Are you an Abused "caregiver"? No help? Expected to handle it all? Me too.

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Has your family, or spouses family "dumped" the respondsibility of caregiver on you?

Have you tried to get Doctors, Social workers, the State to help, with no response?

Have you lost your "life" to be the Caregiver ?

Then this is for you to vent, talk, share your story. "All we have left". So might as well share it, Abused Caregivers ONLY!

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I am an abused caregiver for aunt & uncle. I get no help or understanding from their children. Most days I feel like I am going insane.
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I cannot help but agree with every comment I've read. It is very helpful to know that I am not the only one. I think we have to pray often, and keep digging for solutions. They are out there, even if we haven't found them yet. I have found that "casual venting" can sometimes yield results. My mom broke her hip last year, and her behavior was so horrible that the staff noticed and she was given anti-depressants. I think this is just the way of it, and we should not feel any guilt for wishing they die. They gave you life, but are not entitled to ruin your life. As for a**hole siblings, they will end up in h*ll.
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My sisters have definitely lost my respect, and probably have lost the relationship with me as a sister. They have left everything up to me, and are extremely selfish and stubborn. It is interesting that siblings that do not have the time to help out, somehow find the time when it comes to collect the inheritance. I cannot figure out how siblings that do not help out (if they live in the area, and have the time) can take their inheritance in good faith. Maybe then they will realize how crappy their behavior was.
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You're being "resented" because you are no longer willing to be taken advantage of. Let it all go in one ear and out the other. Give them 30 days, period, to make other arrangements. You're PREGNANT and due in a month-and-a-half, for heaven's sake. In 30 days, drop her off with all her clothes at your MIL's house.
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HUUUUUGE rant incoming. I'm sorry, I guess it turns out that I feel very strongly about this topic. :D
Ah, where to begin with my horrible situation...
I live with my great-grandmother. She is 93 with dementia. By comparison, it sounds like she is much easier to handle than most of the loved ones that you have mentioned... I am lucky in that she is still mostly continent, can eat/drink without assistance, and can get around the home (with the exception of stairs) quite handily. However, those silver linings aren't enough to keep me from being at my wit's end, and it's only been two months.
When I agreed to let her move in with us, my MIL (her POA), who lives just down the road, promised to visit 3-4 times a week to spend time with her, take her out, wash and set her hair (Gran will not let me or the PSWs touch her hair), etc. I was also promised no less than 6 hours of respite per week through Red Cross, several volunteers per week through our community access centre, Meals on Wheels for her dinners, weekly visits from her son and two of her granddaughters... the list of broken promises goes on and on.
Two months later, I have finally been forced to accept that I am pretty much alone here. MIL has not been by in a week and a half (but is enjoying a nice long weekend at her trailer right now), her son hasn't come out in two weeks (even if he did, he has no idea how to deal with her condition and they just end up yelling at each other), the Access Center is too busy for new clients, and neither of her granddaughters have been out to visit in more than a month. Turns out that I get TWO hours of help from Red Cross weekly, and every single other support has fallen through.
This would not bother me as much as it does except that I can't conscionably leave the house - actually, not even the top floor of the house - unless someone else is here! Gran paces about the top floor of the house to see if she can find someone no less than once per hour, and gets extremely upset and begins to panic if she thinks she is alone. Oh, I'm sorry, you wanted to step outside and water your plants? Sunbathe in the yard and read a book? Take a shower in the basement? Start some laundry? NOPE, if you pick the wrong time, you will come back to a heartbroken old woman crying and pacing out of equal parts fear and confusion, because she can't remember where the hell she is or why she's here, or the last time that she saw another human being. My husband and I need to aggressively manage shift work if we want to get ANYTHING done. Something as simple as running to the post office to check the mail can be an impossible task that takes DAYS to get done if she has no visitors and my husband works several late shifts in a row.
When I reach out to all of these support people who promised me this help, and explain my frustrations over the fact that I am a prisoner in my own home, and that I have not had a day off in two months... I have only had 4+ hours of consecutive respite ONCE since I signed up for this (I had to jump through some ridiculous hoops to get that time off as it was, and it was to go meet my newborn nephew)... they tell me to 'just leave her'. I tell them she panics when left alone, and they say 'So?' Seriously? Putting a broken old woman through extreme mental distress is not high on my priority list, especially since pacing has led to some bad falls in her recent past (a large part of why she is no longer living alone).
Oh, and to add to the fun, I am 7 1/2 months pregnant. I have told MIL that we can't handle this and she needs to be sent to a home unless I start to get WAY more help, but she can't even be evaluated for her eligibility for a home for 2 more weeks, and then (if they decide she is ready for a home, and THEY DARN WELL BETTER), we will still need to wait for a room to become available, which can take another several months. I also feel that I am being resented for 'giving up', as people don't seem to understand/care about the demands of living with Gran and think that I am being overly dramatic about her issues and needs. I feel that her family is just waiting for her to die, and trying their very best to detach themselves from the situation. As long as it's someone else's problem, even if it's applying chronic stress to a pregnant woman, why should they care as long as it doesn't affect them?
And there's my novel of a rant for the week. Sorry for the gigantic rant, I'm just so overwhelmed I'm not sure where to turn anymore (I don't think there is anywhere I *can* turn...)
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Your Grandmother may need to go into a skilled nursing facility. You will no longer have her social security money to share, but once you start speaking about an elderly person in negative terms, education and respite is what you need. Sounds if you are having caregiver burnout and compassion fatigue. This is common. Please call a local hospice to help you. Cost is free. As a RN, appears your grandmother needs help for her organic brain disease known as Dementia or Alzheimer's. She is not acting this way on purpose. Her frontal lobe cortex( in her brain) is not getting good communication. Please understand she doesn't "know" consciously the harm she is doing to anyone. She does not need an exorcist, but yes prayers will help! Take back your life sweetheart. You tried to help her. Let professionals guide you. Many blessings and warmth to your soul.
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Dad has alzheimers dibeteas and parkinsons...
Mom and Dad was married 61 years....I love my mom and dad and i will do for them as a good son would do...mom has passed away now so its up to me now to care for dad.....
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@ MyHarley: Why? Your mother made you promise to do all this? No, she didn't. So why do you do it? There are ways "to take care of dad" and there are ways to "take care of dad." Sacrificing your own life shouldn't make the list.

God bless you. It's a selfless thing you do, but . . .
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I love and care for my dad....but he has alzheimers and now dignoised with parkinsons......he thonks sunset rises in the oldest daughter..she doesnt help at all. I do everything by myself....i put my life on hold closed my business moved back home lost the wonderful woman i love.....to take care of my dad.....and as a child he would beat me make me sleep in the cold outside....but i forhive him for all of that.....and out of 4 children i am the only one to step up and take care of dad.....and dad daily fusses at me doesnt care of i am tired ...i dont eat alot of days to make sure he always has food....all of this really hurts but i wont give up.....i made a promise to my dying mother to take care of dad......as much as it makes my family mad i will take care of dad so he can live as long as he can to be comfortable
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I've been taking care of mom for just about a year. She see-saws between filling up with fluids and being dehydrated. She can barely walk. Can't dress herself. I keep her in cute little housecoats that snap. I put a clean one on her in the morning, she sleeps in it at night. And I change it the next day. Can't walk without me at her side with a gait belt and her walker. Have to take her to the bathroom every two hours or change her Depends briefs. She's incontinent at night, but the briefs and a waterproof pad protect the bed clothes. I cut off her Depends with those special blunt-on-one-end scissors. I'm doing her laundry every day. She can't dress herself. Can't wash herself. I fix her breakfast/lunch/dinner...all low-salt. Tom & I eat much healthier now. I've lost a ton of weight from eating right, the added stress of having so much responsibility, and being mom's personal assistant. ;)

She bumped her leg on her walker and created a terrible hematoma that killed all the skin and created a 6" x 3" open wound that looked like raw meat that I had to dress twice a day for two months letting it heal enough for a skin graft. Then I had to attend twice daily to the skin graft too for another month.

Then she fell (forgetting she couldn't walk alone) while I was 10 feet away in the kitchen and broke her hip. Hospital and rehab for two months. I visited her every day she was there so she wouldn't forget me. (She has dementia.) It took four hours out of my day. I hated it.

She's been back a month. Same care responsibilities except she's even weaker. She talks loudly in her sleep which results in me not getting enough rest. That's my biggest problem of all.

I am an only child. After reading much in this forum, I think that's a blessing right now. I always missed having siblings, but now? I realize the ill will, jealousy and greed that seeps in to relationships at this time of a parent's life.

I feel blessed to be able to do this for my mom. I'm happy being with her on her journey to whatever lies ahead and hope I'm there to hold her hand and whisper reassurances in her ear when her time comes.

What help do I have? I have Tom, my significant other of 15 years. He steps up when I need him although I rarely ask. He cheers her up, cheers me up, sits with mom so I can run out and shop, run errands or go out with the girls on a Friday night. Without his support? I couldn't do it.

What help do I get from family? Well, I have one cousin (like a sister) who has been a Godsend to me. She was just over today and styled mom's hair and manicured her nails. Other than that, there IS no family.

What else? I have someone come in once a week to give mom a sponge bath. Cost $30/week. I send mom to Senior Daycare every Thursday. Cost $66/week. I pay my significant other (he owns a taxi) to take her and pick her up. Cost $60/week. Every three months, I have a hair stylist come to cut mom's hair. Cost $75.

I've taken great advantage of Social Services during her hospital stay and have a doctor for her who comes to the house. (Medicare, no charge) I have his cell phone number, and, lo-behold! he answers it. If she needs lab work, he orders it, and a nurse comes to get it done. (Medicare, no charge) A podiatrist comes to the house every six weeks to trim her toenails. (Medicare, no charge).

Who pays for everything? Mom has money. Not a lot, but she saved enough for a rainy day to make sure she'd have an umbrella. If it's all gone? It's all gone. She pays me $1,000 a month...an arbitrary amount I decided on because it made me feel good. I know, if mom goes on Medicaid, I'll have to pay it all back. That's okay. I can afford to do so. (Medicaid looks at family care as a gift. Unless one has a special contract in place, elders can't pay their children to take care of them. Medicaid will disallow it. But that's another story.)

I have my mom's healthcare power of attorney and durable power of attorney.

Why am I telling you all this? Because if I had siblings who wouldn't let me care for mom EXACTLY THE WAY I'M DOING SO I wouldn't do it. And though my demented mother might not understand, the mom who's loved me all of her life WOULD.

Caregivers are angels. Believe it. We should demand what we need, and, if we don't have complete control, the person who does should acquiesce to every single legitimate request we make. Or they should do it themselves.
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