One year ago today Daddy was having his bone scan and CT scan. The next day he had his lung biopsy which caused a pneumothorax and he was in the hospital for 8 days. He came home and was going to start chemo the first part of June but his bladder was completely blocked with cancer and he had to have external kidneys (tubes) installed. That postponed his chemo and then he decided not to have it at all and died in August. My mother has Parkinson's and cannot be left alone so basically I have moved in with her and while we have caregivers during the day that allow me to work, she is my responsibility at night and every other weekend. It has been a struggle and a life changer for sure.

How long can I continue to do this and how long she can remain at home are still up in the air. There are days when I say I can do this for years, and others (like today) that I say I am tired. Working full time and taking care of two households are draining for sure! How do we all do it??

Love and prayers to all of you that do this...

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Love, when I am frustrated, lonely, tired, begging for some time to myself, I remember all my father did for us. Raised 9 kids, worked two jobs, unhappy marriage to an invalid, came home and did housework. He was always there for us. Why he didn't get in the car and head west is beyond me. So when I am ready to pack it in and quit, I remember his steadfast love and care, and I imitate it. It is so much easier when you see why you do something. Love, and more love, forgive yourself for not being perfect, maintain a balance between your life and theirs, enjoy and express your admiration and love for the one you care for. Remember as hard as it is for you, it's 10 times harder for them. Find time for yourself, if they complain about the expense or the alternate caregiver, explain, better 8 hours with a sitter, than live in a nursing home because you can't do it anymore. Most importantly build a support staff. Hire people to do jobs you are too tired to do, mow the lawn, laundry, clean house, whatever saps your strength. Have a friend or us, caregiver support group, to confide your fears, and get help. I would have gone under without this forum's advice, emotional support, and expertise. You're amazing, a wonderful loving person. Good luck

You can do it. It is the hardest thing you will ever do, tending till death a loved one. I have grown, in humility, love, and strength. Most importantly, I am happy. I am living a fulfilling life.

If you become overwhelmed, read this article, it was a live saver for me:

After 6 years of being a logistical caregiver [not physically hands-on 24/7 but will run errands, get groceries, take to dr appts, etc] I had to start setting boundaries on what I can and cannot do being I still have my career and refuse to give that up. And I have my own age decline.

My 90+ year old parents decided to keep living in their large home. There was just no way I could take care of two households. A therapist told me that since my parents choose to remain in their home, then they have to take responsibility for that choice. If my parents refuse to move into a retirement community, where they would have MORE freedom, again, they have to live with that choice of not moving.

I am tired for you. Brings me back to my year of caregiving for my mom before she passed. I don't know how I did it except by doing the next right thing every minute of every day. Trouble is, most times, those who are taking care of elderly parents are elderly themselves. Also dealing with health issues. Sigh.

When you get home from work every day, take 15 minutes, fold your angel wings aside, sit down and unwind. Hugs.

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