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Yes. I know we need to try and care for ourselves since we are the caregivers but does anyone else get upset when people, most of whom have NEVER cared for another adult, preaches to you about taking care of yourself ...”oh you just need to take some time away ... an hour here or there to take care of you...” YET never offer to come sit with her so you CAN do these things?


They make these comments safely from a far KNOWING that you have no one to help you.


My time away right now is when I get to go to Walmart ... whoo hoo ... and then I’m trying to make money stretch and do so quickly so I can get back home.


I CAN get a stranger to come in ... a volunteer... if I plan ahead BUT unless I pay someone money we do not have I can not get someone qualified and bonded.


Just wondering if I’m just getting old and bitter or if others feel that way when people make these type of comments yet offer no help what so ever.

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Disgustedtoo

😂😂- noooo re a month - there would have been 2 dozen “ reasons” why not possible! I’m pretty sure I could recite parrot fashion what several would be. But at least it stopped the critiques about care as too worried I might say take over then! Instead I get thanks for all I do - taken with a large amount of salt 🤣🤣
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DareDiffer;

Hindsight is always 20/20!

"I guess you could always try the next time next time someone says that “Thanks for offering that would be great to have some time away - when can you come?!” At least it might stop them saying it again!"

My bets would be on it stopping the silly comments/statements!

"I tried it on my sibling after 8 years - from saying a week holiday would be great - I got one day - so guess it worked"

Okay, next time, if ever, ask for a month, maybe you get 4 days? ;-)

Gotta love those siblings... maybe.... at least my two brothers don't give me crap. I manage everything and did more than my share of getting condo ready for sale, getting mom into a safe place, etc, but they don't butt in. It would be nice to share the work, but it is what it is. Only recently, since our mother is refusing to walk and has a lot of trouble standing (therefore getting to bathroom/going/cleanup requires physical help), I have asked YB to take over appointments. The first was the long trip for Mac. Degen. treatments, it took a lot out of me! Now, I can't support her weight, so it will be doctor and dentist too. Seems agreeable to take that on. We shall see...
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I did take care of myself. Hired help, continued to work, it was absolutely the right thing for me to do. When I could no longer keep him in our home, I moved him to one of our rentals and he had 24/7 care, then he went into Hospice.

Never once did I think anyone should help me, and their comments never bothered me, I did my own thing. He was well cared for, I am not clinically trained, so there was no point of me trying to be Florence Nightingale.
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I cared 24/7 for dad no help. Even had to order everything online as couldn’t leave him alone. Whilst I couldn’t take care of me in some aspects - I could at times take a moment to enjoy a sunset or a bird etc and have a quiet ‘me” moment. Wasn’t much but it helped retain my sanity and sense of humour even if physical health suffered.

Yes, it would have been heaven if someone had cared enough to help. Even just so I could go and pay the mounting bills for my own place that was empty.

My sibling vowed they would help when the time came - turned out they meant “morale support” via phone!

I guess you could always try the next time next time someone says that “Thanks for offering that would be great to have some time away - when can you come?!” At least it might stop them saying it again!

I tried it on my sibling after 8 years - from saying a week holiday would be great - I got one day - so guess it worked 🤣
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OotiFairy it’s like you are reading my Mind. I am so close to a melt down, my heart sinks every morning when I hear her stir I. Her room. I am so sick and tired of planning my life(what a joke) around doing for her.
I went out in the worse wY yet I don’t know how, and I am miserable.
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Yes! People have just stored this rehearsed answer up to say because they think it's helpful. It's not! Sometimes it's not possible!
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So, MIranova, how did you get help?
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Ooti may not still be here, but I have a maybe weird perspective.

I learned while I was a military wife, far from family, with young kids and husband deployed a lot....that getting help was not necessarily an option. Add in kids with disabilities and most everyone vanishes. I became only dependent on myself to get things done. That’s life for me. But I started to lose my health in my 20s because I refused to look for help, figured it wasn’t going to happen. Getting diagnosed with caregiver stress-related heart disease at 29...not cool. I had to rearrange a few things in my life and kids’ lives to allow for me to get healthy again. If I dropped from a heart attack with husband gone and 4 small kids in the house, what then?

Fast forward to caregiving not only my kids, but my disabled father too. I went right back into “nobody going to help me, so screw them I’ll do it all myself and be miserable.” I’d get the same “you need to take care of yourself” and get angry because I figured if I didn’t do all the things they wouldn’t get done. After I had to put my father into care facility after more strokes I thought, yes! My life will be good now! Except my body and brain had other plans. 10 years of disability caregiving for elder and children and not looking after myself...my physical and mental self were a ticking time bomb that went off in a big way 9 months ago. Major mental crisis and such physical exhaustion I couldn’t do even basic chores. I’m still not better, still trying to recover from what I essentially did to myself.

Yes, in the moment having someone telling you to please look after yourself, it can really grate your cheese. Like...how? And we get mad that people don’t just jump to offer. But we don’t control other people. We already know help from our friends and family isn’t really available in the way we want it to be. Then we get mad again. We don’t want to get outside help or do facilities because we think we can do it all so much better. But keep in mind, your body and brain may be plotting against you every time you say, “there’s no help.” There is help, you do have to actively seek it, and doing so may save your life. Don’t be like me...
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I hear you loud and clear. People will say you need to take care of yourself, but that is easily said than done. We have major responsibilities as caregivers, and so little time for us, sometimes I think these people are clueless, but probably well meaning. Walmart trip that is good. My down-time is getting up early in the am, listen to classical music and having breakfast. I find going to the dentist every four months and having my teeth cleaned for three hours is like going to a spa. Pitiful isn't it? My brother watches my mom in the waiting room for an hour or two, and then I bring her in with me. The staff is wonderful and understands. I do not go out too much except for grocery shopping, and even that turns into some crisis with family..They do not seem to function on their own without me for a short time. There is always some crisis. I end up driving home to find my mother just fine, and of course I am relieved. It is easier and less frustrating to just stay home, but someone has to shop, otherwise we will starve. I tell my family make believe I am dead, and then you will have to make sound decisions on your own. I am thinking of doing online grocery shopping to solve the problem. Tried it with them, but too ridiculous They call me at least twenty times and read the ingredients to me, what kind of tomato, what brand of salt, low fat milk or 2%,It drives me up the wall. They eat the same food day in and day out HELLO!!! I was trying to have alone time with mom, but I was answering the phone constantly. They even put the manager on the phone because they lost the list. Sorry for going on. You got me thinking. I feel better now. Check with the Senior Center or your local church to see if they have volunteers to sit with your mom.
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I get what your expressing, I constantly hear you need to do something special for yourself, and my favorite you have to look out for you. I get what others our saying and yes I need to think of me. But the truth is, I’m an only child there is no one to share this process with. My kids help as much as they can but they’re young with their own lives.

In essence I’m managing two lives, and households within 24 hours. Doing this with a full time job and family there is no time for nails, and shoe shopping that I would like to do. The few times I tried to set aside for myself I get a crisis call about mom and off I go. Maybe it’ll get better, or maybe this is just the new normal. Your not alone in voicing your frustration.
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I am in the same boat, started taking care of my 70 yr old mother. Since then my health and my mental health have declined tremendously!!! I get joy out of going to Walmart but, when I do get to go I have my mother calling me a million times asking me where I'm at and telling me to hurry up because she is freaking out. And it's not like she is home alone, hubby or someone is always home with her.
I go to see a therapist monthly and get told I need to take care of myself that way I can take care of her, well if i don't get any "ME" time I'm not going to be able to take care of myself or her. I have missed numerous dr's appointments because she has anxiety attacks when she knows I have to go to the dr the next day.
So, I know where you're coming from and hope it gets better for you. Much Love from Kentucky <3
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Yep, I get you.

Told by Younger Sister (YS) that I should take a holiday. Me: come visit, stay in my home, borrow my car, mind our disabled relative? Her: No no. Taking a winter holiday - not convenient to come now in summer.

So did the research, looked into funding, toured facilities & packed the bags. Dis relative off to respite care. I did take a (short) holiday.

What? YS now travelling to visit? YS: she must be SO sad in respite care, I'm coming to go cheer her up. For 2 days (then adding a beach trip for 3 days).

Right.

Then I found my way here, to this forum. Started learning about boundaries. Started to see I wasn't alone, many others feel the same. Many *teflon* siblings out there - nothing sticks to them!!!

Vent away Ooti ((hugs))
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For those who can manage trips to Wal-Mart or the grocery store, appreciate even that break. Some situations become intense and critical, and it is not possible for the care taker to leave the house at all. When this becomes the situation, you will need to arrange to have food and medicine delivered or arrange paid help to take a shift while you do the errands. If your LO is still active but needs supervision, look for Adult Day Care programs in your area.

Good luck to all
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I walked in your shoes, having had to leave my home and state and move in with my mother in another state for a long period of time.
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I totally understand as I get the same comments. I work too and a lot of times if I have any free time I want to nap. I think people mean well but they don’t walk in our shoes. I too get irritated especially when the same people say this and don’t offer to help. I won’t get help from any agency that isn’t bonded. I haven’t found any help yet.
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I honestly thought I would be able to make time for myself. Ha! What was I thinking. I have to squeeze in getting to the bathroom some horrible days.

And I use the grocery store as a getaway for a little while so don’t feel bad about Walmart. Such fun.
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I believe people mean well and probably see us caregivers need our own time. But with all their good intentions they have no idea. I am giving myself space tonight. My hubby left for a business trip leaving me with his 85 year old dad who lives with us. He is NOT easy. So after a full work day I told him to make sure he eats something for dinner ( hint, I’m not cooking, serving, and cleaning up after you) because I’m going out. I just dread being alone with him. He will wNt to talk my ear off about the most mundane things and things I’ve heard a million times before or worse sit and watch one of his old movies on the DVD player. So I’m eating alone be in a nice little restaurant enjoying my pasta and glass of wine and playing on my iPad. I am getting relaxed. The FIL got out today with the woman he has that takes him out for a few hours once a week. I find my time when I can, and you should too. Trust me who is a caregiver. It is painful and you do need to make time for yourself. I don’t get bitter about people’s comments I get bitter when I feel taken advantage of and at the same time frustrated because the elderly FIL probably has no idea how he is. Good luck to you.
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Davenport- I so totally get it. Just having some time to put your feet up and rest, maybe lose yourself in a tv show or movie or something.

When the CNA is here, I am doing all the stuff I that I don't get done, like vacuuming, etc. She's not here very long so I don't get my chunk of private time till evening (if all goes well and there aren't any incontinence accidents to handle). DH isn't ambulatory, so I do a ton of transfers every day and my body hurts. I am thankful at the end of the day that I can finally rest a bit.
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Sone posters will state the facts and that is if you don't take care of yourself, you'll be good to no one.
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Yes, ootifairy, I know exactly how you feel! You don't sound angry -- you understand the reality of the life you face and are realistic about the empty words from others. I, too, am very tired of being told this....
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Maybe you just hit upon something. I'm wondering if , like the grieving groups I'm now going thru, is there a new thing whereas we who HAVE been where you are- who might live near enough to step in and give you a few hours to go to grocery or your own MD, or get your nails done, sorry, there are men in this picture too, I'd be willing to step in and be your pretend family to help out.
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You took my late night thoughts right out of my mind!!!!! 😄😄😄 My circle is Walmart and two grocery stores. I'm afraid to leave my mom alone so I rush my errands.....😕😕😕😕😕
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Old and bitter? Probably more like tired and burned out. People say "take care of yourself" to sound supportive without actually getting involved. That's all they've got to offer so don't be too disappointed in them.

If you are the only available care taker, that is your life right now. Take satisfaction at doing your best at the things you are able to do.
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Hi OotiFairy, I’m not sure if you are still reading the answers to your post, but here is a slightly different comment. You say that you ‘can get a stranger to come in – a volunteer – if I plan ahead’.

Everyone is a stranger until you get to know them. If a volunteer is part of an organisation, they have probably been checked out in much the same way as a ‘bonded’ worker from a care business. And the ‘bond’ may guarantee financial compensation for problems, not that the problems can’t happen. A volunteer may not be qualified, but if you need company for your LO’s safety while you are away, you may not need a qualification – certainly not a nurse.

This hits a nerve with me, because I had a demanding daughter who was angry with me for not providing on-demand babysitting for her 3 year old, but refused to find out about the local occasional care service because it would mean ‘leaving her with strangers’. No, she wouldn’t try a visit while she stayed and got to know the way it worked!

You are lucky if you have this option, so see if you can make it work for you. Spending time with the volunteer, and then making the first separation short, may help to put your mind at rest. Best wishes, Margaret
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I think they are just trying to be kind. And maybe they might be worried about you. Caregiving is stressful, your life changes in an instant. Some people have a very difficult time with this. Others not so much, just depends on the person and the situation.
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Right on.
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My experience: I/'we" finally had 4 hours of paid caregivers 6 days a week. Sometimes, I didn't WANT to go out; I just wanted to be alone, in my upstairs 'suite' [bathroom, den, bedroom]. The pro caregivers, bless them, would bug me to 'go out!!!--you've got the chance now!'. So, I avoided THEM and hid out upstairs to not have to 'argue' with them about why I wanted to stay in [like 'regular' folks can do without a second thought].
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Please don't write this forum off because of a few misunderstandings or misguided responses (or the nasties, we do get them - I see at least one comment that I certainly didn't appreciate, for me or you, but haven't read them all! I did read through most of the first page of responses and most were at least in agreement with you!)

It is common for people (even family members) to give the 'lip service.' 'Take care of yourself.' 'Call if you need anything.' 'Have a nice day.' 'Hi, how are you?' The one I get sometimes is to relish in the sound of her voice as you will miss it when it is gone.... In my case, not so much. I have my reasons. I don't hate her or wish her ill, just not a lot of lovey dovey in our relationship. I manage everything for her and see to it that she is safe, cared for and has what she needs, including some visits from me (OB not local and probably wouldn't visit if he was, YB lives on some other planet I think!)

These are merely things we learn to say, but most people don't generally follow through. They are merely platitudes - "remarks or statements, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful." They are not helpful, and certainly can make one grit their teeth!! I love those who said they would gladly throttle the next person who suggests these things! Ever see this oldie but goodie?

"STRESS: The confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's desire to choke the living sh*t out of some assh*le who desperately needs it." Been there...

Unless someone has been down this wonderful (can be other medical, but is especially true for any kind of dementia) road, they generally have NO clue and this is why you get these statements. It is easy to say, but does nothing to help. Even those who have had some 'experience' can fall into the lip service trap.

I do not provide the hands-on care for our mother (moved from her condo straight to MC), however most EVERYTHING (99.9%) else landed on my plate, despite having 2 brothers, one who is 10 years younger! Organize the clean out, clean up and repairs for her condo (1.5 years, mostly me!), arranging to become rep payee for her SS AND pension (thankfully we already had POA and were on her primary account, but the pension took over a year!), setting up the trust (long delay and aggravation from YB who questioned everything, but never posed them to the right person, only me!), forward all her bills to me (even before the move) and take over all finances, manage and transport to all medical and dental visits before and after the move, manage her Rx orders and OTC supplies, arrange for in-home care (refused after a few weeks), getting the car taken away/sold, etc. During the worst of all this, when I told OB I needed help and couldn't keep doing all this, he just bellowed at me to "Give it up!" Yeah... and....????

While you didn't ask for help, just maybe some understanding or commiseration, unlike those who gave the lip service but gave no useful advice or help, I will ask is your mother's income low enough to qualify for Medicaid? Medicaid CAN provide in-home assistance. It doesn't mean mom has to move to some kind of facility. We haven't used it, but even if they can only provide a few hours of assistance (or even just a CNA/babysitter) each day, that gives you a few hours to "breathe." Just a suggestion... Don't know if mom qualifies, but you do imply there isn't enough money to go around... It might be worth looking into.
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I feel the need to add to my previous comment. I'm sitting on the other side of this situation. I'm the one who offers to help my brother and sister-in-law with my mother's care. ALL offers of help have been rejected. It seems like if they accept help, they are admitting they can't do the job themselves. Well, WHO can do everything??? As a result, by brother is in deep clinical depression and their marriage is extremely stressed. I offer to do things that I am capable of - arrange appointments, fill out government forms and submit them, research day care resources, arrange for home delivery of groceries and medicine, and much more -- all offers are rejected with remarks such as "Oh, I can do that myself." Sp, again, be specific when you want help, and don;t reject any offers.
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You are not alone. I imagine it is very frustrating to live this way. My experience has been this: my mother has emotionally abused me for years. We didn't live together but I would do things for her while she still lived in her own home. Finally, I started leaving her house and started hanging up the phone when she became verbally and emotionally abusive. After many years of trying to help her, even just visiting, I gave up rather than have a heart attack or stroke. She began living with my brother and his wife about 8 months ago. There was NO planning, NO discussion, just an announcement by my brother. Now, he's in a deep depression, and acts like no one will help him. My mother continues to say that she had no help. The truth is that I (and others) have offered to help with various things but the offers of help have been rejected, ignored, or laughed at. Lots of sarcasm and sometimes nasty comments. Specific offers of help have been rejected. So, I asked what types of help are needed. This results in sarcastic "snickers" and sometimes comments such as " you know what I need". Even IF I could read their minds, I'm sure (at this pint) that offers of help would be rejected. My point here is this: When you need help, be specific and do ASK someone to provide that help. Even if someone offers to do something that seems small or little, TAKE the help. Everything adds up. Every bit does help. Someone else can drive them to the doctor. Someone else can take them out to lunch. Someone else can take them shopping. Someone else really can come stay with them so you can go out, or even have time to yourself at home. If no one seems willing to do those things, then specifically ask for money when they offer help but don;t know what they're willing to do. Money can pay for a sitter or driver, etc. My situation became one of help from a distance. I take care of my mother's financial accounts, pay her bills, make appointments, order refills for her medicines, talk to the doctor/nurses by phone. All of this frees up my brother's time and relieves some stress. He is still very bad about accepting any type of help, and doesn't recognize what I do as "help". I have found that if I ask for specific help, I usually get it. When I was going through some brutal cancer treatments, I asked for help in driving me to and from the hospital, cleaning my house, and grocery shopping. I was amazed at how many people provided that help. We coordinated who would drive me to and from the hospital, and that went on for six weeks. some people brought food already cooked. My brother went grocery shopping once - and even that one time relieved a lot of stress. Give yourself a break by asking for something specific. It doesn't have to be a family member.
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