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Coping with Aging, Ill Parent as a Full-Time Nurse

Nurses   (299 Views 4 Comments)

River&MountainRN has 4 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Primary Care, LTC, Private Duty.

2,228 Profile Views; 222 Posts

Hi there, back again...on top of everything else (trying to coordinate everything for moving interstate-selling my house, getting a new job, finding a new place to live) and coming off a bad breakup and dealing with a crummy work situation, I just became the primary caregiver for my ill, older mother. Hopefully, this was/is just an acute illness (it's acute-on-chronic actually), but thanks to our "wonderful" healthcare system (read: sarcasm), she is now absolutely snowed in past, current, and future medical bills...which means I have a new roommate! Both where I live currently, and guess who will now be living with me after I move to my new state! 😖 I love her dearly, but I really didn't need this on top of trying to make the best out of a really crummy current situation at work and everything else. She's not sick enough to qualify for services, but not independent enough to live out on her own. I always knew it was coming (as an only child, it was my eventual duty as soon as I was born), but I thought I had more time. 

 

So, my question to you is: how do you still participate in self care and remain SANE while caring for an aged parent while also working in a caring profession (i.e. nursing) full time? Seriously, I don't know how much more I can take! 

Edited by River&MountainRN

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K+MgSO4 has 12 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Surgical, quality,management.

1 Follower; 1,650 Posts; 22,185 Profile Views

I think you both need to have a grown up conversation about your new living situation. There is the risk of your mum falling into mothering you, cooking meals, laundry but also expecting you to be home at X time.  

 

Conversely the roles could be reversed with you falling into the care giver roll and "nursing" your mum. 

 

Have to conversation about what she is able to do, cook, grocery shopping, able to go out for appointments independently or not. As you are moving to a new state there is a risk that you both become co-dependant so broach how she is going to make new friends, research how YOU are going to make new friends.

 

Putting on the big girl pants now and having these conversations should help with reducing resentment in the future and enable you two to have a decent relationship. 

 

*I say this despite my mum being dead, dad living in Ireland and I live in Australia. However I know if dad was to need care I would probably take long service leave and go back for 6 months as my darling brother cannot cope with those issues.

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River&MountainRN has 4 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Primary Care, LTC, Private Duty.

222 Posts; 2,228 Profile Views

10 hours ago, K+MgSO4 said:

I think you both need to have a grown up conversation about your new living situation. There is the risk of your mum falling into mothering you, cooking meals, laundry but also expecting you to be home at X time.  

 

Conversely the roles could be reversed with you falling into the care giver roll and "nursing" your mum. 

 

Have to conversation about what she is able to do, cook, grocery shopping, able to go out for appointments independently or not. As you are moving to a new state there is a risk that you both become co-dependant so broach how she is going to make new friends, research how YOU are going to make new friends.

 

Putting on the big girl pants now and having these conversations should help with reducing resentment in the future and enable you two to have a decent relationship. 

 

*I say this despite my mum being dead, dad living in Ireland and I live in Australia. However I know if dad was to need care I would probably take long service leave and go back for 6 months as my darling brother cannot cope with those issues.

Thank you! I needed the validation that it's okay to set up those boundaries, as she had already started the process of enmeshment: "Where are you going?",  "Can I go too?", "When will you be back?", "You *will* be back by such-and-such a time...", passive-aggressively: "I hate to be such a burden, but..." etc.

Thank you for replying!

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K+MgSO4 has 12 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Surgical, quality,management.

1 Follower; 1,650 Posts; 22,185 Profile Views

4 hours ago, River&MountainRN said:

Thank you! I needed the validation that it's okay to set up those boundaries, as she had already started the process of enmeshment: "Where are you going?",  "Can I go too?", "When will you be back?", "You *will* be back by such-and-such a time...", passive-aggressively: "I hate to be such a burden, but..." etc.

Thank you for replying!

Good luck with it.

 

I think having a separate social life will be a very important part of being able to cope with this situation. 

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