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Re: Taking Care of Mom and New Dad

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Hi Jane! Thank you for responding. The problem of my new dad's money and property is a non-issue to me. Anything he leaves me, I will just turn over to his oldest son and he can deal with it.

 

The biggest problems are that the stroke mom had left her with dementia-like symptoms, and my new dad actually has dementia. They don't make the best of decisions, and there is no way Mom is going to allow him to hire help for them she is the "skinflint", but not really that, she wants to show that she can take care of herself (she can't). There is no way she would give me a Power of Attorney, and I argue with her as little as possible now because it's wearing me down. Yes, stealing the car keys is one of my tactics. The doctor where we left told me NEVER to let her drive, but I already knew she shouldn't. She is even encouraging my new dad to drive. It's an epic battle to get either of them to a doctor or into an ambulance if they are very ill. I have to wait 'til Mom is nearly incapacitated, but usually I can get my new dad to a doctor before it gets that bad.

 

I know there is a slimmer than slim chance that anyone can help me, but at least it's good to get it all out. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

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Re: Taking Care of Mom and New Dad

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Patty that's strange! It sounds like I may have had the same problem that you had when I was 24. I also didn't want to go out in public if I didn't have to, and I did what I could to hide it. It was diagnosed as arthritis but it was the strangest arthritis I had ever heard of! Pregnancy seemed to make it worse, and it lasted for four years. Then, Poof! It was gone! Our bodies do strange things.

 

I hope whatever this is that I have goes poof too.

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Re: Taking Care of Mom and New Dad

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Hey there, Lady A. Sounds like a big family. So there are the adult children of your Mother, who married a man who has adult children. And you live in a house that your mother had lived in (so it's paid for i hope?) And you've applied for Social Security Disability (sounds like you have some sort of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue or maybe lyme disease?)  And you're selling off things to keep food on the table. Your ex husband is helping you out?

 

And somehow you got elected to be the sole caregiver for these two folks, who live in your step dad's house?

 

There are legal ways to make sure his biological kids get the house or whatever. That doesn't have to be an issue at all, and is irrelevant to the caregiving piece. He can make out a will, or see a lawyer about setting up a trust. He can designate someoe to be financial power of attorney if he looses his ability to manage his money. He can designate someone else to make health decisions if he can't advocate for himself.

 

So what do they need done? If he has some money, he could hire a person to mow the lawn. They can order their groceries delivered (unless they live in the boonies.)  There are maids to be hired. Even a cook could come in, make a bunch of casseroles and freeze them. If he's a frugal skinflint, well that doesn't mean that you get drafted to volunteer. Right?

 

I dunno, tell me.

 

You were a very responsible daughter to let go of that new job and stay with your mom. I hear you ssaying, 'now what??' after this marriage. Now what for your own life. Now what for the regrouping of your mother's needs, cut up between her new husband and you.

 

What am i missing?

 

Sounds tough, lonely, scary (to be so broke) and painful (physically). What do you think you need to focus on first?

 

We are in your corner. Just need some more information about what the corner looks like...

 

jane

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Re: Taking Care of Mom and New Dad

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Great story, PattyDiane! thanks for sharing it!
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Re: Taking Care of Mom and New Dad

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I'm glad my post made you smile, even though I have no solutions to your problem.  And I'm afraid that is still the case.  I'm certain since you have access to a computer you already know that there are multiple things that can be causing your symptoms, but I thought I would tell you a story.

 

Several years ago I was sitting at a Cracker Barrell Restaurant having lunch with a friend.  She had just left a therapist's appointment and was upset about something that had been discussed just before the appointment ended.  I had been glad for an excuse to get out of the house because I had been waiting for a call from my husband who had not called.  I really needed to get out since I was getting very obsessive about the whole thing.

 

Near the end of the meal a strange sound started in the other room of the restaurant.  I later found out it was from a Halloween decoration of a haunted house, but we didn't know that at the time.  It triggered an anxiety attack for my friend who went running to the restroom to hide.  I tried to take care of her and the check and then get her out of there since the sound was still happening and she was getting worse.  I didn't want her in her own car because I knew she wasn't safe to drive, so I got her into my car and got into the back seat with her where I could hold her and help her calm down.

 

To this day I don't know if it was the stress of the incident or the awkward position, but when I got out of the car there was a pain in my lower back.  I thought it was a cramp and I could work it out.  It didn't work.  It got worse.  I saw a doctor who diagnosed it as sciatica.  He gave me a shot and some meds.  Neither seemed to help at all, except to make me feel bad from the meds.  I decided to go with ice packs and ibuprofen, but I couldn't sleep, sit, stand, etc.  Everything hurt and I was continually trying to find a comfortable position.  My left leg became numb and I felt very insecure when I tried to walk.  I began to see a chiropractor and his treatments did seem to help, but the pain was still there, just more manageable.

 

This continued for over a year while I tried to adjust to dealing with it.  All the earlier problems in my marriage got worse and my patience was at an all time low.  I finally decided I couldn't do anything about the pain, but I could do something about my husband so I filed for a divorce.

 

At the time I was driving one day a week to a friend's house where we all painted together, had lunch and lots of just friendship.  There was another member of the group who had lots of back problems and she and I would get up and move around every hour or so.  On the day that I came into the group and told them I had filed for a divorce (they all applauded me) I realized on the way home that I had gotten a lot more painting done than usual.  That's when I realized the pain in my back was gone.

 

That has been 15 years.  I now have other aches and pains (I'm 72) but that pain has not come back.  Every now and then I feel twinges in that area and I stop right then and try to figure out what's bothering me.  I journal, I call a friend.  I meditate.  I pamper myself.  In the past I've seen a therapist, although it's been a long time since I've felt this was necessary since now I know what they would say.  I find I can solve the problem if it's "my" problem.  In the past I have tried to solve other people's problems and that has not worked.

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Re: Taking Care of Mom and New Dad

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Hi Patty! I'm so glad you responded, even if you have no solution, you made me smile. I think you understand how important it is to be heard, and just to connect with someone who understands. Smiley Happy

 

My symptoms: Weak muscles; trouble climbing steps, lifting arm weights or stand from a sitting position. Brain fog, forgetfulness and lack of concentration; I have a disconnect that causes me to frequently forget important things, and people who say I know them well (from my past and sometimes the present!); throat irritation; restlessness and fatigue (sometimes I have extreme difficulty falling asleep, sometimes I seem to fall asleep before I hit the bed and I will sleep for 12 hours. Still I wake up tired! Joint pain (all over), throbbing pain or stabbing pain that moves throughout my body; pressure pain from sitting or lying down; difficulty (pain) standing still (I can walk much better than I can stand still); hallucinations or night terrors that wake me from a deep sleep. Blurred vision (don't know if this is a symptom, but my vision became suddenly worse exactly a year ago.), headaches, chest pain. All of this has been going on for about four years and it's getting progressively worse even though some days are better than others. I think irritability, anxiety and depression could be symptoms too (I won't give in to those feelings), but people are praying for me and if you could see me I would probably be smiling most of the time. If you have heard of this weird cluster of symptoms, maybe you or someone can cue me in!

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Re: Taking Care of Mom and New Dad

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Hi Lady Acappella (I really like that name.)   I wish I had some helpful advice to give you.  I hope someone else does, but I decided to write just to let you know that you have been heard and I hope you find a solution soon.  I can well understand your health failing under these circumstances.  I don't know your symptoms but I know I get physically ill when I'm under stress and it sounds like you have an abundance of that.

 

It sounds to me that you are trying to take care of your mother and step-father at your own expense.  That just doesn't work for any extended period of time.  I'm glad you are speaking out here and I hope you get some good support along with ideas, but I want to ask if you have spoken with any professionals in your area: clergy, therapist, doctor, etc.  Perhaps they have access to some information that can help or at least be some support for you. 

 

Good luck and I hope you keep in touch.

 

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Taking Care of Mom and New Dad

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Hi future friends! I've been a member of AARP for awhile now, but I don't think I've ever posted. I never really "decided" to take care of my mom because I didn't know she was still ill, so I'm feeling swept along with no real plan. She had a stroke in 2005 and my younger sister was already in the process of moving from another state into mom's house after early retirement. It quickly went from a temporary roommate type situation to a caregiver situation for my sister. She called us siblings together and told us she would be taking care of Mom. She and mom had been so close, talking by phone every day but it quickly went bad with my sister overruling small things Mom wanted to do, and redecorating and locking two rooms, and Mom vetoing my sister's fiancé living in the house when he was in town. I talked to Mom by phone every day and she said she was miserable, but she didn't want me to come and get her, even though she and my husband were close and got along well. After about5 or 6 months my sister and her fiancé left suddenly, and Mom told me she wasn't expecting them to leave, but she was happy and fine.

 

About 2 months later my 30-year marriage was breaking up, so I accepted a great-paying job in another state and I left to spend a few days with Mom before I took the job. Mom did a good job at convincing people that she was well over the phone, but she was not. There were pills all over the floor, her flowers inside the house and out were dead, and her vegetable garden was also dead. I had to turn down the job, and I have been taking care of Mom for 8 and a half years now. 9 months ago we moved back to our home town together, Mom hooked up with her old boyfriend that she dated when I was 12, and they got married 7 months ago. Since his house was on the market, I thought my new step dad would move in here; but Mom moved in with him and he took his house off the market.

 

Now I have no income, and I can't get a job because I have no recent job history, so my husband is trying his best to pay my rent while I'm selling household goods for everything else. On top of that, my health is failing and I don't know why. Tests have shown nothing yet but I have been ill for 4 years and it is getting progressively worse. I'm trying to take care of my parents from across town now, and neither of them understand that I need income. They give me $5 every once in a while, and they want me there every day. My cousin helps take care of them when she can, but my siblings think I should be taking care of Mom better. My new siblings hate my guts because they think I want my new dad's money (he doesn’t have much but they want the house and his business. They can have it!) I lost my work-at-home position after two months, trying to get them to their appointments. I applied for disability two weeks ago, but I know it takes forever.

 

From here I don't know what to do but God has never let me down yet. I’m open to suggestions!!!

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