Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Mom

In January 2012 I made a trip to Texas to pick my mom up from a nursing home there. My brothers were not able to see her so I wanted her closer. I had thought that I would get her on medicaid here and find a nice nursing home for her. I thought that it would be too difficult for me to car for her at home since she is not mobile and is incontinent.

I had no idea that 4 years later I would still be caring for my mom. When I see this picture from 4 years ago it makes me a little sad. I can see how much weight she has lost over the years. How much more frail she has gotten. Caring for her has gotten more difficult. Her left side was the most affected by her strokes and that side is drawing up. I don't know if it is from lack of use or further silent strokes. For some reason she tries to lie sideways on her bed. I haven't figured that one out.

Honestly, I grow weary of caring for my mom. The last thing I do each night before I head to bed is go in, change her and give her a snack. Each morning when I wake up I go in and check on her. I maintain her medications, deal with her doctors, ensure that all of her needs are met. The 20 hours of care that she receives help a lot. It gives me a break.

If I didn't have 5 younger kids in the home I don't think that it would be as much of a burden, but lately that is how it feels. I don't feel like we have a mother daughter relationship. I am the caregiver.

I will admit to jealousy.  Jealousy when I see older mother and daughters out to lunch or shopping. I see women quite a bit older than my mom out and about. Instead of sharing life with my mom I am taking care of my mom.

We are taking two small trips this summer, one to NC and one to TX. I have someone to care for my mom while we are gone. However, in December/January we are going on a cruise. We are taking my moms caregiver with us but there is no way my mom can come. We had thought that we would put her in a respite nursing home. We had done that with my father in law when he had Alzheimer's and was living with us and we vacationed. Originally our plan was to do respite and pick her up when we got back. However, I am leaning more towards finding a nursing home for her to stay at. This is a hard decision to make but I am pretty sure that is what I will do.

Being in this position sucks. There is no easy answer.


  1. Putting her in a nursing home doesn't mean you are no longer caring for her. You will visit her and spend time with her. You'll take her out on breaks. It just means she has reached the point of needing a different level of care that you don't have the bandwidth to provide. You have five young kids that require a MASSIVE amount of time, energy, and emotional energy...without caring for your mom's needs. Eventually, you're going to run out of resources yourself, and then what would everyone do? Allowing a nursing home to take over the physical care of your mom will help you recover and give you more room to care for yourself. It's hard. I remember the tough time my parents had when they made the choice to move my grandma from our house into a nursing home. But it was the right decision. You amaze me, friend. You've given more to your mom than 99% of the population would have given. I know that doesn't make the decision any easier, but I hope it encourages your heart.

  2. Getting a different form of care in no way reduces your love. If anything it shows how well attuned you are to your mom's needs and by extension shows an immense amount of love and understanding. I am sure your mother would not want you to feel burdened by her presence. A break may allow you to enjoy quality time to focus on her emotional and social needs and not the physical acts of caring. Xxxx