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I moved my mother into my husband's and my home in November of 2005. She had fell at home and broke her hip. She was not able to live on own any longer anyway. This gave us an excuse to move her into our home. She was a very independent woman before the accident, but things have changed in the last few months.
Her short term memory is not good at all any more. She can not wheel herself around the house any longer.
She just got out of the hospital back in June about a 2 week stay with a blockage in her colon and then she contracted VRE. That is not fun to have in the home. I felt so sorry for her.
I am starting to have crying sessions it seems like every other day anymore. I do not see my mother any longer I see a person declining quickly. I am feeling overwhelmed and I don't think my family sees it. I have told them I need to get away for a few days, but that never seems to happen. No one has time to watch or be with mom except me. I am the only child so this is all on my shoulders. Her brother is not any help they have not spoke in several years now.
I do not know if I am just going through a stage or if I am starting to get depressed. I am with mom almost 24/7 except when a homemaker comes in daily. A person can go to Walmart just so many times to get out of the house. I seem to have lost my friends because I can not get together with them anymore.
This on-line discussion is a life line for me. This way I can communication with people and see how they handle different things that come up in their caregiving also.
So if anyone has advice please let me know how to get myself under control.
Losing Control

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I am a caregiver to my mother and father. My parents have been divorced for 44 years. My father's second wife died, so I invited him to live with us. My mother is 91 and my father is 93. My mother is severe memory loss, and just likes to sit on the coach and read. My father on the other hand either sleeps all day long, at least 13 hours. When he does get up he is always mad, slamming doors, making mean under the breath comments. He and I are always fighting and arguing. I recently quit my full time job to spend more time with them, but as of late I am realizing that I have made a mistake. I am to the point where I can't stand to be around him or do much with him. Please don't think I am an awful person, but I can only take so much abuse. I find myself spending a lot more time in my bedroom, and this is my home. I have no brothers of sisters in witch to talk too or to send them too, to give me a break.
I am so sad at the way things have gone, but I keep trying, but getting tired.

Thanks for reading, Patty B.
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imjoyous i was where you are just 2 and a half years ago. I found this site and it saved my life. My mom became the taskmaster and she became at times someone i did not know. I am your age and the hardest part was knowing when to stop "letting" her be the parent and realize that I had to take control. It was so new seeing her all of a sudden not being the strong mother that had always been able to take care of herself to someone who did not know she couldnt take care of herself the same way anymore. There were so many nites I was away from my kids, being a single mom it was hard, but I would come to this website and just type. The best part was finding out I was not alone. My mom is gone now and I did not want to hear this then believe me, but you will look back and yes you will wish for one more day with her. Yell when you need to yell, cry when you need to cry and hug her when you need to hug her. I have to honestly say I would love to have a do over but if I did I would not have been me. You still have to do you. I loved and cared for her the best way I knew how. It is what it is.......I have a tear running down my face right now just thinking of her......tomorrow she would have been 75. She was my best friend, my angel, I was honored to be her kid, and she was hell to take care of. But we had so many moments together that have forever changed me. There is NO WRONG WAY TO DO THIS. Hug yourself today. do something for yourself that you were not going to do anyway. Be the gift that you are and rest assured that even if the thank yous are not heard.....the things we do are like pebbles in the water....it starts like a ripple but it turns into a wave somewhere along the way........much love and a warm thank you to this site......thinkin of all of you........huggles!! mary k.
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They do that because they are the parent, and we are the child. They don't like the roles reversed so they try and take control every where they can, My father did that to me to the no please and no thank you. I had a little talk with him and told him that I was not having that and I was not his maid, If you dont' put a stop to it that will be all that you get done, I know that it hard but they put us in charge, so unfortunately so sometimes have to stand up to them or they will run us over.
Keeping you in my thought's imjoyous
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I am so glad I found this site. I have only had my mom living with us for six weeks and I am already doing the alone crying in my back yard and front porch where no one sees me. I had no idea my sweet, loving 88 year old mother would be treating me as she does. She makes demands all day long...no please, few thank you's. I am her personal servant all day long. I have lost all control. Today it's tearing me apart and I came to the computer to escape. I haven't had a moment's time to spend with my husband. Thanks for the "hang in there" messages. I do my best to constantly remind myself to appreciate the treasure of having these days with her. Why does she make this 58 year old feel like I'm ten and not being the perfect child?
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feelingnuts- hope ur day turns into a good day today ...
prayers to you .
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Thanks for the input, I am checking into getting a caregiver to come to the house.
Yesterday was a really bad day for me. I know that I am not alone in this finding this site is a blessing to me, It's great to know that there are people out there doing the same thing I am doing with even less help. I just wish family's know how hard it was to do. Not sure what caregivers did before having great web sites like this. Prayers to all of you
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One of the hardest things about this is that we lose our loved one twice.... once during the decline, where we can no longer recognize the person in front of us, plus having to deal with the day to day and minute to minute stuff... then loose them again at the end..... you are doing a wonderful job and always give yourself credit for being a human first then a caregiver...... yes, crying is our outlet, we have to let it go somewhere, that doesn't mean we are weak, it means we are tired, frustrated, lonely, and overwhelmed..... in any other situation we would not judge ourself so harshly, we would cry and not think anything about it... be good to you, many here are where you are, have been there, or will be there..... this sight is a life saver... welcome... and keep in mind when the tears come, you are being a human "being" and not a human"doing"...... hugs across the miles to you....
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I am also an only child and my husband and children are done dealing with all of thise. My father died 10 years ago and I have been at my mothers beck and call ever since then. She has BPD and DNP ... I have been over backwards every day, including moving her across the country with us several times. She is now in assisted living and although I need to still take her docs, get groceries, etc... it is sure a relief. I don't understand how anyone could do 24/7.. I pray for you all!
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Hi-there always seems to be one family member that gets loaded down with everything whether or not there are brothers and sisters. I am an only child and the responsibility was on me anyway. I chose not to deal with a nursing home because I know how they are. It can be very hard on you. My dad passed away almost two years ago, but I remember this site being a great way to vent. Whenever someone responds to certain threads, I still receive an e-mail now and then. I was crying all the time and taking tranquilizers to sleep at night. Looking back, I probably wouldn't have changed much, but it would have been nice to get a little in home help I could trust. Not sure what state you are in, but just be careful if you do hire in-home help. California has some quality agencies, but most are bad these days(no background checks, working caregivers as "independent contractors" so they don't have to take any responsibility--that kind of stuff). Do not deal with them unless they background check, check references and do drug testing. Also if they work their caregivers as independents, that means the agency doesn't want to deal with anything except collecting money--they won't have your back if anything goes wrong, and these types also do not take taxes out of the caregivers pay. Above comments are good ideas. Veterans are offered 30 days respite per year I believe. Also re: checking into your local church or any other organization you belong to who may just have someone kind enough to help you out for a few hours. As far as the family and friends who always say "if you need anything.." and you do, and there's ALWAYS an excuse---eh, don't bother.
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Hey Feelingnuts...Call them! Just do it. They want you too, so do it! On the other hand...is there a gentleman in your church that could stay with him for a weekend?

If he is a veteran you can also have him stay at a VA facility where they will offer respite care. For anyone out there, this is available so contact your VA social worker and get details. We used this service for a week a few weeks ago and it was so wonderful.
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I feel for all of you !!! Same with me.... I em going crazy and had to be out on Anti-aniexty pills they need to be upped... Family always excuses .There either going to Hawaii or aruba while I'm here stuck not only with my mom but husband also. He need's care also boy I could go on . Prayer's are with all of you ! Cindy
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FeelingNuts,

Have you thought about hiring a caregiver (for starters) a few days or hours a week?

I think you need a break. If you want to take baby steps - a caregiver would allow you and your family to out to dinner; shopping, a movie, whatever. I think you need it.
A caregiver could also help with transportation to/from doctor appointments, etc.

That said, when you get to the point where you are in diapers and your adult children are cleaning you up . . I think it's time to consider a nice facility if your father can afford it.

My personally ~ I want the nice facility when I'm that age. I do NOT want my son changing my diapers!

Hang in there!
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I know the feeling, I am taking care of my father who doesn't like to listen, he is 99.
I am now dealing with diapers because he likes to wet his pants and other things I try to get him to drink water which will not do, but then he get dehydrated with that his memory get back because he doesn't drink. But he will not do it because then he goes to bathroom all the time. But the doctor told him to drink to help his bladder spsams. I just feel like its the same day over and over like in ground hog day. My family that is my husband and children help me. But as for my brother's and sister's nothing, I know that they are older they are in there 70's and I am only 51 but the last time my sister came to visit she didn't even stay at the house she stayed at a hotel, no offer to stay with dad while my husband and I got time to ourselves that has happen only two times in the two years that we have had my dad. They tell me to call them if I need anything... What I need is a day off right now I feel like crying and screaming at the same time.
I feel like I have gone over the edge.
Going nuts
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My thoughts and prayers go out to you Roxie. Even when it's totally expected one can never be fully ready or prepared for that moment. I wish I had been at my dad's side when it happened, but I wasn't. I rushed down to the hospital after the news and said my goodbyes then. I hope his spirit was still near enough to hear me say goodbye to him and that I loved him. Be comforted in the fact that you have been there for her through this entire process and that you did the very best that you could. Remember the good times--remember her as a strong woman. That's how I try to remember dad--as the strong, caring, intelligent man that he was before that horrible disease ravaged him. She will finally be at peace, and she knows that she will always be loved by you. It's a long road taking care of a loved one. You'll find yourself still traveling it after they pass, because there's a great deal of different emotions that hit you. All I can say is try to stay positive and remember the good times--both when she was younger and while you were caring for her.
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Roxie, I am keeping you and your mother in my prayers. I walked down this long, scarey road with my mom until she died this past February at age 89. I am still grieving and the pain in my heart is unbearable at times. She was my best fried, too.... I have taken care of her most of my adult life and she lived with my husband and me the last 9 years of her life. Her birthday is on July 4th and I think I am going to have a harder time than I did on this past Mother's Day -- my first Mother's day without her... Cherish every moment you have with her and when she passes on do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself because you will be flooded with emotions of every kind. God bless you and keep you strong.
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Dear Roxie, your post touched my heart. I have no doubt that you also touched your mother's heart in many ways. Even though it may seem she didn't know you all the time, at some level, she did. And your love and attention probably helped her feel secure and safe. Never discount that, and your precious contribution to her life. I can't imagine the depth of your emotion right now, though I have no doubt it is very intense. Please remember to be gentle with yourself, both today, and always. Remember your human limitations. I pray the Lord bless you and your mother, and give you comfort and peace. You're not alone, and he cares. Sending reinforcement through prayer. God bless you for your tenderness and compassion toward your mother. Take care.
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How are you now, 2 years later? i hope you are not clinically depressed and your family has not suffered. I could not do what you did/are doing. Being stressed and sad all the time can kill you and it can hurt the one you are trying to care for...I hope you got help and your family is happy and safe.
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I just want to say to everyone thanks for all the support and discussions. I have enjoyed each and everyone of you. I pray for each and everyone of you and your love one. It does take a special person to hang in there.
I have vented on this website many time about the same things as you. I got good support and ideas that I could use during the course of taking care of my mother.
Well the end is near, I called Hospice three weeks ago. They have given her two weeks left on this earth. Only the Lord knows the date and time. It is harder than I thought. She has went through so many stages in the last year, some good and some bad...but now she just lies there with medication in her to keep her comfortable. Which I do believe she is very comfortable.....
With all the different stages and my different feelings of being on a rollercoaster seems so small now...I look at her and can not believe how strong of a woman she has been her whole life....
I just hope I am as strong as her someday...
When the day comes I do not know how I will react that scares me...not being able to see her eyes again, hold her hand, kiss her cheek, and esp. to talk about everything. She is truly my best friend and I love her deeply. At this point I do not have guilt.
Can not say I enjoyed every minute, but I did enjoy the good times. Many days she would not know any of us so the days she did was so precious....
I just want to tell everyone that is able to stay until the end It is a blessing-If you can not still when the time comes for your loved one to go on -It will still be a blessing to be a part of that person's life.
Take care everyone
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Mom is running all day! Her OCD was out of control, and even though she was exhausted, she would not nap. She is now on seroquel and it seems to have put the brakes on her brain for a few hours a day. She still will not nap, but is thankfully in bed by 6:30. Sundowning starts around 5. She rarely gets up during the night, and sleeps through until I get her up at 8:30 the next morning. That is a life saver! Most nights I try to get her up before I go to bed, and change her out of her wet diaper and sometimes nightgown too. But she's kind of sleep walking through that whole process.
I still have to have the baby monitor with me, and sit by the laptop so I can check her on the cameras, that I couldn't live without! What a major difference they make. The only time I have a problem with her not sleeping, is when she has a UTI, then all bets are off. I just hope that her sleep pattern continues. She raised 7 kids and always went to bed early to get a good night's sleep, so it's been a lifelong habit.
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This is so common with elders, and I don't know of a solution. I hope someone has some suggestions. The obvious one of keeping them from napping is not realistic in most cases. Older folks, with or without dementia, tend to sleep less at night. They are naturally tired during the day and then nap. The cycle continues. Dementia often makes this worse.

Checking with a doctor is a good idea. Meanwhile, let's hope someone on the forum has a magical solution.
Best wishes,
Carol
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Beta42,
My MIL and FIL sleep often during the day. They are like many catnaps throughout the day. But come time to really go to bed and they become night owls which means that they have a difficult time waking up in the AM. During the week I have to get them up early so we can drop them off at daycare for half a day while we work. It is a problem that doesn't seem to have an answer. Sort of like when your babies had their days and nights mixed up.
Any suggestions out there???
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i know, i am with my alzheimer mom 24/7. my husband is uncomfortable around her in case she has to go to the bathroom so i have to go to the store at night when she goes to bed at eight thirty or nine. went camping and she went to was good. everybody was so nice and started talking aout their parents in kind of guilty way and praising me for doing it even tho they arent doing it.thought i was going crazy too. have friends over during the day, and those that have babies- mom laffs at americas funiest videos we watch at least 5 times a day... she sleeps too much . wakes up lately around 1 or 2. any ideas... if i try to get her up she gets mean
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to Jaczynsi... ding, ding, ding, ding... you hit the nail on the head! Thank you for clarifying my point. BTW, I happen to think Crowemagnum is a VERY good source here... we just had a bit of a mis-understanding initially that we have since resolved off-line. Crowemagnum gives great advice and means well by offering tough love while my thing is DEFENDING. Thanks again.

DOC, aka, "Defender of Caregivers!"
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Having flippantly refered to myself as "the servant" to a nurse one day; mom piped in with "that's the way I planned it 50 years ago".
Is that BPD or sociopath? HA HA
Thanks mom I love you too.
Yes, some of them make their twisted little plans but God is our vidicator.
Still we have to protect ourselves. "Guard your heart with all dilligence"
We can still care for them without allowing ourselves to be destroyed.
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I believe I was injected at birth with the F.O.G. virus by my mother. Never knew what it was called until I read what Crowe had to say on the subject. Let me say, it changed my life. I use it in my daily life now.I've told my adult daughter about it. I stumbled through life always being walked on and doing things out of guilt, especially anything with my mom. If I had only known this when I was younger how different my life would've been. Watching my daughter repeat some of my mistakes made me realize she needed to change. My mom made sure my life was filled with F.O.G. but I don't want that for my daughter. Mom thrived on making us feel fearful, obligated and guilty. I do not want my kids to ever have those feelings about anyone, especially about me. It brought me loads of unhappiness especially when I was caring for mom.
My mom expected me to quit my job, spend all my time with her instead of my husband, kids and grandkids and then tried to subject me to continuous criticisim, much like Crowe's wife and her mother. It was a living nightmare and it was WRONG. Caring for her was horrendous. If you have a loved one you are caring for and you love them, you are very blessed. Others of us are not so fortunate.
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Everyone has their own way of dealing with life, and shouldn't be made to feel guilty because they don't fit into someone's idea of how it should be. It's amazing how the average person finds the will to go on after the devastating blows life can dole out! Whether it's a person's belief in God or just believing in one's self, I find it very remarkable that we can get on with our lives when the time comes. Everyone, keep up the good work and remember to give yourself a break once and a while, and don't take other's opinions personally. It's not worth the added stress!!!
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Ishmael,

F.O.G. is an anacronym created for people who are in a co-dependent relationship with someone with a personality disorder. For example, you wil find it in the book, Stop Walking On Eggshells. However, this co-dependent lifestyle is visible with caregivers also and was very true of me in both my marriage and in my former profession.

If you google, F.O.G. Fear, Obligation and Guilt, you will find quite a list of places to visit from mental health to my favorite Susan Forward's Emotional Blackmail.

Very often the seeds for this F.O.G. are planted in a person's life by a parent either out of a personality issue, an unhealth view of parenting, or sick religious teach as Wayne Oates, who is a Christian therapist, writes about in his book, When Religion Gets Sick, and some other author writes about in Toxic Faith.

While the broader issue in any caretaking is boundaries for which there are tons of books both secular, Christian, and some I think are Christian in spirit but the arthor does not make that the main thing, the underling power beneath poor boundaries is some combination of Fear of making this person which in this case is a mother and and ant more angry, disown them, write them out of there will or whatever or in some cases religious fear, plus obligation based in tradition or a manipulative use of religious teaching, and then the big heavey -Guilt which has no room for grace, forgiveness, or flexibility in how the person is a caretaker because the fear and obligation has them feeling trapped into doing the caregiving just like 'the parent'-very often the mother as I've read here time and time again while the caregiver-most often the daughter or daughter in law while very often being quite aware of the emotional abuse, the negative impact upon their physical, mental and social health as their fianances, their job, the business they spent years creating, their dream house they bought or built and primary relationships like marriage; children (both little and grown), plus grand children are either dying quickly or long dead. Thus, my comment on your wall about needing a play with the ghost of caregivers past who stayed stuck in the FOG, got free of the FOG and a ghost of caregiving future that portrays the possible life of the caregiver if they stay stuck in the F.O.G. The one statement that I read one night that really angered me was that as painful as it might be to leave their spouse they would because the bible tells them to take care of their aging parent. It does say make sure the elderly parent is taken care of, but it does no say you have to do it directly yourself not does it say that when your parents get old that you leave your spouse and go cling to your elderly declining parents. Think I'm exaggerating? My grandmother told my mother 'it is time for you to leave your current husband and come home to take care of me.' Some long term therapy uncovered that my wife way down deep felt she was to be her mother's mother when asked about her role as a mother when we have two boys. For years, she was far more into her mother until she set some boundaries which were preceeding by my getting my own life back and protecting the boys for all this sickness at home and the extended family by setting some boundaries with consequences that I did follow through with which did make my wife extremely mad, but I did it anyway and thankfully she chose for heself a healthier path and for the last 5 years she's been more fully present in our home as both a wife and a mother!

This probably answers more than your original question.
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DOCaregivers I agree with you. The strain of taking care of my mom was almost beyond tolerable when she finally died. A few weeks prior to her death my loving husband and caring friends were compassionately trying to help me by saying it was time to put my mom in a place where she could receive better care (as if THAT would have happend...). Anyway, I thank God every day that he took her before I was forced into making a decision that I truly don't believe I could have lived with. I would rather have died myself than place her somewhere. I know that is the point you were trying to make it has to be the caregiver's decision and only that person knows if/when the time is right and if they can live with the decision. There are so many difficult decisions we as caregivers have to make and I feel for each one of you. God bless you all and I pray that God will give you the strength and wisdom to do whatever is best both for you and for the person you are taking care of.
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In response to Ishmael... I don't know that it is appropriate to give a link to a website here, but you can certainly find one in my profile. I expand on the concept of F.O.G. (without using the expression) in my whitepaper (still in draft but available nonetheless) entitled; "The Caregivers Dilemma; How to Care for Others Without Losing Yourself"

The basis behind it is the concept that Caregivers are either BORN (nature/natural) or BORNE (nurture/learned, through accepting a role or responsibility). Either way, "you are what you do all day" and to be a successful Caregiver you either possess or adopt certain personality/survival traits... one of them being to defer your own needs to the satisfaction of others and to receive satisfaction through pleasing others. Nature Caregivers are prone to Overcommitment and Nurture Caregivers are driven by Obligation... to minimize the "O" in F.O.G. you can create F.o.G where Fear and Guilt become supercharged and are only satisfied by more Overcommitment/Obligation.

DISCLAIMER: this is all in my humble (yet experienced based on a career of observations) opinion!

Thanks for asking...

HONOR yourself as you Care for others!
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Good point, Ismael. Sometimes people push their perspective on others, when others just "don't get it," or see things the same way. This is an individual journey, and not the same for everyone. What works for one, may not necessarily work for another. And I am in no position to tell another what to do, as I don't have their experience, insight, or all the particulars. Sometimes people are just wanting to "vent," (hence, the thread) are are not looking for someone else's opinion. If asked for, that's another story. Like DOC was saying, sometimes we just need compassion, and grace. Validation can be a wonderfully freeing thing, and loving support does wonders!
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