I envy friends who do not have elder caregiver responsibilities.

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I'm at a point right now where I envy friends whose parents have already passed on. So tired, only child, difficult parent -- even back when I was a kid, so I never really had a break. There are others who need me too; they are part of my life by choice. I do not have the time for them that I would like to give them and I am frustrated by my efforts to do for the elder being so much "for naught." I've gotten to the point that I do not want a pet in the house, have begged my kids not to start having grandbabies, am even fearful of doing volunteer work that I used to love because it was usually serving "needy" (not a money thing, the emotional side of needy). This is burnout, isn't it? Counselors cost money that I do not have. Are there any suggestions out there that don't cost anything?

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Such a simple suggestion Jeanne, and a good one at that. I couldn't and didn't even think about that. You're one smart cookie. :)
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Join a caregiver support group.
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It really is a burnout for many caregivers. And it is difficult to deal with that/those feelings. I know where I live there is a program through the state that covers mental health. I don't know if it's only if you have a mental health issue like depression or not, but I think it might be worth a try to find out about your state and what types of benefits it has to offer. Another idea, check with (if you live near) a college university. If they have a program for psychologists they need "practice." A psychologist sits in with the intern and oversees the sessions and to help you and the intern. They do NOT charge but you have to be their client for so many months. Again, that's where I live. My counselor told me about the university programs. I hope this helps.
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