My Mother-in-Law!

by Anonymous

It is so helpful when you read other articles and hear the stories of each of you. The empathy pours from my heart. I understand and hear every word that you each have said. Yes, the terms of each of our conditions can be different yet the feelings and despair are still similar. We are presently dealing with my mother-in-law who is completely unbearable.

She has always had such a strong personality, demanding, yes she's been spoiled, and very much in control. Now that dementia is starting it has combined with this personality.

We now have her personality with the unbearable anxiousness, 54 and more calls a day after you were just over there for hours. Her anxiousness is driving her and us crazy.

Yes, my mother-in-law has a sweet side and I try to think about that. But, I admit I am not able to see it as much when you're in the middle of all that we are dealing with.... it seems as if a heavy fog comes and sits over you a cloud of gloom and despair.

It's hard to see an end to all this....on top of this my father-in-law who is so precious is totally dependent because of macular degeneration, his hearing, and frailness.... being in his nineties so we are caring for both of them.

I'd have to say the emotional side from a panic-stricken stricken, overbearing mother-in-law is the worst!! I never knew caregiving was anything like this!! We built a home next to them to help in the older years not knowing it would be like this. I wish we never had.

We are presently looking into a assisted living facility but my husband is the only child and I know he is feeling guilty to even think of a home. I'm praying that we can get a reprieve from this. I didn't sign up for this.

I remember that I would wonder when others would pray that their parents would just fall asleep and go on to heaven but now I understand. Sadly I don't think anyone should have to go through this.

It's just too hard.

I miss my life with my husband. God give us all wisdom and strength to steer through this and at the same time have our own lives!

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I Hear You Loud and Clear
by: BH

I can tell from your words that you and your husband are very compassionate people and I applaud you for that. But I hope your husband can find a way to set his sense of guilt aside long enough to do what should be done, which is finding an assisted living facility for his parents.

I'm not sure which burden is worse - the frustration of being caregivers or the reality of placing one's parents in a facility when the time has come to do it.

I say that because, after almost 4 years of having my 95 year old mother live with me, circumstances concerning my own health dictated that she move elsewhere 4 months ago. She, in fact, is the one who decided it was best, but that did not lessen the sense of guilt my siblings and I felt in agreeing and, then, actually moving her.

In some ways we felt we were abandoning her. As it turned out, though, we did the best thing we could have done for her, and for ourselves.

It took a couple months for our mother to get fully acclimated to the facility but, now, she has established her own little "tribe" of friends - most of whom are as frail as she is.

She has her own studio apartment with her furniture and belongings. She and her new friends have much in common and, therefore, provide one another lots of moral support, not to mention plain ole friendship.

They enjoy many activities offered to stimulate their minds/bodies, and have great meals in the cafeteria. Or she can just sit or lay in her room when she feels like it.

This facility is located in northern California, but I know they have many others around the country. We found them by contacting "A Place For Mom." You've probably seen their ad on TV.

Our mother doesn't need full assistance yet (which will raise her rent approximately $1000), so for now she pays $2400/month - which, by the way, is tax deductible since she cannot live on her own.

It includes maid services (they make her bed every day/clean her bathroom), laundry, 3 meals plus snacks any time she wants them (even delivered to her room upon request, but now she can't wait getting to the dining room so she and her friends can all sit together.)

I urge you to at least contact "A Place For Mom" to get more information pertinent to your location. You can visit the facilities, too, to get a feel for how things operate there and what the people working in the facility are like. Doing so helped us make the right decision.

All that being said, I would be lying if I said this was an easy adjustment for my siblings and I to follow through on. We had our reservations, but the bottom line was that we could NOT continue being caregivers. It was draining all of us.

Plus, I was widowed the year before Mom moved in with me, but my sisters and brother have spouses and their lives had been horribly disrupted on account of caregiving. So, although there was a huge sense of relief once our mother moved, there was also a huge void in our lives that had to be refilled.

This was especially true for me since I was the main caregiver 24/7. What I didn't know - until seeing a therapist - was that this is a normal response to the end of caregiving.

The good news, though, is that I'm finally starting to regain a sense for who I am and what I do or don't enjoy doing with each minute of my day. It comes in spurts, a little bit here or there, but I can feel it enough to know that I'm making progress.

I wish you and your husband the very best of luck in dealing with your situation.

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