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Worried about my Mom

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm really worried about my Mom and I just don't know what I should do. She has been under a tremendious amount of stress the past month or so and I am afraid she is going to have a nervous breakdown. She literally is the glue that keeps my family together and I see her everyday getting weaker and weaker. It mainly has to do with her job...she is a caretaker for a mentally ill woman. This woman has lots of mental problems, several health problems and is very hard to deal with. Her husband is not much better, but does work during the day and that is why Mom was hired to take care of her. He almost encourages her to be obnoxious at times and unfortunately Mom is the one that has to deal with this for 9 hours a day 5 days a week (not to mention the numerous phone calls she gets everynight). For the past week she has broke down in tears every night when she gets home from work and I just can't stand to see her like this. She has always had a lot of things riding on her shoulders, but this one is just too heavy for her to handle. I've asked her to go to the Doctor and see if they could maybe help her with antidepressants & etc. She has had Shingles once before (a few years ago) when she was really bogged down with stress...and it was one of the most painful things for her to go through. I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone. I just I'm just wondering if I shouldn't call her Doctor and explain what the situation is & see what they can do. Mom keeps telling me that she doesn't have the time or the money or blah-blah-blah...they're all excuses. She thinks she can do this all on her own and I'm worried that she can't do it. She made the comment to me tonight (and that's why I'm posting this) "I really think God is testing me on how much I can handle and I just might fail this test yet.". I've asked her to quit her job and she told me that the money is too good right now & she can't find any other work that will pay her this good. If she'd only understand that it will cost her more in the long run to stick with this...
I'm sorry this is so long...I'm just worried sick about her. What should I do? At least, please say a little prayer for her or keep her in your thoughts. Thank you all for listening and for any suggestions.
post #2 of 17
Oh Michelle, I feel for you and know somewhat of what you are going through.

With my mom, it has always been one illness into another. And when I saw her health deteriating and she knew she should seek medical help, she wouldn't. Now your stuck wondering what to do. If it were me, and remember we're probably two different people, but I would talk with your mom's employer (the husband of the woman your mother cares for).

Isn't this really your only option? You can see what this job is doing to your mom. Your mom won't quit the job, and you won't solve her stress by going to the doctor. Her stress is her job and that is where I would focus my efforts. Maybe she can do reduced hours, or the husband can help in the overall attitude of his wife. I don't know the whole situation. Either she finds another job or takes some proactive measures to help her day to day workload.

Again, it's horrible seeing a family member in so much stress and you feeling so helpless.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Kassandra!
It's hard to describe the situation in detail on here, but it's a lot worse that what it sounds. My Mom works for a state funded organization (medicaid type org.) and they know her situation. This lady's husband takes advantage of my Mom's duties and could care less if it's stressing her out..cuz that means it's less stress on him! My Mom is supposed to take care of "Mary"...that includes giving her a bath, fixing her meals (while she is at work), little cleaning and mainly making sure she is comfortable & is not getting into things that she shouldn't be into (if that makes any sense?). But...instead of all of the things she is required to do, she has to do BOTH of their laundry, the dishes for EVERY meal and running errands for them & the list goes on. She only started doing this because she was trying to be nice and help him out, but now he expects this out of her...and he isn't even the one who is paying her wages! Mom said that she can handle all of the cleaning and etc, but the thing that she's having a hard time with is that this gal is somewhat mentally retarded. She cusses at my Mom when she doesn't get her way (example: she's diabetic, but she demands to have cookies & junk that she shouldn't have), she has screamed at Mom for hours at a time like a 2 year old, she has tried to hit Mom because she was mad...and the list goes on & on.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that it won't help to talk to the Husband. He has already put her in a nursing home once before (the gal is only 55!) and doesn't seem to really care for his wife at all. I don't know why they are even together...they are a very weird and sick couple (I say sick because of things that I know that I can't talk about on here).
What do you think about the Mom's Dr? Do you think I should call him?
post #4 of 17
I work in a nursing home and I see behavior problems in the residents' all the time and in some cases these problems are very extreme. Is it possible for your mother to talk to the mentally ill woman's doctor to let him know what kinds of behavior problems she is dealing with? Maybe this woman's behavior has been getting worse lately and a change or adjustment in her medications might help to correct this?
post #5 of 17
I have been a caretaker for terminally ill patients, and the best thing your mom can do is take it up with the woman's doctor. He/she is the only one that can make final decisions on this woman's health care isssues, and it sounds like she has some that need to be addressed. Pehaps a change of meds like Lorie D. said, or if she is really bad, she may need to be taken to a short term facility for observation and evaluation. I had to do that with an Alzheimer's patient once. The next thing she should do is to get a written copy of her duties in the household and put it in the husband's hands, make him read and initial it. This is something her employer needs to know about. Uncaring family members often take advantage of caregivers, and that job is stressful enough without that. If he is not willing to cooperate, your mom may need to ask to be reassigned. I bet this is not the only patient that needs care. Hers is a very stressful job and does not ned it compounded by a selfish jerk. I hope this helps, and will keep your family in my prayers. Good luck with this.
post #6 of 17
I agree with Krazy Kat! That sounds like the best solution. If he wants her to do extra duties she should be compensated for it! I would also take your Mom for a massage and a little pampering. It will give her a break and help her recoup! She does so much for everyone else but not enough for herself. You can't live like that.
post #7 of 17
On a side note.. You mentioned that the woman is retarded? Perhaps this method will help. It's called 123 magic. Instead of your mom having to repete over and over why this woman cannot do and getting into a battle about it. Basically what you do is say "no" the first time. If the behavior continues count ONE and hold up one finger. wait 5 seconds and if the behavior doesn't stop count TWO and hold up two fingers. Again wait 5 seconds and if the behavior continues and the count reaches three she gets a 10 minute time out. The time out means no TV, phone, or visitors for 5 minutes in her room. You don't argue, or explain, or have any other conversation about what she wants. I know it is meant for children and it will be rough for the first few days but it might work.
I will keep your mom in my prayers.
post #8 of 17
I really can't add any good advice but I can and will and all of my prayers!
post #9 of 17
I'm with Ady - you've already gotten some great advice, but I'm sure sending lots of good will and good wishes your way!

Hang in there, Michelle. Reach out to your mum, do what you can, and obviously she is a loving and very caring woman - she'll do the right thing!

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your great words of encouragement for my Mom! I will definitely tell her all the suggestions I've received. I really appreciate everyone keeping her in your thoughts and prayers. I really try to be supportive of my Mom and lately I've gotten frustrated with her work situation since she has been so upset. I believe that "Mary" has a doctors appointment soon and hopefully she can explain to him about her mental problems. I've done some research on mental disorders lately and I think that she might have BiPolar. I plan on printing out some things about it for her to take with her when she takes Mary to the doctor.
As for reassigning Mom to a different patient, her caseworker said that they only other person in our town that needs help is a 40 year old man who weighs 250 pounds and is bound to a wheelchair due to MS. Mom's got a bad back and she can't lift up on this man. Our town is quite small...only 4000 people and there isn't much need for her assistance. She thought about traveling, but in the winter time she doesn't want to be out on the crappy roads. Hopefully things will straighten out soon...thank you all once again for everything!
I hope you all have great Holidays and a very Happy New Year!
post #11 of 17
I just found this thread. I haven't been on a whole lot with Angel and everything.

It is good advice that everyone has given you, but it might not hurt to help alleviate your mother's stress level, as well.

Some people handle strss and anxiety MUCH different than others. I, for one, have a generalized anxiety disorder (shh..don't tell anyone!). Pretty much what happens to me is that things that are small and minor to most people are huge and big and a PRESSING ISSUE THAT HAS TO BE DEALT WITH NOW OH MY GOD HELP ME and that type of stuff. Your mom may not be extreme like I am, but there are things that could help.

Regular exercise. And...yes....Got to love those meds! I am on Efexor. GREAT stuff, but like most meds, it has to be in your blood stream to get the full benefits.

Another thing I had been given in the past is Xanax. Most doctors aren't crazy about handing the stuff out, but even if she plead her case and ask for maybe 10 to use as needed when she is ready to rip the hair out of these people!

Just a thought. It's helped me when I have wanted to crawl under a rock after choking the crap out of someone who has gotten on my last nerve!
post #12 of 17
I really wish I had some great advice for you, but I don't. I did say a big prayer for your mother just now, though. I guess my thoughts are that she needs to be convinced to try to find another job. If her job is this stressful on her that she is coming home in tears, chances are it may not get any better..it just isn't worth risking her own health. I think I would keep trying to get her to change jobs. Keep us posted on how she is doing with this. She will be in my thoughts and prayers.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to give an update on my Mom's work situation. This week "Mary" was admitted to the Hospital for having chest pains and was planning on moving her to a Nursing Home. Tonight we got a call from her husband saying that Mary had passed away this evening. Mom is really upset especially since we didn't think Mary was on her death bed or anything. Her doctors don't know what exactly happened...but this all took place 1 1/2 hours ago. Mom hasn't said much about it since she's with the family right now. I'm sure she going to think that she could have done more for her, but Mary was just too far gone for any help (mentally). Please once again, keep Mom in your prayers...I know she's gonna beat herself up over this. Thank you all so much for your kind words and great suggestions!
Bless you all!
post #14 of 17
Your mum is in my thoughts and prayers Shell. I hope she will be okay.

post #15 of 17
Shell - I missed your follow-up post earlier. I'm so sorry to hear about what happened. Please know I've kept you and your mum in my prayers. I really hope she's OK. She's lucky to have such a wonderful daughter.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the prayers and thoughts...It really means a lot to me!
post #17 of 17
I am sorry to hear about Mary....your mother is in my thoughts, this must be very hard for her.
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