I have been having overwhelming feelings of sadness from anticipatory grief and from what seems to be the withdrawal of my longtime friends.

Started by

My father, soon-to-be 97, has been with us seven years. We recently brought in hospice and that really gives me a break; however, he is doing quite well. I suppose the guilt comes in whereas I know he will die someday but not knowing when is so difficult. I know this sounds terrible but I am ready for him to go but he keeps going like the energizer bunny. At the same time, I know I will be devastated when the time comes. Does this make sense? I just want my life back and now that it seems my friends are nowhere to be found it makes it even harder. My husband and I now have a sitter who comes on Tuesdays and we get away for eight hours. I am trying to get back to the gym. I recently sent an email out to two friends telling them I have set aside Thurs evenings for movie/pool/get together if they are interested. Tonight is the first night and i have not heard from anyone. So, I will watch the movie and have my wine by myself I guess. Is this a problem with any other caregivers and how do you cope with it?


I am in almost the same boat as you 1215. My mom is 77 and in late stage dementia. She's been living with me for almost one year. The feelings you are having are the same as I have had. We feel guilty, but they are normal feelings. Maybe you could join a local support group. I believe that nobody understands the caregivers journey more than other caregivers. I had no idea what a friend was going through while caregiving for her mother until I was placed in the same situation. It is a very hard job to do on our own. Even my sister (who I am very close to) has no idea what I go through on a daily basis. I hope you find some supportive friends soon...
Thank you everyone for your support! I am thankful that I have other caregivers on this site who understand! I so wish there was a caregivers support group here but the only thing that comes close I guess is a grief support group that I am thinking of going to next Thursday. Hopefully, it will help or perhaps I might meet others in my situation and start a group just for caregivers. We shall see.
We just got hospice for my Mom and they are wonderful. They are the ones who hooked me up with a local caregivers support group. If you can't find anything in your area, how about taking a class to learn a new hobby like sewing, quilting, crafting. You would make new friends and learn a new hobby. Good luck and God bless...
3931 helpful answers
First of all: You are not "terrible" for wanting it over with. You are human. You love him, but you've been watching this long, slow death forever. Your friends have stopped coming around because you've been so wrapped up in caregiving. Unfortunately, this is common.

You will miss him when he's gone. You will grieve. But you are grieving his eventual passing now, as well as grieving your former life. Your life will be slow to come back but please keep making advances. As former friends (if you want them) or new friends learn you are available, you will find your life slowly become more normal. Meanwhile, a support group is a good idea.

Please, please everyone. If you have every watched this long slow death and just wanted it over, you are not bad. You are human. You are compassionate toward your loved one who is suffering, and toward yourself. Don't sink into guilt over human thoughts.

Take care of yourself and do keep trying. Maybe you'll find some new friends at the gym.
hi 1215,
I can so relate to you. My mom in law moved in with us just over a year ago and just as our grown children were moving away. I had looked forward to travel time with my husband and starting my own new career that I had looked forward to for some time. I had NO idea how involved I would have to become in the caregiving with her. She is 83 and mid-stage AD. No one understands, even my own family does not really know what the day to day 5 day a week job is like. My sister in law commented to me the other day that she has to do her shopping on one of the two days that she has her mother and it's a nightmare. I said "tell me about it!" she said, "oh no, YOU have no idea!" and I said, "oh YES I do!" and she said, "yeah, but I have to work all week and then deal with her too!" Can you imagine? At that point, I totally knew that she felt that my caring for her mom all week was not considered a "job" in her mind. It really makes you feel isolated and without hope. There are lots of AD sites on Facebook where you can relate to others and talk in a forum such as this one, but truthfully, I believe that the only way to get back to normal is to get outside help for the caregiving. My MIL's attorney wants to look into assisted living so that we can return to normal as a family within 6 months. I dont think this is going to go over well with her but the reason she lives with us is because I have been so against nursing care. But ALF's really offer interaction and activities for them that I really can't provide and she may have more fun there. As her disease progresses, they have professionals to handle that whereas I am not a nurse and may not be as helpful or knowledgeable. If income/money is an issue, I have learned there are many ways to seek funding an a good Elder Care Atty can help with that. Look into it. You do need your life back. You have to look at it as you are doing your dad a favor by re-connecting him to others like himself and allowing him that social interaction as well. keep in touch :)
Wow, I just went to your link, Shiela T, and it's beautiful! Thank you for sharing it, and for sharing some of your thoughts.

I love Carol's post. You are truly an encourager!

My heart goes out to 1215, marylee, and others. Caregiving is not for sissies!

Take care, all.
Hi 1215,

When I read your post, I felt that I could have wrote it. My mom is almost 97 and has been living with me for the last 3 years. I am an only so I get to be the only caregiver......lucky me.
I feel exactly as you do about everything...saddness, anger, wanting my life back, etc. I always feel guilty about those feelings but they say it is normal. I forgot what normal is.I feel that when something good is happening in my life she steals all my enjoyment.
Next weekend my mom is going to respite for 3 days. We have a family wedding out of town so she has to go there. She says she doesn't mind but she really does not want to go. She keeps saying that she would never live there and that she is only going because she has to. The ALF said she might like it and want to stay. They don't know her the way we do. She will tell them it is a nice place but will call me every minute to ask when I am coming to get her. I still feel that something will happen and we won't be able to get away.
I let you know if it works out.
I also tired to find a support group in my area. Found one and went once. The counsler wasn't very supportive.......just told me to send her to daycare/nursing home. Told her that was not an option. She wasn't too helpful after that.
Thank God for this site........just to know that we are not alone helps me get thru the day sometimes.
I just keep praying that this ends soon(she does have chronic pain)........I think my mom will bury me first!!!!
We did have an interesting development today. Our social worker and nurse have another caregiver who has been taking care of her mom for twenty years!!!! Oh my! My dad and her mom are the same age, 96, and we are talking about getting all parties together at the Red Lobster. So, this might just be the beginning of a caregivers support group for me as they tell me there are others who are feeling the same and thinking they are alone. I certainly would be happy to host my home for some new friends! I have always been an encourager in the past and perhaps this will be a new direction for me where I can be helping others as well as myself. Thanks you all for your caring suggestions and help! We also found out today that we will be able to get five days respite care paid for and will take this in October to go to the mountains in Asheville!! Whoopie!!
Dear oneandonly, and 1215. To one: hugs for you, precious Caregiver. Hope is all works out. No sense dreading what hasn't happened yet. Just dealing with the day to day is bad enough. Something bad may happen, but it also may not. I understand not wanting to get hope too high, only to be disappointed. I'm sure you have had them dashed before. We can pray your plans work out.

And to 1215: Congratulations! Happy dining! Hope it meets your needs and the desires of your heart. You're a great encourager to others. And, whoo hoo! on the upcoming vacation, too. Sounds dreamy.
Well I am glad to hear that it isn't just me losing friends. My daddy had an episode at Christmas time that was sudden and is now diagnosed as vascular dementia. I have become so involved with his financial situation as well as the nursing home that there just isn't time for me. When I do find time to go out and call a friend, they agree to go but don't show up. I have decided they are not really friends and dismissed them. There is no since wasting time worrying about them. There will be time for new friends but now I must take care of my daddy.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support