Rough Job, No Pay and Only the Tough Need Apply

My mother was diagnosed terminal (within 3 months of passing) and I moved her into my home to spend her last days among people who loved her.  I had a 6 year old and 8 year old at the time.  She was sweet and loving and happy to be a part of the family for several months.  Then she developed dementia of some sort and for the next two and a half years she bit, kicked, demanded, screamed, cussed and hit.  I didn't leave my house for those last two years.  I had promised her I'd never put her in a home and I intended to live up to it.  I literally slept in a chair by her bed and not in my own for two years.  Her doctors had no idea how she was staying alive.  She had seizures and I had to lay on her to keep her in the bed.  I felt I was neglecting my children and started resenting her.  I know she changed my diapers and loved me but she had grown to hate me.  She was sure that I was putting poison in the toothpaste and refused to have her teeth cleaned, she became an expert at hiding her meds under her tongue and spitting them out when I turned my back.  I had absolutely no help except once a week visits from Hospice volunteers who came once a week.  It gave me someone to talk to but I still couldn't leave the room.  My daughter, still a child, would try to sit with her for me to use the bathroom.  Still I could hear her yell and curse me and my child.  I was slowly losing my mind.  I started to wish she would die.  Then that thought was followed by the worst guilt you can imagine.  I became so depressed that I was barely functioning, but kept her fed and clean.  I resented my sister because she wouldn't help (she had to work and I was a stay at home mom so I was the only one who could do this)  Finally, hospice confronted me.  They said she was psychotic at that point and wouldn't know where she was and insisted I find a nursing home.  Finally, I did have her transferred and she died almost immediately.  Then I felt like I had killed her by putting her in a home.  If anyone ever asks my opinion on caring for a parent, I say "don't do it."  Of course the illness and circumstances vary but I had severe depression and then wouldn't leave my house or even answer the phone.  I was losing my mind.   It wasn't worth it.  I'm fine now and understand what happened and why.  I have no guilt but I don't recommend anyone take care of a loved one under such circumstances.

God bless anyone who takes on such a job.


mepogo mepogo
May 7, 2008