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How hard it is being a caregiver my mother-in-law lives with me and my husband in our home my kids are grown and I am a grandma who does not get to see my grandsons much at all. My life has stopped I have be in the home health care and medical care for 12 years. This has come in handy but did not prepare me for how difficult in my home 24/7 care and the hardship on my marriage. I feel alone a lot and very very tired

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Although my husband's mother is in reasonable health at age 90 (no Alzheimer's or incontinence), I feel like a real jerk lately because I am beginning to resent that, when we were married for under two years and I was pregnant, she moved in with us and we receive very little support from his four siblings.

His sister comes periodically to trim her toenails or take her out to dinner, and a couple of months ago she and her new husband (in their 60's) indicated that they would take her one weekend a month to let us have some breathing space. However, a few days ago she shared that it's "really not working out well" to take her one weekend a month, and I can feel that it's a prelude to ending that periodic support care before it's barely even begun.

In my mom-in-law's defense, she's relatively self-sufficient but hearing and vision are going. She's had two mini strokes and we had to call her an ambulance recently because she was so dizzy she was unable to walk. She is not overtly unkind or mean-spirited, there's just a negativity and tension that I cannot place specifically. Perhaps it's also the duration of her time with us (pushing 9 years in her most advanced age) that is beginning to fray me and my relationship with my husband at the edges. Also, my husband and I work 50~70 hours per week and then do our best to provide a warm and welcoming home to her to the extent we can, but she's lonely all day and wants to engage when we get home, whereas we are entirely spent (I'm a high school teacher) and would be content to say little to nothing, even to each other sometimes.

Because she sacrificed so much for her own family (she moved here from abroad when my husband was only 2, left her children behind in the care of family in order to work as a domestic in the United States, sent all of her earnings home, and brought 5 out of 6 of the children here, my husband included, because her husband died suddenly when she was pregnant with my husband), and 9 years ago the daughter with whom she was living was going through a divorce, we invited her to live with us at the beginning of our marriage. I never thought it was a permanent arrangement, but apparently all of her children think it was.

We give her the best life we can on limited salaries of a teacher and a computer programmer, but there's constant, negative muttering that makes me feel like what we do or provide is unsatisfactory. Tensions between her and my husband continue to build as she is becoming more self-involved (old-age related so we understand) and somewhat aggressive.

My husband is the youngest of the six children. Although his sister had her mother for several years while she was in her 70's, she was active and worked out and was almost entirely independent. She moved in with us when she was 81 or 82, so we have had her in her most advanced age with the most challenges and shifts in her personality.

My own maternal grandmother is in the advancing stages of Alzheimer's, so we moved close to my mother and stepfather to help them support my grandparents as they navigate this challenging time. I kind of "caregive the caregiver" on that end, then come to my own home to provide the support that I can for my mother in law.

She is from outside of the country and my Spanish is limited (intermediate), very advanced in age, extremely religious, and even simple conversations are so challenging, so I have reached a point where I barely even want to come home any more knowing that there's going to be some complaint or issue or miscommunication.

In the end, we teach our 8 year old daughter to be most compassionate to children, the elderly, those in need, and animals, and I feel like a class-A putz for even venting my negative feelings and resentment that this arrangement has endured for going on 9 years with very little support from my husband's siblings.

I have shared with my husband that I have reached critical mass, to some extent, that it is critical that he invites his siblings to do one of two things: either provide financial support since we had to rent a larger house to accommodate three adults and give us all at least some "breathing space," OR take her for several weeks per year to give us a break.

It is not that she does anything particularly damaging or overt, it is just that the nine years of care have chipped away at me, at my relationship with my husband, at how I view his siblings, and it is running its course.

Any counsel will be welcomed. Again, I am doing my very best to be a good example of compassion for my daughter and to give my husband's mother a twilight time that is full of as much joy and love as we are able. I know I am reaching critical mass, though, and my husband and I will benefit from some support from his siblings who appear to have the impression that "Mama's doing just fine with J and K! They've got it covered so no worries here!!"

Thank you so much for the opportunity to vent. Do I feel like a real jerk...
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Jessb39: Since your mil suffers from Alzheimers, I think it is safe to say that things are not going to get better. I'm glad to hear that she can attend adult day care a few times a week and at least give you some break. Is it possible for her to qualify for medicaid and be placed in a nursing home with a memory unit. She might do better in that environment and it would be a huge relieve to you and your husband to have your lives back while knowing that she is well cared for.

I'm sure you have thought of this. Is it an option for you. Best wishes, Cattails.
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I SYMPHATIZE WITH YOUR SITUATION. MY HUSBAND AND I CARE FOR MY MOTHER. OUR LIVES EVOLVE TOTALLY AROUND CARING FOR HER. WE PROVIDE FOR ALL HER NEEDS. I FEEL LIKE THE CAREGIVING HAS TAKEN MY IDENTITY. IT'S ALL ABOUT MY MOM. SOMETIMES I WANT TO JUST CRY BECAUSE FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS ASK ABOUT HER BUT THEY CANT SEE I'M A WRECK.AT TIMES I FEEL LIKE I AM THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD GOING THROUGH THIS. IT DOESN'T HELP THAT MY MOM IS SOO HATEFUL TO ME. IT'S LIKE SHE AND THE REST OF MY FAMILY (I HAVE MANY SIBLINGS) SEE ME AS NO MORE THAN A SERVANT. SOMEONE WHO'S ONLY PURPOSE IS TO CARE FOR MY MOM. i WANT TO HONOR HER AND CARE FOR HER THE BEST I CAN BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT IS WHAT GOD WANTS ME TO DO. I RELY ON HIM TO GIVE ME STRENGTH AND UNDERSTANDING. SOMETIMES I CALL PRAYER LINES AND I ALWAYS FEEL BETTER AFTER HAVING SOMEONE PRAY FOR OUR SITUATION. I WILL PRAY FOR YOU. GOD BLESS YOU
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Thank so much that is great advice my MIL does attend adult daycare a few days a week which helps. The time when she gone I am so tired I think I sleep and try to gather my thoughts. My husband works from 7pm to 7am two nights on then two nights off this is very hard to work with because he needs to sleep during the day. And at times I think this is crazy. I have a best friend and sister but someone who is in it has such a better understanding. its 530am the last 2 hours had to put MIL back to bed she was downstairs wondering 1/2 naked and had taken off her depends full of BM which was a mess in the bathroom so cleaned her up and put her to bed cleaned up mess and now I kinda feel like crying. This on top of the normal stuff $ problems etc..plus I have a lot of indoor pets MIL has a small dog too that makes 6 dogs 2 cats 2 lovebirds and MIL 1 dog. I have fibromyalgia and depression myself so this compounds everything can not keep up with housework paying bills Please tell this gets easier cause these past for months have been so difficult.
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Jessb39, 24/7 care of any impaired adult is very stressful and tiring. When the person you care for has dementia, an extra dimension is added to the stress.

I don't know anything about your situation, but here is something I do know: You must get time away from the situation. You and your husband need to go on dates. You need to see your grandsons.

Doing 24/7 caregiving is not like doing 8 hour shifts. You absolutely have to arrange time off. For your sake, for your husband's sake, for your grandkids, and for your MIL. Everyone wins when you arrange for some respite. Easy? No. But necessary.

Welcome to the forums. You'll meet lots of nice folks who are in a similar situation.
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