I don't want to be a caregiver - I have been one my entire life

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My mother is aging and needs someone to drive her to dr appt. and church. I have been up until the last 3 months. I am burned out and have finally time to do somethiing for me by going to school to finish my bs in health psych. i have raised 5 kids, still 2 at home 1- 14 1-20, so mostly the 14 i drive him to school and work pt and go to school ft. i am excited about school. i was home to raise my kids and worked pt meanwhile and volunteered at the school/activities- this stretched over 30 years agespan 18 years oldest and youngest. i have 5-6 grandkids who i babysit occassionally and enjoy it - seeing them. i took care of my mom's mom for the 3 years before she died as she has my stepdad to care for. my mom has never driven and my sister and i have taken turns since my stepdad became ill and went into nursing home and died. this has been 7 years. she is not demanding but expects rides weekly. i am tired of it and this summer she did demand to go out somewhere after her rides from dialysis. i feel for her but i did not really receive a lot of help from her. she could never babysit for me because my dad and stepdad were sick, although it was an excuse most of the time, she was not a nurturing mom, my g'ma was my mother figure and my dad was the carer as he was home a lot due to disability. i can't say i owe her anything except her house is in mine and my sister's name which is nice. i have a neck disability = had 2 surgeries and need a 3rd , in the process of s.s. disability. This week she needed a ride to dr. my sister and her daughter who don't work scheduled a hair appt for when they were supposed to drive her and now expect me to - my paper is due on tues for my last class this course - i asked her if she could switch to thurs and now feel guilty. also my brother in law never works prob mental health and never drives. what do i do and what do i take responsibility for? can we designate a caregiver for the future as i want someone who wants to do this. right now i am burned out in caregiving - i work with kids in the morning - have my kid still and going on six g'kids... i cannot lift over 10 lbs-her walker is 20-25 and may be why my last surgery didn't take as i lifted that and other things during my recovery... my kids are all to busy to help except one who is too selfish... she has given my sister gifts like a car, snowblower, skillsaw, anything they ask for. i asked for silverware as i borrow it every thanksgiving and she won't do it and said i had a chip on my shoulder. i think i am being manipulated. i do talk to her 3 times a week and that seems to work better than seeing her in person... help me with what i should do. i am 52 years old and know i should not let guilt get the best of me.


Jode...your mom needs rides to what every week, perhaps you can hire someone just to do that?
I have been caring for my grandmother, then my mom and dad both and now just my mom. My grandmother was easy, very grateful, a truly beautiful woman. Even so it was hard on my family because she did not want to be left alone; she saw little men and she thought she was being poisoned so she would hide her food in the trash. This was bad because she lost weight and I didn’t know it because I was with her daily. My dad had COPD and advance dementia and died in 2008.
My mother and dad both with serious illness almost put me over the edge. I did research for help and there are some that have services that will come and get your mom for a very small fee. Where I am it is $4 each way. They have the autos and equipment to carry, lift etc. Call the health department as they have or know who you can get help from. Also her doctor might make suggestions. There are also daycares for seniors and you can get help with paying for them if she needs help for all or part. They come get her, feed, and even bathe her; also if medications are needed to be given they do this too. They then bring her home in the afternoon (ours around 5 give or take). Sometimes the health department will has people who will visit each week at no cost but if they are required to take her shopping, to the doctor or elsewhere there may be a charge to cover their cost. I have done all this and it helps YOU. Know if there is no YOU then she will be taken care of somehow.
Also I know the guilt but it will destroy your relationship with your family. I am sure you as I do want your children to love their grandparents but you are being denied your family life. My mom has been sick for 30 years; she has done things and said things that have hurt deeply. I always had a great relationship with her but her mind has not been the same for about 10 years with the last 6 being really bad. Problem is she can appear to be all together and with it but she is not. I finally had to tell my siblings to stop making excuses for her and look at her because (they were not involved at all) and their excuses were hurting her. I am here to her so she can give inheritance to everyone at my life expense. I am her slave and yes I have been told that. I try to be forgiving as that is not how she was but it now how she is.
This has killed my spirit and even made me rethink my life as not wanting to grow old and not enjoying anything. I can’t even enjoy my first grandchild as I would like. I have arthritis and have had 6 surgeries in the last 6 years with at least four more coming. My mom wants to make sure everyone gets something from her but it is at my expense and she can’t see that. Yes I have gone for depression and so forth but it has not changed my thinking about prolonging live so I at 56 have a DNR because I never want my family to go through what I have. I went back to work at 50 and would have earned at least 125,000 since then but mom overdosed and did something so I could not help support my own family so don’t feel bad about going to school and making something of yourself as I am sure you want to be a partner with your husband and not becoming baggage with your mom. I am an active Christian and believe in doing what is right. I have asked myself if the feelings I have come to fight within me are going to send me to hell. That is when care giving for your loved one should be looked at.
Please don’t take this wrong but you have the right to be a part in your family just as your mom was in hers. You have a right to happiness and peace. If you do place your parent in a facility do not feel guilty because you are giving her better care with trained people and a fresh staff. Just make sure you check them out at medicare.gov and that they have a realistic “hands on” staff to patient ratio. ALSO if your situation is not this bad DON’T tuck it in and think you are not strong enough like I am doing. Sometimes you can’t get back what you have lost in yourself or your own family will change. Your siblings need to get it together and I hope your mom has a trust, will and medical/financial power of attorney. Hopefully you are in charge. I mean if you have the responsibility without authority that ridiculous!
I am in the process in making a decision as to what arrangements need to be made. I will pray for you and please do so for me.
My husband is mean and won't wear his hearing aids and has been mean to me and my children and grandchildren for years and now because we share the same house (separate bedrooms) the home health people think I should take care of him. No way. Am I legally required to do more than be in the house to call 911 if he falls or has a serious medical concern. I can't lift anymore, I am in and out of wheelchairs because of pushing his wheelchair. I cannot physically or emotionally, or mentally take care of this mean man. They hire home health to come out and teach me how to take care of him. I am not a nurse, doctor, or anything else. I make calls for him because of his hearing problems. I am sick of hurting myself physically by pushing his wheelchair and mentally by listening to his ugly mouth. Now he is getting dementia. He has a part time girl friend. I have had enough. Because I live in the same house, can they force me to be his caregiver. I don't like him.... signed.... the jerk's wife
Nobody can force you to be a caregiver, tiredtiredtired. It is a pretty natural assumption that if you are married and living in the same house you would take care of each other. In this case that assumption is not correct. You need to make that perfectly clear with no doubt whatsoever in anybody's mind. You are not legally required to stay home 24/7 to call 911 in case he falls.

If he needs 24 hour supervision he will have to go to a care center.

Which brings up the matter of finances. I don't know why you never divorced, but you might want to see an attorney that specializes in Elder Law (not family law) to see if that would be advisable now, or how best to protect your share of your assets if The Jerk needs to go on Medicaid to pay for his care center.
Currently taking care of my sister in law....was a full time student but had to cut back to two classes. I waited til my kids grew up so I could go back to school and now her illness is cutting into my life's goals
Jodie, what a caring and generous person you have been. Remember the oxygen mask on the airplane? You have to make sure you stay healthy both mental and physical. Call your area agency on aging. They can help you connect with services. The dialysis center may have a recommendation. If your mom has money to pay for snowblower etc she can pay for transport. Narcissists come in all shapes and sizes but they all want you to put them first. Fear Obligation and Guilt. Check out a couple of threads and begin to set boundaries before she your sister and BIL are all on your doorstep for care. Hugs
Hello, I have too be a caregiver my whole life an I am ready to do something else. I 've worked with children with special needs, preschool, hospice, home health aide, and now a nanny. I do have an associates degree in science. Got any ideas? I do love helping people, and I love the holistic health. thanks !

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