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Mom is taking care of dad who had a stroke at age 42. Mom can take care of herself but is wearing out fast, taking care of my dad. Any advice?

 

Question: My mom is 83, my dad is 85. Mom is taking care of my dad who had a stroke at the age of 42. They will not leave their home. My dad is having memory loss. Mom can take care of herself but is wearing out fast, taking care of my dad. I live out of town and cannot take care of them both. Please give me some advice on what to do.

Dr. Amy: Your parents might benefit greatly from home care services.  Home Instead Senior Care has specially trained CAREGivers to work with people like your father, who is suffering memory loss. And they can help with light housekeeping, meals, running errands. This would lighten your mom’s load and give her a break. If you don’t think you are able to afford home care services, you could call the Adult Services Unit of the Department of Social Services in your parents’ county to find out if your parents qualify for government-sponsored services. I would also encourage you to call community services in your parents’ area, to find out what these local organizations can provide. If your mom and dad belong to a church or other faith community, that’s a great place to start since they will know about all of the services in their home town. Last but by no means least, I wonder if your parents have other family members nearby or younger friends who could, together, help your mom.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. March 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Posted by debi@icaretoshare.net

    I believe your mom definitely needs to accept some assistance and get some rest. Sometimes it takes her being in the house, but resting or doing something she enjoys while someone else attends to Dad. At some point she may get comfortable with leaving. Your mom has cared a long long time and has developed routines and shaped your dad's preferences while being dependent. This was very similiar to my parents' situation. When mom finally did decide to travel with her sisters to a wedding, I developed a book and helped fill in the everyday details, so mom would be more comfortable leaving. It really made a difference! I just published the book, and it has been very well received by caregivers with positive comments about the peace of mind they have. You might want to fill it in with your mother and during this shared time, you will learn a lot about all she does and she will feel validated. She may decide to allow someone else to relieve her if she knows they have read the book and had the opportunity to ask questions. The book is: I Care to Share: A Manual for the Loving Care of ___ It can be purchased at www.icaretoshare.net (note--.net not .com) or from Barnes and Noble or Amazon online. I think it would be of great benefit to your mother and father.

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