From the OPs profile:

I am caring for my mother Sandra, who is 83 years old, living in my home with age-related decline, alzheimer's / dementia, anxiety, arthritis, depression, hearing loss, heart disease, incontinence, mobility problems, osteoporosis, stroke, urinary tract infection, and vision problems.

About Me:
I’m trying to remember who I am since I started care giving for my mother three years ago. Im kind, patient and living person. Developing boundaries forced to for my mental being.

At what point do you say ENOUGH? I just can't and won't do this in-home caregiving gig anymore? Your mother has more issues than Newsweek and you have to ask yourself, "Am I QUALIFIED to care for my mother?" I think the honest answer is NO, you are NOT qualified to care for the woman at home anymore! Guilt should not come into the equation. REAL guilt would be felt if you took her back into your home and she died b/c you were not able to care for her properly, due to her myriad of health conditions. THEN you would feel guilty, as if you should have placed her in Skilled Nursing where professionals were left in charge of her care.

It's time now to have a good, honest talk with your mother about your abilities and what you're unable to do anymore. 3 years is plenty of time to have devoted to caring for mom, and now it's time to leave that care to the pro's. You've reached your limit and it's okay to admit it.

Good luck!

Change out G-words. Guilt is for felons, and they never feel it. Guilt is for evil-doers. You are merely human, not an omnipotent god, not a fairy with a want that cures everything. You are a human with limitations. Embrace them.
The G-word you are looking for is grief. Grief that your Mom is failing. Grief that you cannot give up your own life entirely to her. Grief that you are witness to her suffering. Grief. There will be tears. For you and for her. And life is full of them. Not everything can be fixed.
Own that you are human and will do what you can, but cannot do everything. I am so sorry.

I can understand her. Being an older male with incontinence problems. When it started my wife wanted me back in diapers to keep things dry. I will say after a few yrs have become more secure. Thanks

JoAnn, I bet you were the one most easily made to feel guilt. It's my opinion only the good feel guilt. You are always kind in your advice!

Of all my Moms kids, and there were 4 of us, I was the one that could be made to feel guilty. But when I was left with total care of my Mom and the responsibility of POA, I pushed that guilt aside. I needed to make decisions in the interest if me and Mom. I found in the 20 months she lived with me I was not a Caregiver. The unpredictability of the disease was one thing. I like organization and at 65 hard to change that. And doing the intimate things for her bothered me. I was going to place her a week in an AL to go to a nieces wedding. Turned out they were having a half price sale on room and board so I jumped on it. Eventually it was LTC. By that time her care went beyond what I was physically capable of doing. Yes, there maybe some things I could maybe feel guilty about, but I refuse to. Because, good or bad I was the one that was there for her.

So, if you feel you can't do it, don't. You eventually will only resent her. Better she stays where she is safe and cared for and someone else does the dirty work. Then you can just visit and enjoy the time with Mom.

Try changing your "G-word" from guilt to GRIEF. You are grieving. So will she. Is not this loss of one thing after another worth grieving over? For our elders it is loss upon loss upon loss of mobility, of continence, finally of their own minds and all that makes them who they are. And we witness this. We face our own limitations of not being gods, not being fairies with wands, of not being omnipotent and able to do a "fix it" on everything on earth.
Please acknowledge and own your own limitations. Grieve it. Cry with Mom. Comfort Mom, and allow yourself you be comforted. Guilt is for felons deserving of it, for evil-doers who take joy in the pain of others; sorry, but you don't qualify, and they don't ever feel it.
I am so sorry. I am so sorry. And for you, for your Mom, I am just as helpless to help you as you are to cure everything for one another. I can only just be sorry.

Everyone has their line in the sand and incontinence is a deal breaker for many caregivers. I personally would not want my child to have to change me. Don't feel guilty. If she is safe and being taken care of it's okay. Sometimes we don't get what we want; we get what we need.

We all reach a point somewhere in the process of caregiving when we feel we “just can’t”.

If she is SAFE and receiving GOOD CARE in a residential setting, it may be best for you both if you stall for time.

If she has dementia, she may not be realistic about her expectations of coming home, and if she’s farther into the dementia process “going home” may have no meaning in relation to where she’s thinking she wants to be.

”Feeling guilty” is a waste of your time, your health, and your ability to make good reasonable decisions. It is never a tool, and NEVER a good basis for planning, especially when there is no way of coming up with a “good” choice, when all the choices you have aren’t good at all, as happens so often in the care of fragile elderly.

Think of what is SAFEST for Mom right now. When your Loved One is SAFE, you have the time to make wiser choices.

You are a good child.

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