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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:24 PM
Original message
Who here is caregiver to an elderly parent?
I take care of my 92-year-old mother. I also work full-time, although we employ a woman who comes for a while every day. But she comes later all the time and leaves early. I am not here, and my mother is happy to get rid of her for the day...talks too much.

My mother has physical and mental health problems (depression, anxiety disorder, agoraphobia and somatization disorder). Essentially, her trips outside of the house are to the hospital...occasionally to the doctor.

I have one sister, who lives about 45 minutes away and also works. She is not much help, although takes my mother on the occasional doctor visits. She does not have to take a 1/2 day or full day off work to do that, and I do.

The caregiver does less and less around the house, which means you know who has to pick up the slack. I'd love to find a new caregiver, but my mother is accustomed to this one and refuses to change.

Does anyone here have parent care issues? I'd love to hear.

It's not easy when the role reversal happens, is it?
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CindyDale Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. Do you have any good adult day care facilities nearby?
I am caring for my dad who is 91. He goes to day care a few times a week and likes that.

I had companions for him for a short time after he broke his hip in 2000, but I didn't really feel confident about them. The day care seems better.

I drop him off there and pick him up, but the day care also has a bus that can pick the clients up if needed.

Cindy
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. She won't leave the house.
Edited on Sat Nov-13-04 06:35 PM by greatauntoftriplets
It's the agoraphobia, although she is medicated for it.

Good luck with your father.
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CindyDale Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Oh, my!
I didn't realize that you were coping with anything that terrible. She won't go out at all? That must be very tough.

I guess I'm very lucky; he loves to go out and can't wait to get to day care. If he didn't want to go out, I don't know what I'd do because I take him with me everywhere when he isn't in the day care. He even went to the MoveOn PAC meetings.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. To go to the hospital....
Very occasionally to the doctor.
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FarLeftRage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. I work by day in IT
and come home to care for both of my elderly parents.

Both are in their early 80's.

My father gets around good, but my mother has a very hard time walking unassisted.

I cook and I clean for them and my youngest brother is here to help out, as well.

Currently, there are no parent care issues and I have found it not that difficult doing the role reversal thingy...
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
20. You are very good to your parents.
Happily your little brother helps out.

Good luck.
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L84TEA Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. Are you involved with a
Church? Maybe some of the members would come sit with her?
Or maybe just contact one of those senior centers and see if they have any programs for that?
Maybe even look for a retired person in your neighborhood that could come visit with her or just check in?
Oh well...just some ideas.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. She is a church member, they don't have anything like that.
Deliver some cookies at Christmastime only.

The neighborhood retired people are either busy or out of it.

Thanks for the ideas.
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Deb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
8. It is tough
Having 7 siblings helps most weekends but during the weekdays I'm the one that fills in when a caregiver is needed.

The last few weeks have been a bit crazy with ICU's and hospital stays. I've started taking my laptop to Mom and Dad's to get a DU escape. Finally getting tomorrow completely off, whew.

November is Caregiver month, our local Office of the Aging has respite available. Check out your area to see if you too can get a break.

Are there any "practical advise" caregiver sites?

Most of the sites I've seen are only good if you intend on buying something- insurance, funeral services, nursing homes. I have been searching for information on how to handle the grumpiness that dementia brings on, sometimes I have to dig so deep for the patience, it can be quite draining.

I don't know how you do it all. O8)
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Thanks for the kind words....
The problem is that my mother is resistant to anyone coming into the house. She is mentally fine, deaf as a post, but suffers no dementia.

Basically, she sits and reads.

But I cannot help but worry.
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
9. I was my Mother's care giver for 5 years...She had Alzheimer's
and died almost a year ago. I had NO help from my family...had an aide come in and care for her every morning and another change at noon. I cared for her the rest of the time and believe me it was rough. Very frustrating and I became homebound myself. (That's why I became addicted to DU)...couldn't leave her alone and was such a pain trying to find a sitter. My husband and I never got to go anywhere or vacation and he had to do all the shopping and errands.

The worst part was changing her after she had an accident...which was all the time. She stopped eating and slept all day and I had to keep waking her up to remind her to keep chewing and swallow her food. I could no longer care for her so she spent her last 2 months is a nursing home. I sound so bummed about it all but the most upsetting day of my life was when she left and I knew she would have to spend Xmas in a nursing home instead of with her family. I cry now thinking about it. She wanted to die at home and I let her down...it was awful. This is the first time I've ever ranted like this..so thanks for your post!

I hope you get some help and do go on a vacation and MAKE your relatives care for their loved one once in awhile. It is too easy for them to let you do it. If you don't require them to help...they wont! Good luck and many prayers to you and all your family!
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Thanks.
I am sorry about your mother. You did right by her and I hope that DU helped you through that time.

You're welcome for the post. I figured there were many people here dealing with elderly parents.
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jrthin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Thank you for
the "rant" because it gave me a chance to cry which seems so difficult. I know it feels awful to think that your Mom didn't die where she wanted, but neither you nor she had a choice. It really was for her benefit.

My Mom died in August of this year and I'm still floundering wandering what else could I have done to give her more time. I don't know if the ache ever goes away.
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metis Donating Member (165 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
10. My Mom
Mom is 88 and lives in a seniors residence. She is getting forgettful. It's difficult because my sibling and I live 2 hours away. We live in Manitoba and thankfully the Homecare ladies go in to see Mom for two hours at breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have shut the breaker off on her stove because she was burning food. The homecare ladies let Mom cook, they supervise. Btw, we live in Manitoba and Homecare is a free program. What does this service cost in other places?
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
21. I don't know of any free programs like that here in the U.S.

and God only knows we need them. That's wonderful that your mom is able to stay in her home and do her own cooking and be safe.

Medicare will pay for skilled nursing help in the home if it's needed and perhaps for a physical therapist or other allied health person to make home visits, but will not pay for someone to just supervise an elderly or disabled person or to cook or clean. I think you can get househeld help under Medicare IF the person also must have skilled nursing care. Obviously, a great many people are left in limbo, too ill to cook and clean for themselves, too "well" to be given help by Medicare.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-21-04 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. In many states they have programs
called "Alternative Care Grants" for the aging who are at risk of going into more expensive placement such as a nursing home. At risk means that they are not able to take total care of themselves and if they do not recieve these services they would have to be placed in alternative care. It is a federal program administered by Social Services (welfare offices) and often pays for in home care even for persons not eligible for welfare. Staying in their homes is cheaper than nursing homes so they provide things like meals on wheels, bath services, homemaker services to help with shopping and housekeeping chores and some supplies like incontinent supplies and walkers, etc. The cost depends on the elderly persons income and is usually sliding fee.
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NC_Nurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
11. I am the only nurse
in my husband's and my families. I try to help when I can with his elderly granny and her sister in Florida (88 and 89, both legaly blind), my parents (68 and 69, but my mother is a long term alcoholic with vascular dementia and my dad seems to be rapidly joining her) and my autistic brother may become my charge soon since my parents aren't coping very well....

You can find some sites for support by searching caregiver on Google. I wrote a book with another nurse that is an organizer for caregivers and patients for medical info so that you can keep records accessible for alternate caregivers and MD visits. We have links to many medical sites as well. Our web address is:

www.healthhistoryandwellnessjournal.com

If you cannot afford to buy it and feel my book would be helpful to you, PM me and I will work something out for you.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Thanks, just signed up to receive updates.
I can afford the book. Thanks very much.
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NC_Nurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. You're welcome and
I don't know how much the report will help...it's more for general health than caregivers, but you'll get it and you can always PM me for support. I know how hard it is, believe me!

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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Thanks again.
I have friends in similar situations. We have a sort of support network, but can't really help each other out.
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jrthin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
15. I , an only child,
took care of my Mom from 1999 until August of this year. She had alzheimer and finally lost the battle.

It was tough, and like you've said, the only time Mom left the house was for her doctor visits or emergency rooms. I miss her terrible, and would go through all the sleepless nights, the anxiety in the stomach, just to talk to her again.

It's difficult, but when it's over, these days and how well you take care of her will take away any guilt and aid you through the process.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. I am sorry about your mother.
You did good by her. It is difficult to be an only child.
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Digit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
22. I was, until my mother contracted pneumonia and passed.
I did it all. Funny how I feel I let her down though, even 5 years later. It is difficult, but standy by your loved ones.
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
23. My husband and I have been there, done that, and it is awfully hard

sometimes but you will always know you did right by your mother and that will give you peace after she dies. I think that will also be true for the poster whose mother didn't get to die at home (was it Anti_Bush?), after more time passes.

A question about your agoraphobic mom: if she belongs to a church, are there people in the church she would tolerate coming to see her? Maybe they don't have a program to visit the homebound but would start one if someone asked?

You could also try other churches for help, though getting past her agoraphobia is a problem. Perhaps she would tolerate strangers in the home if they would just sit there and read while she sits and reads?


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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I don't really think she wants to get beyond the agoraphobia....
She hasn't gone to church for more than 40 years and is not involved with the parish, even though she is a member. She is not into conversation anymore and prefers to sit and read. I think the only real time she becomes involved with other people is when the 4-year-old triplets come to visit.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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