A Different Kind of Help

I am a registered nurse and the oldest of 4 siblings. They each still have full time jobs, but I am mostly retired. (I work only about 8 hours a week.)


Therefore, when Mom and Dad who are both in their mid-80's began needing help, it was assumed that I would be the caregiver. Dad is very cooperative, although he has early dementia and many physical ailments, including extremely poor vision. Mom is a different story.

She has always been very critical of others and very bossy, but now those traits have become magnified. I know she suffers from chronic pain associated with advanced osteoporosis, but she refuses to see a specialist. I suspect she has other serious health issues of her own as well- dementia? depression and anger issues?

I simply don't know, but she refuses all attempts by me to get help for her and has become verbally abusive to both my father and myself. I've finally had to admit to myself that I've done all I can do for her personally. I know she needs help, but I'm clearly not the one who can provide it successfully.

I'm now in the process of trying to find outside help through community social service agencies but having little success. My mother is the typical abusive spouse who behaves like a model wife when others are around. No one believes how hateful and abusive she is behind closed doors.

Currently I'm trying to get adult protective services involved. We'll see if that works. In the meantime, I've finally told my siblings what I'm doing, but they simply don't understand. They think I just don't care about Mom. I'm working on reminding myself each day that this is the best I can do under the circumstances. I tell myself that it's just a different kind of help.

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