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tmack
Ok, I'm new here and perhaps in the wrong place. I am the only son (4 out of state sisters) of my 80ish parents who lives close enough to care for their daily needs. My father has had 3 heart attacks and fatal lung cancer (about a year to live) and my mother suffers from dementia. I am also the father of a 15 year old boy and husband to a wife who had breast cancer 2 summers ago. As a teacher, I was able to take a 1 year leave to care for those around me but, it is destroying my sense of self and the frustration and anger grows. My wife has been very understanding as I tend to my parents each day but I am loosing it. any help would be appreciated,
tmac

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msTish,
My personal opinion, and that is all it is, she does understand. My dad could be so unreasonable and act like he didn't have a clue, all it was was manipulation. The longer we talked about things, the longer it was before I took action. I would get so frustrated,and once again, things would get put on hold.
No matter how hard headed they can be at times, we do have to consider they are very afraid of change. Some elders feel that is the last stop, the nursing home.
And maybe your husband can take another look at "taking care of her" and what that could mean. He can be very active in her care if she goes to a facility. I recommend he be very involved, as not all nursing homes are what they could be.
Ask him if his father would want your health and sanity jeopardized? Would his father understand a change in plans?
I hope things start to go smoother for you. I can almost feel your anxiety coming thru your written words.
One final question, how much does it really matter that she understands? If you are waiting for her to say, "hey, that's a great idea", I doubt that is going to happen. You and your husband can come up with something that works for everyone involved. you are in my thoughts and prayers.Take care of yourself.....
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lindam, thanks for listening, these pages feel like the only people in the world that truly understand.Today is a better day. Husband saw the post, got very frightened that i would run.Trying to make mom understand seems to be a big hurdle. Funny though, her mind is right on, its her body that has failed.So I don't understand why its so hard for her to understand thee postion we are in.Thanks again I truly appriciate all who visit this site.
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Sandy,
Thanks for sharing that load you are carrying. You do have your hands full. I know what it is like to be around someone who is never satisfied. The negativity gets to me too. I start getting angry and when my feelings are raw from being tired, I start taking things personal. Have you told your husband how hard this is for you? I don't want to be rude, but if he made the promise, then he should be doing more. Taking up for you for one. Has he told her she needs to stop being so demanding,ect?
Maybe you should take her to a nursing home and let her hear from the staff how expensive care is. If she doesn't want to go to a nursing home, or assisted living, then tell her there has to be changes made.
You have to save yourself, you have to get your medical issues tended to. I am sorry to hear your husbands work is slow. This is a very scary time for many.But there are clinics in all areas for lower income families.
I had to use one when I first moved here because of Hurricane Rita. I had to start all over. So my heart goes out to you for all the extra stress that money shortage brings.
You just keep posting. It does feel good to get it out and to know someone really hears us and understands how we feel. I pray you have a better outlook tomorrow. Let us know how you are. Take better care of yourself, you are not alone.....
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lindam, thanks for listening, sometimes i feel so alone., my situation is she is 83 GREEK, stubborn, and very, very resentful that i am doing all this. She is my mother-in-law of 10 yrs, husband helps somewhat. Most of the daily routine is up to me. she is mentally exausting, nothing is right that i do, she would do everything different, we moved into her home to take care of her, she still owns her home, in the state of maine nursing home is out, state will take all assets and this is unacceptable to her. She pays me 250 a week, but i buy all food, including personal items she needs (yes she does have a nice nest egg in bank and stocks), she also thinks i should give her receipts of what i buy with this 250 weekly pay check.my husband is a tile setter, in this economy not much work , he has been taking alot of odd jobs, but this money barely covers are own personall expenses.. He is also feeling the hit to or life,, we both feel this is putting a strain on us..His family does not help at all, Brother has papers to be POA she refuses to sign thinking we are all going to take all her money,, me I want nothing but out.. My health is suffering, i have problems i am not addressing because financially i can't. I hate my life, but 12 years ago before me, my husband made a promise to his father before his death that he wold take care of her in the end of her life,,Why can't she understand wHAT we have given up to be here, she has no clue when we tell her nursing homes are about 5000 a month, she thinks we are lying,, trust me i have been looking into this for months,I don't know why this site helps so much, just getting it out to cyber friends makes me feel like i can go on at least for tomorrow, that you for listening, sandy...
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msTish,
You tell them like you just posted. If you truly do not think you can do this anymore, then do what you have to. I don't know the situation, but I know you have to save yourself. It is not bad or wrong to accept our limitations. Be brave and do what needs to be done. If the family gets upset, then they will just be upset. We can not take care of everything, everyone, and control outcomes. So try to rest for awhile before telling family, it will help you to be stronger and mean what you say. Let us know how things are working out for you.
It is a hard choice but I admire your honesty and you realize something has to change. you are in my prayers.
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hi everyone, been awhile. mom had a small stroke and was gone for 2 weeks, lucky me a much needed vacation. here is the problem with that . shes been home for 2 days and the list of things that are wrong or missed placed is getting to big for me, i am loosing ny mind again. She promised 3 days outpatient rehab, of course not now i'm not going. to cold ,don't feel like it, ..nothing has been chnged or misplaced since she left but she will not believe this fighting me every step. I want out and i don't know how to tell this family i can't do this anymore, I trully beliive i am at my breaking point..
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mindingourelders
grandmother is not depressed because grandfather was in bad shape he had a stroke and heart attack 5 years ago and she had to wait on him fix his plate remind he to take meds she kicked him out of her room because she said he kept her awake. Before the stroke and heart attack he did most everything. Now she feels like it is her time to be waited on she even enjoyed being at the hospital. She didn't want to come home until the nurses got tired of her pushing the button for every little thing, she was up and around then and capable.
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Dare, of course you are depressed! I'm so glad you found the site so you can at least talk with people who know what you are going through - and plenty on here do. None of us have exactly the same experience, but they are close enough to share.

Please check with your state's aging services to see if there is any respite care available. There are Federal dollars that go to waste in some areas, as people don't know they can get help. Go to the state's main site and look for something on aging or elders. You should be able to find a phone number. You need to get out for a break.

Yes, your grandmother will be upset. She wants everything done the way you do it (we've been there). But you have to stick up for yourself. You grandmother is likely depressed since the death of her husband, as well. It's possible a doctor may be able to try an antidepressant for her. At any rate, keep coming back to talk and try to get some help.

Carol
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Hi Dare I know how you feel my mom is 89 and she barely walks with a walker,she is constantly asking for things and some times the samr things over and over like today is really getting to me for some reason I cant seem to take a breath and relax,this site is great keep checking in and you will get some relief.
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thanks for the input. To answer a few questions no she can't walk, she can see but she can't see the paper very well. She is bored i bought her large print word search she likes that. My oldest child in away in college and 15 year old is on the football team (stays after school for practice) the 14year old is in jrotc and riffle team and stays after school for practice. I do have sitters at night but can't afford day pay as well. I don't have any family to help at all. It is hard to get out of the bed knowing what i get to do all day.
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Welcome dare,
you have found the right place to put your troubles. I am sorry to hear your grandmother is running you ragged.
One of the things I do is make sure everthing she could possibly need is withing reaching distance for her. I have talked with her also about being bored, and thinking I was the entertainment. I did it with love, but I have other things to do.
You didn't say if your grandmother is able to get around, can she see well enough to read or look at tv, magazines, or anything to keep her busy?
It sounds like she may be lonely, can she go to any elder day things? Can you hire someone for a few hours just to set with her and visit or even help you out?
You will get other suggestions to help you. I know what it is like to be so tired you can't remember your own name!
Can one of your older children be available for her and let you get out once in awhile? Sometimes we try so hard to do everything and then we resent what has to be done. Delegate to familly members and get out and if nothing else go for a walk.
Let us know how you are doing. You will make friends here who understand how you feel and are not judging. Take care
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hi
I am new this site. I have no friends that are caregivers. therefor no one understands the depression i am in. I am all alone every day except for my 93 year old grandmother. I do have three children now 20, 15, & 14. and a husband. She has been here for almost 5 years. grandfather was here for 4 years he passed away a year ago she has become so needy even more than before. AS of the last month she has stopped walking i can't leave the house for anything. I feel like i am smothering she calls all day long for me to get this or that anything she can think of for me to do.
I think she sits there and tries to think of things for me to do all day.
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Hi all,

I am so thankful to all of you and the all the advise, help and letting me just sometimes fuss (haven't had a kick in the rump yet, but will take it). I read and realize more people than I realized a caregivers, instead of nursing homes or assisted living. I know my mom wants to stay in her own home as long as she can.
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Hi Bernardine,

Glad that if it helps - - its better to get away, outside for a little bit rather than letting it eat you up inside. You can't change anyone else - certainly not your mom...what makes it difficult to bear is that you are in it all the time. Not good.
Sending you cyberhug & bunch of cyberflowers. You are awesome even if you don't get the acknowledgement at home.
I honestly believe that if we don't acknowledge our feelings and pay attention to them problems get worse, and perhaps it triggers other things. If you are angry, sad, whatever, it is your right as a human being, and healthy to admit it - then you can let go & move on. take care & if that doesn't work - - - get into another room with some whitenoise like a fan (aka caregivers secret stress buster) ... & just breathe.
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Tmack-listen to the above ladies they are awesome- I have been here less than a year and when my computer was broke for a few weeks I really missed vent and crying and laughing and being scolded if needed-we know we are there ourselves and we get it so keep in touch
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Hi cat I like what you say about not denying our feelings,just today I wanted to scream to the highest mountains my mom starts preaching to me like I am 12,it is so insulting all I do is walk away removing myself from the situation, then it is like walking on egg shells the rest of the day, so Im not going to deny I have feelings,and try to quit acting like a robot which feels nothing Bernardine
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Keep checking in, tmack. The connection to others who understand can do wonders for one's sense of self. Caregiving is a JOB. People who don't do it don't get it. And I think that part is harder on men than women, though it's hard on us, too. Society needs to change, but it will be one caregiver at a time.

Take care,
Carol
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Thank you all for your responses,
I can't thank you enough for your wisdom and thoughtful responses. I appreciate
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TMACK, you are in the right place as everyone else has said. You are not alone in your feelings. It is such a relief for me to come here and blow off steam, and not be judged. And you have valuable experience to share with us. So it is a "win-win" situation for all concerned. Keep posting so we know how you are.
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Tamac, you came to the right place. Nearly half of the caregivers are now men, and I hope we can get more men to follow your lead and talk about their feelings in this forum.

You are giving and giving and giving. We all understand that. Sometimes it feels like there's no more to give. Talking about it with others who understand can help let off steam. Often you will get some very concrete advice. However, the most rewarding value is generally the fact that talking about these issues breaks the isolation.
how you are doing.

Keep coming back here and talking. We want to know how you are doing.
Carol
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tamck,
What a wonderful son you must be. It is not easy trying to juggle the needs of your family and the needs of your parents. It seems like the responsibility for aging parents always falls on the shoulders of one child and the rest sit back and really don't help. Have you talked to your sisters about just calling them from time to time and letting them know how your parents are doing and what caring for them is doing to you. They may not be able to physically help, but perhaps they can provide some emotional help and support. Continue to keep us posted about your situation and how things are going.
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Hey Tmack.
You are definitely in the right place. Alot of us feel the same way & if you remember your Elizabeth Kubler Ross know that anger is definitely high on the list - as is feeling like you are losing it. Caregiver to caregiver, losing it is the right term. We lose it a little bit every day - the trick, I have found is not to deny the feelings of losing it - instead, all any of us can do is have a good weep, gripe, have a hissy fit, or stare blankly in the mirror asking 'who the heck is THAT?" - once done, well, time to get back to what we are doing. You are right about losing your sense of self. Caregiving, especially in the extreme circumstances that you are going through changes you. You will never be the same. None of us will. But if you use this site as a cathartic release, it may help take the edge off a bit.
We all used to think we had control over our lives & want to fix things & make them better, but the conundrum of caregiving is that we can't fix things - we have no control, and it is humbling and hard as hell to be there for someone you love at the hardest time when there is not necessarily anything you can do - whether it is dementia, cancer or the day to day.

Take care, I hope you stay here & start to feel less alone. If you are angry - this is the place to rage & vent. I think that you must be an awesome person to take on so much and still be self aware enough to talk it out. Hope to read more from you.
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tmack, yours is a heavy load and your feeling of being overwhelmed is entirely reasonable, not to mention normal. You may want to start with your own doctor and share that you are feeling overwhelmed. Many doctors are great about referrals, including to local support groups, etc. Working full-time and being a caregiver is a recipe for losing it, yet so many caregivers have no other choice but to do so. Contact your local hospitals and ask whether they offer support groups for someone in your situation. Also check out respite care as you do need a break now and then. Consider having a family conference call with your sisters and laying it out for them and requesting their input and help. Let them know that if they can't help you, your parents may be at a stage where they need long-term nursing care. While you may not know what their answers will be, it will afford them an opportunity to let you know where they stand in terms of pitching in, or remaining hands off. Have you all had such a discussion yet? If not, you may want to consider getting that ball rolling. There is only one you and you will be no use to your parents if you burn yourself out. Good luck regardless of whatever you may choose to do.
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