that leaves me---youngest kid, only girl, closest---so that's what I do. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't really trust anyone else to care for my parents, or even clean their house. They are very trusting, nice people who have done so much for me and my brothers throughout our lives. I would be afraid someone would take advantage of them. One of my neices has been trying to for a while, but Dad knows her tricks. Mom on the other hand thinks she walks on water---but that's a story for another day.
I've mentioned selling one house and building onto another so that we could all live together. I know that's a whole can of worms that I don't know if I could handle or not. But, now hubby says he's not ready for that yet. I know my Dad isn't to the point of needing us to live there yet, but I didn't know my hubby wasn't really fond of the idea. When we married and bought this house so close to them (15 yrs ago) he knew why I wanted this particular house. I have always said that they've taken care of me, so someday I would take care of them when they needed it. I'm over there everyday, my daughter takes the bus there after school, Mondays & Fridays are our 'official' laundry/housework days and Thursdays are 'shampoo' day (although we're there much more often), Sundays we all have dinner there with one of my brothers.....I just think it would be easier if we were all together. Less driving, easier to clean one house, Dad could have freedom to go out shopping or whatever and not worry about Mom home alone.
How else can I help my Dad? Does anyone have any ideas? He gets tired of doing everything. My brother and I cook meals and freeze them and send them over. On Mon. or Fri. Dad goes shopping and has lunch out, gets a break from Mom's moods. When it's just her and I, I try to get her to do things other than sleep, watch TV or do crosswords. It's just hard on everyone I guess. my girls say they miss the old Grammy. Even though she's better when they are around, they know what's going on. They still laugh about the time she tried for 1/2 hr to hang the remote up in the phone dock. She laughs too. My husband, brothers and myself just give each other a look when it's the eighth or ninth time Mom's asked the same question. We smile and answer like we've never heard it before. We don't make a point of saying she's already told us that or anything. Dad does enough of that to aggravate her.
AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! ***Deep sigh*** Thank you for letting me go off. There's more to say, but it's been a long day. They all are. And I'm tired. Just got the girls to sleep (it's 10pm) still have the laundry waiting. I pile it on the bed, so I have to fold it before I can sleep. It sucks, but it works most of the time. There are those occassional times when I just move the pile to the floor so I can get in bed.
I do love the fact that my parents let me do things for them. I like to. It gives me something to do and feel good about. I just get tired sometimes, that's all. If I could do more I would. My parents are really great people...if not for them we wouldn't have our 2 daughters...long story/another time. But Dad of course doesn't want to impose on anyone---never asks for anything. But I wish he would. Sometimes I'll go over and he'll mention he just cleaned the stove, or moves some stuff from attic....I always say he should've told me about it, I could do it---but he says if he doesn't stay busy he'll go crazy. has to have something to do. I can see that, but I don't want him wiping himself out completely! Ok. Enough already. My eyes are like slits..........Time for bed. Tomorrow, 5 yr old wants to go on an EARLY salamander hunt, step son coming for auto repair, light housework then dinner at mom/dad's. Then Monday work, laundry/housework, work, then early dinner then softball practice after.
Thank you all for listening. That felt good. Good night all
No, you do not want to all live under the same roof.
Your dad needs to retain his own place and be in charge.
YOU need to stay in your home and have a place to go to get away from the care giving.
All of you need your own space.
No two women can live under the same roof in peace as a rule. Both want to be in charge.
You and your husband need your own space as a couple/family.
Even tho you are the youngest and the female, it is not fair for you to take on the full burden of your parents. Your brothers should pitch in and help. They can do laundry, clean house, etc. the same as you.
Thanks for your response. Yes, it is nice to have my own home to come home to. Being under one roof would probably be too much. I don't know if my marriage would survive that. That would be a major strain on everyone, the kids too. So for now, and until it's absolutley necessary, we won't live together. When one parents dies, then that's a different story. If Dad were to go first, there's no way Mom could live alone. We all know that. So does she. But, who knows what time will bring. Have to wait and see.
My 4 brothers do what they can. Well, one does. He lives next door to me and is close. All winter he and my hubby do the plowing, mowing in the summer, basic house stuff (electrical, plumbing etc) that I can't do. He cooks meals for them and sends them over frozen also. He works full time 5-6 days a week, so he does what he can. The other 3 bros are far away. One out west, one down south, one up north. The one out west is a Dr/surgeon and flys back here almost everyweekend he can. He's coming up Saturday too. He's been the best support, because he knows stuff from a medical standpoint that we don't. He does appreciate what I do and thanks me for it. He says he's glad I'm so close and do what I do. Glad that Mom and Dad aren't all alone up here. That does help and make it better when he says that. He's offered $$$ to help also--to get them a maid or something. He even offered to pay me, but I didn't want him to. I don't think he should have to. Maybe someday it will get to the point when I need to be there more often than I am now (if that's possible) and maybe I'll need to take him up on that then. But its not necessary now. It does mean the world that he even offered though.
Time to go....school function. Thank you for your input. And, yes, I agree we need our own space. It is nice to leave there and come home sometimes.
Hi sorry about what you are going through with your parents I lost my mum nearly 2 years ago and admire the respect and love you have for your parents they are lucky to have a daughter like you, I read your post and had to reply you said you are tired from looking after both houses but your parents wont let yee get a cleaner, what if you got a cleaner for your house a few days a week and let the brothers that offered the money pay for it that way you would not be so tired and would be able to spend your time with them and not have to worry about washing and everthing
Hi - I had tears in my eyes when I was reading this thread because I am going through a similar situation except I'm already at the point where its toxic - my mother already lives in our home and you're so right - two women cannot live under the same roof. She's 87 and I'm 45 and its a living hell. She's helpful enough in that she does what she can while we're all at work - hubby and a 15 yo daughter and 13 yo son. But when we're all home she doesn't respect our space and feel like she should be on her own in her room or whatever. If I'm in the living room she's there - in the kitchen she's there - on the back patio she's there. Always telling me something that I'm not really interested in or interrupting a conversation with one of the kids. I try to ignore as much as I can but then she says I hate her. I could carry this on for pages but I'm fresh off a fight with her this morning and I'm still simmering. I wish she still lived on her own and I'm feeling quite mean right now for having the thoughts that I do. BTW - I'm an only child so I have no one to share this with and my hubby is pretty much over it. He doesn't get involved and just stays in our bedroom most of the time watching sports or whatever. I don't think counseling would help so maybe I'll read these boards and hopefully be able to share ideas with others in the same situation. Thanks for letting me vent as well.
You need to check out the Alzheimers board here also. One of the women has posted about the damage that it did her children by moving her mother into their house. How her son is still recovering from it years later. You think you are doing a good deed, and you are, but this puts a tremendous burden on not only you, but your hubby and your children.
You need to be very aware that you are running yourself ragged. Don't let taking care of your parents overwhelm your family life. You need to think of how long your family can endure this..I'm sure your parents wouldn't want your marriage to suffer because you're take care of them.
There also will come a time with your mother that you will have to face putting her in a home. It is a difficult decision to make and painful...I know. All the best to you and yours....please take care of yourself. If you burn out, not only will you suffer, but your family and children plus your children. And my dear, your siblings can pitch in and help out more too...