Well... I was considering having children until I started caring for my father because I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I was a "late baby" (my brother who committed suicide was even younger... 10 years), so my father was 47 when I was born. I'm absolutely TERRIFIED to reproduce at the age of 38 now for the fear that I will get sick and have kids that resent caring for me.
Then I think I wouldn't be a good mother because I get so frustrated with my father when he doesn't sleep (babies keep you up at night as well), or I snap at him for ...whatever.
Finally, I think about putting a contingency plan together for aging. The short time I had Dad at the Independent Living (IL) facility, I would listen to the elderly parents that put THEMSELVES in the facility so their children could enjoy their freedom--so they wouldn't be a burden to their children. I admit I was a bit jealous. Why can't my Dad do that?
Then I have "angry compassion_ so to speak. Isn't it interesting that if an animal gets to the point where they can't function, they're put down, yet humans can literally suffer for YEARS (patient and caregiver) existing as a fraction of the person they once were.
I get it... it must be horrible to exist without being unable to hear well, see well, move around, remember anything, and be in pain most of the time, but should the caregivers suffer?
NOTE: I'm not advocating euthanizing humans... just making an observation.
...and to top it off, I want to SCREAM the truth at by standers that "commend" me for taking care of Dad. There's nothing commendable about it. I detest it most of the time and feel guilty for feeling that way every day.
....random venting I guess
Don’t get me wrong. She was a real go getter when it came to work. It was retirement that got her down. She never learned how to take care of herself, manage her diabetes, eat right exercise because work kept her thriving and prescriptions solved any physical complaints she had.
Once she retired she pretty much just shopped for things she’d never use or sit around. And sit and sit and sit... When she broke her hip, that was the beginning of the end.
Yet no it wasn’t because she is still relatively healthy but she’s weak, deaf and nearly blind. Who knows how long before she needs professional care, though I can’t lift her when she can’t walk.
Here I am, I can’t even draw my husbands social security because he’s several years younger than I am and I have to wait until he’s retirement age.
I don’t want to be a burden to my kids but I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel and I won’t willingly give up living while I have them to love and watch. I don’t have any answers. Honestly this thread is making me see that I really should lose this extra weight and get even more active so I can live healthier than my mom is.
Now reality kicks in...Mom is housebound so I’m under house arrest. I have no contacts no opportunity to engage socially, I only get a break to go to my own dr. No wonder I’m sick all the time. This isn’t the life I planned. No not at all.
I don't have kids or grandkids, but I have the same dilemma, about not wanting to end up immobile and helpless like my mother. The dilemma is that the stress and hopelessness of living as a hostage to a parent's needs seems to make it even more difficult to focus on one's own needs, especially those that require concentration and effort like diet and exercise. I'm back and forth about it, having lost and regained the same 30-40 lbs several times since I've been taking care of my mother.
Right now I'm on a roll, since I've just become eligible for Medicare and have chosen a plan that offers Silver Sneakers gym memberships. I hate to exercise alone, but I enjoy the classes very much, especially water fitness, chair yoga, and senior fitness. The social aspect seems to motivate me to actually go instead of just thinking about it. Plus it keeps you totally focused and in the moment, and that relieves a lot of stress for me. The classes are strenuous enough to make me realize how weak some of my muscles are, and that motivates me too. I too am desperate to not end up like my mother, partly because I have nobody to care for me but also because I don't want to be the one to impose house arrest on any other person.
My big fear right now is that if and when I do have to move back in with Mom, I will lose all control over my schedule and I'll have to find the motivation to keep exercising even if I can't make it to the classes. Hoping for the best, for myself and for you too. :-)
If your Mom has to be lifted and you are not able to safely and without injuring yourself the time is now for professional help. I didn't heed that red flag and ended up having another TIA, a back that was devastated ( I can just now walk around the house, run into a convenience store or walk short distances without my cane) for lifting/being support/ or pulling on him to get him out of bed, up off the couch or toilet when he weighed over 236lbs. Trust me it is not worth it. It is time to seek professional help. I am not sure what your Mom weighs but at the hospital and rehab I was told no matter a person's size, injury to a caregiver happens often.
As for your Mom being housebound see if you can arrange for someone to come in and sit with her for an hour or two several days a week. (contact your local senior center; talk to her doctor etc. I know private caregivers are expensive...but maybe they can help give you some options. Do you belong to a church? If so talk with your pastor.)This will give you some time to get out of the house for a while and maybe even work part time. Let her doctor know the situation and that you are having to lift her and you are concerned for your own health .
Please do not let a feeling of guilt or duty get in the way. It sounds as if your Mom needs to be in skilled nursing and rehab. I did not see where you said how old your Mom is. If she is on medicare and the doctors order it, that might be an option. Rehab is not only physical but occupational as well.
Sorry didn't mean to be on a rant or write a book. Hope this helps. Take care and please keep us posted on how you are doing.
It’s also taught me that under no circumstances do I EVER want my children to waste their youth taking care of me when there are perfectly good facilities with trained staff nearby. So we’re saving well for our retirement and making sure all arrangements are in place for assisted living when the time comes. I’ll be making that decision, not my kids. I won’t burden them with the guilt or the stress.
I have a sister and brother here but they don’t think to offer respite for me. Since I don’t have social life I don’t really ask. It’s too much trouble to arrange for care and a ride for me to do our grocery shopping so I don’t bother asking for a break.
Point in fact: I had an emergency bowel resection couple years ago. I was 10 days in hospital and 3 weeks in care facility and they were hard pressed to have help for mom. I came home with a colostomy bag and they left me alone with her the first night. She was not chair bound at the time but she hasn’t gotten her own meals for years now or anything else really. I had the surgery reversed and again I was alone with her after 5 days in hospital. I don’t object because if they can’t see that I’m in more need than Mom I’m not about to argue over it. I’m 65 now and I feel my age since those surgeries. Altogether I’ve had 5 surgeries in the last 3 years and am looking at another incisional hernia repair. Wah wah wah maybe it’s not such a good thing to complain out loud!
The hell of it is I’m getting more family help right now than I have since I started taking care of mom. They rarely visited and didn’t do anything for us. Having them come around sometimes adds pressure to me wanting to keep up appearances. Their best trick is to plan a family gathering and have it here at our house “for mom’s sake so she can be comfy at home.” Guess who’s in charge of getting the house ready, setting up extra chairs, planning the incidentals then stuck cleaning up after? Except for her most recent birthday in April so maybe they’re beginning to see my reality. Crossing my fingers but wish I weren’t already so negative expecting the worst all the time.
CharK trust me if I had been left alone with my Mom, when I was the caregiver for her, right after surgery I would have been strongly making a statement to my family and doctors that I had just had surgery and could NOT care for her. Please don't sit back and not say anything as it puts you in a position that it could delay your recovery or put you in danger. What will happen if it makes you worse or delays your recovery and you end up right back in the hospital or possibly worse?
As to the get togethers, I would very firmly (out of earshot of your Mom) tell them that is fine but here is a list of the tasks each of you is responsible and "Oh, by the way ________ is in charge so if there are question call him/her. If they balk, or refuse, or give you a rough time sweetly say "then we will have it your house and you can come and pick both of us up and bring us home". As to keeping up appearances....my home is reasonably clean but is definitely cluttered (not to where it will cause problems with my honey getting around) and sometimes it needs some dusting, but whether it is family, visiting nurse or rehab I have an old saying that works...well actually two. 1. what you see is what you get. 2. when you start paying my bills and handle the caregiving then I will worry about appearances. My honey's family is great and totally understands. They visit about once a month as they have a 4-6 hour drive to come and see us and I know in an emergency they will drop everything and come up...but they also understand with taking care of my honey, a home, our 4 legged "babies", trying to start a business (actually two) as well as my health issues I do not have the time or energy to keep the house spotless or keep up appearances.
I guess what I am trying to say is don't worry about what other people think as long as you and your Mom are taken care of. Housework and laundry will always be there the next day. The month that my honey was at hospital/rehab gave me time to get to know myself again and to figure out the boundaries that I needed to set. And setting boundaries on what you will allow people to ask of you or to do is very important. I have definitely learned to say no. (and mean it). The posts that I made on "how do you handle mean" post was when I first joined through the time my honey came home.
It is still hard at times here but I stand firm on the boundaries that I set as well as what I will and will not tolerate and make it known when my honey tries to revert back to the way he was between February and May of this year.
Please take care of yourself and please keep posting. Hope I haven't sounded harsh, but I hope what I have had to relearn helps you and others on this forum. (Smile) I know I post on a lot of subjects, but I only respond when I can respond with personal knowledge of things . My Mom used to tell people when I was 36 that I had lived the life of a 70 year old. Sorry about writing a book.... (sheepish grin)
My Mother was a very bright woman and she made a point to assure me that she, "Would die before she would put one of her children through being her caregiver!" We never really know do we?
Growing old can be a wonderful experience - or not.
The “adult orphans” in my life certainly did not have perfect lives. But they were no longer wrangling addled, irrational parents..... no longer running interference with all the indignities..... no longer fielding questions and suggestions from every Tom, Dick and Harry.
I was ready to shed the stresses of caregiving. I was ready to not see any more damm deterioration than I had already seen. But the universe was not ready to retire me from that role.
Have a family...it’s something I wish I did...only chance now would be w a donated egg. I’m 59 ...my cousin had her first & only brilliant daughter at age 54!!!! Children grow up & become independent...
.elderly parents become mean, abusive & more dependent.
Look for ALF for him this week. Hugs 🤗
I didn't have kids and at times I wish I did, other times I am gald I didn't. Who would want to put anyone through this?
I too see other people's parents who planned for their end of life care and become somewhat envy. My father did not plan for his or my mothers. I think his plan was for me to take care of them. My dad is gone and has been for four yrs and I miss him very much.
Taking care of my mother is not commendable it is just what I should do. And I am so mad at the world, my mother, my dad, at this disease I could scream.
I lost 10 yrs due to my own illness and just when I start getting better I have to take care of my mother. Put my life on hold?!
If that isn't enough my BF of 15 yrs is telling me today he feels alone! It breaks my heart that he feels alone and so do I.
I don't think I want to see old age!
If it wasn't for this forum I don't know what I would do. There is a weird comfort knowing you are not the only one going through this. This place has answer a lot of questions & has given me ideas on what I can do to help my situation.
But as my dad would say, "this to shall pass".
Don't base having or not having a child on how you react to your father.
Sorry so long, I just needed to vent
My mom had a plan, and I’m pretty sure it was me, but as she gets older and in her current state, she pretty well resigns herself to “well I know MissusR will do it,” “I know MissusR will be there,” so chores wait, symptoms get denied and ignored until, “I just cant take these symptoms anymore,” and it takes work to get her well again.
I won’t be the kind of person who ages and resigns to circumstance. I know I can’t control everything in the world, but there are a lot of things I can at least try to improve my odds against turning out like what I’m seeing now. I have to.
My father had lung cancer and was kept going for months past the time he should have passed. He was just a bag of bones under a blanket sucking on oxygen waiting to die. Literally waiting
my husbands aunt is 92 and has been battling cancer. She has been in hospital more than out over the past year. She is going home tomorrow because she wants to die in her own home.
Why cant the medical profession and families just accept that people die from old age. Not cancer or lung cancer or Alzheimer’s but plain old age.
My husband's great grandmother was just shy of 102. She had no disease, no illness, she fell and broke her hip. That was it. She went into the hospital and died there. She had 12 children plus a couple of miscarriages. She didn't even take any medication. It was simply old age! She wore out! For her 100th birthday party she laughed, danced, had a great time, had her picture taken for the local newspaper. Don't you wish we could all die like she did? No suffering, just wear out. This little old lady when her daughter made her stop cooking. She loved to cook. Her daughter didn't want her lifting heavy pots anymore. She was a tiny thing. Her daughter did let her help out with prep work and she was happy doing that. She was not one to be idle. If she wasn't cooking, she was reading. She named all of her 12 kids after favorite characters in a book. How in the hell did she find time to read with 12 kids? She was simply adorable.
It is my belief that we all are owed a death, a good death! Not a death that leaves us not knowing who we were or who was our family. Sigh! I will have a good death when my time comes!!!
Just my 2 cents!