Am I really considered a care giver?

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My mom, who will be 100 on 8/15, has been in a NH for almost two years due to a fall and fx'd hip. My husband and I go to visit her 5-7 days per week and take her out (riding, restaurants, ice cream, etc.), 3-4 times per week. Since she lives in a NH full time, am I really considered a care giver? I read the questions and answers on this forum and I see many of the same issues and situations with my own mother and the NH. We are basically the only family members who visit (she has another daughter who rarely comes and several grandsons who do come on occasion) and it really wears me down. I feel guilty when I take a day or two off per week, but dragging a 100 year old person around, sitting on public bathrooms changing undies and "assisting" her with basically everything is hard work! I am very grateful for my husband who is such a gem! Our family is lucky to have him and my mother has always considered him the son she never had!

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Answer is anytime one's time is taken up for their loved one, then yes, they absolutely are a caregiver.💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💝💝
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Reply to Llamalover47
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It would be 'nice' is legislation could (re)structure language for caregiving, caregivers, or whatever word is necessary to use in order for a person 'caring' for another on the receiving end to gain some tax write-offs or some kind of compensation and legal acknowledgment of the work.

Whenever you feel guilt, do a self-guided meditation seeing yourself feeling refreshed, renewal, engaged, energized when in the presence of your mom. Taking care of YOU is also a way of taking care of her. Consider your husband, too, and that he likely could use a nice 'get away' or time off the weekly routine and go out on a DATE with you. Feeling GUILT (to me) means there is inner work to do - as guilt guides us to do things we really do not want to do and/or do not feel like our self doing it.

On another note, a PRIMARY care provider (which is what I call myself) is entitled to Hospice counseling (free where I am in California) if the recipient is registered with Hospice. So, be sure to check and see about Hospice. It is possible that people who are accepted into Hospice can 'get better' to a degree they do not qualify for their services. Health conditions can change, either way. My client (I cared for her for 3-1/2 years) had Hospice for just 3-1/2 days. To say I felt grief and relief is an understatement. I felt like I was on the verge of a breakdown (even though I was working for and with her) due to her consistent and ongoing rage and tantrums. I needed this counseling service and feel very fortunate that I qualified to get it. Gena
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Reply to TouchMatters
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As JoAnn29 alluded to, what you do may not meet a legal definition of caregiver but heck yeah, you are a care giver - and a darn good one. What you say you are experiencing is normal, as you may have surmised from this forum. My sister and I share care giving for our 84 y.o. mother who has Alz (mild to moderate) and still lives at home. Even with that, it's exhausting. She is a very difficult person to deal with. We either do her shopping for her or take her with...with turns into an ordeal. She has difficulty with public bathrooms (she's short and refuses to sit on commodes - squats instead) and gets little warning when she has to go so either we scramble to find a short toilet or run her back home. We take her out to eat and do errands 4x/week. Exhausting. Yet I consider myself a caregiver. Frankly, I don't care if the opinions of others differ!

I know what I'm doing for her and it's frustrating, sometimes infuriating, and time consuming. My sister and I go to a monthly support group (if you feel the need, search your area or county for services for the aging and churches may offer groups, too) and they all feel we need to place our mother in a memory care facility. Between us, we decided we would be trading one set of burdens for another, so we will continue as we have been. She has always been a miserable person (seems to be happy being miserable with things to complain about) and a move would make things worse...and cost a lot. We will reevaluate when she needs 24-hr care that we cannot give.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and yes, janeyd54, you are a caregiver. Good luck to you.
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Reply to shb1964
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janeyd54 Aug 1, 2018
SHB1964, your post made me laugh when I read about the toilet scrambling. I can relate to that! LOL!! Thanks for the laugh!
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You are the care giver - there really is 2 types:
1 - is the hands-on live with them & do everything for them
2 - is the one who is the primary person for someone who is in a professional care situation due to their needs

Like you, I am the second type & once I finish this I'm off to see my mom - we shop for them, make care decisions for them, we pay their bills & are their main emotional support - just because you need to leave your home to do this doesn't mean you are not her care giver & tell anyone who says otherwise to walk a week in your shoes then say it again if they can -

To hell with the bureaucrats that say 'no' because that is only way they can manage things & we all know what a great job they have done getting the world into the terrible shape it is now - you might not be able to claim for it without doing the hands-on but you are still the caregiver
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Reply to moecam
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You are a caregiver.

Absolutely you are! You are still taking care of her and supporting her, even though the day-to-day personal care tasks are provided by the NH staff.

You visit her a lot! You take her out, and when you take her out, you have to be the one to assist her. You also are the go-between with the NH staff, and you are the one to bring up issues and are making sure they're taking care of her properly. Any stress you feel is valid. It is still stressful to do this kind of caregiving, even if the individual is in full-time care.

You are a caregiver.
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Reply to richamj
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Just filled out a form for the State Disabilities Dept for my nephew. According to them I am not a Caregiver, even though I am nephews chauffeur, handle his finances, handle his forms, and oversee to a point. To be considered a Caregiver, I must be hands on. Help him bath, toilet him, dress, groom and prepare his dinner. Since I do none of that, I am not a Caregiver.

What you do for ur Mom is Caregiving. You do way more than some. Where is Mom in her journey? Does she know you? Does she appreciate and enjoy your outings? Or, are you visiting and do these outings because they make you feel good you are doing something for Mom. My Mom was in an AL where I stopped in for a short time every day. My Moms sense of time was not there. She had no idea I had been there the day before. I washed her clothes, so I checked to make sure she was OK that way. Made sure she had enough Depends. When she went into a NH, it was further away so I cut down on my visits to every other day.
5-7 days is a lot of visiting if Mom has no idea what day or time it is. And I bet if someone came to visit, and asked if you had been there, she'd say no. Does she really enjoy the outings? Are you visiting so often to make up for the family who doesn't visit?

Please, don't feel guilty that you have a life. My Mom was only in a NH for 5 months. She had no idea where she was or that I was her daughter. I think she "knew"me but not as a daughter. It was getting harder to get Mom out and about. She could not follow directions. She was overwhelmed and ready to go back. Plus the incontinence. At 65, I just didn't have the energy for outings she could not enjoy. So I just visited. My daughter, who works in a NH, told me I didn't have to visit everyday.

It comes down to, are u doing it for her or you. Can you enjoy the visits when in the end, you r drained. I see no reason for all the visits or outings. You can step back.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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janeyd54 Aug 1, 2018
JoAnn29: My mother is still with it. When we take her out to eat she even drinks a glass of beer. She absolutely knows me and everyone else who comes to visit. I am blessed in that respect. I think if she didn't know me, I wouldn't feel so compelled to take her out. But, she still enjoys being out in the world, seeing people she knows, checking out the fashions, etc. Thank you for your insightful response!
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My mom lives in Independent housing but needs/has a live-in aide. I still consider myself a caregiver, but of course not anywhere near what the live-in does. I’m in charge of the financing. Stress that the funds are limited. Have to resolve disputes between aide and mom. Need to join her at all medical appts. Purchase and organize medicine dosages. Buy some groceries. Attend any social events at her complex that I can. Etc etc.
I am a caregiver, but fortunate that I’m not responsible for bathes, bathroom, etc.
my head would have exploded long ago.
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Reply to Cmthatcher
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Yes, You are a caregiver. I just finished a educational class for caregivers, and all are, even those who live far away, if they are doing things to support the person. You have emotions, anxiety, worry, concerns that you need support for.
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Reply to PrairieLake
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"People may convince themselves that visiting an elderly person is the same as being a 24/7 caregiver, but it is not."

Grrr!!😠 I looked after my mother at home for several years until it was impossible to manage and I reluctantly placed her in a facility, so I DO know what home care takes. I now visit my mom in the NH daily: I feed her, I speak with staff, I monitor her health and well being- I didn't dump her and run. No, it's not the same as caring for someone in the home but even then the tasks are not equally comparable - care in the home can run the gamut from simple support to 24/7 help with all ADLs to hospice and end of life care.
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Reply to cwillie
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Since you visit and take your mother out so often, you are absolutely a caregiver. You are fulfilling emotional needs that the facility isn't. And even if you weren't going so often, you would still be a care manager, yes? Doesn't the NH contact you for any issues regarding your mother?
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Reply to CTTN55
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janeyd54 Aug 1, 2018
CTTN55: Yes, I am the contact for the nursing home and her doctor. I like the way you put the "fulfilling emotional needs" portion of your response. That is exactly what I feel we do; we keep her engaged in the world.
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