Follow
Share

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.

Find Care & Housing
1 2 3 4 5
Hi there, Jam. Glad to see you here. I am really tired today. I've been up pretty much for 2 nights in a row dealing with stench of a clean out for a barium enema that my mom had to have done. I had 5 loads of laundry that showed up overnight that I finally got done yeaterday. How did it show up overnight? try getting an 83 yo to the bathroom to get sh$t out of her that has probably been there for 50 years !!! Never did have her running clear, so it ran everywhere else. I mean the one geyser hit half the length of the bathroom !!! And how does it get UNDER the toilet seat when she's ON IT ??? It hit my leg, the side of the tub, half the floor, down the side of the toilet, and even swished some in the trash can. 2 points !!!
I've read to put some Vicks under your nose or breathe through your nose, but I didn't want to TASTE it, so I kept my mouth shut and lost my sense of smell. I know it went out with the garbage ! I would tell you how I coped with that, but I can't until I get out of this 3 day stupor. But thank you for listening.
(112)
Report

I meant breathe through you mouth, but I was afraid I would taste it, and I meant physically taste it !!
(20)
Report

You know, I've often wondered if it has a life of it's own.....how does it crawl over the edge and hide underneath the toilet bowl.....or get into a closed trash container when it hasn't been opened. And I don't know how many times I have heard "that's dirt under my nails....not poop". Yeah right.
(57)
Report

In all seriousness, I have wondered about the results because she wasn't cleaned out enough. Mom is on the border of dehydration so much that I think the required amount of fluids per directions was only enough to hydrate her to the norm and not enpughj to clean. She did lack 16 oz of the requirement. She couldn't stay up till 8 and 9 pm to drink the last 2 cups and she was running so bad in the morning that I couldn't keep up to give her the suppository the required time before the test. The bathroom and her bedroom may still smell like a cow pasture, I can't tell anymore, h*ll, maybe the whole house. But don't you expect to find a cowpattie in a cow pasture? hahaha
(27)
Report

Since my lady Ruth has passed away, I wander around and still listen for her. The first night after she died, I woke up many times, thinking I needed to go check on her. I miss her.
I was fortunate that things were usually contained and I did not have to scrub walls at two in the morning, but cleaned the floor by the potty as our timing was bad sometimes...
One of the things that keeps going thru my mind is how much I hate Alz. and what it does to a human being. I watched Ruth turn into animal at times. Her aggression was unbelievable . I often tell people I got my a$$ kicked by a 93 yr. old woman when she managed to pound my head and push me down, and I got a broken bone out of the deal, and she just goes on about her way...I do carry some guilt about all that. Many 'what if's', what if I had tried harder to convince her daughter she needed a med change, then she would not have ended up in NH, where a UTI was not caught in time and she was given Depakote for behavior. What if I had gotten in the RN's face and demanded she have a urine test. Because that untreated UTI is what took all her strength and left her unable to go on. What if I had told the daughter in law she NEEDED a whole dose of AHB gel and 10 cc's of morphine to help her pain and anxiety . Yes, I have guilt, and feeling I did not do enough. But at the same time I watched her become someone no one recognized. Such a mixed bag of feelings.And then on the other side of that coin, I am so grateful she is no longer suffering and is happy and whole...

Thank you for this thread Jam, I haven't talked to anyone about my guilt and feel somewhat relieved that I have a place to put it out there and be able to cry and miss her..and not just go on to the next job. I loved her, she was not just the lady I took care of....thanks for listening and hugs to you....
(124)
Report

Some days are better than others. I care for both my elderly parents. My father is neurologically impaired..he is confined to a wheel chair is incontinent can't dress or clean himself. He can feed himself and put his teeth in. His mind is sharp but he can't carry on a conversation too well. my mom is exceptional for her age. Mind still sharp as a tack and figures she can do whatever she wants.. Haha.
Most days I have patience and kindness. Some days I am a basket case. Nothing seems to go right. I am tired...dad calls throughout the night to use bathroom. And on the rare night that he doesn't call ..I don't sleep all that well.
I try to pray ...especially for patience! I love them so very much. I try to get outside weather permitting to work in the yard. That helps. Once a week we have a lady to sit ...but the time goes so fast. Sometime it is hard to cope. I have a wonderful husband to help with everything when he is home. ...so many good things but I seem to get so mad at myself for not doing some thing better. Or yelling because they don't hear me or understand ....
(62)
Report

Ladee.....I feel my consolation to you was too short, too brief, while I encouraged you fo find another job. To this day I have not properly grieved my father bacause there was no time, had to take care of mom. I had about 10 min to sob thinking I killed him because I was the one who decided to pull the plug. It was my decision to made and I did it.

The visiting nurse spent almost 3 months at our house for my mom first, who was recovering from a fem-pop that had complications, and then also my dad while recovering from ostomy surgery. We would force her to eat lunch with us, she said it wasn't professional. She got to know us and care for us, cause she came to dad's funeral. Loved seeing her red head coming through the door.

I still encourage you to get that next job and do what you do so well. Someone else needs you like Ruth did, and I'm sure she would want someone else to feel the love you gave her. Best wishes, my friend.....
(24)
Report

Vic.....We planted a vegetable garden this year again, with veggies we planted from seed, so we have varieties we haven't grown before. Isn't it ironic that I watch my garden flourish as my mother vegetates? Maybe not that bad, but I had to make the comparison.

I was given a little prayer card, this is a Catholic thing, with a prayer to St Paul, the patron saint for patience. I am not a terribly organized religious person, but I feel this helps. I lack patience at 3:30 am, but I am getting better during the day.
(20)
Report

Vic, this is such a hard job under the best of circumstances...and getting interrupted sleep is like not getting any sleep. Sounds like you are a very loving and caring daughter, one who does not loose sight of gratitude.. guess we all feel like we can not do enough. By you sharing that it helped me to not feel alone with that feeling. So thank you for that..
There are just going to be days when we have only so much left to give and guess we are doing the right thing by giving what we do have. So be proud that you are doing a very difficult job. We all get angry and frustrated, that is normal...
Just keep coming back and telling how you are feeling.. just that by itself helps us not to feel so alone... thanks for sharing... hugs to you...
(28)
Report

How am I today? Exhausted, my feet ache, my knees are throbbing, my heart burn is threating to come up the back of my throught, my finger joints ache, my eyes are bloodshot and have huge black circles under then (beginning to get bags under them), my blood pressure is high... real high and my blood sugars is worse than ever in my life. I have no more words...

i truly feel like sh*t at the bottom of a overloaded sh*t hole.
(54)
Report

My heart is lifted by all of you! What a web of treasures you are to me! Thank you.

Today, I find myself in a familiar funk. My mom is 86 and has lived with me for 9 years. I find reading your posts...healing in a sense. I don't care how you slice it...you do lose part of you for awhile. Someone told me that it was like raising children. Not totally. Yes, when you raise children you do lose part of yourself for awhile...while you invest you in them...nurture and help them grow. But...when it's someone older (mom, dad, grandparent, etc.), you are nurturing and supporting them as the transistion from this place. Not only do you lose part of yourself...but you are losing them...one minute at a time.

Yes, everyday there seems to be something I feel guilty about. It is one thing when you let something go for yourself...it's another when you are making someone else's decisions. I look in my mom's eyes....I see the distance, confusion and loss that sometimes creeps in. It breaks my heart...truly breaks my heart. Then I think...what would I want someone to do for me if I were in their place...when I think of something...I do it. I try to look past the bathroom issues, etc....as hard as that is sometimes...because I know she would not have chosen this.

I do what I do so that I can make every attempt to protect her dignity and try to ensure she is as happy and comfortable as possible. I want her to know that she can count on me when she cannot count on herself. I want to support her like she supported me growing up.

Wow everyone...this is such a hard journey! On more levels than not, I wouldn't trade it for the world...I am very blessed! I know that...but I also know I am human...not perfect...and that really ticks me off! :) Thank you once again for your posts...your honesty...and...well wishes. God Bless all of us!
(27)
Report

No, it isn't like raising children, we can put kids in time out...get a sitter and go out to eat and a movie once in awhile.....this is 24/7, but I love your attitude IMPKL, wish I had heard some of your words when I was less than grateful and too tired to think... welcome.. keep coming and talking with us....
And Bp, I pray you get some rest soon and hopefully get your health issues under control... we need you here, not to DO anything but to be a voice... hugs to you both, and get some rest if you can...
(6)
Report

Welcome Vic............you have my admiration for caring for both of your parents...whew! I can see why you don't have much time for anything else. My mil (whom I call the col....crazy old lady....affectionately, by the way) can carry on a conversation but her mind is about as sharp as a round rock. She would argue with a mound of dirt if she thought it might answer back....I know she talks to weeds, dandelions in particular. I like the analogy that seeme uses.....about watching her garden flourish as her mother vegetates.....I will never look at my garden the same way again.
My mother passed away last Dec. 29 and I also have never had time to grieve for her. Perhaps that's why sometimes I get a little "too" mad at the col....guilt maybe? I don't know. But it sure helps to be able to say what I'm feeling and not hold it in.
Vic, as the others have said, come back and visit and tell us how you're doing. This is a difficult job to try and do alone.

Hugz,
Jam
(6)
Report

thank you all for.your.encouraging words. my heart goes.out.to each of you as you share your tough times and the roads though it. it is lonely being a caretaker and yes...i know that Catholic.thing..will find.that prayer. i will keep coming back. so glad i found you...God bless
(2)
Report

I have been taking care of my mom for over 3 years now and I am exhausted and frustrated. I have no familial support but if anything goes wrong the complaints are loud and clear! I have had alot of stress to deal with of my own...lost our home had to move into my parents home, our son has Type 1 diabetes, my husband had a heart attack 4 months ago and is unable to work and our finances are a mess and I have asthma. We can't even get all of our own meds because we want to make sure my mom has all of the things she needs. We are coping as best as we can but when my mom came home from rehab, I was overwhelmed and had some anxiety attacks and mini meltdowns.

My mom needs 24/7 care, needs to be fed through a tube, incontinent, dementia setting in and it feels like I am caring for a giant baby. She was overly medicated when she came home and I have been trying to get her "normalized" (with nurses and Doctors advise) I have been doing soiled laundry 3-4 times a day (my mom has constant diarrhea), have to crush all the meds in order to give them through the peg tube, my mom doesn't sleep all night moaning and then when I ask her what's the matter she either doesn't answer or says she has to cough or tells me its time to get up....and this is after she was given anti-anxiety med and sleeping pill! She seems to see and hear things that are not there...had to cover up the mirror in her room because that was causing problems (she was talking to the mirror). When the relatives call they only care how my mom is doing (which is fine)but don't want to hear about anything that concerns my wellbeing. My mom sometimes moans all day and I don't know how to help her!

My sibling only comes once a week and for only half hour or so sometimes bringing his kids that make a mess and then leaves and doesn't pick up after the kids. As if I don't have enough to do! He doesn't offer to help with the yard work (which is overgrown) or even to help with the household chores or to sit with my mom so I can do some errands. Anything!!!.

Sorry I am just venting...thanks for letting me get this off my chest...
(19)
Report

hi I am a caregiver for my husband who is 45 and so far he hasn't gone there yet but he has been repetitive with questions and I am constantly looking to escape but I have no one in his family that trusts me because its all about money that I want from him. His family and mine I do not get is that I am doing this and raising two kids besides looking after his needs day in and day out. I do not know how to answer his questions or fight the medicare system to keep what he has set aside for us. I already have to change his prescription plan. I have to fail drug claim refund form. I am tired of questions and running out of ways to answers his questions. I need some advice and strategy is there anyone that lives in Az that has dealt with us that can give me the guidance I need. I am seriously lost and this is whole new battlefield for everyone.
(4)
Report

WAS.....I can relate to the sibling thing. Probably anyone who has one can relate. You hit the head on leaving the mess behind.

I went out to pick some snow peas from my garden after a couple of showers. Had a fight with a rabbit....he won......he left with a mouth full of food and I got 4 peas........pound by pound not a fair trade. Now I am doing the vinegar in empty pill bottle (got lots of them) thing to keep them away. So much for peace in the fgarden. hahahaha
(9)
Report

Burned......... I am not one to answer your questions just yet. I can repeat what I have read from others, but if you would fill out your profile, maybe we can offer more assistance. I know you have come to AgingCare for a reason, so please don't leave.
(3)
Report

Hey guys, I saw this disscussion and couldn't help but read. What a great idea. I will have morw time later to post. And haven't got to read everyone elses yet. Hugs to everyone.:)
(3)
Report

Hey asg, happy to see you... We know you will have lots to share here from your own experiance... lots of hugs to you and the kids..
(1)
Report

WASYLIVNA, the frustration is horrible! I know what you mean about the 24/7 cleaning and doing... Can your doctor get you on home health or hospice care? When dad was in such bad shape it really made a difference. And hospice doesn't mean that your mom is at deaths door. They will come and check her and help her to getnon right meds as well as a some to help bath her. Hospice even has folks that come visit to give you a little respite. Not trying to fix things but My situation is similar. Although now dad is well enough to not have those programs...wish they were still here. I have a sibling who lives away. When I suggest that I need a break he say soon...ha! I guess he doesn't get the hint. If there is anyway to confront your sibling do it for your sanity.
God bless you! I will keep you in my prayers...sometimes I feel so lonely and lost when I think about it. My friends call on occasion...say come see me...but when? Can't leave. Oh well. Keep writing, I find it help me to vent.
(5)
Report

Wasylivna, you have your hands full and horrible financial stress on top of that. I am happy you came to this thread and you just keep coming back and telling us how you feel. There is a collective experience on this sight, and if we can't help we will try to direct you to someone who can.. you are doing a great job holding things together. I admire your strength and commitment... glad you are here
As vic said maybe your Dr. can help you get home health or hospice. You are in my prayers.. hugs to you..
(1)
Report

We -- the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde inside of me -- are doing fine. Brain a little scrambled today, but other than that things are peachy.
(5)
Report

Hi ed......glad to see you post here. Your experience and knowledge of resources could certainly help some that have come here. I'm hoping that bright light I see shining in our Midwest sky will help unscramble me today!
(1)
Report

burned......it is a very difficult thing to have questions fired at you constantly, especially when the same ones are asked over and over and over. You would think at some point an answer would stick, but unfortunately it rarely does. Can you give us a little more information so that we might be able to put our heads together and come up with some ideas for you? I imagine you feel like you are up against a brick wall with both sides of the family giving you a hard time. Do you also have an outside job on top of everything else? Come back and visit and let's see what we can help you with.

Hugz,
Jam
(4)
Report

was.....feel free to come here and have your mini meltdowns...sounds like you have your hands full. It looks like your mother's doctor is working with you to see that she has the proper care; would he also refer hospice to you so that you can get some help? They do other than "end of life" services so this might be something to look into. I assume your mother has Medicare, does she have part D, to take care of her prescriptions? Someone with experience in that category would be the best one to give you information on that. My mil has a separate Blue Cross policy that came with her retirement as a Federal Employee so all her needs are met that way. How about a Wal-Mart near you and their $4 prescription plan? You all should have your medications. Also, some of the drug manufacturers have programs to assist when someone is unable to get their meds. That might be something to think about.

If your brother doesn't want to help with the yard work, would he consider paying a neighborhood kid to do it? How about the next time he comes to visit, give him a list of items you need him to get from the store, maybe he might see that the lesser of the 2 is to sit with mom while you get out for a while. Or you just might get your errands done for you! Just a thought.

Please come back and visit with us....sometimes it just helps to know you have a little cheering section out here for you. Takes your mind off of things, if only for a few minutes, before you get back into the "trench".

Hugz,
Jam
(2)
Report

Hi Ed, or should I say Hi "guys". So glad to see you here. Like Jam said, you have some experience that we need here.. and all of our brains are scrambled, maybe that is why we understand each other so well, when others don't.. hugs to you and come back..
(0)
Report

Please forgive me for whining, but I am so tired today I may have to put myself in time out. I almost feel sick. Help comes tonight and tomorrow i will be better. I will try to stay caught up, but I am drowning in zzzzzzzzz..................
(2)
Report

This is the place to whine.. hope you get some good sleep.... hugs
(1)
Report

Ok seeme.....you are in time out but best to wait until tonight to start it. I did that myself last night....a little better today. Although I have already been through....the talking dog doesn't want to go potty...I haven't had my morning pills...YES YOU HAVE...I don't remember taking them..:)....YOU REALLY SHOULDN'T FEED THE DOG A CHEESEBURGER....but he's so cute....THE VET SAID HE CAN'T HAVE PEOPLE FOOD.....but he's so cute........she could at least have waited until I had my first cup of coffee. She's clean, dry, eating breakfast and reading the Sunday paper in the air conditioning. And oblivious to the world except for what's on CNN at the moment.
(3)
Report

1 2 3 4 5
Start a Discussion
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter