How can I get help dealing with my pain and hurt from caregiving?

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I need help dealing with my emotions over this situation. My partner of 24 years had emphysema. We sold our home and moved to another state where our family and friends lived. I still had business in the previous state and payed rent to stay with a mutual friend. Somehow while I was away for a few weeks my partner got it in his head that I was having an affir with this other man (no way) and also cheating him out of money. This was the tip of the iceberg. To make a long story short, I believed at the time that the steroids he was taking for emphysema contributed to this weird behavior. By the time I returned home, he had become extremely ill mentally and physically, but because we never married I was now cut out of the loop and not allowed to speak to the doctors, although one of the nurses who was an old friend dropped the dementia word. However, he was very convincing and convinced even my own brother, his children and my closest cousin that I had changed my moral character and had become an alcoholic as well. I was stunned. He moved out, bugged my father's house where I now lived and told social services my father had threatened him and attempted to sue my family and have my 87 year old dad put in jail- the nicest gentlest man I've ever known. Rex was 70. He immediately frittered away one third of our assets while I was away and stole my checkbooks and the bank pressed charges against him. I paid his son thousands more to take him back to Canada where he could get better care (he was a Canadian citizen). Soon his son realized it wasn't me. Then he suddenly died, leaving anger and confusion everywhere and so much more trouble I haven't mentioned. Some people tell me it wasn't him,it was the dementia. But I wonder. I need to be in a better place about all this. Can anyone share anything that might help me deal with my anger and confusion? I've always been very spiritual and he became the most horrible person I've known- almost like he was gone and someone else stepped in his body. I'm having trouble forgiving. I lost my friend, partner, close family, home and reputation in a matter of 3 short months and am struggling to make sense of all this. Can dementia do all this?

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The advice on this list is heart-felt from people who have been there, and so inspiring.

A few things to add: please keep good records. The states follow the Federal Medicaid rules or they don't get funding. A couple a years ago, a bill was signed into action that gives a five year "look back" on your finances when you apply for Medicaid. The better your records, the easier it is to prove that you didn't "spirit away" money for personal use while trying to claim poverty and get your elder/spouse on Medicaid.

The whole process is painful enough, when you become an impoverished spouse, which is what happens when you are married. But that's how people get on Medicaid. So keep records. If you've been financially caring for a parent, you can get tax deductions, but again you need records. It's the last thing most of us think of when we are just trying to get through the day and help those who need us, and comes as a slap in the face. We give our time, our health and sometimes our lives to help them, and then we have to jump through a ton of hoops to get financial care. But that is how it is now. Blessings to all of you.
Carol
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I can't say I feel guilt, it's the inability to solve problems that drives me insane. I get so frustrated, then realize I am dealing with someone who has lost the ability to understand the process.
I get even crazier when she argues with me when we are in a time constraint situation. I understand she needs to feel some control, and needs to feel she is making some decisions for herself.
I have asked her daughter to come over and help get her three closets full of clothes in order. To dedicate one closet to clothes she wears everyday and for social occasions. I do not feel she would listen to me about this as well as she would her daughter. I have to pick my battles with her so this is not priority for me.
And I do have to say I get so angry at the daughters for not being more involved. I have to get very firm with them to get anything done. It is tho they have dumped her on me, and yet I have to answer to them. I am not just a "warm body" that shows up everyday to take care of their mother. Believe me, if I WASN"T doing a good job, I would hear from them then.
At least the majority of you have the ability to make decisions in regard to your family member, and move forward. I just stay frustrated and then have to deal with getting my own feelings in order to be present and loving toward my client.
I guess I will have to tell the daughters if they can not be more supportive in getting her health issues tended to and the day to day frustrations that I deal with, and helping me make things more simple for her, then they can find someone else to work for them.
I do not have a problem giving them this ultimatum and will have not problem telling them how much I resent having to battle with them to get simple things done that I have no power to do anything about.
Apparently this has triggered something in me that has been brewing for awhile. So I will let ya'll know how this turns out. Thanks for letting me vent and get some answers that was there the whole time.
Thank God for this sight!!!!!!!!
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Rose1, My mom had a series of mini strokes and was told by her doctor not to drive. She was told not only was she putting herself at risk, but others. She agreed and everything was fine, for a while. Last month she decided that she was going to go ahead and drive to the store one day. I told her, go ahead, but when she hits and maybe kills someone, where will she live? when she loses her house and they put her away. Scared her. Might not work for you, but try to come at from an angle that would make your Dad think. For Mom, the thought of losing her house was enough.
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Rose1 -my friend had to go to the DMV to report her Mom not being safe to drive-after she had several accidents-if you live in a city a police officer may very well pickm up on dangerous driver
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This is for everyone who feels guilty for feeling resentment towards the person they are taking care of. It is normal. It is only one of the emotions you will experience and yo yo back and forth to and from. You have to learn to build a wall between the insults and yourself so that you are not wounded so deeply. Believe me this is not easy. I went thru this with my mother and now again with my husband who was diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer in June of this year because our doctor did not catch it and from what we understand, he's had it for about five years.

So not only do I try to understand when he is cranky or hateful but I also have to deal with the anger towards our doctor for letting this happen. I remind myself to remember how he must feel.

Try to find faith, counseling, a support group that has family members with the same disease your loved one has.

And remember, if push comes to shove. You MUST take care of yourself. If you have family that is capable of helping but simply don't because you are here....then inform them that you won't be there for a specified period of time because you are going away (and you don't have to tell where or why).

If the family is not an option, look into hiring someone to assist. If the person has Medicare or Medicaid (and yes Medicaid can suck because you have to drain your assets) in home care might be an option. If Medicare or Medicaid is an option, you may need to place your loved one in an assisted living center.

I know this sounds harsh...but trust me...you don't want to end up on the hospital and almost dying from the stress.
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I thank God for letting me find you all.Your comments are better than a support group. I am dealing with a eighty one year ol mother with alzhemiers and a 85yr old father who has heart disease. So many have tod my story. Siblings live 4 miles away that dont help,nor call to check on their parents either. I am the oldest 67. luckily was out for a year on disability for surgery. Believe it a not only one assisted until i was able to care for myself. My father is selfish dosent do anything to help out. but he does everything he wants to do as long as it suits him.The doctors say he cant drive his car. His heart disease is that he could have a stroke or die from a heart attack at any given time, So it is unsafe for him and others. he wont listen.Any suggestions about his driving? greenthumb
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Just adding here. It is so hard day after day, putting the needs of someone else before your own and then having them be mean and vicious. But it is like most have said here, it is the illness, not the person. And that is the hard part, remembering the old person, and then having to deal with the person that dementia turns them into. If I had not found this group I think I would have walked away a while ago. We ALL deal with the guilt, hurt and anger...........hopefully coming here helps. I know it does for me.
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can someone tell me why this woman i care for hates me. I do everything, usuallly to her specifications.. She is so mean i'm not sure how you all go on day by day without having feelings of anger and hurt. I'm just feeling so inadiquate.She is actually mad that i would not let her eat runny egg whites this morning, and that i am paying 130.00 to have a tooth extracted today. I have been in pain for 2 weeks now, still doing everything here everyday, how can a woman who the doctors say is mentally fine( i feel otherwise) think i am wasting money. She also is mad about what foods i buy. She pays me 250 a week for caring for her,but I buy the food with this money, she still refuses to help pay, saving her money for a rainy day.. I had to borrow the money from family to do this tooth today. i don't know what i ranting about but like always it feels good to just get it out thanks...
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195 I'm not sure your fimiliar with a greek orthodox,, clergy is a man, who also thinks we need to take care of the elders in our family. So much for faith.. I am Roman Catholic (not a good one at that) but can't help lately thinking i need some faith back in my life. Most of my life i was very selfish, the baby of large family, the rebel, the addict.. all things bad I acheived. I honestly thought turning my life around and doing something for someone (mom=-in-law), would help me find the redemption i was looking for. Geuss i was wrong.I love the idea of him doing this for a week , my issue here is that can you imagine what i would come back to in a week. He honestly just told me that putting her to bed 4 nights a week is helping half of the time. He said i don't get up and check on her at night like he does. Funny the one thing she does do is sleep through the night, I have a monitor next to my bed, so i do keep an ear on her.We had a very strong relationship of 10 years before we started this crazy caregiving journey last May, but now i question his love and commitment to me. I do understand this is his mother but there are so many issues he and i are just not really able to take care of. I'm so sorry for ranting like this i just don't know which way to turn. I'm not even sure i know how anymore.
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Once my therapist said I was waiting for someone to rescue me and that was not going to happen so I had to make plans small ones at first and told him he stays in the nursing home or goes to day care or we get an aide - I had to rescue myself. It seems to me she needs to be placed why don't you go to an Elder lawyer they know all the rules- in NY they can go back 5-7 years and my mother in law was very selfish with her money and kept it even tho my husband did everything for her and she would not have been able to stay in her house without him so of course when she went inyo placement the NH got everything. Your husband since he is not working should have to do all her cares for a week without help from you then maybe he will get it-you are killing yourself or what I would do since she has money have him use it for aides now for 5-6 hrs a day she should be able to afford that. I think you have every right to be hurt and resentful, do you have clergy that would talk to meathead since he does not see what he is doing to you
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