New to caregiving. New to 'can't do it all' attitude.

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I'm new to this (actually 7 months care giving-including 7+ weeks in hospital/SNF for my wife). I'm 70. wife is 76. 100% bed bound due to health issues, severe Hypoglycemia, Malnutrition, TIA, mild heart attack, complications caused by 'errors' in hospital, and PTSD.
What a voyage this has been so far. I was doing ok for 5 months at home until malnutrition caused 911 call and emergency room because of stroke like symptoms. turn out malnutrition can mimic stroke. Home again after 7 days but I am wiped from continuing saga of Caregiving.
Thanks for listening.

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This is such an important issue. Caregiving is the hardest job I have ever had in my life. My dad who is 95 and very strong willed is my responsibility now. I started full time caregiving in November of 2014 and his health has steadily gotten worse . The hopelessness one feels is overwhelming to say the least. But I do know for sure that if I did not find help and additional resources I don't believe I would be able to do this. It is exhausting mentally and physically . Please take the advice that you have received because you can't take care of any one if you don't take care of yourself. I live in Massachusetts and the programs that are available for the elderly are incredibly supportive. I just recently graduated from a support group for caregivers that was simply awesome in that they gave you tools to help manage your daily living as a caregiver .
So please take one item at a time as someone suggested otherwise the whole search process will seem very daunting. Good luck and many blessings to you and know you are not alone,
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care giving is a very hard job. at the beginning you will be fine. get help DO NOT burn yourself out. I am a caregiver for too many years. I gave every thing to my dear mother including my professional job. I thought all the time I can. even when I was so tired ,cry and yell I continued which was wrong. at the end you will burn yourself out, Your health will go down. Please do not do every thing by yourself your health (mentally and physically ) down quickly and you will never be able go back where you were and may be you will not find anyone willing to help you.
God bless you
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Llamalover47, regarding Swb32cox name being Stan, that is what is listed on his profile. To find one's profile, just click on their screen name :) Sometimes writers will give a lot of good information about themselves and who they are caring for.
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When caregiving is no longer workable, it is perhaps time to move the affected family or loved member into assisted living or nursing home. When his/her money runs out, Medicaid will have to pay like it did for my mother's care for one year prior to her passing away. You do not have to suffer burnout. And yes, I have been in the burnout zone and had to seek professional help while my family and I arranged for Mom's proper care I could no longer provide after over one year. All the best prayers go to the caregivers.!
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Swb32cox: Yes, I, as well as others, are surprised at your ages in regard to your health. But it is out of the norm for the man to be the caregiver. Someone called you Stan, though I don't know how they knew that because your site name claims to be swb32cox. But here's the thing, you need help, else you're going to experience "caregiving burnout." I am a 68 y. o. woman. From August of 2013 through February of 2014 I had to leave my Maryland home and move in with my mother who refused to leave her Massachusetts home where she lived alone. She was a legally blind woman with blood pressure running so low (60/40) that it left me no choice. Didn't I have a life you might wonder? Sure I did! But I had to be the caregiver to my 94 y. o. Mother since my brother refused. I almost lost it at one point, I called my husband at 3:00 A. M. saying "I can't do this." Of course, I rallied and got the job done because I had no choice. So if you need help talking you through things, I have experience. Good luck!
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Mom (71) and I (35) bought our CA condo 24 years ago when we were both working and doing quite well financially. In 1995, Mom retired and could drive to get herself around well; we were still doing well financially because I was still working a full time job. Then eight years ago, Mom had chest pains and was told she had developed congestive heart failure. The Kaiser doctor sent in a form to DMV to suspend her license. Boy, was Mom irate and wrote to Kaiser telling them how she needed to drive to get around and that she had a right to do so! Unfornunately, Mom could not reinstate her driver's license. In February 2012, I lost my permanent job due to the Great Recession. In March that same year, Mom had a back injury due to a fall and needed my full time care for about six months. I did hire some caregiving help when I needed to go out but it was so expensive and Mom did not want strangers to come into our house! I had two family members from out of state who could help, so we coordinated Mom's assistance by corresponding via phone and email; my brother and sister visited at least 3 times. My brother in the East Bay did not help because of our family dysfunctions. Finally in April 2013, my mother (then 93) ended up in a NH from another injury fall and was not allowed back to our CA condo. I was only 57 and still had to work: I had a temporary two-month job from April-June 2013. Mom was infuriated with me (she had bipolar) saying that I was responsible and why should I take over her property? This was not true as we both owned our condo in joint interest. In September, 2013 OR brother finally moved her up to OR State where Mom got into a private room and better care/attention. Because her mind was declining, I called her every other week. Mom slept 20 hours daily due to failing health and finally passed last November 2014. There will be no more mad protests over caregiving or property interests!
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I just want to add God Bless this forum you guys bring tears to my eyes with your heart felt comments to help caregiving is not easy I have been my husbands for the past 15 yrs. He had just turned 60 there has been some challenged but through it all God has truly blessed us.Prayers for everyone
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Wow, this really hit home with me. Mom broke her hip and had a brief stay in the hospital and then rehab for a while until her insurance wouldn't pay for any more days. She's been falling nearly every day, I've been getting her up and if I can't do it I call the paramedics( they know us well!) my back can't take it anymore. We live in a very rural area, so there's no neighbors to call and help. Sisters have made themselves very scarce. I call them crying because I don't feel I'm capable of taking care of her. We do have a occupational nurse that comes once a week, ( big deal!) and a physical therapist who is absolutely wonderful ( yes, you sue!) moms leg is completely atrophied from lack of exercise. It hurts her immensely when she try's to walk. We have two different types of walkers and a wheelchair. Unfortunately, I know she will eventually end up in a wheelchair. She is so miserable, my son brought my grandchildren down on Saturday , first time we have seen my grandson and mom was a little emotional, took some photos of her holding nick jr. I think she realized that she's not going to see them grow up. We have already put a deposit down to hold a room in an assisted living facility. The house is on the market, just that much more stress to add to her life. We ( my sisters) are trying to get her situated in her new home. It seems very nice and the staff are wonderful. I don't know what we are waiting for, I know my sister wants to get new furniture for mom, maybe that's why. I will be talking to her today, there is a senior apartments complex right behind moms facility and I'm going over there today to put myself on a waiting list .wish me luck, I'm going to need it.
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It's easy to get overwhelmed when you think about all the zillion things you need to do. Make some priorities and then allow yourself to let the other things go (as much as you can) until you have time to focus on them. For example, work on finding respite care that works for you and your wife, and as long as it's "good enough for now," let the diet and meals go for the time being. (I mean, don't worry about optimal nutrition and diet just yet...assuming that's not at a crisis.) Then, when your respite care system is in place, congratulate yourself on your accomplishment, collect your energy, and then focus on diet. This is an example - you have to determine the specific priorities for your loved one. You don't have to solve everything right now.
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I hear you. It's not easy. Alot of good advice you've gotten. I will add that it is important you take care of yourself or you won't be able to take care of her. I'm 63, my husband is 73. He had triple by pass surgery then 3 days later a stroke during the night. This was 3 yrs ago. He wears a alert medical necklace while I'm a work but he is declining now. I plan to get in home care during the day as a nursing home we can't afford. His insurance will pay for that. He has no friends and his siblings don't come to see him and they all live just around the block. There's 6 of them. So it's just me and he does take his frustrating out on me. Ive learned to detach from his mood swings. Doesn't mean I don't care. I just protect my own health.
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