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Well, I have been taking care of my mom with dementia and working two jobs, plus have a brother and sister that are handicapped that live in our house as well. My brother has a caregiver during the day and my sister and I take care (mostly my sister because I have back problems) of him in the evening. I am the only one that drives, does the finances, gets the pills, runs all the errands, plus works a full time job plus a part time job.

So, everytime I do something it is either not enough or not good enough. Example - my sister had a shopping list of stuff, but didnt include hot dog buns. I didnt know what meals she was planning for the week (my fault I know). Anyway, I got everything on the list, plus stuff my brother wanted, and my Moms perscriptions.

I get home and my sister says "well I guess we will eat hot sausage on bread". Not oh I forgot to add hot dog buns to the list, etc. etc. So frustrating.

Well, last night I got home from work, mom started her routine of telling me how old she is (71) and asking how old I am (43). She has some kind of fixation on age...anyway, she comments its hot in here...five minutes later its cold in here. We go through this daily.

She complained that the light in the hallway we leave on at night is too bright. So, I was trying to find a way to put a lampshade or something on it and here I am up on a chair on my tippy toes trying to figure out how to fix this and she starts asking - what are you doing why are you doing that. Meanwhile, she has dizzy spells and has complaining about being dizzy all day and she is up out of her chair walking toward me. I am trying to keep my balance myself and trying to get her to sit down. She just keeps yelling at me.

I finally yelled back at her and said Mom hush up and sit down for a minute. She flipped on me and I couldnt stop myself. I just went off. I told her I am tired of working so much and coming home and worrying about who is going to be mad at me. I am tired of walking on eggshells and that I wasn't doing anything for anyone any more. With that I made sure she was sitting in her chair and I locked myself in my bedroom.

I didnt leave her by herself. My sister was there with her.

When I went back out to apologize they were both upset with me.

I feel so bad for lashing out, but this is so hard and I feel so unappreciated. But I realize that it isnt their fault that I am the only one healthy enough to do this, so I shouldnt get upset with them. But boy is it rough and I feel like a complete meany ignorant person.....

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You did right. I am proud of you. Heck, if you own the house, I would tell a few people to make plans to get out. The schedule that you describe, can kill you, while everyone else lives happily ever after. I support you.

I don't know what is wrong with your mom, but at 71, she could live another 20 years.
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Stop it, do you hear yourself? Reread what you wrote. It is time for a change, it can't go on like this forever, or you will be worse the wear. Look into other alternatives for yourself, perhaps, I am talking so much now from my own experience, maybe just maybe it is different for you, but it does not sound like it. I have pulled myself through the wringer and if I don't do something which I hopefully am, I will be destroyed. You are human, why do we always forget this first and take on a truck load of guilt. Others use guilt and shame to control, take care of yourself, before there is nothing left of you.
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Hear, hear! If you are the primary caregiver and wage earner you need to take time for your self. Sit your family down and calmly explain that you are only human and can only do so much. After working a full week, you deserve an hour to yourself when you get home and a whole day off once a week. Tell your family you will shop once a week and if its not on the list it's not your fault. You will do household chores at a particular time. I find it helpful to right out a complete list of jobs and the hours it takes to complete them including private time for yourself.
Ask them is it too much to ask for some breathing room. When I need to vent, I tell them I am angry and can't think clearly. Then I leave the house for 10-20 minutes to cool off. Good luck and know that there are plenty who sympathize and understand your situation.
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You need a vacation. Would sis be capable of ordering groceries online for either you to pick up or have delivered? In my area, this can be done and the only charge is $10.00 for delivery. A very good investment in your situation and one thing off of your plate. You have enough responsibility try to delegate in any way you can.
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Kimmy-
I just realized that last post I saw from you about mom finding a male companion. Take her to a day program, let her make friends, dependence on you will diminish. There are so many options for help. I doubt that blowing up at her has helped the situation at all, and understand the guilt. But, you are caring for more than your mom, you also need to care for yourself, get the help you need. Yes, it would be hard to let go, but you need to do it for yourself as well.
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Forgive yourself. We probably all do what you did. I know I go off at least every week or two... even more often if you consider the times I go off when I am by myself. You have a load of stuff heaped on you. I don't know what your sister's physical limitations, but since she is more able to handle your brother than you are, it sounds like she can do most of the things except working a job. There shouldn't be much left for you to do when you get home except maybe to go shopping for groceries.

Does your mother get SS and do your siblings get disability? I wondered why you needed to hold down 1.5 jobs. It sure would be easier if you just had the one.

I don't know if it is a problem for you, but one of the worst problems I had when I moved in with my parents was that I was super-responsible. I wanted to do and fix everything around. It was terrible, especially when one parent countered everything I did. I am learning to be less responsible now. I feel guilty at times, but I was wearing myself out before. It wasn't anything that was required of me. I just thought I should do and fix anything that needed doing/fixing. I am beginning to learn that the world keeps turning even if I don't get the bushes trimmed and the floors mopped. One more step downhill and people will start calling me lazy, I'm sure, but this is a marathon, not a sprint.
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You deserve an award for doing so much for other people. It would be almost impossible to be under so much stress and not blow up. Your family should appreciate how much you are doing for them. Don't feel guilty- you are only human and can only take so much. You should make some time for yourself, and try to get outside help if possilbe. You can't continue on like this forever.
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You should be a candidate for sainthood! No, don't ever feel badly for sounding off. Your plate is really full and the frustrations you feel are perfectly normal. Your daily routine is overwhelming---can you afford an hourly caregiver to come in and help out? So sorry you are going thru this ---prayers sent your way.
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Do NOT feel bad about venting - you are a person with feelings and emotional and physical limitations like any other person. You are doing your best in a horrible situation, as many of us are struggling to do, and you would literally harm yourself - physically - if you didn't let this anger and frustration out from time to time. It has to come out, and while you can vent here, to your friends, at a support group, etc..., sometimes venting to the person/persons who are pushing you to your last nerve are the ones you have to vent to. Not that it will do any good sometimes, especially when people are old, have dementia, or are just so used to being selfish and demanding that they don't know of any other way to be. But vent you must, and vent you will. You are NOT a bad person for doing so. The fact that you've worked so hard to care for people is proof that you're a good person. Give yourself some credit and take care of YOU for a change.
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No need to feel bad about letting off steam, I blow at my husband at least once a day. He gets around fine but his dementia is bad one day and not so bad the next, it always leaves me wondering if he is faking it. He has no reason to fake it and I do see his confusion, but I guess I am looking to blame someone. He won't do anything unless I tell him to do it, like dust furniture, run the vacuum, ride the mower in the front yard and then I have to remind him again. I don't work outside the house but I don't have any help either. BTW he turned 68 in July and I will be 67 in Oct. I guess I feel life has become totally unfair.
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Don't know what state you are in, but in California if your Mom's income is not too high "In-Home Supportive services" will pay a care giver for your Mom. This can be paid to an "outsider" or can be paid to you. Maybe this would eliminate the need for your part-time job.
Ditto your brother and sister. State is willing to pay to keep them out of nursing homes. Sounds like your brother is getting some aid -but obviously needs more. Maybe ask whoever is paying (state, etc.) for his caregiver how to get nighttime assistance.
As we hear on this site all the time - "If something happens to you - who will take care of them??" Since it seems you are the responsible party here, you need to take care of yourself first.
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people that ARE NOT Trained to take care of people that are Elderly..need to stop
the yelling and using them to get by on..They need be in a Nursing Home for 24/7 care. and that is if YOU AREN"T TRAINED THEN LET THEM BE TAKEN CARE OF
CORRECTLY instead of making it always about yourself ! very simple&a FACT.
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1Tommy - I don't mean that Kimmym30 should "use her family to get by on. " She just seems to have a lot on her plate. If the family wants to be together, maybe just a little financial help would enable Kimmy to get rid of her part-time job and be with them instead.
Certainly if medically they are beyond being cared for at home a nursing home would be a consideration.
But there are a lot of us who would rather be at home than to ever be in a nursing home if at all possible. Most families have their squabbles - maybe they just need to sit down and talk things out .
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Get over feeling bad. You are as important on this Earth as anyone else in your
family. Develop the courage to communicate often and strongly, then make it a habit. As a result, you will achieve some respect.
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It's ok to get mad, you're normal. It's ok for sis and mom to get mad, they're normal too. You took it when sis fussed about the hotdog buns, they can take it when you fussed about the light. Sis is probably at wits end just like you are. Mom doesn't know what she is saying from one minute to the next so all the irritating things she says/does are just beyond anyone's control to conform to or change. It's better to get feelings out rather than let it eat you up inside. The fact that you are concerned about being mean to them shows that you aren't abusive. I agree with the point about getting as much help as you can. Taking care of any one of the responsibilities that you have is hard. I can't imagine anyone being able to do all that you are doing. Please give yourself credit for what you are doing instead of criticizing yourself for not being perfect. If possible maybe giving sis and bro some credit and praise would help too. Get as much more help as you can and try to take care of yourself. Can you get home health care or hospice for your mom? We got it through my mom's doctor. Our hospice provides respite care periodically where they take mom for a couple of days so you can get a respite from all your responsibilities. Bless you for all you do!
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Take a deep breath.....And accept that you are not perfect. You are human. As a human being, you are entitled to not react perfectly in every situation. And then the next time this happens, take a few minutes to breathe. Then go back to whoever you yelled at, and tell them you are sorry for your yelling, but explain in what way their behavior was problematic for you, and why it upset you. Explain that you are sorry you yelled, but that you are entitled to be upset. And explain what you want them to do differently in the future. You may have to do this quite a number of times for the same behavior and it may work better with some than with others. It has worked for me. It's essential that you and they remember that your service is a generous gift. So don't take all the flak, and most importantly, don't forget that you are no one's carpet to walk on!!
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OMG, Kimmy. Of course you have to vent with the load you are carrying! I couldn't do what you do. As long as you're willing to keep to this impossible schedule, it sounds like everyone is willing to let you do it. The problem is that you are only human and you have limits. My suggestion is that one day a week you find a way to pay for someone to stay with your family and, if you can afford it, leave early in the morning to go to a hotel with a pool, gym, nice restaurant, cable -- whatever turns you on, and return home the next morning. That should charge your batteries for another stressful week. If you can't afford this, then pay someone for the day and go to a park or whatever place relaxes you, eat a nice meal and go home after they're all in bed. If you can't find a valve to get the pressure off, you will not last indefinitely without going to pieces physically and/or mentally. You have no reason to feel guilty about not doing enough for these people. I read somewhere that there is no such thing as failure unless you quit and give up. To me, you're a hero, but leave sainthood to someone who has an easier road than you do. All that is required of you is your best, which you certainly are doing. Garza
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I know you feel badly for sounding off but you are only human and you are under a great deal of pressure. Letting steam off is necessary in your situation.

I had to organize my dad's requests, I did what I could but I often had items on the list for the next day. It sounds like you are trying to do too much. Whatever the others can do --have them do it. Sounds like you are doing everything and that will frustrate anyone. Even if it is something small, like folding laundry --give them something to do. They will be happier if they are busy and not always thinking how you screwed up. When all else failed I would tell my dad the "complaint dept" had closed for the day. That I was doing the best I could and it would not always be perfect. He usually sad he was sorry for being critical. Really he was upset that he couldn't perform the task himself.

Good luck, Get some rest, See if you can get paid respite care too.

Liz
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There is much help you can call in to delegate some of your burden. I had home health care people come in 3 times a week to bath, and change my dads linens. Physical Therapy, come in 3 times a week. All approved my medicare. They even have volunteers that will come and read to them or watch tv make meals or keep them company. You need more help!! You need personal time or you will end up sick !! and no good to anyone!! Stress is a killer!!
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Yes, you are only one person. With the pressures and stressors you described it seems to me like a perfectly natural response to have that sort of mental/emotional burst. You can only do so much. It sounds like you are taking most of the responsibility of your family and this incident could be a big sign that things need to change. You deserve and need help. There are senior services that will probably be able to help you. You may even be able to get some free respite care approved. From my own experience I'm saying that if you don't make changes things likely will not change themselves for the better. And please don't feel guilty for arranging services first that will help you to get some time off Even just a day or part of a day. It sounds to me that like most of us here you were put in the role of family caregiver from early on. Now everyone is used to putting everything on you? Even when it's not your fault. Just because a person tells you they're right in blaming something on you doesn't mean it's true. I say this from my own experience. I caregive for my Grandad. He is passive aggressive and sarcastic. And like what you described, expects me to read his mind. And When I don't he blames it on me.

So, I guess the bottom line is that you have worth as a person and it's okay to take care of yourself. I know for me that the caregiving situation with my Grandad has been a wake-up call for me. If I don't learn to value myself and take care of myself people will continue to step all over me. It's okay to step out of the roles we've taken on in the family and start giving our lives value. I'm not saying that no one else matters or that we don't love the people in our families. I'm just saying that we matter, too, and it's okay if we give ourselves as much love and attention as we do to others.
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Kimmy - I don't blame you at all for losing it. Don't feel guilty.

Is there a way to let out a "little" anger in bits, so you don't blow up? None of us - at least few of us - really enjoy blowing up. It makes us feel like children who can't control ourselves. I at least feel more proud of myself when I find a way to vent my anger in small ways that might improve the situation.

Does your sister have emotional issues, or could you respond to a dig about the hot dog rolls? "Sis, that hurt my feelings! I worked, then shopped, and I'm tired. I didn't know you wanted the rolls, and I can't read your mind."

I had an issue with my father once during a power outage. He was freaking out while I was trying to report the problem and locate flashlights and batteries. I said - hard but not outright nasty - "Daddy, I'm busy trying to handle this situation. I need you to be calm and to shut up so I can do that. Please CALM DOWN!" He realized that he COULD trust me, and did shut up.

If I were being the perfect wise person I wish I was, I would have gotten down from that chair, and said, "Mom, I'm putting a shade on that light so it won't bother you. I'm afraid I might fall down, so I'm trying to be extra careful. Can you help me by sitting down until I'm through?"

If you can say, from time to time, "I'm doing the best I can here. Can you cut me a little slack?" and maybe repeat it until they hear it, life might be better for all of you. Easy to say, hard to do.
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Wow! Where is the best place to get support? HERE! Kimmy, I, like many others have "been there". All the comments above prove that your little burst of frustration was not only common but earned! My best advice is to come here often, to vent, and for GREAT advice. Someday soon, YOU will be giving the advice as well. God Bless you and your family. You have a lot on your plate.
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Its not bad to let off steam now and again.It does seem to give energy to go on again.I know this sounds selfish,but i do it at least once a week,to my mum who has dementia.We go off at each other,she tells me to go, its her house and not to come back.
I shout back, say yes mum,leave,and the next day im back there and it starts all over again.So i say to you, dont feel guilty if u need to let off steam to make you feel better.You are doing a good job, considering that you are hoding down two jobs.Im surprised you still can do that,your cup runneth over.Hugs to you.
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Its true,we ALL do this..If they are decent,reasonable folks,they will understand.If not?Then they sorta have their own set of rules,and dont beat yourself up for not knowing them,ok?
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Phish, posh, you did the right thing, stick up for yourself more often, and you will explode less. I blow up with my Dad at least once a month, I slam out the door and charge a lunch on his credit card. Today is his birthday, mine is tomorrow. He wanted to have me take him shopping. I am backing a cake, trying to get the house clean for a party tomorrow, doing laundry, so i delegated. My wonderful niece is in town for the weekend, she was happy to do it. I felt better. Tell your sister to back off, you are doing the best you can. Tell your Mom the same thing.
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Jinx's post is probably the best route to go, but... I am what I am...so...

YOU feel like a complete 'meany'..are you kidding me? I'd have gone off a hell of a long time ago on your sister, and wouldn't have felt in the least bit bad about it. She should be on her knees thanking God for what your do for everyone, not giving you crap about HER oversight. Sheesh! I'm starting to feel very, very happy that I don't have siblings...if that's how it is, who needs them? Just...ugh....

Don't sweat it. Next time, tell your sister that you're not psychic and if SHE forgets to add something to a list, to STFU when she doesn't get it.

Me and Jinx...same idea, different attitude about it.

In this life, I've learned that when you've tried going down the 'nice' road for awhile and talking reasonably(and you should try that route first) and it doesn't work, only thing left is to be a bitch. Sometimes people just walk all over 'nice', sad to say..
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Do you think you are the only caregiver who has yelled? You are overworked, overstressed, and frankly live with unappreciative folks. Why don't you just quit? Keep your day job, but stop doing for them and tell them until they treat you with more respect, they can fend for themselves. Mean it too! Get a night light for the hallway or a very low wattage bulb. You are allowing them to control you, and until you stick up for yourself, they will continue their rude behaviors. Respect yourself enough to not allow anyone to talk to you like that, even your mother. She may be 71, but at 43 it sounds to me like you are the one with all the dignity! Hang in there...
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God bless you for what all you have taken on. But you definitely need to start taking care of YOU before you have a heart attack. Depending on your sister's disability, it sounds like she could be doing stuff around the house. Like someone else said, stop doing "other" stuff and handle the main things, either someone else will chip in to help, or let it go and just tell them you are too tired. Hope you can find someone else to help out before you need help.
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1Tommy - every post I have seen you make has been judgemental and inappropriate within the context of these boards, which are supposed to be supportive and compassionate. You are not helping anyone.
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alot of things are common sense..if someone is already has issues than they should really HELP the person that is in need by giving them the 24/7 care for a Facility.
I am a Nurse..and i read these posts like it is about them not the one who is obviously not getting the care they need..so perhaps common sense should apply..as I am here to help those that have to figure out that what they are doing spending time asking for someone to post back what is Common Sense. for the Elderly to get the correct caretakers.

you would feel the same way if u had an Elderly parent..in need of correct care.
I don' see the Elderly write..as a Advocate ..I am helping give sound advice.
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