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Regardless of what anyone says, I have to say that care giving is akin to living hell. It really is.....the time and aggravation alone is mind boggling. It's never ending! It's literally a 24/7 commitment......no, it is a 24/7 commitment. It gets very old real soon......the same regimen day in and day out. It do not wish that torture on my worst enemy. Servitude......that word says it all. Most families will have to endure this hell at some point in their lives. It's as though life gets going smoothly for awhile and then the curse of old age comes into the picture and the gravy train stops and the torture takes over. It's just one of the many pitfalls of life. It's the way life is......for all of us. No one gets to live a good life, we all have to endure our share of craziness in our life......whether is be financial trouble, health problems......or whatever.......Murphy's Law is always there to give us trouble. You all know how Murphy's Law works......"what can go wrong, will go wrong". I hold that saying to be most true.

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Some people are natural nurturers, the rest of us do it because it is an obligation. Thank God for my husband, who is a natural nurturer - because I really dislike taking care of my dad and wish I had never taken him in. Please don't tell me how he took care of me when I was little - because he didn't. He made his life choice, which were all a mess. Married a crack head who nearly starved him to death. We took him in nursed him back to health and now he thinks we should wait on him hand and foot. He literally, eats sleeps and goes to the bathroom. That's it! Doesn't want to take his medication, socialize, go outside. Nothing. And I am tired. My dad is capable of doing more but just won't. I feel stuck and I am not happy. I have 3 siblings who won't help. Totally burned out and want off the merry go round.
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monateru I envy you I really do, no sarcasm at all. It isn't the same for all of us though. My mother for instance won't have caregivers and I am the sole caregiver 24/7. I don't have anyone except the wonderful people on here to share the bad and the occasional good times with. I have no friends down here - I haven't lived here for 45 years or thereabouts. Mums friends don't visit now she has dementia. I get 2 hours respite a week occasionally when she goes to church and thats is it. I shop on line, I do everything on line.

My mother is not a sweet old lady but she is still my mother. Mum doesn't tell funny stories, she criticises constantly and while she showtimes for the doctor she can't maintain it and a longer spell in hospital showed she had a dependency personality disorder that is absolutely draining.

I don't find is impacting her bowel manually myself (because the people who should do it WONT come out if it is a weekend) something I ever thought I could do or would want to do.

I don't find creaming her genital area because it gets sore because she is incontinent something I want to do. I particularly hate it when she asks me to cream her because 'it feels nice' because I find it distressing.

Would I stop doing this? Not at the moment ....but I recognise that there is a time when I will. If you are caring for grandpa then you are much younger than I probably but I never anticipated that my retirement would be spent doing this.

Hell? Don't believe in it .....but for me (and I will only speak for me) it is a nightmare that is now a reality and whilst I could never say I enjoy it - I will continue to do it....for her.... and believe me - she probably doesn't deserve it (deserve is the wrong word but I can't find the right one) perhaps as much as your grandpa does, given my childhood issues and the fact that she didn't do any care for her mother, her father or her husband but expects me to do the care for her.

So try not to be quite so harsh - caregiving is so very different for all of us. On the plus side I am so pleased for you and more especially for him that you are able to do this and if times do get rough for you then we will be here. xxx
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This is an old resurrected post, instead of Roscoe. I do wonder how he is and if he ever placed his mother. I didn't know who to feel more sorry for.
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So you are back Roscoe. How is Mom's constipation?
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Roscoe I cringe!
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I think caregiving is different in each situation depending on the elder's issues and your relationship with them. In my case, I wouldn't call it hell, but it's something of a prison sentence. I envy those who say that if they didn't love the person, they wouldn't do it. It would be nice to have the freedom to choose how involved to be or not be in the care of a parent. When there is no money to hire help and few or no available helpers, your choice is pretty much made for you.

I think when someone needs 24/7 care and you're the only one to do it, it's a living hell no matter how much you love the person. I've been in that situation in the past, and that was my experience anyway. So I can't argue with the OP even though that's not my situation now.
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First time joining but long time follower.
Weekendsoff is obviously having a different experience than many of us. He or she tells a tale much like ours but I guess it isn't whining when you say it isn't.
I have been taking care of my mother for over 20 years now and it gets more difficult as the years pass. I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't love her but if, from time to time, I need to vent my frustration and hope for a pat on the back from SOMEONE, it would be nice to know that there is a place for that and that I won't be judged too harshly by someone who has not walked in my shoes one step, let alone a mile.
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Its NOT hell. Hell is realizing your grandpa was abused by his caretaker because she was 'bored'. Hell is hearing your caretaker yell at him through the audio monitor. I am one of 2 caretakers for my grandpa now. It is not hell. He tells funny stories, maybe a few times a row, and he is a sweet guy. If you think your job is hell then QUIT.
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Two years caregiving for my husband who has been more then difficult medically hasn't been fun nor healthy. I can say im happy n id do it all over again because i decided to gain as much personal growth from this moment of horror in my life that continues to go on as i can. That is exactly why the horribly physically painful and stressful life i have been living has given me more to live for in these two years then in all mu life. Learning i can do whatever comes my way now, I am starting to enjoy my life as Jill.
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Look into compassion fatigue. I did after coming across the term in a different poster's thread. According to the American Institute of Stress: "Compassion Fatigue: Also called 'vicarious traumatization' or secondary traumatization (Figley, 1995) is the emotional residue or strain of exposure to working with those suffering from the consequences of traumatic events. It differs from burn-out, but can co-exist. Compassion Fatigue can occur due to exposure on one case or can be due to a 'cumulative' level of trauma." As a caregiver I can see in the mirror that lately I've had non-optimal levels of compassion for myself. I think I've felt this way since that hotel incident with my MIL.
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omg I just opened up to you what I have been going thru and magic again....I have a solution....
If we all rally and get the word out thru agingcare here that I am trying to do this charity and alz assn is not available to help me___just maybe, maybe, those who can will book some space or at least put some money down for the sistahood.....So here goes I am winging it didn't want to have to do this but I don't want to lose all my hard work tomorrow at 11am pst.... so here goes, call royal Caribbean group sales....ask for the "HUMMINGBIRD HOUSE" GROUP sailing, western Caribbean, dec 20th.....Chose a cabin inside (no window) or outside (window) and up to 4 passengers per cabin...don't even know cost yeat cause they are being so difficult the cruise line that is, omg a whole nother story but I am still standing, and or apply payment and you have done your part and we could actually all be pampered this Christmas... k now I am done please let me wake up to a full ship!! it is our only hope! Or the media!!!
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FreqFlyer, hopefully you're on the mend by now or at least on the road to getting there....best wishes for a speedy recovery (or not, given that it will give you a "break" of sorts, from your parents' demands!). Funny how we start looking at things differently when we become caregivers - as in "hey, if I have surgery, I'll get a break from caregiving!" - pretty interesting turn of events for most of us. Grocery shopping has become my only respite from Mom's demands, which are increasing by the day, it seems.

Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball to be able to see into the future to see exactly when all this will end - and how. All I can do is prep now for future events that are inevitable - like Mom's passing, or if the unthinkable happens - mine, before her. Every good day she has now seems to be followed by a week of "not so great".
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Hey flyer..so sorry to hear about the kidney stone, but I had a little laugh to myself when you said that you were kinda happy. This will be a little vacation of sorts to bad it's in the hospital. It's nice that your parents have a way to do their shopping online and get it delivered. So they can cook for themselves as well. Maybe they will see you in a more appreciative light when the time comes. Wishing you the best all the way around. Be well
Deb
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Ekkiemom, I know what you mean.

Just recently I was diagnosed with a large kidney stone which will need surgery.... believe it or not, I was happy with the diagnoses....whew, now my parents will need to fend for themselves at their own home until I recover, and at my age, it will take some time ;)

We have on-line grocery service, so now my parents will have to pay the delivery fee to have said groceries delivered to their house instead of me going to the store for pick-up or my sig other, my parents won't like paying that fee [which they can easily afford], but what choice do they have. Maybe this will be a wake-up call for them.... or maybe not.... [sigh]
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I'm new to this blog and new to parent caregiving and I find these conversations quite frazzling. I'm not choosing sides but I can certainly see how one could become frustrated even though they love their parent. Caregiving is going to be an emotional journey for me and quite frankly I would rather go before my mother it just hurts so bad....just my two cents and that's really all its worth
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Ditto, FF
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There are days where I think I will be in Assistant Living before my parents get to move in there :P
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karebear11 - In some circles, raccoon eyes are in. You might want to draw black lines all around your eyes - it will give you a really interesting, artsy look.
A look we could all use. But stick to black - sometimes my dark circles have a purple cast. I love the color purple - just not around my eyes. Hang in there!
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Be glad that your parents didn't physically take of any of their parents. My dad's father moved in with them a few years after she retired at 55. He lived with them a year before going to a nursing home. A year later my grandmother (my mom's mom) moved in for a year. My mom will say how she was grateful, happy and proud everyday to take care of her family. I lived about 800 miles away, but got a phone call everyday telling me how exhausted she was and no one would help and that my dad went off to work everyday and left her to deal with everything. When I reminded her of this reality - she said - Oh you might be right but I don't remember it that way. I am sure I was happy to take care of my mother just like I am sure that you are happy to take care of us. My parents have had 25 - 30 years of a good retirement. Retirement - I can't even imagine it. I just want a day without some drama or hope beyond hope a weekend off. One can dream.
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Thanks for the encouragement. It helps to have a safe place to vent and get advice. As for the dark circles..mine were so black today I thought I had smudges from mascara, but I wasnt wearing any!
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I always ask myself, when will I get to enjoy retirement?

My parents had 25 years of a great retirement doing everything they wanted. I am pushing 70 and haven't seen one day of retirement and probably won't for quite a while as my parents are healthy for their age. Plus my parents never physically cared for their own parents, so they have no idea what they are putting me through.... [sigh].
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No, it is not wrong to desire a life for yourself and your husband. Just next to impossible when you are the caregiver for elderly parents. My parents are now in assisted living but are totally dependent on me for about everything. When my parents lived with me, they had no concern for my well-being or the unpaid hours that I spent taking care of them. My first mistake was assuming that everything would work out without a real plan. I set no boundaries or limits on what I could do. I have a business, so I would run home to fix meals, provide medicine get everyone settled, then run back to my business and try to catch up. The hours at the doctors, specialist, labs, etc. meant that I would be gone from my business for days on end. My dad would always say that I should sell my business so I could take better care of them. He does comment constantly that I should take better care of myself because they would be in a terrible position if anything happens to me. He is right. Although my dad and mom have a lot of resources, my dad is a child of the depression and will not spend a dime on anything. He will not outlive his money, but just likes the idea of having it. and counting it. Before I moved them into my home, I should have set up financial responsibilities for all of us and a plan for what would happen if their health issues become more demanding. I was very naïve about the demands of two parents and one person taking care of everything. Assisted living has helped. I still don't not have a life, but I am not on call 24/7 everyday. Once I moved my parents here, I lost all autonomy, outside activities and most of my friends. One thing is for sure - you need a break. I don't know what your financial arrangements are with your mom but she needs to help out. I had numerous disagreements with my dad on the caregivers and going to assisted living (because of the cost) but stayed firm that I could no longer do everything. And more importantly, if this continued, I could no longer do everything, but would be able to do nothing. It finally got through.
You have got to have few hours for your self and/or a weekend to regain your sanity. I know the feeling of exhaustion, resentment, depression and guilt. I wish you the best - please find a way to take a few hours for yourself. It will help a little.
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I just began exploring sites today to help me with what I realize now is "Caregiver Burnout".
I am the only daughter to my widowed 88 year old mother, who has had many health issues over the last 5 years.
My husband and I used to just mow and clean, do some maintenance, and assist her with her trip to her summer home (a working vacation).
But when our son moved out 5 years ago, we moved in because she needed more help.
2 years ago she had double bypass and I left my good salaried job to take care of her 24/7.
She got a little better so I was able to work part time, do local volunteer work, and still take care of her and the house. The only complaint I had then was lack of privacy and missing a home of my own.
But now she is failing and had lymphoma. I am home most all of the time now except for a few cleaning jobs to make money. She demands all of my attention. If I need personal space or time with my husband, she says I've abandoned her.
I try to make palatable meals but she won't eat unless I sit with her. I can't do things fast enough.Everything sounds like an order. I can't plan anything, especially in tbe morning , because whenever she feels like getting up I must be there to get her breakfast, give her meds, bathe and dress her...etc.
I feel like my life is slipping away. My friends visit and text me but I can rarely get out with them.
My husband says I should just ignore mom, that she is using me. I can't do that but it makes me resentful sometimes.
Mom is so tight with her money that I cannot hire someone to come in and give me a break.
I'm exhausted much of the time, and getting depressed. I drink too much wine at times too.
I love to wake early and have coffee in peace. But as soon as I hear her door squeak open I feel my nerves jump!
I love my mom, but I feel like she doesn't love me so much, just needs me. Never once do my needs come into the picture.
Is it wrong to desire a life for mysrlf and my husband?
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I know the feeling about not getting breaks. I took one 3 day weekend off in 4 years. I was about 4 hours away when I got a call that my mom had fallen and was being taken to the emergency room. I managed to get my son to meet her
at the emergency room so - I was able to get my 3 day weekend. I guess it was worth it. Lots of drama on my return.
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People, I pray for my father's passing every day. I had one weekend break in two years and I do not feel one iota of guilt for how I feel. Years ago my life started revolving around my father's illnesses. Now my life is consumed by him. Do more? No way and I don't feel about it. I gave up my life for my father and I resent him for niw expecting it and I hate my sister for her paltry little attempts at "helping".
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I have a 90 year old father who gags when he eats and spits in the sink. I read him the riot act about spitting in the sink I. My home. I have a sister who did nothing for years and the big excuse now is that she is planning her daughter's wedding. She has no idea how burned out I am. Just wait until this glitzy wedding reception when Dad is sitting there gagging and passing gas. Maybe she will see what I am putting up with And gave put up with for years.
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Attractive, wow I have not felt that in years, and too funny ^^^the bags have bags!!! So true, not to mention the arthritis and back issues from lifting, rolling, transferring, oh well.
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Dark Circles? I should be so lucky - I have bags under my eyes then dark circles and bags under my dark circles. It is not a pretty look.
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After 10 yrs of caring for my mother and all the friction in our family, I developed eczema... The stress accumulated just like my dr said it would. Now I feel unattractive to say the least... careful so you don't get sick.
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burnedout13, oh my gosh, I am also in my 60's and I look years older than my age... those darn dark circles under my eyes don't help me, either.
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