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  • I'm About to Lose My Mind....

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    10 posts, 10 voices, 1258 views, started Jun 2, 2011

    Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011

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      As some of you may know, I had to have my mother come to live with us recently as her living environment with my sister was less than desirable.  This is my birth mom, I found her about 17 years ago and have kept in touch with her via regular visits over the years.

      I knew having her come to live with us was the right thing at that time.  She is 68, and not in the best of health.  She has a balance issue and does not walk very well.  I have encouraged her by buying her a cane and taking her with me on grocery shopping trips, etc..  68 is young, but she acts like she is in her early 80’s.

      My husband has been gone for the past 6 weeks to work in Michigan, and it has made it much harder for me without him here.  I work my business from my home, but since she has been here I have been constantly distracted with her everyday living issues such as showing her how to do her laundry every time and helping her find things she has misplaced.  I feel like my life is no longer my own and it is really frustrating.  I don’t know if I am up to this.  I am not a caretaker, but I feel like I have been put into that role.  As I write this, I feel very selfish saying these things, and maybe the answer is as simple as getting into a routine.  She has been here for about 2 months.  I have had opportunities to get out of the house to run errands every once in a while, but I am afraid that something might happen to her while I am gone just for a few hours.  She cannot go back to living with my sister, and my brother has offered to have her stay with him when my husband and I go on vacation and when we go back to Michigan for my daughter’s wedding, but I don’t think he is in a position to share time in taking care of her on a regular basis.  

      I am wondering if her insurance might allow for a visiting nurse for the times we are not here, or if it will be too costly to go that route.  I can’t even imagine looking into an independent living facility as she just settled in here.  I feel like it would betray her.

      I am hoping to get some insight on this if anyone might be able to help me.  I love my mom and want her to be in a safe environment.  It seems I am the only option for her at this time.  I am just praying I can hang in there, and things get better when my husband returns next week.

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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Mztracy wrote Jun 2, 2011
        • I wish I ad advice, but not being in your position I have no clue what I would do.

          I would definitely contact her insurance and see if you can at least get a part-time caregiver or someone who may be able to come in and help.  


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        • +2 votes vote up vote up

          Max0125 wrote Jun 2, 2011
        • I totally understand your situation! I have been helping out my Mom for over two years. She also is unsteady and a fall risk and has multiple medical problems.

          As for your Mom, make an appointment with the county social worker that specializes in the elderly. They are a wealth of information and can give you the resources to help you out. I found a wonderful agency that helped me bathe my Mom for a while and they were very reasonable as far as prices. You might also want to schedule her for a full physical to make sure her medications are not contributing to her unsteadiness. Physical therapy could help her with gaining strength to improve her walking as well as work on fall prevention.

          As for you, feelings of selfishness, resentment and guilt go with the territory and are perfectly normal response to the situation. What you need to find is a healthy outlet for the negative feelings. Take some time every day to do something just for you, even if it is for 10 minutes. I learned to build “me” time in  by making everyday events more special. Examples are take a shower every night by candlelight, take out time to really enjoy a cup of coffee and most importantly, developing a daily stress management practice. Learning to focus on the moment and not living in the dreaded future helps.

          A book that I found useful in “The Art of Extreme Self Care” by Cheryl Richardson. There are a lot of support for caregivers online, find one that suits you. I would highly recommend checking out “The Caregivers Bill of Rights” also.

          Lastly, you are not alone. An estimate thirty percent of us have been thrust in the role of caregiver. Just know that you are not alone! Be kind to yourself and take care of yourself. You will not be able to take care of your Mom unless you can take care of yourself. You are an incredible person for taking on this responsibility.

          Feel free to contact me if you need anything.


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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Vikki Hall wrote Jun 2, 2011
        • Max pretty much gave you great advice. Since your brother is willing to help out while you are gone would he be willing to help out a few hours thru out the week too?  Also check your local community center to see if they have senior activities. There probably are some things that she can do and the socializing with others her age would be good for her. Plus with her there doing activities you could do your errands or just have peace time.

          As for guilt forget about it! It’s natural and not selfish. You are still adapting to a lot of changes and it takes time to find a rythem.

          Please keep us posted heart

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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Cathie Beck wrote Jun 4, 2011
        • Well, Vikki beat me to the punch on suggesting some time at the senior center for your mom. And Mary gave a great suggestion on some physical therapy so that maybe your mother’s physical strength may increase or at least slow down the degeneration. It’d be so nice if she could regain at least some portion of her independence, which would give you some peace of mine and more time for your life.  

          Wishing you all the best,


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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Cynthia Schmidt wrote Jun 4, 2011
        • The advice given here already is great. Some home health care agencies have respite care that has someone come in and help out while you‘re able to get out of the house and run errands and such.  And, many counties have adult day care that provides activities and lunch. You drop your mom off in the morning and pick her up in the afternoon. I’d visit a place like that, though, first. Some of them are good and some of them are not.

          I commend you for taking this on. I know it’s a life adjustment, Kristi. You’ve had a few of those in the past year with getting married and then moving. You‘re doing a remarkable job with this.

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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Tracy Lynn Brown wrote Jun 4, 2011
        • I agree with the ladies here, Im a cna, right now unemployed. What you are doing is great, but at the same time extremly hard on you. Try and get some help, and with her bad health, most insurance companies do pay for some at home health care. And please dont feel guilty about needed some help, or when it gets to be to much on you and you need a break.
          She doesnt have alzehemiers does she? my spelling is horrilbe so please bear with me. lol. I think you are being an amazing daughter, and totaly understand your fears of leaving her alone for lengthy time periods.  My first impulse was to say an assisted living facility, or home health aides, but that is not for everyone, and there are good and bad ones.  Just remenber to take care of you too, There are so many back injuries with my line of work, taking care of someone else, esp the elderly and the ill. Again you are great, and should be patted on the back at least once a day. hugs

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