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Don't know how to help Mom who is caregiver to my grandparents

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Old 09-18-2008, 06:27 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Don't know how to help Mom who is caregiver to my grandparents

My family situation sounds very similiar to almost everyone on this board. My mother currently lives with and is the caregiver for my grandparents. My grandmother is in her 80s but can still get around on her own and is fairly self sufficient. My grandfather on the other hand is 87 and seems to just be giving up. I last saw him in June and he was getting around with a walker and pretty self sufficient. Only a few months later he has become completely incapable of doing anything for himself.

My mother not only does everything around the house, but also takes care of all of the bills, drs appointments, phone calls, works a fulltime job and is the primary caregiver for them. I have other family in town who don't want to know from nothing, my brother does the bare minimum to help every now and again and my sister seems to have dropped off the face of the earth.

I'm probably the only person my mom could count on for help but the problem is I live in San Diego and they're in NJ. I feel completely helpless to help her and I can tell she's at her wits end. I can't remember the last time I spoke with her and she was happy. She's physically exhausted, emotionally drained, frustrated, angry and completely unaprecciated. I want to help her in some form just need ideas.

I've tried talking to my siblings and stressing how much she needs help but it hasn't done any good. They do have someone come in to get my grandfather cleaned up and in and out of bed but other than that the complete responsibility falls on my mother.

Any ideas???? I'm worried if something doesn't change she's going to make herself sick.

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Old 09-18-2008, 06:52 PM   #2
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Re: Don't know how to help Mom who is caregiver to my grandparents

It is time for your grandparents to be in a nursing home. It is not fair for your mother to completely lose her own health, it is happening right now. I have been there, done that and still paying the price. You do not want your mother to end up with a nervous breakdown. I was as close to a neervous breakdown as a person can be and not have one, simply due to the overload of being a full time caregiver.

Our parents do not want to give up their home lifestyle but at times it is necessary to go to a nursing home and relieve others who are not able to continue caring for them.

Old 12-21-2008, 12:22 AM   #3
Sarah Ortwein
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Re: Don't know how to help Mom who is caregiver to my grandparents

I would just step in and say to your mother, it looks like you need a break from the constant care giving that you have been doing for the grandparents and tell your mother that I am here to take your spot until you get rested up. I have piad for a relaxing trip for you and why do you go on this trip and pamper your self that you desiver. You have done a really good job mom for taking really good care to my granparents. Now it is my turn to do it for a while. It is not healthy for you mother to keep on care giving to your grandparents 24 hours a day 7 days aweek without a day off to do some thing that she wants to do for her self. Step in once in a while and giver your mother a break when she needs it. Give her a phone call and check up on her and make sure she is doing ok. And also check in and see how your grandparents are doing on a daily bases. Why don't you take your grandparents out on an outing for the day or for the night if they can walk by themsleves then take them out with your mom and it will be a lot of fun with you. And you can spend more time with your grandparents before they pass away. I do not mean to be harsh on that last word. I was a care giver for when my grandparents needed my help I would drive them to doctors and other aopintments they neded to go to. And I would also take them out to breakfasts and we would go to chruch every Sunday until they could not go any more. I also got to spend all of my time with them and visit with them and going to the store and buying there favoirte doughnuts and bering over coffees and we would sit there and we would talk about memories that would pop up in our minds. I wish that I could have taped their voices so I could listen to them every day of my life so I could have them with me every day of my life to. But I don't I have them in my mind and in my heart and I surly and greatly miss them every day of my life it is really hard around the hoildays and my birthdays and it is really hard to go over to there house by the creek and they are not there to knock on the door and talk to them that is what i miss most about them. Is being able to walk into there house and my grandmother would make me some hot chocolate and a piece of sour dough toast. And my grandfather would get me a candy bar and we would share it. We would talk about the old times. Every moment and time in your life you shoud go over there and visit your grandparents with the time that you have left with them and remember what they tell you and have them write a book about the old time memories if they can write them down for you or you can even write the book for them and have them sign it for you. And also tape their voices and you can play that back as many times as you want to. That is what I did not do. And I feel very gulity about that not being able to record their voices so I could play it over and over at night time while I was sleeping I could hear them talk to me all night long but I did not I have them in my mind and in my heart to. So they go with me every day of my life. They even go with me to church every Sunday morning and out to breakfast with me and they are all there for the hoildays and my birthdays with me. And I love it to. Take care and good luck to you and your mother while talking care of you grandparents this will be you speical time nad moment with them ok. Gold Bless and have a peaceful time to share the memories that you have with each other. YOu are an angel sent down from above and you are a very caring person to be around. I am here for you if you need to talk to me about any thing ok. Let me know how it goes while you are taking care of your grandparents? let me know about how your mother is doing and how she is feeling to having a long break from the grandparents. I know that it is going to be very hard work I use to do it and I am still taking care of my mom's mom. I am help my mom out with her mom once a week I take her into town and she does her shopping and dose all of her arrnds and she also takes me out to breakfast or lunch after we are done doing her shopping. Then I take her home and I pick up her mail and I help he around the house to. I wish that she would call me more often so I can help my grandma out more but she inssisnts that my mom gose over there to her house and she takes her out. My mom is very tired when she gets off of work all that she wants to do is come home and relax and eat dinner and go to bed. I have offerd to help my gramdma out more and shesays no I want my daughter to come by and help me out. So I let it go and I wait for her to call me for more help. and i do it for her and to help my mom out as best as i can to.

Old 12-29-2008, 07:50 PM   #4
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Re: Don't know how to help Mom who is caregiver to my grandparents

I know in California, through the State they pay people to care for the elderly, or disabled.
In home Support Services. Maybe where they are the State can help your mother .

Old 04-25-2009, 01:58 AM   #5
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Re: Don't know how to help Mom who is caregiver to my grandparents

I am guessing that what your mother needs most is someone reliable to stay with her parents so she can get out to a) do necessary errands and b) keep her sanity. See if you can talk some sense (or instill some guilt) into any family members in that same area. Next line of defense, sometimes certain conditions have organizations that will send respite caregivers; check online. Next, if your Mom has a church, members would surely wish to help. Mom needs to get out to pick up groceries and prescriptions, go to her own medical appointments, EXERCISE (very important), and do something she enjoys. And event though you are far away, call and email her to let her know that you appreciate what she's doing. We caregivers are a community---it's just that we never see each other! It's mostly a solo job, like flying a small plane. And it does get to your head. Right now I am on this board at 4 AM instead of sleeping because I am anxious about my husband (I take care of him).

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