Parents with Alzheimers


#1

I’m sure I’m not the only person here in this unfortunate situation. I’d be very open to discussions on how best to deal with this situation. I seem to be at a disadvantage because, in my 50 years, I’ve only had to care for myself and a townhouse and didn’t do a real good job at either of those. Now, I have moved in with my mother and must take care of her and her 2,000 sq ft house. I have no problem caring for her, but I can’t manage everything else. At times, I feel that she isn’t trying to do what little she can because she has me to do everything. She won’t even help although she can. I know the day is coming when she won’t be able to communicate because each word is coming harder and harder everyday. Nursing homes are out of the question. I expect to find someone to help with yard work, but a maid would only scratch the surface of the household work.

We just came home from a week long trip from Indiana and she was delightful, but the minute we got home, it’s do this and do that after I’ve driven 2,000 miles. It may sound like self pity, but I’m dead tired and would like to catch up on a little rest.

I don’t know what to do. Am I so bad? I don’t feel like I can abid by the rules of the Catholic church, take care of my mother and her home and deal with my ongoing emotional problems. I really doubt that my joining the Church was a wise decision.

How do readers of this thread deal with similar situations?


#2

Hmmm, well, my parents are currenlty okay, but I’m sure the day will come when I’ll have to take care of one or both. I also watched my Dad and Mom take care of their parents (my Dad’s father had alzheimers and his mother had some other form of dementia, while my mom’s mother had a myriad of health issues including stroke, diabetes and heart problems) and I know it’s no picnic. However, they did it, and did it as well as they could–even though my both sets of my grandparents were less than stellar parents in many ways (but, aren’t we all? lol).

I’m not sure what joining the church or following church teaching has to do with taking care of your mother, though?

Perhaps if her house is too large you could sell it and buy something smaller–more manageable for you. Find out about local help through Catholic Charities–they often offer “day care” or “day’s out” help when you need it, plus counseling and such. Find a support group in your area. Are there other family members who can help out? Ask them!!

Prayers for you and your mother. Alzheimers is a terrible disease for both the sufferer and the family involved.

Jennifer


#3

Jennifer,

I appreciate your suggestions and prayers. One thing I didn’t go into detail about is the fact that I suffer from chronic depression. I am under the care of a doctor and on medication which is adjusted as needed. My mother has always been MY rock and it has been very hard not to have anyone to lean on. When she is gone, I will have no living relatives. Money is not an issue so I’m not sure that Catholic Charities would be interested in my problem. Also, the house we live in is the house I expect to live in for the remainder of my life. I lived in a townhouse for 25 years, I really don’t want to go back to living in the laps of my neighbors.

The reason I started this thread is to share experiences with those in similar situations. When I look at the category of Family Life, everyone is always talking about their cheating spouses. For a change, I thought it might be nice to talk about a family situation where no one is to blame.


#4

Go to your local Social Services office or the office for the Aging. There are services available for your mother and you regardless of whether or not money is an issue. There is respite care available for caregivers, also support groups. You can’t do this by yourself, no matter how well-intentioned you are, and especially when you are dealing with depression. I am a mental health professional with clients who are caregivers for people with dementias. Please look into what;s available for your situation.

Peace,
Linda


#5

Contact the Alzheimers Association. They have some wonderful resources and could possibly help you and your mom make a family plan. They would know about the resources available to you. If nothing else they will talk and emphathize with you. I called once about my MIL and the volunteer talked to me for over 45 minutes. It is very important to take good care of yourself and get another support system in place to help you care for your mom.


#6

Peace and God bless. My mother is quickly deteriorating as well and dad will not be able to cope much longer. My older sister and I have already started making plans which will include my relocation across the county to be close to the folks. I will be leaving behind a career I love, a son and daugter in law and good friends. I have already started researching the support systems available for families dealing with Alzhiemers. It is a brutal and sorrow-filled disease. This past October, when I visited with my son, mom couldn’t remember who his mother was (that would be me!).

I can’t begin to imagine how I would manage without my faith and the Church. I have already begun to streamline my prayers for strength, patience, charity, and unyielding faith. I am going on this journey with mom, dad, sis, and God. I will be blessed to be present as mom prepares to go home and finally meet her Father in Heaven. I trust that God will be with us all throughout, whether we feel His presence constantly or not.

You have not made a mistake. You need to cling to that which you can depend upon.


#7

I PMed you. God bless.


#8

I can imagine how difficult this would be for you–adding in the depression. Even MORE reason to contact many of the groups mentioned to find a support group for you and your mother. If you need to hire help, then do it! There is NO shame in asking for help (or paying for it! LOL).

I remember how my grandmother and father cared for my grandfather as his disease progressed. It’s hard work. They did everything for him and kept him out of a nursing home–grandma insisted on it. It did take a toll on her health, though. They also had a home health nurse come in and help with some tasks.

Anyway, there is help and support out there for you–just seek it out! I imagine your local Catholic parish would also love to help out, as well. God bless,
Jennifer

ps Here are some links I found for you :slight_smile:
alz.org/apps/findus.asp
alzonline.phhp.ufl.edu/
beliefnet.com/story/14/story_1417_1.html


#9

My mother just passed away in September. Since she was never one to go to doctors, even a Power of Attorney sometimes rendered me helpless. However, I did my own diagnosis along the way - and upon educating myself, I’d always said she had
"a tad" of dementia - but towards the end that dementia increased. As an only child, I’ve handled this situation - along with my father (parents not together) who developed Alzheimers and is now in a nursing home.

I’ve given you the above since I think can furnish you with a great deal of personal tips - emotional and otherwise - and will PM you regarding this.

Please - don’t give up. Don’t lose patience.
God Bless You,
Conservative


#10

My mom is 87 and was diagnosed in 2004 with alzheimer’s. she is living with my brothers and their wives taking turns each month, since I work and my sisters-in law do not work. So far she is doing okay, on aricept, is pretty functional, good natured, quiet.
I see her every week, take her to lunch, she knows me but doesn’t remember that her husband of 62 years died in January. They lived in a house and now the house was put in a life estate with the children’s names and no one is living there but we go once a week with her to maintain it. She doesn’t understand why she doesn’t live there anymore. I am POA and trying my best to handle her finances. I give my brothers $1000 a month for her expenses/board/food, which is part of her social security. I know eventually she will be going into a nursing home and that is why we put the house in l ife estate so the medicaid system cannot put a lien on the house for payment. She does have some money that I will use to pay any care expenses, but the house has been protected on the advice of our lawyer. I love my mom and when dad was alive I was the child who was there each week, doing the shopping. Dad was 91 when he died and he called me “his rock” and trusted me so much and I loved him so much that it’s hard to think of him without getting misty eyed. So you are not alone; I dread the day she will need full time nursing care because I know the end of the line is very painful for the family to see their loved one in a state of dementia. Mom is very cute, 95 lbs, under five feet, very happy all the time. She doesn’t realize she is living with her sons, but she knows me more than anyone else. I don’t feel sad because I know God chose this road for her and I have to accept his will. MaryAnn


#11

My mother’s family has all had alzheimer’s. I too dread the day when she will become sick. Right now she is not really able to live on her own becase of other medical situations. She is living with my sister and I expect that will continue.

It sounds like your mom falls into bad habits of ‘bossing’ you only when she is home. probably because she feels safer there. Maybe she also reverts to a time when you were younger and did chores and got bossed around more.

Getting respite care is a good idea, even if you don’t think you really need it now. Hopefully you’ll be able to develop a relationship with one of 2 caregivers who your mom will be comfortable with even as she gets sicker.

I will be praying for you.


#12

That is very true. She seems to get a bit depressed just sitting around the house. There’s really not that she can do around the house. She loves to get out of the house even if it’s to go to McDonald’s for a strawberry sundae. That’s part of the reason she seemed so much happier on our trip last month eventhough we did not find what we were hoping. At least she was out of the house.


#13

Several of you have mentioned a Power of Attorney. The first time I mentioned it to her, she was very much against it. For the past two years, I have been handling her money. She signs any checks and sees all the mail (including my Catholic junk mail). She can’t understand most of the mail she gets as it is.

In the past couple months, she’s been talking about going to see her lawyer. I need to get a will, she needs to make a change to her will and I’m going to suggest a Power of Attorney. Part of our arrangement is that she pays for our food so when we get $300 from the ATM periodically throughout the month, I’ve started giving her about $100 and I keep the rest. So many times she leaves her purse at home when we go out that it’s just easier for me to carry our pocket money.

Today, we went to the grocery to buy laundry soap and when I picked up All she wanted to know why I wasn’t getting Breeze. They haven’t made Breeze since I was a child. We still have the dish towel that came in Breeze. :smiley:


#14

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