Ask Jennifer: Week ending 9/14

Updated: 09/03/2014 12:56 PM
Created: 07/18/2008 3:32 PM WHEC.com

“I Promised to Never Move Mom From the House.”

Dear Jennifer,

I promised my mom I would never move her out of her house. I promised. But I never ever thought it would be like this. Dad died 3 years ago and Mom lost it. She’s not the same at all. Her memory is awful and she’s sure she has cancer even though the doctor has run a bunch of tests and said she doesn’t. She’s had urine accidents and she won’t wear the Depends. She calls me almost every hour all night. I know she isn’t safe at home alone. I know that. But she can’t afford to hire help in. She doesn’t have any savings. I took her to the doctor, but he didn’t find anything and said she has dementia.  
Jennifer, I promised! I promised my dad on his death bed. How do I keep my promise? I have a husband and a daughter with Down Syndrome. I can’t go live with her. I don’t have brothers and sisters. What am I supposed to do?  I’m seeing a therapist already, so don’t recommend that. Do you have ideas?


Dear Miranda,

Honey, I wish you never made that promise and I’m sure you wish it too. But how would you NOT have made the promise? How in the world would you ever have predicted this situation? Your heart is in the right place. Sometimes reality is more than we could ever have imagined. Sometimes best intentions are just not enough. I want you to stop beating yourself up for a moment. Sit quietly in a chair. Think about your dad. Think about him seeing what’s happening. What would he say to you? Would he understand? And think about your mom. Would she have wanted you to go through all this? The odds are good they would not. All you can do is your best. It is unrealistic that you could be a full time caregiver for your mom in your situation. That said, what are your options? Is there only one choice; to send your mom to a nursing home? See todays’ article for more.



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