following are true stories sent in by today's caregivers:
just found this site. I am nearly out of my mind. My mother is
becoming confused at 76 and her husband of 27 years has severe
dementia. He is going to be going home with my mother from a nursing
home this Saturday. I don't know how to deal. They have no money.
am a single mother of two and have dedicated my life to my children.
Now this. Do I stop living? My mother is not a very pleasant person
and to live with her or her with us, first of all, is impossible
right now; but if it works out, it would drive my children away.
cannot abandon my mother even though I could justify it by her
actions towards me all my life. Some years she was there, other
years she totally shut me out. But she is my mother. She has NO
ONE but me.
on earth do I do? When her husband comes home I cannot imagine
what it will be like. She is having a difficult time taking care
of herself. He cannot tie his shoes nor go to the bathroom alone
(he must be led).
keep thinking this might just all go away. Well, you cannot imagine
some of the thoughts I hate myself for thinking which come up.
suggestions would be appreciated. I work all day, oftentimes 14
to 16 hours, then come home to my children. I feel so useless in
all of this.
am the youngest of 8 at 36 years old. Eleven years ago I cared
for my mother before we lost her to breast cancer. Three of my
siblings helped briefly.
year after my mom passed away, I met and married my husband. He
is 52 now, making him 15 years older than I. He has two boys that
were young then and are 17 and 19 now. They live out-of-state with
their mom. Nine months ago, my dad had congestive heart failure.
I flew 1,000 miles and moved him to California and in with us.
My husband has at times been supportive. But now he wants to leave
me. He wants me to choose between him and my dad who still can't
completely care for himself. I feel I've tried everything to give
my husband more attention. My seven brothers and sisters don't
even call. The strong woman in me wants to care for my dad until
he's gone. As I know you don't get a second chance. Until you lose
a parent you don't know. Help.
- I know that my story is not unique. I am the step-daughter of
aging parents, one of whom is now in dementia and possibly heading
to Alzheimer's. We are still having this diagnosed. I continue
to wonder about the quality of my life when I'm continually involved
in the drama of the illnesses of the dementia parent. I have other
siblings but they haven't jumped in to help out.
mother is still holding on to a measure of independence, although
the caregiving is wearing her out. I know that she needs a support
group and so do I. I live in Northern California in the Vallejo,
you for any help or suggestions that you can offer.
74-year-old mother has been living with my husband and me for 10
years. She has never driven and when my Dad was alive she was totally
dependent on him for everything; taking her shopping, to all her
doctor appointments, whatever. My mother is also bipolar (with
other mental problems thrown in just to add to the excitement).
My older sister died in 1975, so I am it! No one else to take care
of her. I am so tired of my life totally revolving around hers
that I was just about ready to get in my car and drive away and
never come back. Of course, I would never do it, but sometimes
it is so tempting.
revolves around her. She doesn't provide any financial support
to the household (although she occasionally buys things for the
house). She doesn't clean or cook. She washes dishes, but they
are so dirty when she gets done I have to re-wash them. I have
to work and when I don't, I don't get paid. My mother will not
have anyone else take her to her doctors appointments or if I had
someone else take her, she makes my life miserable. She was asked
one time by her psychiatrist why she had me take off of work to
take her to all her appointments; why don't you take a taxi? Her
response ... How will they know how to get there? AND Only if my
daughter follows me in the car. SO, what's the point.
seems like all I do any more is take her to all of her appointments.
She refuses to try and coordinate appointments so we can do some
of them on the same day. She's had eight this month and the month's
not over. I'm just wondering if anyone else has the same type of
situation and how they have solved this problem. I know part of
the solution lies with me, but I don't know if I can live with
her complaining when I try to stop her controlling me. I feel like
it's a no win situation ... I feel helpless.
am just getting prepared to take care of my mom. She will be 83
this month. She does not understand about meds and is getting absent
minded. I am lucky that I only live about 200 yards from her. This
is a new experience for me and am trying to get contacts before
it really starts. Thanks.
father-in-law is 84 years old and lives with my husband, my 2 year
old son and I. He and my husband have been living together since
my husband's mother died in 1981. I entered the picture in 1991.
My father-in-law's health is relatively good, but he practically
has to be hog-tied to go to a doctor (he has been twice since he
was released from WWII). His eyesight is going, and he has refused
to submit to any tests or procedures which might arrest the process.
has a tendency to be very self-centered, and my husband has probably
catered to him too much, so now
we have a negative, irritable, demanding, unpleasant monster in the house that
is creating so much tension! He will knock on a closed bedroom door or interrupt
quality time that my husband is spending with our son, just to get attention
himself. He nags and hounds my husband constantly, expects to have everything
done for him even if he might be able to do it himself, and refuses to allow
anyone else in the house to care for him. It is now to the point that he probably
should not/cannot be left alone overnight but since he refuses to let anyone
else in to care for him, he obviously expects my husband to work full-time
and play nursemaid to him.
two sisters-in-law who live about 140 miles away refuse to help
at all, even to help talk to their father about the fact that he
needs help, so not only does my husband have to tend to all of
the day-to-day care that they don't,
he also has to be the bad guy so they can come out smelling like roses. My
father-in-law is becoming increasingly rude and insulting to my husband, and
scolds him if he's out longer than my father-in-law wants him to be. I thought
maybe we could see some improvement if we could just get someone in to care
for him, but he is so nasty and negative around the clock, I don't think we
can have a normal, happy home until he's living somewhere else.
hardest part is seeing the effect on our 2-year-old son. This is
certainly a lesson to those around us to never be such a burden
to your children. Who could want to leave that kind of lasting
mother-in-law was diagnosed with end-stage breast cancer. It is
all through her body. She has chosen to fight with chemotherapy.
However, we are all part of this fight. When she got sick we found
out that she could not pay her bills. She spent all of the money
that Dad and she had. Within a week I moved my children (ages 11,
10, and 9) to her home as it was bigger with a first floor set
up. My home is now up for sale. There are no other family members
to help, just my husband and I. Our lives have totally changed.
She is not only dying from cancer but she has insulin-dependent
diabetes. I work full-time at a school, it is so hard. We are doing
the best we can. Some days I wonder if I can get through another
day of chemo, medications, cleaning up, mothering my children,
cooking her meals, etc. I wonder how caretakers cope. I also lost
my father in November and don't even have time to grieve him.
have been dealing with Alzheimer's for the past 10 years, first
my mother and now my father. They are both in a nursing home. They
share the same room. I have been handling all the burden including
taking care of the bills of their home till I sold it this past
December. I would like information on coping with this situation
and planning for the future.
I'm in a little bit different situation. My mother was diagnosed
with MS before they decided to conceive me many many years ago.
I was just searching the web for any type of caregiver-only support
we have been through SO MUCH in 27+ years. It's easy to get down
and out as I am today (Momma just went in the hospital again last
night. It was also the night I was trying to let go of my fear.
I'm afraid that if I go out and enjoy myself, something bad will
happen to my mother. Everyone thinks it's crazy.)
no matter how hard it gets for me on my end, I remember how much
harder it must be to be them. Unable to function the way they were.
Feeling like a burden to those they love, knowing there is only
worse to come. It's very hard for us, it's much harder for them.
What is it? The word has lost its meaning with use. As a caregiver,
I see the word splashed colorfully to advertise everything from
incontinence care to the wishes of the dying. At a recent caregivers
expo, I inquired about the many display ads boasting "we Protect
Dignity." The booth attendants were usually taken aback at
the question. Our exchange would go something like this: "What
do you mean here. this statement regarding dignity?" "Well,..
we treat our clients with dignity." "How?" I'd ask. "Well?
we are nice to them, uh, we believe dignity is important." "Oh?
In what way?" I ask again. I smile as I hear the same buzz
words repeated without the specifics: Respect, personal privacy,
and the big "D" word, dignity.
face it. Dignity is easier to define when you lose it. Just ask
anyone who's familiar with the dreaded ADLs. Those activities of
daily living can be spelled out Another Dignity Lost. I witnessed
the drama played out with the variety of health aides visiting
our home during my mom's illness. In hushed tones the necessary
details are exchanged regarding her therapy and personal care.
After the rubber gloves are tossed and the paperwork signed, there's
a pause before the words come. Mom speaks softly. "I don't
like that. Would you like it if she took you in the shower?" Another
piece of the dignity puzzle is removed.
it's taken away or "lost." How did it get there in the
first place? I personally believe we all are born with it. "It" being
that treasure deep within, the invisible value of our being. Our
parents and family reinforce we are worthy of the attention and
time they invest for our continued existence. I hold on to the
belief that our value is God-given, as one with a purpose, a destiny
to fulfill. I also have been taught that God gives us free will,
to make the choices along the way. Without the freedom to choose,
our dignity cannot find expression. Remember the childhood chant
that was sing-songed, "Bear the pain or bare the shame"?
I don?t know about you, but I would pick pain any day. The thought
of anyone hearing, viewing, touching or whiffing any part of my
delicate humanity would cause me to shudder. My body belongs to
me. It is my personal private property.
clothing not only covers me, but also offers me identity. And you
thought only my voice speaks! My clothes say a lot. Just ask those
who counsel job interview hopefuls. Power ties, suits, and accessories
can help hide inexperience and timidity, while a missing button
or stained shirt may cause genuine character strengths to be missed.
Our wardrobe picks affect on how we feel about ourselves. But what
comes first, the dignity or the clothes?
visiting my mom's rehab facility, I noticed legal statutes protecting
the dignity of the residents there. It gave them a right "to
be treated courteously, fairly, and with the fullest measure of
dignity." But how? The closing of a door or curtain may be
a kind and necessary gesture, but would I be happy if my doctor
or health care professional only closed a door? However inadequate,
I am grateful for the "cover" they give me. The idea
of a choice in the matter seems ridiculous. Let's imagine the health
care professional and patient dialogue. "Would you care for
a cover today?" "Oh no thanks, I'd rather be exposed.
Thanks very much." The irony of this reply speaks volumes
for dignity. Even with the "no'" the patient is offered
a choice and so is offered dignity.
for my mom, a six-week visit to a rehab facility offered her no
choice in the matter. To my amazement, there had not been one type
of "cover" designed for those needing help with personal
hygiene. No styles, designers, or boutiques suiting the birthday
frustration led to a personal quest for a solution to this troubling
problem. A garment to be worn in the shower and during transitional
clothing changes would be designed. A first of its kind dignity
garment evolved. From two worn hand towels safety pinned together,
to a functional and attractive personal care accessory, the Honor
Guard was born. Eventually, I filed a patent and brought to market
my own solution to the dignity problem in hopes of allowing moms
and dads like my mine a choice.
my vision for a personal care garment was born just in time for
my mom and me. When she returned home, I was called upon to assist
her in the shower, my simple garment helped me to discover the
relationship between dignity and clothing. Her honor found expression
by covering what was private. Those intimate boundaries were intact.
now speak and teach those in the Assisted and Home Care Industry,
encouraging those who desire to improve the care of their clients.
Dignity is now possible.
dignity meaning took me on quite a journey, deeper and wider than
I've ever imagined. Webster defines dignity as "The quality
or state of being worthy of esteem or respect." My quest continues
to understand this intangible state of being, and to examine tangible
means of protecting and restoring dignity lost.
am a family caregiver. I care for my father, who is 88 years old,
has severe heart problems and has had one leg amputated. I cared
for my mother for three years until her death. Now, for seven years
I have been caring for my father. It has became too much for me
to manage two house holds. I would do his yard work, house work,
cooking and laundry, then go home and take care of my husband and
that I am a 52-year-old woman, and my sons are out of college and
doing well, my husband suggested we sell our home to our oldest
son (We let them just assume what was left of our mortgage) and
take out another loan so we can add on a small in-law apartment
to my father's house so we can live there and take care of him.
process was far from an easy one. I had to literally fight city
hall just to get the permit. After all was said and done, all I
had to do was change the names of the rooms. I made the bedroom
into an "exercise room" and a kitchenette into a canning
we got the addition built and we settled in, more changes take
place. As most caregivers know, insurance is a nightmare. I found
that my father's doctor of 20 years will no longer accept his insurance
and the price of the premium was going up. Well again I fight the "system." Grateful
that I am able to help my father. Angry for all the people who
have no one to help them and get swallowed by the system.
am grateful to my family of five brothers and one+- sister. They
all live out of state, but take turns when I need some help. We
find it cheaper to fly from state to state than to find and pay
person to stay with dad. I am most thankful to my husband, my biggest
My greatest need? My biggest wish? I want to have the time and ability to be
an advocate for seniors. I want to get loving help for the people with
no family to help them. The lower-income people have the government,
the rich have the money to pay for help, but the hard-working, average
citizens need help. They have never used the agencies out there and don't
know how to access them. One of my other desires is to have "live" people
answer phones, especially at the agencies that deal with the elderly.
Many elderly have hearing problems that make listening to the never-ending
recordings, asking them questions and telling them to push buttons, not
only frustrating, but impossible.
other wish would be to get the TV and movie companies to reduce
the background noise on the programs. Our seniors sometimes have
no other activities, and rely on the TV for company, but they can't
hear the dialog for the music and noise.
is my story, these are my dreams. I pray someday I can be someone
who made a difference for our seniors.
But believe me, there are days when my father is so mean to me or my husband
that I want to just run away. Then I think of how sad he is and how much he
misses his wife of 70 years.
moved in with my 75-year-old mom two years ago. I sold my house
to move in and take care of her or help in anyway I can. Got rid
of everything I own but the bare essentials, thinking she was going
to share with me.
Her eyesight is very bad but she won't give up driving.
She assured me when I moved in, this would be my home to, but I don't dare
move anything or put anything where I want it.
I moved in she fell three times, one time almost over the porch
rail climbing up in a chair to tie up a plant.
She cried and told me if she had to spend one more night by herself she would
go crazy and if I would move in she would put my name on the house deed so
it would be mine when she dies. It's old and not worth much and I don't care
about her house. Now she says she never said such a thing and I am a liar and
goes into tirades saying she will kill herself; got in the car and took off
saying she would drive off a bridge, and now saying she will set the blankety
blank house on fire.
am at the end of my rope. She flat refuses to go to a doctor, says
she is never going to a doctor again.
I am the only one to care for her but feel I can't take this for years and
years. Any help or just someone to talk to appreciated.
80-ish parent's clutter is totally overwhelming! Has always hoarded.
Number 1 item is newspapers. In mid-40s, I live with my parent;
have a flex work schedule; am very willing to help. However, the
clutter leaves no room for a much needed "home." It is
more like a warehouse. Desperately need a home office to help manage
parent's and my affairs! Clutter results in misplacing or scavenger
hunts for papers. Clutter produces dusty air; limits comfortable
living arrangements. Prevents anyone from visiting; limits repair
people coming in. Parent is 100% RESISTENT to clearing some clutter.
All I ask is to start with the newspaper piles, and make some reasonable
space for a home office. Why can't it be a compromise? Where do
I begin? Am aware of psychological factors. I need some strategies
or approaches. Anyone?
mom is 72 and lives 1,000 miles away from me. She is experiencing
digestive problems, which she has had her whole life and the symptoms
of which have escalated as she has aged. She had surgery due to
this one year ago, and seemed to be improving, but now has apparently
relapsed. The doctors can find nothing else wrong with her other
than a "lazy bowel." She feels miserable all the time
and her doctors seem unable to offer her any relief. She lives
alone, has HMO insurance (Massachusetts-based) and limited help
- a few friends and non-immediate family none of whom live very
close by. I am financially unable to move back to Massachusetts
to assist her and she doesn't feel able due to her health to make
a move to where I live. She has some money and lives off her assets.
She doesn't want to dip into her principal finances for herself
because she wants to save it for an inheritance for me after she's
gone, which I insist I don't want. I have only found one organization
in her area to assist her.
a married, 47-year-old Afro-American female whom had a career in
Health Care Finance until my parents both got ill. They're 85 and
days are hectic and I never have time for me. It becomes over whelming
when you're the only one they depend on. I live in another city,
which is an hour away. I have asked them to move in with me but
they're uncooperative, which makes it difficult for me. I gave
up my job but had to take on a temp position because bankruptcy
was the next option. It's hell when you can't rest without worry.
this is a short version of a very long story...
name is Prudence. My Mom has Pick's Disease. This is like Alzheimer's
but it effects a different part of the brain and some of the symptoms
are different. She is in the latter stages of the disease and is
totally dependent and expected not to be alive much longer.
I am the youngest of six children. My brother is the oldest and
he lives in Arkansas. Sometimes I am so jealous of him because
he lives far from here and
he doesn't have to deal with the everyday choices, calls, like we do. There
is a lot of hard feelings in my family right now and I don't know where to
turn. The next oldest is my sister "Sara" then comes "Mary", "Cathy," Anne" and
then myself. My sisters are all very close. They go to dinners together, kids
play together, etc. I am not in the same social circle with them. They all
have more money and a couple of them don't have children. Only one has small
children. Anyway, there is so much tension between them and me. Let's start
with some more backgrounds. Sara is a single teacher. Mary is a stay-at-home
mom of a 16-year-old and a 13-year-old. Cathy is single and works full time
and she lives across the street from my parents. Anne is a stay-at-home mom
of a 13-year-old girl (can baby sit) a 10-year-old boy and a 4 1/2-year-old
boy and a 3-year -old boy.
I love/cherish every minute that I spend with my Mom. Sure I get
aggravated with having to drop things to go over there and have
to work around schedules even more than I already do. Yeah, I know,
I sound like I am feeling sorry for myself. Well, maybe I need
to. I cannot find any comfort anywhere else!
My sister's and I have a day/night each day of the week and my aunt has a day
a week and we have a full-time caregiver that works from midnight till noon
every day except on Sundays when she leaves at 6 a.m. My night is Friday from
10 a.m. till at least 10 p.m. Plus, I am there every other day of the work
week to change/move mom. She is supposed to be moved every other hour because
has a bad bed sore on her tailbone. I am the one who has to change that dressing
every other day. I am usually there at least 45-50 hours a week compared to
my sisters 8 hours.
On my 35th birthday, it was a Friday and NO ONE would switch with me. So ,
I decided I was going to do my scheduled day and then the afternoons. My sisters
get SO angry with me when I won't switch my days with them so they can go out
to dinner, etc. I am having friends over Saturday evening for dinner and Mary
called to see if I would work Saturday instead of Friday. I told her I could
not because I was having friends over and she got mad and wanted to know who!
Like, who are you going to go out with that is so important that you can't
trade days with me. She got angry and hung up when I stuck with my plans.
I feel like my family is suffering from this and I don't know how to handle
it. My family meaning my at-home family. My husband, kids and the house. I
don't have time to do the laundry, clean, etc. It has caused a lot of friction
between my husband and me. He feels like he and the children need to come first.
I do too, but I also feel like my Mom needs me as much as they do. Where do
I draw the line?
I have been to the social worker at hospice, a counselor through the archdiocese
and now I have come to you because they were not able to help me. The counselor
at Hospice told me I had more than what she could help with, the Archdiocese
counselor met with me the first time and got all the information and then told
me that she didn't have much time to see me because she was going to school
full time and had a lot of patients. I don't know where to turn. I would love
to talk to someone who knows/understands what I am going through. That is what
I need. I don't need the problems solved because they will solve themselves
in the end. Just someone who cares would be nice to talk with!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
story begins with my parents that live with me. Both of my parents
are elderly. My father is 80 years old and my mother is 79. I am
the only caregiver that takes care most of the time. Since they
live with me, my only two sisters think I need to take care of
them. Also, because I am the oldest and single, they feel like
I have more time to take care of them because I don't have a husband
and family. They feel like I don't need to go anywhere.
father had always been very healthy until a couple of years ago
when his heart started giving him problems. He has a long list
of heart complications. About a year and a half ago, they implanted
a defibrillator, which is to slow his heart because his heart does
not know when to stop. A few months before he had this done we
were at the hospital almost every month. Then, when they did this,
he is better, but he does have a lot of chest pain and tells me
he thinks he needs to go to the hospital, so there we go with him.
Recently this past 6 months we have been to the hospital almost
every week. It just never ends.
mother has been a complete shut-in for over 20 years. She is a
diabetic and has numerous complications such as high blood pressure,
anemia, stomach problems, arthritis and has a very hard time walking.
She can only walk with a walker and even then she can only walk
very little. She is very unstable and falls quite a bit. A year
ago she fell and almost broke her knee and prior to that she had
broken her ankle a few years ago and we have such a hard time with
her because she is overweight and cannot move very well.
biggest problem is that I cannot leave them alone for very long.
I work every day; I have 9-5 job. In fact, I am a caseworker for
a nonprofit agency. If they get sick my sisters call me right away
and tell me I need to go the hospital and see what I can do for
them. I never have anytime for myself and no one seems to understand
that. Everyone tells me how blessed I am to have them both with
me and I know that I am blessed but I need a break. I am never
able to go out of town anymore. As much as I am tired of it all,
I would not change a thing from what the Lord has given, and I
thank God for that. I just need to talk to someone who knows what
it is like to have their parents live with them all of the time.
If any one has any advice or ideas how I can work at leaving them
alone without feeling guilty and worrying if they need me and I
am not there for them. The guilty feelings is what I have a very
hard time dealing with.
Mom is 78 and recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. I would
say she is in the second stage of the disease. I am her only child.
She has become so suspicious and angry that I find myself angry
most of the time trying to deal with all the different problems.
Most of the time she doesn't know me. Now she sees "other
people" in my room. Her doctor gave her medication for the
hallucinations, but so far I don't see much improvement. I just
feel so frustrated most of the time. The memory loss has been going
on for about three years, but the hallucination have appeared recently
and seem to be getting worse fast.
mother had a stroke six years ago and has been hospitalized too
many times to count. She was a longtime widow and this year she's
been in and out of nursing homes, and back home. This time I cannot
seem to manage the daily struggle. It's hard to hear her moan and
groan and in pain. I'm at the end of my rope and we're arguing
all of the time. She's depressed and has all the health problems
anyone can have in their old age, but is very needy. When I come
in the door from work, questions begin; can I do this, that and
the other thing. This time is different - I don't know what happened
but I can't do it anymore.
father, who is 61 years old, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease
just over 1 year ago. This is very rapidly progressing. I am having
a very difficult time with him due to vulgar language, hatefulness,
and agitation. I just don't know where else to turn and do not
have much time to attend support groups.
name is Shari and I am 35. My husband and I moved in with parents
to help my mom with my father 6 years ago. My dad has had a stroke,
heart attack, etc., but is the healthiest "sick man" I
have ever met. My mom died unexpectedly due to a doctor error in
1997, leaving me to care for my dad.
addition, I have four children 9 and under. So, needless to say,
I am busy. I have three brothers who think they help, but in reality
don't do very much. When they actually manage to do anything, such
as take him out to dinner, they are praised to high heaven. But
I, who feed him every night, clean up after him and do his laundry
get nothing but criticism. From reading your stories, I guess this
is how they all are. I seem to spend my life looking for help -
drivers, substitute caregivers, etc. It's hard.
live in Salem, Oregon and I take care of my 87-year-old mother
who has congestive heart failure. I have had her in my home for
8 1/2 years. I do family foster care for her, which allows me to
stay home and not have to work so that I can care for her. When
she first came to live with me, she was able to do a lot of things
for herself, and be quite independent. Now, however, she cannot
be left by herself, and requires more daily care and help.
year ago in August, I separated from my husband because of the
stress of trying to be a wife, daughter and caregiver at the same
time. We live close together and he is of some help, but the separation
has given me much needed peace. However, now that I cannot leave
her and have very little support of any kind, I find myself feeling
trapped and depressed a lot of the time. I have been looking for
a local support group, but have been unsuccessful so far. Also,
because I have a very limited income, I cannot afford to pay for
anyone to come in to give me some help.
would like to be able to chat with someone on line if nothing else.
If anyone is interested, please contact me at the e-mail address
below. Thanks for caring.
age 43, the sudden loss of my only brother, age 55, was devastating
to my Dad, a cancer patient suffering from emphysema, my Mom, in
good health physically but suffering from dementia and early Alzheimer's,
and me, divorced due to an alcoholic spouse, alone, with multiple
health problems trying to work full-time, make ends meet and assist
with sick, aging parents long distance.
year after my brother's death, Dad died. As sole caregiver to Mom,
I worked full-time and made two trips per month, driving over 600
miles, to assist her in remaining in her own home. Seven years
ago the phone rang at work and a neighbor informed me that Mom
had fallen and broken her leg. The break was such that it could
only be treated at a major hospital. Therefore, Mom was placed
in an ambulance for a three-hour trip to Emory University Hospital,
Atlanta, near my home. My life was completely changed at that time
and to the present, seven years later. Mom underwent an all-day
surgery requiring bone replacement and installation of the stabilizing
rod. We were faced with a second major surgery within four weeks
in her weakened condition. Our choices were few since the protruding
rod had to be replaced. Two weeks later Mom underwent the second
surgery and was again released for care and rehab services.
after, Mom was on her way home to my house. We had been in the
hospital scene from early November through February with me using
all my vacation and sick leave, working full time, commuting, eating
and sleeping mainly at the hospitals and in the car with no family
to fill the gaps. Mom made a remarkable recovery. It has been approximately
12 months now and we were looking forward to her being able to
return to her home, with assistance. I was making attempts to restore
some aspects of my life when, upon returning from the mall with
friends, we found Mom in the floor. She had fallen and broken a
hip - back to surgery, rehab and in-home care. This time Mom, at
age 87, was weakened physically.
will take care of Mom while I search for another job? We have lost
the services of the caregiver we could afford. It is unlikely at
age 62 that employment in the same salary range will be available.
How will we afford full-time care for Mom - Hospice does not provide
volunteers for these hours. How will I pay COBRA and long-term
care premiums and mortgage? What are our options? We would appreciate
prayers and direction. Mercy Living - the double life of one caregiver
among so many.
Ann H. Woody
have made a promise to my child. I will never, ever make her care
for me. I currently care for my boyfriend's father who is 77 years
old. He has very little memory problems, but his hearing and sight
are not that good. He is cared for only because he won't do anything
for himself, including showering. Not that he can't, he just won't.
take him to his doctors, I change his bed sheets, and I take care
of any other things he doesn't want to do. I AM 26 YEARS OLD. Living
with him, dealing with his mean, nasty attitude has been so hard
on me! I love my boyfriend who is my child's father, but won't
marry him until something is done about his dad. I don't want him
to just be stuffed anywhere. I have found several nice out-in-the-beautiful-country-setting
places for him to look into. He is an alcoholic and has made it
very difficult for his son who wants to quit drinking completely.
We don't know what to do anymore we are too young to be dealing
with this, 26 and 31 years old, but no one seems to be able to
mother is 76 and has mild dementia and Alzheimer's. My father is
78 and healthy. I recently put my mother in a nursing home because
my father has another woman he is seeing (has been for years) and
he does not want to care for my mother any more (so sad). It has
really been difficult dealing with all of the emotions of anger
towards my dad, and sadness at seeing my mother helpless and declining
mentally (she has been and still is an angel). Then there are the
financial challenges; my dad is in debt way past sane levels and
he has control as long as they are husband and wife. I feel helpless
because I do not have the authority to act in my mother's best
financial interests unless I have her declared incompetent which
is a painful process. Bottom line, it is painful to be in this
sandwich generation with parents to take care of and your own family
to support. Any comments or stories are appreciated.
mother died on June 5 of this year after a long time of fighting
various illnesses. I (her daughter) took care of her in the home
for four years and pulled her through five major operations. It
was trying for me and at the end of four years, she had fallen
out of her bed and it was at this time that I admitted her into
an assisted living facility. She was diagnosed with dementia. At
the same time my brother suffered a massive brain aneurysm at age
44 and although he pulled through this crises, he too was admitted
into an Alzheimer's facility because he need to be in a secure
environment. So mother was admitted into one end of the facility
(assisted living) and my brother Steve was at the other end of
the same facility (Alzheimer's). Through this year of long term
care, I became so frustrated with the level of care that I have
now formed an assessment and monitoring company, that provides
monthly care giving assessment reports and weekly visits in patients
in long term care facilities
am a 46-year-old African-American single mother. My daughter is
9 years old. My mother is 74, my grandmother is 94 and is in a
nursing home. My father passed away 7 years ago and my brother
died last year. He was 7 years older than I. Both deaths were sudden
months ago I moved in with my mother. She is in good health, but
I can see signs that she is headed for the same depression, isolation
and overreaction symptoms that my grandmother has experienced.
My grandmother is now in the early stages of Alzheimer's I am afraid
for my mother.. and myself. I'm good in a crisis, emergency situation
-- reacting first, falling apart later -- but, I don't see myself
as a long-term caregiver. The reason I moved in with my mother
is because my former fiancee was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder
and I knew I could not care for him the rest of my life. He frightened
my daughter and I and my mother offered her home to us. That's
my story... a new chapter seems to be added every day.
mom is 78 and her only health problem is blindness due to macular
degeneration. My dad died 1 1/2 years ago and my husband and I
asked Mom to move in with us. We have two daughters ages 7 and
11. I am 37 and my sisters are 58, 47 and my brother is 50. Before
my dad died, he tried to talk to us about my mom, saying she is
so mean and that he is worried about her. We laughed it off because
we heard it from her that he was a pain in the butt and we were
just closer to her and basically took her side. After Dad died
and she moved in, we got the real deal. Dad was right - NASTY.
Now I feel like I have replaced Dad as her target and I am the
reason for all her problems just like Dad was. There are three
others to help out and PLENTY OF MONEY of my mother's. She wants
to be catered to in a way that is just not possible. We cannot
talk (never could) and my sisters and brother do not want to hear
anything. They feel guilty and there is nothing they can do and
that's exactly what they do
dad is 71 years old and he just retired last year from his job.
Now I don't know if he's depressed or he has his own world, because
he doesn't wanted to cooperate with me and my mother. When we ask
him questions, he never responds, nothing. He has no friends, he
stays home everyday and watches his TV (baseball) all the time.
My mom and I were trying to help him out, but it seems he doesn't
want to help himself. He used to work at the airlines. He can travel
if he wants to, but NO all he does is to watch TV EVERY SINGLE
DAY! Or sometimes he uses my place to watch upstairs (he and mom
are in the downstairs apartment). Every time he's at my apartment
I feel very angry, especially if I wanted to rest and his TV is
on, especially after work. I really need help or someone to talk
to regarding his behavior, it affects everyone of us in the family.
Thank you very much!
am 36, married, with 4 small children (all under the age of 8).
My mom moved in with us 3 years ago. She is 66, but because of
some health problems, cannot do her own shopping, cleaning, or
cooking. I shop, cook, and run errands for her and she has someone
to come in and clean for her. We moved into a new house together
so that my mom could have her privacy and so could we. This was
also necessary because she is a very heavy smoker. We bought a
house that has a half-basement (we live on a hill so the basement
opens into the backyard. It was the best house we could find that
would suit our needs, but it was a compromise. My mom doesn't acknowledge
that we have made all of these changes for her and can't find a
single good thing to say about her living quarters. I am very tired
of her complaining about everything. She is just so negative about
everything. I have tried to interest her in taking some classes
at the senior center, but she always has some excuse as to why
she can't go.
story is my grandfather is 90 and suffering from dementia. He is
going down hill fast. My grandmother is still alive but it is getting
harder and harder to take care of him. He has not gotten violent
is a vet but we are having a hard time finding programs that will
help us. My mom has two siblings that do not help out and it is
very frustrating to us to keep walking into walls. It also is very
hard seeing someone you love turn into a helpless shell of what
they use to be. My grandparents are my life; if it weren't for
them I wouldn't be here. I want to give back but am at a loss of
where to start. Except of course showing up.
begin with, I am an only child. My mother and father are both 85
years old. My mother is in a wheelchair and my father was doing
everything for her (taking her to the bathroom, putting her in
bed, dressing her, cooking, washing clothes etc.). My father then
had a stroke and it was either enter a rehab center or go into
a nursing home. I put him and my mother both in the nursing home.
My father then dehydrated two times and is now on a feeding tube
going into Alzheimer's (so is my mother). I put them both into
the nursing home because I absolutely cannot handle my mother and
I really cannot handle my father at this point.
problem is that I feel so very, very guilty and I just cannot get
rid of this feeling. Every time I visit my insides shake. Everyone
tells me that I did the right thing, but like I said I just cannot
get rid of the guilt feeling. If there is anyone out there with
this same problem I would really appreciate hearing from them.
story is just beginning. My parents, both 83 and in relatively
good health, will be moving into a new home with my family. Where
they lived was getting unsafe and they would not consider a retirement
home, so living with us was the last option. I was very idealistic
when the idea was forming. Then reality set in and I literally
had panic attacks from it. I am talking to someone professionally,
but it was a sense of relief that I was not alone after finding
this web site Once we are "all" moved in I plan to seek
out the support meetings.
April of 1995, my mother passed away. Two months later, my father
had quad bypass heart surgery. From there he went down hill.
was working full time, so I hired someone to sit with my father
while I worked. After numerous so-called accidents my father had
that resulted in a broken hip, a month later a broken leg, and
then a month later broken foot, I had to make a decision on who
was going to take care of my father. I made the only decision that
I could. I quit my job to stay at home and care for him.
is 80 now, his health is not good. He had a colostomy 3 months
ago and I'm learning how to care for him. I'm at my wits' end.
It seems I can find no help in regards to my own health. I can't
afford medical insurance, my father and I live on his SSI and a
small pension. This does not afford us the luxury of medical insurance
for myself. I am in desperate need of medical attention and do
not know where to turn.