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This seems to be a question that is not asked enough or we think what we are feeling is not as important as what our loved one is going through. This job we have taken on is a tough one and there are days when I think my "stress rope" cannot be pulled any tighter. Then there are other times that make those bad days just a memory. Do you feel like banging your head against a wall one day? And then the next day your loved one is attentive and loving and comprehends whatever you say? There are some who keep those feelings bottled up within themselves; others take the time for outside resources and others who look at sites such as this for some understanding. I do better when I have someone else to bounce my feelings off of. Let's face it....we aren't superhuman and besides ourselves and perhaps a family to take care of we now have taken on the responsibility of another human who is incapable of taking care of themselves. Do you breeze through the care giving without a problem? If so, I would like to know how you do it, maybe you can offer some new ideas; do you have feelings of frustration and need to talk about those? Come and talk and know that you can speak freely and without judgement and without finger pointing.

I am caring for my mother-in-law and have been for about 1 1/2 years. She has moderate dementia and incontinence. Other than that she is very healthy. Sometimes that short amount of time feels like 10 years and I wonder how long I will be able to do this job. I get so very tired of hearing the same thing day in and day out, but I have to remind myself that to her, each time she sees me, she is offering new information. At times I have no problems communicating with her, but it seems like more and more she cannot retain a thought longer than 5 minutes. We have had to make signs for her so she will know what she can and cannot do. So far it's working, but for how long? Maybe I will have to end up making her a "Book of Do Nots". She is on memory drugs, which don't seem to make a difference. So why do I continue to dole them out to her? I guess I'm afraid of what might happen or how she might act without them. I might have to rent a boat or buy a helmet! Sometimes I see something in her that leads me to believe that she could get aggressive and what would be my reaction to that? At the end of each and every day, after she is tucked into bed, I breathe such a sigh of relief. The "inner beast" is quiet at last, or at least for a few hours.

Pull up a chair and visit........I would like to know how you are coping everyday..be it good or with handfuls of stress.

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Mom is spiffing up too! Tomorrow at 9 I am taking her for a cut and perm, She goes to a local elderly lady who works out of her house, and for local nursing homes and MCs.. only 30 for a perm and cut! And both like the casinos so they have lots to talk about! This lady actually showed mom how to get the casino games on her tablet ( no money involved, the free ones) when mom would just blow hubs and I off.., so we love her!
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Way to go PamZ I'm going for a nail appointment soon. Gotta keep things up!
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Well today I am feeling pretty OK.. Time to keep up the "doing something for ME" and "no negativity" mantra I have been working on.. so here goes. I finally got new glasses a few weeks ago,, took DD to pick out the frames so I don't look like granny.. I love them! So yesterday I got my hair done. Normally I go 3-4 times a year for highlights to hide the "tinsel", and get trims to my sort of long hair as needed. I told my trusted gal to "do what you will",, we went back to my reddish caramel highlights that I used to do,, the blond ones were looking washed out with my brown hair. And I told her to cut it,, it is now just under my chin.. and hubs and I love it.. but especially the color is a big change. And I friend I have been sort of avoiding and I got together and went out flea/antique looking. had a great lunch, just piddled around. She was more upbeat today, didn't whine about work, etc the whole time so we are going to bump our friendship back up. I have really missed how she used to be before things got in the way.
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Lost,please do what's right for you and DH. Mom will adjust.
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We took Mom to a health & rehab center today where she will be going to respite care in Oct while we visit one of our sons & grandchildren. We haven’t seen them in 4 yrs!! This place has skilled nursing so she is on the waiting list. Mom knows that. The admissions director tells Mom about the facility & takes her on a tour. Mom is cheerful, talking to nurses & when we got back to her office, she asked her “when can I move in?” It was explained that there were no rooms available currently & Mom replies, “ well, hurry it up”.
Honestly her reaction is too good to be true. She called a friend when home & told her all about it. I’m wondering if this is all put on because only weeks ago she’s accusing me & my brother of abandoning her.
I need help with her, fell again last night. With my back & my husband hurting his on the last lift, I called 911 for lifting help. They told her she gets 1 freebie & if falls again, she has to go to the hospital. She didn’t like that!
Just don’t trust mom with her behavior today. I think she’ll probably return to her ole narcisstic self by tomorrow.
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I am stressed over all of the paperwork needed for applying for veterans aid and assistance.

It’s quite a bit. I hope I can get it all done. Asking everyone for prayers please. Thanks.
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I was amazed how stoic I became with my mom her last week. I spent practically every waking minute by her side. I wanted to be there when she took her last breath. As it turned out I wasn't.

I always had this thought that just before she died she would wake up and see me there and smile. I hated the thought that she woke up and no one was there. I guess I'll never know.
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Buster,

Sorry for your loss. I suppose that is the easiest way to die, simply go to sleep and not wake up. I am terrified of that happening to my mom in our home. I wish that I would not fear it but I do. Especially if I find her and I am alone. I’m not sure that I can handle that.
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I don't know if this qualifies as help to all you wonderful caregivers. My MIL died in her sleep last Tuesday. My wife, the caregiver, is having trouble regaining her balance. Her much loved mother is gone. But caregiving has taken its tole. Back pain from constant changing and transfers. Gained weight from snacking instead of a good diet. You caregivers know the drill. Lack of sleep, no time for yourself, phone tag with doctors offices, robocalls from hotels you never stayed in, constant laundry. And I must pass on the greatest trick from a hospice nurse. If you are cleaning up from a "blowout", use a can of shaving cream with your wipes. Much faster. Cheers all of you angels.
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Lostinva,

Ouch! So sorry. Hope you find good help and hope that you will feel better soon.
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Mentally I feel better, I’ve decided it’s not worth an argument when my mother starts her narcisstic behavior, I ignore her now.
Physically not so well. Have a hx of degenerative disc disease with previous steroid injections & the radiating pain even at rest & tingling has returned. Saw ortho today, set up with MRI & injections. My helping Mom up, all the bending has come to a halt. I’ll have to get some help with showering as my husband has no desire to help her out of the shower. 😳
Its rough to be a caretaker!!!
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Pam,

It’s a deal, honey! We will skip Bourbon St. though and I will take you to where the locals go. 😊
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Need help,, I would be glad too, if you take me out for some hurricanes on Bourbon street! We will be very,,, relaxed...
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Pam,

Can you swing by New Orleans next time you go for a massage and pick me up please? Hahaha

So glad you had a nice time. You deserve it! Happy birthday!🎂🎁🎉
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Mt daughter took me for a massage today, belated birthday present. The gal pulling my muscles apart told me I have tighter traps than athletes she works with,, what do I do? "My 88 YO mom lives with me".. she laughed and laughed! But I have to say after she was done torturing me, I felt better than I have in ages! Boy did I get her card! And the funny thing is next week I am taking my best friend who care gives her husband to a spa for a massage and facial for HER belated birthday present! I can get on board with this, at least once a month. I felt so energized afterwards! Back to work tomorrow after 9 days off, and of course mom is going Aunts for a week or so, hubs is taking her. If they had planned this better hubs and I could have gone somewhere.. but home alone sounds great too for a break!
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Physically I am okay I guess. The Big Drunk Baby MIL is still tantruming.

I’m starting to talk back to her.
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Frustrated. We’ve been looking for long term care. Yesterday Mom was at the senior center & they called 911 because her legs started seeping so bad, b/p 211/120. After 8 hrs in the ER & me telling the Dr our desire for rehab to LTC. They admitted her under observation status which now after arriving here this morning will make placement harder than just a regular admission. So, might be taking mom home later tonight to put up with continues narcisstic behavior, mean & nasty!! We are prisoners in our home!! Medicaid signed me up for Public Partners so I could keep her LTC Medicaid open but why bother when it isn’t being used! Why do they do that!!!!! Insurance companies drive me crazy with this. She has Medicare, Medicaid & LTC Medicaid & I still can’t get a hospital status to start the process. What do I do now? We are so over all this frustration!!
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I am sorry Pam to hear about your loss.
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Thanks Mary,

You are right, of course. I do need time for myself. I have someone come every other week to bathe mom but I should hire someone to come so I could do some of the things I really would like to do.

Thanks for encouraging me. I appreciate it a lot. Hugs!
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I would like to respond to NeedHelpWithMom. The isolation is very real when you are a primary caregiver, spending almost all your waking time being there for your LO. I know, I am in the same boat. About 1 1/2 yr ago, we hired home care attendants to give me a break once in awhile. I remember what a big deal that was, making that decision and making that first inquiry call! But now, more than a year later, I don’t know what I’d do without them. That break of a few hours a week, when I can get out and “be me,” makes all the world of difference in my attitude. Please do this for yourself. Maybe you could have someone come for a few hours a week and you could get out and do the volunteer activity you so enjoy? I hope you look into it. It will really make a difference.
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Pam, so sorry to hear about your cousin, I will be praying for your family. Take Care!
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Pam, my deepest sympathy. It’s heartbreaking, to be blindsided like that. You are a blessing to your mother. Hang in there.

Buster, that’s not slight dementia. That’s dementia. Your arrangement with MIL is shortening your wife’s life, and has turned your marriage into a business arrangement. It’s OK to not be OK with that.
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I'm so very sorry, Pam!
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Oh Pam, how sad, I am sorry.

Could the cousin-in-charge perhaps ask your mother to do something as a contribution (e.g. choose a hymn, send a photograph, write a message for the service) to help lessen this idea that she'll be blamed for shirking? (As if.)
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Pam, I’m so sorry.
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Prayers for you and your family Pam
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Well,, after telling my Mom and Aunt to think happy thoughts about my cousin who has been ill , and getting good news from his Dr after his surgery.. my morning started with the news he passed late last night. Oh boy.. once again dealing with mom not being able to go.. her saying they will "blame"her for not coming ( no they won't.. they know the situation and I plan to send an email to cousin in charge). We did go and get cards today to send.. it's a rough day here.
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Pity party today. My wife lives with her mother. 95 years old, in hospice, legally blind, slight dementia. I live in our house 10 minutes away. I give my wife 2-3 hour breaks every day to take the dog out, shop, visit friends. Mother in law gets anxiety meds to help control emotional outbursts.

Today I was called to get MIL convinced that she was in her own home. This happens about 3 times a month. Oh the wailing and consoling, I reminder that she is blessed to be in her own home with family and friends. MIL not convinced. She remembers she woke up this morning in her house. She wants to be taken to that house right now. About half hour later the guilt trip starts. "You two are making this up. It's my house, my money. Take me to my house." I listen but I don't take the bait. I remind my wife that this may not be full blown Alzheimers but it is an emotional trap. Her mother has enough memory to make her dangerous. Do not knuckle under. Her dementia will always win. See to her comfort and safety then leave the room. Call me again if you need to.
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The isolation gets to me, big time. Mom needs more care. Don’t think I am awful but when mom went in recently to a skilled nursing rehab facility it was the first time I felt that I could relax in my own home in a very long time. It was the first time I could go to the grocery and be relaxed while out of the house because I knew she was being cared for. I hate the isolation. I could go when I wanted to instead of waiting until hubby got home.

I went to see mom daily. I should have spent a bit more time on me. I was nervous about mom. It was the first time that she had to do SNF.

Now we have home health again. I know it’s necessary. It does help her and I am appreciative but all of my time and energy goes to scheduling PT, OT, and nurse visits. I have to be present because they instruct me on what is needed regarding her care.

It’s emotionally draining. I’m trying to make the best of it but I get so tired and I must admit lonely.

I would like to be with other people. I used to work, volunteer every week at my kid’s school, volunteer at the church fair and other fundraisers, meet friends for lunch or coffee, a little window shopping, library, different community things like our local farmer’s market and concerts in the park, botanical gardens, etc. Now all of that is gone.

I have been wanting volunteer to help pack boxes at our food bank. That may sound boring to all of you but I need to get moving again and that would occupy my body and mind.

How does everyone deal with with the isolation?
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Will get up, go out for coffee, then get busy with a few things.

Thinking of you Book.
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