Submissions from Readers

Lies of Care

by Jay More
(Michigan )

Question Mom had a stroke in 2019. Since then she let the oldest child take over, treats the other children mean, and will not go to her neurologist. It has been three years now. She will not go to the doctor, will not do physical therapy, finds ways to run sitters off, just want her children to do round the clock care for her. Before this stroke she had one when we were young but never followed up with that one. She is retired and hasn't gone to a doctor for 40 years. She is 89 now and still will not go, but we children are in our early sixties and can not pull on her like she wants. She's at risk for falling, so she sit in her manual wheelchair for 14 hours a day. She has gained a massive amount of weight, refuses to use all the help aides to help her around her home, and she even has a brand new electric wheelchair but won't use it. She is controlling, fussy, accusing certain child of stealing her stuff. The oldest child and another have made Mom's stroke about them to make it easier for them to help, but two other children the three hold to the grind without even asking how they are. Now, these two children are out hurting and in physical therapy to gain strength back. Me, I'm out of caring because of the mistreatment, disrespect, and lies/ cover up. What do the two do leave or stay?

Answer:: Unfortunately, these are complex questions that only each child can determine for themselves. Caregiving is very difficult, stroke patients as well as aging parents whose mental status has declined can often be demanding and unrealistic in their expectations though many don't even realize what they are doing. It's important for caregivers to take care of themselves as much as possible or they will get burnt out. If there are multiple caregivers that can help, that would be beneficial so the burden doesn't fall on just one person, but obviously if there is conflict between caregivers, this can become problematic. If caregivers are able to work together and come up with a care schedule, then I would recommend that, but only each child can decide if they want to be involved in that process or act as a caregiver as each person has their own set of life demands and physical/emotional issues.

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