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For me caregiving for my dad with dementia took a toll on me and my entire family, it’s very demanding role, it started by worrying about my dad living alone, then I found myself taking over of the responsibilities for him, no one prepared me for this!
What about you guys?

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What does it feel like to be a caregiver? Scared, very scared. Even thought what I am doing for my aging parents is so very simply compared to what others are going through, I spend many a wakeless night worrying about the *what ifs*.

This is a future job that I have no training, no experience, no patience, no understanding, and I am too old to do this.... in fact, if I went to a Caregiver Agency to sign up to work as a caregiver, I would never be hired. So why do so many people and my parents think I can do this job [for when it become 24/7 at a later date]?
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There are many feelings, mostly mixed, on the one hand, I am happy to help my parents, but on the other hand, I have basically put my life on hold. My sisters will not help me at all, and that compounds the situation greatly. They live within 20 minutes, and one of them has an extremely arrogant attitude about it, for example, in an arrogant tone she has said, in reference to caregiving, "I won't do that". There are times when I enjoy caregiving, and I have learned a lot about health, etc., by sitting in with my folks on their doctors' appointments, but I never realized it could be this emotionally draining and fatiguing. Many, many days I am fatigued, and wake up unrefreshed. I hope that you can plan something special for yourself, and try to take a day at a time.
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caregiving is made even more unsettling by the fact that aps follows the patient home from the hospital and threatens everyone involved in advance to keep everyone above board and on their toes . its a rough and sleepless place to be but after its all over you can see that their tactics worked .
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No brad, no one is prepared for the toll it takes..... back in the day, when families took care of elders, it was a simpler time.... when there were not so many demands on a persons time and energy....and THEN having to do all that caregiving requires of a person.....
I am a paid caregiver, and have been doing this for 16 years....and am burned to the core of being...... no,it's not the same as 24/7. I do get to go home.... had one live in job and said NEVER again.... my issues are not only with the person or persons I care for, but the added stress of families.... on may days I feel like a caregiver sandwich..... in the middle of all of it.... and many times not allowed to do my job in a way that would benefit everyone, as families have their own ideas about how things should be done....

It takes the life out of me... my spirit is dimmer, my tolerance is short lived, my compassion doesn't touch my heart anymore...... so hope you continue to post here, read, get support..... listen to what others have been thru, and how they coped.... it is a very difficult job on the best days.... wishing you energy and love on this journey that will change your life forever.... prayers for strength and take care of yourself somewhere in the madness...
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