I am a live in caregiver for my mom who is 48 with some health issues that require a lot of care. I have been taking care of my mom since I was a kid and it has consumed my life. Now that I'm 30 and ready to start my own life and family she's having a hard time dealing with it. I work round the clock taking care of her with no time off on my days off I never get the chance to just get out and get a break from this all she prefers me to sit home even when the other caregiver is here to give me a break. I need some help finding out how to live my life and still try to be here for her.

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Is there such a thing as respite care where you can take your loved one so you can get a break, and do things and projects at your home without them underfoot? We need to do some work on the house. I called one memory care facility but I don't have that kind of money they are asking, and they are private pay. Anyone have suggestions?
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Even though shakingdustoff's post was a bit "to the point", it IS quite complicated to break away from a 20+ year caregiving relationship, draw up a plan, get a job, find a place to live, etc.

You have been controlled by your mother's guilt for many years. I would have figured you would have started breaking away years earlier than this. You are under FOG (Fear, Obligation and Guilt). Look it up on-line. A therapist can help you through this. Hopefully one would be available through your health insurance.

Have you completed high school and any college?
The reason I ask is that, without at least a high school diploma or GED, you will have a very tough time finding employment.
Next question, have you ever had a job (other than being your mother's caregiver)?
If not, that will also limit your job possibilities. Entry level positions pay minimum wage. You could probably get a job caregiving someone else through your agency. Start looking for a job when her other caregiver is there. Many posting are on line and you can apply that way too.

Do you have any savings to start your new life? I remember when we first started out. We were poorer than church mice. Will you have any more furniture than the bed you sleep in? Can you pay first and last months' rent? Put a deposit on the utilities?

Do you have any credit established in your name for a credit rating? Many apartments won't rent to you without having a credit rating.

I know that someone starting out can't afford an apartment of their own. Do you have a girlfriend or other person you could share an apartment with? You could also rent a room in someone else's home. In my area (San Diego, Cal.) a room runs $450.- $650./mo. utilities included.

ONCE YOU ARE READY TO GO (you have a job and a place to live), you should tell your mother's Social Worker that is in charge of her case that you are no longer ABLE to be her caregiver. There is no law that forces you to care for her, HOWEVER, you can't just walk out without making an effort to find a replacement (maybe through your agency) and alerting as many people (Case or Social Worker, your father, brother, her doctor, any state health agency she uses, State Disability, etc.) that you will no longer be able to provide services.

Your father and mother have done a very wrong thing. They have used you as child labor to assist your mother and they have imprisoned you, from a young age, to be her slave. You are also psychologically imprisoned and will probably suffer tremendous guilt when you leave. If you have access to a therapist, now would be the time to use their services.

You will really need to think of every aspect of your (new) life and get everything in order BEFORE you make a move. This will be a huge endeavor for you but a necessary one. Don't let your family guilt you into staying. (The therapist can help you fight the guilt.) Good luck.
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If you leave while dad is there, you are not leaving a disabled person alone. She has made her choices and guilting you into paying the consequences.

You are hired and paid through an agency. Give them notice and plan on leaving.

It fries my backside that parents think their children are their personal servants. Your parents both sound toxic, so go to a woman's shelter that offers life counselling to gain your freedom and life.

Best of luck.
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Has she ever considered bariatric surgery?
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Wow jennifer sounds you're basically being held hostage. Your round the clock
care giving works for every one but you. You've done enough, I'm betting you prob
don't make that much as it is right now.

shakingdustoff is correct --it's not that easy "getting a life". And it gets harder and
harder the longer you stay. I would consider calling the agency yourself and inquire
about hiring additional help while you take some classes. See if you get the whole
"getting arrested" spiel from them. Don't say anything more about leaving. Put
your plans in place before you leave, get your ducks in a row first.

If you're family is essentially holding you hostage with threats of arrest and a life
tied down by guilt and exhaustion, the less you leave unsaid the better. You don't
want to take a chance that they will sabotage your chances of leaving in any way.

Good luck!!! And ((((hugs)))) . Don't take your mom's guilt trips or other family's
guilt trips seriously. Their just protecting their very very good deal of having one
family member absorb all the drudgery, while they can carry on living their lives.

And since when is parent's lack of responsibility for their own self care turn into
the responsibility of the child to provide round the clock ?!

Go live your life! Life can be big and wonderful away from dysfunction..
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Hello Jennifer87,
These are great suggestions, you must fight for your freedom.
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Ok I get what everyone is saying on here now my question is my mom uses an agency to pay me through should i contact them to find out what to do next or just turn it over to the state? supposedly when she called and asked about how to replace me they told her she could choose to arrest me or just not pay me if i left. i'm not sure what the truth is she told me she would consider arresting me due to abandoning a disabled person. So i don't know how to find out what to do to quit this job and find another one.
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Jennifer, not to be harsh but you sound like you have become your family's slave. Time to break free!
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my mom is morbidly obese but there are some things she can do for herself such as feed herself toilet herself and partially shower herself but everything else i do. i take care of the shopping the cooking and the cleaning i also take care of my dad bro and niece on a full time bases. the only other thing my takes care of is paying the bills every month. my dad and bro both work full time jobs so aren't here to help my dad is only home on weekends and both feel its my job to do this alone. i know they are both tired after working but they should help some. i really believe my mom has come to rely on me to much instead of worrying about getting her health back so she can live a normal life.
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Yes, I am in my 30s as well, taking care of my mom who is 56. I totally understand what you're saying.

It sounds like you are getting burned out, and need some help. I've discovered some good resources through social services, and through other people on this forum.

A lot depends on the level of care needed. Is your mom still mentally capable of making decisions, and is she mentally/physically capable of performing some of her activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, feeding herself, etc)? Does she require 24 hour care, or is she able to be alone for some periods of time?

If she is able to function independently but just needs assistance with some of her health-related needs (meds, blood sugar, etc), it may be that she would be okay to live alone with a caregiver coming in a few hours each day.

If she is dealing with cognitive decline such as dementia, or with physical impairments that would require 24 hour care, she would likely need either a live-in caregiver or to be in a skilled nursing or assisted living facility.

Your local Area Agency on Aging and social services department would be a good place to begin. They can help point you in the right direction according to your mom's needs. You can help get your mom some help in place so you can still help and be involved, but don't necessarily have to be hands on all the time. That way you can still be there for your mom as you said, but can be able to make plans for your own life and future as well.
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