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Caring For My 74 Year Old Mom

During the past month our family has experienced some drastic changes. My mother had a stroke and a seizure in March and when she got out of the hospital, it was agreed by her and by my husband and myself that she should no longer live alone. So, she moved in with us, to our 3 bedroom, 2 bath, bi-level, with me, my husband, and my 5 year old son. I should mention Mom also needs a knee replacement, but obviously that's on the back burner right now, so she has lots of pain and trouble getting around, especially up and down stairs. The only choice available for her room here was upstairs, so she tries to only go up once or twice a day. We've bought a portable potty for her to use downstairs. As I'm an only child, this was really the only option available. It has changed our lives drastically. While at times it's great to have her here, it's also hard, as my time is now divided between taking care of my son and taking care of her (and trying to find time for my husband as well!) Alone time for us as a couple is pretty much nonexistent. Between running my son back and forth to preschool and tee ball, and now driving Mom to various specialists (neurologist, cardiologist, therapist, etc.), we're putting lots of miles on the vehicles. I just wanted to share my story with others who might be in the same situation. Thanks.

only3 only3 36-40, F 5 Responses Apr 27, 2009

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Hi Everyone- I just wanted to post an update since I wrote my initial story. Things have improved greatly since then. My mother decided to sell her house last year and take part of the money and use it to build a garage with an in-law suite above it, attached to our house. It took from June to October to complete, but now she's finally in her own apartment, right next to us. She has a stairlift so the stairs aren't a problem for her, and the place is really nice. Now my son actually wants to visit his Mom-Mom again, instead of wishing she wasn't underfoot bothering him all the time. We're very lucky that our situation has worked out this way. It still can be difficult with the medical problems, taking her places, etc. but it is much better than before. I can't thank my wonderful husband enough for putting up with the situation the way it was for 18 months!

Good God yes, I know what you are going through. My mom had a stroke a couple of years ago and lived with my sister for a year until I sister couldn't take it anymore. Now sheis living right next to me, and with her OCD and neediness I am going crazy. I am going back to college for a 2nd undergraduate degree, and now since she is right next to me, I am having to be absent in a few classes because of her appointments. She calls me about a dozen times a day for absolutely nothing but some major crisis in her mind. I do take her out quite often because I think she gets bored and lonely. Next week she is going to a daily care for her. She will only go a few hours a day while I am in school. I hope this works. Sometimes I get so upset with her OCD, I just want to call someone to take her away to a nursing home. It is hard.

remember to put your immediate family first. I wish i would have never let my mom come live with us, it is the worst thing I have ever done, it is tearing us apart, she cant do anything but feed herself. please dont be like me and let the guilt guide you, i wish it was over. Hope all goes well.

Thanks...luckily we're not to the diaper stage yet...ha ha...but we are at the "portable commode" stage and that's almost as bad!

that sounds hard! My grandma is going through that too and my mom and anuts and uncles are trying to figure out what to do. Although since there are options between which kid will take mom it is different. I know i will be taking care of mine when it happens. Good luck, stay strong, and - as my mom would say - i changed your diapers now you change mind. Hope that brings a little levity to your busy day....take care!