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Becoming a Caregiver for Mom

Before becoming a caregiver for your parent, you have a lot to consider. Although for some we feel it is an obvious choice, it doesn’t mean we won’t have any anxiety. It is difficult living with another adult who is not our spouse and especially one who is used to playing the parental role.

If Mom has agreed to move in with you, she is now faced with many troubling thoughts. She is grieving for a moment in time she will never get back. Freedom is something we all fight for, no matter what age we are. Losing your freedom, even for the greater good can be extremely depressing.

This depression could be exhibited by:

  • Excessive sleep

  • Up at night

  • Nasty or cruel attitude towards you

  • Watching TV all the time

  • Not wanting to go out

  • Not wanting to eat with the family

  • Complaining of being bored, but not wanting to do anything

  • Not taking medicine

  • Not eating

At this point I am sure you are at your wits end. You did the right thing, why is she mad at you?She clearly would not be better off by herself?

The first thing for you to realize is that neither one of your lives will be the same, and don’t expect it Realistically, you accepted Mom moving in and you are hoping to get your life back to status quo. It’s ok, that’s normal. But, your life won’t get back to normal the way you knew it. You have new responsibilities and until you develop a new normal, life won’t be so comfortable.

Here are some ideas to help you, the caregiver:

  1. Create something new: a new interest you can learn together.

  2. Create a new pattern: this could be a plan for grocery shopping, or stopping for lunch

  3. If you work, find a resource to help you while your gone. This can help so your mom does not feel neglected and “in the way” when you return home every day. (Some resources are listed below to help find support.

  4. Lastly, do something for yourself. You need time and a way to refill your cup of giving. That may be stepping out for a cup of coffee with a friend or joining a support group for caregivers. The point is, it is ok for you to have mixed feelings about this situation. It is not easy, and that does not diminish how much you love your parent.

Take the time to help your parent adjust and work through the grieving process. Take time to understand the many changes you are now experiencing and grow something new, between the two of you. Truth is, you may look back at this someday, and feel like it was one of your favorite times with her. I did.


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