I am grateful that my both my parents are still living, but how do I get over the frustrations that come with being a caregiver?

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what not for about 10 years or so now). I am sick of being bitched at and about and am not a monkey, dog, or scapegoat. I do not want to be a door mat either.
It is very frustrating and I am barely making it through school. I am extremely discouraged right now.

My so called "friends" and whatever are never around and need to get over this small town gossip and BS. Sorry, just needed to vent and wanted to cool off as I am sort of a shut in most of the time now.

Appreciate any helpful replies and maybe some other people would too...

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The only words I could add are although you may feel alone, you are not. I am so proud of you for going to school, I returned to school myself just to get away from my day to day crazyness; it really helps to have an escape. As for those around you who aren't helping, keep them at safe distance. My family isn't helping, they allow their 3 hr drive to be their excuse for showing up once every 3-4 mos, to bring all the kids, grand kids, drama, jokes, tears and immediate exit.
When my Dad was first affected with a major stroke, I invited, yes invited and called on my family for advice. Everyone wanted Dad to be a home with our 86 yr old mom. That was not a reality and I knew I couldn't do it. It didn't take long for me to see that I was the one hospitals, dr's now Nursing homes were calling, let alone Mom pulling at me like a 2 yr old. No one had to deal with the day to day, night to night issues but me, so I decided they gave no positive out put, so they have not in-put. Almost a bitter screw them attitude.
Stay on this blog, seek help in your community or perhaps you could even start a group, you'd be surprised at how many people are struggling behind closed doors.
You are not alone, take care of yourself.
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I am in prayer for you. What a burden you have chosen. You need help changing it. Call the department of aging for your state.They have heard it all but they will help you. Before you call them take a blank sheet of paper. Draw 3 columns on the first write down what is happening(example: What I do is not appreciated) on the second write down what needs to change(Everyone must smile and say please and thank you for each thing I do,I will smile and say you are welcome) to get you to the third column where you will write where you need to be(Appreciated!) God bless you. And remember you may do a better job of caring for your parents if you let experts do it and just visit them with a smile and the love you have for them.
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The change you are wanting is going to be very difficult after being bitched at and about and being their door mat for ten years. New and firm boundaries must be established for your own sake for they might not ever change which is not the purpose of boundaries anyway. Boundaries are about what we will and will not allow in our lives. Don't define yourself by how they or others treat you because that creates a deficit in one's self-esteem. Get your parents some outside help, get out on your own and finish your education. Your frustration is a healthy thing and something you need to pay some serious attention to by establishing some new boundaries in your life. I wish you well in your journey.
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Let me first say, well done and congratulations as sole caregiver to my mum, I understand the frustration. One minute she is the most gorgeous angel and then next she is a demon that has my nerves on end and my brain fried - seriously so I understand.

Apart from getting outside help which I think is a very good idea, can you move away? that is what I have decided to do. I will still be available to help but not to live in. I came to the realization that I deserve peace in my life and as much as I love my mum I am not going to get that taking care of her 24/7. I do love her but I have to love myself first. We all deserve to live our lives and your parents will find a way.

I wish you luck, Jayne
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It is often somewhat difficult to stick to standards you've established between you and the person for whom you are caring. Given their mental, emotional and physical reasons all, you must always maintain a degree of flexibility. You doubtlessly already know that as time goes along most people receiving care progressively require more. They become more ill and/or their mind is less than that which it was. Boundaries are essential, but flexibility is a must.

Not so true though, with siblings, extended family and friends who might wish to participate with you at their own leisure and intensity. If you haven't done so already, please consider giving careful thought to establishing boundaries with these people... what you will or will not allow as well as the days and times. The more firm your boundaries are, the better. It may well be that you'll initially become the proverbial 'bad guy' for restricting this or further disallowing that or even providing a quid pro quo balance with them. But, if you remain firm in your resolve to enhance the stability of your own life, then firm boundaries with others will cause at least one area of your life to largely remain under your own control. If done properly, boundaries will help enhance your peace of mind. (Your life won't as easily be governed by the whims or dictates of others.)
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The best thing you could do for yourself is to have some outside help as suggested by others. Get into a support group with people that are in the same position of looking after a loved one/ones. Not all of the illnesses are the same but the frustration, anger, hopelessness, depression and isolation is the same. You sometimes feel that this will never end and you may give up. You do not have to do this alone, we are all here to help you, guide you and just be there when you need to cry, bitch, hang out, giggle and see that there are others that can be of great assistance through words. Anger can kill you, don't allow this to permeate your life. You have taken one a heavy responsibility for your young age, compassion and love is the inner beauty that you have. Ignore others and love yourself, You are a great person, always remember that and as you grow, that inner beauty will come out and carry you through life and all of its challenges. When you get frustrated try a little music to soothe your soul, exercise, go for a walk, cry, yell,(where no one will hear you), but take care of yourself. You need to vent and release your emotions and move on to the next day. Please take care of yourself, we don't want you to become a statistic. Write back anytime, love Vickie
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Dear Mslisadoll,
People don't understand unless they are faced with this responsibility and it is so hard. I don't know about you but I feel like I am always in mourning and it is as if you are a single parent, carrying all of this on your shoulders without little or no help.
I would suggest that you contact your local Senior Agency and the doctor to you parents or your church. You need Respite help. Even if it is only for a day or two a month that you can get away and take care of yourself.
Don't do what I have done and made myself sicker than the one I was caring for. Chances are you won't get much help from the family or they would have been there already but it doesn't hurt to ask. Just don't let it eat you alive if they don't help....it happens to everyone who is posting here...at some time.
How are your parents mentally. Do they have dementia or other health issues. Please remember that when they get upset it is because they do not understand what is going on...they don't understand why they can't function and take care of YOU like they used to be able.
Mentally my mom can get very mean and very hurtful but I always remember that this isn't her. She does this with me because she knows whatever she says and whatever she does, I will never, ever walk away from her. And I know when she does pass, she will know that I took great care of her. She does thank me now more than ever for helping her. As our parents age, their minds go through different phases. Mom was really really mean until she realized she had problems and he really needed help. This took about a year. Now she is alot better but she changes all the time. She is really alot better but now she doesn't know me all the time. I would rather she be mean with me.
When you have kids, you can't wait until they walk and talk, and then you can't wait until they are out of diapers and in school and so on. When our parents get older, they go in the opposite, they are defiante and mean like teenagers, then in diapers and screaming things to strangers and then they have problems dressing and feeding themselves and then they don't know us. I try to look for those glimmers of life. She shares things with me from time to time that I would never, ever think she would remember. I take her out as much as possible and we laugh at the stupid things we do. I will sometimes wet myself when trying to get her into her wheelchair...
Wake up everyday with gratitude. I know it is difficult. I also have MS and a disabled son. When taking care of your parents, know that (just for now, this moment) this is your purpose...
There are assisted living facilites available that would actually house your parents together. This could be the answer. I had to place mom in assisted living when she got dangerous. I have so much guilt. But for her it was a great thing. She met a male friend. They have lots of activities and the two of them are very happy.
If medicaid kicks in, they could live their for the amounts of their pension checks but that would depend on any other assets. Talk to your local Senior Services Agency and God Bless...Know you are not alone....
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First of all let me tell you I admire what you are doing... I know from personnal experience that it is NOT easy. I would encourage you to get into a support group. I would also say get some respite care from a home care agency in your area. That would give you the opportunity to do some things for yourself. What types of health issues are your parents dealing with if you don't mind me asking??? Many times when elders are ill or in declining health they become frightened and it does not come across as fear(if you understand what I mean) they can just seem angry and nasty. Have an honest open discussion with them tell them how you feel. Remind them that you are trying to help. Perhaps they need a little bit of reality what would happen if you were not there??? take care and God bless...
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I am sorry to hear about your frustration. I have to say I am impressed that you are going to school through all of this. It takes a very strong person to not only deal with the stress of helping your aging parents, and school. Don't let other people make you forget how strong you are. No one HAS to help aging parents. After working in health care for some time I can tell you that there are a lot of people who don't.

It's unfortunate that there are people around you who are being the OPPOSITE of supportive. You definitely don't have an easy situation, and so many people just decide to judge when they have NO clue how difficult what you do is.

Good luck, and keep your chin up. I am sure that everyone here knows what you are really going through and can be a great support system for you.
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