Caring for ill parent while coping with well parent

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normal Caring for ill parent while coping with well parent

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Just popping in
Joined:
2003/9/19
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Hi everyone.....I need some thoughts and advice about the situation I am about to describe.
My dad will be 98 in November..he has severe arthritis and moderate congestive heart problems; he is wheelchair/bed ridden, but has no dementia, although he does not communicate a lot unless asked a question. My mother is almost 89, in reasonably good health for her age, with no apparent dementia; (she communicates too good!); she still does light housework and helps cook regularly for the two of them, as they live alone. Actually, the only time they are on their own is about 3 hours in the afternoon, and at night. Even then, my two brothers are a phone call and less than 2 minutes away. Neither is retired, but one has a home-based business and is usually closeby if needed when no one else is with our parents. Homehealth care comes 5 mornings a week, and we have a part-time employee who comes 2 weekdays for 6 hours each. I live 20 miles away, but am there 4 days a week for an average of 4-5 hours each day, plus covering whenever my brothers have to be elsewhere.
My brothers and I do the biggest part of Daddy's personal care ourselves..as you all know, home health care only spends an hour a day, and we have mostly done all of it before they get there!! My mother does feed him for supper most of the time, when he doesn't feel up to doing it himself.I catch all of the housework, like daily laundry and the heavy cooking, on the days that the part-time lady isn't there. Now for the problem that I need advice with:
My mother is one of those controlling, domineering types who wants everything done her way. We know that she feels like she is losing control of her own home, but she, my brothers and I made a strong committment about a year ago to keep my Dad at home as long as we can give him enough care to keep him comfortable, with the understanding that we will do the same for her. She is financially able to have outside help everyday, but adamantly refuses, and gets angry when we remind her that she and Daddy always said the reason they saved was to have money in case they needed special care when they got old. Their aged (85) family doctor is no help at all....we have to fight to even get pain meds for Daddy, and even then, he has warned Mama that they "could be bad for his heart", so she won't let us give them like they should be given. (Our feeling is that Daddy needs to be free of pain regardless). So.....how do we do what is best all around in this situation without unduly upsetting our mother? We know that as time goes on, we will have to have more help until such time as we have to consider nursing home or hospice care. My husband is being set up for TKR, and I will be his primary caretaker for 2-3 weeks, but am already worrying about the fact that I can't be in two places at once. Should I even feel any guilt about this, since my mom can afford extra help during that time? Knowing her, she will try to do it herself and end up bedridden, too.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Jane B.


Posted on 2003/9/25 18:56




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