I need to blog about this before I explode and it might be a little lengthy so pardon me. This is something I've been struggling with for a long while but I don't voice it much. What better way to get it off my chest than to speak it outward and hopefully get some feedback from my friends on SP.
You see, I am the youngest of 5 children, where I am 45 years old and my oldest brother is 64 years old. Last September, we lost my brother who age wise is immediately above me, he was 54 years old. My oldest brother lives in Abilene, my other brother lives in Houston, my sister lives in La Serena, Chile and I live in Rowlett (burb of Dallas). As you can see we are all spread out. My mother lives in San Antonio and I am basically the sole care giver or rather the person that makes sure her bills are paid, her meds are ordered, her drs appts are taken care, etc. I try to visit her often and go to some of her appts but my sister-in-law is actually the one who makes sure her pill boxes are filled every 2 weeks and that she is taking her meds the way she's supposed to. She is 84 years old and will be 85 this Sept. She has dementia but she is still functional on a few things. She still makes decisions for herself but mainly she has slight memory issues. For instance, she forgets time or she won't remember where she's put something away. She's not driving any more due to she has gotten lost a couple times. I try really hard to explain to her things she should and shouldn't do herself. My mother is a warrior and stubborn sometimes...hmmmm, wonder where I got that drive from,
but at this stage in her life cycle, she is becoming a bit more timid and even more stubborn about things.
With that said, I am having a bit of a crisis with this situation myself. I try to rationalize this whole deal and try to figure the best way to handle things but sometimes, I honestly don't know what to do. She calls me for all of her issues and I'm glad but it is emotionally draining for me as well. Especially when I get frantic phone calls from her or my sister-in-law that mom has done something bad again. It worries me and being 350 miles away makes it harder. Lately, she is starting to do some things that I'm not so sure about. In fact, there are several things she's doing that completely baffle me but at the same time with all the research I do with this disease, I realize it comes with having dementia. My brothers aren't much help to me as you see, they have their "own" issues to contend with. It's hard for my sister as she is so far away at the moment. She does help me in staying calm and trying to figure out what to do sometimes but that's not enough. Other family members offer their help by suggesting we make what I believe to be a rash decision, and that is to purchase property and move her there with her husband (who I do not think highly of) to be closer to other family members. Mom loves her home, her stuff, her life, or at least that's what she says but we do not think she lives in the best or healthiest of conditions. She refuses to move even if we offer to help her. In my opinion, I think this will be emotionally and physically devastating to her. Besides, any time this subject is brought up to her, she feels like we are taking her independence away from her. She feels like we think she's crazy and stupid and can't take care of herself, mind you, these are her words.
I am blogging today to reach out to any of my SP friends that might be familiar with this disease and any words of advice on what I should do, any websites I should look into, who I should contact or anything that might help me cope or deal with this.
Thanks for listening, just needed to get this off of my chest for today.