So tired.

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Am so thankful I found this website. All these years I thought I was the only one that had issues with my elderly mom. At first I thought she was coming down with dementia because she was becoming so mean to me, but she didn't have any memory loss associated with the disease. So I began to think it was me and that I was an ungrateful, good for nothing daughter. It's been hard and there were times when I hit rock bottom emotionally. The one thing that kept me afloat was writing in a journal when things got really bad. My downward spiral started when my Dad passed away in 2007. Before he passed he asked me to take care of mom and I promised myself I would include her in everything so she would never be alone. I have to say that I've kept that promise but at the expense of my own happiness and well being. In the beginning I thought her meaness towards me was her way of mourning Dad's passing. It wasn't. It has gotten worse over the years and I've gotten so tired of my life. But then I found this website and see there are others going through the exact same situation and realizing it's not because of me being an ungrateful, good for nothing daughter. It's her aging and becoming more difficult as time passes. Wish someone like Dr. Phil, Dr Oz or Oprah would bring to light those of us who have to deal with difficult aging parents and provide information as to available resources. I'm done being an unappreciated slave to a controlling, nagging and downright mean mother. I know it's going to take some time to get out from underneath her thumb, but I have to start before she completely destroys my life. Thank you agingcare.com for throwing me a lifeline.

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I love reading all the posts on this site. I have only been caring for my mom a year and a half but it has been the hardest year and a half of my life so far. She is a nice lady and always has been but my life is no longer mine. At 91 with dementia and other physical issues she just can't entertain herself. So I feel I need to find ways to entertain her. I have a hard time with that:( I am blessed that my adult children ( two daughters) help me when they can. Right now she is at a senior program for the morning which gives me a small break as well but it is not the same when you have to an everything you do by a clock. I know I have exactly this much time to get something done. I miss the freedom I once had to come and go when I wanted to. Maybe we should all write to Dr Oz or Dr Phil requesting shows about what caregivers go through.
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So true JessieBelle.............."respite time is not the same as a life."
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Real caregiving is not very glamorous. Really old people are not pretty in the way we're taught, with the young model with fine features being the ideal of beauty. Another problem is that the target audience of TV networks and publications is usually young. This is who the advertisers want to market to, whether it be wrong or right. So we get sexy shows of vampires, instead of shows about elder care. Elder care doesn't pertain to most young people.

I've noticed that even for shows that are about elder care that they have been sanitized. It may be partly to maintain the dignity of the elder. It may be avoidance of the gross factor. Who really wants to see a poopy diaper from anyone, even a baby?

I wonder, too, how easy it would be to do a documentary. How many care receivers and givers would be willing to open their homes to a film crew? I know I wouldn't, even though nothing really "gross" happens around here. There are a lot of books written about caregiving. The bad thing about them, I've found, is they say a caregiver do more and more. The emphasis always seems to be on the care receiver, while the only advice for the giver is to be sure to take some respite time. Caregivers need their own lives and respite time is not the same as a life. We see the question in various forms here that addresses this problem -- how can I balance caregiving and my personal life. That is a tough question to answer unless someone has a lot of help. There are a lot of ways to do it, but often the elder is not open to changes. So what to do?
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Being new to this site it took me several tries to find my earlier post. Thank you for listening and responding. Found out there are no support groups in our area that deal with aging parents. There are only caregiving groups for dealing with memory loss. Well at least I have this website I can go to when I'm feeling overwhelmed.
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Likely the literature on caregiver burden is suppressed because really, what would happen if folks facing caregiving got a glimpse into what is really involved before embarking on the caregiving journey? There would be a lot more nursing home patients and the government would be spending a lot more money on patient care. In my case I would still have done it but would have went about it differently. The happy, mobile, card playing seniors that they show on commercials is definitely not reality.
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If we could rate original posts on this site I'd give you five stars out of five or sure.
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Carla, oh those commercials, I know what you mean. The ads make everything look so wonderful, and the *elders* in the ads are MY AGE.... no one makes an ad with an elder in their 80s or 90s being cared for by a grown child who is also an elder, both using canes to get around :0
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Sadly, the only media coverage of elder care issues comes from commercial interests and is soooooo slanted towards the glory of "giving back" or the importance of keeping Mom or Dad "at home, not in a home." The real issues facing caregivers are totally disregarded. There's a lot of knowledge out there (the scholarly literature on "caregiver burden" started accumulating over 30 years ago) but it has not made it to the attention of the public. All of us out here are alone together and ignored by the larger society. It totally bites.
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Bel, I agree, I wish some of the better known hosts would do a series on elder care.... or even a cable channel, where the cameras would follow numerous families, each with their own unique set of circumstances, and with therapist who come in to help... sorta like the Hoarding shows on cable.

In fact, all the years I have been watching Dr. Phil, I don't recall seeing a show where one is dealing with an elder... except for those Catfish shows where Mom or Dad falls for an e-mail scam and sends tens of thousands of dollars to someone who doesn't really exist.

You could still take care of Mom even if she was living in assisted living/nursing home. If money is an issue, see if she could qualify for Medicaid.

I am also tired, mainly emotionally tired, and here my parents still live under their own roof, and me under my own. I believe our elders get angry because they have lost so much of their freedom... gone are the days where they could hop in the car to go to the store whenever they want.... gone are the days when they could see and hear clearly.... gone are the days when their minds were on full speed.
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