Anyone caring for a parent with dementia feeling so anxious they feel sick?

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I am trying so hard to be positive but it is overwhelming.

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Maybe its time for Dad to be in an AL or even a NH? It would be easier to acclimate him now than when he is further into the Dementia. And, it may help with you anxiety for him to be in a safer environment.

I get overwhelmed when too much is going on. Might be a little selfish but unless an emergency, I do it in my time. When my Mom stopped driving we picked a day for shopping and errands. I live in a small town and Mom was about 5 minutes around a big block. I could go to Walgreens on the way to her house when I was out. My disabled nephew everything has to be now. Not when I am doing it for you. I get it when I am out. My husband thinks I should do right then since I am just sitting around. Yes! I am retired! I like to sit in my PJs as long as possible, do when I feel like it. As long as its not an emergency I don't see why I need to be at everyones beck and call. Maybe it stems from, I used to be like that when I was younger. The responsible eldest daughter taking on all the responsibility because no one else here to do it. Hey, I did it with no complaining, I didn't mind. But now, I do because I want to not because I am expected to. You need to set boundries for yourself. There is no shame in taking time for yourself. A day u stay in those PJs and read a good book. Go out to lunch with a friend who makes you laugh. Try not to feel everything should be perfect. Mom was in an AL. It wasn't perfect. There were things I had a right to complain about and others to let go. My biggest thing was I wanted my Mom to at least look good. Aides don't take the time to match. I did Moms laundry so I would match her daily outfits. She had 3 pairs of shoes, blue, black and brown to go with her different colored outfits. I would come in and she'd have brown shoes on with a navy blue outfit. The aides dressed Mom. Even though I sort of learned to except it, it still got to me. Dementia is a journey. There is no rhyme or reason to it. My Mom excepted hers. She had her times but on the whole she was easy to care for. Just remember, this is very confusing and frustrating for them. In the early stages they know something is wrong, Its hard, but try not to take it personally. When it all comes down to its, its what they need not what they want. Our job doesn't mean we need to do all the hands on, its to make sure they are safe, fed and clean. Learn that as one person, you can't do it all.
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BlackHole Aug 17, 2018
Joanne - You are no longer a “pleaser.” Good job! Enjoy your retirement. 😀
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I am only 55 and it took a huge toll on my health. Weight gain, insomnia, high, high blood pressure, panic attacks, depression. Take care of your own health. The mental/spiritual break that results from dealing with a mean, demanding dementia parent sometimes causes a lot of damage.

Do not put off your own medical appointments/needs. Sometimes for me it would get so bad I would drive over to the local clinic to take my blood pressure and stay there until it got to normal. I had to get to the point that I would put an object in my pocket to focus on when my dad was ranting at me. That helped me remember that this all was not my fault.

I guess what I am getting at is to stay strong, focus on what you can and cannot do and above all remain an advocate for yourself, your significant other and your kids if you have those responsibilities as well. Good luck to you.
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Reply to Mincemeat
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Find a balance that works for you. If this means placing your loved one in a facility so you don't die first, then so be it.

I can relate to being sick with anxiety, not knowing which way to turn, never knowing from day to day what to expect and on and on and on and....

Hugs 2 u!
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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i get anxiety too. comes from a lot of different places.
my mom is in assisted living, so I know that makes it easier for sure.

but sometimes she says things that turn my anxiety ON
like her saying: have you meet my daughter? (to the group of ladies we sit with twice a week at lunch time.)
she also tells me. ~there wont be any room at the table~ (I been sitting in the dining room off and on for 8 years - they don't care and always make room for me) She acts like its the first time, every time.
someone asked her: how long have you lived here? answer: 2 years (not. 8)
me: lets go for a short walk. Her: is it cold outside? (no its HOT)
offering me candy at 10am (normally never do that)

my mom cant remember anything. BUT the other day. she looked at me point blank and asked: (stern)Did you tell them not to let me go shopping any more? I did because she wandered outside the store (the activity lady told me - and I stopped the bus shopping 3+ months ago) This made me completely uncomfortable. But I changed the subject easily.

I am getting anxiety just writing

it like a constant 'lie' living in her world. and makes me feel like the twilight zone. I have a hard time looking at her and saying the truth (which may embarrass her) or lying (and making my skin crawl) 

But I just keep going. I just keep faking everything is A-OK
and these are probably going to end up being the "good times" I'll remember someday. because I know it will get much worse.
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BlackHole Aug 17, 2018
Hugs, Wally. I hear ya. “Fake world” works your last nerve and is a total disservice to YOUR fully-functioning brain. “Real World” is the definition of despair. [hang in there]
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Yes. My mom went downhill fast after a fall. Then it was one hospitalization and incompetent 5 star Medicare rated nursing home for rehab after another. The last nursing home for rehab was better, but after a year of trauma I took her to my home where she was bedridden. I just couldn't take the hundreds of bumbling people anymore out of which there were maybe 6 competent people.
So many times I would grab my head and say "this can't be happening",...like when an aide dropped mom trying to put her in her wheelchair and caused a broken ankle in the second NH. The worst was the first 5 star rehab that didn't turn her enough and she ended up with a 4 stage wound and UTI that sent her into delirium. None of this happened after I took her home on hospice and we finally found peace, though it took it's toll on me. Lost 20 pounds in no time and suffered a spontaneous retinal detachment. I don't know what I would have done without the wonderful hospice team.
I developed PTS after mom passed away from the 19 months of trauma, would yell at loud noises. Had 2 eye operations. I will never have central vision in that eye again, things blurry when looked at head on. I have put on too much weight. Worst of all, I have lost faith in humanity and don't believe help is out there when you need it. People just don't care and run when they can. I lucked out with the good hospice, but believe that is the exception to the norm. I have anger issues nearly 3 years later. If you have a competent doctor or someone to help please see them. I have to fight this one alone as no one competent around.
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Shelly2222 Aug 17, 2018
Does Medicare pay for nursing home ?
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No one ever "expects" these things to happen, but they do. And if we've never gone through it before, we have absolutely no idea what to expect, so depression and severe anxiety become very serious problems. I'm fighting the likely need for anti-anxiety meds, though I'm hearing from others in a care givers support group that it's definitely something to consider. Our minds go through a gamut of emotions, often including thoughts we never thought could occur. I'm going through the same things you're going through regarding my own mental and physical health. Each of us has to find a way to care for ourselves. There's no cookie cutter answer. But you must take the step, no matter what it is for you.
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Reply to Weeble
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You don't mention how long you've been in this situation, or if you're caregiving full time, but here's my story:

I have always been a very calm, centered person, but seeing after my mom landed me in the ER early on with what I was convinced was some sort of heart event; no, just stress and anxiety. (Ironically, my share of the hospital bill didn't help with the stress and anxiety.) I was given a supply of Xanax, which got me through that time while I adjusted to my caregiver role. That was 4 1/2 years ago. Mother is now almost 85, doesn't know her own name, and has developed some sort of heart issue that we're trying to figure out. I say all that to add this: the anxiety eventually gave way to acceptance and pragmatism. It's sort of like having a new baby; I remember in the beginning I worried and had nightmares, but eventually realized there was a long haul in front of me and settled into it. The difference in the situations is that there's very little joy, if any, in caring for someone with dementia.

My personal battle now is with a low level of depression that I became aware of a few months ago. I realized that I was feeling trapped and resigned, especially since there's no end in sight; not a recipe for happiness. So my husband and I are taking active steps to get through this time: I have quit a part-time job that had also become a drain, I'm committing myself to working out again and eating better, making sleep a REAL PRIORITY, and planning things, even small things, to look forward to (something that had really gone to the wayside).

Now I would like to add that we lived with my mom for 6 months while getting all her affairs in order (affairs that she assured my siblings and me she had taken care of), then she lived with my husband and me for a few months. I quickly realized that this was not a healthy situation for anyone involved, so she has been in assisted living for several years. She needed community, for one thing, and I needed to remain her daughter for as long as possible. Now it's time for memory care. That's our situation. We're fortunate that Mother has the funds that allow us to make these choices for her. But there has STILL been stress, anxiety, and depression.

I don't know how to be positive in such a negative situation. Acceptance seems to be the best I can hope for, and I'm kind of okay with that.

My warmest regards to you - you are not alone.

ga
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I would listen to your body. Trying to help our LO's who have dementia can be extremely stressful, scary and exhausting. When I first began that role, I was shocked and frightened. The stress was off the charts. While trying to run my own business, I was trying to be full time caregiver for a person with dementia. I soon realized that I had to get her professional help. Once, I did that, it got much better and I could breath again. However, the stress took a toll on my body and I had multiple physical ailments that imo, were a result of my anxiety. I not only lost over 20 pounds in a short time, but, could not sleep well. It took over a year to recover and get my health back. I'd listen to what your mind and body are saying and try to get help and relief.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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I'm finally getting that I'm in a constant state of anxiety/fear w/one dementia parent and one who's not making good monetary decisions(predementia?).
After reading posts, I might have to resort to some medication for awhile to get me through. I'm going to try a meditation class too.
It's so stressful!! Give yourself pats on the back for having to go through this and think of what would work for you to help reduce stress. We're with you!
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Reply to rustlingleaves
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Anniepeepie Aug 18, 2018
omg yes on the constant state of anxiety. I finally hired night people so I could atleast relax. Took the plunge,even though its really not in the budget. I had to for my sanity/ Big glass of red wine and a good night sleep. It is the best investment I have ever made.
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My mom passed away Thursday. Just before that I thought I had an ulcer from how anxious I was all the time. I finally walked away from our relationship, about 2 weeks before she died. Tragic, yes, but I have two daughters to care for and I literally couldn't take it anymore.
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BlackHole Aug 19, 2018
My condolences, chigirl. I’m very sorry for your loss. And without knowing details, I respect you for moving the mother/daughter/caregiver dynamic outside of the box to save your sanity and your own household. That’s how it has to go sometimes. It doesn’t mean you loved your mother any less. This is all so hard. Big hugs to you. 💕💕
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