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Dealing with grief due to loss of parent and another with Alz.
Cindy Evans
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 4:24 PM
Joined: 8/13/2019
Posts: 3

In May 2018, my mother was diagnosed with Alz. The signs were there several years prior. She is 84. Her first appointment with the neurologist was May 2018. She has refused to go back. I have made several appointments for her, but she refuses to go and says if forced, she will go kicking and screaming. The doctor says they will not see her if she comes to their office kicking and screaming. 

In May, my husband and I moved into my parents'' house to care for them. We both still work full-time jobs. My father passed away last week due to lung cancer. My parents were married 65 years this July. 
For the most part, my mother was unaware of how sick my dad was during that time. She was told about his death and did understand at the time, but shortly later could not recall. She mentions him occasionally. She knows us sometimes, but for the most part not. 
I know that my mother needs more care. I talked to her about someone staying during the day. She is opposed to someone else being in her home. I feel she possibly needs more care than we can give her. I am hesitant to make life changes since my dad just passed. My heart will not allow me to take her somewhere and leave her. There are rare times she knows some of what is going on, and she would be terrified. I also worry about how I go about getting this accomplished and feel she will hate me. 
My husband is wonderful, but he has given up his life for the last three months. We have not lived in our home now for three months. We have a two-year-old granddaughter and another due any day. I worry this will begin to be too much for him. I do not know where to turn. 

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 5:40 PM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 2027

I think this would be a great time for placement, if that’s what you’re thinking.  If she won’t allow help, then I would find a few acceptable facilities that match her financial ability and get on the waiting lists.  The alternative is 5 or more years of the same life you have today.
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 6:04 PM
Joined: 9/3/2016
Posts: 215

I feel for you. My husband and I moved my father and my mother in our home in 2012. At the time I was so naive. I truly believed I could do it all, and I was absolutely determined I would never place them anywhere. At the time we knew my mom had lost her vision, but we did not know that she had AD. My dad on the other hand had congestive heart failure, COPD, stage 4 kidney disease, had had 3 heart attacks (later that became 4), and also later broke his hip. Still I was determined. We found out my mom had AD, but still I was determined I was going to do it. My DH sacrificed a lot because he loved my parents, but also mostly because he loves me. Then in March 2018 things got so bad that I had no choice but to place them in a skilled nursing home. It absolutely broke my heart. I visited, and continue to visit every day. My dad passed this past November. My mom is in Stage 7 and has been placed on hospice.

From what I have learned, this is what I would share with you. You are not Super Woman no matter how very much you want to be. There is only so much that you can do before you sacrifice your own health, not to mention relationships with your husband and your children. Grandchildren grow up quickly. You can't get that time back. Whether you are with your mom 24/7 or not her progression is going to continue. Do not feel guilty if you have to place her. She's your mom and you love her dearly. Believe me I know. But you also have a responsibility to your husband, to your children, and to your grandchildren. You can't be all things to everyone, and giving all of yourself to your mother while sacrificing the other will NOT make your mom any better.

Everyone has to make their own choice, but knowing what I know now I would have moved my mom and dad into assisted living rather than in with my husband and I. There absolutely are no good options. If you live near your mom, maybe you can hire someone to stay with her? Just don't throw away the special things in your life when it will ultimately do no good for your mom. Just speaking from experience, and meaning this with the best of intent for you.

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 11:19 PM
Joined: 4/1/2014
Posts: 4973

I am sorry for your loss and extend my condolences to you and your mother on the passing of your father.

I also did not want to place my mother, but after her dementia got to the point she no longer knew who I was- I thought it might be OK so I tried on several occasions to find ALs and NHs good enough -but I could not find any! My mother deserves the best and in my home she gets the best. She has lived with me and my husband for 14 years and we have sacrificed a lot, but I would not have it any other way.  But that's me. Only you can know what is best -no-what is acceptable for you and your mother. Good luck!

Cindy Evans
Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 2:15 PM
Joined: 8/13/2019
Posts: 3

Thank you. God bless my Daddy. He had been taking care of Mom and only he realized how this was progressing with her. He covered his illness to protect her and care for her. I never realized until we were living in the home with them. Like you, I do not regret what I am doing. My parents gave me and my brother a wonderful life and I want to do the same for them. Sometimes it is just hard to keep all the balls juggling. You are to be commended.
Cindy Evans
Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 2:18 PM
Joined: 8/13/2019
Posts: 3

Thank you for comments. You will never know what an inspiration you were to me. You said so many of the same things I know and feel, but am afraid to really get to the root of it all. Talking to someone who has experienced some of the same things helps with all the guilt feelings you experience. Thank you again for your kind words.
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