Caregiving at Home
This online support group for in-home care discussions connects caregivers, family, friends, and others with an interest in aging in place. Get tips, advice, and support for your in-home care questions or concerns. Post best practices and success stories. Share about your in-home care experiences or challenges with others who understand. Ask for feedback or exchange ideas to help optimize aging in place for older adults.
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What's New Today
about 1 month ago
What's My Work Worth? She's a paraplegic, he works 3 day on, 36hrs off, 3 nights on, off 3 days, works 4 days, off 3 days, works 4 nights, off one week all work hrs are 12 hr shifts. and sometimes he gets called in early or called in on his off days. They pay my phone bill which is attached to their plan about $58 monthly with unlimited talk, text and data, as their bill averages around $226 and they have 3 phones of their own. I live in a 66"x93" room in a building off the main house which has a power cord running to it for my electric. I use the wifi, I take a bath twice a month (washing with baby wipes between bath times), my dog drinks two liters of water every 4 days, I clean up after him and myself, I wash my hair once a week, I drink a cup of their coffee in the mornings, I buy my own food and drinks. I Take trash out to the cans, I haul trash to the dump (in my vehicle), I go groc. shopping (in my vehicle), I pick up her meds from store (in my vehicle), I go do their laundry (in my vehicle), I run and pick up cat food from vets (in my vehicle), I clean the house, both bathrooms (even though I only use the main bath), I do the dishes (by hand and dish washer), I've cut their lawn this summer, weed eated, tended to her outdoor plants, tended to her indoor plants, Get her out of be from time to time (getting her dressed), putting her to bed every night (getting her undressed) emptying her cath bag, from time to time I've help her get in the shower, I help her prep meals, clean up after her, put the leftovers up, I do clean up after him as well, take her to doctor appointments (she does buy me a soda) , hair appointments (she does buy me a soda), cleaned up after her cat would yack, clean her cat's litter box, help her put meds in med cups, fill the med machine, sometimes I have to do her meds completely (cause she is mentally unable), I get her food and drinks throughout the night when he's working, if she calls no matter the time of day I drop what I'm doing to assist (even if it's 4 am). I go with them on trip to help out (they do pay for my food and soda). If i don't go with I clean the house top to bottom disinfecting everything, I get down on my hands and knees scrubbing the floors, I don't let them get me pizza when they order, I don't allow them to order anything for me from pricey take out restaurants. I just want to know what my time is really worth plus using my personal vehicle for the running I've done too. I know I'm being used but to what extent! I'm editing this to let y'all know there is one task I just won't do for her and that's what he calls pooping her. I won't wipe her butt! I don't get anything and I'm not an illegal alien. just having a hard time after losing my husband!
about 1 month ago
I've been waiting and hoping for some kind of 'break' from up above? But I doubt it. Why must I endure all this emotional and mental anguish? I am poor, no money, my mom is jealous of the relationship my dad and I had. He passed away on his birthday June 8, 2017, she always throws often that I took care of my dad 'for money' her own daughter who is me. I can't even explain to you or anyone how that makes me feel.
about 1 month ago
ISSUE: Among other things, how do I effectively tell my father that MAYBE he should let me take care of the keys to his car from now on?
First time on one of these forums. Finding a car enthusiast online forum is fairly easy, but when it comes to finding friendly, non-judgemental online advice about assisting elderly parents, I'm not sure where to turn. FYI, I am retired from the USAF and have foregone any future employment post-retirement in order to be a live at home caretaker, shoulder to cry upon, cook, financial manager, amateur psychologist, etc. for both my parents.
So many things I'd like to ask. First things first. My apologies in advance for the length of my post.
My father just turned 88. Physically, he's healthy as a horse for a guy his age (per his last physical). No one has officially diagnosed him with dementia or Alzheimers, but he has memory issues. I've said to others that he has "old guys disease". One aspect of this is that I am not sure he is currently fully aware of the passage of time, dates, etc. He seems to depend on the newspaper or the clock on the computer to tell him what date it is.
Example of an issue my mother and I have been facing for a while--Either he's humoring me or he genuinely does not know how to subtract his uncle's date of death (almost 22 years ago) from this year, calendar year (CY) 2017. (He often says his uncle died only a few years ago, a short time ago, a few weeks ago, etc. A new "low" was telling a complete stranger in a casual conversation the other day that his uncle only died last week!) This lack of sharpness is particularly heightened if he has not had proper sleep or not eating properly (despite my offer to cook him things, etc.) While he has his wife (my mother), his kids and grandchildren to think about, he remains constantly saddened by not having his uncle, sister and parents around anymore. He is the last of his family in his or prior generations.
Also, over the last few years, he also has had a seemingly irrational desire to revisit events involving his deceased family, such as whether or not all the personal effects of his uncle were returned to him as nephew, sole remaining family member, and executor of his uncle's estate. Again, his uncle died nearly 22 years ago. Or, whether doctors treating his sister, uncle or parents hastened their deaths in some manner when they were dying or were in hospital.
My personal opinion is that he has mortality issues and is trying to revisit his past decisions to make sure in his present mind that he has done right by his family. But, that is causing a great amount of stress for my mother and others, and perhaps causes others (strangers, police officers, bank officials), to think he's just an old guy who has more than a few marbles loose in his head.
I do most if not nearly all of the driving for my mother and father. However, my father still has a valid drivers license (expires in CY2020). He drives o.k. Once could say he drives carefully and cautiously; he drives like an 88-y.o. He can drive to our church 45 minutes away and get home safely. But, that's not what worries/bothers me.
In his apparent efforts to revisit past actions, he has expressed desires to revisit his uncle's retirement community to see if they still have letters and personal items, to find and visit the funeral director that handled his uncle's burial to ask about the funeral (or if there was a funeral), and to visit some office of the state police to ask them about events surrounding the accident his uncle was in prior to his death. (I was told my great uncle had a heart attack at the wheel on the way back to his community from Sunday dinner at my parents' house and died on the side of the road.)
His most recent adventure was to try driving 1.5 hrs to his uncle's former retirement home in the neighboring state (we're only about 30 miles or less from the adjoining border). But, he wanted to take the back roads and not the expressways. I don't think that he had enough money for tolls (he had a credit card though). He didn't get far, ending up 10 miles or so from the house in a nice nature preserve. I got a call from a nice guy who said maybe I should come down and retrieve my dad. (I assume he stopped to ask for directions. Why the nature preserve? Who knows.)
So, I'm thinking his driving days are over. I'd rather not have him drive anymore. I don't want him going off on some irrational, unrealistic fact-finding adventure to try and reaffirm actions that he did or did not do for family members who died a decade or more ago, stressing out his living family members . I don't want him going down to the local police department in our community (again) to ask them if they had access to any information about his uncle's accident and death in another state. (They simply called the house to say they were sending him home, then called later to make sure he made it here.) I don't want my father to suffer the anger and frustration of being told by our state that his driving privileges are subject to be revoked if he doesn't get a doctor's o.k. and potentially having to retake the knowledge and practical driving tests. (Our state has an older drivers program where they "randomly" select licensed drivers over a certain age to see if they are fit to be on the road.)
How do I get him to say, enough of the irrational desires to revisit OLD family affairs? And if he persists in that kind of thinking, how do I get him to voluntarily give up his personal freedom--the keys to his car--without my having to hide them on him and lie to him about the whereabouts of the keys?
Oh. I ordered a GPS vehicle tracker for his car last night.
Thanks for the time spent in reading my missive. Thanks in advance for any constructive advice.!
4 months ago
I am a caregiver for my sister. Because I work I have a home health aid for my sister Recently my husband has become ill and we are having to go to doctors 2x a day. My home health agency informed me today that since I am off on FMLA for my spouse they would not be sending my sisters aid. I fell like I have to make a choice stay home take care of my sister and let my husbands health suffer or take my husband and leave my sister alone. My sister is bed ridden and has to ave 24 hour care. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
4 months ago
DISABLED SISTER AND I'M SCARED TO DEATH
I seem to be in a very unusual situation. I am 50 years old and have been married for 28 years. My husband is wonderful. My father died in 2015 of COPD after a year of being mostly hospitalized. Several months after he died, my husband and I moved into my mother's house. (She owns, we were renting.) A few months after my dad died, my sister's husband found out that his cancer had returned. In 2016, when they learned he was terminally ill, she began developing severe physical problems. Because he was sick and my mom was having several health problems, I started taking care of my sister: taking her to doctor appointments, finding the right doctors to see, keeping track of her meds, etc. As her husband became sicker, my sister's physical issues worsened. He died in November 2015. Because Mom's health is better, she is living with my sister and helping her deal with her husband's belongings.
Now, my sister has to have heart surgery (she's 49 now). It's a week away. Because of her other medical issues, they have to do open-heart surgery. And, assuming all goes well, she'll need a series of surgeries that might correct her other medical conditions. Those surgeries likely won't happen until 2018.
I am so freaking afraid that she is going to die during the surgery next week. And if not during that one, during the other surgeries down the road. We are close in age; we were mistaken for twins when we were children. I don't want her to keep suffering. The heart surgery is probably the safest one she's facing.
I feel as though I should have done more when she first developed the physical problems, even though I know she would not have undergone these surgeries while her husband was dying. It hurts so much to see her in pain and not be able to fix it. The thought of losing her just terrifies me to my bones. I pray and pray for her to get better, but I'm afraid that she won't get better on earth. I'm scared that, during her surgery, her husband will ask her to come home to him. I wouldn't blame her for going; she's so miserable now. But I don't want to lose her! I don't want my mom to lose her! We can't handle another death.
I don't think I expect any of you to have any answers. I think I just needed to write this out and cry. My husband is fantastic, but I'm wearing him out. Thank you.
4 months ago
I live with and care for both my Mom and Dad. I also have a full time job. they are 83 and 89 years old. I set up all medication and take them to appointments. I am so depressed I'm having trouble climbing out of bed in time for my 2nd shift job. I've been here for 2 years and my anxiety over what I'll do when either 1 or the other of them needs more care or a nursing home has me at a stand still. They have a small savings just enough to make them ineligible for any kind of aid.
An anonymous caregiver said...
4 months ago
I have been taking care of my grandmother who has multipleedical issues including dementia and Parkinson's and don't know where else to turn she has taken everything out of me. I just got married last week and while I should be extactic I am exhausted and depressed. While my guys and is great I am just at my wits end with her mean selfish acts. I hope I don't sound like a horrible person but at being 23 I have taken on my grandmother full time given up my job, my house, my social life, and well my whole life. I don't know where to turn we've thought about putting her in a home but it is just such a hard decision to make. Honestly I'm lost I'm young and want to be starting a life, but I just feel burdened with hers.
An anonymous caregiver said...
5 months ago
My mother and I have been caring for my grandmother in my mother's home, I live right next door, for almost 3 years now. My grandfather passed away in early 2015 and she had been treated like a queen by himy for 62 years. We had to sell her house for financial and other reasons. She had mild dementia at times and is extremely selfish, demanding, unappreciative, narcissistic, rude and just flat out mean!! She broke her leg 3 weeks after my grandfather died and hasn't been able to walk since. Now she is completely bedridden. Which makes caring for her even more stressful. To the point where my mother and I can't stand to be around her except to care for her, we DO NOT neglect her needs! And have become resentful of having to cater to her. We have NO family to help, her other children were both killed in car accidents back in 2000 and 2002. So, there is literally no one else to help. She has too much income for home care assistance and we have hired private sitters and she pouts and won't eat. When we get back she is even meaner to us. I don't know how much more of this I can take!! It is literally destroying what little life I do have and the relationship with my children, my oldest daughter is a junior in college and my youngest daughter just graduated high school. Which I missed so many events because my grandmother is a needy witch! Help!! Any advice would be great!
5 months ago
Mom has been downright cruel and vicious to me since I was six years old. She told me recently I mean nothing to her. She never wanted me. Yet, she lives in my home (for free) (She has PLENTY of money. She's greedy and a user.) and thinks its just fine to use me. Two nursing homes and one hospital threw her out for being so nasty. If it were not for me, she'd be in a shelter somewhere. NO ONE wants her. Yes, my promiscuous, lying, conning sister received checks from mom weekly for 30 years. I got nothing. I put myself through college working three part time jobs and living on three hours of sleep to pay for it. I was hungry a lot. Ritz crackers go a long way. My sister bought jewelry, roses, steaks and perfume and bragged to me about it. She was "wanted". I'm not doing so well emotionally right now. Every time mom sees me, she's nasty to me. My name is stupid. Mom recently refused to sleep for five days. That was beyond description. Recently mom wanted my daughter's eyeglasses. She said no because she didn't want mom to break them. Mom hit and kicked my daughter over and over again while trying to get her glasses. It was finally the last straw. Either I call the police and have her arrested for child abuse or I call her doctor and leave it in his hands. He upped her Valium and promised that it would stop her violence. I told mom this is IT. I can still file a police report. Last episode mom threw her walker at my husband's beautiful truck. He swallowed really hard and walked away. He's a saint. I am wearing down from her emotional abuse every day. I'm on tranquilizers. My husband is on tranquilzers. All to deal with her. I have a serious question for all of you. Why? Why did she never want me and has been so cruel to me for 51 years? She refuses to tell me and then smirks. Please give me any of your thoughts, suspicions, ideas. You will not hurt my feelings. I really would like your thoughts. Thank you.
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