Going, Going, Gone!

by Elizabeth
(Old El Paso)

I think something is seriously wrong with our society today. I have a Mom who has serious Alzheimer's and we took care of her in her own home for years until she became combative and needed round the clock care.

I work full time and have a family with kids still in school and I still make time to go see my Mom. We have her in a pretty nice facility that specializes in Alzheimer's care but I still have all kinds of anxiety about her not in her own home to this day.

It's been over a year now and I still have to get myself ready to see her in this place. The job as caregiver has not ended at all. I still come every night with a good hot meal for her so I know she has something good to eat. The food there is not the greatest sometimes.

The staff all know me and my other sibling and seem truly astounded that we are this dedicated since they say a lot of people just dump off their parent and forget about them.

What troubles me these days is my coworkers and friends who tell me I'm sick in the head and need to get a life. I'm not mentally ill, I love my Mom. One of my close friends in particular said that her life is over so just live yours. She won't know if you came or not so why bother?

I am sick inside when I hear these cruel things being said. My Mom was the best Mom in the world to all of us kids and there wasn't anything she wouldn't have done for us. How then, pray tell can I abandon her in her darkest hour?

My husband and children know they are loved and they also know this won't go on forever because people don't live a long time with this illness at the later stages. Why oh why can't my friends and colleagues understand that you need to protect and care for your parents when they no longer have a voice in this cruel world we now live in today.

Isn't it said that a society is judged on how we treat the poorest of the poor and our elderly? Well if that is the case then shame on us for thinking a person is as disposable as a used diaper!

We should show them the respect they deserve and some love and concern. What's so wrong with wanting to be there?

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Blow them off
by: Anonymous

Think about.. What would mom say...probably, if they jump off a bridge will you? But seriously, just because your coworkers are idiots doesn't mean that you are.

You're just tired sometimes and their comments take a toll on you. In the end, we have to live with ourselves, and one thing I'll never regret is following my heart. Neither should you. Be encouraged.

Thank you both : M/Santa Rosa & Leasa
by: Elizabeth

I thought alot about what you both wrote and I'm taking it all in. I'm so very thankful to this wonderful website to create such good caregiver forums for all of us to partake in. Without this place I would be left to contemplate all of these tough life decisions alone.

I will try to ease up a little on the visits so I can enjoy a little more "down time" with my own family but I will still be bringing my Mom a hot meal every evening.

I will keep you updated on progress.
Blessings to you both.

Going...always going?
by: Leasa

If this works for you and your family and your kids are okay with you never spending an evening at home with them, then go for it. Just remember, one day sooner than you think, your kids will be moving out of your house and you will never get this time back.

I went to my mother also every single day and cared for her. The last time she was in hospital was for three months and frankly, I don't think I could have kept that up for much longer lest I risk my own home and family.

A person with end stage dementia can live for years or days....this cannot be predicted.

If you feel you need to spend more time on yourself, family and home, please don't feel guilty. Perhaps if you go to mom every other day???

Some people don't care about their elderly parents. Some people don't go to see them in later stages of dementia simply because they can't deal with the emotion of seeing their loved parent like this. Some people don't go because mom or dad never made time for them or were outright abusive parents. WE don't know and we can't judge others.

You are So Right!
by: Anonymous

Dear Ms. Elizabeth,
Oh, your mother is so blessed to have you for a daughter! Good for you for being so loving and kind and bringing good food for her to eat. She is there, somewhere, and she knows you are there (I absolutely believe this).

Our mom is now in an assisted living home of 5 women but mom does not have dementia she just needs care around the clock and my brother and i could no longer do it. I visit her a lot and when I go hang out with mom I have always made sure to say 'Hi' to all the other women who live there. I say their names and tell them it's nice to see them.

I just act like they totally see me and understand me even though they all look gone and don't talk.

These other women have severe dementia or Alzheimer's but check this out: one day I came in with flowers for mom on my birthday and I showed them to one of the gals and said 'Hi 'Thelma' these are for my mom but I wanted to show you first' and Thelma looked and looked through her glazed over eyes and then the coolest thing happened, her eyes looked like they cleared a little and she said 'Good, that's nice' OMG! Then her eyes glazed again and she was 'gone' again.

Another day recently, I came in and was waiting for mom to take her out and I saw one of the gals and said 'Hi 'Alice' your hair looks amazing today!' Alice has Never said a thing to me and she even drools when she eats (I think it's her medications) anyway, Alice looked at me and ....said 'Thank you' OMG.

I thought I'd try my luck and kept talking to her like i usually do but this time I asked questions and she told me (in a whisper) she used to like to bake and her favorite between my question of cake or cookies was COOKIES OMG again!!

Your mom is in there somewhere and knows that you come to see her and also bring her good food!!
As to your 'harsh' friend....my mom has said a lot lately that people today are 'so unaware'. True.

Write back and let us know how you're doing!
m santa rosa

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