Need Advice From Caregivers

Lounge By nanahaley Updated 2 Sep 2010 , 2:16pm by Stitches

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nanahaley Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 5:03pm
post #1 of 5

My SIL died July 14 and my MIL is now living with us. She is 93 (will be 94 on Sept. 4) and we moved her from Texas to Florida. She lived in subsidized housing in Texas but trying to get through the red tape to get her into a place in Florida could take 6-12 months. She is in good physical health but we feel that she now needs assisted living because of hygiene issues. I work a full time job in addition to being very actively involved with my children and grandchildren. I never seemed to have a free moment before this and now I am feeling overwhelmed with the extra work and the emotional strain. Even cake decorating which was always my way of being creative and relaxing now seems like a chore to me. My husband is helping as much as possible but, of course, there are some things he is not able to handle. I would appreciate any advice or tips from other caregivers as to how they cope with this. And God bless all those caregivers out there.

4 replies
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peg818 Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 5:52pm
post #2 of 5

You say she is in good physical health, but has hygiene issues. That can mean different things to each of us.

The first thing you should do is have her evaluated by a physician, she has just lost a daughter, her major care giver. She has lost her home, her state, and has to adjust to a new unfamiliar place to live, if she had surviving friends back home she has no way to really keep touch with them. What i'm getting at i would be surprised if the hygiene issues weren't due to depression.

Older people are very prone to depression and it can manifest itself in these kind of ways.

What you are doing for your MIL is very difficult and seems impossible at times. Look into adult day care in your area (if she has her mind she may not need this, but they maybe able to point you to the direction of programs that would benefit her) If you can get her into something where she can meet people and stay active it will give you a much needed break and can help her mentally as well.

Good luck to you, enjoy your MIL even though at times it may be tough. What you are doing is a wonderful thing, and nothing worth while is seldom easy

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jmchao Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 6:03pm
post #3 of 5

I agree with what the previous poster wrote. You are taking on a very challenging task. It's OK to feel overwhelmed, especially since it's still early and you haven't quite figured out a new routine to work in all that needs to get done.

Here in VA, we have Senior Services. If you have one in your area, give them a call. See if they can help. Also, I agree with getting her set up with a physician and discussing your concerns with him/her. They may be able to assist you with getting a home health nurse who can help out with some of the hygiene issues.

And yes, depression is a very real thing and does manifest differently in everyone. Perhaps she's simply feeling as if she has no reason to "keep clean" so to speak; her friends are gone, her daughter is gone, her home is gone, her routine is gone, etc.

Best of luck to you and your family!!!

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nanahaley Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 12:13am
post #4 of 5

I thank you for your responses and all of the advice you gave was very good. We have had her evaluated by a doctor and she is in very good health for her age. I would love to take her to an adult day care so she would have some contact with other people but she won't go. I always knew that being a caregiver was a tough job but I never knew the emotional toll it takes until now. I'm just very tired and it has only been a month. It could be 6-8 months before she gets some financial aid to get into assisted living. Maybe we will settle into some kind of routine soon and things will get easier. I have my good days and my bad days and this has been a rough weekend. Thanks for listening!!

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Stitches Posted 2 Sep 2010 , 2:16pm
post #5 of 5

I'm guardian/conservator for my father. I went thru 4 months of sheer hell and now I can look back and tell you it's probably the most emotionally rewarding thing I've ever done. I'm a better human and have a better relationship with everyone around me because of this adventure.
There is a ton of help out there!!! I know at first it's alot to learn for you. The main thing is talking to people who are professionals and others who have alot of experience they can simplify all the details for you. Don't let other family members confuse you with their opinions, get professional guidance.

Most assisted living places will take your mother for a day or a couple days to give you time off. You don't have to sign up for anything regular, no commitments.

You must get time for yourself to get educated on this topic no matter how hard it might seem, it's worth every penny of day care.

She should have social security already and medicare. I have to post the computor is acting uo

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