Caregiver blues & survival...

Started by

Taking time out for you as you take care of someone else, is important for your survival.


I agree. I definitely feel that being in a house with seniors who are sick, unhealthy mentally or physically, constant complaining, multiple funerals to attend, frequent doctor visits, etc. can really bring you down. I'm planning my exit strategy or at least a respite plan.  I wonder just how how I might feel if I had an ACTUALLY HEALTHY and positive environment for a week!
I’m starting a new conversation of caregiver blues, and want to share my ups and downs with taking care of your loved ones. First let me say I was thrown into it . Totally unprepared. But I learned fast. My hubby of 40 years had to have 2 total hip replacements. Did I know what this was all about? no didn’t.Did I realize how much work was involved ? No again. Did I know you could drink your hips away? Nope. You see I married an alcoholic. He drank for 40 years. Only when he couldn’t walk anymore did he stop. It’s for better or worse right? But I held up, and so did he. I’m not going to say it was easy, but I made it. And being the whole caregiver I won’t say I did everything right, I had a leaning curve. I never had to take care of anyone before not like this. I had 4 surgery’s and never had help, I drove myself to the doctors, even on surgery’s days, and to PT. I still cooked, cleaned, went to work, I didn’t Rely on him for help , not that he would’ve given it, he was always drunk. But his day came and the tables got turned. But I was the better person and did everything for him. Cooking’s, cleaning, doing bathing, meds, cutting the grass, painting, and working full time, with no help from anyone! I’m not going to tell you how easy it was. It was hell. The fights, the meds, and always hearing how the patient , no one ever cares about the caregiver. Not one person asked. So my advice, take care of you. Even ifs it’s just going for a walk, or having a glass of wine, laughing at a good movie, take time for you. Going out maybe one night with the girls. Because there going to be alright, don’t forget about you. There going to be in pain, and not right in the head, do don’t take it personal. Try and laugh at it, breathe and know your not alone. Well that’s my story hope it helps. Yuki
That sounds like you did have quite an ordeal Yuki500. That's a lot of work for one person. I was with an alcoholic for a few years and OMG, that's horrible. I don't know how you did it. Thanks for sharing your story.

I am not under a lot of daily hands on caregiving with my parents. They rely on me when they are sick, transportation, picking up meds, if my dad is not feeling well, some household chores, some business matters, etc. but, it's still stressful. I am taking some time, but, I need more. I've been doing gradual renovations to my house and intend to move there most of the time. And to help them downsize to a more convenient condo. (less upkeep)
Sunny girl, my late mother gave me some advice that stuck with me forever. Never ever depend on a man! Depend on you. Never quit your job, and always have an exit plan, if things don’t work out. And I did. I told my spouse 40 yrs ago, if you don’t go to work because of your drinking, or cheat on me , or hit me I’m gone. But I always have an exit. And he knows it. I won’t be bullied, or treat like a doormat! After 2 total hip replacements he’s given up the drinking, but it doesn’t make up for his bad behavior. But I stayed why I still don’t know. Hey it’s for better or worse. He does realize that I got the raw end of the deal, so I’ve accomplished something. Everyone has there story, that’s mine. And if anyone needs to vent, I’m hear. Yuki
Sunnygirl thanks for cheering me up. We’ve been though a lot since nov 2016. With 2 back to back total hip replacements it’s been challenging to say the least. It totally changed his and my life. Now there are things he must never do, something simple like climbing a ladder, he can’t do anymore, I must do it. I guess I depended on him too much for the outside stuff, but it’s good to learn a few new things right? This will make you laugh, but the first time I used a pressure cleaner out side I had more water on me then what I was trying to clean. I looked like a drowned rat. Lol or when I cut the grass for the first time, anything that was in my way got trimmed that day, lol. Then I found out I kind of liked it. It was like therapy. I couldn’t wait to come home from work and cut the grass. Funny you find the strength inside to do more. I’m not saying it was easy, but boy for a 60 year old women to do all of what I’ve been doing, I’m patting myself on the back. Just once in a while I’d like to hear from him thanks honey your doing a great job, and I love you. That’s all.
Hi all, I have been feeling the caregiver blues and just wanted to reach out. I care for my 92 yo motherinlaw in our home. She was in the hospital 3 1/2 weeks ago for gallbladder surgery. Was really weak after surgery so they referred her to rehab to work on her strength. She was there for 10 days and has been home now for over a week. My husband, her son, helps with finances, fixing things, that sort of thing, but the day in, day out hands-on care falls to me. When she came home she needed a lot of help whereas before going to hospital she got up, walked with her walker, got herself washed and dressed. Having to assist with every transfer, trip to the bathroom, etc was really wearing on me. Plus I had canceled many of my outside activities and was feeling isolated, likecmy workd has suddenly gotten very small. I love my motherinlaw but spending most waking hours with a frail, often unhappy 92 year old was making me feel depressed and a little crazy. I started looking into home care to give me a chance to get out. We did not get signed on however (dragging my feet I guess) and now my motherinlaw, home from rehab 10 days, feels that she is “better,” and told me not to worry about her, but to go on out and do what I need to do, that she would be alright. We’ve had some ups and downs the past few weeks, but she is better than she was last week. However, she tends to get up (For example to go to the bathroom) and “forget “ to take her call button with her. That does not give me confidence to leave the house for a few hours and know that she would be alright! So I believe we need to proceed with signing on with Homecare, to give me peace of mind and the opportunity to get out and be “Me” again. But I worry that she will resist because she thinks she doesn’t need a “babysitter.” Any suggestions? If not that’s ok, I just needed to tell my story to people who understand! Thanks.
MaryBee, good for your that you are going to get out and take some time for yourself. You are doing a lot for MIL, so, I'd try to make my own time a priority too. It's so vital. Since, MIL, is in your home and you are responsible for her care, then, I'd likely just make the arrangements for the home care person to come in and stay when you go out. It sounds like MIL being unsteady, getting up without her alert button, is too risky to leave alone.

I've read that some people makeup reasons the person is there. Some say the lady is there to help with chores, like laundry, cleaning windows, etc., only they end up just sitting with the senior. Some say it's a friend who needs to make some money, so they are doing her a favor, by coming over. Or that the health insurance requires it to cover certain things.  Others, try to introduce them as friends and work it out that way. I hope you find a way that it works for your situation.
Thanks for the encouragement, sunnygirl. We did hire the aide for twice a week, yesterday evening was the first time she came. I felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders! I just told my MiL that it gave me peace of mind to know someone was there if she needed anything. She did not let the aide help her get dressed for bed, but maybe she will as she gets to know her better, and hey, the fact that she could even get ready for bed herself is a good thIng! I feel so much better and I’m very thankful for this site.
That's great news about you getting some outside help. Maybe, over time, your MIL will adjust and you can use her more often.
Marybee congratulations on your freedom, even if it’s just a few hours. I wish I could do that. Enjoy and let that help, HELP. Yuki

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support