No easy answers to be had. I gave up a job I loved to move back to my hometown to care for
my mom, who was dying of breast ca, which eventually metastasized to her liver and brain. I
am an only child, my mom was a widow, wished to die at home. It didn't take any thought on
my part at all. I volunteered before she could ask. Not because I'm the world's most perfect child,
but, rather, because we care for our own in my big extended family.
My aunts, uncle, great aunties, cousins came from as far away as the opposite coast, to help and
to give me some "me time."
We were more fortunate than many though. There were the financial means available to do what we
needed to do. We also had hospice and they were wonderful. There came a time though, when my
mom thought, in her demented state, that my brand new husband and I were trying to kill her by
any means necessary. Poison, overdose, smothering... you name it! Other times, we'd walk into where-
ever she was and she'd look up and say either, "Hi kids!" or the usual "Hiya Babe! What have you been
up to lately?" to me.
She already had a financial POA, medical POA, and DNR in place. I was medical POA and also held
financial POA in conjunction with the trust dept. She and my dad were both attorneys so no hitches
While I know intellectually that I did a good job taking care of my wonderful mom, it also took
several years for the emotional scars to heal. I was born after many many stillbirths and miscarriages,
and am the sole survivor of triplets. I was, in many ways, a live doll for my parents. I grew up very
close to both parents, and that was a factor in making my decision to come home.
I guess the real answer would be yes and no. If my cousin had to take care of her mom, my mom's
twin sister, she'd eventually smother her mom with her pillow! No, not really, but it wouldn't work
despite her best intentions. You have to do whatever feels right for you and tune out the critics.