I am a 33 year old woman taking care of my elderly, disabled mother who recently went on dialysis. I get along with her better than I used to but I think sometimes she doesn't realize how demanding she can be. Even though she worked for 30 years she can't get any assistance so everything is on me. So my life and schedule has become dialysis scheduling, driving to appointments and also I am trying to donate my kidney to her.

I am the only child with no brothers and sisters and no husband or boyfriend. I am the only driver and able bodied person in the house. I do all the heavy lifting, animal care, manage the finances to some extent and I take care of the animals. I am usually too exhausted to clean though, but she is always milling around looking for things to clean and going crazy about minutiae, she asks for something literally every 5 seconds and I am usually running up and down the stairs about 30 times a day. We travel frequently and I carry everything and then wheel her in the wheelchair and carry the walker everywhere. When I tell her I'm tired she says she's tired too and she feels sick too. She doesn't seem to understand that I have limits. I love my mother and will always stand by her, but frankly I'm tired of being a caregiver....

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I take care of my 92 year-old mother-in-law in-home and have other friends who are caregivers, in other circumstances. One common thread is the demandingness of our loved-ones and the lack of insight/awareness they have about all of what's being done for them. I don't know if it's a combination of age/illness or both but there's this thing that happens: their sickness and needs take over and their lives become completely one-dimensional. I was rushing my husband to the hospital with an abdominal issue and his mother's last words to me were "Make sure to give me my hot water before you leave." I can relate to you wanting to explode. And the lack of appreciation/insight into what you as a caregiver do contributes to the frustration - the "Doesn't she see how difficult this is?" I agree wholeheartedly with jeannegibbs about the marathon v. sprint dynamic. Pace yourself. Illness and age will mean your mom is a changed person from the one you used to know. In all likelihood she will never see how her demands are pushing you beyond what's reasonable or humanly possible. Pace yourself and try to grow numb to some of the demands/complaining/petulance.

Cpnspaulding15, your Mom must still be relatively young if you are only 33 years old. Write down everything you do for your Mom, now cross off half the items, and cross off some more. Then stick to the list of what you feel you can comfortably do for your Mom without you burning totally out.

If Mom asks for you to do more, be up front with her and say "sorry, Mom, I can't do that". If she says "then who will do that?".... suggest she hire someone. If she says no, then that item doesn't get done.

What type of animals are you taking care of? Pets and/or farm animals? Keep them on the list as things to do, they shouldn't be part of this family issue. If they are farm animals, maybe it is time to sell them or give them to other farmers, and to sell the farm. Mom really shouldn't be in an one level home. What would she do if you tripped and hurt yourself on the stairs running up to get something for her?

I don't understand what you mean that she worked for 30 years and she can't get any assistance. Are you in the US? What resources have you tried for assistance?

Just because she asks for things every five seconds doesn't mean you have to jump up and wait on her every five seconds. Caregiving is a marathon, not a sprint, and you have to learn to pace yourself.

You love your mother. Of course. That doesn't give you super powers or mean you are not entitled to a life of your own. What kind of arrangement do you have for respite -- for getting some time to yourself?

If you are truly tired of being a caregiver, perhaps it is time to look into other living arrangements.

Are you getting paid for caring for you mother? If not, how are you supporting yourself? How do you intend to support yourself in your own old age. How old is your mother! Besides the dialysis, what is the nature of her disability?

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