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    At the end of my rope.....
    imagrandmaof5 posted:
    Hello: On February 2012 I brought my 90 y/o mother, who had Senile Dementia, from Mexico to live with us, (my husband of 40 years and me). I'm the ONLY care giver, I'm unable to go out except for a few hours a few times a month, because it's really hard for her to move around. My siblings in Mexico are not helping at all, 2 of them have sent a few dollars since she got here but getting any help from them is like trying to squeeze water out of a rock.
    I'm sick and tired of feeling like a prisoner inside my house, I had to give up my very active and athletic life, I can't see my friends and sometimes I miss out on my grandchildren's sports or musical activities because I can't leave her alone or I just can't take her because it's cold or raining or whatever.
    We have NO medical insurance on her, she is not a US citizen, she is just here through a visitor's visa.
    I hate the fact that everybody is enjoying their lives except me, I feel this is just so unfair, I feel alone and abandoned and I can't do a thing about it. I sometimes ask what is the reason for this poor people to still be here when they are so sick, so frail, in pain and can't even enjoy the simple things in life. She spends her days watching tv., she doesn't want to go out in the garden even if it's beautiful outside, it's a drag to give her a shower, she sometimes makes it very difficult because I just can't wrestle with her to make her get under the shower. I feel guilty that sometimes I just pray for her to pass away in her sleep. I know she is my mother but I'm tired of having the responsibility of her care only on me, this has put my 40 y/o marriage on the rocks, because my husband and I can't just pack a suitcase and go on vacation for a week or a weekend because she is here. We want to go to Europe but I don't have anywhere that I can take her or anybody who could come and watch her. Placing her in a nursing home is very expensive and we just can't afford it, specially when her other children refuse to help us out.
    I need to find a place where I can go and be with other people who are going through the same thing so I can get some feedback and support.
    I know I'm not alone when it comes to caring for an elderly, sick parent so I hope to get some ideas and maybe a word of understanding and compassion from you out there.
    Thank you for reading.
    davedsel responded:

    I am sorry you are gong through this and fully understand.

    Your best move would be to go to the Alzheimer's Association website at You can find the chapter that is closest to you and find local support groups you can join. You can also call them for support and assistance.
    Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


    cjh1203 responded:
    Hello Maria,

    I'm very sorry, too, for what you're going through. Your feelings are understandable when the situation is causing such enormous stress in your life.

    In addition to Dave's excellent advice, you might also check out the Caregiver Resources on AARP's web site. You could also try your local Senior Resource Association (or whatever it is called in your area).

    You absolutely need to find a way to get back some of your freedom; your mental and physical health are at stake. Even if you could get someone to come in for a few hours a week, it would be some help. It doesn't need to be terribly expensive.

    I wish there were something I could tell you that might convince your relatives in Mexico to help financially, but I'm afraid I don't know how you can make them help if they are unwilling. It's one of the most maddening and disappointing parts of caring for someone, when other family members won't pitch in.

    I hope you can find the help you need.

    Best wishes,
    imagrandmaof5 replied to cjh1203's response:
    Hello Carol and Dave: Thank you so much for your replies, your words of comfort and understanding. My biggest obstacle is, unfortunately, the financial one. My husband and I can't afford to pay for her care anywhere or to have someone come to our house to give me a hand. We understand that, at some point, we will have to do either one of this things. There have been times that she had fallen during the night, because she gets up to go to the bathroom every half an hour, not because she has to but because she has this fixation that she must so, her geriatric doctor told me that I needed to restrain her during the night so, through her, we ordered this belt and now she sleeps through the night and, better yet, we are able to have a good night's sleep.
    I had the chance to start working driving a school bus for the city of Merrillville, IN. close to where we live but, that would mean she was going to be alone from about 5 am. till 9 am. and then again, from 1pm. till about 4:30pm. and that's totally out of the question so, that was the end of my hopes to make some money to help with the medical expenses that sooner or later, we will have to face.
    My siblings are very unreceptive so I stopped asking for their help a long time ago, I figured that, if they wanted to help, I wouldn't even have to ask. But they don't get it, we are not rich even if we live in this great Country.
    I'm going to contact the local organizations to see if I can maybe go to the meetings to get a bit of insight and help.
    I have my good days and my bad days. I just miss my life, my freedom and independence. I've been a swimmer since age 15, I competed with the US Masters Swimming club from 85 till 92, I kept swimming at our local YMCA almost every day, I became a grandma in 98 and now I have 5 amazing grandchildren, in 02 I became a Triathlete and competed in several races working my way to the BIG ONE, the IronMan Triathlon. In 2006, I completed the Wisconsin Iron Man at age 55 and since then, I've done 2 more IronMan races and one Marathon in Chicago. All of this came to an abrupt halt in 2012 when we landed in O'Hare International Airport in Chicago after a grueling 3 months trying to fix some kind of paperwork for her to live with us. My sister didn't want her in her house anymore, she hired this "nurse" who was absolutely horrible, ignorant, cruel, (even if she never abused my mother physically, the mental and emotional abuse was impossible to ignore), my brothers either, they work and refused to pay for a good nursing home for her to be in so, I was forced to bring her here under the assumption that all would pitch in to help me with her care. Well, you know the story now, I haven't received but about $1,000.00 since February of 2012.
    Anyway, this is my story, this is how I feel, I want something to change when it comes to my family in Mexico but, sadly, I know nothing will.
    I want to thank you again for your feedback, I will come here from time to time to maybe vent a little and read your ideas and advise.
    Judith L London, PhD replied to imagrandmaof5's response:
    Hi imagrandmaof5,

    Just wanted to add that local churches and senior centers offer free services to give you some relief. There may be day centers through Catholic Charities which could help. The Alzheimer's Assn. has may resources as well.

    It's really important that you get some relief.

    You have a big heart,

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