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Question
Posted by: Leigh | 2007/07/23

Golden years?

About when can one expect those 'golden years' to arrive?
Growing up when things were less fluid I expected to reach that wonderful time around the 60s and then everything would be just great - oh boy!!!

I am now looking after my precious mom who has dementia and is unbelievably difficult. If I hear the expression "It's like having a child in the house again" I'll scream. I raised 6 children and believe me you can't put her on the naughty stair. I am up nearly every night trying to persuade her to get back to bed, it is her bed and no it isn't daytime. And then in the morning trying to get her out of bed because it is daytime. In the beginning I used to let her sleep during the day, until she wanted to get up and dressed at 7pm and wouldn't believe me that is was bed time! When the mind shortcircuits it is hard to work out a system.

I have to work because my husband has gone off to greener pastures and spend all the RA payouts, and although I love my children and particularly their brilliant/beautiful children, I just want to slow down, just a little bit. I sometimes think I have missed the bus to those 'golden years' and will stay on this 'responsibilities' treadmill until I fall off.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I'm not sure, Leigh --- I see no sign of any Golden Years approaching me ! Nor am I convinced that I've somehow had them already ! Actually, I do understand your situation, as I too am looking after an elderly and dementing mom, and it can be intolerably demanding. The variations in demands are astounding, aren't they ? Like the need to persuade her that her bed is indeed her bed, and that this house IS home, and that home isn't some mysterious other place she eneds to go to. Sometimes meds like Risperdal may help, at least for a time, but nothing is relaibly helpful. And one does, I know, need periods of respite, to just look after yourself ratehr than always be on the go caring for someone who only intermittently remembers part of the enormous burden they are.
This is indeed another area in which a support group and support system is sorely needed

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Leigh | 2007/07/25

Thank you all so much for your replies. It really seems to me that my generation has indeed fallen between two chairs. My parents expected and got respect, together with a feeling of family responsibility, but my children also expect me to respond to their needs and problems. 'Disillusioned too' I know exactly what you are talking about. I once told my son that he was my s o n not s u n and the world didn't revolve around him. Thanks again for your replies. They have been a tremendous help.

Reply to Leigh
Posted by: anon | 2007/07/23

Hey Leigh,

I commend you in looking after your mom! It must be extremely stressful and emotionally exhausting! It does seem that as one goes through menopause its the time of one's life where, your children are either getting married/leaving home, parents, if they are still alive, are get frail, needing more care/perhaps passing away or needing lots of care, suffering illness, etc. So at the time of your life when you really feel you deserve some time for yourself, as you say after bringing up all your children, you now have more demands on yourself. Its only morally correct for a child to take care of a parent, after all, the parent has done their fair share for their child/children. On the other hand, you also need support, if you not the only child, perhaps the resonsibility should be shared equally by your siblings as well.

Perhaps a call to Lifeline/Famsa will put you in touch with other people in your position or a support group. Life is tough and sometime it can get tougher.

Take care and don't burn yourself out, because then you will not be any good to anyone else. Look after yourself!

Reply to anon
Posted by: Disillusioned too | 2007/07/23

Your letter really touched me as I know how it feels! Although I am wonderfully lucky to have the most loving husband of 35 years we looked after my mom, who was in a wheelchairand diabetic; my dad who had emphezema; a diabetic child and raised 4children. Now my parents and his has passed on, the children are grown-up and moved out to start their own lives, we also thought now was the golden days! Alas, it seems as if grown-up children need you more than young ones! All their heartache and problems are felt by us and although they were brought up in a loving home and lacked nothing, they battle to keep relationships and marriages going and at the moment we feel as though we should have done something different. I think though, that the golden years, are more about understanding and accepting your life and trying to enjoy every day as it comes. If it is at all possible, try to get someone to look after your mom for one afternoon per week and go out and do something you really enjoy. You owe it to yourself! Good luck!

Reply to Disillusioned too

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