I don't have anymore ME time.

Started by

i am a full time caregiver to my husbands grandparents... all though i made my living before as a caregiver in a well recognized dementia facility here in western washington, i find myself not knowing what to do... only because i can no long seperate my work life from my home life. My husbands grandfather is going through agressive renal failure, along with diabetis, he has to go to dialysis 3 days a week. His Grandmother has first stage dementia. grandpa fell and broke his hip landing him in a rehab facility, shortly after grandma fell at here house and my husband found her naked the next day. When i was asked if i would become their caregive i jumped at the chance to be a stay at home mom again...(by the way i have a 3 year old son) not thinking of what impact this was gonna have on our family.. right now my husband is in Japan working and will not be home til April... it is hard, they are very set in their ways and both are home bound other then the occational trip to walmart.lol both are having a hard time coming to grip with everything going on. They have 2 daughters who dont really seem to show an interest in them other then when they thought that grandpa was going to pass... i just need and outlet.. i am glad i found this site!!! i feel as if i am neglecting my son.. i am catching myself getting short and snappy with him.. any tips on what i can do to help keep my head where it needs to be???

23 Comments

Hi lovinck4life,

I'll say you have your hands full!!! I found this on a earlier posting "respitelocator. org". I have been awarded a grant by my local Redwood Caregiver Resource Center it's not much but every little bit helps. The sooner you get some help the better off you will be. Awww your 3 year old...what a big change for him poor thing. I am taking care of my mother. She is 65 years old and bedbound. I have been taking care of her for 3 months 24/7 with very little help (worn out). I am looking for voluteers at a local church that's another resource. Do what you can to make sure your husband and son aren't neglected.
Get help asap!!!
Hang in there!
-Jaz
Lovin, first of all breathe!! Take one task at a time. I don't have any children, but perhaps you can ask him to help you with simple tasks so that he feels like he's helping.

My husband to helps me out because I lose track of days VERY EASILY, is that he takes all my bills and hands them to me before they are due that helps me not seem so crazed. There is nothing wrong with respite care either. Just because you volunteered to stay home does not mean that you don't need a break either. Maybe find something that allows you to take time with your son.

The important thing is do not panic and just walk away somewhere and breathe!! You will find we are all spent emotionally, but there is great advice on these boards. Never be afraid to ask for advice!!
Hi! this is the first time that I have posted anything. Well I take care of both my parents they live with me and my husband, my Dad was put on hospice he only has 10% of his heart working and my mom recently broke her arm and hip while visiting my Dad in the hospital so now they both are in bad health. They both are in hospital beds both on oxigen both need constant care. The home health aids come in and bath my Dad everyday so that helps me alot but I have to take care of my mom on my own no help!! I have to give them their medicines which is alot between the both of them, and my mom takes breathing treatments every 4 to 6 hours I have to manage all their bills and finances take care of all my moms doctor oppointments fix their meals my mom is on a low sodium diet, so she wont eat anything unless it is doised with salt she has asthma congestive heart failure she has kidney failure and so on. oh and she is losing her mind! thanks for listening.
pintos,losing her mind, are't we all.have you any family that could help. I know alot of you are wetting your own pants on that one but maybe. Also check with your parents health care provider, see if there is a gereatrics center in your area. Also if dad qualifies for home health aide why not mom. even if it is one hour a day, for you i'm sure that would help.and whats with the salt thing do all elderly get put on a low sodium diet and think that means empty the salt shaker everyday. I'ts early her in maine i'm hoping you all have a good day... Sandy
msTish, you have to be conciderd terminal with less than a year to 6 months to live to be put on hospice my mom is not. my mom thinks that im the one who told her no more salt, she can only have around 11hundred mgs per day and that is really hard to do. Plus she can only drink 15hundred milleters of fluid per day. So keeping track of all this gets pretty fustrating, along with all the rest but what can you do they are my parents and they need taking care of! today my dad is trying to get out of his bed he thinks that he can walk but he cant and boy is he being mean but i know he cannot help it, its hard for them too. But wow am I tired and family helping no they dont even offer I guess they think that its my job! but thats ok ill make sure that they are always taken care of. And my Husband is great about it and so is my youngest son He is 18 and he helps with just about everything even running errands and doctor appointments. He was doing the night shift yes we have shifts because my mom is up all night saying she cant breath, giving her breathing treatments, going to the bathroom, yes she wears diapers but she has to go number2 at least 3 times during the night so it was to much for just me because I would not get no sleep and I have to take care of them all day plus my other duties . But my son recently got a good job so he cannot do the night shifts as much anymore, but we are doing ok for now it seems to be working out. Wow its good to talk about all this thanks,Pintos.
I think most of us caregivers have no family help, outside of those who live in the house with us. I have a wonderful husband who agreed to buy a bigger house (and still trying to sell the small one) so that my grandmother could move in with us instead of going to the nursing home. Before she moved it, we had so many family and church members saying they'd help... but no one has helped and it's been over 2 years now.

Where we live, we don't have a support group or adult daycare. So, I feel pretty much trapped as you do.

I have two girls, aged 8 and 4. I get pretty short with them, too... especially on days that gran has had a bad day and has told me the same old thing 20 times. It gets very hard. I just try to remember that it is not my girls who have put me in the situation that I'm in. So I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and count to ten. I can calm down enough to treat them as my precious angels.

I feel so sorry for you that your husband is not home to help. My husband is my saving grace.

I don't know if you or your husband has power of attorney over your in-laws (I don't), but I would use some of their money to hire an in-home caregiver to come in 3 days a week to give you a break. Unfortunately I cannot do that. I have no access to her money... that's my uncle (who hardly comes to see her at all... but that's another story).

Good luck. I hope you can get some relief.
lonken you should be paid to take care of granny.you deserve something buying a bigger house, small kids.the mental part of caretaking is so draining no one knows unless they have been in this position. i did the same with my grandparents, my kids young and a wonderful husband. let me tell you we added to the house in 2003 they moved in. my life with my kids has suffered. grandparents could not be left alone, someone had to be at the house at all times with a limit of 10 minutes away because we would have to rush home for a million different reasons. glad you found this site every one is great. i feel a little more normal since i found this site i felt so alone. by the way no more 10 minute trips i can't leave the house at all granny's bedridden got to do even more it's been a long
5 1/2 years. good luck to all
today i hired a sitter for granny for 7 hours which cost $70.00. no sooner i left the house my cell phone rings guess who the sitter granny was confused about her meds. the sitter tried to explain to her, she would not listen because she is always right. the sitter handed granny the phone then when i tell her the sitter needs to give her the meds all of a sudden she can't hear. so picture me driving down the road screaming to the microphone on ceiling of my suv. this went on for 15 minutes my bloodpressure was rising. she hung up finally then called back, even when i have someone with her she calls constantly i hate my phone to ring. i had lunch with my husband complained about granny the whole time, i tried not to. i left went to the grocery store for her, my cell rings it is granny when are you coming home i am about to die, the sitter don't know how to work the digital thermostat. that was it i got home 10minutes later fixed the air. this is pathetic i can't have any time away no matter what i try. i feel like i wasted money today.
dare... before I "start" LOL, you need to understand my stand on boundaries, and I think one of the best ways you can get that understanding is by finding my last post on the thread "I thought I was alone". I go into great detail how I had to choose my sanity and peace.

I have a question for you, and I'm not trying to be brash at all.... why did you have to answer the phone? Worse mom could do is keep trying to call. When someone I call (like my husband when he knows I'm ticked at him), I turn off my cell phone. He cools down and life can return to normal upon my return when I am ready to deal with him and the situation.

I don't know the history and it could be part of the "disease" or her full-fledged normal behavior. If its the disease, could you get her anti-anxiety pills before you leave to make it easier? If its her... you know she'll start when you get home so she can pick it up when you get home too.

You did NOT waste your time and money. It was a great step and one you should try to repeat one day. Maybe a suggestion... start small (with an hour) and deal with it in smaller portions then go for the big guns of seven hours (great price by the way).

Don't let your mother guilt you. Make the time again and do it weekly. Let her stew for a bit and throw a tantrum. Criminey, get ear plugs for when you walk in the door and look at her and smile and act like you're listening. Keep a bottle of aspirin near you at all times and when she starts, make sure they are handy. After dealing with my mom for so long (hence the blunt talk), I would just flat out ask "Perhaps you would like an aspirin, I thought you might be giving yourself a headache from complaining so."

Try try again! We're here for you!
thanks so much for the advice. she is so stubborn. i just hate it. she will never listen to anyonebeut me an argues all the time. i don't know what else to do

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