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Today two friends and myself went to a caregivers luncheon. There were several places with information about homecare, legal issues and so on. There was a speaker our own televison weather man shared his story. There were several people nominated for caregiver of the year. As I heard the stories read and all the sacrifice these people made, they sounded like they never got mad, frustrated, tired, annoyed or had other bad negative feelings.I feel some people are meant to be caregivers, some just have the knack for it others like me are put into it because of necessitiy.
I felt bad for alittle while after hearing so many positive things about other caregivers but I am doing the best I can for my motherinlaw. She is taken care of and safe here with us. It does get tiring and frustrating. I am not looking forward to the future but we are going to look into a rehab facility or long term help with her to get her moving, stronger and motivated.
It was nice to have this event today to go while Mom was a daycare.
Thanks to everyone who is encouraging me........
frustrated 2012

I am not even going to pretend to know how you feel because I have not walked a full mile in your shoes yet. I've literally walked 1/5 of your mile. We are going on year 3 of full time Mom at my house care.

Here's my suggestion: If the hospital takes your Mom for the knee replacement and she stays there for 3 days, then she can rehab in a facility for a couple of months. Take advantage of this time to re-evaluate how to simplify care if possible. And by that, I mean ask that church friends or senior friends visit your Mom in the rehab facility, so you have some time for yourself. Also, this will give you a chance to see how she interacts with staff and having other folks around.

Sometimes, we are too busy to see the forest for the trees. It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job. You have held it all together for a long time and I sure hope that if I'm called down the road for the long haul, I can do as well as you!

Thank you..... yes we are going to start looking into some home care.
She has insurance and it is past time to do this. One day she will have to go to a facility but it is hard to do it. I know we will have to before I just have a nervous breakdown. If I didn't care so much it wouldn't bother me....but I do.
I take my responsibility of taking care of her very serious. I do love her.
Thanks for all the advice......

Hi frustrated. Though you said you just wanted to vent, I will take the risk of asking a few questions. I am wondering if you and your husband have considered placing your mil in a suitable facility at some point in the future. Sometimes people respond better to professional caregivers, and I mean no slight to you and your caregivng skills. It sounds like you are getting burnt out. I agree with jeanne - pick your battles. Have you considered hiring someone to come in to, for example, aid your mil with an exercise program - even walking with her each day. You can only do so much. If she will not cooperate, maybe you need to accept that in some areas. I know there are fine lines between providing good care and "letting go" of some issues. To me it sounds like, as is the case with so many caregivers, you have too much to deal with. Your mil has several serious health issues, which may be more than you and your family can cope with. Does she have the financial resources to hire care?

In any case I applaud you for doing so much for your mil, and wish you well. Come back and vent all you like. Hugs and prayers Joan.

Thanks..... I appreciate the support and hearing both of your view points......
Today is a new day but already filled with challenges.
Have a great day.

Vent away, frustrated2012, you certainly have enough justification!

You've had your MIL living with you for 11 years, and you call her Mom, so I assume you've had acordial relationship with her. But the burdens of ill-health take their toll, don't they? Caregiving is different from enjoying someone's companionship! You have legitimate reasons for feeling frustrated.

You didn't ask for advice, so feel free to stop reading here.

I suggest to you the serenity prayer (whether you pray or not). The hard part of that is sorting what you can/should control from what you can't and should let go of.

WIth your MIL, pick your battles. What is critical and will really make a difference in her quality of life? Taking her pills? Yes. That battle is worth fighting. Wearing her hearing aids? Mmmmm ... not so much. If she doesn't want to hear what's going on, that's her decision. You can decide not to shout and not to repeat yourself, if you want to, but I don't think the battle of the hearing aids is worth fighting. Exercising? Yeah, that one sounds important in her case. It would be worth coming up with some ways to encourage that. Eating her veggies? My son has been diabetic for about 10 years. The closest he comes to vegetables is tomato sauce on pizza. I'm serious. This man does not do vegetables. (And he married a vegetarian, but that is another story.) He is perfectly healthy and his sugar readings are better than mine although I eat 4 to 5 veggi/fruit servings a day. (No fair!) So in my opinion, the veggie battle is not worth fighting. Water? Unless she is actually having some hydration problems, I don't think I'd fight that one, either. You might have different priorities than I do, but the point is to pick your battles!

In the eleven months you've been a caregiver, I'll bet you have made this discovery: You cannot do everything. You cannot. And I'll bet you are still in denial about that. It is very freeing to accept our limitations, to prioritize tasks and work on what is most important, do our best, and be glad to be able to do it. Perfection is not a realistic goal. Doing everything is not possible, let alone realistic.

From one who is in her tenth year of caregiving: Relax a little. You'll do a better job!

I can echo most of your comments, except about having a husband, as mine long ago decided I wasn't subservient enough. It's tough enough having to deal with all the little niggly details all the time, I feel that everything all depends on me and no one else. Every twenty minutes that little bell starts dinging and there's no one else to answer it for me. My family supports me and all I'm doing but in the end they have their own problems, and in the end there's no one else to tend my mother but me. I can only hope that at least he's there enough to hold you once in a while, it's hard when there's no one to comfort you but yourself. Esp after another long stupid argument over how I've never learned to be gentle, or patient, or pay enough attention to the same old anecdotes told yet again.
You have my full sympathies, wish we could help each other.

Just want to vent. I am tired. As the days turn into weeks then months and in 21 days it will be a year since my motherinlaw had a stroke. I have been her primary caregiver.
We found out last month she needs a complete knee replacement, she is 78, diabetic, has heart problems and recovering from the stroke.
Weeks ago I had a PT coming to the house to work with her and she met her goals and got released.
Her knee bothered her and we went to the orthopedic and found she does have a real problem. She stopped doing any and all her excerises will not walk at all.
She just continues to sit in her room and watch tv.......
I am so tired of asking her to drink water, eat her vegetables, put her hearing aides in, take a bath, change her underwear and so and so on......
Yesterday at the cardiologist while she was having her pacemaker read, the nurse saw no activity....... and got in her face and told how important excerise is for her heart muscle. Mom said she would walk.
She didn't walk today.
I find myself just being scarcastic. I have helped her for the past 15 years, she has lived with us for 11 years..........
What bothers me is that I feel we are doing everything possible to help her have a better quality of life. Everything depends on how she feels and what has to be done.
Tonight my husband wanted to go listen to music at a local BBQ restrauant so he and our six year old granddaughter went because she didn't want to go. I am home which is fine but there have been many times that one of us didn't do something to stay home with her. We have asked friends and church family to help us and when they can they do.
If we do all go out she gets tired, it is hard to relax when I can see she is ready to go home. I feel I have to take her home.
You know I know my situation is not that bad. Some one told me my situation is mine and for me it is what it is.......
I always thought I was caring and maternal but this past year I have seen a frustrated person. I feel I have aged alot and my hair is so grey now it wasn't six months ago.....literally......
My husband's brother and sister live in another state and really are not very supportive at all. Phone calls to their Mom is rare much less any real support or concern for us. We did get one card of appreciation in 10 months which was nice.....
Well I feel alot better. It is nice to be able to honestly let my feelings out. I try to talk to my husband but he just can't deal with my frustrations. He has alot of his own with his Mom and does help out as much as he can. He works fulltime, takes care of the house repairs, the yard, the cars and so on. He is active in church and with the town we live in.
Sometimes I can't remember all the things I have to do for Mom, hubby, the dog, my children, granddaughters, church, volunteering , errands, pay the bills and myself.
I don't know what the answer is for me to cope better. I am working out at the pool at the Y. I practice piano, do my Bible study and ask God to help me alot.
I am just so tired of all of this and wish there was a better way.
frustrated 2012

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