Do other people have a hard time letting go when you have a feeling that your loved one is getting to the point where you can no longer take care of them on your own? Also do you have a hard time calling friends or reaching out for help or finding people you can depend on in the event that you need someone in the event that you have emergency and no one is there? She is getting to where she doesn't like for us to move her and can't make it to the bedside toilet. Not eating very well either. Just am feeling very bad about her and cannot really afford a fancy place even though we have Tricare from my dad being in military and Medicare. Since I have not been able to work because most of my time has been dedicated to taking care of my parents, unfortunately other than time I have not had much in the way of financial support to contribute in the last several months. So am just having mixed feelings of guilt, sadness and a little bit of anger (but not so much). The guilt and sadness seem to be taking over as I feel like there should be more I could do to help her feel better so she could be "normal" and live at home like she (and my dad) want her to. Trying not to beat myself up too much as this is not easy at all. It was hard to even put this question under this topic as it is hard to accept. Not doing very well with it at all.

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Lisa - it's never easy no matter what role of a caregiver you are. What was the old "normal" has been replaced. I've found that if I make an effort to sound upbeat or calm, then my mom tends to mimic that. My mom is a very negative & fearful type - the kind that see's the glass half empty and the glass has a crack in it that someone did deliberately too. See if that works for you even if you have to fake it.

The Medicaid process can be quite maddening, try to keep a sense of humor about it and stay organized. Keep in mind that you may have to renew annually for Medicaid so keep a binder on the important documents for next year.

Is there an Air Force Village in your state? They are a "community care" system rather than a traditional nursing home. If dad was military or even civil service, they can get into them. Air Force Villages are a tiered system of care that goes from IL to AL to NH and some that have a specialized dementia wandering unit. Your dad and your mom as his spouse can go into them and they take Medicaid and usually are affiliated with a medical school gerontology program and whatever miltary hopsital(s) are nearby. It's not a VA program.

Remember to take time for yourself. I've found that old friends, well, are not that crazy about hearing or dealing with your situation. I think it just hits too close to home for them as your situation could be them and it horrifies them. Or they have such guilt on what they did or didn't do for their folks that they can be just a bother to be around and end up wearing you out.

I went thorough a major disaster where we were displaced for months and I found the library was a great resource. They had all kinds of classes and really were more of a community hub than the dull book repository memory of what a library was from my childhood. Plus most things are free. If your city is large, there will be a couple of super churches that have community outreach programs that are non-denominational - I did yoga & ethnic cooking at the JCC and weaving classes a big Baptist church, neither pushed a viewpoint and it was great for meeting new people and talking about something other than being po'd with FEMA and insurance companies. Bigger grocery store groups - like Publix or HEB - also do regular free or low cost cooking or healthy living programs, which is great for getting out and around new people. Ditto for non-credit college classes. Not that you're going to make new best friends for life, but it's nice talking to people who are clean slates. I didn't find these to be hook-up situations either - there's eHarmony and that takes care of those folks. Some of my friends went the more solo route and did daily walks & lots of baking or journal writing. Just find something and stick to it for a few weeks. Good luck and keep us posted.

Start the application process as soon as possible. It can take a while. It will also provide you with a target for your anger and perhaps take your mind off some of your other concerns.

Your parents, like so many of their generation, are living longer than average for previous generations. This means they have a higher risk for developing debilitating conditions. This is not their fault, and it is certainly NOT YOUR FAULT.

One or more of your mother's diseases has apparently reached the point where she can no longer be cared for in a private home. She needs services provided by trained people working in shifts, who get a decent night's sleep and have a life between shifts, and who have equipment and supplies readily available as they are needed. That the diseases have reached this point is NOT YOUR FAULT.

This is very sad. Recognize that you are facing a serious loss. Mourning is not inappropriate. But try to lose the guilt. You didn't earn it and it doesn't serve a useful purpose.

Love your mother till the end (and beyond). Care for her where ever she is, but as a loving daughter, not as the day-to-day constant care provider. Help your father through this transition, too.

It is OK (and probably inevitable) to have days when you are not doing very well with the changes in your lives. If the days persist and there is little sunshine breaking through, consider some counseling for yourself.

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