Need Advise

I am a caregiver for a dear friend she is 89. She suffers from renal failure, her health slowly declining, she has lung issues, arthritis, walks with a walker, has oxygen 24/7 taking a few step is very difficult for her.

I care for her during the day, her son takes over when he gets home from work.

We seem to disagree on Jenny's napping habits, she is now wanting to sleep/nap most of the day. I try to keep her up by turning on radio/tv she gets upset tells me to turn it off. I ask to tell me stories of her youth, kids, hubby  she wont. So she sleeps, thats where her son gets very upset doesnt want her to sleep, tells me to wake her if she sleeps, when I wake her Jenny snaps at me. Jenny will ask me to lay her in bed for a 1/2 or so and now her son told me NOT to lay her down.  All I want to do is make her comfortable, she liturally cries if I dont lay her down, she tells me her back hurts she wants to rest.  Now her son asked me to take for a walk twice a day and specifically said no wheel chair, if she takes 10 steps shes totally out of breath. Her son had a PT come in, well that didnt last long because therapist said Jenny cannot do the exercises he wanted her to do due to her lung issues and fragile age.

 

I am at my last straw with her son. I really dont know how to handle this. 

 

Thank you

ROXY

Original Post

Hi Roxy:

 

Welcome to the boards Roxy!

 

My first thought is that I wonder why Jenny's son does not want her to nap during the day... Has he ever said? 

 

Sometimes, the elderly have sundowners which keeps them up all night. Is it possible that he is dealing with something like that? It is hard to comprehend why he would not let her rest at will at her age!

 

I know when my father was in his late 80's he was pretty worn out and did sleep quite a bit. I have never liked to wake people up either because it seems so rude - and in Jenny's case, almost cruel... 

 

Hopefully this little bit of support helps. Does Jenny understand the conflict? Her voice should count! Are there other siblings? Are they involved? Otherwise, I would try to understand what his reasoning is and appeal to his common sense, I am not sure what else can be done. I wish for your resolution with this challenge, Roxy, in a positive way. Meanwhile, take care, deep breaths, and come from a place of love.

 

Hugs, Glenda

Thank you Glenda, Jennys son is cruel, that is the reason I stay on. Ron thinks/refuses to admit his mom is not well. I have discuss this many times with other siblings to to no avail. I truly feel if I were not around Jenny would be neglected.  So I try to make Jenny as comfortable as I can, what else could I do?

Roxy

Hello Roxy:

 

It sounds like there may be some family dynamics at work here also! It is not easy to be the designated care-giver in the family while all the other family members disappear physically and emotionally from the scene… It can contribute to feelings of anger, resentment, and many other emotions. And whatever the family dynamics are, they are entrenched which only adds to the complexity.

 

In addition, the one being cared for may be the only one who has provided support and love to the care-giving individual (in their mind) so the fear of losing him/her is even greater. However, it is hard to say why Jenny’s son is not letting her rest but it may be the fear of her not waking up again .

 

How long, I wonder, has Jenny been cared for by her son? Does he have a support system? All these things add to his stress and, perhaps, inability to make good decisions… In the meantime, Roxy, just know that we are here for you and hope to be of some support for you.

 

Hugs, Glenda

Hi Roxy,

 

You have my support fully. Evidently, her son is into denial about the status of his mother's health. When you are on oxygen with lung problems etc, you aren't getting enough oxygen to the brain... at 89 with the diagnosis you spoke of, her body maybe slowly closing down. You are doing the right thing. It might be good if the son could speak with her doctor or a therapist to learn truly about what she is going through and how he can support her properly during this time.

 

The woman you are caring for is fortunate to have you caring for her with your sensitivities... keep up the great work... she needs loving, compassionate understanding at this time.

 

Richest blessings

gail

Thank you Gail!  I am really trying to do the best I can, but I am also hurting seeing Jenny like this.  I decided not to worried about what her son says, I am here only to make Jenny comfortable.   Thank you I know I going to need support as I go through this.   Roxy

Hello Roxy,

 

Evidently you have really bonded with Jenny and as she begins to close down, you will need more support. It doesn't sound as if she is ready for Hospice either. Do you have contact with her physician? Does her son have the Power of Attorney etc? You might want to speak with Jenny about what she wants? Does she have a living will? What does she want in terms of Hospice? How does she feel about her son's actions? How does she want things handled and how does she want you to advocate on her behalf? All this information is vitally important. Without a living will and if her son has power of attorney etc, he can keep her on feeding tubes etc.

 

Just keep taking deep breaths... I know you are a blessed gift for Jenny as she is for you. She sounds as if she is quite peaceful with your caring for her.

 

Please keep us posted..

 

Richest blessings,

 

gail

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