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Before I joined this forum it was, "woe is me, woe is me, nobody understands, am I the only one out there doing this?" Gosh, how wrong I was. God led me to join this forum, before I was just reading it for about 6 months. Now I know that there are millions of women out there with the same burdens, not all exactly the same, but still the same baseline problems. I thank my Lord for all of you wonderful ladies who help me, give me advice, comfort, love and compassion. One of my daily pleasures is logging on to this forum, not just to see if anyone answered my questions, but to read and "hear" from all of you. Thank you so very much my ladies and God bless you all!!

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Dear Corinne,
Thank you for your wise advise and love. Everything you said hit the bulls-eye with me. You cry still too? I do too. I too have a great difficulty in getting things done around here. Even doing the regular upkeep housekeeping shopping is such a chore and I must really drag myself out to do it. . I am trying hard to take better care of myself-which I haven't done in two years. I am still under weight by 10 pounds and eat ice cream two times a day, but still have no appetite so I force myself to eat regular food, but a lot of times I just skip meals or have cereal for dinner-which I know isn't enough. Yes, some days are better than others, but I have been making strides to get better-like getting back on my bike and going to work out at the gym--which I completely stopped doing all this year and half of last year. Many times I feel so guilty when I just want to stay home and clean the house and care for my plants, or just sit and watch TV or read a book. I want to be alone and just be lazy after years of intense stress and emotional pain and physical decline. The healing process is so slow. I pray for all the men and women on this site every single day, we need all of us to pray for all of us.
Yes, Mom is doing so much better at hospice. Sis said that many patients actually get better there and Mom is one of them. It just kills me when she always asks when she can come home. And when I do visit, which is every day, she forgets by 5 pm and calls me and asks me why I didn't come. A couple of times she told sis that I didn't see her for 5 days or 3 days, but sis knows better than to believe her. She says she can walk, bath herself, do everything for herself. But that is the dementia because she cannot do any of those things by herself. Thank you again for answering/commenting on my post. I really need to hear from all of you all of the time. God bless you and keep you. Love, lefaucon
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Lefaucon sweetie, regardless of reasons , you have made the right choice in using hospice care for your mother. You can see that she is content. You know she's being well cared for. And most importantly, you have removed a very heavy burden from your body. Yes, being alone is miserable, but it has to be. I do not feel any guilt, thank God, because I KNOW I did everything possible for Paul. Now he is getting better care . Do I cry? You'd better believe it. My friends, the nurses etc. are all used to my tears and red eyes. I've even seen them in tears or close to them. Please take extra care of yourself. I now go to bed much earlier than I used to. I'm still not eating well, but at least I am not skipping meals. I find it very difficult to stay motivated to get things done. Some days are better than others. I think we all need to give ourselves permission to cry, to be lazy, to have that ice cream for comfort food etc. And yes, there are far too many of us hurting like we've never believed possible. Let's pray for each other. Love and many hugs , Corinne
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Dear Corinne,
My Mom is finally in hospice too after I took care of her for 2 years. At first we had in-home hospice: RN, bather, SW, etc... but it wasn't enough. It really wasn't my decision to place Mom in hospice either, but after sis took care of her one night, she couldn't handle it and couldn't believe that I was doing this for so long. But we did make the right decision [I think] because Mom needed medical attn that my CG's and me could not handle. I would of just taken her to the doctors to have her immediate illness addressed and brought her home [if it was my decision] I am the youngest and the most loving and most attached to her and my Dad [who passed just this past May]. I was willing to do all of the work for Mom at home, but sis and bro worried about me so much and they would worry that Mom wouldn't have the best of care, and their stress and pressure would be greater. I wonder sometimes if they are just thinking of themselves to put Mom in hospice so that they wouldn't have more worries about Mom being at home with me, cause they would have to help me out some at home with Mom. The staff is so loving to Mom, they even moved her right across the nurses station because her former room down the hall she tried to get out of bed 3x. She loves to watch all the staff work and waves at them even when she doesn't need anything. She makes me buy them food/snacks and she loves them all and they love her. They take such good care of Mom, have the neccessary equipment/meds that she needs should anything of that nature change [which I would not and don't have the skills to do anyway]. Other than that, if I had the courage and strength and upped the CG schedule, I do believe that she can come home. But she will be declining fast soon and I would not have the skills nor equipment, etc....to take care of her properly. I hurt a lot, have lots of pain, and cry everyday still. Just because Mom isn't here that doesnt mean that all those years of caring for her: the stress, pressure, anxiety, love, guilt doesn't go away just because Mom isn't here. In a way its worse cause I miss her so much and live in this big house all by myself now. Its me who has lost my whole household and not sis or bro.
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Kudos to all you men who caregiving for a love one!!
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Thanks, Littletonway. Please everyone, call a hospice and make use of their help and knowledge. Hospice patients are covered by Medicare 100%. You can use them in your home or a nursing facility, as I'm doing. Your loved one does not have to be at death's door. They will send a nurse to evaluate the need. Hospice covers people who will eventually pass away from their disease...such as dementia. I do no want my husband to suffer. They will keep him comfortable. Before Paul got ill, I volunteered for Hospice. They are caring and will give you much support. God bless you all. Yes, of course I am still hurting and crying; but I feel I have an ally in caring for Paul. Sending many hugs to you. Corinne
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Corinne so glad you were able to find help.
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I made a decision and it's removed the huge burden I've been carrying since my husband got dementia. I finally called the local family hospice. Dear friends, they are wonderful. My husband is in a nursing facility. Hospice will pick up all the expenses, have skillled people in to visit him . They have pet therapy, music therapy, etc. to help my husband. Check it out. Quit feeling alone and at a loss. Love you all and sending hugs. Chonie
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To all you beautiful men out there,
I forgot to tell all of you men a story:
Sis and brother in law has a male friend who works a FT job and takes his Mom to day care during the day, then picks her up in the evening to take care of her--5 days a week, and cares for all days on sat and sun. One day, sis said he said that he just couldn't take it any more and went out back and screamed his lungs out so loud that the neighbors called the cops. The cops came and checked out the situation and then knew that it was just stress. They thought it was elder abuse. It wasn't, its just that that poor guy was so stressed out.
So lots of love to all of you great men out there who have stepped up. You guys are few and far between and I did not mean to exclude you at all! God Bless all of you!
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After spending the day with my mother-in-law, repeating myself for the hundredth time, watching every single step she takes so she won't trip (and that's WITH the walker) and then reminding her for the hundredth time what we're doing and where we're going AGAIN, to come on this website and find out that I need to buck up and be happy, is a breath of fresh air. (sigh)... ♥
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Iefaucon,
Don' forget the men !! I have been taking care of my mom, who has alzheimer's dementia, for almost four years.
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When I started out as a caregiver to my father 7 years ago I had now idea how burdensome this endeavour would end-up becoming. During the first 4 years I held a FT job as a programmer. Then I was laid off and have since fallen back on SSD. I'm deaf and have a terrible balance problem. My father would have had to have gone into a nursing home had I not opted not to go back to work.

I have 3 older sisters. The nearest is some 600 miles away. Only one has ever come to visit him and spreads her visits to every 3-4 years. My mother died over 20 years ago. He has no friends to speak of as well. Never really did.

Growing up he seemed to go out of his way to be the nastiest demeaning controlling parent that ever existed. I was afraid of him when I was young and disdained all that he was as I grew older. I personally drank for 20 years for the lack of acceptance for who I was as a person. 15 years ago I grew out of that habit
and have since blossomed into a much better person.

So why am I here taking care of an incontinent 87 year old father who has dementia? It's certainly not for the inheritance. There is none!

I am more like my mother than I give myself credit for. Yes, I love my father dearly because he is my father ... but don't get me wrong ... I do not like him. I believe I ended up with this job because of sense of "duty". I often pray to God to grant me the compassion and patience needed to cope and of which I believe I am blessed with time after time. Why, if it weren't for me I truly think he would have no one. And that I believe is as sad as you can get.

During this time I have learned so much from "Showtimers" to "Sundowners", and the many other aspects of dementia and getting old. The experiences and problems people face as caregivers and the everyday lives of our elders. And from this very forum which has shone me at many times "things could be worse"! LOL I read more than I post. I already knew I wasn't alone in this but it's just reassuring to actually hear it. Thank you one and all for sharing.

And one last note before I step off my box and that goes out to lefaucon who started this thread. You give credit to other "women" and thank and bless the "ladies" here. Keep in mind there are plenty of men like myself who burden themselves with the same task of taking care of an ever aging parent.
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I really haven't offered any advice to help anyone but I appreciate the support I have received from several of you. I didn't write my whole story all at once. I have adde to it as I have felt more comfortable putting my business out in the open. I thank you all for your responses and I hope that God blesses all of you and helps you with your own needs. You are ALL very special to me.
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I feel exactly the same. It has been a blessing to find such a group, all of one accord..giving our loved ones the best care possible.

It is a job none of us wanted but somehow we have all stepped up and done what was necessary to the best of our ability with love and compassion.

You have all enriched my life so much! God bless!
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I just posted on the Grossed Out thread. We are all trapped with the same problems. I guess misery loves company. I get real support here, and I feel like I am not alone. Rena
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