I am wondering if there are others, and how do you manage your time???
Caring for Both Elderly Parents AND Your Own Children
I couln't do it. We tried for 6 months, and my baby was a year old when we began and 18 months when we decided it was not possible. My mother was in a wheelchair, with osteomielitis and depression. Also early onset dementia. Many times, I left baby unattended to help my mother to the bathroom or something. Or left her waiting while tending to my son. It wasn't easy.
Then, my mom's mental health started deteriorating more. She suffered an amputation and at night she was screaminf for me, and i would find her on the floor because she tried to get up. Or she would be all dressed and telling me she wanted to get up for the day, and it was 4 am.
The last thing, was a psychotic episode, where she got agressive and delusional. Then we decided it was impossible, and that i had to care for my child. My mom lived her life already and if she would have been faced with the same desicion when me and my brother were young, she would have chosen us. It's very very sad, but it's the order of life.
Nw she is in a group home. she is cared for, we go visit every week, she's stable, contained and has social interaction. Given the circumstances, it was the right thing to do.
Sorry, that was not fun to read. Please take care of yourself, it is very taxing, and you need help. Just you with 3 young children and two parents (I don't know their conditions) must be very very hard.
I send you a big hug!
I searched for a tribe for mamas caring for mamas, and this came up- hope it's OK if I join.
sewchris, I'm so sorry for your loss.
My mom isn't elderly, she's only 63, but she is dying. She has stage IV cancer; it started out as uterine cancer and has recurred and spread to her lungs. Her doctor recently gave her 1-5 years to live. Right now she lives about 4 hours drive away, but her living situation isn't good and she has decided to move to my area so she can spend as much time as she can with her grandkids before she dies. My kids are 2.5 and 5. She just told me today that she wants to come live closer. I have such mixed emotions about it. I love my mom, but we get on each others nerves pretty badly after anything longer than a 4 or 5 day visit. She is an alcoholic, she has an anxiety disorder, and she has boundary issues. She's also one of the sweetest, kindest people I've ever known. The kids adore her, and she them. I feel horribly guilty about it but I don't feel like we can handle having her live with us, so we're going to look for an apt nearby. I think it will be best for everyone and I just hope her feelings won't be too hurt.
So that's where I stand now. I've been crying on and off all day, first at the finality of the lifespan prognosis- we kind of knew it already but this is the most clearly it's been spelled out- and then at the prospect of being my mom's main caregiver (or care-coordinator) while also struggling to care for my own family. I just want to crawl into a hole and escape from the whole situation. I wish a secret long-lost millionaire Aunt would swoop in and buy her a lovely condo with maid service, cook, and nurse so I could focus on spending time with her and not worry about the details. As it is, it's just me and DH. My sister lives somewhat nearby but has fragile bipolar and pretty much can just care for herself. My moms' siblings either live far away or are unable to help. My father left her 10 years ago and is remarried. So that's it. Time to build my own support network and take on this challenge without falling to pieces.
Thank you Scarlett and Katielady for your kind words. It's hard to think that it has been a year. Mother's Day dinner was bitter sweet with out her. But life is a lot less stressful.
Katie, start researching what community support and services are available to you now before you (and your mom) need them. We were surprised at the wide range and number of services that are available in our area. Everything from meals on wheels to door to door transportation to hospice care and everything in between. Some are income based, others aren't. We didn't use any of them as my mother-in-law didn't want any strangers taking care of her. And other than housekeeping and transportation, she really didn't need any help until the end. And then we found a care facility for her. But knowing what was available relieved a lot of stress on our part.
thanks for the advice, sewchris. I have signed up for the local chapter of Gilda's Club, which sounds like a great resource for families dealing with cancer. I'm going to an intro meeting for that next tuesday. Hopefully that will lead to all kinds of other info. Meanwhile I'm trying to find housing for her. She'll stay with us at first I think but we're hoping to find her her own place. A big challenge, as housing is super expensive in my area and my mom is broke. She is eligible for senior housing but there are long wait lists and I have to find out if she can even get on the lists not having been a resident here. It's a lot.