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I have been taking care of my parents for over 10 years. My father passed away in 2001.My mother is 87, and needs 24 hr. care. She suffers from parkinsons disease,high blood pressure,irregular heartbeat,and has had other ailments.She had a tia stroke in June,and went through hospitalization and rehab.She now lives with my husband and I(I am an only child).I know she suffers from depression,and was told she may benefit from taking a mild antidepressant to help in her depression symptoms.And of course,she doesn't want to.She is so miserable,she doesn't even want to get dressed everyday anymore,she is in her pj's and bathrobe for sometimes a day or so. She is so small and frail,only 100 lb. with her clothes on. She does not have an appetite.The doctor has put her on an appetite booster, and that worked for about 2 or 3 days.Now she is back to eating like a bird. She doesn't eat enough in my opinion to sustain life.She is wheelchair bound,after falling due to a tia stroke about 5 mo. ago.No bones broken, but since the stroke, The weakness on the right side is so severe, she has no sense of balance,and her legs give out on her. I pretty much do everything for her.I bathe her,make her meals and help her eat when she is having a difficlt time eating.After I tucked her in bed tonight,I came back to check on her, and she was crying,sayin she was going to die alone,and that she came into the world alone,and would probably die alone. Then she went on to say she thinks of her mother a lot who died in a nursing home.I asked her if they called to let her know she was close to death,and she said yes, and that she was there with her when she died. (My mother worked as a secretary full time and told me grandma went to the nursing home when she was afraid to leave her Mom home alone,for fear for her safety.) She has often told me what patience I have,and wish she had had more with her mother. What can I say to her? I don't know how to make this better for her. She spends the majority of the day in bed these days. I will try to get in touch with her doctor and see what he thinks. This whole situation is more than I can bear at times,but know I am doing all that I can do.
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Hi, Nano

You are such an angel for caring so for your mom in your home. Mine is 84 and in a nursing home. I have such mixed feelings about it.

When we talk about whether we should bring her home, one of the remarks is that when she lived with us she felt isolated. She enjoys interacting with various staff and visitors... including therapy animals. Do you have any (safe) pets? Does your mother ever have visitors to your home? Is there much activity in the neighborhood she might observe from a porch or in the yard?

Logistically, it is hard to take Mom on outings. Today, my brother and I are taking her out to lunch. She has Parkinson's, too, and doesn't alway feed herself gracefully - but we'll manage.

Hugs to you and your mom,
Barb
Hi Bamagirl! I think at times,too, Mom was happier at the nursing center where she was receiving rehab after her stroke. Everyone there was so cheerful and helpful. She had a favorite nurses aid(a man) who just made her eyes light up. It was so funny. After they released her to go home, she came here to live with us.As far as pets go, we have 2 110 gal fish tanks and 5 cats. She is particularly fond of Boo,our 16 year old blind cat who gets around very well,and jumps up in bed with Mom and keeps her company. We live out in the country, and live off of a road where the traffic goes by about 60 miles an hour, so hard to see to muchof interest there. We have a big deck off of the back of the house where I would take her outside if she wanted to. But she didn't care to go out very much over the summer,as it was to hot.As far as company goes, I am afraid there isn't to much. She came from a different city, and her friends are elderly as well, and don't get out this way. She only has a handful of friends left that she saw from time to time.I take her back to her condo once a week, so she can see people then if she wants to. We pick up her mail and I do odds and ends that need to be done. I have 3 children, and 2 of them live in Georgia(We live in Illinois).The other one lives in a different town and both my son and his wife work full time and are very active with their 2 children in sports,dance,etc..... So, unfortunately don't get to see them to often either. Sometimes I think the nursing center would be a better answer for her.She gets to see all of the nurses and people coming and going. Even though I am at her beck and call here,sometimes I don't think She thinks I come quick enough sometimes.I take a walkie talkie to bed with me in case she needs me in the night. It can be so hard and frustrating. It is hard to be with her constantly as I have a house to take care of and my husband runs his own construction co., so I help him at times as well. The only time I am gone and need someone to come in to help is once a week, and that is extremely expensive. About 140.00 for 8 1/2 hrs. I feel guilty that I can't just sit in front of the tv with her for hours on end, but I do have things to do and it drives me crazy to sit still for to long. I am 51 yrs. old and my husband just turned 50. We would like to lead a more active life but it is hard to do with our situation we have at hand. Who do you get to sit with them at night when you want to go out? I have talked to our church, and they don't seem to know of anyone that does that. This morning when she was eating her breakfast, she told me she feels like she is getting worse, maybe like she has had another tia. So we will get ahold of the doctor and see what he wants to do. She is so weak and feeble, I am afraid I may someday have to consider full time nursing care. In all reality, I think that would be the best thing for her, but would never want to do something that would upset her or hurt her. Oh well....time will tell.
Hi, Nano.

I so understand where you are. Do the drs think she may regain strength, balance, etc. or is she going downhill to the point of hospice care? Others here can tell you about their hospice experiences (okay folks, that's a hint )

Otherwise, you might want to see if she would be a candidate for some sort of senior daycare program - to get her out and around people. Your county should have a "council on aging" or similar agency that might help.

Don't feel bad about not getting there fast enough. It wouldn't be any better in a facility. Mom once referred to her call button as "the thing you press and then nothing happens." LOL! That was back when she and her roommate with Alz decided they were in an elegant hotel with very good room service!

Oh! One other thing. One of the side effects of stroke is personality change. It may be that your mother's mood is part of a new, post-stroke "persona." Talk to her dr.

... and as always, find time for you!

Hugs,
Barb

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