My stress level is extremely high. How do you handle caregiver stress?

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Somebody needs to come up with a "make a wish" type fund to help caregivers go on a small vacation. Even if it's at a motel room for 2 nights a mile down the road and supply a fill in caregiver to relieve them. That would help so many people in this nation and save people from ending up in nursing homes adding to our deficit.
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Helpless do you have any outside help coming in? If not, you need some so you can get away. Or you need to consider that this isn't working and look for other options. What is your mother's situation? My mom repeats herself, but I don't live with her. But I know how frustrating it can be. Tell us more and you'll get some good ideas.
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I am currently caring for my elderly mother. My husband and I sold our home to move in with her when she felt she could no longer live alone. One of my biggest problems is the constant repetition. The Same questions over and over and over until I find myself answering her before she even asks. My asthma is worse due to the fact I am back to sneaking cigarettes so I don't scream. How do you handle this? How does Anyone handle this? You never really sleep in case she calls out. When she naps is the only time I have to keep up with the house. I used to love cooking but now hate it. And I can't make her happy. Nothing I do makes her happy. I feel I am failing and I can't accept that. In the morning I am afraid she won't wake up and yet I am afraid she will. I thought I could handle this but while it may look like I am I am screaming inside most of the time.
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Oh my gosh! I'm getting in over my head, but I still manage to get out (at least for awhile...) Is there a Senior center nearby? Is there anyone there who could give you a brief break? Take care of yourself, and I hope you can find some resource to ask for help... Don't be too proud or afraid!
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I haven't really left my home in six months, I too feel your pain. Exercise has helped me tremendously. Especially on the crazy days, I feel it has been a safe outlet. Goodluck!
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I use guided imagery. it take about 10 minutes of listening and works wonders. If you anyone is interested, I will send you link for a free download.
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Eddie,
You get the gold star for the day from me. I'm learning to deal with stress since I now take care of my Mother. Thank goodness that she's not nearly in as bad of condition as some here are. That may be in my future. I need to train to handle stess successfully now. Eddie's suggestions are a great prescription. Definitely get help. It's out there. Anyone who will offer you five minutes of self-time or any other help is really an angel in disguise. Take the offer and stay sane.
I went into this thinking, "Oh, I can do this." No, not alone. It takes a team.
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I HAVE A TV IN THE BEDROOM AND THE FAMILY ROOM SO I CAN DIVERT MY ATTENTION. MY MOTHER HAS DEMENTIA BAD AND VERY LITTLE COGNITIVE. I WALK AWAY AND COME BACK TO START ALL OVER. IT WORKS. NO MATTER WHAT I AM DOING, DRESSING HER, ETC, I TRY TO COMPLIMENT ANY MOVE THAT GOES SMOOTHLY. SOME DAYS ARE EASIER THAN OTHERS. I ALSO PLAY A GAME OF BRIDGE ON INTERNET AS A RESPITE. JUST CHANGE THE PACE A BIT. BYE BYE
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Awful good comments to help you here. I am the only child and there is little or no family help aside from my understanding wife.I am very hyperactive and have just visited with a pyschotherapist to deal with anger/stress. I voluntarily checked myself in for these visits. I learned that eating a healthy diet together with taking vitamins like St. Johns Wort (hypericin) will help give you a positive mood. This is a natural herb and not a prescription drug but read the warning label if you are pregnant. It has helped my stress. Vitamin B1 or thiamin will help to give you better strength and metabolism.
I learned to deep breathe from your diaphram often to control stress surges.

Remember, that a real friend is one who listens to what you are saying and honestly cares about your problems. Anyone who does not is NOT your friend.

Getting my dad out of Rehab and into his new assisted living community apartment is my main objective. Selling his house can wait for a later time. Set objectives for yourself one at a time. As each one is met, your stress will diminish and by all means, find that real friend and have a good talk or cry. Even us men need it and I am not embarrased to say that.
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THere are some great comments here...I believe getting over whatever guilt you feel is the first step but easier said than done. I'm just starting my journey of recovery as I call it and have a big hill to climb over the next several months. I guess we can't help others unless we help ourselves first. A stressed caregiver will not provide the best possible care to an elderly loved one.
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