Burned Out--Lost My Ability to Care Anymore
by Chris B
(Strafford, NH USA)
I and my husband are the only caregivers for my 90 year old mother. She has a long list of chronic, serious diseases...COPD heart failure, kidney failure, and so on. We have been caregiving since my father died 1998. Her health is slowing eroding, but she has dementia and stubbornness beyond compare. Our relationship was rough as a child and teenager.
We came together to care for Dad with Parkinson's in 1980. When Dad died, it became clear that he'd been the buffer between us all my life. My siblings...much older than me....took a "don't ask, don't tell" attitude to Mom.
Her health at 90 is way more than we can handle.
Unfortunately, mom refuses any help from outside the home; demands my attention and then refuses help when we try.
It has gotten to the point.....we all live in same house....that I can't use the kitchen or be in "her" part of the house without terrible anxiety and screaming arguments instead of any real communication. I have reached me limit of knowing how to deal with her.
I'm very afraid she's trying to outlive me...I won't allow that. Her decisions and choices are very unsafe. Left the toaster oven on all night a week ago!
Blaming me for her bruised and maybe broken leg after falling into the dishwasher. I am not used to caring for the mega elderly. I am looking for information on how to deal with the frailty and decline of an over 90 year old.