The stress and burnout of caregiving has affected every aspect of my life.

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Short and sweet, my mom has had a great many health troubles in the past 7 months. Starting with a planned back surgery, her going to a facility to help her rehab, hew having to learn to walk again and having open heart surgery in December. For some reason she still believes she can do it all and as a result she fell today in her home, hitting her head, getting a head injury. I am simply getting frustrated and burnt out due mainly to the fact it seems she gets more and more stubborn and I does things she knows she she not do. I am only 40 and I feel like I am much older than that age (my mom is almost 74). The stress and burnout has affected every aspect of my life and I would like some advise on how to avoid feeling overwhelmed all the time. and finding time for myself.


babsie, I read your profile. Your mother has really been going through one thing after another. My heart goes out to both of you. As I read, I thought about something I wrote in another message the other night. It was about an old, bent woman who was walking alone on a street at night. A lamppost cast a shadow on the wall. The shadow was a graceful ballerina. As we get older, we still feel like we can do everything we once could. Our brains are wired so if we tell our leg to move, it does. When the body becomes weaker, it takes a while for the brain to understand that things aren't what they used to be. I go through this myself -- I'm almost 61 and don't understand why I tire more quickly and am not as strong.

Is your mother's thinking okay other than not realizing her limitations? The broken back really concerned me. It sounded like she has had a history of exceeding her limitations. I don't know what to suggest other than supervision and in-home help. I hope other people will have some good advice for you. It sounds to me like you need some help to come in to get some of the stress off of you. Either that or try to get her into assisted living.
Wow, your mother is a tough ol' bird, isn't she? If she weren't so determined and "stubborn" she probably would be bedridden with all she's gone through. So stubbornness is not all bad.

But it is so hard to see people push beyond the limits we feel are "safe" for them.

What was she doing when she fell? Was she simply walking across the room to water her plants, or was she carrying something hard to balance with the cane? In other words, was she really pushing her limits or just trying to behaving normally? What kinds of things does she do that she "knows" she shouldn't be doing? Is there any way you can eliminate the need for her to do some of these things?

For example, if she is still trying to clean her house or do her laundry, etc. can you encourage her to "retire" from those activities and hire someone to do them? What kinds of things do you do for her? Can some of those things be hired done?

Ask your Mom's doctor to have her evaluated for in home health care. There may be several options that would allow you free time, while Mom is getting the caregiving she needs. Medicare pays for this. You could hire a companion to come in a few hours a week/day so you can get away and do what you want; even just a little quiet rest and read time in your room can help alot.

Ideally, if you have other family available they would be able to cover while you take time off for your own self.

Best of luck.
Sending you good energy...I can relate to your situation...just started having a homemaker/companion for my Mom a few hours --2 or 3 days a week has made such a difference...STILL stressful, but can manage better. Wish you well~

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