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Emotionally and physically exhausted am I. I'm a single woman, taking care of both parents (one a stroke survivor, the other living w/heart disease and an uncle of diminished mental capacity. Brother, sister live out of state and barely even call to speak to them much less ask me if I need any help or anything.

I'm hearing a lot lately from the older generation of aunts and uncles, that it's a good thing I never married and/or had children since I'm now the "mother".
I hate when they say that, I really do. I'm no one's mother!!! I'm a daughter and a niece. Make that a burnt-out daughter and niece who is fast reaching her limit and have for the past few weeks daydreamed what would happen if she went out one day and never came back.

I'd never do it of course but I never thought I'd get to the point of even wondering about leaving these people I love in such need. But, what about me?

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Beta, I love the fact that you have a church family to rely on. You know, in the old days the church played a major part in society. They would step in and help the needs of the whole community, not just their own members. The whole West was developed and civilized by schools and churches. What happened to the community church reaching out to their neighbors? Our little community church still does, but it seems like it's in the minority these days. Now days it's the mega church, making it a lot harder to get to know people in amongst a thousand people. I should have been born in the 1800's I guess. But then maybe not, not before the flush toilet at least.
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Hi invisible. I have never been married, either, I do not have children. I take care of my mother. There are many married women on this site, and they have children, and they do the same. We are a group of very different women, and we take care of our ill relatives because we are the only ones in our respective families who have taken the burden on ourselves. Very few of us are helped by their siblings. It seems we follow the same pattern - married or not.
This site has been very useful to me. Stay in touch!
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That is an ideal one truly. When do we ever here it has been dumped on "US" as in more than one person? Never. It is so often a single, un- childed person who every one assumes has no life and therefore should be happy to be the designated go to for all the onerous tasks they are just "TOO BUSY" in their full lives to take care of. Right. I understand full schedules but people choose what they will and wont do.
Like that saying: "No one notices house work till you DON'T DO IT." It is The " invisible person" who becomes all too visible when there is a major chore to be undertaken and taken away from others. Maybe we do have more time, maybe we are "Just Here" but still, we can't be 24/7 on such a draining task as full time care giving. We took On and took In the responsibility that should be a whole families duty on our own and when we need help????... Well, who becomes invisible then?........
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i know its hard---my mom of 79 with dementia/alzheimers has been here since feb of this year- she was living in her house with brother that never left home-hes 47. when i went to visit her she was always in pjs, smelled of poop, and was depressed and slept til 4pm. she had stopped driving and was home bound for 3yrs. I could not stand to see her. I lived 96 miles away . My fbrother worked so she was alone alot- she broke her arm. she said she wanted to die in the house- i said house dont love u i do. she finally agreed to move in. my son moved out on sat. she movede in on sunday.americas funniest videos changed her from sad to happy. My church is great - i can go to lunch , bible study , and visit friends and she is accepted. how many girlfriends would want you to bring your mom to the Elephant Bar for lunch. Thank you God that I can have a life- and so can you. ! They also watch my mom so husband and i can go out and my sona and daugter in law live around he corner and they are very helpful!!!
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Invis,
We are her for each other.
Often sibs are in denial. My brother is and I can't blame him a bit. Our oarents are/were far from ideal and many of us are trying to lose the baggage while caring for parents that did not/don't care for us. I hope this is not the case for you.
Long ago one daughter (esp. Irish) was expected to stay single to care for their parents when they became incapacitated. This is a cold and hard thing to accept. Your other relatives may be thinking along this line and I am sorry if they feel this way toward you.
Understand that this is NOT your fate or your value. Please disregard what the other elderly family members say.
You are entitled to a life also. Please try to arrange to have some "you time". What you are doing is very noble, true and good; but please tend to yourself also.
GOD give you protection, stregnth, peace and comfort.
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My goodness, my goodness! You all have lifted my little sad self in ways I didn't know existed. Thank you, so much for the encouraging and warm words I'm not ashamed to say I didn't know I needed to hear them until I did.

I really don't know about the sibling thing. To me, if my bro or sis were in my shoes, I'd definitely be right in there with whatever I could and should do.

Again, thank you all so very much. This is a community I will definitely be a part of and hope I can encourage you along the way as well.
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Always, Too bad there isn't a rewind on life like there is on the VCR. Bummer.
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IO:

You might think you're invisible, but we see you and share your pain. Of course it's okay to vent here girl! Sacrifices have come and gone unnoticed, yet you're still making them for the people dearest to your heart until you decide otherwise.

Some people, perhaps, might think you're a fool but definitely not a quitter. Your resilience amazes me (I'm getting a little misty-eyed here), and everyone in this forum should take their hats, wigs, and hairpieces off to you. ... Because you're living proof of a true caregiver.

My love always,

-- ED
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naheaton, I actually was writing in the past tense. The conversation with sis happened over a year ago.She said I insulted her and no longer speaks to me. Convenient, I think.
Mom, with help from her paid caregiver, disowned me earlier this year,revoked my POA,etc. She no longer speaks to me either or to my family. She doesn't have dementia, she's just always preferred anybody over me. She told me many times that she'd get me.
Can we say "dysfunctional family" and "big mess" and "lawyers"?
WHEN everyone was talking, sister sent mom one check and told her to take the caregiver to lunch as thanks from her. That caregiver should be honored, sis probably still has the allowances she got when she was 12, she's so tight.
Sis flew in to see dad many years ago when he had a near fatal heart attack. The next time she saw him was 8 years later at his funeral.
I understand anyone who admits they can't handle the unpleasant. It's the ones who lie or refuse at the expense of others I have difficulty dealing with.
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195austin, I guess in your case, open communication is really important with your family. I know with my sister and I when we deal with our mother, we have to rat her out to each other, because she never tells the same story twice. She will tell me one thing and my sister another. So sis and I always have to compare what she says in order to get the 'rest of the story'.
Also my mother-in-law does that too. She tells me stuff and then says, 'oh don't tell such and such what I said'. So what do I do? I tell such and such what she said! And guess what? She has told such and such the very same thing about me. I hate mind games. But in her case with her memory in the crapper, I don't think she's being malicious, just forgetful of who she says what to. I think ratting out your mother on a regular basis to your siblings is crucial for all of you.
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always, Not everyone can handle poop, diapers etc. Myself included I'm afraid. You said yourself that your sister can't handle those things, but she can still be of assistance. Can you tell her, 'I know you don't like the grossness that is part of taking care of mother, and I totally get that. But would you hire someone to come in a few days a week so that I could have a break?' Would she pony up some money for that, especially if you gave her the power to hire the person? I know if it were me, since I gag easily with the whole diarrhea thing, I would gladly help my sister in that way if I possibly could. I don't know, maybe you've already been down that road with her...
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Naheaton - in our case my sister lives near Mom and since my husband has died I have been out there to help with Mom but I think my brothers as Rip said have no sense of aging and my Mom helped my sister a lot when her kids were young so I think that is part of it also my Mom can put on a pretty good act when they do call they think she is fine because they have said that to me in passing and I tell them she is not all that great she sounds ok for a 5 min phone call but if you spend any time with her you will see how frail she is also Mom can have a sharp tongue also is very careful who she says what to-I was talking to her the day before my sister was going away and Mom told me she had been sick for days but my sister did not know-my sister talks to her at least twice a day but she did not let on that she was sick and in the past she has told me and my sister half the facts so we have to call each other to piece things together- after she had an accident she only told my sister her car door would not open -nothing about an accident until deeply questioned-some times I think she is sharper then us adult kids so I think there are so many reasons sibs do not get involved also our grandmother was so independent so late in life they may think it is the same with our mother-but this seems to be the fact generally one or two sibs do it all and then a parent dies and everyone one else is looking to see if there is any money to be had. We all will have to face judgement day and some will have an easy time of it and some will not.
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My absentee sister lives across the country so I have to give her a pass in that area. But flying in to spend 4 days with mom every 3-4 yrs didn't cut it. Sister said her vacation time was HER time and she wasn't going to share it every year with mom. My sister is a widow so it's not like she has to deal with an objecting spouse. Her son has not come to see his gma in 25 yrs. My sister has always said she can't handle unpleasant situations so I'm guessing adult diapers, insulin shots, wounds, 10 hr stays in the ER, etc. would fall in the unpleasant category. Sister has always been the weak one, and to be honest, I don't think she could handle it. I asked her one time why she couldn't do it for me at least and she said she didn't want to. There ya go, I got my answer.
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I'd like to know their logic too!
If you ever find out, please share.
I have 3 older sibling, two are somewhat supportive yet not involved.
The other has vacations & wealth to tend to.
All with educational Master's & PHd's ... none seem to have any basic sense of aging. They are getting there themselves.

It's easier for me to do it all. It works fro them.
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I don't understand the thinking of the absentee adult child who will totally blow off the parent once they get sick. I honestly would like to know what their logic is, and how to talk to them to find out. Can a person talk to their sibling who won't help and, without jumping on them, find out the 'why' of not helping? Are they afraid of seeing the parent frail and weak, or are they just lazy? Are they taking this opportunity to pay back some wrongs done by the parent while they were growing up? Maybe by knowing what their thinking is, a person could negotiate around that somehow, and get some help from them. Has anyone ever asked what the deal is?
It's kinda like knowing exactly what your disease is, then make a plan on treatment.
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Hi Invisible ~

Looks like we are all sneaking in your back door.

You HAVE found the best friends I could imagine! Huh, Peach?

I too am single, never had kids. Finding myself alone with eldercare is exhausting! For months I barely ate & rarely slept. I'm getting better at it all now. I simply gave up on true help from my family. Lot's of grand gestures & heroic acts, but nothing that really helped.

I like you started a new topic! Watch out .... it will catch on!
Our computers are our best friends ... or I should say the people on our computers.

Cheers ~
Rip
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Hi Invisible!

Welcome to our haven of rest & encouragement! You'll find that alhough we're in the same boat that we still take the time to be there for each other! This site has been a life saver to me & so many more!

I am SO sorry that you're having to go through all of this & that your siblings aren't there for you, their parents or their uncle! You really have your hands full! And I'm also sorry that mean & insensitive comments ahve been made to you!

I totally understand about sometimes wanting to "escape"! We have a major interstate about 10 minutes from here & I have often thought of getting on it & just taking off! But I am the only caregiver for my husband, who is fighting Parkinson's Disease & I just couldn't go off & leave him. His kids have a lot in common with your brother & sister in that, although we live in the same town, they NEVER call, let alone come to visit! They have never asked if there's anything that they can do to help or if he needs anything! That breaks his heart, as I'm sure that it does your parents & uncle! I'm glad that they have you to be there for them & to be so caring & loving for them!

Now, what can we do to help you?? We can offer suggestions...please feel free to vent all you want...We'll be there to listen & give you support! The suggestion of getting a Home Health company to help is a great idea! My husband has one that has come & done physical therapy with him & he also has a nurse that comes every 2 weeks to check his vitals. You can find Home Health companies in the yellow pages of the phone book. And if your parents have Medicare their services will probably be covered with no out of pocket expense to you guys! They should also have a social worker that might be of service in helping you to get some much needed help & rest. We've never used it, but I've heard that respite care is very beneficial & will give you some much needed rest.

I'm glad that you've found this site & won't be alone anymore! We gotta be here for each other! I know that it's not always easy, but please make some time for JUST YOU!!! You deserve it! You're the only YOU that there will ever be!

Hope you'll have an easy afternoon!
(((((((((((((((((((((((Invisible)))))))))))))))))))))))...This is a cyber-hug...next best thing to being there!
GeorgiaPeach
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Invisible, there's always room for more venting. What a great site this has been for so many people. I think I would've gone crazy if I hadn't found this place. One evening after the nine millioneth fight with mom at her house, I came home furious, sad and crying a sea of tears. Got on my computer and found this haven. Mostly what we want is someone to listen, really listen and to share and to learn and along the way, the bonus of a good laugh.
When I first started here, my mom was difficult at best. Since then she decided we (my kids and me) weren't good enough for her and she no longer has anything to do with us. I've been able to express my hurt and disappointment here, probably so much I've made others sick of hearing it! ;-)
In 3 wks, I'm taking early retirement to be my one yr old grandson's caretaker (paid) and to spend more time with my husband, who's health is decling day by day. He's the love of my life and I don't want to have any regrets of lost time with him.
Don't get me started on the help I never got from my sister, mom's golden child. I don't see how she sleeps at night. If your sibs haven't stepped up by now, they probably never will.
How insensitive of your relatives to make such comments to you. You are you, a caring person who is doing what you feel is right. I hope you can find some respite because you deserve to have time for yourself.
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Ihard is so right and has been so supportive of us all I do not know how this site popped up on my screen one day years ago when I did not know how I could go on with the unendless care and verbal abuse of my husband and right away when I vented I got such an outpooring of support and could not believe those with such burdens of their own could take the time to listin to my pathacit whinning and respond pt was like a light in the tunnel. People would ask what they could do to help and I said to one person give me a call now and then she didn't -probably thought she would bother me when what I needed was a well person to talk to so bably and was so happy to find this site-and you can come on all hours of the day and night and there will be others doing the same thing it is amazing. come here and vent any time we get it we live it-my husband passed away a year ago and I come back to see how my friends are doing and sometimes am able to help others I had so much unwanted experience to share.
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oh the invisableone , , u are so alone and this is the right place to be at ,
vent all you want and uw ill feel better ,
i swear if i didnt know this exist i would nt know what i be doing now .
you sure do have ur hands full . plz go find a home health care or somethings thats out there , ask the doctors if he could order a nurse tocome out , they ll help bathe em also . give u a little break ,
im taking care of 87 yrs old dad and it is hard and lonely and depressing , im not too bad now since i found this site .
ya learn from others and take the best advice there is .
hire someone toc ome in for few hrs or longer so u could get out and have time for urself ,
i dont hire anybody cuz my daughter will come and sit with my dad if i needed to get away . so it all works out ok for me .
keep coming here my friend and i know u will feel so much better . theres so many out there that is going thru so much also .
welcome !!! xoxo
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