I CANNOT do this anymore. I want my life back from caregiving.

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My Mom and Dad have been with me for 2 years. My 2 sisters promised to help., well that is not the case. I have 5 grandchildren that I want to be able to enjoy. My husband and I have worked hard to be at a point in our lives where we should at least be able to go out to dinner once in awhile, never mind being able to take a vacation. My husband is a very patient and caring person, but I think even he is at the end of his rope. We have made quite a sacraifice to care for my parents. Mom has demantia and cannot remember anything for more than 2 minutes. Dad was an abusive alcholic my entire time growing up and is still very stubborn and uncoperative. What are my options. What can I do. I feel such guilt and responsibility for them. Medicaid is almost impossible to get, because Mom and Dad made around 40K with sell of their home. I need help. I cannot do this anymore. Any encouragement or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I cannot continue to go on the way things are now.

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I have felt and experienced all that the comments below writers have written about. Please God give me the strength to do all that I have done, am doing, and will be doing in caring for my widowed mom. I don't know how much more I can do to be the best son in caring for her. No one but a fellow caregiver in my position could possibly understand the sacrifices I have made in giving my mom the life she deserves in her last few years on this Earth. So critics, STFU!
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Additional info for searching on services in

Waivers are vehicles states can use to test new or existing ways to deliver and pay for health care services in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). There are four primary types of waivers and demonstration projects:

Section 1115 Research & Demonstration Projects: States can apply for program flexibility to test new or existing approaches to financing and delivering Medicaid and CHIP.

Section 1915(b) Managed Care Waivers: States can apply for waivers to provide services through managed care delivery systems or otherwise limit people’s choice of providers.

Section 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services Waivers: States can apply for waivers to provide long-term care services in home and community settings rather than institutional settings.

Concurrent Section 1915(b) and 1915(c) Waivers: States can apply to simultaneously implement two types of waivers to provide a continuum of services to the elderly and people with disabilities, as long as all Federal requirements for both programs are met
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Locate your nearest Agency on Aging or Senior center and inquire about getting help. Your parents should be paying you until they spend down their money to get to the point of qualifying for medicaid. There is a waiver called 1915c many states use or the 1115 waiver. Do a google search on what your state provides. In most states they will pay for help and to qualify you can exclude 1/2 your parents net worth as your mothers and be at 300% of poverty level yearly income about (28,000 a year). You don't need to impoverish your mother or father to qualify if one needs more help. Again search on your state.gov website for senior services. If anything you can find free help in putting together a program for home help while spending down their assets. You have to really push hard and google search tons because I swear the states try and hide everything available on purpose.
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Good for you! Your devotion to your mother is admirable. It is wonderful that you intend to care for her yourself.

But here's the thing: you NEED some breaks. You need some mini vacations. You cannot do this alone indefintiely, and trying to is eroding the very thing that is so precious: your devotion. Call her case worker. Call a social worker. Call Aging Services. Find out what respite services are available to you, and how they are paid for. Follow through. Get out of there for several hours every week.

Also, the time may come when she will simply need more care than you can provide, especially with swallowing and walking problems. Start researching now what local NH would be suitable. If you never need one, fine. But it is better to be prepared than to have to make decisions in crisis mode.

Hugs to you!
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Everyday I think I can't take it anymore. Every single day. I'm in my fifties, alone, and can't find a good job anymore after being laid off in 2008 after nearly 19 years of continuous employment. So I care for Mom.

Mom is 93 and a stroke survivor. Most of the time she is very irritable and hard to be around. The thought of putting her into a nursing home of any kind bothers me though. She can still eat on her own, but has great difficulty walking. She is starting to have problems with swallowing. She's in pain much of the time. Her awareness level is low.

This morning she refused to get out of bed so I could clean her up after she urinated on herself in the night. I had enough of her obstinate ways and told her I would call for an EMS (emergency medical service) to come get her out of bed. Gave her fifteen minutes to make up her mind. She challenged me and told me I wouldn't do it. I told her exactly what I was going to say to the 9-1-1 operator and I guess that got her priorities lined up quick. There was always the chance the paramedics would take her to the hospital against her will for a 72 hour evaluation. A three day vacation for me. She got out of bed and cleaned her self up. The room reeked so bad of urine I had to open the door on a chilly morning and air out all of her blankets.

As she gets older, her irritability gets worse. I get snapped at when I haven't said or done anything to deserve. Man, that gets old quick. I'm trying to be sympathetic to her physical and emotional condition, but it's hard sometimes. I now pray daily to God to take her home with Him. I know she wants to die. She's attempted suicide twice by being in a dangerous way physically and not calling out. Both times I caught on to what she was doing and stopped her from killing herself by not asking for help.

There is no one to help me except a weekly nurse stopping by and a physical therapist. When Mom is around them, she's cheerful and paying attention. I'm thinking, is it me? Do I bring this out? Yet, when I ask if Mom if she would like for someone else to care for her, she tells me she only wants me.

She's old, an invalid, afraid of being alone, and keeps reaching out to me. As long as she keeps eating on her own and will stay reasonably clean, I'll care for her even if it costs me.
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Bonnie, I can relate! I feel your pain, and I think it's time to find a nice place for them to go. I moved my parents to a NH 3 months ago because we can no longer afford in-home care and my mom must have constant care 24/7 and dad can't do it anymore. (We have already been through 3 back surgeries because he tried.) I have felt guilt, anger, sadness, and despair, but at least I know there is someone to help them 24/7, I too, have a wonderful and caring husband...but I can not and will not let this tear us apart. I am an only child and I am doing everything I can to make sure they are comfortable and have everything they need and want. Dad is not happy, but mom (who is much worse off) seems to be taking it all in stride. I go visit them at least twice a week, and usually leave with tears in my eyes and another list of things dad demands. He will not participate in any of the activities and refuses to allow mom to participate. So I have the directors griping at me about that. It's been excruciating, but in my heart, I know it's the best thing for mom and for my family. Dad chooses to be there with her, but then complains constantly. I will be praying for you.
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Hey BonnieO,
I say the same thing every other day, "I want my life back". Then I start to think how it was in the "residential care home" where my Mother was for 1 1/2 years after her husband died: everyone else in there was worse off than her, no one to relate to, no attention, lousy food, falling at night because they can't "protect" them with guardrails on the bed, disgusting behavior at the dinner table by the other "guests", etc.
Even though her dementia has advanced, she is more with it being in our home, with the BEST care, food, activities--those places say there are activities, NOT; LOVE from FAMILY, people who SHARE her memories and can relate. Even though this situation gets on my nerves almost every day, FOR NOW, this is the best place for Mother. If and when things become too difficult, I will be realistic, and have already found the place--where the owner, a compassionate RN and geriatric pharmacologist, is a believer in LESS drugs is better, not OVER--DRUGGING, which is what they did in the other place. We are enjoying what quality time there is, and believe me, there is not much.
You have to weigh YOUR individual situation. My Mother's last husband was a jerk to our family, but left her with a good trust.
I, personally, could not and would not deal with an alcoholic or anyone who is abusive, and would not have them in my house in the first place. My Mother is weak and helpless in many ways. What the strong and compassionate do is to care for the weak and helpless. My Mother was provided for, and I often think how terribly sad that people do not think about "these years" and PLAN for them. Perhaps some do, and circumstances befall them--like financial crisis and poor investments. I hope you find the solution within your family. You have the same type of siblings that the majority of caregiver siblings have, as I have seen on this site: worthless.
Just do what YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND want to do, and God Bless you both, and your precious Grandchildren:) HUGS
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What state do you live in? I'm asking because here in California, a law has passed where if someone is in an assisted living facility and pay initially whatever the monthly rate is, the assisted living facility will not be able to kick someone out while they are transitioning to social security. Anyone with a disibility will qualify for social security. Then once your parents start recieving social security, the assisted living facility cannot charge them more then the money they are recieving from that. Your parents should even have a little bit left over for other needs after social security pays for their care . I hope this helps and maybe this law applies to wherever you are from. Best of luck to you.
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I know what you mean about the good days and bad - seems there is no 'normal' anymore is there....or actually, it's kind of scary how our sense of 'normal' and 'good' get redefined for us. And lonely - oh Lord - lonely. It's bad enough with parents. My own husband has many spinal problems and "will" be wheelchair bound within a few years according to the neurosurgeons. We have 50 acres and no help and most of the time, I'm scared out of my mind. A favorite line of a book I once read said, "...When you don't know what to do, you just do what comes next. Right then there were dishes to wash and children to be fed, so that's what I did..." There are no easy answers - especially when there are no real answers at all. Wishing you hope - Leslee
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Very wise and telling answer.....I am going through about the same thing except with a husband....His children are not participating altho told Drs they would be main caregivers...poo....that isn't or won't happen...we have 24/7 care with aids...but I am here 24/7 as well....it is SOOO tough....the days that are good, I feel wonderfully blessed taking care of hm....the other days, more than good....makes me anxious, sad, lonely and so totally frustrated...Thanks for your insights!
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