The Stresses of Taking Care of an Elderly Parent... - Sammy Makes Six

The Stresses of Taking Care of an Elderly Parent...

This has been the most stressful year I can remember, filled with more negatives than positives. It seemed we were barely dealing with one big issue, when another hit us before we were even done with the first one. The hard thing is that they were all serious problems, all having to do with health. Dalrene had her hip surgery that was a tremendous stress both financially and physically. BTW, her latest appointment was yesterday and the doctors say that everything looks perfect and don't need to see her for another 3 months. So finally we have a respite, a break in between hospital visits. Then my mom had a mini stroke a few months ago and a second one just a few weeks ago. Along with that she had a bad case of bronchitis which we feared was pneumonia and even now, she is coughing in her room because she is not completely over it. Sometimes I think I spend more time worrying and dealing about my moms health than I do my kids. But that's because she is older and in bad health and I am not begrudging her, I just wish it was easier. I wish we had some sort of support system but the rest of my family is not available to help and don't even have any idea of what we deal with, and probably don't care. 

My mom tries to be independent and there are many things she does on her own. She orders and gets her own meds every three months. She takes almost daily walks at 4 in the morning and will bring her own toiletries and some foods she likes. She cooks for herself and alot of times for the rest of us. She cleans up the house and has a major bleach obsession (we all have many ruined clothes because she wipes down surfaces with it and doesn't tell us). This is besides the cleaning we do, it's not like she is the only one cleaning. We are all just clean freaks and keep everything tidy. So it's not like I have her as my cook, maid or babysitter. She can spend her entire day in her room watching those horrible shows or novelas, she can go out for a walk, she can take up the kitchen all day (which she usually does) and that's fine, her days are hers to do with what she likes. 

It's just the extra stress that really gets to me at times. I worry about her health, I worry about her 4  a.m. walks, I worry about how she needs to get her eyes (needs cataract surgery too) and teeth checked and how I am so busy and because she hates BF he can't take her. He used to take her just like he takes the girls all the time, and it was a big help but now she won't talk to him.  I worry about the extra stress she puts on my already frail relationship and most of all I worry that I am not doing enough for her. It's just been hard, I wish I could do more, but or the first time ever, I am not in the best position to do as much as I used to. I guess I just have to accept that and just do as much as I can and hope that she realizes that if I don't do more, it's because I can't and NOT because I don't care.

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