Struggling to cope with my Mum becoming my 'child'

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by morgaine42, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. morgaine42

    morgaine42 Registered User

    Jun 6, 2014
    22
    My Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's two years ago. Her strong, independent spirit kept alive and kicking, altho with periodic small changes until recently. Nearly 90 yrs old, so know we all been luckier than many to have had many wonderful full on years, but really struggling to deal with things now. Too long a story to go into my and whole family background, suffice to say I am the youngest of four and Mum has been my rock through many tribulations. I am now main carer and am really struggling to stay pragmatic and practical seeing my lovely, strong, independent, reliable mum become more like my child, needing my constant reassurance. Cant go anywhere alone anymore v- scared of getting lost - she has. Not always correct with money etc in shops, easily phased if rushed - so avoids. Losing track of days and even time of day more an more - scaring us both equally. I am trying so hard to be practical with help in all ways, physical and emotional, tho breaking my heart daily seeing Mum this way, others keep saying will help/support but don't, miss my Mum so much, don't know how can face even worse to come. Any advice very, very gratefully appreciated,
    Judith x
     
  2. Worthitprincess

    Worthitprincess Registered User

    Aug 11, 2016
    68
    Hi Judith

    I can feel your pain sweetheart. I too care for my mother and she too was once a lively, strong and beautiful person. She's only 68 but was diagnosed two years ago with her condition.

    Watching her change into another child like person also still breaks my heart to this very day. I too feel like I have the burden of a child to look after. What you can only do is try to stay strong. What you are already doing is good, helping her and looking after her.

    My extended family plus brother are also useless. They bury heads into the sand and don't accept that this is all real :(

    I don't look after my mum because I want a medal or praise. I do it because even knowing it's not the mum I used to know, I still love her and I know that eventually when she leaves the world I know I did what I thought was right. You too are also doing what you feel is right.

    I find posting lots on here really helps so keep talking to us and we will talk back. We are all in this together X


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  3. JulieP

    JulieP Registered User

    Apr 25, 2015
    17
    Tamworth
    My Mum has also become 'My Child'

    Hi Judith, My Mum is almost 90 and was diagnosed with AD about 7 years ago. She came to live with us nearly 3 years ago, when my stepfather died because I knew she couldn't manage alone. Gradually she has become more and more dependent on me and more like a child. Like you she was my rock, strong and dependable. I really miss her, as she was but I love her and try to make sure she is contented here with me and my husband. My siblings promises quickly dwindled to a brief visit 2 or 3 times a year so it is my daughter and grandchildren I rely on if I need support.
    Try to talk to her about shared memories. I learned a lot about my Mother's childhood by getting her started and then just listening and it means I can still remind her of happy memories. Just love her, Judith, that's the best advice I can give. Your love will show you how to treat her. And do come back here and share your problems with people who understand and won't judge you.
     
  4. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    A dear friend of mine was in the same situation as you and I can clearly remember her saying that her mum cared for when she was a child and now she cares for her mum now that she has become childlike. Like you, she hated what had happened to her mum but felt that thinking of her more as childlike than as a child altered her perspective a lot and helped her maintain their relationship in a better way.
     
  5. morgaine42

    morgaine42 Registered User

    Jun 6, 2014
    22
    Thanks Princess, does help to hear not alone, family, friends and even husband just don't get it, think just offering practical advice, ( tho little help), is a good deed. Husband now at next to me, after me finally breaking down and admitting all, looking up alarm timers to help with - when can ring me etc -just hmphed cos I asked him not to keep telling me ooo this one does this, this one does that, cos I talking on here!!!! Am I being unreasonable?!!! Again princess, thank you, much love, joy and peace to you and your mum x
     
  6. morgaine42

    morgaine42 Registered User

    Jun 6, 2014
    22
    Thanks Julie, completely agree - just love her, I do, just so bloody tiring sometimes, specially with other life issues - lost son year and half ago - husband and daughter struggling, and many more complications. Just need a day occasionally when someone - ANYONE would look after me. Love my Mum and will always put her first, for the little time she has left, just get frustrated others don't/WONT see the truth. Thank you for taking the time to reply, much love, joy and peace to you and your Mum, Jx
     
  7. morgaine42

    morgaine42 Registered User

    Jun 6, 2014
    22
    Thanks, Lawson58. that is a good thought, childlike not child, will try and use that to keep enjoying our time together. Love the Asimov quote, very true. Jx
     
  8. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,125
    eastern USA
    Hello, Judith. Like you, I was the last and fourth child, and I was promised that I'd have help, but very little help came. My sisters had difficulty seeing my mother as she was, by the end, so I even helped her through her last passage, by myself. As perhaps in your instance, I felt my mother was my best friend. She saw me through many difficulties and always helped me see some *other* way of looking at things. Her Alzheimer's made her quite sweet, actually, but it really was indeed very hard not to have my mom around any longer but someone who needed me. She moved in with us permanently in 2009, having tried close to 11 months with us in 2008. She died in February this year. Every day I thank my lucky stars that I had that time with her, but the woman I miss is the one who was my age, not the woman she became as she reached and passed her 97th birthday. There are many of us who have been through this. I was my mother's primary carer for her last 9 years. I am happy for her that I could be there for her, but it was indeed very hard to see that I had become her mother, in a sense. You have my warmest good wishes that you can salvage some joy even in this hardest part of your and her life together.
     
  9. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,551
    Ireland
    My mother doesn't have dementia (my late husband did). But I know what you mean, because my mother is 79 and partially disabled, and has many health problems. I can see her becoming more tired more easily these days, and needing more help with more things, and I sometimes think that the writing is on the wall. And I've always been closest to mum - I see her several times a week, and talk to her on the phone every day. I'm the one who sorts things, does her garden, takes her out etc. etc.

    When I was training years ago (as a Home Care Assistant for Dementia Care, to look after my husband - and yes, he eventually had to go to a nursing home anyway), one of our assignments was to do a Presentation to the class. We had to present something that didn't just describe the effects of dementia, but that showed what it meant to everyone involved. I read a piece by the author Erma Bombeck from one of her books. It was called "When does the child become the mother, and the mother become the child?" - it was written with humour, describing that transition she had with her own mother, over several years. The gradual exchanging of places. From the mother helping the child, to the child helping the mother - and how the mother isn't quite ready to let go her independence. And too, how the "child" isn't ready to take over the responsibility. And at the end, comes the day when the one who was the "child" is now out with her own adult daughter. The daughter has to slam on the brakes, and as she does, she instinctively puts her arm across to shield her mother from being thrown forward - like she would for a child. And a look passes between them, that says "Oh God. Not yet."

    It's a very poignant piece - by the end of it, I remember even the tutor was in tears. It describes this handing over to the next generation so very well. But it also puts it in perspective. It is just the handing on to the next generation. It's hard, and in a way, it brings our own mortality close to home. This is how it has always been.
     

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