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Well, like the title says.....I'm so very sick and tired of people telling me how "fortunate", "blessed", "lucky" I am for having to take care of my 90 y/o mother who has dementia, they say "oh, enjoy this time with your mother, enjoy her while she is still here", "I wish I could have done that".....blah, blah, blah!!!!! I'm the one who is here, all by myself, every freaking day (with some help from my youngest daughter), but without the help of my irresponsible, heartless, selfish siblings.
What is so d.....m fortunate, or blessed or lucky about that? How can this people tell me that? When I ask if they have parents with this dementia illness, some tell me their parents are gone, other people tell me their parent is in a nursing home because "I can't take care of her, I have a job, I have other "things" to do, blah, blah, blah.
There is NOTHING, NOTHING remotely enjoyable about caring for elderly people, whether they are related to you or not. It's frustrating to say the very least. I have become a very selfish person, I truly do not care what anybody says, I'm taking care of myself first otherwise, I think I will buy a couple of plane tickets and take her back to Mexico and deliver her to one of my selfish sibling's door. Something stops me from doing this and, as my dear husband tells me, "it's duty, not love, what keeps you plugged in". It's true, I don't like this, I hate this, hate this situation and, since I can't very well take her back because they don't want her there, I'm stuck, hopelessly stuck until whenever she finally rests in peace. My oldest daughter tells me I'm being selfish when I leave her alone for a couple of hours to go work out but she never offers to come here and sit with her so, her opinion is totally irrelevant. I'm going to do what I need to do to survive until my mother dies. Never mind the possibly huge bills we will have to face if she needs to be hospitalized, I guess we will deal with that later.
So, stop embellishing elderly care, it sucks whether you are a daughter or son caring for your parents or a care giver, who has to work and has to be cleaning and changing soiled, smelly people because their relatives can't or wont do it themselves. I have to do it, if only because I have no other choice, but I don't have to like it, and I DON'T!!!!!
Next time someone tells me "I should be grateful for having the opportunity of caring for my elderly, sick mother", I'm going to either slap that person or invite that person to walk in my shoes for a week. Lets see how fortunate, blessed or lucky they feel afterwards.

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I just thought about something...

I had the privilege of caregiving to my grandmother for about a year before she died. She was a joy. It wasn't easy, but it was full of love and being loving... and that's something I don't have in caregiving to my father.

I also didn't think caregiving was going to be "permanent" at that point, either, while I was caregiving to grandma... I didn't think I was going to end up giving up my life in order to caregive. I think that played a big part in how I felt about it. It was my "choice" at that time.

My grandmother had full blown dementia. She didn't know who I was, although she seemed to like it when I would explain to her that I was her granddaughter. She was special. I miss her even now although I'm glad for her sake that she has passed. She was my love bug. I adored her and she adored me. We loved on each other every day and had silly, childlike conversations - singing songs and talking about her childhood - that I know she enjoyed, even if she couldn't remember them later. I reached her through her dementia and she managed to say very meaningful things to me, giving me great gifts like when she managed to sputter out the words that she could never live without me. I knew it was her way of saying "THANK YOU." Give me someone like my grandmother, and I think I would tell you that it is a privilege to caregive to them in their last years. And the thing is - she required more hands-on work than my father does. She had to be bathed and diapered and fed every single meal. But she gave me so much sweetness back so much of the time. It's been a joy just to remember her and type up this post. I loved her so much in all her innocence and vulnerability. I still love her and miss her.

Ok, just thought about that and wanted to add a post to this thread. Seems to me there are infinite number of things that come into play with our individual caregiving situations and no two situations could ever be the same. (((((hugs to EVERYBODY))))) :-)
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bad family dynamics. I like that way of saying it. I have BFD. Thank you. Sincerely. I have always wanted a good way to describe my crazy family norms and social not-niceties in a simple way.
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I do not view my caregiving as a privelege. On the best day, I have satisfaction that it feels like the right thing to be doing. On the worst day, I think I'm insane to sacrifice years of my life this way for my absentee father who had nothing to do with me growing up and who molested me. I also have had serious health problems in past 3 years of full-time caregiving brought on by (dad's) environment and stress. My financial situation is at its worst since I was a teenager. I take it one day at a time and try to make small steps forward but the endless complexity and problems associated with declining health (both my father's and mine) + needing to work with & comprehend VA/Medicare/Medicaid + bad family dynamics + doing this on my own with no local support system + ad infinitum...

How could anyone blame me for saying this isn't some great privilege I'm experiencing?

Yes, everyone has a different experience with caregiving because we care for our parents (spouse, or grandparents), and their personalities, their level of need, and those relationships that we've had with them for years play into how it *feels* to care-give for them. If they are destructive forces in our lives, and always have been, isn't it better to keep them at arm's length in order to keep ourselves healthy and well?

Anyone who is caregiving is doing so out of concern for the person they care-give to. That's more than adequate of an emotion to feel, I think. We don't have to love it, we don't have to view it as an honor or privilege. I'm glad to live in a world where some do see it that way. I love you ladies & gents for that. Just... don't judge, please, if I don't see it that way.

AND -- I love all of you and I love these forums where we support each other, regardless of difference in situations. 😘

Now back to supporting tryingtomakeit... 🌺
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Wow! Sounds as if JeanetteB is suffering from lack of oxygen. That often happens when one resides WAY UP THERE on a HIGH HORSE!
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TRYINGTOMAKE IT WHEN I STATED

YOU NEED TO DEAL WITH IT what i meant was this. coming to places like aging care.com, dealing with it did not mean, you deal with it alone, it meant with kindness and love, reach out to your communities, I re read what I wrote and I too am not perfect and realized that sounded harsh, and I am trying to learn to be more appropriate in how I write, because every word on this website is very precious to those looking for answers.

Again, my statement of saying YOU was meant to say, you need to continue to reach out as you have to others to find your answers, such as in Schools, Churches, community centers, senior centers, private individuals, etc. i am trying to say that each of us have needs, and it is up to us to try and get the help we need. I do know that there is a point, where at times, we feel too exhausted to even move, just remember I do care and I do know what that feels like and remember that only you know you you feel, and all I can do is help you with my kind words and love.
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Hello, I am a paid caregiver, and a daughter of a mother in the last stages of Alzheimers and a father in the last stages of PPA primary progressive Aphasia.

I have never felt my job to be a burden, or it is something that I regret. Either my job with my parents which is a situation that I say "caring for them" "job" it is work, but, every one is different. Allow everyone to express how they feel about caring for their elderly loved ones. Why is the world so critical and on the words we use. Why do or are we here on aging care.com attacking each other? I do not understand this.

Of course 1,000 people feel very different about caring for their aging parents.
There are 1,000 different ways to which they became the care givers.
Some were planned, some were not, some were forced, some were not, some are totally broke, some are not. some parents did not raise their children with the best of circumstances beyond their control, some were not. some parents did raise their children with circumstances in their control and did not do the best interest of the child.

What I am saying is this.


Boni Chak feels this: Love between family is a blessing. Caring for a loved one is a privilege.

Twizard feels this: It is not a privilege or a blessing. It is draining.

Jeanette B feels this: My day is fine, thank you for being concerned. As far as what I said... there are MANY people who do think caring for the elderly is a privilege, did I say YOU DID? No, I did not. Nice to know how you really feel about caring for your loved one.

Emjo23 feels this: I do not view caring for my mother as a privilege. It is a burden, which affects my health negatively, but I do it to the best of my ability, as I think you do.

Ismiami feels this: I agree, winning the lotto is "lucky", winning the opportunity to change adult diapers not so "lucky".
Good luck to you,

That is what five people so I have 995 left to go, and all five of those are very different opinions.

I see one thing that I believe or hope would not allow us as fellow aging care.com members to do. I see the word YOU a lot. I am here to talk about issues I have, or to answer other peoples questions as best as I see fit. if I wanted the world to feel and hear about how I felt then I would not be on the aging care.com website, as that is not what it is for. It is for helping those that need it with issues regarding their aging parents, their aging clients, their aging relatives, etc. or their own aging needs.

I have had many people state how they feel I should be or how I should write or how I should see things.

Where ever anyone is in this world YOU statements are very negative, and appear and I say APPEAR as it could be or could not be, but a feeling a being attacked, verbally by the person writing.

all I am saying is that for TRYINGTOMAKEIT, she wrote this to us, looking for answers, NOT looking for JUDGMENTS or for us to criticize her. She spoke from her heart, and really is look to us for help.

So when I scroll down, all I see is a combative conversation on you feel this you feel that you should feel this you should feel that. Really? is that what Agingcare has come to.

Please, INCLUDING ME, let us all be mindful that the person asking the question is obviously stressed to begin with, it is not my desire to add stress to anyone, but it is my desire to be honest with myself, and to know that I am wrong at times and need to reword things, I need to be very sensitive to what people are writing, because they typically are at their wits end. If I do not feel I can even relate, then I do NOT WRITE BECAUSE, why would I want to add my two cents if it is going to rock the boat and make them feel worse.

Tryingtomakeit:

I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU ARE HURTING, AND THAT YOU ARE FEELING THE WAY YOU DO.

Please know that I for one do hear what you are saying and I have answered in a previous post how I feel you can start dealing with this one by one, but you need to deal with it because YOU ARE IMPORTANT. YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOU.

To the rest of you whom wrote items on this post, thank you for allowing me to write what I sensed was becoming a very combative, not helpful to TRYINGTOMAKEIT.


WE ALL ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE, IT MAY BE VERY SHORT OR VERY LONG, LET US ALL REFLECT ON THAT AND REMEMBER TO MAKE THE BEST OF EACH AND EVERY DAY, AND KNOW THAT AGINGCARE IS A VERY UP AND DOWN SITUATION. CARING FOR THOSE THAT ARE ILL, AGING, ETC, IS VERY VERY HARD. EACH OF US HANDLES IT VERY DIFFERENTLY. WE NEED TO KNOW OUR OWN PERSONAL LIMITS, AND WE NEED TO KNOW WHERE WE CAN PRAISE THE PERSON FOR ALL THEY HAVE DONE AND KNOW THAT THEY HAVE DONE THEIR VERY BEST REGARDLESS OF WHERE OUR OWN PERSONAL LIVES HAVE LED US.

BE KIND, REALIZE THAT AS I ALWAYS STATE "LIFE IS A JOURNEY NOT A RACE"

BLESSINGS
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Boni you are still alive,
I thought you had died and gone to Heaven and not bothered to let us know.
Glad to see you are still alive and kicking.Hugs
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This is indeed a very hard topic but, like some of you said, it's the reality we the caregivers, live in daily, whether at home caring for our parents or at a nursing home, caring for somebody else's parents. People who work in nursing homes have shifts and there are other care workers there to help out. Most of us don't have the money to put our parent in one so, we are on a 24/7 call, day in and day out. There is no solution to this, people are living longer but the quality of some people's life is absolutely terrible and sad.
I agree that this forums are a place for us to get our frustrations out and to read and post positive comments that could help ease the burden on one another. I'm also glad to have found this site.
Thanks to all of you who have left me positive messages.
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This topic is such a reality and I agree with so much that was said. There has to be a better way keeps going through my mind. The pain and suffering of aging and caregiving is just so unacceptable. Why, why, why can't we all figure out a better way? I know I'm dreaming, wishing, and I guess praying, although it doesn't do any good. All I know is that without this website I'd be LOST! Thank you everyone.
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Yeah, I don't look at caring for my mom as a privilege, I look on it as an obligation. An important obligation that I will honor because I take my responsibilities seriously and I want to do the right thing by my parents. Have I learned a lot and had some blessings along the way in taking care of my mom for 13 years and my dad for 9 years? Yes. But at the same time, it's been a huge drain on me and my life. I'd do it again, but I'd be lying to say it hasn't taken its toll on me.

When I get to the point that I can't be pretty independent myself, I'll be stockpiling some good painkillers and booze to take myself out, if we don't have assisted suicide by that time. When people tell me I'll look back on my caregiving days and miss them and miss taking care of my mom I think, "You don't know your *ss from a hole in the ground. People who say that were short-term caregivers and remember it fondly. I won't miss one second of one minute of the responsibility. Not one.
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Thank you Twizard for your words. I'm grateful for this forums, that is for sure. freqflyer made a great point about most of us adult children are thrown into having to care for our elderly, sick parents without any training on how to address all of the complicated and frustrating issues that come with that. When someone says "it's like taking care of a little child" I say NO, it's not like that at all. There is a difference changing a little baby's diaper or bathing a baby, it's another totally different to try to do that to an adult, whether she is your mother or not.
I also have found refuge in going back to my athletic life. I am a Triathlete, I enjoy swimming, biking and running and also competing. Last year I decided to reclaim this part of my life so I rejoined the YMCA and now I'm training again. My youngest daughter, (we have 2) who lives next door to us, told me last year, when she found me in the kitchen crying after a very frustrating day with my mother, (she pooped in the bathroom floor and it was a struggle to get her into the shower, while I was trying to clean the awful mess) that I needed to do something for me, she told me if I didn't, I was going to get sick myself. I'm grateful to her for helping me this way, she has dealt with the mess a couple of times and I know she doesn't like it, I mean, who would?? My hope is that she doesn't have to go through this with me or her dad, and they wont.
Twizard, your words helped me tremendously, thank you.
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It's rough. And this site is for support and care for caregivers. Sometimes people can feel superior if they think their feelings and opinions and actions are somehow "more better" than others. Stuff it off, dear. See it for what it is, a desperate attempt to feel good or gooder about their own decisions. And I know that is bad grammar, intended for bad form. It's hell giving up your dreams and life to just be there for someone else, especially when that person can't even enjoy life. Hugs, lots of them. By the time my mom had full blown dementia she was no longer living with me, but it was h*ll even up to that point. Keep venting, it does help. And there are lots of us who care. whether a parent was always mean, or is just dementia mean, it hurts. Cleaning up after babies has a light at the end of the tunnel. Watching a parent throw tantrums, throw things at you, miss the toilet refuse to take medicine refuse to eat refuse to wear diapers go on hunger strikes, break things on purpose in fits of rage refuse to dress soil bed hit you bite you and on and on, these are NOT blessings. Anyone who claims that is also likely to be patronizing in every aspect of life, or just hasn't really experienced it. Kind of like a person who can live paycheck to paycheck but has plenty of food and shelter saying to a homeless person that money doesn't mean anything to them. I found refuge in painting and sewing when I was going through this. Later all my hobbies became tranquil ones like sewing and hiking and painting. Held to that dream for my light. Don't know how that helps you, sorry, but it sure helped me. Again, hugs to you.
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Cwillie, you hit the nail right on the head, it's the situation I hate, not my mother. But I'm being honest when I say it's been very hard on me and my husband, daughters and grandchildren. Sometimes I am totally drained and they notice. This is not my mother's fault, I'm perfectly aware of that but, for someone to tell me "that God is waiting for me to give my mother some joy".....this really made me upset. I come here because I do think venting my pain and frustration helps me, that's all. Up to now, I've only had very positive and helpful comments and I do thank you for your understanding. I know there are some people who think I should feel grateful, blessed, lucky, etc. for having to see my poor mother die before my very eyes every day, I do the best I can to ease her pains, her confusion, her fears. I can't provide joy, that is something she should feel herself but she can't. I do not feel grateful or blessed or lucky at all, I feel sad and, when she finally passes away, I will finally feel she is at peace.
And no, we can't hire anybody, it's expensive, we just can't.
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What is so upsetting to most of us is that we were thrown into a *job* which has no on-the-job training by a mentor. There is no boss we can learn from. We are on our own, and here on forums wondering what to do next. No one would send you in to do brain surgery if you had no medical training, why do people expect us to know how to care for the elderly?

Some say it is no different than caring for children, yeah right in their dreams. Some caregivers gave up their careers... some gave up their own families to be with their parents... most of us gave up our friends because those friends couldn't relate. Where is our retirement that we had planned for most of our lives? My parents got to enjoy retirement, why can't I?
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i didnt consider jeanettes statement to be judgemental at all , in fact her caregiving situation is imo worst than most here . i think she was just trying to point out that giving has its own kind of reward.
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Come on ladies, play nice. It's the situation we're hating, not our mothers.
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Tryingtomakeit: I understand how you feel. My mom had dementia and it was so difficult. It is not a privilege or a blessing. It is draining. Can you get someone to give you a bit of respite? Burnout can destroy you. It was a blessing when mom passed on. Keep venting. It does help.
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Winning the lotto is lucky. Love between family is a blessing. Caring for a loved one is a privilege. That's MY opinion. I'm having a good day too.
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Emjo, really? My day is fine, thank you for being concerned. As far as what I said... there are MANY people who do think caring for the elderly is a privilege, did I say YOU DID? No, I did not. Nice to know how you really feel about caring for your loved one.

tryingtomakeit, sigh, .... I made a few simple statements, why are you so angry? I got the "no compassion" from what you wrote about your mother, her life and how awful it was and now, how awful it is right now and how you just "deal with it". How did she treat you as a child? Was she mean to you? Did she neglect you? Did she do her best to raise you under dire circumstances? Look... simple questions so just relax, ok? I realize many of our parent's whom we've been tasked to take care of have not been the ideal parent. Got it.

Yes, I have spent the last 4 years caring for my loved ones. First my son whom had an accident and spent a year learning to live again. Next was my father whom died of cancer 23 months ago. He died in my arms as I didn't want him sleeping alone or dying alone. He cared for my mother who has Alzheimer's... now I care for her, have did it alone for the past 2 years without my brothers help (they live within 20 minutes of us) BUT... and it's a big ole but... it is NOT my mothers fault she no longer has her faculties and I would never EVER talk so indifferent/uncaring about her nor do I "close myself off" to her and what happens to her. I have did things that were my absolute end of the road...

Nothing what I said to you was judgmental...
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Walk a mile in my moccasins before you judge me. Each of us has our own journey. We can support one another, or not.

(((((hugs))))) tryingtomakeit

I do not view caring for my mother as a privilege. It is a burden, which affects my health negatively, but I do it to the best of my ability, as I think you do. My mother experiences very little joy too, and there is nothing I can do about it.

Jeanette, I hope you have a better day tomorrow.
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Trying to make it,
I agree, winning the lotto is "lucky", winning the opportunity to change adult diapers not so "lucky".
Good luck to you,
L
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JeanetteB, your comment means nothing to me. If you think I have no compassion for my mother, that is your opinion and you are entitled to it. Each person's situation is different and YES, we deal with it the best way we can, that is what I'm doing. I really hope I will never put this kind of burden on my children. Maybe "there are MANY MANY people who do what to deal with the old, sick and mentally challenged", I'm not one of them, are you? Do you work as a care giver in a nursing home or caring for your parents? I'm being completely honest, if I was to say I'm totally enjoying this, I would be lying.
Like I said, each one of us dealing, YES DEALING!!!!! with the care of our elderly parents are NOT having fun, are NOT enjoying seeing our mothers and fathers deteriorate and suffer and no matter what we do, they DO NOT enjoy anything anymore, because they simply can't. Stop being so condescending, you do not know me or know anything about my life. And I change my mind, your opinion offends me because you just called me UNCARING AND COMPASSIONLESS TOWARDS MY MOTHER AND THAT IS NOT TRUE.
And as far as God waiting for me to give my mother joy, I try to give her just that every day, but she simply can't notice or enjoy it.
And another thing, I really hope I don't live that long to become a burden, having my daughters deal with me, because, like it or not, we will be a burden. Why do you think there are so many nursing homes full of old sick people??
So, there you have it, think what ever you want to think about me, I can't change that but do not judge me because YOU DO NOT KNOW ME.
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Maybe God is waiting for you to have some compassion and love for your mother whom has already (from what you've said) suffered so much in life?

Maybe He is waiting for your mother to have some joy given to her from her daughter. Maybe, just maybe God is waiting on you. Oh, more than likely you will become "that old" and hopefully your children will not simply "deal" with you, but interact with you and try to bring you joy in your old age.

There are MANY MANY people who do want to deal with the old, sick and mentally challenged and do not view it as a paycheck but a privilege.
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Hello everyone: yesterday my little 10 year old granddaughter had an activity with her Glee club at school where the children and their teacher were going to visit 2 nursing homes in the area. The kids needed to be taken there by their parents or grandmas, like me so, I picked her up after school and we headed to the first nursing home. I've NEVER been to one but let me tell you, it's one of the most depressing places I've ever seen. All of the people there looked just like my mother, some worse, most didn't even noticed the little children singing there for them, that is so d*mn sad, that they can't even enjoy this kids trying their hardest to bring a little joy into their meaningless existence. I would go crazy working there, our visit to each nursing home was just about 20 min. each and I wanted to get the hell out of there as soon as I saw the residents. The kids felt uncomfortable too, seeing all of this old people with tubes up their noses, sitting with a lost stare, rocking back and forth, mumbling incoherent words, etc. But the kids were troopers, they sang for this poor people, my little granddaughter kept looking at me and I just smile back at her.
When your life looses it's meaning, when you can't even enjoy the most basic things that should bring you joy, what is the use to keep on breathing.
In my case, I do not enjoy having to watch my mother decline every day before my eyes, I'm just keeping her alive because I have no choice in the matter, but she is suffering and so am I. This nursing homes work so well because no one, NO ONE wants to deal with old, sick, mentally ill people, for the workers there this is just a pay check, for the owners of this places, it's also a way to live comfortably, it's ridiculous what they charge.
I don't want to end up like that, that scares me and upsets me to my core, I don't want to be a burden to my daughters or my grandchildren or even to the people that work in whatever nursing home I end up in, because I wouldn't want my daughters to have to deal with me the way I'm dealing with my mother, having to clean her up and change her diaper, watch her die a little more every day. I'm NO Mother Theresa, that's for sure, I just deal with the smell, the sight of her refusing to eat, drink, watch her struggle to get up from the toilet, watch her loose her teeth one by one, I just close myself to all of this so I can go on.
She suffered all her life, as a child growing up in poverty in Mexico, as an adult married to an A...H..E!!!!! who cheated on her and abused her, growing up in that house I promised myself I will never, ever let a man do that to me and I was right on the money with my husband of almost 42 years. So I ask myself, why is she still suffering, where is God in all of this, where is his compassion and his care for his children, why is he sit up there and watch her suffer every day?? My beliefs are shaky at best, and please do not tell me "this is one of God's mysteries" or "God is just not ready for her", what the ..... is that? If this is the case, what the heck is he waiting for???!!
So yes, this is yet another rant, feels good to unload all of this crap.
My grandchildren tell me "grammy, you will never get THAT old", after they see their great grandmother briefly to say hello. Well, in a way, I truly hope that is true in every single sense of the word. I hope I die before I become a burden to anybody.
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The list would go on and on as to how I got sick. I was with my client whom passed away that lived for four months in a long term care facility. That was the first GERMS GERMS GERMS. Then before that she was in the hospital for one month and one half MORE GERMS.
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trust me from the woman that has been really sick from caregiver burnout since 9/3 and have to have a surgical operation on Thursday, because I almost lost my life, literally blood pressure 30/20. You need to send her to respite care for ten days. We are not miracle makers. I am a natural at this. I love it, but I realize that not all people are fit for this. That does not mean your mother suffers. Realize what your limitations are find what you need. But first find a respite home Aegis Living, Homestead, etc. and all of them have them for $175 or something of that nature for 10 days with three meals. Really focus on yourself. I did not, I said I was ok, and I just spent the last month in the hospital. Caregiver burnout is not a joke. I had an acute upper respiratory infection. My legs were so weak. I could barely walk this week. This has been five months fellow caregivers, and the doctors could not figure it out, so I went to the best but public Hospital in Seattle Harborview.

Have a great day, Life is a journey, not a race, and you do not want to end up leaving this earth before your client. that is NOT A JOKE. I had a type of colitis that was not ulcerative but it was eating away at my colon. I will be there very early. Thank you for allowing me to state the huge concerns of CAREGIVER BURNOUT. AND CAREGIVING IS NOT FOR EVERYONE, REGARDLESS IF IT IS YOUR Parent..
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Thank you to all of you who have commented about my post, I truly appreciate it, I did needed to get this off my chest. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way, there is nothing fortunate about caring for someone who is not able to enjoy anything anymore. Like Cwillie said, what is so wonderful about getting old if you are in pain and no longer enjoy being alive. If we had the means, I would look for a nursing home but then, I would be relegating her well being to a bunch of strangers. All the commercials on tv. about nursing homes give you a false sense of reality, I've seen enough documentaries and shows about what elderly people are subjected to by uncaring workers but then again, if it's frustrating for family, it's got to be even more frustrating for the care givers that work there.
My mother has absolutely no enjoyment except for watching Walt Disney movies all day, I've tried to interest her in knitting and putting small puzzles together, give her magazines to read but she just doesn't want to do any of that, so the tv. and the DVD player are on all day. It's a struggle to get her up to go to the bathroom, when she soils herself, it's horrible to clean her, bathe her, etc. She has lost all but 4 teeth so she can't eat anything solid, her joints hurt, I don't think she can see very well either, her doctor told me about 2 months ago that she has lost a lot of weight, but sometimes she doesn't want to eat, I can't force her to eat or drink, she keeps saying she had just had a big meal, it's horrible. She used to sit with my husband and I at dinner but I hated to be eating a nice stake with all the trimmings when she was eating her soup, she wanted to eat what I was eating but when I gave her a piece of chicken or meat cut in to little pieces, she couldn't swallow it. So we decided to take her meals to her room, this has worked better.
I just deal with this situation on a day to day basis, today might be a good day.....or not. She might start emptying the drawers to "pack her bags because the are coming to get her", she might take her clothes off, she might throw up or soil herself. When this happens, I have to go outside and take several deep breaths of very cold air and try to prepare myself mentally for what I need to do. After I take care of that, I come downstairs, sit and have a drink. Text my hubby about it and wait for his reassuring words. I do not think I could do this without his help and support.
One thing really upsets me, and that is the total and complete lack of responsibility from my siblings, it's like we have disappeared from the planet, it's really infuriating and I can't do a damn thing about it, I stopped wasting my time and energy and patience asking them for help, as far as I'm concerned, I have no siblings.
I'm also very scared and worried about my own old age. Right now I'm still healthy, I'm 63 y/o and I can still swim, bike and run and race, I love Triathlon racing, I've done 3 Iron Man Triathlons, the last one at age 60. But who knows what will happen in 10-15 years, I absolutely do not want to put my daughters and grandchildren through this hell. My husband and I have talked about it and we will take care of business when the time comes. We will leave it in writing so our kids don't have to suffer and alter their lives to care for us when we get to be this useless.
I firmly believe that children do not have to care for their parents, they should not feel obligated to do so, and it's not fair to say that "now it's our turn to return the favor", what the heck does that mean? Children do not ask to be born, all of us are born because our parents decided to bring a child into the world or because they were careless and got pregnant by mistake. Whatever the reason, we did not ask to be born, our parents decided that and they are obligated to care for us the best way they can. When you decide to bring a child into the world you are making a life time commitment to care for that child but I do not think that child should give up his or her life to care for the parents when they become old and sick. More and more adult children are put into this situation and it sucks. We are trapped by obligation. I love my mother, or at least, the memory of her, this poor frail, sick woman is not the mother I remember and it's very difficult for me to deal with caring for her alone. I really don't want to put my daughters in this situation. My husband's aunt had a neighbor who live to be 102 years old, the last 2 years were h*ll for this poor woman, her only daughter was herself old and sick too, only 2 grandchildren came to see her once in a while, my aunt was the one who looked after this lady and she told me it was so sad and terrible seeing Mary suffer like that.
I don't know, I better stop. Thank you all for your feedback, I really appreciate it, made me feel better.
Take care.
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I do hope she posts back after provoking al these heartfelt replies.
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Trying, I am walking in your shoes. But three years ago, I was able to put mother in Assisted Living. She is 97, dementia is getting worse, and she is losing weight fast. She can barely see, is incontinent, and only has one hearing aid left. When people tell me, "Oh, maybe she will live to be 100!" I give them the evil eye. Mom cannot even carry a conversation. Just a list of the same questions over and over again. She never listens to my answers. Recently, she has decided she has to call me on the phone. She cannot hear on the phone. I will have to put a note in her book that she is not to make phone calls, because she cannot hear.

Even though I do not have the hands-on care anymore, it is still very tiring. I love my mother dearly, but today she put me through the ringer just with one phone call. She thinks she can move into an apartment. Sigh!

I have three daughters and already told them I do not want to be taken care of by them. I will not do that to my daughters.
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Most of caregiving really sucks, yes. And then there are the complications like bad siblings, and bad doctors and bad nurses and bad nurses and bad paid caregivers that make it unbearable. BUT, there are those "golden moments" when your parent says something or does something special. Guess what: you ARE lucky and fortunate to have been there for those, and that is the only "payoff" I've found in taking care of my parents and all the many, many friends that have died that I've helped. When I get to the point where you were when you wrote your "rampage against the happy caregiver" image, I try to remember those moments. My mom can actually be really, really funny, and like Art Linkletter used to say about kids, she "says the darndest things!". I hope I can still remember that, as she enters her next phase of dementia, when those moments will no longer exist.
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