Caring for everyone
MY mother has lived with my husband and I for 4 years. She is 85 and very strong minded, although these days is somewhat lacking in comprehension of everyday events. She does not have any signs of dementia.
I also care for another lady of 87 (who is like another mum to us) and she is not as "hardy" as my mum, but accepts most things we say or suggest to her. I am her only carer although she does not live with us. Both ladies get on well with each other.
My husband had a breakdown some years ago and has ongoing treatment for his condition and is on anti depression medication. He does not tolerate my mum, although he tries very hard not to make it obvious as he knows it upsets me. He is courteous and polite and makes the best efforts he can. I can cope with my husband and can cope with the older lady, however my mum is really pushing all my buttons!
She knows better than others, does not listen (even when she asks the question); is very opinionated and does not accept that she is no longer able to do the things she used to do. "I can do it, I can do it" is a standard catch cry and it drives me crazy. There are no BIG issues, just constant daily small things, which drive me crazy. I have learnt to let a lot of things go and I do not argue with her over small,
incidental things. It is just not worth the effort.
I do however, feel that my relationship with her is deteriorating to the extent that I don't want to be around her anymore and I find that very sad, as we had a great relationship before she came to live with us. We may not have always seen "eye to eye", but we got on reasonably well.
I feel guilty that I feel this way, but others have noticed how difficult she can be (both family and friends), so I know I am not being picky. We are at a time in our lives when we should be traveling, spending time with friends, spending quality time together and generally enjoying our retirement. I resent not being able to do these things.
As my mum does not cook anymore, if we go away, she does not eat properly, but if I was to suggest Meals on Wheels, or staying with someone else, I would be told she is not useless and can care for herself. She will then exist on eggs on toast and tin fruits, etc. One sister is not medically in a position to care for her and the other sister and my mum do not get on very well.
I therefore have no respite and if I was to suggest she go into formal respite care, mum would have a fit - she is very proud and that is half the problem I think! Where do I go from here? I am sick of my life.