I'm pleased to say that after 3 years of caregiving my sister finally stepped up. It had got to the point that I really though I was going to have a nervous break down. Not only do I have Mom but I have a special needs step son that lives with us. This is so embarrassing to admit but 3 years of non stop caregiving, trying to work a demanding full time job and my husband travels about 18 days out of the month had taken it's toll on me. I felt like I could not go on and at the time wondered if I really wanted to. I love my family very much but everyone needs help and my immediate family was unwilling to help at all, I have a sister and a niece. I never dreamed that they would walk away but they did, same that I read quite often on this site, they just walked away and had every excuse under the book not to help, most were just so uncaring. I don't know what happened but it came at the time that I felt that I could not go on anymore. I had actually disowned everyone in my immediate family, I blocked them all from Facebook, blocked my phone and text and told them that if they wanted to speak to me that they could email me but as far as I was concerned they were no longer a part of my life. They of course had my husbands phone number and the caregivers phone number in case they decided to call Mom which was not often at all.
My sister finally emailed that she could take Mom for the summer to give me a break. I was shocked and leery but at the time even thought there were many tears taking her to the airport I knew it was best, I did not feel like I was doing any good for Mom at that point, I had become so burnt that I really did not leave the house except to go to work, I sought out the help of a doctor and talked to a professional, it really did not help much, I knew what was wrong and knew it was something that I had to learn to live with. Not only was it the depression of watching my Mom fade away and change but it was the thought that My very own sister and niece had turned there back on us. Mom has now been with my sister for about a month and they are having a good time, she see's that mom is like a little girl and seems to have changed her whole attitude. I'm so glad, I did think often that she would never forgiver herself the day something did happen to mom. I do miss my Mother but again I do also know that when she returns I will be a much better person mentally to take care of her. My step son also left for his grandma's for the summer he goes every year. You can only imagine the freedom that I feel but along with the freedom I sometimes feel guilt thinking that I could not hold up any longer. the part that amazed me was after having mom for one week my sister calls and tells me how she has always been there for me??? She actually told me, "I know we will fight, we always have, it won't be the last time because we are so different" which is very true. then she went on to say that no matter what, she is always there to help me and mom and she loves me.
As bad as it sounds it was very hard to keep my mouth shut but I did to keep the peace, after all the terrible things that were said I guess people think that after a week its all forgotten? Well I have decided that its not worth it to fight, I'm just glad that she came to her senses and is taking time with my Mother.
I know my parents were oblivious to my own aging, hello I was a senior citizen myself. I even flashed before them my Medicare card and AAPR membership card. I think in my parents mind I was still that much younger daughter who wasn't afraid to doing anything. But I could no longer climb ladders, lift bags of mulch, hated driving, and needed a nap myself in the afternoons, which my parents didn't understand :P
I made mentioned to my parents "who would pick me up if I fell?" and they just looked at me like my hair was on fire. Sure enough, I did fall in the parking lot at work, broke my shoulder, was out of work for 2 weeks, and had months of rehab so I could eventually write, eat, drive, put on socks, comb my hair, brush my teeth, use a computer mouse, type with all fingers, all without making a mess as I was right handed and it was a right shoulder. Being a senior, recovery was much much slower. Yet, a week after the fall my Dad called as he needed a ride to go get a hair cut... [sigh].
Have you tried to find some other respite care, other than your sister, or do you think that now she will be able to provide continued respite help for you? I might line that up now, since when your mom returns you can continue to have time for yourself to recharge your batteries. It sounds like you went through a pretty rough patch before this summer. I wish you both all the best.
Kimber166, Mom is really not as bad as most I here about, My Mom has always been a very shy loner, she did everything with my Father until she lost him and I believe that is what pushed her over the edge. She is not ready for a home and I know deep down in my heart that if we did something like that it would be like signing her death sentence. I try to take one day at a time and have even told my sister if she would just help out a little by taking Mom for the summer it would totally be doable for me. I have such hopes that she will continue to help. I do miss my Mom but realize that this is best for her. I know I was no good for her after all that time, trying to keep her as long as its not medically necessary to put her in a home. She is just a frightened little girl at this point and has always been there for me.
It is great that you have a break for the summer - to rest and recuperate.
thank goodness you can have a breather and heal your mind a bit.
no such thing as guilt from getting caregiver burn-out - its a killer believe me.
all I got were virtual pats on the back from my siblings- even the local one, till i had a complete mental break...couldnt even dial a phone or drive..
(then she went and stole my fathers money! nuts!) going to cut them out of my life after memorial , so done with them- who knew people could be this way?!
I am in the middle of selling their house, trying to empty everything out. Oh how I wished they would have started downsizing. I remember trying to get my Mom to donate items to the hospital rummage sale [they both were volunteers there for 20 years] but to my Mom downsizing was one knick knack per year :P
My doctor recommended I see a therapist but lo and behold it isn't easy to find a good one who will take Medicare or my secondary insurance. My gosh, I am sure there are others my age who are seniors who need to talk to a professional. My primary doctor is still searching for me.
Not having someone to talk to was my biggest thing. My cousins were up to the eyeballs with their own elderly parents, who were also very stubborn, refused outside help, refused to move. And I have no siblings/children. I was able to talk to my boss who's wife had late stage Alzheimer's but those conversations were limited.
What ever you do, do NOT feel guilty. We both were thrown into a job position that we never qualified for, never applied for, and had zero training. But I do know what you mean.