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Need Someone With an Elderly Mom

Discussion in 'Social' started by Grama-Herc, Sep 9, 2007.

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  1. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    :frown: Some of you may know my current situation and some may not. I recently moved in with my mom-83 years old. I m discovering that she is not as "together" as I thought she was. I am watching my mom grow older each day right in front of me. She has been my rock since my PTSD reared it's ugly head. As a child we always think that our parents will always be there. I need someone like me-PTSD"ER-- who is watching their parent(s) grow old and frail before their eyes. I need help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  3. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Herc, I am watching my 85-year-old mother-in-law age and decline before my eyes, too. I've only known her 10 years, but she has been my rock and way more a mother to me than my own, not to mention one of my best friends. But I don't feel I can go to her for much support anymore. We still talk about stuff once in awhile, but I just get the sense not to go to her like I used to.

    It's really hard to see. She forgets a lot of things after like 3 minutes. She's ill a lot more often now. It's really tough. We're not living with her though. She's been in the nursing home for three years. She's had MS since her 30s and it got to where we couldn't pick her up anymore when she'd fall at home. It takes two trained people and a machine, basically. She's only about three blocks away, so we're still close and see her as often as possible. Anyway, I don't know if any of this helps, but you're not alone.
     
  4. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    Hodge! Yes, you helped. The reason you helped is because now I have someone who is going through the same thing I am with the same type of their own issues as I have. I've tryed to discuss this with my sister via email, she lives in Michigan and has not seen mom since the late 80's. Therefore, she still sees mom as that vital, capable person---just a little older. She just has no clue that mom and her mind and her body are growing "very" old. It certainly is different living with it rather than being "near" it OR just hearing about it. I am having trouble accepting the true condition of my mom. The big thing that scared me the most was the night before we moved. Mom called me and asked me "Are we were going someplace tomorrow?" "Why are my clothes laid out? Are we going to a doctor appointment?" (Her apartment was packed up and ready for the movers to arrive at 8 am the next morning.) THAT SCARED ME!!!!! So to have someone like you to vent to is so vital to my sanity. Thank you for being there. I'll try not to bug you to much
     
  5. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    This is happening with my MIL a lot, too. Last week, for instance, we arranged to take her to the lake. She has to get a ride from a special van with a lift and has always met us on her own. But she thought we were going to the picnic area, when we always go to the beach. I had to remind her three times on the phone right before they picked up that we're going to the beach. We decided that next time one of us will drive to the beach to set up the picnic and the other will ride along with her. At least this time she remembered we were going somewhere.

    But I fear this will just keep happening. It's part of getting so old. Yeah, it's really scary, since it's like we're already losing her little by little.

    I'm glad you started this thread. It helps me too to have someone like you to talk to about this.
     
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  6. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    1st of all Herc, I'd like to say I think you are a very special person to be living with your mother and helping her like you are! Hats off to you!!!! My mother lives with my step dad, they are both elderly. My mom is 75 but walks like she's about 90+. There is such fragility in her walk and I'm always afraid I'm going to get a call from my step dad saying she has fallen. They always call me first if they need anything or if anything has happened. Although I do not live with my parents I can very much relate to your feelings about watching your mother grow old. All I can say is just treasure every minute you have with her. My momma made alot of mistakes raising me, she often didn't protect me or was abusive to me, but I forgive her and I now see her as a better person than she has ever been. Watching her go through the difficult aspects of aging is difficult but I am just very glad I still have her and can make some good memories with her as she is growing older. Aging is something we'll all have to face. That is why I treat my mother with utmost dignity and respect. I'll talk to you more about it later when I have more time. Smiles, Marilyn S.
     
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  7. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    This thread is going to help all of us, I can just feel it. This is something we are going through and our other "stuff" only adds to the problem. I treasure my mother so much, everyday is special. I am so proud of my mom for agreeing to us living together. Many aging parents refuse to leave their homes and end up in trouble(physically, mentally, etc) with one knowing untill it is to late. My mom makes the best meatloaf in the world. In an effort to keep her moving and thinking, etc. I asked her to cook me some of her famous meatloaf. She could not. She couldn't remember how to make it. These are the things that throw me into a tailspin. I have learned over the past few weeks to accept the things she says and try not to correct her errors. BUT, I do think she needs to be kept in the here and now as much as possible. GOD THIS SUCKS! Especially when my sister thinks it is my imagination. Therefore, I get no support . That is why you guys ARE so important. We are important to eachother. I hope we can all continue posting on this, cuz it sure helps me Thanks for listening guys
     
  8. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Herc,

    Some of your sister not believe you could be denial...Could be she just doesn't want to see or hear it.

    I worked for an elderly couple for 18 yrs doing their housework. She passed away, and I continued to work for him. I started seeing drastic changes, and would call his son all the time. The son would argue with me, or tell me that he had talked to his father already, and why in the hell couldn't his father just remember the shit. HELLO!!!! The son was a jerk......

    His dad soon started drinking the hard stuff...Well dear old son didn't believe me. And dear old dad was drinking and driving. Nope his dad agreed he wouldn't drink and drive. OMG!!!!! Wake up you jerk, he IS drinking and driving.

    I begged, pleaded, screamed and yelled to have his father placed in assisted living. He wouldn't believe me.... I called him 3 days before Xmas 2 yrs ago and said, "This is my last day, find someone else." He begged me to stay. I refused. In 2 weeks, his father was moved into assisted living, his car was taken away, and his son is still a jerk....LOL!!!!

    Sometimes things just have to be shoved in others noses till they understand........

    I understand what you are going through. It isn't easy. It's frustrating, and can be overwhelming at times....

    Hang in there Herc....
     
  9. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Herc, I can hear the heartbreak in your words about your mom not being able to make her meatloaf. As someone who likes to cook, I guess I can relate to this. When my symptoms are bad, I find I have to really work hard to pay attention to what I'm doing when I'm cooking. Have you tried talking it through with her? Maybe if you start talking about the ingredients - at least the ones you know about - it might jog her memory? Then maybe you can do it with some supervision from her? Just an idea.

    I'm sorry your sister seems to be out of the loop. Or perhaps in denial. My husband's brother lives out of state and only vists once or twice a year for like two days each time. At least he's aware of her condition, but everything is still on us. Especially witnessing her decline.

    Helping my MIL stay in the here and now is increasingly difficult, too, with her memory problems. But when we get her out and do stuff together, like going out to eat or taking walks, etc., that seems to help some.
     
  10. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    Hodge---Good point taken about geting her out and about. Her main people contacts were when she went to her church functions. That how ever has come to a halt. A good reason for this-------which I forgot to explain------is that molther has post polio syndrome. This saps the energy and the ability to walk for any amount of time. These people are actually going through a form of the illness again. They are loosing their strength at a rapid rate and there is nothing that can stop it. We got a light weight wheelchair so I cound take her places, but using it is the one thing she fears. My mon was raised as a normal child with NO disability. She had polio at the age of 3 months and my grandmother dealt with it so well. My mom will not accept the wheelchair---even though she approved of the purchase of said chair. I know she thinks that once she sits in the wheelchair she will never get out of it and walk. So back to my basic point. She will not allow me to take her places. She is unsteady on her feet and is afraid she is going to fall, brek something and be a burden to me. She uses a walker with no trouble but she still has the fear of falling and at her age I don't blame her. I keep trying and pushing, slightly, to get her out and about, but it just is not working. So, I am on a campaign to get people to come over for a visit to see her. Now this causes another problem---ME---I go into social panic when anyone come into MY SPACE. So we are a pair, aren't we. I won't go out and mom can't or is it I can't and mom won't Anyway, enough of my rambling, and thanx for listening
     
  11. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    That is a tough situation, Herc. I can understand how you feel about visitors and how your mom feels about the wheelchair. We're lucky that my MIL likes to get out. She's been in a wheelchair for I don't know how many years. She's intimated that she had a real hard time accepting that she needed it, given the way her MS was going. She's fiercely independent. But, really, even though she had to grapple with the loss of depending on her legs, the wheelchair gives her freedom and another kind of independence that she wouldn't have otherwise. Learning to live with our limitations is a bitch, isn't it?
     
  12. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Oops - I need to make a correction to the last sentence in that last post - I meant to say, it's a bitch learning to live with new limitations.
     
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