I'm experiencing Caregiver Burnout.

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OK, so I am the one who actually started this discussion.. I wanted to see if anyone out there could relate to my situation..Here is the brief all I can type in five minutes detail.. I have been caring for my great aunt since my father passed away about 4 years ago... First I would stop by her house daily and take out trash, pick up her groceries / medicine, cut up her pills, and provide cleaning detail to her house, vacume and things of that nature... O I forgot she is 90 years old now so she would have been about 86 when I started... Well about 8 months ago she called me and said she could not get up out of her chair anymore... So long story short, she is now living with me and my wife ( Almost made it two years together.. there went the newlywed stage ) and we are now caring for her at home. My aunt is a very kind women as she provided a place for my father ( who never held down a job ) and his daily meals ect.. anyway... She is so very hard to deal with... She cannot do anything for herself.. We have to wake her up in the morning, get her dressed, feed her, and everything else... She is very particular about everything! She needs her breakfast served to her like she is in a five star resturaunt... If her toothpick is not on her breakfast tray then she points it out... if her cofee if not hot enough or too hot.. if her eggs were not scrambled right.. you can kind of gather where I am going.. She cannot use the bathroom like a normal person and has an accident everytime she goes.. its pretty tough... I am just looking to see if there is anyone out there that can offer advice...... We really want to get away for a few days just the two of us but I have no idea how to make it happen. We love our Aunt despite the daily duties involved.. We just want a little time to live our lives along with caring for her...
I can totally relate to what you are going through. I have been caring for my Mom for the past 3 years. She is going to be 99 years old next month. As you know It is one of the most stressful jobs there is. You really need to get some help from friends, family members or elderly care services. If you don't you will go crazy. On Christmas morning mom fell while getting out of bed. Thankfully my son was here so he got her up and she seemed fine. A few days later she complained about her leg hurting. X-rays showed nothing was broken or anything She was having a hard time walking on it and it got so hard for me to get her in and out of the shower and to the bathroom, etc. I ended up hurting my back trying to get her around. I finally asked my sister if she could take mom for awhile since she has other family members in her home to help with her. It has been a much needed break for me, I was really wearing myself out. I regret not asking for help sooner. Your life is really put on hold when you are the only caregiver for your relative. Another suggestion, if your Aunt isn't already wearing Depends I'm telling you it helps a lot with bathroom accidents. I went through that too and although there was some resistance it has now become a non issue.
I wish you and your wife the best and I hope you are able to
take a break soon. Please post again and let us know how it is going. Big hug to you :) Barb
The thought of having assistance sounds so very sweet.. Here is my problem, we have not family that can help.. The only peole on my great Aunt's side normally dont contact her but once a year via telephone... My mother cares for my sister and her mother.. My grandmother has other severe health problems and my sister is severly overweight and can do little for her self.. So the only person that would be able to assist me is already caring for two other people.. I am sure she has been suffering caregiver burnout for years now... I want to find some sort of assistance to help me maybe 4 - 5 times out of the year in order to take short vacations to try and have a more positive outlook on the situation.. As I said before my care very much about our Aunt... we are just looking for a little recovery time inbetween our normal routine..
Barb, thanks for the encouraging words... We also have had the resistence around the depends... lol... We finally got her to wear them and it has helped a lot on the trips to the bathroom... Problem our aunt is so arthritic that she is not able to sit on the camode like a normal person so she has to kinds of straddle it... You can imagine being 90 her aim is not so good anymore... We end up putting towels down each trip to the poddy room and sanitize them after... I know how hard it is to try and help her to the bathroom and so forth as I have back problems my self... My aunt also fell down three times when she was living by herself.. I had feared that falling was possible so I got her a " Ive fallen and I cant get up " monitor for her to wear around her neck.. She fell one day outside her house trying to get a phone book off the ground and decided to try and get up for about 45 minutes until finally her neighbor saw her and called me... She said she didnt want people coming out to her house... ( OMG ) anyway this was one of the reasons we decided she needede the 24 hr supervision that she now receives from my wife and I... Write back soon, I hope your situation improves as well... Talk to you later... bye bye
Start with the local and state Offices of the Aging and see if they have arrangements for respite care. That is what you are looking for.

If not ask for referrals if anyone at those agencies know of a respite care resource for you.

Next, try your local house of worship. They may have volunteers willing to help.

Finally, go online and see if there are any caregiver support groups in your area. The people attending will be in the same position as you and may know of a local resource that can help, or a home health care agency that can be of assistance.

I hope this helps.

Warm Regards,

Mark
You may also check with local Nursing Homes, they sometimes have a list of people who are willing to do respite care. But interview them just as you would anyone working for you. Have them come in for a few hours with you there to show them the routine and see how they are with your aunt. Insist on references and you can do an online check about past criminal history. I know that sounds dramatic, but you would be amazed at the comfort you will feel knowing you have quality care for her. There are resources out there you just have to research. Bless you for what you are doing and I pray you and your wife get some alone time...
PSJ....well most of us here have caregiver burnout..believe me....! Good thing you got her to use the depends...my mom does not fight against those anymore either. It does save time cleaning up other things. I don't how much FREE help youre going to find out there seriously. You may have to hire a care-giving service who can come in and stay with your aunt for an entire saturday and sunday each month to get away. My caregiver for my mom comes every day during the week. I go over there after work for 3 days and 2 days she stays late and then I am there all day on Sat/Sun...believe me I know burnout....!
Psj, why not check with an asst living place and have your aunt stay in one of their respite rooms for a week?
Keep up the faith. Stand strong together in your relationship. And above all love the one you care for. I speak from experience. I am a caregiver of 13 years and counting - ten of those spent caring for my husband's mother who passed away in 2008. God bless you and yours.
I am just joining this discussion because I am beyond burnout. I am running here and there for my mother and none of it is appreciated. She just curses me out. She is hallucinating now and have been trying to get a urine sample to the Dr. but failed. I suspect she may have UTI. She just started a med for Hypothyroidism. She is not eating. A few weeks ago she was in the cookie jar day and night. She also is not drinking much. How do you know if she has dementia? I love her to death and it hurts to see her in such pain.

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