I need some motivation. I think my mother-in-law is giving up on life.

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I just left the hospital where my mother in law is in. It seems to my husband and myself she is giving up on life. She won't eat and barely drinks any water. She has quit communicating with me. How can I inspire her to live. Am I being selfish, if it is her wish to die, should I just let her go. I watch her get weaker everyday and I am getting to the point I really do not want to go, but I am her caregiver at home. I believe it comforts her that I am there. Please help me.

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Troubled, may your Father rest in peace and may you find peace as you attempt to move forward in your life. May you find the wisdom you will need to decide what it is you wish to do in distributing the inheritance. Blessings and peace to you for doing the right thing by your Father when he was most vulnerable.
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I just posted it under the title of "Caregiver Sunshine." I hope it is visible in the window of posts? It should be under Stress Relief grouping. Just finished!
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Good point! Let us know where you post it so we can follow it there.
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Wow, great questions. I will gladly answer, but may do so in a separate blog post to start a new discussion thread and avoid bogging this one down with a new topic.
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Thanks, Sunshine. Your heartfelt views are therapeutic and uplifting to overstressed caregivers. How do you keep that sunshine in your world when you've carried the caregiving load? Is it a natural disposition or something you developed within you over time?

Elizabeth Blackwell's study on the cellular impact of stress (She's at the University of California San Diego I think) shows it's not the stress of caregiving per se but how a caregiver views the demands causes the harm.

Sharing how you keep yourself motivated could unlock the door to a better life for others on this board.
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Thank you, Martin. I speak from the heart, albeit a heart that is heavy from day-to-day. Still, there is tremendous sunshine in my world, for which I am grateful. Your words are very healing to my Spirit and I needed to hear those words. You are so right about viewing failure and weakness where there is none and when such a step is "way later than it should be." It is my pleasure to share from my heart and learn from others as well as my own online support group.
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Sunshine- Thanks for sharing your insight. The essence of caregiving IMHO is precisely as you stated - yo be a top notch health care advocate for a loved one. The health care system is not an easy one to navigate. Everyone's health needs are always slightly different. Even those suffering from the same disease will have different needs and respond to treatment in different ways.

You share a wonderful thought when you comment about the importance of listening and understanding our loved ones needs. To do otherwise is self-centered and selfish. Sometimes in a morbid way.

Some caregiving situation are so severe you will reach the point where providing the hands on care is too much to bear.

Making the decision to call in hired hands is not a sign of weakness or failure. Too often it's viewed that way. Typically, it's precisely the right step. Inevitably, it's taken way later than it should be.

You can only do as much as you can do.There is no law that says you must sacrifice yourself to prove your compassion.

The key as you so eloquently point out actively listening to the person we care for and help them live the best life they can under the circumstances. You've brought great wisdom to this exchange.

Martin
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Dear Blondie, I really empathize with you about your sister's interference. That she wants to "pry" into your parent's finances is outrageous, unless your sister is homeless or facing dire medical bills for her children. And thinking she is OWED anything even worse. But if that is her truth, then you probably cannot change her. But you can protect your own self by not falling into her guilt trip trap.

You are doing the best you can, no one can ask more. Hopefully by you setting such a great example, your sis will realize her way is selfish and hurtful But don't hold your breath. I had a sister-in-law you kept telling me that she knew better than I what my late husband needed when he was slowly ( tho not painfully) dying of lymphoma. My sanity was saved by my minister and by our doctor who totally understood the situation and was supportive of me as the weeks went by.

I tried to maintain my cool and eventually s-i-l ( who thought she knew better than I because she had been a nurse long ago) stopped calling and went on to "advise" one of her neighbors.

Keep chatting with all of us here and venting, if need be, about your situation.

By the way, "sunshine" can anyone join your caregiver's support online group?
Sounds as if it would be helpful.
Beachwalker
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It is therapeutic for me and very enlightening to read everyone's posts in this particular discussion thread. What comes to mind in all of this is that some of us caregivers choose, or sometimes learn, that the best caregiving to a loved one is simply to be the best patient advocate we can be. To me only, what that means is to always be active in listening and seeking to understand how our loved ones choose to live their lives. Once we make it to that place of acceptance, we then need to accept whatever our loved ones decide, regardless of how difficult it may be to watch. I look at it in terms of myself. I love my considerable freedoms and cannot imagine someone taking those away from me simply because I have become frail, ill, or weak in mind and/or body. In its less advanced stages, dementia robs some, not all cognitive capacity, which means that there are some freedoms which remain that I would never want to kill in my loved one's spirit. For some individuals, whether they are paid to be caregivers or not, like the pastor, for example, the caregiving experience becomes too much to observe because it is heartbreaking. Who wants to be on standby while watching a loved one, or anyone else suffer, for that matter? Years ago, a friend of mine and I were visiting one of our mutual friends who was hospitalized with multiple clots and indescribable pain that caused her to scream out loud each time the pain hit in spite of heavy prescription painkillers administered by hospital staff. Each time our friend screamed, my friend who stood next to me as a visitor in the room, literally froze and physically pulled back, eyes wide open, in a distant place. She did not do that because she did not care about our mutual friend. She did that because watching our friend suffer and scream was way more than she could handle. I understand that. A pastor is merely human like the rest of us and it sounds like the pastor needs a career change. I can't imagine paying a pastor to visit my loved one when there are so many pastors who make rounds to visit the sick and dying at no cost, as well they should given their calling.

The reality in all of this to me is that there comes a time when, if seeing what we are seeing and/or experiencing what we are experiencing in providing our tender loving care becomes too much for us to bear as individuals, whether in our hearts or our daily comings and goings, or in our dealings with our loved onesand other relatives, then we may be at that fork in the road where we need to accept that we have done all that we can and run to seek help from those who are paid to provide long-term care to others. Caregiving is incredibly complicated as everyone's posts establish. About a year ago, I started a small caregivers support group online and it helps to be able to share our thoughts and feelings on the common feelings and situations we share, just as I also do on this website. May God bless you, marmmy, blondie, and all of my fellow caregivers. Our journey is not for the fainthearted.
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Hi all,
my dad went to the doctor yesterday, finally. He said we need to get the lifeline for him. My dad said no because when he goes he just wants to go. To make matters worse my sister is causing major problems and putting so much strain on the family. I ended up changing all my screen names and will have no contact with her at all. All she wants is what she thinks is OWED to her from Mom and Dad. She wants to know all about their finances and I told her they would tell her if they wanted to. I have to deal with this besides all the pain my father is going through.
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