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I am caring for my mother with dementia and sometime I lose my patience.

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You can't 'avoid burnout'. Not sure what your situation is, but I nearly lost my health and my mind being the solitary caregiver for my mother (except for paid help). When I finally got her on Medicaid and into a nursing home, I was re-born, lol. ....All I can suggest, if you're going it alone, is be organized. Get some help in there a few hours a day. Realize things are never going to be perfect. Bad stuff will happen. It's not YOUR fault as you will be doing your best. And NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER "feel guilty" for taking time for yourself, for paying someone to take over for a while, for finding peace and joy and friendship in your own life. You were not put on this earth to sacrifice your health and mind and soul dancing attendance upon a senile parent.
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arniethek1: I don't think ferris meant it like that. Sometimes, in writing, things can be misinterpreted. Please don't judge her.
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Ferris: Your last statement was insensitive and unnecessary. Alzheimer's caregivers do not need to be reminded that their loved ones have an incurable, fatal disease. We have enough to deal with. Many caregivers have not fully accepted the reality of this disease. They need time and space and deserve our support. A little tact and empathy would go a long way.
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As a caregiver, it is vital to take time for yourself and to take care of yourself. At first I felt guilty, but then I realized it was the best thing I did. I also do meditation which has made a world of difference. I never thought much of the idea, but when I got so frustrated with mom and the lack of support from siblings, I knew I had to do something. So I meditate, do yoga, work full time, take an hour or two everyday just for me; exercise and eat healthy. I made all those changes, except full time working, after a year and a half of taking care of mom. Looking back I wish I had started a long time ago. I also have learned to set intentions, such as, when I look at my mom I think: compassion, love and patience. I always say that to myself whenever I look at her eyes. It has truly made a difference. Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest difference.. Also, don't sweat the small stuff, such as: eating ice cream for breakfast, not wanting to take a bath, etc. If it's not life threatening, I just roll with the punches. Good luck on your journey.
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From what I see, overextending one's self with around the clock caregiving duties causing people to become stressed, exhausted, unhappy, resentful and guilty. So, I think that having unrealistic expectations of your abilities might contribute to burnout.
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I am glad that recognize this! It's crucial.
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Steph: You MUST get respite. Take a break by hiring a day nurse so that you can take of you, else you will be good to NO ONE. i
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I lack patience, period. I like to start something and finish up quickly. Doesn't happen with a Dementia patient. I got Mom when she was starting her decline. I had been watching my infant grandson five days a week right into Mom, 24/7. I did this for a year hoping to sell her house, which didn't happen. My daughter recommended Daycare. So I placed Mom into a local program 3x a week. Did she like it? I don't think she really did but she went. Bus picked her up and dropped her off. It was a Godsend. Now, she is in AL. Don't think she likes it but she doesn't complain. To tell you the truth, I don't feel, at this stage, she would like anything but home and I really don't know, in her mind, where that is.
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I find patience to be a BIG issue when dealing with my husband who has mid-stage AD. It's more difficult when I have a lot of things to do (I also care for my 95 year old mom who lives with us). Like many of you, I feel guilty when I lose it and say not so nice things to my husband. I employ various ways of coping but the most effective tool I have is meditation. I took it up in my 20's when I was in a highly stressful job and have used it on and off throughout my life. I can't imagine going through my present situation without it. I meditate every morning for 20 minutes before we get up. It helps to keep me calm in stressful situations and keeps me focused on what needs to be done to make our (mine, my husband's and my mom's) life the best it can be under the circumstances. You don't have to take a course, just do an online search and there will be various simple suggestions as to how to go about it. I don't know how it works. All I know is IT DOES for me!
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Have patience with your older parents. You need to get away once a week. Go to the movies or fine out. Trust me you will have plenty of time later on. I wish i had my mom back. Momma passed on 03/27/16. Missing her so much. I cry every day. Please have patience. Put yourself in their shoes.
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Thanks, guys! I'll check out the acupuncture, too...

Hugemom, you have it right, no one else will - so I have backed off some, and mom pays people or the church has someone who will help, with all the many things she wants/needs. If I had kept trying to do them all, I'd be dead by now....
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I understand how you feel and am searching for answers myself. I care for my husband who doesn't have dementia but has mobility issues. I've found that over the summer, my own health has declined and my temperament is much worse. I have let myself descend into severe depression. I am living proof that you NEED to take care of yourself even if it's easier to just give up and let the person you're caring for run your life. I do small things. Clean one room at a time. Set aside an hour for reading. Join a support group. See a therapist. I've learned that if you don't do for yourself, no one else will.
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Ferris, thanks for that information on acupuncture. I wasn't aware Medicare now pays for it. I've switched osteo doctors to ones with a more progressive hospital affiliation and intend to ask about it.
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ferris: I love acupuncture and I think it's my favourite thing to do ... been having it for at least 25 years, when I met a doctor with an MD and who was additionally trained in TCM. Makes me feel soooooo good.
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Sometimes you lose your patience? I am always losing my patience until I remember I am dealing with a two-year old, incapable of recognizing how the world works and cannot fend for himself. I also got acupuncture on Friday to help with my wrist/hand surgery, and my whole body is feeling more in tune. Medicare now pays for acupuncture treatments when done with an osteopathic doctor. I now have four sessions scheduled every week and know I will continue to balance my pent up hostilities because of my husband's dementia. The more relaxed you can find yourself, the better you will be at handling the stresses of "dementia-hood". That's my new name for what we caregivers go through and we are an exclusive club, but one which I never wanted to belong. Recognize your limitations, your strengths, and then try to find whatever you need to do in order to balance yourself from losing patience. It does no one any good. Hang in there. Dementia does not last forever...
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Be patient and be kind to yourself!
Loosing patience with a loved one who has any form of dementia can be expected. It is simply a matter of seeing them for who you KNEW they were! And, processing who they are now. This process takes a while to accept. Even when it is accepted, we can still "slip". Its ok to get frustrated, as long as you do not take it out on the loved one. And, the blessing to this tedious process, is that it gets easier in time. You are more patient, loving, and forgiving. You learn tricks to make an issue workable, and not so frustrating.
If you are able to... take naps when she naps. Eat when she eats. Take her with to do errands, if possible. Getting out is one of the best forms of relaxation for you both! Drive thru to get an ice cream cone!
Best of luck to you and all of us "caregivers"! It is a long road, rewards are few, except to the person who you care for.
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stephysat, caring for an elder can be very exhausting work, more so if they have memory issues.

I have lost my patience with my parents a couple of time because they were in denial of their age [both in their 90's] and they refused to move from their house into something more elder friendly. And I couldn't help them with everything because I was a senior myself, plus I refused to give up my career.

When I read that 40% of caregivers die leaving behind the love one they are caring, that love one was usually placed into continuing care and lives for many more years. I decided I needed to take action because I was ready to crash and burn. My problem was I didn't set boundaries soon enough and it was a tug of war trying to say "no, I can't possibly do that" without the guilt crashing down on me.

Hopefully if you need more help at home, and if Mom can afford this, hire professional caregivers.... if Mom will let them in the door, my Mom didn't.... or hire professional house cleaners. That would help to give you a little bit of "me time".
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It's normal to lose your patience as long as you don't take it out on your mom. Caring for someone who has dementia is very challenging.

To avoid burnout make sure caring for your mom isn't all you do. Read a book, watch a movie, get out for a few hours regularly, have lunch with a friend. Don't let the burden of caregiving overwhelm you and dictate your life.
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