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Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 09/18/08

I am in serious need of help and would like to talk to others in my situation.  I am in my 40's taking care of my elderly mother who is not doing well.  Some of the conditions she has is depression, weakness of muscles, no energy, and does not want to get out of bed.   My father passed away 5 years ago and she was married to him for many years.   She cannot get over him.   I have been assisting her for 2 years now, she does not get out of bed except for doctor appointments.   She refuses to eat, even though I try to feed her.   I need some help.  I am doing this all on my own.   No one else is helping.   I am also attending college again for another career. 

Please help......thanks


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Name: Boots
Location: Washington
Date: 09/18/2008
Time: 08:55 AM


Oh my dear my heart goes out to you. I know it is very difficult! On top of caring for your Mom you are going to school!!! Has your Mom had a full blood work up? A Complete Full Chemistry, Complete Blood Count (CBC),Full Urinalysis, B 12 and Iron. I am full time caregiver for my Mom and asked the doctor for these when I started with her two years ago. I ask for repeats often. Is your Mom on several medications? Often the elderly cannot tolerate many meds. If you have a computer go online and check the Beer's List. It is a list of meds the elderly cannot tolerate. If you see any your Mom is on talk with her doctor about them and about all her meds. I did this and fortunately Mom's doctor was open to my findings and took Mom off several of them and Mom improved. Is your Mom on a low dose antidepressant safe for the elderly? My Mom's weakness, pain and dementia are all increasing as well as hearing loss(the hearing aid helps but not completely).She is grieving also for my Dad who died two years ago. They were married 66 years. That is not going to get better and it is sad, I agree. I hug Mom a lot. She wants to be with him so much. She does not want to go out very much and will stay in her jams and robe all day many days. She takes long naps and with Fall and winter coming those naps will be longer. I will pray for you for sure. Here is a big Hug!!! Oh I forgot to tell you I get Mom little gifts every time I go out and bring her flowers and decorate for seasons and holidays. It does not help totally but gives some joy and comfort.

Name: Deborah
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Date: 09/18/2008
Time: 11:13 AM


I share the emotional issues you are having and for your Mom as well. I am 42, I care for my 81 year old Mother. I have had to change my life a lot and due to my own chronic illness it is hard to be 40+ and life changes. My Mom is one to go with to the library and other places, she does not walk as much due to pain in her legs. But at this point it is good for her to just go for the ride. Suggest to Mom to ride with you, not to get out of the car at first. This may get her feeling a little better. My Father died several years ago and if not for all us kids at that time she probably would go into depression. She was married to him for a long time and no one else could take his place as she has said many times. Try to get her to even go with you to the college if you can get her to get up dressed and moved to the car. I know it is hard to deal with a parent. Especially if they can make decisions on their own and feel like a Mom. I know you can only pray for strength, love , PATIENCE and guidance through this. I have no one that will help with my mom as well. I have a niece that could, and a brother that thinks this is a women thing. So hang in there. You are not alone. You are doing the best you can and best we all can with caring for a Parent. I will keep you in prayer.

Name: erin morrissey
Location: bellingham, washington
Date: 09/18/2008
Time: 01:31 PM


Thanks boots and deborah for your notes on this site. I really appreciate that there are others like me out there and that we can help each other out. You are both in my prayers as well. thanks again and I will keep you updated as to how mom progresses.

Name: teresa
Location: missouri
Date: 09/19/2008
Time: 03:54 PM


Wow. You could be me. I am in my 40's. My father passed away 8 years ago with Alzheimer's. My mother has dementia. She is struggling as well. Recently, she was diagnosed with a form of Lupus. This is along with arthritis and diabetes. I am an only child. She struggles with eating. We debate about food and I tell her she has to eat because taking medication without food will make her sick. I know we have to take it one day at a time, but it is a struggle. As far as taking care of myself, I am on the back burner.

Name: Pat
Location: New Jersey
Date: 09/21/2008
Time: 11:35 AM


I sympathize with your situation. I am in a similar situation. I am 58 and care for my 85 year old father who has many chronic illnesses, which now keep him housebound. I work and attend graduate school as well. Dad can get very depressed and will refuse to get out of bed. Perhaps your mother feels that she is no longer needed. My Dad often expresses this sentiment. Something I do with Dad is to ask for his help in as many ways as I can think of. He keeps track of the weather for me, will keep an ongoing list of groceries, folds clothes, helps prepare meals, and many other little tasks I ask him to help with. I ask for advice and discuss problems and even school work with him. Dad hates to think he is a burden and is not taking care of his child, despite my age. I can get him to get out of bed and take greater care of himself by telling him that I worry if he remains in bed too long or if he has not eaten when I call to check on him in the morning. By making my requests about my needs rather than his he is much more willing to do what he can to help out. I also make sure to thank him for his help and express how important that help is to me in as many ways as I can think of. Also, I applaud you for going back to school despite all these challenges. I know it can be overwhelming at times, but it is a very important to your wellbeing to make sure that your needs to grow and to be part of the world are met. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Name: Jayne
Location: Fontana, Ca
Date: 09/23/2008
Time: 09:28 PM


I am sorry to hear of your dilemma, It sounds as if your mother has given up and doesn't care about what is happening. She needs a reason to go on since the love of her life is gone. Does she have a pet? a little dog that would occupy her time? Does she have a group for arts or reading she might enjoy? We have to find something she likes to get her up and motivating, You need someone besides yourself to come in your home and push her to do things, get up, and go places. Do you have a friend or agency that could send someone to help you on a daily basis, maybe if it isn't you but someone else she would feel compelled to do it. sending lots of love and caring thoughts your way..



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