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My husband isn't an elderly person, but he has been sick with severe necrotizing pancreatitis for the past 9 months now and I, as his wife, am the sole caregiver. I agree with the article above. I put off my own doctors appointments, even though I have a lot going on in my own body. I go to church to get a refill on strength and pray. However, sometimes that doesn't seem to be enough. Unfortunately, my main times of catching up on rest is when my husband is in the hospital for a week or two.
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The availablity of resources for caregivers is improving. When I started caring for my Mom with AD four years ago, there were a few different sources for help. But, I remember someone suggested I call the Area Agency on Aging to find out about help for me. I was quite frustrated with that call, at that time the majority of resources for me were related to helping me find assistance for my Mom! And just about everything required that I have POA for my mom in order to tap into any of those services. So, help was non-existent as sib with POA was in complete denial over Mom's disease and Mom had resouces. There is so much that could be done to make things easier for caregivers.
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Throughout the years I've seen improvement in awareness and even resources for caregivers but there's such a long way to go! I'm noticing that caregivers do get some attention when a loved one is in the hospital, but it's still lip service. Practical help just isn't there. More states need to get on board with PACE and other programs that can help with financial and medical support for our elders. Also, what is glibly called custodial support is basically unfunded and that is what takes so much time. The assumption seems to be that family members can quit their jobs and spend 24/7 as caregivers. They do - but to their own (and our economy's) detriment. I appreciate your input ADCaregivers.
Carol
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Carol,
Thank you for bringing this alarming and frightening statistic to the forefront. More research needs to be done on helping caregivers through their long battle and journey, It seems that there is too little federal support for research on caregivers.
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You can continue to visit your dad when you can, but it seems to me that you've given all that you can and more. It may be a good idea to see a counselor so that you can regularly talk about all that you've been through as well as learn to understand in your core that you don't have to give your life to care for your dad, now.

Before your parents' declines, they would have been horrified at the thought that their care would have put you in this position. Try to remember who they were and that they'd want you to get healthy.

Put your health first. Yes, visit you dad, but don't consider that your main responsibility. Your main responsibility is to yourself now.

Please update us on how you are doing.
Carol
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I cared for my mother 10 years with the help of my Dad, but 2 years ago she turned violent. The trauma of watching my mother decline, and the process of institutionalizing her, led to my Dad being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. My dad turned violent too, often hallucinating. I went to the ER once a month with one of them, except for a 10 week period during which I went every week. I am single & have no siblings. My mother passed away in Feb of this year. My father continues to decline in the VA home. My health has declined, and I wonder how it is that still alive. I don't want to be. I can't take the physical demands anymore,but Dad is still here and no one visits him but me.
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Good for you! I wish he would.
Take care,
Carol
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Thanks for your reply. My brother is in good mental health except for this stubborn streak. I hope I am as hardy as he is when I'm his age. But I would accept help!
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Sadly, you likely can't do anything unless he has an old friend who can talk some sense into him.

It's wonderful that you can pay for his wife's care and he needs to know that, but many of his generation do feel that it is their duty to provided the care even if that care isn't as good as others could provide or if it kills the caregiver. Unless he has has severe cognitive impairment, he has a right to this decision.

I wish I could give you a different answer, and maybe someone else has one. I don't. I think if you force anything that could kill him, as well.

It's got to be terrible for you to watch this, so my heart goes out to you.
Carol
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My brother is 90 and is caregiver for his wheelchair bound wife who is 91. He refuses any help or break from his "duties" and won't consider putting her in nursing care. We fear he will kill himself taking care of her. What can we children do to convince him to accept help? We are ready and willing to pay for care so cost is not the problem.
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I should add there are times when, for health reasons, I have just said, "No, I can't do that." An alternative has always been found.
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ohmeow - grief groups can be incredibly helpful. You are carrying way too heavy a load. Busy-ness instead if grieving does not work well. he grief eats away at you anyway. Do your parents not have any income that you can use for their care? You need some "me" time to process your feelings and give your mind and body a break. Please do something good for you each day! (((((((hugs)))))

ff - thx for the updated information. I knew about the 40% but not the increase to 70% over 70. I am assuming that refers to hands on caregivers, but even as a distance caregiver I know there is a toll on my health and those figures make me even more resolute to look after myself. I do have a couple of non life threatening health conditions which affect my quality of life. These have been exacerbated, if not caused, by the stress of caregiving a mentally ill mother. All the more reason to look after one's self. You deserve a decent retirement. I know it takes work to keep distancing yourself against those who do not understand - in my case not only my parent but also the facility staff who are not very aware. But it is worth it to preserve your own life. (((((hugs))))) to you too. Are there any geriatric managers in your area who could be hired to help?
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I will thank you carol ! Thank you for letting me vent I don't ever talk about what's going on . People ask me how are you doing ? I always say good , never the whole truth ... To much to explain
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I'm so glad that you are willing to do this, ohmeowzer. Freqflyer is right about the statistics. It has gone up to 40%. We don't want you to be one of them.
Please keep us updated on how you're doing.
Carol
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Thank you carol I know I needa grief counselor , I keep very busy because I start thinking of my sister I can't believe she died . When she died apart Of me died when we're very close and we could handle anything now I'm alone and miss her so much . I live off of my grief I don't drink or smoke I just Work and take care of mom and dad and care for my kitties . I buy all of dads groceries and use my money and the rest goes to bills and moms care . I take them both to Drs appointments and really I a, so sick of Drs the last thing I want to do is go to the dr ughhhhh . I will look for a grief counselor that's close to,the house .. I just never stop at work or home because then I think of my sister . Thank you for helping me
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Recently while roaming around the internet I found that 30% has now risen to 40%.... and if you are 70 years old or older and caring for you elderly parents, that figure becomes 70%. Oh my gosh, those odds are terrible :(

Now I understand why my parents [mid-90's] will probably outlive me.
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This isn't a good way to live ohmeowzer. I think you already know that. It seems as if a grief counselor would be a good idea. Your sister's death was a horrible shock. Something like that is hard to get over. Many of us need help with our grief. Please try to improve your life by getting some help. You deserve that.
Carol
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I take care of mom , my sister Gerilyn died August 10, 2013sudden cardiac death she was 49 . Geri and I were RNs at the same hospital , now it's just me . She and I split up mom and dads care we had it under control. Geri passed away and I am alone taking care of mom and dad . They are divorced so dad lives in his own house he has colon cancer and I take him to his appointments and mom has arthritis , CHF , fracture of her thoracic 12 fx from arthrits and bloodclots in her right leg she has a ivc filter placed , the kicker is she had mild to moderate dementia which she gets stubborn and won't walk ughhh.. I work 3 12hourshifts a week I am a rehab RN and I have caregivers come check on her with the vouchers I can get which dosent last long .i do full duty when I'm home and at work ..I have one brother in calif that will send me money once in awhile but I pay everything for mom. I have psoriatic arthrits and just deal with the pain ,I hate going to the dr I spend enough time taking mom to her appointments and then working with them . I take Tylenol and Motrin and deal with the pain. I don't sleep well and worry about mom .. I am 53 and I gave my 3cats to take care of mom and I have ,lived together for 20 years she retired as a RN at age 70. I. never married and no children. So you see it's just mom and I .i never buy anything for myself and always try to buy things to make mom more comfortable . I eat whatever and my main concern is mom .my grief over my sister's death is still raw and I cry myself to sleep I go to work and do what I need to do to keep a roof over the cats paws !
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I believe stress causes us to become ill, I started taking care of my mom who moved next to me 3 years ago without help from three out of four siblings. One sibling visits once every two months out of guilt. Two years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through chemo and radiation still with no help. I now have to see a cardiologist fir heart palpitations. My 55 year old brother was just diagnosed with cirrhosis from alcohol abuse and is hinting about coming to live with my mom. I certainly can't take care of both of them, it would kill me!
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I believe this. I have only been a caregiver for 4 months and I'm sure she will out live me. If stress and guilt don't kill me then the anger will.
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Wonderful information here about putting a name to our grief and to have someone really listen to us. Both are essential to helping caregivers through the maze.
Take care, all of you,
Carol
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The last sentence is wonderful. When I was caring for my Mother and Father, what I needed most was to be heard. I often felt needy, misunderstood and sometimes ashamed of myself, until I read an article on this website about caregiver grief. The ongoing grief experienced at every setback in my parents health. I wasn't needy or lacking, there was a name for it. I could quit beating myself up for not being as good as I thought I should be. I think understanding that our feelings are normal and there are others who feel the same somehow lightens our load. I am very thankful for the support that I found from the people on this website.
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So true and so hard for caregivers to do. Most of the time they are just surviving as the chronicity of their loved ones illness often isolates them more as family and friends fade from the initial frenzy of an acute situation.
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You have too much responsibility. If the family hired you, talk with them about one day a week off at the very least. You can't be expected to be a 24/7 caregiver, with no time to regroup and do something normal. If the person who hired you is the care receiver, then talk with someone at social services and see what can be arranged.They would understand that no one can keep up with what you're doing though they may send you to a different agency.Please handle this soon - your health is at risk.
Blessings,
Carol
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Sorry about the misspelling Phone is On spanish setting i dont know how to change it right now its just to much effort
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I am a Caregiver it is a paid position but Of course the time spent together you cant help but to Care deeply for the person you work for. I love in And it is extremely hard to ever be really comfortable in someone elses house. I have been here for 2 years now And My duties include everything.i Care For him cook clean shop yard work car work bills every single thing That gets done i do. There is no relief person no days Off And slowly but surely i seem to be getting further And further Behind in everything. I dont know if i am losing My mind or what. I cant even get the house cleaned it seems Like no matter what i do nothing is getting done someone please give me some advice i feel Like everything is just out Of control yesterday i had so much to do And i just say Down And did nothing And today the same help please!!!!
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Contact area nursing homes and also your Area Agency on Aging and ask about respite housing. There may be a temporary solution for you but you'll have to dig locally.


Take care,
Carol
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Well......that just made my day.
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My father was the care giver for my mon who is need of 24/7 care. He passed away suddenly. My sister and I do not have a house that can work on "day 2". Is there any medicare options that can allow us to place her in a nursing home for a brief pariod of time until we can retrofit one of our houses for her to move in?
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My father was the care giver for my mon who is need of 24/7 care. He passed away suddenly. My sister and I do not have a hose that can work on "day 2". Is there any medicare options that can allow us to place her in a nursing home for a brief pariod of time until we can retrofit one of our houses for her to move in?
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