Sandwiched, Alone and Depressed

by Confused

I am facing retirement in 3 months and I am at a loss. I have lived in my house for over 30 years as a hard working single mom, far from my family.

My parents and 2 younger sisters moved hundreds of miles away when I was 19, the day after my wedding. My two children are both married and out of state. My daughter lives 2 hours away and my son is half way across the country. They both have children. I have a good relationship with my daughter and her children, but she works and they are not that close.

Three years ago, my mother who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, moved into an independent living apartment one mile from my house (long story). For more than a year, I was with her every single day after work, and all weekend, getting to know her, learning about her disease and how to get her the care she needed. I hadn't lived close to her for 43 years.

I am 66 years old and unmarried, my mom is 90 and widowed after a 50-year marriage. My 2 younger sisters (ages 58 and 60) are a 16-hour drive away, both married, no children, and live a 1 ½ hour drive apart. One is retired. My older sister (age 68) lives about 5 1/2 hours away from me, married, retired, with 1 married son living close by.

I have been struggling to manage my mother's care on my own, and it has taken a toll on my life, my health and my relationships with friends and family, dealing with one issue after another.

The cost of my mother’s care as is, is exorbitant and her mental capacity continues to decline. The quiet town I moved to 35 years ago is crowded and continues to grow, and my house is too much for me. The thought of moving further away from my daughter and grandchildren breaks my heart but my mother needs more help than I can provide. She is physically very healthy and could live with this disease for years longer. A move for her will be very hard and disorienting, but we can’t afford her current situation much longer.

I am overwhelmed and looking for some insight from those who have gone before me on this sandwiched, retirement journey.

Comments for Sandwiched, Alone and Depressed

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by: Confused

I am so happy to have found this site and to hear about the challenges other people have faced. They are truly inspiring and help to put things into perspective.

Sometimes it can be so lonely and feel like everyone else is sailing through life on one big happy journey. But in the end, we all have our challenges.

I will work through this one step at a time and find my way, as so many others have.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and to offer your support.

sandwiched, alone and depressed
by: mildred/tn

Your mom's facility should have a social worker who deals w/ this kind of problems- u should talk to her. And then take care of your self if not who is going to care for u when u get down??

U do not have to visit so often to see your mom because she has staff to care for her 24 /7 days a week.

Do something u enjoy just for u. Being alone does not have to cause loneliness. I retired 26 years ago, became a foster parent, adopted a 3 day old son when I WAS 60, now I am 81 and he is 22. It has been an exciting journey.

Now I have the internet, sewing, reading, visiting w/ my family, my companion doxan, and do not forget doctor's appointments! lol

Lost my 52 year old son 2 yrs ago and my 79 yr old brother this month.

But we must go on.

What do you prefer
by: Anonymous

I feel bad for you. I can hear your desperation.

Do you know what you would like to do and where you would like to be?

Try to answer these questions and then make the change. We all deserve to be happy. If you don’t know, sell your house and take the profit and rent somewhere.

Try to think of each place you try as "short term" or "testing it out" so it doesn’t have to be permanent.

The way you feel suggests a change is due.

Good luck to you.

I've been through this
by: Anonymous

Sorry to hear about your struggle. I retired 4 years ago at age 63. My mom was 94. When I retired the first six months were great, then I saw that my mom was declining and I fell into a depression. Then I had to get mom into assisted living. More depression.

I have no other family other than an estranged sister who simply didn't care about us. And most of my friends were still working. So I was very much alone. I even buried my mother and was alone at the cemetery. And yes, it is soooo difficult.

I got myself a therapist to help me get through this, otherwise I would never have made it through the ordeal. And since my mother had little money she was on Medicaid. Medicaid paid for the assisted living costs fortunately as I had very little money at the time. I could go on about how my mother declined, but the short of this story is to get a support system for yourself. Hospital social worker, therapist, any friends you can confide in, clergy, etc. And do your homework about nursing homes, hospitals, retirement homes, etc. Ask a ton of questions and pursue this as a job.

Yes, it's so difficult so get a therapist or someone to talk to and also, and very important is to take time for yourself. Take a day off if possible from being with your mom. Or at least take a few hours here and there for yourself. And enjoy whatever time you have to yourself.

You are not alone, as everyone goes through this most difficult time with our loved ones.

I hope you'll be ok.

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