HealthBoards (
-   Caregivers (
-   -   How do I help my friend? (

SweetHome 02-19-2009 10:13 PM

How do I help my friend?
Hello all - the title says it all

My best friend is the sole caregiver for his mother who is in advanced stages of MS. She is completely unable to walk or stand. She is on a catheter and has some mental issues.
He is the only child and has taken sole responsibility for her care.

I am very concerned for my friend. He is receiving no support from family although he has an extensive extended family network. His mother refuses any outside care from nurses or in-home help. Friends have tried to help but are soon worn out by the level of care that she needs. He is basically doing all this care on his own, emotionally, physically and financially. It is taking its toll in all aspects of his life.

I try to help with money but as these are hard times, I don't have much to give.

I know my friend is reaching the end of his rope. The idea of a nursing home is completely out of the picture. His mother is a very proud woman. The mere discussion is offensive to him.

I am so worried for him. He has no savings and no social life. His mother's condition has deteriorated over the years and continues to now. He feels that he must do this on his own and that he is able to do this on his own. I can see that he is not.

How do I talk to my friend about considering a nursing home? Or should I even try?

SherryAnne 02-24-2009 10:37 AM

Re: How do I help my friend?
I was the sole caregiver for my mother who lived with me and my family. She had stage IV lung cancer and passed away in July, 2008. Being a caregiver can totally burn you out as you mentioned about your friend.

First, I'd like to suggest the services of hospice (in home care). I'd never put my mother in a nursing home either...I've seen too many horrible things. We had hospice nurses and aides to help me with my mom. They also pay for mother didn't have to pay not one penny. They were truly our angels.

Since I've been a caregiver (actually for most of my life between my daughter and my mother), what really would have helped me was if someone would cook dinner for us, do the grocery shopping (caregivers can't usually get out very often), offer to watch the ill person so the caregiver can just get out and have some "me" time. These are just a few suggestions that would be gladly welcomed by the caregiver.

My prayers are with you and your friend as I've been down the road that never seems to end sometimes while being a caregiver.

hakim44 02-24-2009 12:44 PM

Re: How do I help my friend?
I perfer that he wouldn't put his mother in a nursing home, I have seen also some negative things as being a Nurse. I sugeest you should let him get private duty for his mother, But first and foremost, please advise him to do some thorough background checks on the agency and the people they have on their staff, even if they were to comeg to his home, it is still a risk as if they were in a Nursing facility. Good luck with your friend!

Rosaflor 04-26-2009 07:58 PM

Re: How do I help my friend?
There is a cynical definition of family as "a dictatorship ruled by its sickest member". When an ill or elderly person demands that nobody but one particular child be the caregiver, we see this in action. Paid help is refused, church volunteers are refused, nursing home is refused, everything is refused, except for the one child who has been put in the role of Human Sacrifice. If a three year-old were having tantrums because he didn't want to go to the doctor, we would bundle him up politely and put him in the car, not because we are being sadistic to the child but because we know two things: 1) what needs to be done and 2) that letting the child make the decision is not the wise course of action. Why is Mother being allowed to call the shots here? See if there is an ally you can bring in---a clergyman, perhaps, or a trusted family friend? Or Mother's doctor? Other family members may or may not care what is happening to your friend since, after all, he is letting them get away scot-free while doing the whole job himself.

hakim44 04-28-2009 05:48 PM

Re: How do I help my friend?
The bible says "honor thy Mother and Father and your days will be long lived on earth" As children we tend to believe we have a duty owed to our parents and that if noone is going to do it then "I" will. I have to agree with Rosaflor,your friend is letting the family member get a "free pass" to go. What happens when your friend is stressed out and sick, and cannot take care of his mother who is to step in then? Social Services would have to render services then even if the other family member is not willing to look out for her. if the other family member don't step up and take some of the load, then his mother would have to set aside her pride and let someone take the load off of her son,meaning nursing home,or private duty. The best thing for your friend is that he has to do what is best for his physical, mental and emotional well being for himself. You can love your mother, but you have to love you first and know what is healthy. He is not abandoning her, he is only giving her the best care he knows that would benefit her and him. So he should reconsider his option carefully and put in proper care for his mother and himself.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:29 PM.