Caring For An Elderly Parent: I Need To Care For Myself

Blog - Pic 101“This is supposed to be the time of my life – the nest is empty; but now Mom needs me.”

I ¬†guess it just happens. One day I’m having my mom live with us and things are “OK” (for having your parent live with you) and the next thing I know I’m spending every day at her house. What happened to “Mom is so independent and doesn’t mind being alone” and “We’ll see Mom a couple times a week maybe – she’s used to being alone.”

Well it seems that Mom is becoming less and less independent than she was and I’m finding myself over there helping her with tasks a caregiver should be doing. I told Mom that I’m not a caregiver and I have no interest in being one – even for my Mom. Sounds heartless? Maybe…. but that is how I feel. I didn’t sign up for being a nurse or caregiver, I just want to have Mom close by and make sure she is safe and nobody is taking advantage of her.

I’ve never had a close or great relationship with my mom – it’s been more of an irritating relationship. You’d have to know my mom to understand. But anyway, I’ve been cleaning her house and doing her laundry since she moved here, along with all her accounting and doctors appointments (and a list of other things), but now I find myself over at her house helping her with dressing herself, doing her hair, getting her meals, and making sure she is taking her medication properly and on time. Sometimes I don’t mind but it usually is at odd hours of the day – like at 4 AM.

So here I am spending a few hours every day at Mom’s. I can’t say I’m happy about it but I honesty don’t know what else to do. Some days are worse than others, but what do I do when it becomes more often? We’ve talked about having someone come in on a daily basis but that just doesn’t seem to be where Mom is right now – well, some days it is. I guess I’m at that in between stage where some days Mom needs extra help and some days she doesn’t.

So I guess I’ll continue on with the way things are until I feel I can’t any more. I’ve told my mom how I feel about nursing duties – I don’t want to give baths, I don’t want to do anything that involves bathroom duties (if you know what I mean), and I definitely do not do anything with feet!

I can understand people who have to be hands on with an elderly parent due to finances, and I can understand people who just want to be hands on, but I’m not in either of those categories. My dad provided well for my mom to have long term care so I guess we should start thinking about our options.

What I Learned: I don’t want to be a caregiver – I just want to live my life while knowing Mom is taken care of.


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