Looking After the Folks

My dad was diagnosed with alzheimers in 2006 and my mom has been on oxygen for years, now, but last year she had a pulmonary adema and when she came out of hospital was very weak and frail, she has since then started having numerous small strokes, which thank the Lord have not left any side effects.  I look after them both.  I am not working at present, we are living off money we got from the selling of our business, but I need to buy/start a business, so then will need to either get a nurse at home or a manager in the business.  Can all be very difficult as I am an only child. :-(

Lizzybeth Lizzybeth
36-40, F
3 Responses May 8, 2008

I last wrote last year, well, let me give you the follow-up....my mom seems to have "stabilised" and since last year had no more little strokes, Praise the Lord!!! She was very tired and weak and not eating and landed up in hospital in February 2009 and the specialist took her off 2 of her tablets, and since then she has just improved.....not picked up any weight, but is eating much, much better, still resting, but not as tired and not as wobbly and the BIG thing is after 2 years she has started reading again, which is a BIG thing.....however in the early hours of this morning she had a chest pain, like indigestion, so I am a bit worried and will phone the specialist tomorrow, pray it is nothing more than indigestion, as she is not on lanoxin, a heart tablet, at the moment.....<br />
My dad, well we moved last year to a retirement village, but I am staying with them and we are living in a small house here (this was all due to lack of finances :-() he now is in bed virtually all day, only gets up for meals, does not bath, lives in his pyjamas, from time to time, with a lot of nagging and if someone is coming round he may put clothes on, but does not necessarily bath :-( he has lost weight, although still has a bit of a tummy, but he is not really sick, which is the problem, he has high bloodpressure and neck & hip problems, and takes an anti-depressant, but does not have heart or anything problems! He is very paranoid and very inquisitive and as we ate food a couple of days ago, it dawned on me that everything revolves around him....and he will have the last word!!!! I have thought of putting him in an old age home, but at the moment, my finances are a bit tight, so this would be difficult, so we carry on as usual. Calls my mom "mama" but he doesn't know she is his wife, and he knows my name, but I don't think necessarily connects me as his daughter, although we do tell him these things from time to time, when necessary!!! He still believes his mom & dad are alive!!! He does get on well with the animals, but will insist on feeding them his food and can't see anything wrong in it and it is so frustrating.....both are sleeping at this very moment, so thought I would update my "experience" will keep all the readers posted.....

I truely understand I am also an only child, my step dad walked out and my mom had a heart transplant, some mini strokes, seizures, arthritis, spinal problems, history of depression, and now copd. Sometimes I am warn out I have put my life on hold for over 5 years, I have given up a chance to have another child, and now financially I am broke, we actually are living off my moms disability, but I just can't leave her, even though sometimes I want too. Naturally my step dad walked out and took the money when the going got tough, now he seems to judge me just a little for not having more of a productive life. But damn caring for her, even slightly is exhausting, when you watch someones health decline, and always have problems it becomes overwhelming. any suggestions kcmo

Oh Lizzybeth! I know how you must feel. I to take care of my elderly parents. However, I don't live with them so it is a little easier for me. I have a brother and sister but they live outside the state and don't visit too often.<br />
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I am thinking that you are a very strong person....one who is loving. But I know when you relate to the elderly on a daily basis that loving nature can be tested over and over. Sometimes, it's a natural thing to loose your patience and let the resentment and anger come out. I have felt much guilt when that happens to me. Fortunately, my negativity toward them has been minimal. My teenage son has helped me release my feelings. He listens to my rants, gives me comfort and helps me deal with my failings. I hope you also have someone who can help you release your feelings. <br />
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You can contact me any time you feel like you want someone to talk to about your situation. <br><br />
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Someday, you will look back and take pride in the fact that you were able to step up to the plate and do the right thing. I take comfort in that thought as well.