Help! I'm 6 months into cargiving for my 89-year-old Mom. I'm getting caretaker burnout already.

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I hear you. I had the same thing. I had been doing it for three and half years. It's a delicate balance. You need help and respite. You have to have some life outside of the care taking or you will burn out. If you don't care for yourself who will? I beg and begged for help. I finally got some. But frequent trips doing something I enjoy or a day away gives a new sense of self and refreshes the soul.

You must take care of yourself... If you make the decision not to conitune that 's okay too....Above all you cannot be everything to Mom. You will loose yourself. I say this after caring for a dying spouse with cancer and now a father with Alzhemiers. Good Luck you not alone...
Pay attention to lilblue2 -- that advice is critical. You MUST have respite regularly. This is not optional. Yes, it is hard to arrange. If Mom has some income (pension, SS, etc). or some assets, it should be used for this. If there are no funds, explore what volunteer resources might be available to you. I think we all start out as if this were a sprint. But it is more like a marathon. We have to pace ourselves. You mom may continue to need care for another 6 months or 6 years -- or more. You absolutely have to take care of yourself and that especially means mentally.

Find a reputable home care agency. A reputable agency will not require a contract and will be able to send an aide to provide respite care for your Mom with 24 to 48 hours notice.
there may be a state grant for you...check with your local Agency on Aging or Elder absolutely have to make time for yourself and NEVER feel guilty about being "away". You are first and foremost responsible for yourself...physically and emotionally. Make sure you have a healthy diet so you have feel good. And TRY to get good sleep.
How can you get help when we can't afford along with my husband doesn't think it's stressful because when my husband gets home my MIL behaves herself with me? She's awful, she's stubborn and it's like I'm talking Japanese to her! She does weird and sick things has accidents etc. she's 88 yrs with vascular dementia perfect health but mentally not good. I'm completely burnt out and my health is going down the tubes. With all this my husband can't see or refuses to see. I've told him about his mom and how stressful it is he just thinks I'm complaing and she's fine.
BS0213, I think you need to take a weekend where MIL's care is entirely in the hubby's hands whether he likes it or not. Even if it means you go wander the mall for a few hours.
On your husbands next day off....leave the house and let him deal with her for the whole day. Make plans with your friends and don't even call...she is after all his mother. He'll change his tune and hopefully get the much needed help YOU need.
If she has any income it should go to her care or check any and all elderly resources in your area. Good luck.
Well next week Thursday night my daughter will be going into the hospital to deliver I will be with her all the way and He has to take care of his mother. I want to see how he does with that! When I do leave sometimes in the evenings or on weekends he gets mad! Told him I'm entitled to be with MY family. But he feels I'm obligated. My mistake a few years ago for offering. Now with my health problems I can't even work. Thank you all for your support.
Hi BS0213! Yes give him a dose of his own medicine. Let him be in your shoes for few days or maybe even a week or more... See how he reacts. Your case is something I compare to the nut relatives of my mom especially some of her sisters who are very good & quick at telling me what to do, and yet not lifting a finger to actually be in my shoes for several days or weeks, and worse, would only send help once in a blue moon. And when there's emergency crisis that calls for real hospital confinement and/or surgery, they're very quick too in blaming me and it's not enough, they'll resort to fingerpointing to their sisters and one brother. I had enough of them and these days I don't even bother to call or text them. It's better this way... I might be physically tired & exhausted. But at least I don't hear the great pretenders in my mom's family who are all-knowing bullshit who would not even spend a minute or two in trying to understand how the 19 years of caregiving for my mom who has Alzheimer's has so negatively impacted my life since I was in my mid-20s and until now that I am 40ish already. Many of you here don't even wanna imagine how 19 years have stretched this so long. At one point last year I even asked here what methods I can do to shorten the lifespan of my mom. Some of you here will explode already with just 6 months or 1 year of caregiving. You guys be in my shoes for 19 years. You'll see why I snap so quickly when someone tries to push the guilt-trip button or when someone tries to tell me to come home after I've just been gone for 4 hours because I needed a break. I got several neighbors who did just that. I made sure they get severe lashing of the tongue from me, or super toxic replies to their SMS messages. It's very hard to remain cool & composed when one is already tired & stretched to the limit after 19 years! I won't even mention my dire financial situation caused by not accepting regular full time employment because I am often late for work because of this caregiving duty to a parent... that is another issue I can rant & vent next time. Good luck to all of us. We all need prayers & encouragement from each of us here who understand us better & don't judge us as being bad, horrible daughters & sons.
bs0213--I agree with the advice about taking care of yourself, FIRST. People sometimes don't see their parents the way other people do. They have rose colored glasses on. Also, it is easy for other people (especially men) to dump all the responsibility on to someone else if they can get away with it. I have also experienced dealing with elderly who are selfish and ill mannered. You should not have to tolerate this. Do not let this woman suck the life out of you. Putting her care in your husband's hands for awhile is a good idea. You need a vacation!

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