I am a new full-time caregiver and live alone. How do I keep my sanity when I have no one to vent to?

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PK:

You don't say much about yourself nor whom you're caring for. That being said, the only thing I can recommend is take care of yourself first. Develop a network or support system (this forum is a good place to start) and manage your time effectively. There's no way you're going to keep your marbles and go at it 24/7 all by your lonesome. There's a plethora of tips for caregivers on the Internet; I suggest you make a habit of going online and don't be afraid to ask questions. Also, words like "saint" and "martyr" shouldn't be part of your vocabulary. Neither should the phrase "a little pain is good for the soul." Keep us posted, and welcome to the family.
Hi there - I am a 24/7 sole caregiver - - done it for 7 years now. Ask away. The best advice I can give you is keep yourself upbeat and don't get pulled into pity parties - especially online. It is not that hard to remain sane if you remember to laugh, and move on. Whatever mood you reinforce will be the one that sticks. That means if you feel down, thats ok - but if you constantly 'vent' about how hard everything is, then at one point it will become too hard. You didn't share anything personal - so please feel free & no one will judge you. Edvierjar is very wise & his advice is good. I can tell you though that being the only caregiver happens to alot of us. You can also take this time to learn alot about yourself - there is a level of emotional honesty and insights that you will reach when you are caring for someone else. Take that as a blessing and use the time to really understand yourself and where you want to grow.

If you remember the reasons why you have made the choice to do this, and participate in disease specific forums in addition to this site you will feel better. (ie. - Alzheimers Association has a live help-line, as do other groups). Oh, and although it is easier said than done, try to keep good consistent sleep and meal schedules for yourself - that messes up mood and stresses your body. Tulsi (holy basil) tea is also a good beverage - try to balance what you eat & stay away from all those lovely comfort foods containing Fat Sugar & Salt and stick with a moderate diet - there are many online sources for healthy menus & recipes.too.
i AM ALSO A 24/7 CAREGIVER, FOR A NON FAMILY MEMBER, iT STARTED OUT AS I WOULD HELP FOR THE COST OF MY ROOM, NOW ITS TAKING UP ALL MY TIME AND ENERGY, i DONT EVEN HAVE TIME FOR MY OWN FAMILY. i HAVE TO STEDILY MONITER HER DIBETES AND LUNG TREATMENTS AND OXYGEN AND ALL MEDICATIONS, PLUS COOK AND CLEAN FOR HER, MOW THE LAWN ETC, ETC iM EXAUSTED. AND iM BROKE, i RECIEVE NO MONETARY REWARDS OF ANY KIND. i WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT TO DO ALSO. pLEASE, BEFORE I GO NUTS!
I have been doing this for 4 years now, the last 2 for 24/7. I have 6 siblings that pretty much leave everything to me. There are many reasons why I became the chosen one. At the time i agreed to quit my job and take care of Mom, I thought I was going to get help from the others. NOT!!! I've since learned to move on and deal with the situation as best I can.
Find your local senior center and contact them first. They know all the options for finding help in your area, and will even help you fill out necessary paperwork, etc. Your next best bet is to go online for information on what diseases, mental and physical, you are dealing with. The doctor's office is also a good source of information and connections to people who may be willing to help you out.
Definitely find out all your options for monetary aid. You are going to need it. But most of all, give yourself a break whenever you can. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone else!
Ginger, Since I don't know where you live, you might check with your state for aid. Is the person you are caring for on state health insurance? If so, in Mass. there is a program called Caring Homes, that pays the caregiver for taking care of the person they are living with.
Good luck to all of you, and keep coming back to us with your concerns. All of us will do what we can to help you.
Family dymanics are strange enough, but when you put a dependent senior in the mix you will find that everyone "scatters." Even your long-time friends do not want to hear about your journey because it is a "downer."
I say do what feels right on a daily basis. If you have to "recede" and become reflective for a day...do it. If you have to come here and vent...welcome, we have all been in that boat. Until someone walks in your shoes they have no right to criticize or ask you to do more that you already are.
This site is one safe haven for me to express my frustrations but also share the knowledge I have gained.
I discovered that my sanity is something that I have to fight for and protect.
good luck,
Lilli
Thank you to all who offered words of support and suggestions. I appreciate it. It is helpful to know that other have and are doing the same thing. Thanks for your words of wisdom.
dear ginger , u got rip off ! whats going to happen when that non family passes away and u go out on the street with no money ! room and board should be for watching that person , but as far as takin care of the yard and all others u should get paid for it !
if i was to hire someone to come and sit with pa , its 19 bucks an hr ! but as for room and board i would say part ofthat should go toward that .
sounds like to me ure doing it for free and ure begin takin advanatge of .
u need cash paid too , save that money for when u gotta leave .
Yep, Me too. 24/7, alone, going on 5 years. The one thing that keeps me sane is the "Grossed Out?" thread on this site. I found a family there that Beats my real family by miles. Come over and join us?
I'm not sure what Cat was talking about when they mentioned pity parties but I have found that having an outlet to vent frustrations and such can be very helpful. Care giving life is definitely not a bed of roses and try as you might you sometimes just can't laugh something or other off. Venting has saved my sanity and it was venting to people who know what I went through. People who would listen. That kept me sane. And yes, there is some really great information on this site and some REALLY great input and information from those that are actually doing the care giving themselves.
I am from a large family and have ended up being the primary caregiver. I think some of us fill that role in a unique way that truly helps the elderly person for which we provide care. That being said, please do not forget who you are. Discover what truly matters to you and continue to pursue it in whatever way you can. Being my mother and father's caregivers has taught me a great deal about strength, courage, and what I consider valuable. Talk to us online, make friends with the doctors, people at the drugstore, and everyone else you see frequently. Make your parent your ally, and he or she will help you with the tough decisions you have to make for them because they will trust you. Best wishes and stay in touch.

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