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Rhoda55 11-09-2007 12:30 AM

Totally worn out, and worn down
I really am having a hard time with patience these days. Mom has only been living with us since August, and at times, feel like I am crawling the walls. She is unalbe to take care of herself any more, and needs 24 hr. care. I have help once a week, and am very greatful for that, but I am feeling like I need more help. Of course, it is so costly,and am trying to keep it at a minimum, but I don't know how much more I can handle. I have been assisting Mom and Dad for the past 10 yrs. or better. Dad has been gone since 2001, and now it's just Mom. She has parkinson's and high blood pressure. She has had problems with her colon and had a colon ressection.She has been in and out of hospitals and rehab. quite a bit in the last few years. I guess I feel worn down and worn out. I am the only child, so I handle everything by myself, which doesn't help. Mom also has terrible bouts with depression, saying things like she would be better off dead, and I know it is that terrible feeling of helplesness, and the loss of her independance. I have talked to a couple of doctors about this, but unless I can get her to understand how important it is to seek some kind of help for this, I am afraid that she is just giving up? I sometimes wonder if I am doing the best thing for her, I promised her years ago that I would not send her to a nursing home. Although if there comes a point,I suppose I will have to. How will I know when that time comes? She has no sense of balance any more, and have to really be careful to watch that she doesn't fall. She is in a wheel chair 95 per cent of the time, with limited use of a 4 wheel walker(With supervision). I bathe her,help her dress, do the finances for her, and she still has a condo that we have to go to one aweek(about 50 min. away from my home) to pick up her mail and other odds and ends. Eventually after we get the place ready for sale, I think she will go ahead and sell, unless she decides to go back and hire someone to live with her there. But in all reality, I don't think she could afford to do that for very long. I know she knows this, which just adds to her frustration. But as you can see, there is no real set plan, which is really hard to deal with. This whole situation is really driving me batty. Oh well...... sorry this was so long!

tired76 11-10-2007 07:36 PM

Re: Totally worn out, and worn down
i'm so tired these days; hence even my username. i tried the nursing home route with my mom for about a week. she was miserable, the staff was horrible, and i was more frazzled driving over there to check on things. so, i have mom at home with me. of course, there is help available, but we live in a small is more frustrating at times with an extra person here even though they are supposed to help.

SherryAnne 11-13-2007 06:30 PM

Re: Totally worn out, and worn down
Hi ladies,
I know exactly what you are saying. I am also a caregiver of my mother who lives with me and my family. She is dying of lung cancer and probably near the end now. I am totally exhausted all the time and have interest in pretty much NOTHING at this point. Some days I wonder how I will get through another ...... and then I the grace of GOD.
Hang in there and just try to take one day...or one a time.

TopamaxKillsMe 11-14-2007 12:17 PM

Re: Totally worn out, and worn down
I understand. I am not the only child but I may as well be. I moved to Florida to care for my mom who has Multiple Myeloma. Unfortunately, I must work so I can pay my bills so I am temping. Mom has been very sick lately as her disease has become suddenly active. I feel exhausted, depressed, have brain funk (I have epilepsy which doesn't help matters). Sometimes I dream about getting in my car and driving out of here but I would never do that to my mother. I think it's normal to be frustrated, especially when you're basically on your own. My mother also has her moods. Her vision has deteriorated so she is frustrated about that. She is also depressed about my siblings and their seeming lack of concern for her. Sometimes I feel as if I do my best but nothing is good enough. As much as I miss California (where i moved here from), I know in my heart that I'm doing the right thing. I don't want what's left of my mother's life to be misery and sadness re: her children's lack of concern. At least I want to know that I did all I could. It's very hard, I understand.

tired76 01-10-2008 08:04 PM

Re: Totally worn out, and worn down
thanks so much for the hugs. i am not an only child either, but i might as well be, too. and although i dont ask for help from what relatives are left, if i needed help, they would disappear...heck, they have disappearded now. it is as if they dont know how to deal with seeing someone who used to be healthy, now aging and in poor health, as my mom is now. there are many times that i want to get in the car and drive until the gas runs out.

daughter issues 02-03-2008 09:41 PM

Re: Totally worn out, and worn down
I was my mom's primary caregiver. I never had her live with me, but I live in the same town as she did. My brother lives here too actually. I never got any help from any of my family, no matter how much I begged or pleaded or even offered to pay them. I was constantly over at my mom's house taking care of her, and always brought along my then 2 year old daughter. I battled depression, had dreams of running off to get away from everything here. I finally got wise. I started doing an email thing, since everyone in my family has email. I would send a general email to everyone, listing all the names of the people who were going to be getting the email so that everyone could see who was getting it. I would give an update about Mom in it, then I would specifically name someone and ask them to do a specific task. If they never did the task that I asked, then when I would send out another update on Mom (which got to be bi-daily near the end), I would mention tactfully that I never received help and then pick another relative and ask them to do a task. It didn't work at first, but after about 4 emails like that they finally started getting the picture that I wasn't going to allow them to burden me solely with this responsibility. Eventually it did work for my family. I had to allay their fears that mom looked like some kind of grotesque monster, or whatever they had in their mind that she looked like. Just before the end for my Mom, I finally had my brother helping out without having to be asked.

Just a thought here. Maybe your families are going through the same thing my family went through. They wanted to help but weren't sure what was needed, and they were afraid that they wouldn't be able to handle looking at this "monster" image of my mom that they had. It took about 3 weeks, but it worked for me. I hope this gives you some ideas on how to get your families to help. It's an enormous task for one person alone to take on. I wish all of you the best in getting some family support.

DC2008 03-26-2008 12:19 PM

Re: Totally worn out, and worn down
I am a caregiver for my church. I hear stories all the time that all of you share being sole caregivers. It can be very stressful and exhausting. I would like to suggest that you check with your county or city for organizations that have volunteers that will come in and sit or help care for your mother for the day. This allows you, the caregiver, to have some down time. In some areas they call it Elder Care. Most caregivers are working and have families adding to the stress. As a caregiver I try to stress that taking time for yourself is very important, probably the most important, as you will be a better caregiver if you have time to unwind from everything. If you wear yourself down you will be no good to anyone. All of you:angel: are Blessings from God. I know you had a bad experience with a nursing home, have you looked at assisted living? Also I would check out other nursing homes in your area. Visit the home first on your own. Ask to go down the halls where the rooms are, if your smell urine or see unclean areas or people appear to not be taken care of RUN! A good home should allow you to go into all the areas to check them out. If they don't they may have something to hide. Also ask about the ratio of staff to patient. Check state, county and city records of inspection and complaints. I wish you the very best. DC 2008

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