Caregiver to ill, Elderly Mother

by Linda
(Canada)

Over the past 3 years mother has become increasingly demanding in that she is now living in our house on a full time basis. She is constantly falling, incontinent and requiring supervision 24/7. She is diabetic, has lung cancer in both lungs, has peripheral vascular disease and now cardiac problems.


She gets up in the middle of night and wets on the floor, although she insists she doesn't require adult diapers, turns lights on and moves dishes around. She is unable to do her own medications, even when blister packed and needs supervision to ensure she takes all her pills, to have her insulin injected, blood sugars checked, inhalers given and constantly check to make sure her oxygen is on, which she likes to remove.

I have home care in for 20 hours a week (2 1/2 days). Currently mother is in hospital after suffering two heart attacks and she is determined to return here. We live in a relatively isolated, rural location and I am just plain tired of providing nursing care.

I have no sisters or brothers to spell me off and it is taking a toll on my husband and myself. I find I am short tempered with her and then feel guilty about that but when I find her feeding her food to the dog or putting it in the garbage I find it annoying as she will then later say she hungry. She also goes through all our drawers and will go through our personal papers as if they are her own.

In the hospital she is telephoning me every 2 hours and demanding that I visit everyday (its 35 minutes each way, and making me feel guilty when I do not come (only one day because of snow) - guess I'm just overwhelmed by it all.

How do I manage this and should I insist she go into an extended care facility, how do you do place a parent who does not want to go to a facility without feeling overwhelming guilt?

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Just beenThrough This!
by: Anonymous

My mother and yours sounds a lot alike, except my mother lost the use of her legs and had to be lifted via a hoyer lift. My mother also has lung cancer and I cared for her for two solid months, 7 days a week and here in Ontario we only got 2 hours of help per day.

The only help I had was her 75 year old boyfriend who was also not very 'with it' and he was very grumpy and just plain miserable to be around. I was there for 4 to 5 hours a day and in between had to take care of arranging her medications, doctor appointments...all of it.

Anyway, my mother got very ill at home and fought me tooth and nail to not go into the hospital. She almost died at home. She is also very confused and not doing so well. She was getting confused at home as well. She became extremely nasty toward me blaming me for her being in hospital. Everything I did for her didn't matter.

She is now in long term care waiting for a nursing home bed. Now after a month in the hospital we get along okay. I go in to see her every two sometimes every third day. The nurses have been wonderful and she's well looked after.

I don't begrudge the time I looked after her, I just wish it could have been more pleasant. Now that she has lost her faculties, I am glad we had that time.

Honestly, put your mom in a nursing home. I know what you are going through and it's just too much.

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You Need Help!
by: Anonymous

As painful as it may feel, now is the perfect time to find a nursing home for your mom so you can take her directly there and not bring her back to your home. You have cared for her for so long, but it is now in her best interests to have professional care.

Of course she may not like it, but she is clearly past the point of being able to make rational decisions and you must make them for her. Just keep in mind that this is the best thing for her and try not to beat yourself up too badly. She will, of course, say things to make you feel worse, but hang in there and know you are not alone, that so many of us have been through this, and you are making the right decision!

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