My 95 year old moved in with me after she fractured her hip. Previously she was living with my sister. I work full time outside of the house. I have some flexibility and work one day from home to shower and spend time with mom. I have a boyfriend who lives separately and not being able to come and go as I previously did is stressful on our relationship. Mom is very “with it” and alert mentally, physically her body is failing and she suffers from constant worry of what will happen to her and where she should live. She feels like a burden. It’s sad. Much to be thankful for and yet she can’t seem to accept that at 95 things happen and even with her strong faith she is so worried all the time. She won’t take meds to help and she does not share her feelings. I find myself not spending much down time with her as my time with her is very task-driven with treatments, discussing medical appointments, bathing, washing clothes, etc. I get a feel for how she’s feeling. I know her time is limited and I feel guilty. She’s pretty much confined to her bedroom on the second floor. I have an aide coming in two times a week for two hour shifts, of course she feels it’s not necessary. She was fairly independent prior to hip fracture albeit still a home body. Any suggestions or similar experiences welcomed. Thank you.
What I tell my Mom is that I can never do enough for her to make up for all the years she spent bringing up us kids. I remind her of the many special things she did and precious family memories that we all carry with us. I remind her of her many accomplishments in life and of the strong love that she and my Dad shared.
Because you're voicing a sense of guilt, maybe try to make some of your time with her non-transactional, no talk of tasks or duties, make more of it simply time spent together.
It's an honor and a huge burden to care for one so old; let her know how honored you are to have her for your mother. Step outside of your comfort zone and express your deep emotions, even if she's not usually comfortable with emotions. You can keep up your side of those conversations and know that she's hearing you and processing. Say everything to her that you may regret not having said once she's gone.
Finding ways to spend some quality time now will help you when she dies. You already struggle with feeling guilty, please mitigate issues that you know are going to be an issue for you.
Tell her these helpers are for you so you can have more free time. Reassure her that she isn't a burden and find ways to occupy her so she doesn't have sooooooo much time to dwell on negative feelings. Help her feel helpful.
Can she use a phone? If yes, find a local charity that needs friendly callers. She can brighten the day of someone else by calling and caring about them, by sharing herself her anxiety should improve.
Best luck, these are such challenging situations.
Should it come to an AL ever, an Atria or Brookdale, Sunrise too, would be my VERY LAST OPTION. The Atria nearest me is being investigated for poisoning three residents. There’s a fourth at an Atria further away. The state of California almost pulled Brookdales ability to operate snf because they were so negligent, What do you think they do in the relatively lax environment of als? Oh, and Sunrise has a record about as long as this Atria.
Brookdale in Tucson has the best rehabilitation facility in the city, barring true full-time rehab centers. They have good patient to aide ratios throughout and have high ratings. People we met have been transferred from around the states to be here. It is about management as much as corporate rules.
No facility provides the one on one care a person receives in home care. That is just the reality and quite frankly, more people would be able to stay home if they didn't expect to have their caregiver ask how high when they say jump. My dad had telepathic connections with my chair, as soon as my bum was headed for the seat, he hollered. He learned that I don't have very good hearing and my response time is not so great either :-) so he didn't expect the facility to jump because he called and it helped him adjust.
On a lower floor, perhaps she can rehab a little to do a few things around the house to feel more useful. Laundry folding is a good task (exercise for arms, too). Another task might be sorting the plastic storage bowls and matching lids (those always get out of control with me). You might give her a notebook to keep a grocery list going - when you're out, tell her to put on the list. Make her feel useful. Good for the body and the mind.
The aid is most useful to both of you. Allows her communication and social interaction with others and helps you with her needs. If her finances allow, increase the care to 3-4 or more times a week. Call her doctor and ask for in-home physical therapy as well. Medicare covers physical therapy (legs) and occupational therapy (upper body) for limited periods of time. If you do request therapy, ask the home health company to do one first and when it wraps up, start the other. It keeps the therapy ongoing longer. That means another person coming to the house (that you don't have to pay) to help get her stronger and outside social contact.
If mom knows she's a burden and is suffering anxiety as a result, then offer her an alternative to being a burden: AUTONOMY in her own apartment. With care available IF she needs it, but not if she doesn't. And you going to visit her frequently. With doctors coming in to see HER on site or a mini bus to take her where she wants to go.
You have nothing to feel guilty about; you took the woman into your home, for petesake, what more can you do, carry her to work with you when you leave the house? What you can do is offer her a better lifeSTYLE than she's living now so the both of you can have a better life as a result. It's not 'insulting' to do so, and if it's interpreted as such, then she's not as mentally 'with it' as you think.
Best of luck finding a better way than what's currently not working for you.
If either one of you has not finalized final wishes paper work, set that appointment with an Elder Law Attorney.
Impulsively I wrote every year ur here is as bonus for me.
Dont know how that will be recieved yet... Maybe get her 'thinking of u card' to celebrate that every year ur here for is a bonus to me.
Or how about... I'm glad I'm not an orphan today.
Could you have a discussion about AL with your mom? My mother also felt the same way - that she didn’t want to be a burden. I was honest with her and told her I was afraid that if anything happened to me, she had no one to take care of her. I don’t know how old you are, but take that into consideration, too.
Good luck, I know it’s a tough situation to be in. Your mom sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders and you would be able to have a frank, reasonable discussion with her. I hope you can work something out.
"Aging and decline are normal. It only goes in one direction. It's not your fault, and it can't be changed, everyone who makes it to your age experiences it. Together we can plan and make what comes next as good as possible. Here is what I think will work for the both of us. I will help you every step of the way..."
You may wish to ease into a different arrangement by having her go to an adult day care. This gets her accustomed to being out of the house and interacting with other people. Then you can research some reputable local facilities and ask to visit while it's having activites or an event. People your Mom's age only have horrible perceptions about facilities. Still, no one her age looks forward to this sort of change. Just move it along as best you can, understanding that you don't need to have her full acceptance. You need your life back and she will gain from the 24/7 care and social exposure in a good place, if that's a solution you choose.
These are tough years to get through. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Good luck to you .