Letting Mom Go

I have a 93-year-old mom and a 91-year old dog, and they both have bad vision and bad hips.

Lately I've come to the realization that I'm trying to keep them healthy and alive for as long as I can and I do anything that I think could possibly do that.

My mom's hip has been giving her a lot of trouble and now she walks with a walker. You would have to know my mom to understand how hard this is to accept.

The one-liner that has always described her is "she runs circles around us." She was vibrant with energy until this last year, and things have deteriorated rapidly. Her mind is slipping, her vision is minimal, she sleeps in her chair, she eats junk food and doesn't drink enough water.

Last week she felt light-headed a couple of times and her hip was really bad so I made a doctor appointment. The appointment was today but this morning she told me she wasn't going to go and I should cancel it.

I have decided to quit arguing with her. She is on her way out, slowly but surely, as is my old dog. I know this in my mind, but I have to believe it in my heart, and I have to start living it.

I have to start letting go of both of them and accepting that they are going to die and I can't keep them alive forever. I think my mom accepts this more than I do.

I have been holding on so tightly for so long that when I accept this in my heart, I break down and cry. I cry from the sadness of losing them and I cry from the exhaustion of trying so hard to keep them.

It feels like a whole new level of caregiving. Now that I begin to accept their end, I can see a blurry vision down the road of my life continuing on and what that will bring.

Even though it's sad, I'm glad to have arrived at this realization because I think it will enable me to be there for my mom as she approaches the end of her life and I think it will help me grieve while she is still here with me.

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80 Year Old Mother and Pelvic Fracture
by: Anonymous

Have taken care of my Mother since her fall. Had to go to her house and call 911 to have her transported to ER.

Meanwhile my Brother and Sister-in-Law just stood there. I have worked in Nursing Homes and Home Health and am a CNA and a CHHA, and I had to quit my job to stay with her.

Brother went on a 10 day vacation with Family and left me to do everything from bathing her to cleaning, pick up medications, etc.

She's now 5 weeks past her falls. I quit staying all night and she has been able to care for herself. But now she's complaining of her hip bothering her. I believe she loves the attention she received, and wants more.

by: Treasa

I am caring for my 89 year old mother. She is depressed all the time and I am with her 24-7.

Other family keep away and I am the only person who exists in her life and she does not think I should have a life I try, I really do, but very hard.

by: Anonymous

My mother, whom I care for and lives down stairs is 95. She is always angry at me and I always get upset and bite back.

I came from a single mom bringing me up. I try so hard but it gets worse. What should I do? My mom has cancer. She will be getting a new hip operation soon.

by: Wendy

My situation has a wee twist in the tail. My father is 85 yrs old. He is still trying and I repeat TRYING to look after my severely mentally handicapped sister.

I would like to take over the care of her as I believe she is not being looked after at all.

She has lost 4 st, they are eating very poor meals, sometimes pot noodles for main meals and even a ready meal BETWEEN them. She has absolutely no exercise because dad can barely walk and my sister is too mentally handicapped to go anywhere alone.

I have asked repeatedly to take over her care as we go abroad once or twice a year for holidays and would love to take her with us.

He refuses, she is 55 and lives like an 85 yr old same as HIM. Please help because this is making me ill watching my sister waste away .

An Analogy
by: Anonymous

I have an analogy for this. It's like climbing up the side of a mountain with Mom.

I have all these ropes dangling off of me and each one is carrying a heavy bundle she's lost along the way, bundles that contain her vision, mobility, cognition, and energy. She's let them go, but I've picked them up so she will have them when we get to the top.

But I'm tired and falling behind from the load so I decide to just let them all go and we go forward together without those burdens and it's just us, light.

She is going to lose a lot more along this journey to the top of the mountain, and if I keep trying to hold onto everything along the way, I won't be able to be there with her when she reaches the top.

We keep trying to maintain everything that once was, but we end up trying to hold on so tight to the past, we miss out on the present. We think if we hold on so tight, it can't slip out of our grasp. But it will.

And if we don't want to miss out on the time we still have, we have to stay in the present and learn to let go, and keep moving forward with them in their world.

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