Being a Caregiver has turned me into someone that isn't me.

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2 yrs ago my husband, myself and our 2 small children moved in with my mother. We did this because she had taken a walk and was lost for about 5 hrs. It was nothing short of a miracle that we found her. My mother was dx as entering into the last stages of alzheimers and she has temporal and frontal dementia (which means she has trouble communicating and often cannot understand us). Communication is very frustrating. For the most part things go well at our home, but at times there is stress. About once every one to two months I usually have a melt down. I just go crazy. I yell and scream usually over something my mother has done that she can't help. The stress of caring for my mother who is not able to do even the simplest of things and having 2 small children is sometimes overwhelming. Yesterday, my mother came home from the adult day dare (she attends 5 days a week) and was not feeling well. I told her I loved her got some meds to help and suggested she lay down. She was not herself at all. This morning she woke up late, not the norm. Slept almost all day, not the norm. Did not want to eat, not the norm. Could not understand me and could not communicate what was wrong. I did not know if I should take her to the doctor?? I struggled throughout the day to get her to stay awake and eat a little. We finally had her go to bed around 9:00 p.m.. At midnight I heard a big bang. I ran into my mother's room to find her lost in her bathroom in the shower. I asked her if she was wanting to take a shower and she said, "yes". Well, I was mad. I did not want to give my mother a shower at midnight. I was yelling and because she could not understand me had to physically turn her and give her a full shower. She normally is able to help a little, but not tonight. I was not abusive, but I was not gentle either. I was mad. I was angry. Now I feel guilty. I know it's not her fault. I know it's the alzheimers, but it just doesn't make caring for her any easier. Not only does it break my heart that I treated someone I love with my whole heart this way, but my kids and husband are seeing someone that just isn't me. I'm normally a fun, kind and loving person. You know the kind that would go the extra mile. I moved in with my mother to keep her from going into a nursing home because I love her and feel I can give her better care and there is not question about that. But, when I act this way . . . I'm not sure. I am taking her to the doctor tomorrow. Any words of encouragement out there? Any help out there?

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anne, thank you for making me laugh, i was watching my MIL wheel around the house and thinking how am i ever going to get through another day, and this comment gave me hope, maybe even strength. Last night sitting here we saw my brother-in-law pull up across the street to collect his rents from an apartment building, yes directly across the street, No he did even glance this way, it has been 3 weeks since MIL has seen him, and this action hurts. a few weeks ago this BIL gave me money to have a tooth pulled, i told them i wasn't sure when i could pay this back, he said ok. Today i belive that it was guilt money. There is no way i caould across the street from my sick elderly mom and not pop in, maybe this is what you mean't by he equipps the called.
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Brilliant advice, Cat! And good looking out for your charge. Thank you. It seems we've all got lots to learn. Education helps. Hang in there everyone! It's tough, but God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called. Praying for you, Anne
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Hi everyone.
wanted to say something about caregivers who accept money. Not dealing with the situation completely can come back to haunt you later. I would like to suggest that anyone who discovers the caregiver is accepting money, property or gifts of any sort (other than appropriate tokens) should take the steps below:

1. On day one - inform the caregiver that they are not to accept cash or gifts - have them sign a set of houserules - make certain gifts & money is covered.
2. Document dates and amounts - if they are from an agency send them a formal letter indicating that their employee accepted cash from the client on these dates. Inform the agency that you want that money returned to the client. Copy in the state DHS and area council on aging and in a separate letter, indicate that you are filing a complaint.
3. Get the money back. Document what you did to get it back.

The reason for doing this is you have no idea what else is going on with that caregiver - it may very well be that by being on top of things you prevent more money and possesions being taken. Remember - if you don't write it down it didn't happen. Always make notes - always be the boss. You can be kind, but don't be a pushover.
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Hello everyone. I haven't been on here for a while. I guess I've just been busy with the day to day of life. My mom is doing pretty good. We still have our every day stresses and yes even my melt downs still happen, but I'm trying to get better. My sister although she cannot help with mom much does try to take her one weekend a month. What has really helped me a lot here lately is just accepting a few things. I have 2 brothers who can't really deal with my mom. They don't call or come over . . . I used to get so aggrivated at that. Not anymore. I can accept that my brothers have some problems of their own and cannot help in the care of my mom. So, I have quite expecting any help, communication, etc from them. And, I am okay with that at the present. What has really helped me is I think my sister is starting to understand what we go through on the day to day. Before, she never seemed to understand what we were going through. I could not call her and just talk or vent because I feared that she would put my mother in a nursing home. I felt that my sister just wanted to hear everything is fine. My sister had my mom this weekend and called me today and said "How do you do it, expecially with two little ones and a husband?" I was able to say that I do it out of love. However, that doesn't mean I don't loose it from time to time and that stress and frustration can at times get overwhelming. She then went on to talk about some of my mothers habits/problems. I just smiled and said I know. It just made me feel good to know that my sister is starting to understand, even if in the smallest way . . . helps me face another week. God Bless you all . . . I've been reading all the comments just haven't had any to really share.
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Kelly-glad things are a little better for you-the husband does not want to go to day care so we got the aide ans we only had to pay 5.00 a day which included lunch and I have eaten there and the food is great and only cost 2.50 and I bring some home even tho we are not suppose to do it- I plan on going back to my vol. group next week=take care girlfriend
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i was thinking the same, austin.. power up her chair and walk all over the neighborhood and across the bridge to the little village..shes going back to the adult day care next week.. YAY! i cant wait..she needs that so much.. she is resisting, but when the first time they round up a bingo game for her.. she wont want to come home!
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That is great Kelly about the cat-pet are so great- at two of the nursing homes we use for rehab they bring in dogs often abd the pt. go crazy even the crabby ones smile. My son said last night he is not coming over again because of the husbands behaivor since he stoped his psych meds but then he said he would help me with our washing machine- I cannot get out much because of all the snow-will be glad when it warms up so I can get out to the rails to trails bike/walk trails.
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i wish there was more laughter in here.. we laugh about silly things.. i brought my cat home with me and my mom is enjoying watching her and her antics.. theres little tricks i taught her and my mom just delights in it.. its keeps her busy trying to get Hannah to play with her, but she just stares at my mom as if to say " and your point was?" and she likes it. my mom gets tickled over the smallest things sometimes.
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It's funny my mom will make funny sounds or she'll start dancing and laughing.
Tonight my husband walked in to the Livingroom and my mom was sitting there with her sweater over her head. He walked in and said you mom is sitting on the couch with her sweater completely over her head. And he had this bewildered look on his face. I just started laughing. P.S. my mom's favorite snack of all times is ice cream. We have a bowl of ice cream almost every night. I agree, it's not all bad.
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I love that about sending your mom over to your brothers! My brother meets me in the lobby so he doesnt see her. it hurts him. which is understandable. but its like handing him a crying baby with a dirty diaper when it comes to my mom. clueless! i love how ill give my mom a bowl of sugar free ice cream and she sits there and kicks her feet in happiness. our brothers need to see the good side!! its not ALL bad!
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