I Care For My Mother Who Is 89

As I am single and the most financial and available it sort of fell on me to look after my parents. My dad has been dead 4 years (alzheimers) but I am still looking after my mother who is 89. In many ways she is in good health and manages many things independently.

She is physically finding things harder and I don't always deal well with some of these things - lately she has become somewhat incontinent and I do find that challenging.

We were always great friends on top of being mother and son so that made things somewhat easier.

The worst part was that 10 years ago she suffered a really bad bout of depression - like unbelievable intractible psychochotic depression. She made a complete remssion, but when she got over the episode she was never the same personality- and intelligence-wise - and I found that the friend I knew had died. So that is really the worst part. The old woman I am looking after is not the same person I knew and loved. I don't think I have really got used to that change.

However we make a go of it. She gets some home help each day for dressing and showering and goes to a day centre a couple of days a week. Her needs are very simple now and easy to meet.

Zack45 Zack45
46-50, M
28 Responses May 6, 2008

I've done that. It's our responsibility but it really set me back because I wasn't prepared. I eventually got divorced and lost everything I tried to prepare for

I also cared for my dying dad, an endeavor that was difficult for me because I was never his favorite child. My sisters were "too busy." In fact, Dad did stay with one sister for about a week. They just kept their busy routines up and never incorporated actual care for him. One Friday night, the whole family left Dad alone to go to a football game. When they came home, they couldn't find him. He had gotten confused and was walking in a cornfield.<br />
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During the time Dad was with me, a friend told me , "When the time comes that your dad is gone, you will be content with what you have done. There will be no second guessing about what you have done. " She was so right. And that is what I want to tell you. There will come a time that this experience will leave you with peace in your heart. There will be no guilt. You are doing a remarkable, unselfish, loving thing.<br />
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Try to find support in the community or in a church you are comfortable with. Support groups for caregivers exist and may be able to give you emotional help. Please know that you , and your mom, will be in our prayers.<br />
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May God continue to bless you and your mom. She is blessed already by having you for a son.

My thoughts are with you. I just went through the same thing with my mother who was 81. Our battle ended 3 months ago. I miss her so very much but we both are at peace now. She is with my dad and I am adjusting to a new life. In time her needs will be more demanding and you may feel overwhelmed with all the emotional stress that comes with being a caregiver. If you ever need to talk, vent whatever send me a message. I'm here for support. Hang in there Zack.

I also took care of my mother for many years when she became unable to care for herself. I did it because like you we were not only mother and daughter but best friends. No one else in the family even seemed to notice that she needed the help and I was more than happy to step in and take care of her. I was there for her through several surgeries and illnesses. I was also there for her through quite a few years of pain and the last few years of her life she was in almost constant pain. That was hard to deal with because the constant pain did change her personality at times but I understood that. Sometimes she would go from the sweet loving person I had always known to someone who picked apart everything I said or did and lashed out at me but deep in my heart I knew she didn't mean the things she said. It really wasn't her talking but the pain she was in.<br />
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Since we were both female I was able to help her shower and dress so I didn't need to get help to come in for those things. But I did take her to an adult day care center once in a while when I needed a few hours to myself. She seemed to enjoy her time there and it did me a world of good to be able to get away for even just a few hours sometimes.<br />
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Caring for my mother was one of the hardest things I have ever done sometimes but it was also one of the most rewarding things sometimes. I would do it all over again if I had to. Now that mom is gone I miss her so much and I don't regret a moment of the years I devoted to her care. Sometimes I think it is just hard to reverse roles and have to parent your parent but the only other option was putting her in a nursing home which I would never have done. I needed to know that she was well taken care of and loved and i knew that when she was with me.

I take care of my Mum. I gave up my job and home when my dad developed alzheimers, when he was well he asked me if I would look after her if anything happened to him. I am not only fulfilling his wish but in doing so I am happy in that I can spend this time with her. I am close to 60 now and prospects of a job are not too good and having my own home are much less. Still I feel this is the right thing and would not give it up, I treasure every day wth her. In doing this I have learned a lot about myself as well. I have no regrets in doing this and as with my dad I have have been there for both if them, it feels good to look in the mirror at myself and know that I am doing right.

my boyfriend's aged gradmother has had a stroke , he looks after her, holds deown a regular job, has a 3 year oldd daughter. Lately , i can tell he is not coping well. I want to be there for him as much as possible but how do I do that without seeming to be ALL UP IN HIS BUSINESS. wE'VE BEEN DATING FOR A MONTH. i wanna know how to be there for him.

Bless you for taking care of your mother and may God bless her too.<br />
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She may seem lost and confused sometimes because the aging process does that to a person but she has not forgotten who she is. She will always be your great mother.<br />
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When it comes to care, ask her what she wants.<br />
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Sometimes it is possible to arrange homecare for the elderly if they are well enough to stay at home and wish to stay home.<br />
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Good luck to you both.

I know exactly what you mean. My dad has changed so much, he's not the man or father he once was. It seems the older physically they get, the younger emotionally they become.

When I read this I was absolutely drawn to tears. This was so beautiful but sad. I love what you're doing for your mother and I know that she loves what you're doing for her too.<br />
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You are a great son and a great guy honestly! I wish I knew you in real life and I wish I knew more people as loving and self-sacrificing as you. The person who steals your heart is the luckiest person on Earth!

I very much understand your losing your best friend. I am in the same situation with my mother. We had always discussed everything. Without going into great detail, I'll just say that I have to keep everything very simple now and cannot discuss anything with her other than "Are you comfortable?", "Are you ready to eat lunch?" May the Lord bless you for what you are doing. We must stay strong and fight the good fight.

Loosing your friend is the HARDEST part of caregiving. I am just learning who my Grandma is now, post-stroke. She is in there and I get glimpses of her occationally, but that is the hardest part. Hugs!!!

I too send you lots of heart felt support with your care giving. Depending on the parents health, care giving can really be a challenge that takes the life right out of you. When my mother was dying of cancer I took care of her everyday, and my father was there for her at night. Hospice provided medicine advice, bathing and mental support for me. They are the best! Toward the end of my mothers life (3 yrs ago), my father developed Parkinson's disease. Just about the same time my youngest child moved out of the house. I raised my children as a single parent with zero support from their father (no money either). So I started care giving for my father who has digressed hugely over the past 3 years. I am a single child, so it's me by default to care give. The part I find so frustrating is I was so ready to get my life back after raising my children and that is not going to happen. I will be too old to enjoy the plans I'd made for myself. I feel like I am constantly putting out fires as all the problems arise from my father and children. On top of all that, I am disabled and need time to take care of myself too. I guess I am saying there is not enough of me (anymore) to cover all the bases I am responsible for, and money is not readily available. I know it must sound like a poor me story, but that is not how I mean it. I need to be capable of putting out all the fires, and I am feeling less capable as time goes on. Wishing you all the best to all of you wonderful people who are care giving your family at home. That is the way our society should do it, with the exception of certain health cases that require the aging parent to live in some sort of assisted living facility. God Bless!

very touching and amusing. Your such a warm hearted and im sure you will recieved many blessings from God... That is a challenge in your life hope you'll stay at your moms side and stay as her sweet and loving daughter to her...Good luck and God Bless you and to your mom.<br />

very touching and amusing. Your such a warm hearted and im sure you will recieved many blessings from God... That is a challenge in your life hope you'll stay at your moms side and stay as her sweet and loving daughter to her...Good luck and God Bless you and to your mom.<br />

i was an only child and it fell to me to take care of my father. I gave up my home, job of 13 years and came so he wouldn't be in a nursing home. i had to...he was a good father to me and my mom died when i was 12. It was hard and i still haven't been able to retrieve my life, but it was worth it and i had no regrets when i buried him. God bless and keep you in strength. Hope you have a supportive person to walk thru this with.

Wish all the very best hope you can find time for yourself as well.

I wish my mom was still here. I could tell she was going soon. I knew that I was not ready and I couldn't stop the inevitable. She went suddenly one night at 81. I miss her so much. She was getting pale, frail, white haired, a little slower but still sharp. God took her too soon for me, but, I know she was tired and the last of her 8 siblings to go. Thank you for keeping your mother in your care. It's like child care in reverse. If you had kids you understand this. It's a phase of life. She is still your wonderful mother, but, very old. I am only 55, but, I am not the same mom-person that I once was either. I am cranky, tired, not much fun and overworked for many years.

I care for my mother who is 84. She as macular degeneration, arthritis, type II diabetes, and has two heart attacks. It is had trying to be the parent for your parent. Mine sometimes wants things that are bad for her, and enjoys trying to run your life. I am a 45 year old only child. Was planning to have my dad too but he died about 3 years ago. I have had mom since then. I am the product of an emotional and physically abusive home Dad drank, mom ran to her mom's and left me as a punching bag for him. No, I don't hate them. I just had o grow up sooner. Anyway, can understand where you are coming from

What a great daughter you are to be caring for your mother. I truly believe she is aware of all your kindness and concern. Keep up the great work even though it is a challenge. Growing old is not for sissies.

good for you. god will bless you for this!

Parents are like God.u treat them like God den m sure God will make ur wishes come true :)

That's really sweet; I just can't get along with my mother, we're way too different.

you are an angle brought down from heaven to warm your mother's heart...she is your mother still, she simply has transformed...we all do, each day of our lives, you will too...my Mom died a diabetic and both legs were amputated..I saw her at the home she was placed for 5 years, she developed alzheimers too and she always recognized me although communication was minimal and she also had incontinence, poor eating habits, all of the bad things but I took it the way that iswas ....it is what is is...please don't dwell on the things that were, enjoy her now and today because when she is gone, you will notice!!! God bless you.

That's such an inspiring story! Old age is hard. I have a mother who turned 64, so she is still "young" and "capable". My mother currently takes care of my grandmother, who is 87 years young! The two of them together is pretty amusing sometimes... the bickering between mother-daught still goes on. <br />
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I have been thinking more and more how I will be able to take care of them and have a life of my own. I am currently single and fairly independent. I am in a relationship and thought about what the best scenario will be when I am married. I hope to continue to be close to home! <br />
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My sister probably won't be the one taking care of my mom. (My dad isn't in the picture) I think it will be up to me to take care of her.<br />
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Again, thanks for sharing your story.

I really empathize with your story. People are changed by their experiences, especially by illness, and disability, or the increasing frailty of old age, and this does seem to make them a different someone to relate to! My mother suffered a stroke a year ago, and I've been her full-time carer, as her daughter, ever since. We lived together before, but it wasn't like it is now... She was just as mobile as me, back then (it seems such a long time ago now, even though it has only been a year since it happened), and I'm still adjusting to the change, kind of day by day. <br />
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I feel glad to have been available, as it turned out, to be in a position to care for her. Whereas my brother has a family, and commitments of his own. So this makes me realize how unattached sons and daughters are a useful thing in a situation such as this! <br />
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In a way, what has happened has strengthened the bond between us even more. I like to think that, well, she has always been there for me, so I want to be here for her, now that she needs me.<br />
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And being a Carer is something of a learning curve. I feel it has made me a more mature person. The insights, and lessons are endless. Plus, the past takes on a different kind of hue now. I often find myself reflecting back on how things once were, remembering my mum as she used to be. <br />
Sort of 'The way we were..." <br />
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This makes me sad sometimes; but I also remember a lot of fun times. And all the support she has given to me down the years. So now I just feel I'm giving something back for all of that... for all of the love and care which she has given to me, her only daughter...

Wow! I think you are doing a great job! Sorry about her not being "the same person" as she was, that must be jolly hard. My mom, when I look at her just doesn't look the same anymore, much frailer and "different", she is pale and has grey hair and is small, and it just isn't my mom, we can talk about many things, but she often doses off, which sometimes I find a bit frustrating. My dad has alzheimers, and this is hard, but fortunately we have never been close, so this makes it easier, in some senses, but he drives me up the wall, and down again! Found your story very interesting.

Your story is heart warming, the care I see from families of elderly parents is inspiring, I am a CNA in a facility and I love caring for the residents, it is so healing, God bless you and keep being the angel you are. CindySue

I understand your pain. Good luck to you and your mother, Z45.