Caregiver for Elderly Mum - Feeling Desparate but Grateful for the Little Moments

by Nicola

My mum is in the last stages of COPD.I have been a carer for her for over 8 years now and have been with her throughout.

My father suffers from severe mental illness. My brother also lives with us and my sister lives with her partner less than 3 miles away. I have always been the person to step forward and make things happen, everyone else seems to coast along and be less pro active.

My mum relies on me and trusts me. I work full time Monday to Thursday and sleep in the room with my mum of an evening as she is now scared to sleep alone. She hasn't slept with dad for sometime as we had to move her to the main living space in the house that was a dining room. This way was easier for her to get around and us to help her more.

I look after her from Friday to Sunday often bringing extended family members around for a roast dinner on a Sunday if she can manage it. She has a large family and it keeps her spirits up to see other people and not just us.

Now my mum is at the end stages or even the 'last days' of this disease. The disease is very unpredictable, one week I think she isn't going to be here tomorrow and then others I think she will be here a few more months even 6.

I have let everything else go in my life, I have no real friends as they have faded away over the years, I do little other activities and I'm on a mental and emotional roller coaster.

I'm so tired!

I am starting to get really angry with my mum and have been angry with my siblings and father for some time. I feel like I have to ask permission to leave
the house, they just get up and go when they want. The rule seems to be that when I'm in everyone else is free to leave.

I am a really independent person who needs my own space, even when I'm upstairs trying to recharge my batteries someone calls me to asks something ridiculous. I don't want to be this angry and negative person, it's not me.

I sometimes wonder when she will die, I hate this, she is my best friend even before this horrible disease we have always been so close. I know I don't mean it but its torture just thinking these things.

I'm lost, lonely and emotional. My nan died of COPD related complications. My aunty looked after her. Then my aunty died of it more or less alone right after looking after my nan, she was in a similar situation to me for years. Now my mum. I an 40 next month and smoked for 20 years.

I have given up a year next week. I am scared that I will be the same as my aunty and spend 10 years of my life caring for someone just to get it and die alone. I would like a little life to live myself.

I only find strength in exercise, meditation, trying to eat properly and my small cover band which I'm trying to hang on to with both hands. I am trying to relate to something spiritual but have no belief in a god what so ever.

I do get some comfort in thinking that the universe has its plans for us and that we should be grateful for those little moments that many disregard or don't even notice, like the robin who sings to me through the kitchen widow everyday. I do love my mum, I just feel a little desperate at times, today being one of those times.

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Life is hard
by: Anonymous

I am an only child and have been given this lifetime responsibility through family practice. We have always had an old relative living with us.Now Mom is 92 and I am old myself.

I was hoping I would have time to have my own life but even when I see a little light I realize it would not be fair to another person to get involved with me as I have too much to handle between Mom and a drug addicted 24 year old son.

I pray God sends people into my life and I send them away. I am looking forward to a tiny bit of freedom.Life used to be fun I had a lot of fun when I was younger.Life is HARD.

I used to be able to handle it getting old takes a lot out of you.Sometimes the body seems to know more than the brain. There are times I can't do anything my body says NO it has had enough.

I am trying meditation and yoga and maybe I will just disappear , I wish. Peace to all on this hard journey you are not alone.

It's OK
by: Anonymous

I feel the same as you sometimes, guilty for wanting my mother to die. It was mothers day today and we took her out for lunch, the 1st thing she said when she got in the car is wow you sure are fat, you eat to much, my husband is lazy.

I said mom we can't do this today it's suppose to be Mother's day. My mother has pulmonary fibrosis and has had it for 4 years now life expectancy is 5-8 years.

I gave up her care after almost having a heart attack. I got married at 50 and want to enjoy my life with my husband. I took care of my mother for 20+ years, now my brother is taking care of her.

Get some help check the local agency on aging they may have programs. We did and found out my mother qualified for a maid to help her clean and do laundry. She still will not give up cooking and living at home.

Please get some help at least take some time off for yourself or it will get more difficult.

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