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Feeling like you have to do everything?


Question: I am my mother’s care taker. I get paid by an agency so I feel like I have to do everything for her. She has dementia and needs a lot of care. She is also at risk of falling, so I have that to worry about also. If she doesn't walk with her walker she will fall. I get frustrated when she doesn't remember things--like walk with her walker. Please help me!

Dr. Amy: Caregiving has got to be one of the most challenging roles on earth. The hours are long, there is often no vacation, and working with family--where there can be a lot of emotions from the past--can add a layer of complexity. If your relationship with your mom over the years has been positive and close, it can make her failing health a source of real sadness and concern. If your relationship has been rocky, it may intensify feelings of frustration or resentment. If we work with the public and have to deal with clients whose behaviours we find frustrating, we can shake it off more easily. We don’t live with them, and we don’t deal with them every hour of every day.

Regardless of whether you are being paid or not, caregiving is not a job for one person, especially when it involves caring for someone who needs attention both day and night. I encourage you to ask the agency that is paying you to have another look at your situation and help you come up with a plan that gives you some relief and respite. Are there friends and family you can also ask for help? You can't do everything yourself.

Risk of falling is a serious concern. Every year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls.  Since your mom has dementia, she is may unable to hold the thought about using her walker. You can help by always putting the walker in front of her so she sees it when she stands up. It is hard, maybe it can help you to remember that she is not forgetting on purpose. Dementia changes the way our brain works and takes away our ability to think the way we used to. Home Instead has developed a host of information and resources I think you may find helpful.

Good luck!

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. August 6, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Posted by Alinda

    Amy how do you go about getting paid to care for her ? I care for my mom and my state says there is no financial help here for me to do this.


    • August 15, 2014 at 6:53 am | Posted by judy

      Check with your local dept of social services. here in va, its called an ED waiver. Most all DSS have these government waivers in place; however, they WILL NOT tell you about it...for some reason... they usually must be on medicaid in order for YOU to get paid for their care. also check with medicaid in your state office,. sometimes you have to go past local offices and agencies! good luck


  2. August 5, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Posted by Brenda LaBelle Meyer

    I'm a full time caregiver for my mom who has Alzheimers and I don't get paid I was told children Cant get paid for taking care of a parent I live in Mi is this true


    • August 15, 2014 at 6:54 am | Posted by judy

      like I previously posted check with local DSS or state medicaid office..different rules for different states. there is help available...


  3. August 5, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Posted by Estella

    Im glad you asked this question as I am in the same situation. I took care of my mom for 2 years before she passed away last year of a stroke. Now my dad is suffering with Dementia & fell & had hip surgery & cant walk without a walker & supervision 24/7. It has been worst the last month & his Dementia has been getting worst. Im now caring for my dad & although I dont think I should get paid for caring for someone who has helped me so much I applied for it because my own siblings say I need to. He lives with my brother but during the day im with him & he requires a lot! Bathing, i do his laundry, clean, change his disposable underwears, meds, bills, shopping, cooking & remind him of things & he too has to be reminded daily of the same things. Frustrating but I try to remind myself he doesnt know better. Its a much more mental & physical job this time as he falls quite a bit. He waits till i leave the room to get up. Ahh!!! Thank you for reminding me that im not alone in this.


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