Does it ever get better?

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I've done SO MUCH for my parents, and they are grateful but they just attract bad events it seems like. I'll go one or two blissful days, but then I check the bank account and see that it's getting tight or my mom will acuse her nurse of stealing or my dad will have a bad day. I don't know what it's like to have a normal week. It makes me feel so guilty for wishing that they would go away so I could live, because right now I'm just surviving. I dread checking my email, voicemails, phone calls, anything because I'm always scared of more bad news.

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I so get the , “when is it my turn” my kids are grown and my mom was with us for 13 yrs till she went in Nh 1 1/2 yrs ago. She begged to come home all the time, would call and yell at me, y’all at me there, but I saw her have more socialization there then at home, she had friends,etc. she always thought once we found help she’d be coming home. I never did much in her room as far as pictures because she might have realized I wasn’t bringing her home. She passed last week and the guilt I feel is amazing. I know I will get thru it but now I have all the time in the world and I don’t know what to do with it. Sounds crazy but I miss the running out there.
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I am in my early 60's and I dont feel I can live freely.
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My parents are just so young, and they've both survived so many things that could have severely hurt them or killed them, that I'm actually scared this will be the next 30 years of my life. I want them to live as long as they want to live, but an awful part of me doesn't want to deal with this until they're 90 or 100. I'll be 50 years old by the time by parents are in their 80s and 90s! Will I only then be able to live freely??
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Their condition may or may not improve, but it can definitely get better and more manageable for you.

The first thing is to determine what needs they have that they may need additional assistance with. Do they currently live in their home with a nurse that comes in daily, do they live with you, or are they in a facility?

What physical and mental conditions do they have, and what does their doctor recommend?

Once you are able to determine what type of assistance would make things easier for you and them, you can contact your local area agency on aging and social services departments to see what types of assistance they might qualify for (adult day care, additional home care or skilled nursing services, etc) or if they might be good candidates for assisted living if they are still at home.

The more help for them you can put into place, the more manageable it will make things for you. I totally understand dreading picking up the phone and/or being on pins and needles waiting for the other shoe to drop. Have been through that with my mom for years, ever since her paranoia and hallucinations started getting worse at a somewhat young age (early 50s).

It has gotten a little better the past couple of weeks since we finally moved her into a facility. I felt bad at first, but after seeing her actually socializing there, and knowing she is in good hands, I am not as stressed out all the time and she seems less stressed also because they have more activities to keep them busy so she's not focused on her fears as much all the time.

She had moved in with me for awhile after a lot of drama with my sister, but I just couldn't keep up the pace at which I was going. I was getting severely burned out. I still manage her bills, get her med refills, take her to doctor's appointments, and am up there and talk to her on the phone quite a bit, but it's definitely more manageable.

Hugs, just take it one day at a time and see what help you can get into place so that you can hopefully relax a little bit. It's important to take care of you too.
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I guess it’s the stage of life the parents are in. I know what you are referring to. Always something. It’s been quiet with my parents over about a month and I’m grateful for that. But something will come up. My mom’s health is the worst. I just burst into tears the other day when I realized it’s harder to communicate with her. I thought of a recipe I wasn’t sure of and realized she can’t tell me. I’m going to ask her when I go see her anyway and she might remember.

I’ve begun grieving for her. She was and is a good mother, I miss her already. ☹️
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It's an endurance race. A marathon, pace yourself. It does get better, never ideal or perfect, but better. As we learn and grow and patience develops it becomes more manageable. And I definitely could not do it without the Lord's help. I would just run away. But over the years I find my strength in HIM.
We have to have a little care for ourselves, because if we aren't taking care of ourselves how will we ever take care of our LO.
Again, our expectations may be a little high and cause us tremendous stress and disappointment. Sometimes, it is what it is and we must make the best of it or we can just be miserable.
Selma is so write about tv and technology it is such a white noise as I call it. Just a distraction from reality.
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Hi aj6044. I have discovered that being a caregiver defies a sense of normalcy, especially if your parent has dementia. Has either parent been diagnosed with dementia? What you are experiencing is closer to an emotional roller coaster - there is so much unpredictability day to day. One day my MIL who lives with us is calm and semi-lucid, the next she is super agitated and can't retain a piece of information for more than 30 seconds.

I was really happy for you that you still have some peaceful, blissful days. That will help to recharge you, so take full advantage, immerse yourself in the calm when it happens. Maybe lowering your expectations is just what you need because their erratic behavior and irrationality will not change. You must feel in crisis mode constantly if you fear picking up the phone or checking your emails. I would take deep breaths throughout the day and try meditation to keep centered and calm. It happens to me too - every time the caller id reads "Dad" I can feel the tension mount in my body.

Remember too that everything is a crisis for them. And a seemingly small problem for you and me, is monumental for them. It's all about perspective.

In my mind, the tremendous demands of caregiving for elderly parents is one of the biggest stressors we have. So your wanting it (or them) to go away is natural. It's that fight or flight mechanism and that's how we are all wired.

It sounds like you are getting burnt out, so please take care of yourself. Are there other siblings? Given the financial issues you mention, maybe seeking advice from an elder attorney to sort them out would help? Could you maybe check your email or phone less - I often intentionally do not take my cell with me when I go out, just to have a psychological break. Will the world really stop if you leave your technology at home?

Studies in media show that people who expose themselves to a lot of news on TV think the world is a much meaner and scarier place than those who watch little or no news. And if they say no news is good news, I say take media and technology breaks. It could help restore a bit of sanity we are all seeking in dealing with difficult parents.
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