Sole Caregiver

by Donna

I am going to be 60 years old next month. Almost 2 years ago, my husband walked out on me, leaving me in a strange state with no friends, no family.

My father was dying, at the time. He died, while I held his hand 2 months later. My sisters begged me to come back home to care for Mom, promising they would help out.

That hasn't happened.

They're full of advice.....and one of them actually lives 8 blocks away. I have no problem with all the cleaning, cooking, laundry,etc., but Mom is becoming increasingly difficult concerning healthcare.

They all want to put her in a home. I'm not even able to get a part-time job, due to the fact Mom has most toes amputated and a hip replacement, so she can barely walk. and she has the use of one hand.

She fights me on every aspect of everything and I feel as if I'm losing my mind. I have severe arthritis, and cancer and Macular Degeneration. She refuses to hire someone to come and help with anything....even errands.

I would just like to know if there is a support group in the Montgomery,IL. area for caregivers. I cannot see to drive at night, so that's a huge factor. Thank you for listening and any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You

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Reality Check
by: Anonymous

I am 62 and have been caring for my 86 year old mother. She has dementia and has had 5 major hospital stays, but I would say she is in a pretty good place right now, although she still needs the support, especially since I recently discovered that she is hiding alcohol in her bedroom - it never ends.

It has not been easy for me. I am sorry to hear about your life situation with your husband walking out, then your father passing, your mother, as well as your health issues.

If one could read between the lines... after your husband left you and the passing of your father; your sisters wanted you to be near family, as you had no friends or family close by - at that time you must have been emotionally drained; so I could understand the begging part.

Your sisters felt you needed the support of family and your mother needed the help. It appears your mother's health issues have progressed to the point (as your sisters feel) that she may very well need care in an outside facility, and it seems she may very well need that type of care. I want you to be open to that, because you have health issues that need to be addressed and stress is not good for you as a result.

I believe your sisters see the stress you are under; it appears your sisters do not have the patience or (maybe) the heart to do what you have been doing - that is your reality - not everyone is cut-out to do what we have been doing, and yes, at times we all want to pull our hair out.

Just food for thought.

Now, as far as groups are concerned, I do not know anything about Illinois, but you can call hospitals, you can call Care Homes in your area - they can all point you in a direction. I would also call hospice to see what they have to offer. If your mother is not open to hospice, tell her it is for your support, then slowly draw her in - they have lots of resources.

I would just look into it; you do not have to follow through with it. I understand the "want" when it comes to caring for our parents, but sometimes it gets to be too much and we are not nurses or doctors.

My mother's attitude became out-of-control also, I put her on a mood stabilizer medication, although she does not know she is taking it,I just give it to her with her other medications, and the first time I gave it to her, she mentioned the new pill, but I just changed the subject and all was fine.

I think because of your health issues, you may want to entertain a home for your mother; there is a great chance your sisters see the need, and they certainly see you wanting to pull your hair out - your sisters do not have it in them to do what you are doing.

I have 6 siblings and they all have their 'quirks' about them when it comes to this care taking thing - one brother refusing to visit my mother when she is in the hospital; a sister goes way, way overboard with the emotions - these are just family dynamics and I just deal with it - it's neither here nor there with me.

I know who the 'go to' siblings are, and out of 6 there are two. You all need to get together and talk, and I am sorry if your next thought is, "Well we already have..." I hope your sisters did not deceive you into come out there, that, I would not appreciate.

I feel you should examine the reality of your situation. It is not a matter of letting go of your mother; it is a matter of putting her in a place where she can get the care; it is also a matter of setting yourself up to get stronger and heal.

I am so sorry you have to go through this, but it is important that we keep that balance.
Best to you.

Famiy Feud
by: Anonymous

I would remind those siblings they promised to help and remind them of all the issues you have going on. There is no excuse for them to not help you and your Mom!

I titled this Family Feud because that is what seems to happen in these cases. But it should not be. The whole family should come together and all work together so that one person won't have to try to do it all - which is nearly impossible without making them ill or killing themselves trying to do it all.

If only they could put themselves in your shoes! Please find the support group. I do not live in that area but I pray someone on here does and can give you the info you need. Call hospice too.

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