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Old 05-02-2010, 12:21 PM
 
207 posts, read 456,875 times
Reputation: 172

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My husband & I have relocated to PA from NC & brought my 92 year old Mother to live with us. I also need to state that I'm the oldest (52 yrs old) of 2 daughters, so I'm still fairly young. She was living in her own apartment by herself since my Dad died 12 years ago. She had a part time job up until 2 years ago & she drove up until she totaled her car 4 years ago. She has started using a walker 8 mos ago after arguing with her that she didn't need to fall. I was her primary care giver while she lived alone (taking her shopping, doctor appts, taking her to her job, etc.). When I told her we were moving she immediately stated "I'm going with you" & my younger sister, upon learning we were moving, who lives in SC stated "You're taking Mom with you right?" So basically with guilt overwhelming me as to my Mom's care, I had no choice but to move her in with us. Now we are faced with a dilemma that we hadn't considered before this move. My husband & I'd like to take a much needed week (alone) vacation & can't leave my Mom alone in the house. She's gotten frail & forgetful & while she can heat food up in the microwave & bathe & dress herself, I'm afraid to leave her alone for more than a few hours. We have no one to stay with her. My sister has come up with a million excuses to NOT come & visit & "babysit" Mom for a week. Sis also has a million excuses for Mom NOT coming to stay with her. My Mom is distraught over all this & feels she's a burden to us, she feels "homeless", she also feels she should just drown herself, starve herself, fall & die, etc. She gets very dramatic (def not suicidal) & self-absorbed (always was like this) she's also very stubborn. HELP! I'm at my wits end & need a much needed break. Ideas anyone?
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:29 PM
 
307 posts, read 784,477 times
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Greetings,
Since the load is on you. Then the decisions u make should not have to explained later. I went thru this.
You can tell where your sister got her attitude.
But you can hire a babysitter to stay with her for a wk. And one to sit with her for other times you need to go out. Call the local nursing home and see if they have a list of sitters or a place u can call.
Your going to have to make the rules in your home and Mom is just going to have to work with you. Stress like this will put you where u wont be able to care for her.
Do not feel guilty.
SMILE God Loves u
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:46 PM
 
207 posts, read 456,875 times
Reputation: 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionandlamb View Post
Greetings,
Your going to have to make the rules in your home and Mom is just going to have to work with you. Stress like this will put you where u wont be able to care for her.
Do not feel guilty.
SMILE God Loves u
Yes, we've discovered that we had to set down some rules, basically about her behavior & her mistreatment of me, her daughter. There were full blown temper tantrums, pouting, arms crossed over her chest, refusing to eat all based on assumptions of things she thought she heard (she has 75% hearing loss w/ a hearing aid). While she's a very giving person as far as offering to pay for things she's also very needy, shallow & selfish. I take very good care of her & am very patient with her & her attitudes. She got very angry at the idea of someone, some stranger coming in to help her while we're gone.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:08 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
7,230 posts, read 7,117,498 times
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These are worth investigating:

Senior Citizens' Resources
Eldercare.gov (http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.NET/Public/Home.aspx - broken link)
Visiting Nurse Association
Care.com
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
8,626 posts, read 10,896,817 times
Reputation: 4780
I fully understand what you are going through. I have my 94 year old mom back home for a year and then back to the little home for a year. Gives me a break and helps her save some money for the huge cost. Have you considered doing short respit type stays at an assisted living facility. Takes a load off believe me. It is very hard when you are the only child and it sounds like you might as well be with the lack of help from your family. Some homes will do even weekend stays. You can also hire home health care people to come and sit. They are all expensive and I have yet to find an economic solution other than just grin and bear it. The dementia part is the hardest for me and my mom also thinks she hears things she did not hear, like company mostly. She accuses us of having a party and not including her. Sad times but you will get through it.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:56 PM
 
307 posts, read 784,477 times
Reputation: 184
Default Home sitters

Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly57 View Post
Yes, we've discovered that we had to set down some rules, basically about her behavior & her mistreatment of me, her daughter. There were full blown temper tantrums, pouting, arms crossed over her chest, refusing to eat all based on assumptions of things she thought she heard (she has 75% hearing loss w/ a hearing aid). While she's a very giving person as far as offering to pay for things she's also very needy, shallow & selfish. I take very good care of her & am very patient with her & her attitudes. She got very angry at the idea of someone, some stranger coming in to help her while we're gone.

Greetings,
When we hired a sitter, Grandma wasn't too happy. When we got back she had a great time while we was gone. She found out a new face and new conversations were good for her.
The rules I meant was that, or should I say agreement. Was that my hubbies family offered us no help. We was taking care of his Mother and Grandmother in our home. Mother had lost a leg and I was changing bandages and all. Plus a 3 yr old. When Hubby family would visit us they, they was telling us how we should be doing things. I really started getting stressed and wore out. If you hire someone, make sure they understand her needs, meds, and personality with some ground rules of your home.
So there was a neighborhood friend who we hired to come in. It was so much affordable. Today there is so much help out there, then what was available to us at the time. Alot of folks are out of work and you can probaly get somebody at great rate. With good home care.

Trust me you have to take time off or you just go nuts.
Be Blessed
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:26 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
8,415 posts, read 14,337,714 times
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I've been here and it's not easy.

Here's the gist of the conversation I had with my sister. I told her she WOULD be coming to take care of mom so we could take a break at least twice a year. No other options....if she didn't like it, she could take mom full time and I would relieve her twice a year. As far as I was concerned, her vacation time belonged to me in return for her having the rest of the year free.

It was a no brainer and she figured it out.

It sure wasn't easy to work nights and take care of parents all day. It was almost a full time job just hauling them to doctor/therapy appointments. H worked days so there could always be someone home except for about an hour in the early morning.

All in all, it was pretty awful. If I had to do it over again, they would have gone to assisted living where they could have had a social life and others their own age. We were all living in an isolated bubble. None of us had a life.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:33 AM
 
Location: Bradenton, FL
2,051 posts, read 2,370,207 times
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I'm in PA and am an only child. My 87-y.o. mother lives in FL by herself. She, too, refused to use her walker even though I told her a stiff wind could knock her over. She DID fall, couldn't get up, and luckily had the medical alert necklace to summon help. Then the EMTs couldn't get in because the door was locked. Right before they were going to break her door down, her neighbor came home and gave them the key. So now I bought a lockbox for her door. She's using the walker but was complaining because it didn't have back wheels. So she saw one at Walgreen's that had wheels and a seat for $99. I told her she should go to the medical supply place and try out the different walkers, because I knew she might not be able to lift a walker like that, but she insisted that's what she wanted. So guess what -- she got the walker, but isn't using it because it's too bulky! GRRRRRR.

Anyway, I'm thinking she might not be able to live independently much longer either. She doesn't have the money for assisted-living, so she may have to move in with me. I really don't want to uproot my life and move to FL with her.

So it's helpful for me to see that others are in the same situation as I am. I hope that you find a competent caregiver so you can get some time off.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:09 AM
 
14,204 posts, read 5,662,173 times
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I had my mother live with me for 7 years. You do need to find help in your community for her and there should be plenty of help if you ask. Look up Senior Services for a start. They can recommend others to help.

I had respite care come in once a week so my hubby and I could have a night off if only for a few hours to go to a movie or dinner and walk. You can find people through Senior Services or even your church. I had a neighbor who knew of a mentally slow woman who could take care of her. My mother just needed someone who could sit with her until we got back. She had a hard time walking so couldn't go to the bathroom alone, etc. Another woman would crochet while she watched her and they charge from 6 to 15 an hour. One woman stayed all night but you do need to trust that person to have them in your home for so many hours.

If we wanted to go on a trip I found places that took elderly people over night and longer. It's usually in a home setting. Look in your paper. Just be sure they understand your mother's needs. One place didn't understand how to take care of people with dementia and they had a hard time with her. Not a good week for both of them. Most places were good though. You need to interview the people and be sure they know how to take care of your mother needs. My mother had the finances to pay for the extra care and I hope your mother does as well. If not maybe your family can help there.

If your mother is emotionally upset, getting counseling would be good, if not for her than for you to understand how to handle her. You can react to her in a way so she will settle down instead of getting upset. We went to an Alzheimer's group to help us understand how she was thinking and it helped enormously. You need to get into their world and understand how they see things. They are forgetful with dementia and will forget a lot of things that has happened in their lives. Once we knew how to talk to her it helped her settle down and be calmer that someone understood her feelings. Even if they talk about silly things you need to stay calm yourself and agree if it is possible. If they talk about seeing things, like animals that aren't there (hallucinations), take it calmly and say it's ok, it won't bother them, that helps them a lot. To them it's very real.

There is a lot of info on the internet also. Being connected to others in your community who are going through the same thing helps, like a support group. If it gets to be just too much for you though don't feel guilty to chose a carehome for her. It would be for the best when you can't do anymore for her.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
10,833 posts, read 8,279,090 times
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If sister is hopeless - look into respite care. Comes in all flavors. Here's some basic information: Respite Care: Finding and Choosing Respite Care Services and Providers
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