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Hi Everyone. Thank you ALL so much for being here. This has been the most wonderful support group! My heart goes out to all of you! It's SO hard to be a (or the only) caretaker! I'm 49 and am totally alone to care for my mom and s-dad. I feel like just yesterday I was young, carefree, riding my bike, being with friends and remember the days where I never worried about being a caretaker for my mom. It makes me so sad to know that those carefree days are gone. I'm afraid of what the future will bring. I have no other family except my mom. I'm totally alone to care for my mom and s-dad. Both are in very bad shape with emphesema, severe heart and circulation problems, etc... At present, my mom is very ill. She has a defibrillator to regulate her heart and to shock her if her heart should stop again. She also has PAD (peripheral artery disease), which is severe. She had 3 Stents put into her legs last week. The Stent in the left leg did not work, so she needs to have an arterial/vein bypass done in her left leg. Today her left leg is very swollen and blue! Some of the blue color is from echymosis, but it looks very bad. She will call her Vascular Surgeon tomorrow (Monday) morning. I offered to take her to the ER, but she refused. I'm the only person my mom and s-dad will allow to help them. I feel that I can't take much more though. I'm on disability myself b/c of chronic pain conditions. I'm exhausted to the point of falling asleep standing up! I can't eat b/c I'm now having stomach pains. My own pain is awful. I'm having panic attacks and feel VERY depressed. "Friends" are long gone. There's so much stress in this house that no one stops in. I'd love to have just some emotional support. I think people are afraid that I might ask them to help in some way if they stop in. I wouldn't. I just need emotional support desperately. I'm taking care of ALL of the household chores. I'm working harder now than when I worked a full time job as a nurse. At least then I could come home and rest after my shift was over. Now there is no rest! Both my mom and s-dad are in such bad shape that I never know if they'll be alive when I get up the next morning. I'm scared! I've been getting bad stomach pains, chest tightness and feel like my life has become a train wreck. I just need support and need to talk with others who know what it's like to have the pressure and stress of being a caretaker. Thank you all so much for being here, although I'm sorry for the stress that you're all under. My mom and s-dad can afford to have help come in, but refuse. Any feedback, guidance, friendship and support would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks Everyone... Kathy

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Kathy, please take care
Of yourself. Make yourself a priority and get some help. The doctor or SW can help. You are not alone. Thinking of you.
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Marjie, all the things Golden has said. How blessed you are to have such a daughter. You too must be wonderful people to have raised such a caring daughter. The parents mould the children.
Don't wait too long for hospice. It is not giving up but a way of getting more help. You don't have to go into a facility, they provide care in the home. It is paid by Medicare or private insurance.
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Marjie - you have a great attitude of gratitude. So sorry abut your disease. Your daughter and her hub are wonderful, for helping you and your hub. (((((((hugs))))(
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I am being cared for by my daughter and si is my husband. We try to do whatever we can for ourselves. My husband does more than he used to because I told him to hop to it and put up more effort. He does more and we have CCAC for baths and nursing. I am stage 4 ovarian cancer and am nearing the end of life stage but still give it my best to try to help myself. There will come a day I will have to go to hospice. I do not want to see our daughter wear herself out helping us but she does an amazing job of shopping,laundry, some bathing, dressing and tucking her Dad into bed every night. Her husband walks our dog a lot and helps with chores She can't do like lifting. She looks after recycling and waste disposal.
The problem with a lot of the caregivers here are they dont take the bull by the horns and tell the patient it will be my way or the highway. They don't have as much choice as they think they have. Just walk out on them for a couple of days and see how they will change their attitude. I am grateful for every bit of help we get from our daughter who has two small children at home. Everything doesn't have to be done every day. We have made do when we were well and should be able to do that now too. Be glad of what you have folks before you lose it.
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Thank you all for your continued support, encouragement and suggestions. All are GREATLY appreciated! I live in the State of PA., and the Welfare system in this State does count the income of ALL people under the same roof, as your own personal income, when it comes to getting any sort of Assistance. It's not right. Actually it's horribly wrong, but it's the way it is. My mom and s-dad both have decent monthly social security income, a pension, a small amount of income coming in per month from Stocks they had/have, and also have a good amount coming in per month from a Reverse Mortgage, in addition to the $200 I give them in rent per month. I was giving them $300 a month for rent for years, but a couple of months ago I told them I couldn't afford the extra $100 b/c I couldn't afford my own meds and was rationing them as much as I could. I'm still having to ration my own meds b/c I can't afford them. I'm on SSDI disability, and have a car payment, car insurance, in addition to other monthly payments. I get alot of my own groceries and take care of 90% of all of the food/grooming/care for my puppy, for which I'm glad I can do for him. I've been denied for any sort of Welfare and/or Assistance every time I try to get help. The last time I went into the Welfare office, I was only asking for Medical assistance. I took all of the paperwork regarding my medical bills, and proof of what I have to pay out per month for each prescription. They wouldn't even look at the documentation I brought regarding my medical stuff. They took one look at what I get in Disability per month and told me that "I make too much money to be eligable for any sort of Assistance." The Gov't doesn't care how much I'm putting out per month in medical...they only looked at the amount I get Gross, per month from social security and that was the end of the appointment. If I were a minority and lived with 10 other people/children, I'd probaby get everything paid for b/c for the most part, none of them have jobs or income. They get a huge amount of money each month for each child they have...thus, they keep having more and more children. It's SO wrong, but again, it is what it is. The System is totally not fair. Because of my mom and s-dad's income, I'm also disquallified from being eligable for any of the Prescription Assistance Programs from pharmaceutical companies, and from companies like Needy Meds, etc... I've tried to get help from them all, and have been denied from them all. It's like I'm being punished b/c I worked my entire life full time, plus usually a part time job, and gave too much into social security. So now, I get what the government thinks is too much money each month, to be alotted Assistance from them. I've consulted Walmart, Target, etc... about the $4 a month prescription meds, but the meds that I'm on are not included in the program. I don't know where else to turn b/c I really have tried it all. My once perfect Credit is now horrible, which makes it hard to get an apartment, if I could afford one, and makes it difficult to get ahead in any way. I wouldn't be living here with my mom and s-dad if I had any other reasonable choices. Medicare takes $143 out of each month's Disability check, yet Medicare is a joke, b/c it doesn't pay for most anything at all and has HUGE deductables should you need to use it. The majority of people think that when a person gets approved for Disability, they're covered totally for everything medical, doctors, prescriptions, etc... I've been denied for public housing in addition to everything else. To make matters even worse, the Gov't hasn't given people on Social Security any increase at all for the past two years. They say that the economy has "gotten so much better, so the folks on SS don't need an increase." It's all BS. Still, there's not anything at all we can do about it. If there was any way at all that I could get a place of my own, I'd be out of here asap! I've tried. My therapist is trying to help me, but she too is discusted with the System. There's just no help. I have NO other family and living with my step-sister was a disaster. At this point, she rarely stops in to help at all. Actually, she doesn't help at ALL. Sorry for rambling. I guess I'll sign off for now b/c my s-dad is asking all sorts of questions about why I'm on the computer and who and what I'm typing... I hope and pray that none of you are going through the same things. I know that I'm not alone in all of this. I wish all of you the very best and hope you're able to get some help with your parents, grandparents, and/or other family you may be caregiving for.

God Bless,
Kathy K.
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Willow,

I was given this site to look for help with medicines, http://www.needymeds.org
I agree with LME, someday you need to stand up for yourself, you have a GREAT start, and you need to keep it going, we are ALL hear for you. Hope so of her ideas and this web site can help you.
Blessings,
Bridget
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Kathy,

Please contact your local Area Office on Aging. If you can't find the number in the phonebook, call your local Welfare Department, or any nursing home in your county. They will have the number. A social worker can evaluate the home situation and your mom and S-dad's ability to handle their activities of daily living. Let the agency know that you are no longer able to do housekeeping, laundry, personal care. They have contracts with different agencies. At least one of these agencies would have a male caregiver who your S-dad could not make advances to. I would think the Agency could ORDER caregivers to come in. And if the parents refuse, I think there is something they can do. My relative receives services from them.. She is almost 93 and lives alone. I help when I can, but I am not caregiver material, and told them that I don't cook, and I won't do hands on care. Since she can't live on her own without help, she gets three hours per day help, every day, including holidays. The one caregiver gets her breakfast, Mobile Meals brings lunch and I get her supper. They can also ORDER Mobile Meals if you are unable to provide meals for them.
You can also contact your local Welfare Department and speak to someone in Adult Protection. They can inspect the home situation and, if necessary, there are things they can do. Please do not feel that you need their permission to do these things. You need to take care of yourself, and these are some things you can do to try to get some help in this manner.

I don't understand how the Welfare Department can count their income in determining eligibility. Are you paying rent to your parents? If you are paying so much towards your housing there, I would think they should not count their income. In some states, if someone on Social Security is not paying their own way, they are not eligible for full benefits. If you are not getting as much Social Security as you feel you should, ask if they are giving you any sort of reduction because you are not paying a sufficient amount toward rent and utilities. It sounds like you should be able to qualify for Medicaid, perhaps with a spenddown. You say you have Medicare, so you should be eligible for a Part D plan to get prescriptions. If you cannot afford the little premium they charge you, or the copay on the prescriptions, you can apply for "Help" with this through the Social Security Administration. Also, some states have special prescription programs for reduced cost of prescriptions. Also, prescription companies have programs for free prescription. There are income guidelines, and they probably take into account housing costs. Then there are the $4 prescriptions at Walmart, Walgreen's, Kroger's, or whatever store there is in your area.
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Stay here, shut these people down, do not let them push your buttons like it was what they were put on this earth to do! Take care of yourself and your pup...You are all you both have. Truly...
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Willow! Glad to have you back!
I've thought about you and was hoping things were ok, Sorry to hear about all that mess.
Consider it all a valiant effort to improve things, and move on.
So. time to figuire out how to get the place more tolerable. Sounds like there's a good chance now that S-dad has shown some decency. Mom is gonna have to accept your help whether she wants to or not, IF you want to give it, and You seem to be the only one in the whole bunch with a head on your shoulders and a heart in your chest.
Stay Strong. Be as minipulative as you have to be to create some kind of livable peace in the house.
Remember that we are here, every frikking day, so vent, cry laugh or tell us off as you need to.
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It's been a while since I've been able to post and I've MISSED YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! So much has happened since I first started this post in September 2010. In October 2010 my mom was back in the hosptial to have a vein/artery bypass done in her left leg for a bad case of PAD (peripheral artery disease). As usual, things didn't go well. The Dr's did all they could, yet my mom refused any post surgery rehab, which would have made things better for all involved... Her sugery was in early Oct. 2010 and she's been home for a long time now, but isn't getting much better. My s-dad thankfully helps her with dressing changes to an ankle wound she has and helps out where he can. He too is in really bad shape. I almost lost my sweet puppy at the hands of my s-father, when one day he just opened the front door and stood there dumbfounded, like a deer in the headlights. He wouldn't close the dang door! My dog ran outside, after lots of yelling at my s-dad to close the door, and almost got hit by a car. I was so upset that I grabbed only my bare necessities and my puppy and left! I went to my step-sisters to stay. She asked me to share the rent with her a while ago, so I knew I'd be welcome. I couldn't take anymore of the insanity of caregiving with these two older people I call parents. I'm in chronic, severe pain myself, and they don't seem to care at all! I like the comment recently made here in one of the posts, about our parents not having children, but having caregivers! It's awful the way we're treated by people we used to look up to. A couple of nights before I left, I fell in the bathroom (after my foot fell asleep), and hit the floor hard. I also cut the tip of one of my fingers off almost. It was hanging on by a thread and I had to stop the bleeding and do my own best at putting it back on and hoped it would heal. It did. No one got up to see if I was okay.
I was so upset w/ my s-dad for allowing Bailey, my dog, to escape from the saftey of his house. All b/c I'd been trying to help two people who seemed to just assume I'd be there to do everything for them for their eternity here on earth, I almost lost my dog and my health (physically and emotionally) has suffered horribly. My s-sister was very nice to me and Bailey...at first. After about 2 weeks my s-sister got a boyfriend and there was suddenly no room for me. She needed some private time to "be with" her new boyfriend, so I was once again kind of in a homeless situation. On more than one occasion, I sat in my car, in 33 degree weather, for more than 4 hours at a time, just to give my SS her "private time"... Her new boyfriend had just gotten out of prison about 2 months prior to his getting together with her. Her place was/is very very small. I understood about her needing her privacy, and I did all that I could without getting frostbite, to do what she wanted me to do, to keep the peace. By the third week I was at her place, I saw her hit my puppy. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. My puppy wanted to play with her cat, gently, but since the cat was sitting on my SS's lap, she started to smack him! I knew I couldn't stay there anymore, but thought I'd try b/c I had no place else to go. I'd just keep my dog with me at all times, or take him to a sitter if I really had to do something. It was a Saturday and I had nothing to do, so I thought I'd do all of the laundry (mostly towels and her stuff), etc... I'd already cleaned her apartment, did all of the dishes, etc... I tried to do everything right so I wouldn't be a burden. By this time my mom had accused me of being a horrible person b/c I left her and my s-dad's house. On my 3rd day gone, my mom called me to let me know how awful of a person I was and to let me know that "I never did anything to help them!" That really hurt b/c I did 'everything' to help them. They weren't grateful at all. Then she told me she wanted "her dog" back! She was doing anything to hurt me. By the 2nd week gone, my mom had called to apologize to me. Everyday at my SS's was so hard, b/c I knew I was now the third wheel and in the way. I also knew she didn't like my puppy, who is honestly so sweet and so good. Anyone who knows me, knows that the best way to hurt me is through my dog. On my third week at my SS's, I was talking with my mom again, and I decided to do the laundry, get groceries, etc... for my SS, to give her a break from having to work full time and do those chores. I got to her house late that night and I was locked out. I had to call her on her phone to let me in. She helped me to put the bags of groceries inside and the two baskets of her laundry, and then she went back to bed. No "Thank's for helping" and no "Thanks for doing my laundry..." I didn't help her for her to say thank you, but it hurt that she seemed to be angry with me and I didn't have a clue as to why. I put her groceries away and gathered the few things I had at her place, and left. It was late late at night, and I couldn't go back to my mom and s-dad's house in the middle of the night, so I kept the car warm for Bailey, and sat in my car, in a convienience store parking lot, from about 1am until 530am, when I felt I could go back to the parents house and not cause a crisis b/c of waking them up too early. I made sure my puppy was very warm and comfortable, and I froze! I'd already paid my SS $200 rent money and left her a detailed note as to why I left. The next morning she was over at my mom and her dad's house, and came into my bedroom with a very agressive attitude, and "told me' to get out to the kitchen and we're going to talk!" - She was so angry that she was shaking. She was really angry with me for leaving and b/c of my reason's for leaving that I wrote on the note I left for her. Firstly, she left me alone overnight with her new ex-con boyfriend, which I really didn't feel safe with. I told her that I didn't appreciate her smacking my dog. She told me I was lucky that she didn't put her f**t up his rear. I remained calm and refused to get angry, which is what she wanted. She wanted a fight and I wouldn't give her one. She told lots of lies, which isn't something new for her. I'm glad my mom was there to witness her behavior. Her dad went into the livingroom and pretended to be asleep. He was discusted with his own daughter. Later that day he told my mom to tell me to stop paymt on the check I gave to her. I didn't. I didn't want anymore trouble from her. My SS can pretty nasty. She never had any intentions of helping me with my mom and her dad. So, here I am again. I have no help with the caretaking of my mom and/or s-dad. I'm worn out, exhausted, have a lot of my own pain and am feeling so depressed and alone.

I hope to be able to be welcomed back here. I need all of you and I hope that maybe some of my experiences might be able to help others as well. I'm here. I hope you're all holding up okay considering the Holidays... This time of year can either be 'good' or 'not so good'...

God Bless & thanks for being here!

Kathy K.
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HI KATHY I PROMISE YOU THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE I, ME YOU HAVE JUST ACQUIRED AS YOUR NEW FRIEND BUDDY I WAS A HOMECARE ADMINISTRATOR FOR MANY YEARS I HAVE SEEN AND HEARD IT ALL I EVEN WORKED WHEN MY PCAS HHAS RNS LPNS NEVER SHOWED, I PROMISE YOU IT WILL GET BETTER, YOU WILL HAVE YOUR LIFE BACK, YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON ME FOR TALKING WITH YOU OR WHATEVER YOU NEED, NEVER HESISTATE IM HERE HUGS AND SMILES SARA
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Yeah Kathy, I read some of the posts; (Some of the earliest and some of the latest). I see that the situation is more complicated that it seemed. I agree with someone who suggested you to go to some kind of Social Services, where you can tell everything happens to you, maybe they can give you a good advice.
I understand you very well, sometimes I wonder if my father and mother had me just because they wanted someone to take care of them all their life. (my mother, mostly): I have the impression they did not have children, but future caregivers! I went to therapy when I was young (10 years of therapy!) and I was better afterwards, but I always have the feeling that i OWE something instead of having the feeling that i HAVE THE RIGHTTO HAVE SOMETHING, so i guess my mother's training was efficient! When I hear stories like yours I wonder why we don't pack a suitcase and go away immediately, but as we have decided to stay, please get some help someway. At the social services, they know this kind if dynamics, be sure of that. We are not the only ones. So they can certainly tell you how to get some relief.
I can't read all the posts tonight, I have to work (I live in Italy and I work by night) but I shall do it and I hope that day by day I will manage, together with the other caregivers, to convince you to be more "Selfish" and take some care of yrself.
Lots of hugs by a soul sister,...
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Dear Kathy, honestly I did not read all the posts on your thread. Just the subject of the thread. So forgive me if I say something out of place. You said that your mother and stepfather can afford a help, but they don't want it. Well, it does not matter if they don't want it. You have the right to have several free hours a day, to sleep, to take a walk, to see some old friends, to go to movies, whatever. So, look for a help some hours a day. You'll see, after some weeks of refusal and rebellion, your relatives will accept it, and if you find the right person, they will be glad, in the end.
Our "old ones" become selfish and they don't understand our life is a mess and we are tired and fed up. So it is not necessary to give too many explanations. Find a help! Recharge your batteries some hours a day!
I do it, and it saves my life!
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I just had to ask my mom to borrow her credit card to order underwear that doesn't have holes in it, Money she will get back out of my Xmas cash and January stipend...loverly..I couldn't GET drunk enough....
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I'm thinking hot buttered rum!
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Good Idea!
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margarita time !!!
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Why are these people allowed to destroy us? We didn't put their lives in jeopardy as children, why is it now, for care givers, we put our lives on hold, our bodies at rick and our minds through hell to look after angry, recalcitrant, resentful, endlessly fault finding parents and grand parents just to DO for them...? Why...?

Hang in there K, don't let em ruin your life, what ever it is, even in misery It is YOUR LIFE! Find some way to survive and escape and move on....
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kathy, As I've said before, YOU are so much better than SO MANY people. live strong. be strong, and When I need you, I will ask for youe help. LOVE YOU, ted.
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Check yourself into a mental health facility for HELP. It sounds to me that you are so emotionally abused that you cannot think straight. If you get ourself into the social services /mental health system you will get the help YOU need and by YOU not being in their house they will be forced to get the help THEY need. Even if you end up in a homeless shelter until affordable housing becomes available you will be better off. My niece (20 yo) is living in a homeless shelter (she feels living in her family home is bad for her because she has horrible memories of home ) , is working part time and is waiting for housing. There IS help available to you if you REALLY want it. I am sure you qualify for SSI or SSDI as you have no money of your own and seem terrible depressed (disabled)....seek help for yourself please.
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More power to you both. She loves you and you love her and go for the the ... whatever... to find someone that can handle the in-between.
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I guess I understand the challenge that Ted was proposing better now. But I still think it's a dismal way to live.

I told my mother today that she made me too tired and she was going to have to stop nagging. She asked why I took her on. I told her because nobody else would and she wouldn't hire anyone. She said well hire some one. There again it's up to me. I have to hire someone who will be acceptable to her.

I told her I would call the Area Agency on Aging and have them send a social worker out to evaluate the situation and make recommendaations. And to my surprise she agreed. I tried to do that 8 years ago and she wouldn't have it. But I'm making that call tomorrow.

I guess there is a Santa Claus. I still wonder about God though.
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I understand the facts of taking care of someone elderly and having your whole life be centered around that person. I work full time and have the opportunity to work at home but that is not what gets to me and you. One minute I was planning a life and doing my thing...now the plans are centered and dependent arounf my 95 year old Dad and his needs. I love him but like you I feel as if I am losing my life taking care of Dad. Yes! It is not an easy road and it is so hard to find any balance in all of this.
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Hi Everyone. I don't want to see my mother and/or stepfather going into their grave anytime soon. I want the best for them. I can't keep making their lives better for much longer, as my own health is suffering so much b/c of their ignorance as to how much pressure they're putting on me. There's no one else here to help. A lot of their behavior's are selfish. I remember when my mom was taking care of her parents. She almost lost her husband b/c of the stress of the caretaking of her own parents and she swore she's never want to do "that to anyone!"... My mom eventually put her father into a nursing home. She had to as he became a violent threat to her and my s-dad. Sadly, my grandmother died before her husband, but also had to go into a nursing home for the last week or so of her life, as she died of cancer. My own mom was to the point of wanting to put sleeping pills in her fathers coffee so he wouldn't bother her. I'm not sure if she ever carried that out or not. At that time I was able to be working full time and fortunately didn't visit unless I felt it was my duty or my time to visit out of responsiblilty to my family. I come from major dysfunction, alcoholic parents, grandparents that were addicted to Ativan, etc... I've tried to break that cycle of this family by not being like them. I'm to the point now where my own health is in jeapordy, yet I have NO means of getting out of my situation with my mom and s-dad. Again, I don't want to see them in their grave, but I have to agree with Maggiesue on many points. No matter how much we (I) do for these people, it's never enough. If they weren't my family, I wouldn't be friends with these people. It's not that I don't love my mother. I do. Still, caring for her is not as hard as also caring for my stepfather, who has not always been very kind to me. I guess I have resentments and I wish I could overcome them!!! I want to be a good person! I want to do the right things! I think I am doing the right things and I am helping them as much as I can, but again, my own sanity is in jeapordy, as well as my physical being. At this rate, they're both going to outlive me!!! Also, should anything happen to my mom, I'm going to be homeless. When my real dad died, I went out to Seattle to be with my half-sister, to try and have a "sister" type relationship with her, since we did both have the same father. I didn't know her well and things didn't work out, but b/c I went to Seattle, and didn't stay in my mom and s-dad's home, they punished me good by getting rid of all of my possessions (so I had to start over from scratch when I returned to PA), and they also changed their Will, taking me out of it... I guess to make me suffer some more for "betraying them so I could have a life of my own." It's sick. Very very sick behavior. Still, I'm so nice to them I'm surprised they don't need Insulin! My mom is my only living relative. If/when anything should happen to her, I cannot and don't want to take care of my stepfather at all! He has 2 daughters, but I doubt that either of them will step up to the plate to help him. My mom has made sure that if/when anything happens to her and/or her husband, that I don't know anything about their Will's, how to pay any outstanding bills, etc... I'm here now and will do what's expected of me. I do love my mom, but I wish I wasn't alone in this caretaking position. Most of the time I feel that I'm not wanted here, although when I do try to leave, or actually 'do' leave, they get very angry with me and become irate. Go figure. I don't know what I'm s/p to do. "One Day at a Time" I guess.... I truely hope that not everyone here has the same kind of dysfunctional relationships with the ones that you're caring for. I've been the "Perfect Daughter" to both my mom and stepdad my entire life. I'm going to be 50 years old in a couple of months. I have a curfew! I can't have friends come into this house b/c my s-father has a problem with becoming verbally sexually inappropriate to any female that would come into the house. Actually, one of my mom's visiting IV nurses she had recently, after a hospitalization, stopped coming back to this house. My mom wondered why. I know why and I don't blame the nurse for not wanting to come back here. My s-father said some very horrible, inappropriate sexual things to her. I'm sure that's why that nurse kind of disappeared. My mom see's and hear's how her husband acts and the things he says, but she chooses to ignore it all. If I had enough money, I'd be out of here in a New York Minute! I'd still do for them and make sure that they were taken care of, but it would probably save my own life if I could find a small efficiency or even a room, that would take my Bailey (my dog) too.

Please forgive me for not being more positive in this post. I'm sorry. I'm in a very bad place emotionally right now b/c of events that took place this morning. I promise to try and be more positive.

God Bless you all and I love you all! Really I do, b/c I know that all of you are under pressures right now that take their toll on all aspects of your lives. We do have each other, thank God!!! I feel blessed to have found you all!
Kathy K.

P.S. "SERENITY NOW!!!" As George from 'Seinfeld' would say....
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I liked Ted's comment and attitude regarding challenge, along w/ sSkape1's comment about doing the best job possible to the end. I would like to aspire to that goal as well. I understand Maggie Sue, about the goal being to get our loved ones to their inevitable end, and how hopeless it can seem...and sad and draining. But, if we can do as Ted suggests, and take it on as a challenge w/ a victory in sight...that victory being the knowledge, at the end, that we won the battle because we gave it our very best shot, and whatever the consequenses, we will have that as our victory. Even if our only goal is to get them to their graves, as Maggie says, hopeless, with no end in sight....we can accomplish that goal and feel good about how we did it, because the end really is in sight, however distant it can seem, and we must take care of ourselves to be victorious at the end. Being victorious must mean that we don't go down in the process, but rise above it. I really think we can all do it. We can help each other!!
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Maggie, My victory is a completely selfish thing, when this is all said and done, I will have done what I consider to be the "Right Thing", as well as I was able, despite the resistance and abuse and whatever else other's have tried to shovel in path. Knowing that I have the capacity and strength to live up to the moral responsibility (MY morals, no one else"s) that you speak of in the face of those obstacles is a victory in it's own.

As for the survival instinct, if it came to that I would be outta here in a minute, But while I still have some little bit to give, I will continue to try and make their inevitable end the best it can be.

Again, This is a completely selfish act my part. How i handle all of this is ultimately going to have an affect on ME and how I view myself., and THAT is what I'm concerned with.
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Ted, so does your victory look like self-improvement and behavioral changes that keep your care recepient at bay? I call that boundaries to maintain your survival. I'm not sure that is such a great goal. Most of us would avoid these people we give care to if we weren't related and felt a moral responsibility.

It seems like the only goal is to get these old people into their graves. They are never going to get better. They are only going to get worse. I find that a hopeless situation.

Sorry, for being a downer. I've got to interact with my frail and self-involved mother in a few minutes. And I'm dreading it. I just don't see anything useful coming out of the resources she consumes. I don't see anything of value in any of it. It seems like a hideous situation with no end in sight.
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Not that I don't have my weaknesses, but I hide them (as any good fighter would) here at home and that is why this site is so important to me.
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I am inspired by Ted's comment. If I'm going to be a caregiver, might as well get into it and take charge and do my best. In the end, be proud of the way I handled things. A good goal to aspire to.
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The one, and only, good thing about facing this challenge of caregiving is that it IS a challenge, and a challenge means that there is a chance of VICTORY.
A while ago, I started hearing myself say to myself that "I WILL WIN THIS!' I didn't even know what it meant until I realized that with some emotional and mental effort, I COULD overcome the attacks and the constant feeling of being worn down and I realized then that -Yea, I could leave and give this up, or I could stay and fight. And by fight I mean that I could do everything in my power to be the best caregiver I could be knowing full well what I was up against. I'm still fighting and I feel MUCH stronger about it now.
And I believe that my stronger, more powerful attitude was also noticed by those around me, and you know what? they backed off and began letting me do my job. the resistance got less and less. and I gained the control that I NEEDED to do this.
It's a much different situation now, and I WILL eventually win (time is on MY side after all) and be able to move on when the inevitable happens.
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