I have been watching my parents decline in a nursing home for five long years now. When does this end and when does my life begin?

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I'm now 62, I have 2 sisters and we've been actively involved in Mom's care from the day she fell and broke her hip (2005). We did 24-hr homecare till we were all getting sick (I had 2 bouts with kidney stones while sleepign on her floor so I cd help her back into bed during the night.) I was workign full time also. My older sis and I have married kids and grandkids; my younger sis has no kids. She has no inkling of time, energy, emotion we put into our families (we both babysit quite frequently, which also requires travel time) as well as to Mom. I cannot handle her expectation around Mom, we're either arguing or not talking. She throws out "it's not about you," which pisses me off. My life has never been about me! We've become so close during all this but it's really fallen apart again. I have the best relationship with Mom I've ever had; she was very abusive of me growing up. I've done lots of therapy and moved on. But I'm so very tired of all this--so much for her, or our, quality of life...

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LIsten to godhelpus! AMEN! Like that phrase "Dial it down"!
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wornout,
Sorry you are exhausted. We all get that way at times.
DIAL IT DOWN. You are obviously spreading yourself too thin and biting off more than you can chew at this time.
DO NOT take on anymore responsibilities and cut back on what you have taken on currently. There HAS to be a few things that can get put aside until you are reguevinated. LIMITS!!!!!
RESPITE is the term for the day!!!!!
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No one can understand how worn out a person can become from caregivng until they actually have done it. I do see that your mom is gone off to a nursing home now ,which should help you alot, but I know you think of her alot being there. I take care of alot of things for my 88yr old mom who still lives in her own home. Much to do, and especially when she gets sick. Its a whole lot on one family member, but I do take vacations now and then and ask my older sister to come. but she is already a caregiver to her husband. so there is no real breaks for her. hang in there, as I feel it is a hard time in life, but have faith that things will get better in time.. you must move on with that thought. And yes I believe that people should be here to support one another and not try to compare their situations with others. there were some very harsh words said in the above comments....these were not helpful!!! sending you my hugs!!!
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Wornout, for all the things you're having to deal with, at least you and your mother have finally gotten to a good relationship before she dies. That is something to be grateful about.
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Its okay to set limits and to say no - or I can't - or I don't choose to do it that way - or at this time - or whatever the pressure is. I would just say to my sister (or anyone else) that you are juggling a lot of demands on your time including Mom and that you are doing the best you can. If she (they) notice something else that needs to be done perhaps she can find the additional time to do it. Repeat as nicely as possible and as often as possible. You do not need to justify your priorities or your choices to anyone and the TOP priority needs to be to yourself for your own health and well being.
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Pray and press on - easier said than done, I know. NO - just putting them away in a nursing home isn't the end of it - there are visits to make, critics to criticize... it's NOT EASY! The bills have to be paid and YES, we aren't "CAREGIVERS" but we are seeing that they are being cared for the best way we know how as we try to live our own lives. IT IS TIRING for all of us - and NONE OF US HAVE IT EASY no matter what the other person may think. We all have our hats to wear and our burdens to share!
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Hi, wornout! You have every right to think about yourself and your own life. It is a marathon to watch someone decline in a nursing home, and it's been 5 years for you. There are some things in my life that I allow to go in one ear, and out the other. "It's not about you" would be one such comment for me. You care about and focus on your Mom's care. Why wouldn't you focus on your life? If your Mom has you around to help care for her, rest assured that it is also about you and how you feel each day. Nothing wrong with admitting to whatever feelings you may have. to avoid keeping those feelings bottled up inside you. From time to time, be sure to take a break from visiting your Mom in the home unless you have concerns that she is being neglected or abused. You are entitled to take even the smallest of steps toward re-building your life if your Mom is safely being cared for in her nursing home. When was the last time you did one thing that you really enjoyed? Need not be a major thing. Just one thing - a good book, lunch with a friend, a movie, got yourself a little present like a dozen roses - anything at all, if it reminds you that you are alive and fully engaged in living your life while the sun's shining? You still have time today. Best to you in gaining your life stride and balance. You are doing all that can be done for your Mom. Now it's time to do as much as you can for yourself.
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I agree with Emily, I'm still taking care of my mom at home, I'm an only child. I spend most of my time over there cooking cleaning, ect. while things her go by the wayside. I can't get out and do anything I'd think with a p arent in a NH you should be able to have a little freedom.
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Wow, I understand the emotions you are going through. Sorry so many ppl on here find it nessicarry to be rude or just plain mean. You all should look in a mirror and find out what your issues are and not be creul to some one in pain. It ends when you can let it go and no-- that does not mean when mom dies, some ppl have issues for years after their parent dies. You need to heal, with yourself. Find someone to talk to, if you can heal with your sister if not let her go. It is not worth your health and mental well being to have ppl in your life that cause you pain and dispare. It is hard but there are several ppl in my life I've let go so I can be sane. Do what you need to do for YOU. Don't let other ppl make you feel worse with their hurtful words. They are damaged themselves. Good luck!
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You know, of course, that it ends when she dies. Now that she is in a nursing home, you should be able to live your own life to a great extent. She is being cared for 24/7, so there is no need for you to feel overwhelmed. I do not see the problem.
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