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HELLO ALL
I HAVE BEEN READING THE POSTS HERE AND IT ALL SOUNDS TOO
FAMILIAR.MY MOTHER(86) IS IN A RETIREMANT HOME NEAR BY.
ALL OF HER MAIN NEEDS ARE TAKEN CARE OF,AND I HAVE BEEN
LOOKING AFTER HER OTHER MATTERS FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS.
I DONT KNOW IF SHE IS PLAYING GAMES OR IS HER MIND SLOWLY
SLIPPING.SOMETIMES SHE IS VERY ALERT,ENERGETIC AND COHERENT,AND
OTHER TIMES HER MEMORY ONLY GOES BACK ABOUT TWO MINUTES,
HER SPEECH IS WEAK AND HER HANDS TREMBLE,AND CANT WALK.
BUT SHE WILL JUMP OUT OF THIS CRIPPLED STATE IN A SPLIT SECOND
IF I SHOW ANGER AND CONFRONT HER ABOUT THIS.
SOMETIMES WHEN I VISIT HER ,BY THE TIME I GET HOME,THERES A
MESSAGE ON MY ASWERING MACHINE SOMETHING LIKE "WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO SEE ME, I HAVENT H\EAR FROM YOU FOR A LONG TIME"
EVERY DAY THER ARE AT LEAST 4 MESSAGES ON MY MACHINE,WETHER
IV'E BEEN TO SEE HER OR NOT.
ON ONE OCCASION SHE LEFT 28 MESSAGES IN A SEVEN HOUR PERIOD.
I DISCONNECTED THE MACHINE LAST WEEK,AND AM AFRAID TO
ANSWER THE PHONE.
SHE HAS CALLED THE POLICE A NUMBER OF TIMES,THINKING THAT IM
MISSING.-ITS NOW A STANDING "JOKE"--THEY CALL ME UP AND
ASK ME IF IM MISSING AGAIN.................................
IT SEEMS THAT I AM HER ONLY SOURCE OF COMPANIONSHIP.
SHE REFUSES TO SOCIALIZE,MAKE FRIENDS,OR PARTICIPATE IN ANYTHING.
LATLELY SHE ONLY LEAVES HER ROOM TO EAT.
SHE TRIES TO SLEEP AS LONG AS POSSIBLE "TO MAKE THE DAY SHORTER"
HER WORLD IS SO SMALL THAT WHEN I GO TO SEE OR CALL HER,THERE
ARE LONG PERIODS OF SILENCE,AS THERE IS NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT
WITH EXECPTION OF ME ANSWEING REPETITIVE QUESTIONS.

I AM AT A TOTAL LOSS.I CARE DEEPLY FOR MY MOTHER,BUT I CANT HANDLE THIS ANYMORE,I HAVE ALL THE SIGNS OF CAREGIVER STRESS
AND THEN SOME.
I HAVE GROWN BOTH PHYSICALY AND MENTALY WEAK,AND IT SEEMS
IM READY TO SNAP AND SO SOMETHING I WILL REGRET LATER.

*********************************HELP***********************************************
Original Post

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Willie:
I hope you can get a break for a few days soon. Sounds like you really need it.
I don't blame you for unplugging the answering machine. I bought some puzzles for my sister when she was giving her girls such a bad time. Only the 50 or 100 piece with clearly defined picture so she could finish it and feel successful. A friend gave her a small hand held inexpensive electronic poker game. She used both but preferred the poker game. It came from the toy section of the discount store and had large number pads and large lettering. You have probably already tried both of these. Every person is different so I can't really be much help except to pray for you and your Mother.
I pray that you can find time alone for a few minutes to start the day by finding God's spirit within yourself. In my experience this helps to deal with the day's ups and downs. I, too, am a caregiver. I have learned that, though days go on much the same, another unexpected crises is often just around the corner and I need the strength to be ready to meet it each day.
Nina
Hi Willie...and welcome..
You and I seem to be going through almost the exact same thing. My father has the short term memory problem, the shaky hands, the difficulties walking, the clinginess to me complete with multiple phone calls, and the lack of socializing with others in his seniors complex. He also likes to sleep a lot.
He is too stubborn to use a walker and anything I have suggested to him to do for a...hobby...well, he doesn't.
I am curious...Has your mother ever had a stroke, or perhaps is having small strokes that so far have been undetected. That seems to be what was happening with my father until he had a larger one that landed him in the hospital for quite a while. Or is she diabetic, suffering from some form of seizures, or perhaps Parkinson's?
I know with my dad the doctors are unsure as to why his hands shake like they do, and to why his gait is funny...They don't know if it was brought on by years of drinking, the strokes, or if he has some Parkinson's. It is frustrating to not be able to have a concrete diagnoses but what can ya do...
I know only too well how you feel about the phoning...much like screaming and pulling your hair out..lol..Mine so far has not called the police, but while I was caring for my mother, a few times that he called and we weren't home...he did call all 3 hospitals here to see if we were in the Emergency dep't. It is almost like he is paranoid about losing contact with me or something, possibly brought on because I am all he has, and his illnesses have put such a scare into him.
I try my hardest to be understanding, but some days when I am busy it can get annoying.
I have name display on my phone and sometimes I just don't answer...Only problem there is he lets it ring...forever...hangs up....calls again....and on and on and on...lol..
It also helps to try to have a sense of humor about it...You do sound in your message that you are at a burnout stage so this may be a bit hard to accomplish...You must take some time to relax, try to rejuvenate yourself...Sometimes just a few "calming" days can bring a whole new perspective to a situation.
Another think I wanted to ask you...seeing your mother is in a home...Is there perhaps a social worker you could get to visit her?
I think at this point you need to look into all your options..sometimes just the right person coming to see her and talking can make such a difference. I see this with my father a lot...He will not listen to a thing I say but will try harder if it is not a member of his family.
Let us know how you are doing...

Take care...
PrairieGal
HELLO AGAIN
THANX FOR THE INPUT,I HAVE DECIDED TO TAKE SOME TIME OFF AND GET MY HEAD TOGETHER.
I DIDNT REALIZE THAT SO MANY PEOPLE HAD
"MY PROBLEM". I HAVE MADE ARAGEMENTS FOR SOME COUNCELLING AND HAVE A SOCIAL WORKER SEE MY MOTHER.AND HOPEFULLY EASE THE CHAOS SOMEWHAT.
EVEN THOUGH IM TAKING A BREAK,THERE'S STILL
THE GUILT THING HANGING OVER MY HEAD.THAT IS SOMTHING I HAVE TO WORK OUT BEFORE I CAN HAVE SOME PEACE OF MIND.
Hi Willie...

Right on...that you are taking the incentive to seek help...You are on the right track.
A cousellor may even be able to work through your guilt feelings with you. I think each and every caregiver go through the guilt thing at some point, the important thing to know is you are not the only one, and that you are admitting your problem which will make it all the easier to get a fix on it.

My best to you...and keep us posted on how you are doing...
PrairieGal
Hi Willie

This was what I was challenged with, this week with my Mother. She is extremely aware. She goes down low when she phones me or is with me... yet when she is out with others, she is fine.. There are so many dynamics that go on in their minds, no different then what goes on in our own minds in the situations we are challenged with.

When it comes to caring for another, we tend to move into wanting to control and have it be our way to fit our needs. When it doesn't go our way, we get frustrated, etc.

In our only personal daily experiences, we go in and out of positive thoughts etc. Sometimes when we see the discrepancy in the thoughts and actions of another, we see our own patterns and this makes it harder on us. It isn't really about the other person, especially in an elderly person who is going through so much that they may have difficulty understanding, comprehending and perhaps even expressing. The dynamics can range from the fact that we are the family... we are the ones that care, and they don't have to put on a happy face for us as they do for others. It is safe for them to let it all hang out. Sometimes,it is the loss and loneliness they are going through, a wrong combination of medications, or a deterioration process which may cause this... and not even be in their control.

The truth is that it isn't about them changing to please us, no matter how much importance we put on it. The truth is that it is us that has to change; to not let these things bother us; to understand that it is a process they are going through that we have really no control over.

Our work is to remain focused in a loving and compassionate way... to keep ourselves open to understanding that if they really could be different... if they really could change to make it easier for us, they would if they could...

It is a blessing that you have chosen to get some counseling at this time to help you put it all in the right perspective... it may not get easier...only more difficult as your mom progresses...with strength, tools and courage, you will pull through this stonger and with more confidence to know that you have given the best than you can give.

Richest Blessings
Love & light
Gail
Hi Willie, when I first found this site I was so burnt out and felt so alone. It didn't take these great folks long to make me feel much better. Can't fix your problems but having people who understand and have walked that mile in your shoes really helps. Sometimes I feel like I just have to vent and once I do, it is like a release. Please stay with us and know there are others who care and understand. Caregiving for an elderly parent is so intense and is such a reversal of positions that it is hard to know what to do. You can receive so many good suggestions here. Best of luck to you.
hi
just checking back.im going to see the councelor today,i dont usually do this,so im
a little aprehesive about that,but i hope it
will give me some insight.
i havent seen or called my mother since my
first posting here,and arranged for somone
to look after things in case of a small
emergency.
im the type of person that holds everything
inside till it blows up-i still dont feel too good,and find it hard to conentrate on what im typing.
also i went to the drugstore on saturday
and they told me that my mother has been calling them very frequenly to have them
deliver otc drugs(asa,tylenol&laxitives,etc)
but the retirement home put a stop to this.

thanx again for all the replies.......
Hi again willie...

Good luck with the counselling...it might just feel good to get everything off your chest...if the counsellor is a good one he or she may be able to get you to.."let go"...and trust me...you will feel loads better...
I can't believe how alike your mom and my dad sound...he too, at one time was right into the painkillers and laxatives...apparently the headaches were from high blood pressure and the laxatives were cuz he was always constipated from bad diet...he is on something prescribed now for the B.P...and stool softeners for the constipation problem so that resolved that problem.
If you are up to it you maybe should relay this info to your mother's doctor so he or she can perhaps see why she needs these over the counter drugs..

Again...good luck...and keep us posted...
PrairieGal

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