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Since I began looking after my mom things have gotten much better. But I have seen so many caregiver just fall apart at the seams. I have to say Caregivers are not given the information they need when they go into this situation.
If they knew the h*llish journey that they are about to leap they put in some safeguards to protect their sanity and health. First of all living in the home full time is very bad because you are never off duty. You are at work or on call 24/7 that's 168 hours a week. They are often dealing with a mentally impaired person that is not cognizant of their needs. Their life slips away from them so fast because each day is the same. They often meet with financial disaster because the patient needs grow and grow. Most don't get a dime for their labor, no real understanding of such sacrifice, & then others say pay up for room and board. To be a caregiver is a true life disaster, that no one even considers. To maintain a small amount autonomy to protect your sanity, you must have safeguards in place. You need boundaries, a manager to protect your interest, you must have someone to protect your interest. Caregivers die much sooner than none care givers. Even God took time for himself, you are not God. You can not be sane and be on call 24/7, and you must stand firm when your family belittles you. Make a contract with family members with real bite in it and use it, or walk away. It's generally best to walk away regardless. There is a 30% chance you will not live through it anyway. Why destroy yourself. Yet there are a few like my grandmother that was a saint to the end. She comforted me as she died, caressing my hand, saying she knew where she was going and she was looking forward to it. I saw her again a few days after she passed, I know now she always told the truth. She was a rare soul. Do not dilute yourself into thinking other are so good, no one, not my moms, mother or someone else in my family has a true love to guide them as she, not even me,LOL. Typed this on my phone so there must be typos.

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I'm glad this discussion was resurrected. I missed it before. Mudiver had some very wise words that are spot-on when it comes to caregiving. It is so easy to start seeing ourselves as unimportant. Our needs have to be seen as equally important to the person we care for. What Mudiver wrote was excellent.
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I have been the in home full time caregiver for my mom over a year now. Divorced was living by myself.. what else do I have to do? Besides working full time. .. I am soo greatfull that a friend just told me about this site!! Just the few items I've read in the past day have helped me soo much. I am not the only one with a sibling that lives within a 1/2 mile and has no desire to help or acknowledge what I'm Really going through and that it isn't just all in my head! Are there any people in NE ft wayne that actually meet to support each other? So far I've just seen postings.
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Too bad the U.S. does do what some of the other countries do when it comes to caring for the elderly. Example, in Sweden, I read where elderly care is funded by municipal taxes and government grants. The elderly can either stay in their homes with caregivers coming to the house or they can move to a community home. Each person is charged according to their income level, thus no one is left out. If there is a married couple and one has memory issues, both husband and wife can live in the same facility.

I, for one, would gladly pay higher taxes if we can be assured that all elderly have safe care by *trained* caregivers. Otherwise we are going to lose a certain percentage of older baby boomers who are struggling physically and emotionally trying to care for their own parent(s) or spouse. Especially since many parents are living into their mid 90's and into 100's which mean their caregivers are older senior citizens themselves.

Yes *trained* caregivers, to which most family members and/or grown children here in the States are NOT trained caregivers.
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