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I've been on this forum since taking on care giving for my 85 year old father. As I sit in the hospital with him...again while waiting to go clean out another desk (this will be job loss number 3 since giving up my good paying job because it required lots of travel)...I'm resentful.

This is not what I pictured my life to be. I had a great career that allowed me to travel. My plan was to make good money and start a family later in life. Since taking on the care giver role ( Daddy's other living children provide minimal help), I've gained 25 pounds (don't have time to exercise; junk food has become my friend), my house foreclosed, I lost my car, I work two jobs and still can't make ends meet, I broke up with my BF (I'm no longer a nice person)... Everything fell apart.

I put Daddy in IL and was actually going to steal a couple of "me" days this week then BAM! He gets sick again.

I was recently cussed out pretty badly by a younger niece and accused of being selfish...am I? From what I've seen, I'm one of the younger care givers...The average age of children with parents my dad's age is 50.

I know it sounds cruel, but sometimes I miss my old life. My friends are living their lives...traveling, marrying, etc. (Wait...that's my sister who takes mini vacations with her new hubby bi-weekly)

I've wasted away to an angry, sad, fat worthless slob and I hate myself for it...

Sorry for the pity party. I'm just exhausted...

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I was re reading my post and OOPs... I wad 45yrs when Mom was 85... She had me when she was 40 yr...
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Ah yes Happy Girl but we seem to gain responsibilities along the path of life. Certainly we are responsible for bringing children into this world and to nurture them. We are responsible as citizens to uphold the law, and a whole host of stuff I swear I never wanted responsibility for!!!
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You came into this world responsible for ONE life: yours!
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right her with you ... 40 plus... my life is on hold..At least i have my job ...live with my mom -shes a doll, and my only family i have left..i love her with all my heart-she has heart and mobility issues ..i have no help..i also have no social life, few friends (no time ) and this is till my "moms" house i lives in..so even though she may be cool-i will alwasuy her her daughter and have to be respectful of what would maker her uncomfortable... basically i live like a teenager in this house again...ie not moving forward in my life... .ughh....
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I am going to support group and it is very helpful.
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Mj... coming on here and looking at what other people are going through and how they are coping, as well as asking for advice or just venting is a step in the right direction. See if your area has a caregiver support group that you can go to, the one we have here offers respite care while you attend.
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I am definitely depressed but don't want 2 burden.my friends.I have decided to talk to my friend about how I feel. Im sure I would feel better. My coping skills must increase and perspective must change so that I can navigate through THIS phase. This could last 4 years. so Ive gotta look at positive. Think benefit from counseling put it into right frame of mind.
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Definitely not alone.. I am 39, and my MIL is 81. There isn't a day that goes by that I want her out of my house and in a facility. Everyone keeps telling me to "take time for yourself, put her in ADC for a day, you just have to budget spending $40 a day for you to have a day off"... I finally took care of myself last February, by having knee surgery I had put off for years, it ended with me being worse now than before, and being on STD from February to June, and now am on LTD since June. Granted I am getting 70% of my prior pay, and my husband makes good money, so our bills are paid. Her SS covers her insurance and the food for the house. I DESPISE telling my 15 year old son, that he can't get a $20 download for his game system, because I need to use that money to put Nana in ADC, so I can do the normal day to day running around that gets put on hold. I too have gained weight, junk food is my friend, as are the stress headaches, the digestive system issues, and the depression from not being able to do what I want to do. I have to hire someone to stay with her to go on a field trip with my son, or have a weekend away with my husband. So no you are definitely not alone, and you are definitely in the right place to vent and get opinions.
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I also understand the feelings of resentment while other peoe live their lives u r limited. You know u r doing great and right thing but it leaves u exhausted all the time. Hard find the balance. I still don't know how. I got to learn compartmentalize. my thoughts so I can cope better. This forum has helped me express my feelings n safe place with people understand. hang in there it will b ok.
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I understand what u mean.I am the caregiver for both my parents. My mom has early stages ALZHEIMER'S and dad is 88. He need go to nursing home but don't wanna go. I can't do this anymore. I am on disability but Im totally physically and emotionally burnt out. I cry all the time. I can't afford to keep living on disability and must go back work so adjustments gotta b made. Gotta tell my Sista, brothers that I gotta go back work bcuz prepare 4 my future. I feel like my like stopped and Im only 44, single, no kids. Having hard time transitioning bcuz I am limited with my health issues. Stressed out. Overwhelmed all the time. Praying helps but Im looking for free counseling now help cope
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Burnout is serious stuff. Sometimes, the caregiver dies before the patient. Do not ignore warning signals. Car accidents, missed appointments or payments, falling asleep at the wheel or on the job ... they're all symptoms. And if you get to that point, where you're doing yourself no good, what good really can you do the one you're caring for?

As for resentment, I'm right there with you. I promised my Dad as he was dying that "Mom will always have a place with Henry and me." Well, I meant it. But that was a foolish promise to make. Here we are, 4 years later, she's progressed in her Alzheimer's and I am just worn out. She's not a difficult patient by any means, but when you work full time, commute 2 hours a day, grocery shopping, dr. appointments, have a home to run (2 homes really, since she lives in her own suite downstairs which at least gives us some privacy/break), etc. etc. at a certain point after nights of 5-6 hours sleep, skipping meals, eating on the run, etc. something's got to give. Don't let it get to that point. I am there now, and I should have heeded the warning signals sooner. It grieves me, but I am going to have to start looking into placing her somewhere, even if only for 1 month respite, before I have a physical or emotional breakdown.
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Not eats--wants.
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I am 64. You have a right to live your life. Do get the hospital social worker involved. If your neice has such definite options, maybe she eats to take over your job. She has no idea and hopefully she doesn't have to take care of her parents at your young age. At this rate you will be dead long before your dad. I hope you can get another situation arranged for your father and soon.
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Go for it Tinyblu. Happy job hunting. And get yourself back on a healthier diet so you feel better yourself! Good Luck
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Update: I have decided to transfer Dad to the Assisted Living side of his current facility. Thankfully, they are right next door to each other. The cost is ridiculous, and it will require some changes to a lot of his WANTS, but I will at least have peace of mind.

I am actually excited about looking for another job. I have missed working!!
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Give yourself
Undivided attention
I am a beautiful caregiver
Looking for ways to care for myself
To keep going and care for others.

Read the first letter of each sentence, and the word you find, take it out of your mind and ♥, okay? Throw it out the window! M88
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Go get massage. They a Wonderful, Get a Mani, Pedi. U will feel LIKE a new women. self care is the key. Good luck. Hugs:-):-)
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You have anger issues and you are taking your anger out on yourself. Anger is a poison. If you keep this up, you won't live to see your father's age. Your body can only take so much neglect before chronic illness sets in. I know it's hard to get out of bad habits. Recognize that they are just that - habits - and you can build new habits that aren't destructive.

Nothing you do is going to cure your dad or change the fact that he needs more care than you can provide.

You can turn every bad habit into a better one. Don't do it all at once because that's not sustainable. You are young and it's not too late to change course. Do something nice for yourself today and every day moving forward. Start small like a cup of tea and a 5 minute stroll. Standing outside with the sun shining on your face will make you feel better! Choose life - your life - and let us know how you're doing.
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Niyah321oki, We are actively considering putting her in a facility. (Well, his family is scrambling around trying to find every avenue possible to prevent that, but we're running out of options. Hoyer lift and care aids is our last ditch effort.)

Part of it (I'm sure a large part of it for some of her family members) is that she was very adamant that she didn't want to go into a home. But I don't think they thought she would deteriorate to this point, fully non-ambulatory, medications four times a day, extremely combative, but still healthy vitals-wise so this could go on for years.)

Unfortunately, I think another part of it is, after her stroke and we had to scramble to get her affairs in order since she could no longer, they found out she was sitting on a large pile of annuities. I am the only person safeguarding their inheritance. (We priced nursing homes, with the level of care she will need it will last maybe four years.)

Even if I push through it, I don't think its going to be healthy for her. People are right, she will probably get better care through shifts of well-rested workers. I also think her family is in denial of how bad she actually is. I'm starting to wonder if maybe post-stroke dementia is starting to set in (though to her friends she seems coherent and tell me "She's doing good!!!") She either has dementia or some severe behavioural issues going on. She is starting to get red marks on her butt, so I had a wedge so she could sleep on her side. She screamed and shook the guard rails of the bed all night until my husband went down and took it out so we could sleep. This is something she has not done before, and I don't know if she'll finally give up, but sleeping on her butt all night is NOT an option, and we're sacrificing sleep to prevent her bed sores. I really am wondering if her recent ramping up of her combative behavior is dementia sitting in, she is already on anti-depressants.


I do think eventually we will be putting her in a home. The home care aids already told me yesterday they aren't able to meet all of her mobility needs (no matter how much she screams at them.) I guess we'll have to see.


(And sorry to Tinyblu, I don't mean to hijack your thread.)
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Hugs to You. You gotta take care of you. My friend is telling me that all the time now.Im exhausted all the time bcuz I haven't had a real break in 2 1 1/2 years where im not responsible for taking care of my parents. I gotta make time or imma collapse. I feel like imma robot. Im glad I found this site to vent some of my feelings to people that don't think im crazy. Good luck.
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Serenity, you have gotten immersed (like I did) in almost a psychological contract that you are the one who has to pull through and get it done. And on the other side, believe me, I know how babysitting caregivers can be extra work. I had ones that came all night and I would check on them; they would be sleeping on the couch and she would have only a sheet on in the cold months OR the other problem; they want to stick by a really intensive program and so you have to help or provide in some way. However, that said, give the extra help a chance. You have no choice. Especially, OMG, if she needs a hoyer lift, she is way, way dependent. You are on month five of caring for a total dependent, that is probably nursing home status. Definitely, do not compare yourself to others. I only took care of my Mom in my home for 14 months. She was ambulatory and it totally took its toll on me. Although, before that, I was looking in on her and doing a lot. I know what these other long term caregivers are going through, because I read their comments all over this website. How do they do it? They do it and they are burning out. I send them love! My health was really degrading the last 2 months, but she had a sudden downturn and she died. I do not think the small family works that well for child care or for elder care. It takes a village, but we are not set up that way, are we? Its too bad, because one- to-one care drains the caregiver over time. I know tinyblu is the original post person, and I hope this helps her too. Some people have a big heart and understand responsibility, (as in me!) but that can backfire when you are "over-responsible." You have to love yourself first. Everyone says that but it is really the biggest challenge. I felt like a failure as well, because my mother's health improved and then went downhill. But, these forces (including their personalities) cannot be controlled. I get it about sleeping; I used to tell my husband in the middle of the day, "I have to sleep now, because Mom is sleeping." I had to get in sleep while I could. I also cared for my mother, because of how she cared for others. She took care of my brother who was a parapalegic. Of course, he can't take care of her. I felt she needed to be treated with the love she gave. I'm glad I did it, but I know I overdid it. Be careful. And, is there a reality whereby she can be in a facility instead? Here is hug ()
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Thank you niyah321oki and mj5167. Ironically, it wasn't my back that put me out of commission. I tend to be stupid and hard-headed and just push through pain and illness (I did this even before I was a caregiver,) but this time I injured an abdominal muscle. I went to the doctor and told me this would turn into a hernia if I didn't take a month to heal, so I figured I have to do it. :(

I'm feeling like a total failure right now. When his grandmother was living in our home, I had so much less trouble, therapists came and had hope. Now that I'm here in her home, all I hear is "you can't do this by yourself" and "she needs to be in a home." I understand and agree. Whether through her own unwillingness to try, or through some medical problem that we can't see, she has deteriorated.

It was a huge eye opener to have care-givers come in and straight up tell her "You can't do this, so I can't move you to the chair." Before I'd just do my square best to get her there no matter what. And we see the results of my efforts; a ten pound lifting restriction, and I'm still have a lot of muscle pain just sitting here after helping the caregiver with her.

I feel so guilty about all of this. I read of people who have done this for YEARS and complain about burning out. I've only been at this since October. WTF is wrong with me? The person I'm caring for told us she cared for her husband with ALS for five years until his death by herself. If she did that, shouldn't I be able to? Am I just not trying hard enough? I feel obligated to care for her as she cared for others.

But I know I'm burned out. I've been hopelessly burned out for two weeks now. No one believed me or listened until they had to help because my doctor said they had to. Any time I get any sort of break I do nothing but SLEEP. I don't have the energy to do anything for myself. Shower, make food for myself, play video games, call my parents on the phone...nothing. I feel like I'm just being lazy.

My husband tried arranging home care to come help me...and it was 10x worse than me just doing everything by myself. If I'm by myself, I can just sponge bathe her and do my best to get her in a chair and go on with my day. With them I had to help them get her in a shower, still do all her meds, insulin, and glucose checks, go shopping for extra food because she wanted something different than what was on my 'menu' and they wanted to cook that for her, clean up tons of pee and poop on the floor because of the shower, etc.

And her son with dementia paid a surprise visit, so I had to deal with that. I broke down crying in front of her PT nurse, I felt like an idiot. Now my family, as a last ditch effort, is hiring extra help to give me a break and a Hoyer lift. If extra help is going to be as work-extensive as it is today, its a no-go, but I'm going to chalk it up to learning-pains and try it for at least next week. (Hoyer lift is supposed to come Friday.)

I know I'm past my limit. I just feel like I should have held out longer than this.
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Serenity 22, I'm so sorry about your back. Take this time to heal. By the end of my Mom's hospice, I wasn't sure my back would recover, but it seems to be getting better. Good thing your husband is getting a clue.
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Wow, I feel for you. Yes, you are too young to not be in your own life. I miss my Mom who died a month and a half ago, but every day, a voice in my head says, "wow, my life is so much easier now." Also, I realize how much I had been living on adrenalin. I feel sick from the exhaustion of taking care of her. I hope to recover. Anyway, can you tell us, have you looked into a facility? Maybe you have a reason that you have not put him in care. Let us know the details of that. Don't give up the prime of your life. And, certainly, do not absorb any messages from relatives or otherwise that degrades you or does not acknowledge your sacrifice.
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I agree with the above posts. This is the best time to get him placed in another facility. Go find the Social Worker ASAP. U gotta take care of u as well. U luv ur dad but u being exhausted is not gonna last Much longer. B kind to yourself now and take the help now. Best Wishes:-) Your opinion is only 1 that matters. U can always visit ur dad any time. Please give us update.
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See peeps what I mean about all of us familial carers not being trained to do the job we are being asked to do? Unless you know and can apply manual handling and moving techniques then you will screw your back up and in double quick time to be sure (Well it is St Patricks tomorrow I had to get a to be sure in somewhere!)

Send is spot on as always it is your role and your responsibility to see that a loved is cared for properly - IT IS NOT YOUR ROLE TO NECESSARILY TAKE ON THAT JOB. That said some people do - most of us in here do or have but being a really good caregiver means you know when it is time to say one of two thing and you actually say them:

1 I cannot do this anymore ( or because the needs are too great for you to manage or the emotional upheaval is too much to bear or because you are simply not trained to give the best care - most of us fly by the seat of our pants and we have learned from others chipping with life saving ideas)

2 I don't want to do this any more (whether thats because you have or want a life of your own and that is perfectly OK or you may find the icky stuff as Stacey puts it something you don't want to do and that's fine too)

Remember the Serenity prayer and have the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and have the wisdom to know the difference. I have excluded the religious part of this so as not to offend.
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You're stronger than I am, Serenity. If my husband had disrespected me like that, all he would have seen is the taillights shining as a I drove off, leaving him to take care of his grandmother. What could he have been thinking?
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I hear you. Im 29 and on the verge of giving up with my husbands grandmother. :(

She had a stroke, and went from independent to fully dependent. She started out able to walk short distances and transfer with very little assistance to barely helping at all. I quit my job to care for her, but im scared its become too much.

She is double incontinent, has 10 plus medications, diabetes, heart disease, and is nasty and uncooperative. My husband and i had to get on muscle relaxers twice for sxrewing up our backs lifting her. I care for her 24/7 wnd get no rest days because no one else is female and physically able to move her around to change her diapers.

Well, i got hurt and am now on 10 lb lifting restriction for a month. Now that hubby has to just *help* me he is having a meltdown and is thinking about putting her in a home.

Lol. I used to do this all day every day by myself and people were just like 'dont worry...youll get used to it and itll get better.' Now they're singing a different tune now that they have to do one freakin tenth of what i did by myself every day.
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I'm right there with you! My FIL moved in with us, when I was only 44, and I'm now 56! It's been a long road, for sure! Today we experienced a great big pile of poo, and I mean literally! He started out feeling constipated, sitting and grunting on the toilet, and then a "piece" got stuck in his anus, causing extreme pain for him and a feeling uncomfortableness for me, if that is even a word, but after my husband getting extremely frustrated with the whole situation, I sent him off for a double pack of Fleets enemas, and then I got the unfortunate job of administering one to him, ICK! Is this the beginning of what's to come? Because my husband cannot participate in anything icky, so that leaves me! My husband initially wanted to call 911, FOR CONSTIPATION!!! No, we have to at least try some home remedies first! So the Old Man finally squeaked out a BM, but has been Playing up his symptoms All Day, in bed, which he has never done, but in my mind, he truly looks dreadful! He's 86 now, and after the big clean up, which included 3 loads of laundry, and shampooing carpets, oh what fun, we are both exhausted! And every time we turn around he's calling out for one ofvus. Ugg, sign me up for the Pity Party, as I'll be there with bells on! But a Bell is something we will never get for the Old Man, as he would be ringing it Non Stop! Is this ever going to end, or is this just the beginning of the big decline. I know the answer but, I'd rather it was over, and I hope that I don't go to Hell for saying so!
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Just chiming on this....and agreeing with others here. If Dad is in the hospital at this moment, now is the time to take action. Get the hospital social worker involved and tell them that you cannot care for him, and they will help you get him placed in a suitable facility.

I'm not that much older than you (45). My father passed away at age 75 a little over 3 years ago, at which time I moved in to care for my mother - who is now 75 and in a nursing home, because she went downhill in a major way last year. You're not alone.
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