I am scared and worried...

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My hubby and I went out of town, just the two of us, over the weekend and it was glorious! We had caregivers to stay with Mom, and we did not want to come home. I am scared and worried that I had a taste of what life would be like not caring and/or worrying about her 24/7 and now that is what I want. I know she is slipping deeper into Dementia, and while it isn't as bad as it can be (or will be), it is still very frustrating to watch her. I know it will be easier to place her in a nursing home if she doesn't know where she is or who we are. I am not ready to place her quite yet, but also not sure how much longer I can continue to stay there with her. When Daddy first got sick, my sister asked me how long I thought I could do this...and I said "forever". Well, now that we have been dealing with this for little more than a year, I don't know how much longer I can do this.

I do have caregivers who are wonderful and I have one who needs more hours and has told me she will work every other weekend. I already have one who is willing to work the others and I am taking her up on her offer. I still want to take Mom places when I can, like going to get some peaches this weekend, but also want some time away from work to decompress and have some time for me and my husband while we are still healthy enough to do so. I don't want to be like my daddy and others who put off doing what they wanted to do because of caring for a loved one. Know what I mean??

I feel guilty for wanting "me" time but know I need to live my life too. I don't want to wake up one day (like at her funeral) and say that I could have done more. How do I (and all of you) get past the guilt of feeling like you didn't do enough?

3 Comments

I know how you feel. My parents are still living independently in their own home being they are in their 90's. But I worried myself sick and one time a few years ago my sig other went away for two days... I could not enjoy myself at all... got no rest... only side track was when I fell in a creek when hiking :P

I have to tell myself I can only do so much, physically and emotionally. Could I do more? Probably yes, but at what cost? I am in my own age decline.

I believe it is human nature to think we could have done more, after the fact.
You can "save granny" and still have some hubby and you time. There is nothing wrong with it. Caregiving should not mean you do nothing else. There are times when it has to trump everything else, of course, but those times are obvious... and they shouldn't go on for years on end though. And doing it all ourselves or doing more than we reasonably can will not stop or even slow down the course of our loved one's dementia or other medical problems, unless there is no one else doing the care that is needed. You should absolutely have those outings with Mom when you can as often as you can; it will mean so much to you to remember that you brought joy and pleasure to her. Life is both finite and meant to be enjoyed as much as we can while still fulfilling our duties and responsibilities.
We've been talking about feeling guilt a lot lately on the group. I think we are so prone to feel guilt because we have very responsible personalities. Sometimes for myself, this sense of responsibility can get a little carried away with itself. I can end up sitting at home by myself just in case she does fall or have some other problem. These things most likely won't happen, so why do I feel so responsible? I don't know.

I think we should enjoy our lives. I'm sure that at the end we may have some regrets. I'm not sure being around all the time would keep the regrets away, though. I was around 24/7 for my father, but still had major regrets about things not done. I would say to get out and enjoy life. If there are caregivers at home, then everything is covered. Something may happen or you may miss something, but it isn't good to imprison ourselves with "what ifs."

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