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In my own situation, it seems that as the daughter, my brothers are expecting (letting?) me to be
the bad guy". I was the one to tell Mom she has Alzheimer's, that we need to look at Assisted Living for her, and to take the car keys away. The last involved a 400 mile round trip for me, while one brother lives 20 mins. from Mom, but "just couldn't bring himself to upset Mom". I seem to be making any decisions about Mom's care and future -- is that the gender thing taking over -- men used to women making care decisions?
This whole caregiver thing is new for my brothers and me. Mom's Alzheimer's is moving fairly quickly. In July she just seemed forgetful; now she doesn't remember almost from minute to minute. She is still in her apartment (alone), but as I said I took her car keys. I worry constantly if she is eating and taking her medications. I live 200 miles away, and work full time. My older brother lives 20 mins. away, but is a truck driver who is on the road 3 to 4 days a week. His wife and daughter (females again!) see Mom several times a week. Younger brother lives 9 hours away, so he calls her often to remind her to eat, etc.
We are planning on moving her to Assisted Living sooner rather than later. I am pushing for early Jan., but the brothers (especially the one in town) say I'm pushing it, she's not that bad. I feel that I am the only one looking at the big picture -- Mom's safety and health -- and our own health! I'm not sleeping well (waking up every hour or so, can't shut the mind off), so I'm not as focused as I should be at work or home. If I knew Mom was cared for all the time, I think I would be better able to focus.
I know I have a lot of "venting" here, but I am thrilled to find this group. I hope to learn from others how to help Mom.
Oh my, Kas, you have a lot going on! "Can't bring my self to upset Mom" is a poor excuse. There's upsetting her, and then there's endangering her by being in denial about what she needs.
Sounds like the entire family could get together for a family meeting and put everyone's thinking caps on. If she's forgetting minute to minute, then she might turn on a stove and forget that its on. She might fall and forget where the phone is to crawl to. There are emergency call button things she can wear that your family can set up. There's free advice on how to help keep her safe while she's at home at your local Area Agency on Aging. The eldercare locator will find the free, tax supported agency nearest your mom. See what they offer. http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare/Public/Home.asp
Please don't take all of this on by yourself. As you noted, you're already having trouble sleeping. Enlarge the caregiving circle. This is important for you to do for yourself AND your mother.
and your brothers and female in laws, if they could ever see it.
thanks for posting and please keep sharing your questions and concerns. we're all in the same boat more or less!