I Don't Resent Helping Mom, but I Need Help!

by Kathy
(Louisville, KY USA)

I don't resent helping my mother at all. She is midway through vascular dementia. Mom needs much more supervision than we can give her. I am her main caregiver. I am also caregiver to my adult son. He is severely manic depressive - stable, but is disabled by the illness. I am burning out!

What I resent is my brother and sister only doing the bare minimum. My brother does her financial stuff and her medications, my sister pops in for about 15 minutes on the weekend. I do the "grunt work". I understand that they have jobs and families, but you know what? I have a life and a family as well.

Just this past weekend, we had a blow up over my stating that I was burning out and I need more help. Their reaction was so hateful, so vicious.

I told them that if they were not going to help more, then I would have to step back and let them deal with it all. They actually assumed that Mom would live with me. As I told both of them many times - I cannot do it.

They are refusing to attend a family meeting with her doctor to explain the dementia and what we can expect! They will not consider looking at homes for Mom. Even if we get her on a waiting list - we will at least be prepared for the inevitable.

I'm afraid that it will come down to Mom ending up in the hospital again before they see it! They are in big time denial and I don't know what to do!

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by: Anonymous

Things are a little better. We have just started with Visiting Nurses coming in. My brother set it up for 3 hours, 3 days a week. It gives me a bit more time at home.

We also had a family conference with Mom's doctor. My sister did not attend, so, in my book, she gets no say in choices we make for Mom's care.

Anyway, the doctor corroborated everything I said to them. That everyone has to pitch in as much as possible, it's not fair to leave it all to one person. That Mom's safety and well being have to be of foremost consideration - not what he or she wants.

He was prepared to say that she needed a 24/7 situation, but since we had the VNA coming in - okay. He does want them there 5 days a week for at least 5 hours a day. He also stressed that we will have to reevaluate the situation later on.

My mother does not see it, and never will. She thinks she walks and reasons perfectly well. She does not eat or drink if no one is there to make sure she does.

She says she is safe and doesn't need baby sitters! Too bad! She is not safe living alone. But the alternative is a long term care facility. UGH!

So, we will see how the VNA does. If we can find a private nurse, so much the better. Either way, Mom is not happy and gives me a very hard time about it.

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