Being a caregiver has taken a very big toll on me and my health.

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I moved in with my elderly aunt who just turned 87, with very limited mobility. My fiance and I moved in with her almost 2 years now, he lost his job back in April so he's been a great help being here. My aunt can barely move around, I have to do everything although she still tries, washing her face, fixing her meals, combing her hair, bathing her, dressing her, fixing her meds, running to the doctors and trying to turn her over in bed, even getting her in bed. I'm unable to bath her because she's unable to get in and out of the tub I still try my best. She's unable to go up and down the stairs anymore and we need fixtures for her handicap. I've tried calling several organizations but I can't seem to get any help. I'm totally exhausted. I got sick in the first week of Dec. and finally went to the emergency room on the 27th and found out I only had a blood level of 4.1 ended up staying for a few days to have blood transfusions and iron put in me. The house needs work done and I just can't seem to get anything done because she's a home owner. I mean because she has her own home she can't get help being she needs it? I'm unable to work my fiance tries all he can do to help out and he's diabetic. I tried calling her insurance about getting some type of income but they told me that she should have applied for long term care before she turned 80 years old. I don't want to put her in a nursing home when she can have these things installed in her home like a ramp, a lift, safety rails, a walk in tub. anything if not all.

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My heart goes out to all of you. My dad will not be coming home. He will be placed in care facility and mom also. Please, do a very intensive background check on who ever you decide to care for your aunt. We have had home support that are nothing but a bunch of thieves and have stolen a lot of money from my dad briefcase that was even hid away. Please be careful.
Hugs to all.......
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One solution could be to let someone (a caregiver) live there rent free, and they would do some or most of the caring for your aunt. If you are interested, it is best to do a background check on the person.
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I am sooo sorry, won't write long now. My husband is 73 and also has esophageal cancer....my nerves are shot...ask about AIM a new program for pallative care..it is a branch off of Hospice..we were accepted immediately and my doctor won't give the order, you get help to get away, the PA comes to your house....all of that for free, probably someone has suggested that. You don't have to be terminally ill to get into Hospice! We were accepted in that too...Dr. won't sign orders...hope you write back, I am soooo lonely, I hope I find you peoples answers on this site, I don't know too much about it. Be well and we doooo care!
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Most states there are home and community waivers or programs with similar (or different) names, bascially under Medicaid, that are designed to allow people to stay in their homes. Area Agency on Aging is the lead agency where my Mom was. This is hard, but you know, if there is no help in the situation, even a person doing CPR is supposed to stop when they are too exhausted to continue.

Kthin, there is NOTHING wrong with treating an angry depression with Zoloft. I think there is something wrong with people who won't even try meds that might help because of a philsophical objection. Chloe'sGram, my husband once did something like that to me, and your post brought it back to me like it was yesterday. Twice, he would not let me take a much needed break without a phone-call induced guilt trip because he got nervous about some child care duty that he was perfectly capable of; it hurt terribly to be used that way, and it really cost me as I dropped out of a very helpful support group I was in because of it...but eventually we mended the relationship and he learned to do things without me when it was needed. Alternate caregivers should be pretty familiar with the phenomenon, you will always be indispensable, but not too indispensable to ever have a break. Even presidents take vacations, not that they won't drop everything and be back at a moment's notice in a REAL crisis...but your hubby could have held on while you got the groceries and then maybe appreciated what you go through all the time that much more. :-) Just my $0.02.
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Yes, I totally agree that care giving is the hardest job in the world. My dad will finally be coming home from the hospital after 2 months. My mom has been by herself, which she really should not be alone. But due to circumstances it must be that way.
Dad informed her the other night on the phone that they will have to sell there house to afford assisted living. She is beside herself with anxiety. They have lived there for 50 years. How in the hell do you move someone who is 94 to a new location without stressing them to the point of hospitalization? God help us all.....
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Caregiving is the absolute hardest thing you will ever do. I've been in the midst of caring for my mom, who is immobile and in a nursing home (not a very good one in my opinion but my older sister is the POV so I have to bow to her wishes) and my husband, daughter and I live with my 93 year old dad, who suffers from dementia and has absolutely no short term memory. The economic crisis has hit us, like so many people hard as hell, and many nights we subsist on mac and cheese or cold cereal. I'm not complaining; I have a roof over my head. But yes, the worry is relentless. I've found my short term memory is horrible because of the unending stress and I have a most unsympathetic husband who is interested only in sex. Sex is the last thing from my mind. Try to remember this: if it weren't for you, this person would have NO ONE. I am just starting to realize that there probably won't be anyone to take care of me as I age and I hope I go quickly. My sister is an unsympathic witch, my husband lazy and our daughter is off on her own at college. Life is never easy but try to take it one day at a time. And realize you are not alone! Many, many, many people empathize with you. Try to look upon it as an adventure. And for god's sake, try not to worry about the house! The four of us are crammed into a time brick ranch with my mom's furniture, our furniture and junk everywhere. I throw things out when I can, and block out the rest. You need to take it easy on yourself and find some simple enjoyment: read, or walk or listen to music, or check out movies from the library....these are things I do and they cost not a cent. BE GOOD TO YOURSELF! Try to decompress and if you can't, get help and perhaps some anti-anxiety meds -- which, oh god, somebody will now raise a huge stink that I suggested medication. Well, I take medication and I'd be a basket case without it. To each his own. Know you are loved. And thought of, especially by me!
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Being a caregiver is a serious commitment and can definitley take a tole on anyone...
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Hi, I feel your pain and frustration. Do you or your Aunt belong to a local church?
Some have a handy man group that may come and do what they can for her.
Sometimes the youth help too with painting, or yardwork.

Check with your local chamber of commerce, town and see if they offer any help or know of any organizations who help the elderly with home repairs and so on.

You have to take care of yourself. Your Aunt doesn't have any other family or children? It is nice you have stepped up to help her.

Can you get a bench that goes across the tub that is what we got for my MIL so she could sit down and swing her legs over the tub and wash herself up....

You may not have a choice about a nursing home, be sure all her affairs are in order. Check it out carefully, ask questions and check on her often.

My MIL had a total knee replacement and went from the hospital to a rehad facility and died six days later..... of double pnemonia, sepsis and heart failure, it was devastating since we saw her the night before and she seemed fine.

I hope you find some relief, look for caregivers support classes, they are usually free, this website is great just to express yourself and be able to vent.

Remember take care of yourself.... if your not there who will be for your Aunt?

not longer frustrated2012
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Some good advice has been given here. Definitely contact your local agency on aging. I believe they offer case management, either a social worker or a nurse perhaps that can inform you of resources and maybe what needs to happen for you to get some help.
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I'm sickened to read the horrible experiences people have underwent here! My mom is in a nursing home; it's not the greatest in the world but my sister, husband and I go there as often as we can (4-5 week) and we get IN THEIR FACES when something goes wrong. My mom suffered two outbreaks of scabies and the 2nd time we discovered this, on Christmas Day, we went ballistic. Gee....it really seemed to make a difference! My mom was isolated into her own room while everything was sterilized. I went there today and they made a point of showing me alllllllllllllll the improvements they had made. My dad, 92, lives in his own home and my husband, daughter and I have given up our home to move in with him--his whole world turned upside down with mom's decline & we couldn't afford our home's mortgage anyway--and he is doing OK! The additional company is working wonders for him. He has issues with refusing to bathe, change his clothes as often as he should, etc., but we pretty much let him be. After all, at 92 he can be a little curmudgeonly. May all of you experience good things despite the evil that exists in this world. I truly believe there is a special place in hell for those who abuse others--esp. children and the elderly.
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