How did this forum, change from providing help with caring for relatives, to justifying not providing care because it is onerous?

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It seems to me all the recent questions concern people not providing the care, or people who want to avoid caring for their supposed love ones. What happened to supporting and helping people actually doing the work?


Well, I'm new here, but I haven't noticed that at all. What I HAVE noticed is an awful lot of families believing they're being taken advantage of by other relatives who ARE caring for their loved ones. *shrug*
kathyt1- The questions I have read so far are the ones asking for help are the actual caregivers. Of course I haven't been through too many questions to notice what your saying.

Been helping dad caregive mom since I was age 23. Mom became bedridden atleast 14 years ago. I have 7 siblings. Everyone moved out. No one really helped despite dad and I asking for help. They moved away, got married, great job, go vacations every year, have kids, grandkids, etc... Mom passed away last year. My 7 siblings VOTED on what to do with mom's funeral money gifts. Of course, they all voted that it be split evenly. This was when I realized how my siblings view my being here, staying back, holding off my dreams of traveling, and being physically/verbally abused by father all these years. I felt such betrayal. Now, when I read posts here. I encourage the caregivers to really think before they commit their lives to caregiving.

By the way, I have known from the beginning, that my dad told me that this house/land will go to my other 2 brothers who have their homes in the states. If I want a land, then I need to marry a man with land. Mom passed away last year, and dad is now bedridden these past 2 years. This year makes me 25 years of caregiving. I have asked my dad twice if he can sign this house/land to me. He refused. So, this is my decision to be here - to do my obligations. In the end, when he dies, my 7 siblings will descend. And the 3 boys will fight over this house/land. And I will have nothing to show for all these years - only a clear conscience between me and God. sigh....

FYI, when caring for mom, my dad did his best to control me. Verbal abuse. When I'm in the middle of changing mom, he would punch me in the head and face (my eye glass almost flew off my face). It got to the point, that he was going to choke me. I drew the line there. I was ready to punch his lights out, and he knew it when I went on a fight position. He would tell everybody how I was a bad daughter. Soooo many people lectured me and told me to do more. ME!!! out of 8 kids. What about my 7 siblings? Trust me, what I went through is not just an onerous position. sigh... I have a headache. Too much stress and I really shouldn't have answered here since my blood pressure went up just thinking... what a wasted life I've had.
Kathy; there are lots of us on this board who love our parents and know that we CAN"T care for them the way they need to be cared for. My mom is in a NH because she is in frail health and she would be dead 4 maybe 5 times during this past year if I were doing the caregiving (I'm not a medical professional, I would not have picked up the fact that she had pneumonia any of the times she's had it). And she's not getting it because she's in a "germy" enviroment, she's getting it because she has a compromised heart and circulatory system. Want to hear about the horrible death HER mother died, from gangrene, while my mom was caring for her? Younger brother brought home a cold/flu, turned in pneumonia, which wasn't caught in time. Yes, gangrene. It's on her death certificate.

Additionally, the world has changed since I was a kid and mom cared for grandma. My mother never worked outside the home after marriage until my youngest brother was in college. These days, everyone has to work. There are very few folks qualified as caregivers sitting around with nothing to do except care for granny. Not that caring for granny is "nothing". It's a big job, and if she's got dementia, it requires three shifts.

Back in the day, elderly people died of hardened arteries, heart attacks and if you were really unlucky, cancer. With so much prevention and interventions that cure the above three, people are surviving to develop dementia. Caregiving a dementia patient is NOT something that should be attempted by amateurs, IMO. Not around young children. Not by caregivers who are elderly themselves.
ba8alou makes an important point. It's only recently that people started to live longer, but in such varying degrees of health. It used to be that caregiving was about keeping a dying person comfortable for a few months. Since many women did not work outside the home, they could be available for this kind of caregiving (and families tended to live near each other, so the tasks could be spread around). Now people can require care for decades, more skills and definitely more emotional stamina are required, and most people must work a full-time job so in many families there really isn't anyone to do it. Our cultural attitudes towards caregiving have not caught up with our on-the-ground reality. This is why there are so many people saying "I don't know if I can do this, does that make me a bad person?"

And dementia is whole other kettle of fish. Our society has never before had so many people with dementia to care for and frankly, we are not prepared.
I've only noticed caring people who are in desperate situations coming here for advice and support. It's a scary place to be when other family and friends turn their backs and you are left as the only one between a loved one in need and social services. You have to be very careful that you dare not make any move that would jeopardize the LO's financial situation. Additionally, you have to convince a LO they need care, though their mind tells them they don't. People with dementia are difficult to deal with. It's just a tough situation and others who have been there offer us support and advice.

So, I don't think it's a matter of being uncaring, but just being honest about our struggles and a need for validation.
Hi, kathyt1. Welcome to the group. There are many posts providing support for actual caregivers. There are others recommending having the loved one placed in a facility if they need more care than is available at home. Aging in place is desirable, but sometimes it isn't practical. This might be due to the health problems or personality of the loved one.

The good thing about being a community here is that we all have a voice. Since you are a hands-on caregiver, I know you will have some good advice for people on how they can handle the stresses and take better care of their loved ones.
Oops, I see you been with the group for a while. I clicked the wrong profile button. I think dementia is setting in fast with me. I've probably been caregiving too long now. :)
Decades ago, women use to *network* across the backyard fence with other women who were stay at home Moms. They learned from each other about child care, cooking, how to deal with other family members, who had the brightest white laundry on the line, etc. These women would help each other out with babysitting, etc.

Today the backyard fence has been replaced with websites like this... what is so great is that we are seeing similar elder care issues are worldwide, not just an issue in our own backyard.

One can be a Caregiver and not have the parent/spouse living in their home, or the Caregiver 24/7 at the parent's home. There is a lot we can do behind the scenes. We need to let those who are helping behind the scene know they are also doing the best they can for their parent/spouse.

One has to remember that not everyone can be a hand-on Caregiver, no different than not everyone can be a brain surgeon, firefighter, police officer, school teacher, etc.
Kathyt1, I don't think the nature of the forum has changed in that regard. It may seem like it if there happen to be a number of posts with similar themes at any given time, but chalk that up to coincidence, not a change in the forum itself.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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