Caregiver Dilemma

by Melanie
(Riverside, CA)

I have recently begun the treadmill of being my mother's primary caregiver, while dealing with my own health issues.

My mother, who is 79 and lives alone, has multiple sclerosis and recently fell and broke her shoulder. Her MS has always been mild, however when she tries to do too much she becomes fatigued as in this case of her last fall.

She is also neglecting her self-care, becoming dehydrated and not taking medications as directed. After the falling incident, I tried to provide 24 hour care, (mom is also incontinent) but it became too much for me physically as I have lupus and severe osteoarthritis.

Mom was admitted to a Rehab Facility for rest and strengthening of her legs as well as using the uninjured arm. Her reluctance to participate in PT was very discouraging until she realized that in order to provide self-care and return home, she must regain her strength.

Because she was so miserable there, and begged me to get her out of the rehab facility, I had her transferred to an assisted living facility close to home. Now she is pulling the "I'm not hungry card". Hates the food, doesn't want to socialize with other residents.

She says she is worried about me and my health, however her behavior is quite contrary. She will return to living in her home, however this time I will have a home health assistance 3 days a week.

I know I'm doing all that is necessary to ensure that mom will get the best care available, and continue to enjoy her own home. However, I am feeling so exhausted, depressed and conflicted.

Mom and I have a difficult relationship and I recognize that will play a huge role in how I deal with this. I feel so bad to admit, I love her but sometimes don't like her. I wish I could change that.

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Don't feel guilty
by: Anonymous

Don't feel guilty, you must help yourself too. My mother was taken out of the assisted living, she wouldn't eat, making herself sick and she wanted to leave there so bad.

I told her you can't leave until you get strong enough that the doctor lets you go. She finally ate and kept things down. She is at home now with a woman who cleans for her. She has pulmonary fibrosis and is terminally ill.

Next will be a nurse to come in several days a week. She insists that she doesn't need one but has lost some weight and we know she isn't eating right. I have my brother checking up on her ever Saturday.

I have put my foot down with my mother who complains about everything, we don't shop right, we don't do anything right. So I finally told her we will talk but when you starting verbally abusing me I'll have to hang up.

So when she tells me my life is so bad and I'm a horrible person because I abandoned her, etc.

I feel so bad I've been diagnosed with anxiety and at one point almost had a heart attack from her badgering.

I understand she is sad and alone but don't push your kids away when they are trying to help you. I still love your a lot.

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