35
   

Mental Decline & Dependency/Coping With Aging Loved Ones

 
 
JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jan, 2003 04:54 pm
It is the right thing to do - take care of someone you love not matter what. I loved that old guy and we did have lots of fun and good times together. It was not all bad not at all. After he died I kept have dreams about him almost every night so my ex sent me some of his favorite tee shirts. After I started wearing them the dreams went away, hmmm. My favorite by-the-way was the maroon U. Mass. Alumni shirt. I just love wearing it in downtown cow town.
0 Replies
 
ferrous
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2003 09:11 am
Caring For A Loved One
My wife and I took care of my 87 year old father for five years. It was heart breaking watching a "Bull of a Man" waste away to a bed ridden, helpless child.

The most important advice I can share, is what my wife told me: "As we grow older, we experience what is called "Dignity over Despair."

We find that we are incapable of doing even simple tasks that we have done our entire life. One of the most traumatic things is losing our ability to drive an auto. Later, the elderly are not even able to control their bowel movements. Rather than come into the room finding the soiled sheets, and berating him for making such a mess, I learned to offer kind words of support and go about cleaning him up.

Growing old, and falling into despair, seems such a lonely, tragic way to end ones life. Having loved ones around to offer hope and dignity in such trying times is the best gift we can give.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Mar, 2003 11:03 am
I've known for five years that my husband's mind was crumbling. I'm just back from a two week vacation and was shocked to realize the extent of the cumulative deterioration.

The most difficult symptom for me to deal with is the happy self-absorption--with the assumption that I will listen to all rambling observations, but that anything I say is unimportant and can be interrupted at any time.

Reading the posts here and knowing that my ordeal is not unique was a great comfort.

Thank you all.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Mar, 2003 11:16 am
My wife's mother lives with us, but she's mentally alert, and is able to do most things herself except cook and take a bath. When she came to live with us, she feared I would resent it, but I told her she could stay with us as long as she liked. Our son is a big help, because when my wife's at work, he'll prepare food for her to eat. I take on that responsibility when my wife is working, and our son attends school. ** I remember a tale I heard many years ago about the parent who sent his own parents into no-man's land in a basket deep into a crevice. As the parent was ready to throw away the basket, the son said, "no, we must save it for you!" c.i.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 01:09 pm
Unhappily, I'm joining your club now.

My mother, 80, had a brain stroke a week ago. She's just left the hospital and is in her house.
She was having hallucinations and in one day she lost her ability to speak understandably (I grab about 5%). She can't sit or walk and lost some movement in her left side. At the hospital she insisted every day in going home ("I am like your father", she managed to say, meaning she was terminally ill -my father died of cancer in 1991). One week ago she was OK, an active woman, now she has to be assisted by a nurse 24/7.
In the last months she had said -half jokingly- that she was going crazy. Later I realized she had already had microstrokes.
Two weeks ago I finished paying for her house (a big trouble, about 2 years ago, the landlady wanted her to buy or be evicted, we went into trial to make time for me to do some savings). Now I got debt because of the hospital.
I also have resentment against my brother. My mother went practically broke financing him for years. For 2 years he has had a job in the US (flight safety instructor) but didn't send a penny to her or helped us buy the house (he used his additional Amex card, to make my mother pay for a few things, though). Now, of course, he can't help either. Now I understand perfectly the English language expression of a "spoiled child".
I know this will change my life. And I don't like it.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 01:19 pm
I'm awfully sorry to hear this, fbaezer, and sincerely hope, things will "sort out" for the best - for everybody!

When I would start speaking about my sister ... .


My mother had been to hospital again some time ago.
Now - although she doesn't have such as your mother, e.g. you wont notice that had had a stroke - she's fogetting nearly everything, but sometimes as intelligent as before.

It's been a hard way, but I've learnt and I'm learning to handle all this.

All the very best for you, fbaezer and your mother!
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 01:20 pm
PS: I nearly got used to the changes of my live by now - after half a year.

Nearly and mostly.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 01:36 pm
Quote:
I also have resentment against my brother


I think that this may be a good deal of your difficulty. For years, you have been the "good son". Now when you need your brother, he is still not there for you. Over the years I have known many people in similar situations. There often seems to be one child who always shoulders the burdens, while the others lead their lives in blithe oblivion to the problems of the other sibling.

Of course you don't like it. I have had to make many compromises in my life because of my mother, and I DO often feel resentment. What I have done is made it very clear in my own head what I will and will not do, so as not to feel too manipulated by my mother. Do I have conflicts? Of course! There are times that I wish the whole thing with my mother were over already. (How's that for a public admission!)

I think that part of the problem is that the change in your mother was so dramatic and unexpected. You are actually still in shock. You expect to see the mother that you knew, and here is this completely different person. You don't really even know her now. It WILL take awhile to become used to the change in circumstances.

We are here on A2K for each other. Ventilating is a great way of working things out, especially when you have some interested feedback. Keep writing about what you are feeling, and it WILL help. Also, if you want to write to me privately, please feel free to PM me. You are not alone!
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 01:45 pm
Well written, Phoenix.
And I know that, too.

But when you are actually in that situation, sometimes I really forget it and get more than just angry about my sister .
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 01:48 pm
fbaezer--

You have a lot of anger right now--and you are entitled to every crumb of rage (providing, of course, you don't go in for granny-bashing).

Remember, the stages of grief? The first is anger. Your mother is both dead and alive and you are beginning to grieve.

Hold your dominion.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 01:54 pm
Walter- I have the strangest relationship with my brother. He lives 1200 miles away. On one level, he is bright and charming, and we have great discussions, especially about our childhoods. On the other, I have the entire burden of my mother. My brother has never once asked me if there was anything to do to help, and this was even when we all lived nearby.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 01:59 pm
I'm trying not to speak with my sister - which is quite easy: she lives 400 kms away.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 03:15 pm
Every mother deserves to die believing that all her children are swans--elegant swans.

Sometimes this is a difficult assignment for the swan siblings of the dastardly ducks and drakes.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2003 04:18 pm
Thank you, every one, for your kind words.
My brother finally came, and is staying until monday. I hope he assumes at least part of his responsabilities.
Now I realize my mother left her business as a mess.
Anyway, I'm trying to cope the best that I can.
Thanks again.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2003 04:24 pm
Good luck, fbaezer. Glad your brother is there for now -- sorry he will be leaving so soon.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2003 12:03 pm
Fbaezer--

If possible, don't let your brother escape without working out some arrangements to share-the-load (or divide the inheritance--if any) to compensate the Primary Caregiver.

He may mutter, "You know I would if I could....." The answer is, "I don't understand why you can't."

Good luck. Hold your dominion.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2003 03:04 pm
Blessings to all.

I think there's a lot of support for caring for children and all sorts of kudos - look how good you're being, caring for someone so helpless! Unfortunately, there aren't as many back-pats for caring for someone who is elderly, and that's sad.

I think long-term illness and disability are mirrors. We see not only the afflicted person, but we also see ourselves and those around us. Who comes to visit? Who calls? Who writes? Who takes on the thankless tasks, like paying the bills and doing the laundry and being a companion and holding the loved one's hand?

There is lip service, and there is doing. And doing is what counts. I know there's anger there, at those who don't do, and it's understandable, but in the grand scheme of things, they will have to live with not having been there, with not having done those little tasks which suddenly take on an air of grace and comfort. There is kindness and compassion in assuring that a person is taken out for a ride, or sent a card "just because", or any of a thousand other things which most people take for granted. I think these things can be a kind of meditation, and in their own way they are not only a service to the afflicted person, but they can also be a comfort to you.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2003 07:29 pm
Beautifully stated, Jes.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jun, 2003 11:10 am
Thank you for your comments and support.

Noddy, my brother is trying (within his personal limits), and has been helpful these days, although I know he won't carry a fair share of the load.
Lsat night we talked about the inheritance, and he was "like silk". He wants to avoid all sorts of troubles. The only tough part -who gets her figure of St. Barbara- was solomonically settled: it will be put inside her niche.

Jespah, you were correct and deep.
We have a saying that goes: "In jail and in the hospital you get to know your friends". My mother has great, very supportive friends. They have behaved like the true ladies they are. She was the soul of the neighborhood, and we are reaping her solidarity harvest.
Of course, one also sees who were the lip service payers, the raisin hearts.
My brother is now, when he's finally doing something for our mom, feeling better with himself. And my anger towards him is subsiding.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jun, 2003 11:42 am
fbaezer--

Congratulations to you and your brother for avoiding a festering family fracture.

The support from your mother's neighbors is a tribute to her character. Don't hesitate to take these women up on their offers to "do something". You will need time away from caregiving to touch earth and recharge your own batteries.

Hold your dominion.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Getting Old Sucks - Discussion by Bi-Polar Bear
Coping, the backside of prime - Discussion by wayne
Caroline's problem?? - Question by gungasnake
What is the oldest age you would like to be alive? - Discussion by BumbleBeeBoogie
Embarrassing and Upsetting Senior Moments - Discussion by Phoenix32890
It's all down hill after 40 - Discussion by martybarker
50 Great Things About Women Over 50 - Discussion by Robert Gentel
What keeps you young? - Question by Seed
 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 06/22/2021 at 02:44:07