How do I deal with feeling alone and depressed in this caregiving journey?

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My mother (in her late 70's) fell again tonight after several times of falling and hurting herself. She is kind of lethargic.The nice fireman was kind and also concerned about her falling down again and breaking something or worse and it is not funny at all. My dad is also almost in his late 80's and also pretty sick (with diarrhea) and looses his balance sometimes.

I am kind of scared something will happen while I am here by myself and don't have very many people that I could call or depend on in case of an emergency and it is pretty damn sad. Sometimes I don't know whether to pull my hair out or cry my eyes out.

The school I just graduated from kept criticizing my resume and am having a hard time finding work. Maybe there is a reason for that. I am trying not to turn into a basket case or lose my cool. Other people do not understand. It's just not easy sometimes.

Answers 1 to 10 of 11
It is is becoming a little frustrating and depressing for both of us trying to keep my mom at home and we are doing our best. Also, my back is killing me from a few bad car accidents that have caused permanent damage to add to the misery. So, trying to keep a postive attitude is difficult lately and do not get much contact with friends (?) or other civilized human beings.
Top Answer
Sometimes, crying helps. ( I did it last night and this morning.) People will tell you, "make time for yourself," which is most times impossible. You'll also hear, "get some help", also impossible when your income won't allow it. You can talk to friends but unless they have been an actual caregiver, they really won't understand. I am at a loss too as to where to turn. It is just a day to day journey and something inside of you just has to stay positive, which is often impossible too. I just go in another room and talk to myself about my problems. I know that sounds crazy but it helps. It helps keep me sane. And just remember, this too shall pass.
There comes a point when it becomes necessary to allow you parents to be taken care of by professionals in either an Assisted Living Facility or a Nursing Home. You are facing what I call caregiver burnout. You have fought a good fight and have given all you have of yourself for you parents. But the time has come for the safety and welfare of all to find alternative care arrangements.

I know this is a hard choice. I had to do this after several years of caring for my parents. There just comes a point when their health has declined to a point that you simply can't physically and emotionally do it anymore. It doesn't mean you've failed them or yourself. It only means you have given all you have to give and you need help.

I hope this helps and wish you and your parents all the best.
Thanks Coach. I didn't mean to sound so negative with my previous response, it's just that that is the advise I always hear. And you are right, some of us have caregiver burnout. I just needed to hear that it was actually a thing and it had a name. Seems my Mom's health, since she's been with me for 2 years, has gotten better and mine has declined. I am now on a med to help me cope and have acquired high blood pressure. I take good care of her, but not myself. The next step is getting over the guilt trip. She has said she would rather die than go to assisted living or a nursing home. She says she took care of me when I was an infant and now it's my turn. Thanks for your kind words of advise. I really really appreciate it.
tnlady3... My parents said the same thing. But their is a difference between raising a child and caring for an elderly parent. The obvious difference is we were all much younger when we were raising children and they, the children, were much smaller than our parents. Of course if a child has a fall they don't normally break bones. When our parents fall the likelihood of them breaking a hip, a femur, arm or whatever is highly possible and the surgery to repair the fractures increases their risk.

You also need to consider your health. You say you are now on medication to help you cope and you now have high blood pressure. What happens to your parents if you have a major medical emergency and have to be hospitalized? You have no reason to feel guilty. You have given them every moment of your life for the past two years. You have let your own health decline which is not a good sign. You need to sit down with your parents and have a heart to heart talk and tell them exactly how you feel. Try to talk them into at least looking at Assisted Living Facilities in your area. With my parents they realized after looking at them that they weren't the hell holes they had been lived to believe.

What ever you do you have got to find some relief. If there are no other family members, then talk to your church, or social service agencies in your area. Please find some help and do it soon. For your sake as well as that of your parents.

All my Best
One alterantive to a nursing home or assisted living would be in-home care. Before you decided you can't afford it, google "center for independent living" and you will likely find several organizations, depending on where you live. If you parents receive Medicare or your state's Medicaid funding, the cost of a personal care attendant may be paid for. A professional assessment of his/her needs and a Plan of Care will be developed which will determine what activities he/she needs assistance with and how many hours a day. I would definitely check this out before giving up and doing the nursing home thing. You'll feel better for it.
Thanks so much for your replies. Today, I am "thankful" for you listening and offering your advise. This can be a hard journey to do alone....both for the aging parent and the caregiver. Solutions that can be realities, are very helpful. I do have home health and having them come and do therapy and giving my Mom a bath is a HUGE help. And, it is covered by her Medicare. But after a few months, Medicare requires her to come off this program until she qualifies again,. in a few months. I will check into this further. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

It's heartbreaking to watch our parents unravel and also realize we're falling apart alongside them. Something's gotta give, and our natural instinct to survive kicks in. Me or them? What should I do?

If you put them in AL or a NH together, at least they'll have each other. But that's not an easy decision to make, even if they say it's okay. The guilt, the depression will still me there even after they're gone.

Life goes on with or without you sis. Doesn't matter if you're alone or with someone to commiserate with. ... At least you still have us.

Now, about that resume:

Go with your strengths and focus primarily on what you've done the last 10 years. Make sure specialized trainings and skills are emphasized. If adept at caregiving, part-time Home Health Aide or something along those lines might help bring home some bacon and give you a different perspective on how care & provide for your parents without going on self-destruct mode.

If your school criticizes your resume, don't become defensive. Ask how to improve it instead. The purpose of a resume is to sell your talents/skills to the highest bidder. ... And you have skills girl. It's just a matter of packaging yourself in such a way people want to hire you.

During the interview, it is what it is. Dress for the part, be articulate but amiable, don't use million dollar words that aren't going to be worth a penny (it's a turnoff), and whatever you do don't look desperate. ... And above all, be a Lady.

Good luck.
Eddie, thank you for your helpful advice. Just hard to hang in there sometimes when things aren't going so good, especially around the holidays and income is little to none. Difficult to find a job this time a year or find time to find one much less getting a break to do anything else.

So, this ends up being like a domino effect where we all end up getting sick. Finally made an appointment for Mom with her doctor tomorrow and good luck getting her there since she can barely walk. Then we get a nasty woman calling about my father's urology appointment. Now have to go to court about some bogus ticket that was already taken care of/dismissed.

So, this is just not a healthy situation at all. I have to tried to check with the local caregivers and the VA for any applical benefits since no income for me and have yet to receive any posititive feedback or help so far.

Gotta go get some R&R as I have an abcess on my forehead that is making me sick to my stomach ugh
When I was well and worked as a receptionist a number of people came in for interviews. One such applicant came in and was rude to me. The only problem for this applicant was that the boss that he was trying to see was standing in the doorway and saw that he was rude. The applicant did not get the job, mainly because he was rude. Always be very nice to everyone you meet in the company, the receptionist and the even the janitor. You never know who will be watching you. Please and thank you never hurt.

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