Can caregivers crack under the pressure of caring for an elder?

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Q: I feel like I am cracking under the pressure of caring for my elderly mother. I’ve given up my life and feel resentful. I need help.

A: Taking care of an elderly parent is almost like being super human, but at times your cloak will crack and when it does, it is more than OK to ask for help – it is essential.

Reach out to your family, friends and community support systems and get the help you so deserve. Once you get support in place to help you through this crisis, think about keeping the support on a scheduled basis through adult care, respite care, support groups, family, friends and community resources to help you deal with the day-to-day pressure.

It is normal to feel resentful about your situation and do NOT feel bad for feeling this way. The first step is recognizing you need help and your second step is implementing the support systems. Take care of you!

Deanna Lueckenotte is the author of "Alzheimer's Days Gone By: For Those Caring for Their Loved Ones." She plans to continue publishing books related to Alzheimer's and caregivers. She would also like to continue her education by obtaining her doctorate in geriatrics.

Alzheimer’s Days Gone By

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99 Comments

The pressure can be terrible. I also care for my 88 yr old Mother w/Alzheimers, late stages. I have 2 sis's 2 bros's. My sisters say if I need help to let them know, oh, but wait, one has her home for sale & is having an open house, can't help this week, then next wk they're going to Tenn, to see one of my bros that lives there, my other sis is in Michigan on vacation,, but then wait, all her bedrooms are on the second floor, Mother cannot manuver stairs but they are willing to help. Wish I had some constructive help but the only thing I can suggest is go out scream, kick a tree or the birdbath or the house. Nothing changes but it helps remove the frustration. I live in a rural community with no services within 65 miles. My oldest bro is wanting to put Mother in a nursing home 2 hrs away from me & both my sister's and he thinks that he will only need to go once a week to check on her, he has never had any experience with nursing facilitys. He thinks as long as they look nice and smell nice she will get great care. The one he wants to put her in is 8 thou a month, don't know where he's getting the money from, guess he is pulling it out of his a......! Sorry but the insanity of it all. It helps me to read, whether it is a good love story, a mystery, a western, or the Bible and I most often reach for the Bible, if it weren't for my faith I would have gone stir crazy a long time ago. Having this site to vent on also helps. Keep your chin up and look out trees!!!
yvettetracy, while I understand where you are coming from, there the parallelism between having a baby and caring for them to caring for an elderly parent sounds like a nice spin but it's a straw man argument that quickly goes up in smoke. Dads and most mothers now a days don't stop working when they have a baby although they sometimes do take some maternity time if they are lucky to give it; they don't stay with the infant or young child 24/7 and soon they are in pre-school, kindergarden, and then elementary school; they don't, unless they are like my mother, destroy their marriage soon after the birth of a child; nor do parents not have a life outside of taking care of their child; nor do parents destroy their mental and physical health in taking care of a child; and parents don't end up selling their house or deplete all of their finances in taking care of an infant.. Plus, there is not any religion that teaches we must take care of our parents in our home. Yet, what I read so much of on this site is a graveyard of marriages, relationships with children, jobs, businesses they owned, dream homes lost, their own retirement depleted; as well as people's health in all of its aspects being destroyed, and that is to be considered God's will or such martyrdom is something God will reward as well as sacrificing all on the altar of mom or dad pleases God?
Contrary to a desire of some to finally get their mother to love them, it is not up to us to make them happy. Let them be responsible for their own feelings. The only responsibility we have as adult children is to find a way for theme to be cared for and safe that is best for us, but does not through anything or anyone, like boyfriends or spouses, under the bus. All too often, we approach our aging parents emotionally like their child who wants to make mommy happy or finally really love them instead of the adult child who must show tough love and not get sucked into their personality disorder tornado which they create and then step inside of along with claiming to be its victim;. Know that you did not make your mother this way. You can't control her disorder. Nor can you fix her disorder. The best you can do for yourself and her is to take care of yourself which means stop walking on eggshells around her which only enables her personality disorder to thrive and enslave you.