60 Year Old Taking Care of 90 Year Old

by Kavita
(India)

I am a 62-year-old daughter attempting to take care of my 94-year-old Mom. We live together. My very loyal cook/housekeeper, who is more a friend than a hired help, helps me look after my mother.

Mom, by God's grace, is healthy and fairly independent, in that she does most of her personal care tasks herself. However, her cognitive health is clearly declining.

She is also displaying other signs of old age; disoriented, afraid of being alone, afraid of dying, clingy, very suspicious, selfish, jealous and childishly unreasonable.

Tragically, she pretends to be, or actually is, innocently bewildered when I loose my cool and shout at her and always enquires of me as to what is wrong. This infuriates me even more and I get badly stressed.

I am suffering from cervical spondylosis for a while and my present circumstance had only served to worsen the ailment.

I find I am losing interest in other activities as well. To compound matters, I follow a Buddhist practice that requires me to encourage and motivate, on a daily basis, co-practitioners to overcome their own challenges. The toll this takes on my mental well-being is enormous.

I seriously believe that very soon I will need medical treatment for a nervous breakdown! I certainly do not desire to come to such a sorry pass!

I need urgent help and advice on how to handle my situation intelligently.

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Was this the plan?
by: Anonymous

I became a caregiver 10 years ago. I was returning from a career ending to start another and my Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer while I was
"parking" at home merely a month before a new job.

Then my soon to be new employer has a major heart attack dying at 53. So, it began and it was hell on wheels from the beginning. My sister and brother live within a mile of my parents house and I never saw them because they both had children i.e. their family.

I was divorced with no kids. My Mother survived and then my Father was diagnosed with a deadly cancer that killed him shy of 12 weeks. So now, my Dad is deceased and my Mom needs even more care.

I still live in their house and the "behind the scenes" behavior would make any logical person's head spin. I see no relief in sight. I lost my career and the last decade frankly to find a life partner. It just happens.

I am turning 60 this year and I have not done anything right according to blogs,etc.

The inertia of depression erodes your ability to help yourself. Anyone else?

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Your Situation is Understood
by: Anonymous

Kavita,

I understand completely your situation as the stress of caregiver is enormous and very stressful on a day to day, even hour by hour basis.

What has worked for me is to identify a "safe space" where I know I can go even for a few minutes of respite from these times...just knowing there is a space I can go to within the house (or away) makes the stress at least abate somewhat for awhile....when I feel myself welling up inside off I go for a few minutes and at least for the moment I can release "some" of the stress and tension.

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