Primary caregiver and burnout.

Started by

I'm the primary caregiver for my 88y/o Mom who lives in a Independent Living facility She has a lot of medical issues that need to be supervised and followed up on a regular basis. This blog has already helped me so much. I too use the Serenity Prayer when I get resentful that my 2 siblings do very little with day/day care for my Mom. I have already gotten some good ideas from people on the blog and don't feel so alone. I am looking into a monthly support group in my area so I can connect with people that can relate to my feelings. Thanks everyone for your input.


I thought about a counselor I've done everything for my dad as he chose me to be everything cause he knew he could trust me,four other siblings who does nothing but complain and try to find something wrong against me all the time there just jealous cause cause my dad knew I was the right one but it's been alot of stress care giving although I know my dad is taken care of
I have decided I need to treat myself to massages. and maybe a counselor. I am caretaking for my husband, on bedrest from an infection in his ankle (diabetic) and for my mom 85, who is currently doing ok (she lives 40 minutes away)...I think a group would be nice too.
I go to see my wife twice a day, morning and lunch time, and hire ladies to be there at supper time 7 days a week. This gives her more of a social life and me a bit of a break. Counting travel time and actual visiting time, I spend about 3 hours daily in this has gone on since March 2005. I view it as a pleasure, but over the years it has worn me down some.

Oh, and I ride motorcycles for recreation. Just me, my bike and the wind and a winding, slightly hilly country road.

Grace + peace
Thanks for all the good comments I do see a counselor who reminds me too take care of myself and not feel so responsible for everything with my Mom. I recently asked a friend to be a backup when I'm unable to do errands
Hi ArtLady, I do not look down on you for recognizing your limitations; we all have strengths and challenges. My mother is also dependent on me for emotional needs and social stimulation, and I live with her 24/7. Her short term and I would venture to say some of her long term memory loss is extensive. However, like your mother, she refuses respite care, a day program and going out for short walks in her walker, which she, also refuses to use. I have three siblings - one pretty well estranged in another province, one a few miles away in the next borough who is always to busy with his business, and a sister who just moved to a town up north, who operates on the pleasure principal and lives from vacation to vacation. After dad died last August and she retired at around the same time, she promised to spend more time with mom and help me out - not! I count my blessings that mom is not incontinent, as I believe that would be the cut off point for me in terms of being able to psychologically and physically care for mom at home. It's a strange mix of being both overly dependent and overly independent. However, as one poster pointed out, the person with Alzheimer's loses their decision making ability before they can be deemed mentally incompetent. The frustrating aspect to all this is her refusal to do things that would alleviate her suffering, as well as the displaced anger of which I am the recipient. I've no doubt you love your mother and would never abandon her, but that doesn't make it easy to deal with. Love is not always about feelings, it's also about actions, and we don't always have charitable thoughts while we perform those actions (lol).

I think a support group would be great, if you could find the people who could take the extra few hours to attend. An agency tried to start one in my area but because of lack of attendance the support group was cancelled. However, that doesn't mean it can't happen in your area. That could be an interesting project for you - designing what the structure and content of the group, looking for available space, advertising. I tried running a couple of support groups in the past for chronic unemployment and learning disabilities. The key is to persist until you get the members, and accept fluctuations in attendance. I say, go for it!
Who has time for support groups, massage, or counseling? I'm primary caregiver for my 104 yo mother who lives with me. She has frequent UTIs and has had a few falls because she sneaks out of her room when I'm trying to bathe or clean up the kitchen. I have help 4 days a week so I can go to work, but getting to my own doctor's appointments is almost impossible now. I put her in the car and strap in the seat belt to go grocery shopping. I leave the car running and dash into the store. I recently elicited the help of my daughter who is supposed to come and help 2 days a week. she's 2 hours late right now ant this is the norm. I hired my mother's caregiver to stay overnight so I can take a business trip this week. I long for the solitude of a hotel room.
Sherry1Anne, congratulations to Your Mum on reaching the incredible age of 104, and to You for caring for Her so well. Leaving Your car engine
running while dashing into the store is something that I would never do. Imagine the effect it would have on Your Mum if some Person hopped into Your car and drove off ?
I have a fob to lock the door. Thanks for the concern.
sherry, sometimes we have to do what makes sense. I also leave my mother in the car if I have to run in the drugstore. I know I'll be back fast. I also know she can open the window. Now if someone should want to kidnap her... I can only dream. Bad me!
Oh, I don't leave the keys in the ignition, though. And it isn't too hot or too cold when I do this, so no one needs to throw rocks at me. And heaven help the person who decides to kidnap her. :)

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