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I feel just sick to my stomach right now. I'm in touch with my mother on an almost daily basis, take her shopping/run errands, bring her to and from Adult Day Care 2x/week, assist her with cares as needed, listen and provide emotional support. Granted she doesn't need intense 24/7 care! (I'm lucky that way.)

I try to keep her as independent as possible by providing her support, choices and empowering decision making and problem solving as she is still capable even though somewhat limited mobility-wise.

Occaisionally, I step in when she is unable to resolve an issue. Recently, I did just that. For a year now, she's been trying to get a water leak fixed in her condo and gotten no where. So, I wrote a letter to the condo Board on her behalf --- (because enough is enough right?) A neighbor of hers who happens to be her building rep just balled me out for not being involved enough in my mother's care. I totally lost it and told her "How dare you. Just who do you think you are to judge how I take care of my mother" I feel guilty about yelling at her but also very very hurt. She simply had no right to be so rude.
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Dear Cathy:

My goodness, what a tough situation to have to go through. The thing is that you are right in allowing your mother to keep as much independence as possible. It is a fine line to walk in caregiving. Honestly, people that have not experienced it do not truly understand what a challenge it can be. It is hard to watch our elderly loved ones become more challenged with the everyday tasks but, it is more important to let them handle it whenever possible...

I remember when my father would go to the doctor, he did not want my assistance to walk down the hallway. It was very hard not to help and I held my breath all the way. Oftentimes a nurse or someone would run over and suggest we get a wheelchair. But, I had to respect his wishes and let him walk on his own. I still get anxiety attacks just thinking about it!

Hang in there dear heart. Some people just think they know what is best when they really don't understand. Keep being there for you dear mom and do the best you can... Meanwhile, take care.

Love and Hugs from Glenda
Hi there . . I was trying to figure out a post 'subject' here but wow . . I get it . .

If I understand 'right' you are taking care of your Mom and someone who needed to 'stay out of it' unless you asked said what's on their mind .. I wonder if they have some of the same issues you do and don't have them resolved? I find that if someone judges me then somewhere there is a 'commonality' in our feelings . . and you clearly seem in touch with yours . . . and have set boundaries. I'm a local child taking care not only of my Mom and also my Dad and marriage counseling starting up Sat. and go through accupuncture ( counseling ) and try to take care of myself . . and so many people go oh 'just' or just don't get it . .

what Glenda said .. . to walk that fine line and also I think allow ourselves to get ticked off from time to time!

Was also 'counseled' at one point that it's OK! to get angry even with our parents like how dare you have gotten sick as long as we channel that anger in a healthy way .

We all have so much on our plates so I hope you are easy on yourself and I will try myself OK?

What really hurts, is that this same neighbor is insisting I take off of work to attend Condo Board meetings, take my mom to the club house office and take off when a handy man comes to her apartment. I already have taken off for emergency room visits, etc. And quite frankly I cannot take unlimited time off of work and continue to hold onto my job. Finacially, I need to keep working. I'm single and I need to support myself. I already have no social life to speak of and this past summer for the first time in a long time I was able to wrangle some time off for me to get things done around the house and relax while my brother looked after my mom. Normally, most of this falls on my plate as my brother quote/unquote is busy with his own family. My company discontinued group health insurance coverage for it's employees over a year ago. And among living costs I'm trying to put aside enough money to afford health insurance. (Finding a company on my own has been difficult because they don't accept pre-existing conditions. I found one for high risk but it is very expensve.)

This neighbor also won't even talk with my mother about any issues because quote/unquote "she is old." I did report this to our condo board president, who happens to be a retired social worker. And she did agree with me that this is blatant age discrimination.

This weekend I learned so much about our neighbors and their attitudes in regards to frail elderly. It's a maddening stereotype to actually believe that if someone walks with a walker or uses a wheelchair they no longer have a competant mind.

Incidentally, my mother had a handy man over without myself or my brother present and our water leak situation is now resolved! God Bless her! And because of the documented failed former attempts at fixing the problem the fix was free.

Can you imagine? "I'm not going to talk with your mother, because she's old." I guess I didn't expect to run into Archie Bunker's relative in my condo community.
how sickening!
Hi Cathy this is going to be 'quick' as I had acupuncture yesterday but I really hope you can 'let go' of this neighbor's stuff I'm really sorry but I was laughing for you because it sounds like a Dr. Phil episode!

( Not you the neighbor . . . )

No I cannot imagine saying I won't talk to someone for they are old . . .

God bless your Mom's heart for taking care of what needed to be done!

Sounds like you are a 'local caregiver' not live in as well? I know all too well the stressors and blessings of that role!

The anticipitory grief the 'guilt' the love the how dare I take care of myself any of this hit home?????

I'm proud of you if that helps . . .

And I need to practice what I preach and got rest!

woops don't think I hit post . .

Hey Cathy I saw your post and just wanted you to know I can understand what you are saying and it really sounds like this neighbor needs to mind their own business and that you and your Mom are doing really well . . .

Sorry had acupuncture yesterday but had to answer this as I can relate to what you are saying on so many levels!



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