What is the absolute hardest thing about caregiving our elders?

Started by

I'm sure this question has been asked before so please forgive me if I reiterate--

But what are some of the hardest things you find about caregiving?


Mine is the constant mental battle to not take things personal...... when I am tired.... there is no way I would let any one on the planet talk to me the way Cujo (my nickname for her) does....... for me this is my biggest stressor... goes against human nature to not respond and have a good old fashioned temper tantrum of my own sometimes...
Becoming the main caregiver with no real authority (POA) over him. Therefore oldest sis and him do whatever they want. Yet, when the doctor, EMS ask who's in charge, they both point to me. I equate this also to mean: if something goes wrong, I would be held responsible since I should know better.
The isolation.
Secondly, dealing with the fallout from well-meaning people who call and dump their problems on my elderly mother as their way of "having interesting conversation". (Fallout: OBSESSIVE worry, gossiping to others about the problems told to her, acting hopeless, nightmares, sleepless nights, increased pain, headaches, confusion...yeah, Real Fallout!).
Lastly, accepting you do not have all the answers.
Ok..one more: being totally overwhelmed, exhausted & frustrated, with all of your respite time used up ...so, no where to run!
Yep, other than that...and no pay....combat or otherwise,
Piece of cake!
I think the hardest thing for me as my Mother and Daddy aged was to become more like their parent than their child. Role-reversal is no easy thing and ideally it can be a gradual process and accomplished with love and respect. In the beginning, I found myself taking control over some of their normal functions, such as writing checks for them, when they could still do it for themselves. So I had to "back off," yet stay alert to that time--and it did come--when I had to manage their finances. I think it's important to give the elderly as much independence as is possible, as long as possible.
The hardest thing is going into a *new job* [caregiving] with zero training and no experience. If I went to be hired by an Agency, I would be quickly turned down.

There are so many "hard things" about caregiving - it's hard to settle on just one.

-Isolation and loss of relationships
-Dealing with the childish behavior of an aging parent who is regressing due to early-stage dementia
-The lack of hygiene - again due to dementia
-The lack of help from others in the family, and their sometimes condescending attitude (as in, "Oh, you're so wonderful, I really give you a pat on the back for what you're doing for Mom and I'll pray for you..." instead of helping)
-The loss of "self" - I no longer have a life of my own, a home of my own etc - all that I own beyond the basic necessities is in a storage unit, and I gave up my home to move in with mom.
Lack of appreciation. I'm sure it is different for many different people.
Sib who is the primary on DPOA but lives out of town and does not understand that my days off work for me and hubby when I am running all over the place to take care of our mother. Sis won't give up her weekends to come down here...a 40-45 minute drive.
The absolute unreasonable behaviour and stubborness of my mother i know its the dementia but its getting harder and harder. She is ALWAYS right wont listen to reason or just cant reason? Everyday is an argument over something and its draining me she dosnt understand money? she dosnt understand the mess she leaves? the clutter? how much i actually do? thinks i do nothing? buys me things then flings it in my face when it suits her?
I'll stop now as id be here all night long and yes it is an isolating job i cant talk to mum anymore as its another argument...."what did you say?" dont shout at me and the CLASSIC wait until youre my age and see how you are???????????? mum i wont live to be your age if i continue this job for much longer!

Ha! bet youre sorry you asked now?
lol , book . blameshifting when something goes wrong .. wont work for poa . cuz has steadily tried to point at me as ednas primary when aps would strongarm her to perform . aps would forcefully inform her each time that she was accountable by law and needed to get that thru her head ..
my hardest struggle during end of life caregiving was the sad reality that i couldnt make my failing mom happy or healthy or change the realization that she was facing death .. she told me a couple of times that sh*t gets real when its one own dog hide facing the unknown .. all i could do was somberly let her vent herself and ease the subject back to the present in as casual of manner as possible .
losing your own self determination and fear for your own future are part of the burden package but these things are temporary . when the elder dies you WILL face the present and rebuild yourself with confidence and ease -- it just looks impossible from your current vantage point ..

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support