I talked to my mom last night on the phone, and every time I do she sounds increasingly overwhelmed. She lives with her mother and is her caregiver. Until the past year my grandmother's memory was going, but she wasn't really suffering. Now she is, with various orthopedic issues and complications from uncontrolled diabetes. Also- she always refused to get hearing aids (even before her mind started to go)- so she can't hear very much. Now her vision is going too.
My grandmother is becoming increasingly difficult. This would be easier to dismiss if she had been a sweet person when she was younger- but we never got along. I always thought she was mean. And she could be. She actually got nicer for a while when she got older. But now she is difficult.
My grandmother is with-it enough to ask why she is still alive sometimes. To to me is this very rational- but to my mother it is a symptom of depression. But the truth is, it is probably too much to ask of someone to be a caretaker to someone who would rather be dead. That is depressing.
The doctors don't want to give stronger painkillers. There is not enough wrong with her (other than being 94) that might qualify her for hospice- so I don't even bring up the subject. But my mom couldn't go there right now anyway. She still thinks things are going to get better.
A few weeks ago my mom was wondering how to cheer up my grandmother and I told her to get a couple of kittens. I meant it. If that doesn't help- at least to give her some good moments during the day- then nothing will.
My mom has some help in the house- I finally convinced them to- but not enough. And my mom gets so upset when she can't get her mother out of bed until afternoon, or if she won't eat a meal, etc. When will it be time to let these things go?