Mom is not nearly as difficult as many here, and I have a wonderful aide, but the stress is taking its toll. The round of hospitalizations, falls, worries if I can help her out of the wheelchair and into bed, her saying she wishes she would die... and potty duty. I'm jealous of people who aren't caregivers. And realizing that my life is basically over. My health, which used to be great, is deteriorating... paralyzing depression, high blood pressure, migraines much worse. Antidepressants don't work for me and put more strain on my autoimmune hepatitis compromised liver. I couldn't live with myself if I put Mom in a nursing home. When caregiving ends, there will be the guilt, there's already enough of that now. I tend to get frustrated and impatient... I am not cut out for caregiving, but I must. When caregiving ends, there will be the guilt, and not enough of me left. Trying to make peace with the fact that my role is as a servant to my family, but I resent it... not them but the situation, feeling trapped.

Sorry for venting. I feel guilty for resenting caregiving, and inadequate for being so lousy at it, knowing that someday I will miss it. Well, I will miss Mom, maybe not the caregiving. How do you all cope with the loss of your lives? I used to try to hold on to a life and an identity of my own, but now it seems almost like torturing myself to try, better to just be resigned to it and try to make peace with the fact that my reality is Caregiver Life.

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Thanks to everyone who responded. When I posted that, I'd just gotten back from a real break (went to see my daughter, who lives in another state, and then out of town for work for a week, which was like a vacation, since all I had to do was work, didn't even have to think about cooking or chores). Mom was in a nursing home for respite. She hated it. I also added a couple of days before and after, that was a real vacation.

Then back to pottying, soothing her when she cries and says she wants to die (and I think she knows I'm not a natural caregiver, she says she feels bad that I have to do all this), and I felt trapped.

I needed the break, but coming back was a hard crash.
I've hired more help. Mom complains that I'm spending all her money, so I had to tell her that i just could not provide that level of hands on care any more, and that getting aides is less than a nursing home. It's necessary too because I do some of my work from home, and it's impossible with constant interruptions for her needs.

About the best i can do is settle into a low level depression, accept that this caregiver life is really crappy, and do my duty. Try to do what I can now, hope it will be enough.

I only know two other caregivers in my area. One is supportive, but the other literally gave up her life for her mother, quit college to be a caregiver, and took care of her mother before, and while, she raised her kids, who are grown and gone now (her mother is in a nursing home now). She has been supportive, but she has a way of dropping by unannounced, and the house was a mess, and she said she felt that something was very wrong. (I've given up on keeping a tidy house, if it's clean enough, that's enough for me). It's like she got an A in caregiving and I'm barely squeaking by with a C-. I feel inadequate next to her, and can't tell if I'm being self-indulgent or if I just don't have her capacity for it. Her whole life is caregiving, and I don't want that, which makes me feel selfish.

I think most caregivers have PTSD, though for those who are in it, there is nothing post about it. I do have a great counselor - at least she is on my side.

Take care of you!! And do what's right for the person being cared for. If they are at a point they require 24/7 care its TIME to make those changes then do it. Read the posts through out this web site of people struggling the feelings they have and all they have to say and how they are or have dealt with it. I've been reading and using their experiences these past 3 years. I am strong enough now to makes the hard decisions put my foot down and stand my ground!
Better days ahead 🙃🙃

my mom is in assisted living (dad too but deceased now) - at the beginning there was no other way. both daughters(me and sister) were both working. neither of us would have had "room" for two extra people in our homes. and we couldn't move into their home. and I don't think in home care would have worked for them.

I don't know am I just making excuses?? after 3 years I was able to retire early. and I jumped at the chance. I had one year to step up my visits at AL prior to my dads death.

ALL OF MY GUILT came only from pulling my parents out of the house they lived in for 55+ years. that was BIG. BIG HURT.

it took along time to adjust. for everyone. but I didn't/don't have guilt for not doing the caregiving MYSELF. I still have a big part even with AL. My mom is safe. yes things happen, like she falls, got pneumonia - but over-all she's getting better than what I can offer her. only because I know I just cant do it.

how do I cope? I don't know....but I do know, I want to be happy(try) too.

I had my Mom for 20 months. She declined on a monthly basis. I found I am not a caregiver. I neither have the strength nor the patience to care for someone. I overwhelm easily when things don't go just right. I was 65. The pottying was the worst, I can't take smells. After a year and having her 24/7 my daughter recommended Daycare. It helped but she was home by 2:30. Then an AL. Part of the problem was living in a house with 3 flights of stairs and a person who had problems getting up and down them. Finally, a nursing home. Whose nurses loved my Mom. She was clean and fed. Even though she was pass knowing me and where she was, she enjoyed the mini concerts and activities. What is Mom going to do if something happens to you. Would Mom want you giving up your health for her. Would she know she was in a home. I'll tell you, so much was taken off my shoulders. My husband and I had a life again. I was able to just visit.

If you continue to care for Mom you must find some down time. Hospice criteria changed years back. You don't have to be terminal. You would get an aide, diapers and other things. You can get respite care so you can get away. If not Hospice, then depending on Moms income Medicaid may help with an aide.

You'll miss the caregiving, too. In a way.

I just came across a bottle of antibacterial hand gel - the 1 litre size, with the little pump at the top - still a third full. (Don't worry I have chucked it out now!). It used to stand at the end of my mother's bed. I was about to launch into an automatic squirt palms backs fingers cross left fingers cross right finger ends thumb v's routine then realised how very, very expired this gel must be by now, after its long rest in the gardening shed.

I can't see a little old lady getting out of a car without wanting to leap in there and put my hand over her head to stop her bumping it. I cast an eye over every rollator in town looking for clever design features. At ten to midnight every day, my (now) kitchen wall clock's calendar clicks forward - click! And I can smell E45 cream and disinfectant and Horlicks.

I suppose these are the caregiver's equivalent of veterans' war wounds - aches and twinges when the weather turns. You may not wish to go back but you won't forget where you were.

What I take issue is with your saying that your life is over. 'Tisn't, you know. I'm sure you do feel trapped in this situation, but even if you can't move time still does.

Are you in touch with caregivers in your area? What are your friends' attitudes like?

You will feel guilt when your mother passes away. You would feel guilt if you looked for a nursing home. You do feel guilt that you aren't a more natural caregiver.

I don't think what you're feeling is guilt, you know. I think what you're feeling is bad. Your nice mother is fading, you're faced every day with tedious, tiring and sometimes rather revolting chores, you're doing a job you don't feel you're much good at, and the alternatives look worse, there isn't a lot of fun to be had, and you're too busy and demoralised to take better care of your own wellbeing.

So all in all, this time in your life is a really crappy one. Why would anyone expect to feel great about it?

When did you last get a proper break?

Why wouldn't you be able to I've with yourself if mom went to a nursing home?

Saying that strikes me as being one of those nonsensical self defeating thoughts that deserves to be put under a bright light and challenged.

Is she medically in need of a nursing home? Then she needs 3 shifts of trained caregivers, not a stressed, ill, depressed daughter.

Better a healthy , rested daughter who visits and advocates for her care.

Dana, I think most of us have felt this. How long have you been doing this? It took me almost 3 years to get past all those dreadful feelings and depression from it.
I could not have done, nor be doing any of this without God's help. if I didn't have HIM to rely on, I would simply probably run away from it.
Caregiving is a sacrificial love. We are in a sense laying down our lives for our LO's. At first it was quite the struggle, feeling similar to you and then feeling guilty for feeling that, knowing one day, I would miss my LO and regret my feelings. So I live each day loving my LO so that I will not have any regrets.
It is a choice, we choose to do it and do it well as possible. But these feelings you re having go along with the territory until we grow and gain knowledge of God's way not ours.
Imagine if Jesus chose not to to love us so much to sacrifice himself. What a total mess we would all be in. So in just trying to be like HIM, I just keep trying to do better, to love better and to serve better.
It takes more strength and courage to be a servant than a master, IMO. And that is also what the Lord showed us in humbling himself, in our behalf.
It's a choice we make, and we must make it with the understanding of what love means. Love is definately thinking of others more than ourselves. Not to forget our own needs and wants, but to put them aside so they do not interfere with the job at hand. To be brought out at a later and more convenient time, without resentment.
I will be praying for you and your situation. May God help you through this.And may you blossom. Growing pains hurt. But we are strong with help from above.

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