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

Started by

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!


I am an abused caregiver of the very highest order.

My 104 year old grandmother has swindled me out of my life ,and 2 of her other 3 grandchildren have helped her to do so.

The remaining one is so far out on the periphery that he doesn't really count. But I'm sure he would have joined in too, given a chance.

I am really not out to whine, but much like the hero in The Princess Bride, I am mostly dead, but not quite completely dead. However, there will be no Miracle Max for me and no magic wait-30-minutes-for-full-potency piece of chocolate to save me at the end.

I posted my story "Tough times with 103 year old Grandma" (put "103 year" in the search box if interested) when I joined here about a year and a half ago. I keep meaning to update it, and probably will any day now.

But for now, since you asked, "Have you tried to get Doctors, Social workers, the State to help, with no response?", I thought I would add to that.

My lying, swindling grandma says the Rosary 3 times a day, watches the mass on EWTN daily without fail, and genuinely believes that her son is going to come down to take her up to heaven. So, at the end of my rope, one day I thought, "Well, maybe I can get a Catholic priest to come in here to talk some sense into her."

I called the local church, discussed it briefly with a secretary of some kind, who, after hearing a little of my horror story, promised me that I would be called back shortly. Sure enough I got a call back, and amazingly from the Bishop! He listened to my story for a moment and then stated that unless we were members of the parish, or else made a nice contribution, they couldn't possibly help. I was blown away by that. The church of course tries to have such a "do good" image, but when it comes to down to brass tacks, they can can be as mercilessly "No pay, no play" as your favorite utility company. And the Bishop, to reach such a stature, obviously had to have the people skills, the "grace", to state that very deftly yet clearly and without needing to show his fangs. For that I had to respect him.

But for me, it was major deflation of my last hope of reaching sanity. However, since I may very well be encountering the devil himself via my grandmother, what could I really expect? Did I really think that Father Karras would show up at our doorstep?

Anyhow, you can add the church - at least in SOME cases - to that list of futile efforts.
Ishmael, There was a time not long ago that I thought I needed an exorcist for my mom. I have not/do not rely on the church but I have relied on GOD. I have and do put all my trust in HIM. I must say that recently GOD has done a wonderful work in my the point that I hardly recognize her anymore. Just in the past few months she has become sweet and compassionate to ALL. She no longer is evil, spiteful or repulsive but considerate and even sociable. A total 180! A few months ago I had almost "thrown in the towel" in regards to her and it would take me all morning to work up the courage to drag myself over to her apartment to address a given situation. I will not question my blessings but I am eternally grateful and thankful. I hope you can be soon also. TRUST IN GOD & HIS WORD worked wonders for me. No weapon formed against us shall prosper.....not even our elders.
WOW, castoff. I thought I was the only one who has been through trying to find an exorcist for my Mom. When you hear words that you don't even hear a sailor speak coming out of your once sweet, giving, loving, nurturing Mother, (and I'm not exaggerating) as strong as an oxe, destroying everything she gets her hands on, calling cabs to go to bars, not bathing, food spilled on her clothes and she will fight you to keep them on, you begin to think this MUST be the works of the enemy of our souls. I am like you and you have reaffirmed what I have been standing on for SO long, that God WILL come through and He WILL bring peace to this woman so tormented in her mind and heart. THANK YOU for reassuring me today by letting everybody know that your Mom did a 180 from what sounds like where my Mom is. Everybody has said, "she needs to be put into a mental institution, nursing home, etc . and I have told them all she will come through this. I AM NOT GIVING UP ON HER. It is what you call LONG SUFFERING, and I have learned a lot about myself during this ordeal. And have changed some things that I didn't like about myself.
The entire load has been dropped on my shoulders, I have 2 sisters who live 1000 miles away from here in two different directions, and an autistic brother who is in a facility where they take very good care of him. The sisters try to tell me what to do over the phone, "you should" type comments. Well, the staying quiet and taking the backlash stopped. I now tell them what goes on is none of their business. And until they change their non-caring ways, they will be kept at arms length. I truly believe part of my Mom's problem is that she feels abandoned by her daughters, that they don't care what happens to her. There is nothing wrong with leaving the nest and having a life, but to drop responsibilities that SHOULD be shared by all siblings on one is just dispicable. So many thoughts start running through my mind when I talk about these things. All I can is, karma bites HARD when it comes back to bite.
Is there really light at the end of the tunnel when dealing with horrible parents? I know a lot of the "anger" and "nasty comments" are a result of the beginning states of dementia...and it only gets worse. There are many people in the world that cannot handle it and decide to ignore the situation or walk away. This is what my family and my parents friends have done. All the decisions are left to me and I honestly cannot take the situation any longer. I feel horrible that I can't wait for karma to bite my parents in their butt and feel even worse that when it happens, there will be a smile on my face. Does that make me horrible? I just posted a summary of my new to the site and learning to navigate through.

I am caring for my father now, and have officially locked my dad's brother out of any decision-making capacity in that regard. That entire side of the family has been very ugly to me (and my half-sister) while I took care of my grandmother, going so far as to go hungry for days at a time or sleep on the floor for over a year(because sleeping on the couch would ruin or dirty it). I got screaming phone calls weekly or more, visits from the police, and been accused of stealing and/or neglect on multiple occasions(all of which were proven or can be proven false accusations)...while my grandmother and father both slept on high dollar mattresses, and I cozied up on a thin mat on the floor. (Dad did not like this, but my grandmother had a similar attitude of my worth as the rest of the family).

I have been a worthless dog to them my entire life; when I was abused by people, it was ignored or I must have done something to 'instigate' it. Now, I am an even more worthless adult, having a mild autistic disorder, and they(my dad's brother's family) are doing everything they can to ensure that I will never have a life at all. I am 30 years old, have paid less than five years taxes because I've never had a job longer than that, have difficulties finding work because I've spent all of my life being my family's doormat. And I should be grateful, according to them, because I have free rent(sleeping on the floor, doing all of the housework, and cleaning feces from the floor, the chairs, the bathrooms, the clothes, and the humans, because my grandmother refused to wear briefs at all) and they have a right to treat me the way they do because I am 'defective'. And people wonder why I hate pure Darwinism.

I sleep with the receipts proving my expenditures of my grandmother's money, because I am afraid they will find them and burn them, just so they can have me prosecuted for 'stealing Nanny's money.'

Yes, they hate me that badly, and I can't figure out what I've done to them. And they blame me for the fact that Dad loathes them. But it's their own fault. They ignored and abused Dad his entire life, and now he watches as they pretend it never happened, while treating my sister and I with the same contempt they had once directed at him.

They are now currently fighting over my grandmother's estate(which I want no part of), and I wonder. Is their sudden 'love' for my father so they can get whatever scraps(money) my father has when he passes?

My father is practically a child, and that part of the family has no interest in helping, just like they had no interest in Nanna much at all, until right before she was about to die.

I give my heart freely and unconditionally, and it hurts to have it stomped on repeatedly, like it has no worth or value. I find myself frustrated to no end with them, who like to usurp control when it is in their best interest.
Lianna, my heart breaks for you. You and your sister must have legal rights here. Have you contacted a elder lawyer, does Dad and/or Grandmother have wills?

You are strong and courageous for taking care of two elderly people; and have been treated in a deplorable manner. We can only trust in what goes around comes around for those who have been so cruel to you and your sister. Wishing you all the best!
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 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.
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 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 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

@ 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 . . .
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 has passed away now so its up to me now to care for dad.....

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support