• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Feeling suicidal caring for 93 year old mom with ALZ - how does one cope with this..?

Leolady56

Registered User
Aug 9, 2014
44
South Africa
Hi everyone... My Mom was diagnosed with ALZ about 6 years ago - 1 year after my father died. She could no longer cope with living on her own and though I dreaded it - I brought her to live with me as there was no where else for her to go. The truth of the matter is that I never had a good or close relationship with my Mom because she was always a very cool, OCD type housekeeper which she would do till the late hours of the night and my late brother and I had a pretty sad and lonely upbringing as she was just not a 'child friendly' person at all. But I realized that she needed help with washing, dressing, eating, etc, etc so I tried to put my negative feelings towards her in the past and to simply look at her as a human being who developed this miserable illness and that she needed help. I really DO by very best to take care of her every need but I find that with each passing day, I have started to have great difficulty to not resent her. I am now stuck in my tiny flat 24/7 to take care of her and gradually, my social life and friends just disappeared as no one ever liked Mom and especially now that she has AD - I find myself totally alone which at times causes me to cry endlessly as I fear that I am just not 'cut out' to deal with her worsening AD and I carry so many hurts and traumas from my childhood years that I wonder if I will be able to keep on being kind, loving and caring towards her till the very end.
I don't like in the UK and our social services here, especially for the elderly, even more so for the elderly with AD is practically non-existent unless one is super wealthy and you can then home these folks in a luxury care facility for people with AD.

I don't want to come across as being cold hearted or an uncaring type of woman but in the past 6 months or so I have even considered taking my own life because I often feel SO alone with this awful illness and being only 58 - I actually dread that Mom will live still for many years to come and I am starting to fear that I just won't be able to cope taking care of her for endless more years. (Longevity runs in her family but those members who also developed AD - they were automatically sent into excellent Alz/Dem care homes which is top-notch in the Netherlands.

I was wondering if there might be any other carers on this site who might come from similar circumstances to my own and who might be able to offer me hints and tips as to how I can cope with this *HUGE*dilemma which I now find myself caught up in and which often gets me totally down. Please, I am NOT a mean or cruel person, I would never ever hurt Mom in any way - it just scares me that I am now starting to think of ending my own life as this is the only escape I can see out of the situation which was more or less forced onto me as there was simply no one else who could do it. I have one married daughter who *never* comes around or phones even as she says she "Can't face Granny the way she is now" and then both of my grown up sons live overseas. Other than them, I literally have NO ONE in my life. Two of my very best and closest friends who I know would have helped me - they emmigrated out of SA years ago and the last surviving aunt and many cousins - they all live in the Netherlands so here I am...... feeling totally overwhelmed and starting to harbour thoughts of just taking myself out of this nightmarish situation even though I know that would in fact be cruel towards Mom.....

Is there anyone out there who could offer me some words of wisdom and hopefully courage to continue this path I am on now..... I would SO welcome it....

Warmest hugs from me to all other carers out there xoxo :(:(:(
 

pony-mad

Registered User
May 23, 2014
1,073
Mid-Wales
I am unable to offer any practical suggestions, all I will say is that you must put your needs 1st. You can't continue with the current situation.
I am sending love and strength to help you find a solution x


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
So sorry to read your thread. I am sole carer 24/7 for my mother and it is so hard. You've probably already thought/done this, contact Alzheimer's Society in South Africa. Your 24/7 in a tiny flat, really got to me, any chance you could look for larger accommodation with everything else you are dealing with you may not have considered this, it may just improve your life. Any day care facilities? at the very least if your mother is out you can try and re establish some sort of day time social life.

Sorry, but can't think of anything else at moment, but can guarantee that others will come along. Keep posting, this alone helps.
 

RedLou

Registered User
Jul 30, 2014
1,162
Dear LeoLady,
Of course you're not cruel. I get very angry and resentful of how my father's illness hovers over my life and he's not even living with me. Get yourself professional help immediately. You need it and deserve it.
 

Leolady56

Registered User
Aug 9, 2014
44
South Africa
Thanks for responding :)

I am unable to offer any practical suggestions, all I will say is that you must put your needs 1st. You can't continue with the current situation.
I am sending love and strength to help you find a solution x


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
I do appreciate you responding....I know in my heart there is little which anyone can say.... it's incredibly difficult to put oneself first when you literally have to almost 'shadow' the AD patient 24/7 as everything they do is just so unpredictable.
 

Sammyjo1

Registered User
Jul 8, 2014
194
I'm so sorry to hear that things are affecting you so badly that you are considering taking your own life as a way of escaping your situation. I don't know anything about how things work in South Africa so can't offer any helpful suggestions.

But one thing you might like to consider doing is to contact Samaritans - you can email jo@samaritans.org and they will offer you emotional support. They're not going to be able to tell you what to do or offer advice but you might find it helpful to explore your feelings with them.

Good luck with it all. I hope there is some relief for you very soon.
 

Leolady56

Registered User
Aug 9, 2014
44
South Africa
Thank you

Dear LeoLady,
Of course you're not cruel. I get very angry and resentful of how my father's illness hovers over my life and he's not even living with me. Get yourself professional help immediately. You need it and deserve it.
Thanks, RedLou. The strange thing is that my mother's personality has changed from being a cold to very distant kind of lady to someone who is pretty easy going and happy now but mentally she is so far gone that she just does not see or appreciate everything which I do for her and how much I have become a prisoner in this flat in order to take care of her....... I just have no idea what to do....... My GP put me onto Prozac for over a year but it did not help at all. I think that so long as the present situation carries on - no anti-depressant is going to change this kind of life and I just cannot find that proverbial 'light at the end of the tunnel.'
 

Leolady56

Registered User
Aug 9, 2014
44
South Africa
Thank you..

I'm so sorry to hear that things are affecting you so badly that you are considering taking your own life as a way of escaping your situation. I don't know anything about how things work in South Africa so can't offer any helpful suggestions.

But one thing you might like to consider doing is to contact Samaritans - you can email jo@samaritans.org and they will offer you emotional support. They're not going to be able to tell you what to do or offer advice but you might find it helpful to explore your feelings with them.

Good luck with it all. I hope there is some relief for you very soon.
Thank you so very much.... I will go to take a look at the Samaritans... right now, ANY advice or support must just be what I need to keep on putting one foot in front of the other........
 

nellbelles

Volunteer Host
Nov 6, 2008
8,712
leicester
Leolady.

The suggestion of the Samaritans is a very good one, is there any chance that you could get some respite care for your Mum? most of the carers on TP have found that is the one thing that keeps them going. Also it helps towards looking after your health.
 

Leolady56

Registered User
Aug 9, 2014
44
South Africa
Thanks, Tin

So sorry to read your thread. I am sole carer 24/7 for my mother and it is so hard. You've probably already thought/done this, contact Alzheimer's Society in South Africa. Your 24/7 in a tiny flat, really got to me, any chance you could look for larger accommodation with everything else you are dealing with you may not have considered this, it may just improve your life. Any day care facilities? at the very least if your mother is out you can try and re establish some sort of day time social life.

Sorry, but can't think of anything else at moment, but can guarantee that others will come along. Keep posting, this alone helps.
Unfortunately money is in very short supply so there is no way I could even dream of moving to a larger property.... And even if I were to do that.... When Mom wakes up I have to get her out of bed as she can no longer get up or sit down - not on the bed or in a chair... I have to shower her, dress her and feed her too...(She has Parkinsons as well and with the shaking - she can't get any eating utensil into her mouth.) I have to hold the cups when she drinks tea, etc, etc, etc, I am literally her mind, her arms, her legs - her everything. When I have to go to do the shopping I have to wheel her in her wheelchair to the car in the basement - get her into the car and then out the car again, back into the wheel chair when we get to the supermarket.... I have a huge canvas bag which hangs on the wheel chair handles but it's not large enough for one bout of shopping so I need to 'shop' 2 to 3 times over so that we finally have enough groceries and food on board for the next week. I have painful arthritis - mostly in my legs, knees and hips so I bite my lip throughout this whole shopping escapade because I am in so much physical pain and often just have to try to disguise the tears from the other shoppers as I push the wheel chair through the supermarket as I just wonder why on earth I now find myself in such an incredible situation. And to go through this feeling SO alone - that makes it extra difficult because you can just never share these kind of things with anyone who actually understands...... Hoo boy - look at me - I am coming across as a right, royal, 'poor little old me' person which I NEVER used to be.... I guess it's just the depression talking now.... apologies, I will try to see to it that my next post will be more cheerful....:eek:
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
Leolady, welcome to TP :)

Just a thought.....do you have any shops that would deliver some of the heavier groceries?

Keep posting and we'll keep thinking! :)

Lindy xx
 

pippop1

Registered User
Apr 8, 2013
501
Your situation sounds intolerable, really intolerable. I do hope that one of the organisations mentioned above can help you in some way. Please contact them as soon as you can.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,077
Scotland
As you have connections with the Netherlands I am wondering if this her homeland. If so would you consider going back there? I guess you would some help eg if she emigrated to SA and is one of their of their overseas pensioners.
 

Redpoppy

Registered User
Jul 31, 2012
268
Glamorgan s.wales
Shopping

Could you shop for your groceries online and have them delivered. It would make taking your mother out much easier and the wheelchair wouldn't have the extra weight of the bags. That would allow you to just purchase a few extra treats and maybe enjoy window shopping. I have my groceries delivered,and don't have to struggle with the heavy items-such as milk,fruit juice,laundry products.etc,etc. I hope you can continue to cope with your mothers' illness without becoming more depressed. It must be soul destroying when she doesn't ever show her gratitude.I'm sure you will have support from many of TP members.
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,524
North East England
I am so upset to read your posts, leolady, and want to welcome you to TP and say that I really don't know how you are managing to carry on alone like this.

At 58 you are still relatively young and should be leading your own life - maybe helping or visiting your mother, of course, but not virtually living her life for her.

I have no knowledge of services and facilities in South Africa. Do you have a social services over there? What about her/your GP?

If you did take your own life, then someone else would have to step in and look after your mother. Someone, somewhere, somehow. So there should be someone, some service, some authority somewhere that you can contact for help before it reaches this stage.

From this far away I can only offer a hug and sympathy - huge hugs and huge sympathy. Do keep posting. I wonder if there's anyone else on the forum from South Africa? Maybe they would have ideas.

Hang in there, we are with you.

And you're not a nasty person - you are as far from being a nasty person as It's possible to be. Look what you're doing for your mum. No-one who is nasty could be doing all this.

xx
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
I absolutely agree with College Girl. Just wish I had some knowledge of South Africa and it's services. But as College Girl says, there must be some help out there, whether voluntary or paid. Please leolady, have confidence that you are a wonderful person who is doing more than anyone could expect for your mum. Have faith in yourself, and keep looking for that help.

((((Hugs)))) to you :)

Lindy xx
 

lizzybean

Registered User
Feb 3, 2014
1,366
Lancashire
I agree with CG & Lindy50, you really do need some help & fast. Are there any volunteer organisations? Are you able to get carers in? Is there such a thing as a sitting service? As CG said if you were not there for whatever reason, who would step in. What I mean is if you needed a hospital stay what would happen? There must be something in place surely, you can't be the only person in SA in the same boat.

Have you told SS you feel suicidal?

Sorry, forgot to say welcome. Take care & keep posting.
 

BR_ANA

Registered User
Jun 27, 2012
1,079
Brazil
I really understand you as I was really depressed some years ago.

I googled Alzheimer South Africa. Seems the SA Alz society has helpline and daily care. Discover and use it.

Sorry, I couldn't paste the links.

Did you talk to your GP about antidepressants?
 

flossielime

Registered User
May 8, 2014
201
Leolady I am so sorry about your situation. It must be horrendous.

Does your mother hold citizenship for any other country?

I have no knowledge of anything in SA but wondered if there is anyway you can afford to buy care in? Did your mother have a property or any income you could use? Would you children help with costs. I know it will hurt pride to ask but I think wages in SA are a lot lower than UK for example so if your children are earning overseas even if they could contribute a little it may pay for a local home help. Plus if there are any there any other other grandchildren that could contribute.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
114,485
Messages
1,674,821
Members
65,524
Latest member
Denise Brown