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i am a full time caregiver to my husbands grandparents... all though i made my living before as a caregiver in a well recognized dementia facility here in western washington, i find myself not knowing what to do... only because i can no long seperate my work life from my home life. My husbands grandfather is going through agressive renal failure, along with diabetis, he has to go to dialysis 3 days a week. His Grandmother has first stage dementia. grandpa fell and broke his hip landing him in a rehab facility, shortly after grandma fell at here house and my husband found her naked the next day. When i was asked if i would become their caregive i jumped at the chance to be a stay at home mom again...(by the way i have a 3 year old son) not thinking of what impact this was gonna have on our family.. right now my husband is in Japan working and will not be home til April... it is hard, they are very set in their ways and both are home bound other then the occational trip to walmart.lol both are having a hard time coming to grip with everything going on. They have 2 daughters who dont really seem to show an interest in them other then when they thought that grandpa was going to pass... i just need and outlet.. i am glad i found this site!!! i feel as if i am neglecting my son.. i am catching myself getting short and snappy with him.. any tips on what i can do to help keep my head where it needs to be???

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Pintos, get yourself the fake salt. I use it, and can't tell the difference.
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kayBe, be careful when u talk about your moms behaviour.In her mind she is doing no wrong.She may have other health issues or on medication.My husband has hunningtons chorea. It destroys brain cells in the brain.He called me everything u could imagine.He tried to fight my son, tore up the house(not on purpose).His mind tells him one thing but his body can`t do anything anymore.In his right mind he would never talk yo me that way.My kids wouldn`t allow it.But they love there stepdad.he was always there for them.I married him knowing he had this illness,I love him so much that i want to see if i can make his time he has left happy as i can.My mom died of copd and i have it also.i took care of her the last 4 yrs of her life,then it went int congestive heartfaiilure,has dibetes for years and never knew it.The person who cares for u always is the person who gets hell.Theyneed to let out their anger.Find the right dr. to give her the right medicine.She probably is depressed.she don`t like being in the shape she is in anymore than u like dealing with it,I have been there with both parents and now my husband.And yes it drives u crazy,but i still feel like it is what God wants me to do.There is alot more to the stor so i will end by saying u are in my prayers and try to hang in there.I wish my mom was here.Iam not over her death,but have to live with it.Bye all Deb
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kayBe, be careful when u talk about your moms behaviour.In her mind she is doing no wrong.She may have other health issues or on medication.My husband has hunningtons chorea. It destroys brain cells in the brain.He called me everything u could imagine.He tried to fight my son, tore up the house(not on purpose).His mind tells him one thing but his body can`t do anything anymore.In his right mind he would never talk yo me that way.My kids wouldn`t allow it.But they love there stepdad.he was always there for them.I married him knowing he had this illness,I love him so much that i want to see if i can make his time he has left happy as i can.My mom died of copd and i have it also.i took care of her the last 4 yrs of her life,then it went int congestive heartfaiilure,has dibetes for years and never knew it.The person who cares for u always is the person who gets hell.Theyneed to let out their anger.Find the right dr. to give her the right medicine.She probably is depressed.she don`t like being in the shape she is in anymore than u like dealing with it,I have been there with both parents and now my husband.And yes it dives u crazy,but i still feel like it is what God wants me to do.There is alot more to the stor so i will end by saying u are in my prayers and try to hang in there.I wish my mom was here.Iam not over her death,but have to live with it.Bye all Deb
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You are all so friendly and I appreciate all the suggestions. Every day brings on new situations. I am so glad I found this site. There is so little information for caregivers and hardly any support, financial or emotional. Your stories give me hope and a laugh at times. No one else could ever imagine what we face each day. I'm learning to give this to God and to not let it get me down as much. I'm going to try some different suggestions and see how it goes. Thanks so much everyone.
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loving4life, I know what u r going through,u r deeply depressed and overwhelmed as iam.and yes my husbands siblings don`t care either.They go enjoy life while mine has ended as of now.Iam trying to get my husband on medicaid so i can get some kind of help.I don1t get paid.Iam living on my husbands disability check which isn`t enough at all.I guess i just wanted to tell u that u r not alone.Just ask God to give u strength to keep going.Thats what i do.There will be a place in heaven for u.God knows whats going on.You r paying the price now but will greatly be rewarded when it is your time. A friend , DEBBIE
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Kaybe-welcpme I am sure you will get much comfort from this site
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KayBe, for myself dealing with such a dysfunctional and abusive mother, I must watch how I say this because not every person receiving care is dysfunctional or abusive. From what I read in your post, and I could be wrong, it sounds like your mother is trying to find ways to annoy you so that she can get whatever she needs which could be to go back home.

Kids will push and push the boundaries until they know they an annoy mom and dad enough to get what they want so they will quiet down or get their way. Maybe we should apply that theory here? Maybe some options of getting out for a while is the adult day care. I personally did not have to use it, but I hear many here do, and its great. That may permit you the time to go out with your friends that seem not to be around anymore.

You need to get creative and its very hard to do when you are overwhelmed because the overwhelmed leads to exhaustion and there are just too many effects of lack of sleep that I'm sure we can all relate to here.

As far as the dental visits, schedule hers too at the same time so she's in a room and you are, and you can find peace while getting your teeth done? Sound crazy? Did it for my dad... the hygienists just loved my father and his joking and they kept him occupied while I got myself attended to. I told them he had Alzheimer's so they kept an eye on him for me.

Another thing I got to thinking, and this is the evil part of my brain working... LOL If she has COPD and wheel chair bound, next time you go to your computer room.... lock the doors to the house (so she doesn't get out of the house), lock the room to your computer room, find some headphones, crank up the sound, and there's you time. If you lock the doors to rooms, will she really get into them being wheel chair bound? They also have those childproof handle covers that are material that goes around the door handle so the child can't get a grip and can't open the doors. This way she can just talk and wander through the house in her wheelchair but what can she do when you're locked inside your room tuned out? Just maybe???

As far as being on the phone, that is a behavior that needs to be rectified immediately. I would have a little "firm" discussion about that and make it clear that there will be consequences (ie. I will not take time with you or do ______ until you can give me time here). But you need to follow through with it.

Things said are sometimes easier than done, but I noticed one thing as a teacher in adult education.... adults revert back to their childish behaviors, and each of us is going to have to deal with that type of childish behavior now in adult form. It is much more challenging because of the independence, but it still needs to be addressed so that you can get some sanity and renewal as their caregiver.

We're all there and we get it. We're here for you. Hope this helped spark the creative flow of ideas.
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Thanks everyone for your honesty. This is my first time to write on this site. I've been here to read quite a few times. It's been great hearing your stories, I kinda see me in each one of them.

I take care of my Mom who is 85 and has COPD. She's fulltime on oxygen and uses a wheelchair whenever we go somewhere. I'm here 24/7. She talks incessantly. I go to my computer and pretend I'm doing work just to have a moment alone. I have no friends, They stopped asking me to go to lunch, or out for dinner as I always had to bring Mom. My mother has a bad habit of belching really huge and doesn't say excuse me or anything. Then she would just fall asleep during a visit because she can't keep up with the conversation. Whenever I try to visit on the phone, she keeps coming into the room and acting very up tight and then begins to put that person down. I'm afraid one day they will hear her on the other end of the line.

My mom has lived with my husband and me for 81/2 years. We thought when our last daughter got married, that we would be able to do things and go places with no strings attached. Then comes mom. We have to have a sitter if we are able to get out. (not often enough) Mom is afraid to stay at home by herself even during the day so I have to take her to my dental or dr visits. I hardly get to visit my daughters and grandkids as she is so critical and loud and constantly telling them what they do wrong in her opinion.

I am worn our, my husband is frustrated with our lack of any privacy. My husband has health issues and would like to retire but won't because he doesn't want to be around her 24/7. I was diagnosed with Hep C four years ago and I get very tired and have to fight depression constantly. Yes, I'm on drugs for this and see a psycharist onec a month. We are trying to cope but it is almost too much for us. We've never had any family help and we have asked for it. Everyone works and my brothers wives don't get along with her and her criticisim.

Thanks for letting me get this out. Most people do not understand caretaking and have no idea what I'm talking about. I don't personally know anyone who takes care of parents or sick family so this site has really brought some peace of mind to me. To know that others feel at times they want to quit or guilty for feeling that way about their own Mom. Thanks again.
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All of her meals are home cooked by me and i don't use much salt. i don't use can foods either they are loaded with salt i do use frozen veggies. it is probaly her heart and lack of exercise plus she don't elevate them high enough. thanks for the input.
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Could you use salt subsitute it comes in shakers that look like salt and they would probably not be able to read it anyway and maybe after a while they would cut down on it because it is not bothering any one, My MIL was in a N.H. and on a reducing diet but she so enjoyed a treat so I told her doc that once a week I was going to bring in food she liked and he wrote an order for comfort food so the dietician would get off my back she was in a room by herself mostly on bedrest.
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pintos, hang in there. i don't have much advice i am in a bad mood. i did have grandpa here for 4 years so i know what it is like to have 2 to take care of he died a year ago. he was easy to get along with unlike her. she was so spoiled all her life, she talks like she is better than everyone else she don't have any friends at all. one neice comes by maybe once a month for only a few minutes. and i still feel sorry for her.
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Pintos, let me ask you a question.... regardless of what's wrong with your father, did he always talk like that to you? Even with his aging Dementia, or whatever else is wrong, I'm sorry but its verbal and emotional abuse. This is where I get a little passionate growing up from it. Just because they are elderly doesn't mean they can learn respect and its never too late. You can teach respect with love and compassion, but it can be done.

About 5 months ago I called my mom in assisted living. When she picked up the phone and I said "Hi" she tore into me with the following, "YOU S.O.B (edited for boards) how dare you..." she didn't get past that point before I just tore into her. Now mind you she's still mom and I love her, but no way is anyone going to talk to me like that. I let it fly, sadly with expletives, but told her that I busted my tail getting her a beautiful facility and how dare she complain when dad worked his whole life to provide for her even after his incapacities. I called her selfish and ungrateful and this was not going to continue, and I hung up.

Your husband is right, but again you have to find the line that you won't cross anymore. My mother pushed her luck so many times and cried wolf that I'm numb to it now. If there were really an emergency I can tell you it would be a much more difficult decision, but she's proven herself in the past, so how can I feel guilty of choices she made previously.

Sometimes you need to get firm and if you're at wits end you may not present that firmness well. Don't get upset over it.... but sure don't let him downgrade you when you are providing for both of them.... oh heck no!!

We support you and have stories abound of people who get through this everyday.... keep coming back... learn and grow! We're here for ya!
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Hello Dare, I know what you are talking about except I have both of my Parents doing the same thing! I cannot go or do anything, I had to take my Mom to the hospital yesterday to get a cat scan on her stomach pelvic and brain. Well my Dad was PISSED! by the time I got back where in the H____! had I been all day I just left him by himself he was starving to Death and his back was killing him why was I not taking care of him. Well I was he was not by himself his grandson and his girlfriend was watching him for me, and I feed him breakfast before I left gave him his meds. changed his diaper and the bathers came to bath him. So yes I know where you are coming from! and one day it might be both of them doing this and I fill like blowing my Brains out!! yes I said it but some days you just feel that way Im sorry.I have know one to talk to about this my husband is great and he does listen but he will tell me just do not go in the room every time that they call but I have to what if it is really an emergency I would hate my self.. if something happened. well I feel a little better now so I will try to go to bed, I know my mom will be paging me in a few hours if I am that lucky. Thanks everyone. pintos.
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thanks so much for the advice. she is so stubborn. i just hate it. she will never listen to anyonebeut me an argues all the time. i don't know what else to do
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dare... before I "start" LOL, you need to understand my stand on boundaries, and I think one of the best ways you can get that understanding is by finding my last post on the thread "I thought I was alone". I go into great detail how I had to choose my sanity and peace.

I have a question for you, and I'm not trying to be brash at all.... why did you have to answer the phone? Worse mom could do is keep trying to call. When someone I call (like my husband when he knows I'm ticked at him), I turn off my cell phone. He cools down and life can return to normal upon my return when I am ready to deal with him and the situation.

I don't know the history and it could be part of the "disease" or her full-fledged normal behavior. If its the disease, could you get her anti-anxiety pills before you leave to make it easier? If its her... you know she'll start when you get home so she can pick it up when you get home too.

You did NOT waste your time and money. It was a great step and one you should try to repeat one day. Maybe a suggestion... start small (with an hour) and deal with it in smaller portions then go for the big guns of seven hours (great price by the way).

Don't let your mother guilt you. Make the time again and do it weekly. Let her stew for a bit and throw a tantrum. Criminey, get ear plugs for when you walk in the door and look at her and smile and act like you're listening. Keep a bottle of aspirin near you at all times and when she starts, make sure they are handy. After dealing with my mom for so long (hence the blunt talk), I would just flat out ask "Perhaps you would like an aspirin, I thought you might be giving yourself a headache from complaining so."

Try try again! We're here for you!
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today i hired a sitter for granny for 7 hours which cost $70.00. no sooner i left the house my cell phone rings guess who the sitter granny was confused about her meds. the sitter tried to explain to her, she would not listen because she is always right. the sitter handed granny the phone then when i tell her the sitter needs to give her the meds all of a sudden she can't hear. so picture me driving down the road screaming to the microphone on ceiling of my suv. this went on for 15 minutes my bloodpressure was rising. she hung up finally then called back, even when i have someone with her she calls constantly i hate my phone to ring. i had lunch with my husband complained about granny the whole time, i tried not to. i left went to the grocery store for her, my cell rings it is granny when are you coming home i am about to die, the sitter don't know how to work the digital thermostat. that was it i got home 10minutes later fixed the air. this is pathetic i can't have any time away no matter what i try. i feel like i wasted money today.
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lonken you should be paid to take care of granny.you deserve something buying a bigger house, small kids.the mental part of caretaking is so draining no one knows unless they have been in this position. i did the same with my grandparents, my kids young and a wonderful husband. let me tell you we added to the house in 2003 they moved in. my life with my kids has suffered. grandparents could not be left alone, someone had to be at the house at all times with a limit of 10 minutes away because we would have to rush home for a million different reasons. glad you found this site every one is great. i feel a little more normal since i found this site i felt so alone. by the way no more 10 minute trips i can't leave the house at all granny's bedridden got to do even more it's been a long
5 1/2 years. good luck to all
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I think most of us caregivers have no family help, outside of those who live in the house with us. I have a wonderful husband who agreed to buy a bigger house (and still trying to sell the small one) so that my grandmother could move in with us instead of going to the nursing home. Before she moved it, we had so many family and church members saying they'd help... but no one has helped and it's been over 2 years now.

Where we live, we don't have a support group or adult daycare. So, I feel pretty much trapped as you do.

I have two girls, aged 8 and 4. I get pretty short with them, too... especially on days that gran has had a bad day and has told me the same old thing 20 times. It gets very hard. I just try to remember that it is not my girls who have put me in the situation that I'm in. So I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and count to ten. I can calm down enough to treat them as my precious angels.

I feel so sorry for you that your husband is not home to help. My husband is my saving grace.

I don't know if you or your husband has power of attorney over your in-laws (I don't), but I would use some of their money to hire an in-home caregiver to come in 3 days a week to give you a break. Unfortunately I cannot do that. I have no access to her money... that's my uncle (who hardly comes to see her at all... but that's another story).

Good luck. I hope you can get some relief.
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msTish, you have to be conciderd terminal with less than a year to 6 months to live to be put on hospice my mom is not. my mom thinks that im the one who told her no more salt, she can only have around 11hundred mgs per day and that is really hard to do. Plus she can only drink 15hundred milleters of fluid per day. So keeping track of all this gets pretty fustrating, along with all the rest but what can you do they are my parents and they need taking care of! today my dad is trying to get out of his bed he thinks that he can walk but he cant and boy is he being mean but i know he cannot help it, its hard for them too. But wow am I tired and family helping no they dont even offer I guess they think that its my job! but thats ok ill make sure that they are always taken care of. And my Husband is great about it and so is my youngest son He is 18 and he helps with just about everything even running errands and doctor appointments. He was doing the night shift yes we have shifts because my mom is up all night saying she cant breath, giving her breathing treatments, going to the bathroom, yes she wears diapers but she has to go number2 at least 3 times during the night so it was to much for just me because I would not get no sleep and I have to take care of them all day plus my other duties . But my son recently got a good job so he cannot do the night shifts as much anymore, but we are doing ok for now it seems to be working out. Wow its good to talk about all this thanks,Pintos.
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pintos,losing her mind, are't we all.have you any family that could help. I know alot of you are wetting your own pants on that one but maybe. Also check with your parents health care provider, see if there is a gereatrics center in your area. Also if dad qualifies for home health aide why not mom. even if it is one hour a day, for you i'm sure that would help.and whats with the salt thing do all elderly get put on a low sodium diet and think that means empty the salt shaker everyday. I'ts early her in maine i'm hoping you all have a good day... Sandy
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Hi! this is the first time that I have posted anything. Well I take care of both my parents they live with me and my husband, my Dad was put on hospice he only has 10% of his heart working and my mom recently broke her arm and hip while visiting my Dad in the hospital so now they both are in bad health. They both are in hospital beds both on oxigen both need constant care. The home health aids come in and bath my Dad everyday so that helps me alot but I have to take care of my mom on my own no help!! I have to give them their medicines which is alot between the both of them, and my mom takes breathing treatments every 4 to 6 hours I have to manage all their bills and finances take care of all my moms doctor oppointments fix their meals my mom is on a low sodium diet, so she wont eat anything unless it is doised with salt she has asthma congestive heart failure she has kidney failure and so on. oh and she is losing her mind! thanks for listening.
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Lovin, first of all breathe!! Take one task at a time. I don't have any children, but perhaps you can ask him to help you with simple tasks so that he feels like he's helping.

My husband to helps me out because I lose track of days VERY EASILY, is that he takes all my bills and hands them to me before they are due that helps me not seem so crazed. There is nothing wrong with respite care either. Just because you volunteered to stay home does not mean that you don't need a break either. Maybe find something that allows you to take time with your son.

The important thing is do not panic and just walk away somewhere and breathe!! You will find we are all spent emotionally, but there is great advice on these boards. Never be afraid to ask for advice!!
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Hi lovinck4life,

I'll say you have your hands full!!! I found this on a earlier posting "respitelocator. org". I have been awarded a grant by my local Redwood Caregiver Resource Center it's not much but every little bit helps. The sooner you get some help the better off you will be. Awww your 3 year old...what a big change for him poor thing. I am taking care of my mother. She is 65 years old and bedbound. I have been taking care of her for 3 months 24/7 with very little help (worn out). I am looking for voluteers at a local church that's another resource. Do what you can to make sure your husband and son aren't neglected.
Get help asap!!!
Hang in there!
-Jaz
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