Anyone else struggling with an aging parent?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by lowry075, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. lowry075

    lowry075 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2011
    Southern California
    I am thirty six and my mother is sixty two, which isn't old at all. However, she has fibromyalgia, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, and had had both hips replaced, and will need a knee replacement soon. It is a helpless feeling to know she suffers daily and be able to do nothing to ease her pain. She often calls me crying becuase she hurts so much.

    She also on a really fixed income ( I have to help her out often so she can buy groceries...I am not exaclty rolling in dough myself). I am wondering at what point she will no longer be able to live alone (my dad died years ago, and I am an only child). She is fiercly independant, but I see her leaning on me more and more, and I love her so much, but it is really hard. I feel like I am responsible for her house and mine. Her problems become mine too, and it is hard to balance with two kids and a husband as well.

    I hope I don't sound like a jerk, but I feel overwhelmed often. Is anyone else watching their mom or dad deteriorate?
  2. TerriLaChicks

    TerriLaChicks Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 23, 2008
    Central Louisiana

    I'm an only child too, I'm 54 & my folks are 79 - both in pretty good health but I see the decline, both mentally & physically, a little bit at a time... they live across the 10 acre field from us - me & my husband -- we never had kids so it's just us -- I feel your pain & understand your anguish. Right now just taking it a day at a time.

    Edited to add other thoughts.... mine are on a fixed income too, & I know that the house they are living in is way too big for just one person, so when one is gone, the other one will have to either come live with us or us move in there or something.... right now I don't know. I wish I had answers, or even a starting point. I can't get them to even think of discussing future plans, so it's all in my lap. I am starting to make lists of things I need to do. My Dad is a cancer survivor & Mom's had emergency gallbladder surgery & a bout of shingles that set her back a pretty good blow, although right now both are doing well. Like I said, I'm thinking about the future & doing some research & making notes...
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Went through it with my wife's parents and later my Mom who lived to be 97. It's a tough thing. It feels so 'wrong' to be parenting your parents. My wife and I are at the point where we have to consider what our next step will be. (70 and 67 but in good health).
  4. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    Boy do I feel your pain!

    My father passed a few years back at 93 years old. He was ornery guy, so I was thankful my mom could care for him. I helped her with things as much as I could as a single parent with 3 boys. The stress took a toll and she ended up with poly myalgeia rhuematica (sp).

    Mom is almost 88 and been busy helping with getting her chickens a new house, a new veggie garden etc. She eats lots of veggies, gets lots of exercise and still lives alone.

    But those alone days are coming to an end. She HATES the doctor but high blood pressure, dizzy spells and fatigue got her to call for an appointment this week. No word on blood tests til next week. I am anticipating staying with her next week should the doc put her on any kind of medication.

    It is easier because I am single and my boys are either on their own, in college or just starting college. But it is also overwhelming because I have a job too and feel like I am giving up my kids for my mom.

    Her house is very old and needs a ton of work, so not like we can all move in there.

    Some days I think my BP must be through the roof, it is a lot to handle, but some day I will look back and wish I had more time to spend with her.

    The past two weeks I have had to work at the real job extra, I think her worrying about my not being there every day has added to the health issues this week.
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    My MIL's been sick for quite some time. She tends to cry wolf all the time, like she'll tell me she can't breathe while puffing away on a ciggie. So I was a bit shocked when my DH told me the other day that he thinks she's dying. She drinks way too much, takes all sorts of pills, has high blood pressure, had a hip replacement 2 years ago... is stressed about money and insufficient income all the time, depressed... she has an ulcer.
    She has asthma also and we got a lot of crop spraying going one here. I asked to farmers if they can't stop/cut back a bit as it makes her really sick, but they said if we don't like it we must move. We put the farm up for sale 4 years ago.
    MIL had an issue with me from day one, so things are often not good between us, but I don't like seeing her like this. It's hitting my DH very hard, so I'm trying to just be there for him now.
    We've just put out yet another ad on a new website for the farm, trying to sell in this economic climate... Please pray that it'll happen soon. She, and all of us, need to get out of here. It can only help her health and state of mind.
  6. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I am 49 and my Dad is 89. Mom died two years ago and he lived alone up until last month. He had fallen a couple of times at home and went to the hospital for tests. When he was discharged, he went to a rehab to try to get stronger and from there into an assisted living facility. He is not happy there but is in danger of getting seriously hurt if left alone. I hate it so much that he is getting to this point because he has always been the backbone of the family. I have a family (DH and three boys) and a full time job, but my Dad is my dad! He took care of me when I needed it and still would. I want and need to take care of him but I can't leave my family to move in with him. He thinks he will go home when he is better. I know that will likely not happen. It's heartbreaking, but better than being without him. I firmly believe that the difficult time before the end is God's way of preparing us to lose loved ones here on earth. My Mom went through a great deal of suffering and she was ready when it was time to go. It hurt me to see her go, but I was glad that her suffering stopped. I see Dad's quality of life going down everyday. I dread the day that he is no longer mobile or mentally sharp, but I'll be there to help him in any way that he needs me. He would/has done the same for me. One day at a time, hon. One day at a time.
  7. Chickangel79

    Chickangel79 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    United Kingdom Suffolk
    Mine is a little different, I am 32 my sister is 40. She has MS. She cannot walk, feed herself, toilet herself and her husband walked out on her a year ago taking the two children aged 5 and 2 wi I him. She still lives at home, but only has care from 8am-12pm and then 4-7pm. It's not enough. My other sister and I are constantly getting phone calls from her care team, that my sister has made them do, calling for silly things like, she wants me to drive 20miles to put a number in her phone, because the carer doesn't know how. It's all day. I have a job, a Dh. A DS of 8 and a DD of 12, but when my sister wants something it has to be done NOW. sometimes I think she should be in a home, but there are none for her condition so it would be elderly homes. We nearly lost her two months ago when she fell out of her chair and bled. She only just managed to press the emergency button.
    We do what we can and when we can for her, but its exhausting. I know its not exactly a bed of roses for her either, I just wish we could get more care.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  8. lowry075

    lowry075 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2011
    Southern California
    TerraLaChicks and Sourland - I understand the plans. I have to think about her moving in with us when she can't stay in her home anymore. It does feel "wrong." Teri- Thanks for the hugs, back at you. [​IMG]

    CarolsClucks- I completely understand. We can't move into her house, it's smaller than mine, but I don't have space for her either. It'll come down to use both selling, but hers will be the only down payment because we owe more than our home is worth. [​IMG]

    Sumi-it's awful to see how a parent impacts your spouse. I am sorry you are dealing with that. [​IMG]

    wisher 1000- I understand how you feel about your dad! It sill love my mom so much too. it is so hard to balance your family with your parents because they were once the center of everything. My mom already wishes God would take her home, and at first, it hurt to hear that, but now I understand her wish because she exists...there is no quality of life. She is amazing though, she still praises God and is thankful for what she has.

    Chick angel79- I am so sorry about your sister. [​IMG] It must be terrible to see your childhood playmate endure this. I am mad for her that her husband left. She must miss her children so much. I would be devestated. I am glad you have a sister to share the responsibility. Are your parents gone already?

    I will pray for all of you and your unique situations, that you will be comforted. Thanks your venting with me, it is nice to know I am not alone in this, even though I wish nobody had to go through it.

    edited because I always type because wrong the first time.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  9. Chickangel79

    Chickangel79 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    United Kingdom Suffolk
    You're not alone. You have plenty of people who understand you here x x x
    Our parents have not gone but do not drive, and live 25 miles away without bus or train routes. We lost lots of bus routes recently due our wonderful government. My other sister and I live a little closer, in the same village as each other, but not by much. (I have just got back from a visit to see her AND SHE WAS NOT IN .... her carer took her out, AND knew I was visiting to help her sort some photos.)
    SHe does see her children every other week and one of us has to stay the whole day for her to do so, when her husband left, would you believe he took the lot while she was in hospital ? The cooker, fridge, dining table, all towels, all bedding, freezer, dishwasher, and even the satellite dish. He is now living with his ex girlfriend.

    I hope you all find a way forward, its never easy x love and hugs x
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  10. fosterchick

    fosterchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am only 40 and Had to help my mother with father (he died 2 years ago). Now we have to watch the house because she moved out of state and kept this house. I am lucky there because I have 4 sisters to help me there. But do to the times, my husband had to change jobs. He now drives truck all over the States. He is only home 4 days a month. So now I have to help his parents both 75 years old. I have to clean there house and mow there lawn. Then I also have to do our house and lawn. I also have 6 children that I raise. They do help but As the parent you have to be on them to get it done. And with all of this I find out that I am haveing my own health issues. My husband sister doesn't care that I will have to slow down to stay healthy. Might have to have inlaws move in with me or me with them in order to survive the work load.

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