Balancing your own life with the care of your loved ones.

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I have been a caregiver for the past 5 years. At first it was not so much, and about three years ago it became full time. I have not had any help the whole time. I have also been ill myself during this time. I still managed to get my Bachelor’s degree. I had planned to go to graduate school. I have applied and am waiting to hear back. I am excited about this. However I feel that I cannot leave because my mother needs me. I have already put my life on hold long enough. Now I want to live for me. I want to make sure that my mother is taken care of. So now I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. It is also hard for me being in my 20's and I don't know a lot about how to handle these things.
How do you maintain the balance?

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Thanks for your comments. I have contacted the Div. of Aging. There are no family members nearby.
I will put myself first because caregiving has seeped into other aspects of my life.
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There really is no balance when we're caring for an elderly parent. If there were, sites like this wouldn't be necessary. Your mom is only going to need more and more care as time goes on and that's not counting anything that can and does come up expectedly like a fall or a stroke. The more care your mom needs, the less time you will be able to spend on your life and your goals.

If you want to continue on in your education, and you should!, make sure you have an out so you're not still in this position 10 years from now wondering where the time went. Decide now that you will put your mom in a nursing home before the caregiving takes over your life. Make a decision now that your education comes before caregiving (which it should) and if the caregiving starts to seep into all other aspects of your life (and it will) you will make the necessary arrangements for your mom to be cared for so that you can keep moving forward in your life. Set your priorities now.
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You need to set up home caregivers for your Mom so you can continue your education.. Call your local Elder Services and find info from them.. You need to take care of yourself..

Can you find help through family?
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