My Mother With Parkinson's

My father and I are the primary caretakers of my mother. She fell down a flight of stairs several years ago and was placed in Siskin in Chattanooga for 6 weeks rehab. During her stay she was diagnosed with Parkinson's.

I have a question and I feel so horrible for asking it but my mother is not where she can not go out of the house yet or get around some but she is taking advantage of my father and me. If he goes to spend the night at their cabin, my mother will not go and she doesn't care who she inconveniences. She does not care about my father's health. She has become totally self absorbed and selfish. She has an order for physical rehab and doesn't want to do that. sometimes I believe she loves the attention and does not want to improve or get better.

There, it's said and I feel like a creep. Please help me because I am feeling so much confusion, anger over maybe being taken advantage by her, guilt. it seems my whole family is falling apart over this and it's killing me because she won't try to improve and help us in helping her. I don't know what to do.

Luanne in Tennessee, 48

Your mother may be resistant to what you know is good for her, but individuals with Parkinson's are dealing with a very complex set of physical and emotional issues as well as a loss of independence.  These factors often leave them feeling very helpless and frustrated.  Your mother may be so ill and self-involved that she does not understand the impact of her action.

Please find the nearest Parkinson's support system so you and your father better understand the complexity of this illness.  Plus, find out all you can from the American Parkinson Disease Association.  All caregivers must learn the lesson of caring for themselves so that they have the energy to care for someone else. Get outside help from friends, relatives, professionals or others so that this situation is not totally your responsibility.

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