Just feel kind of abandoned by some of my "friends" that used to call and/or give me a break from the house to go hang out for a while.. That is not me at all. Have always been sweet (almost too nice at times), naive and vulnerable. This is just not a good time of year and my folks are not doing so good. We need a break from each other and there is no one to depend on for a listening ear of to take a break with to be a friend. Am beating myself up, blaming myself and going a little stir crazy being stuck in the house for a month or two at a time. Just trying my best not to take it out on anyone else because it's not fair to them or me. Also having some health problems that are making it difficult to perform my caregiving duties and am having a hard time trying to adjust to. Not much I can do about it though. Maybe around the holidays in particular, there is a lot going on and having a hard time and feeling really lonely. I go from being grumpy and wanting to curse somebody out (even though I wouldn't really do it) and then want to cry my eyes out, but hold it in. Just feels like nobody gives a rat's ass sometimes. Never get a phone call to see if I'm doing ok or anything. It's just disheartening. Some people are just that self-centered and clueless. Don't like to put people down at all either, but my feelings are really hurt. Does anyone else go through this kind of crap or have any experience with helpful ways to work it out?

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Yes Jessie Belle, on top of it, I am an only child, widowed since I was 24, and with one adult son. I have always been very independent and actually enjoy having time to myself etc. So, it probably was much easier for me to fall in the trap like you said. Funny thing, I've always thought of myself a little bit anti social because many of my hobbies etc, I enjoy doing alone. Yet , I've noticed that the last year or so, when repair men come, or at the market check out, I end up having long converstations with these people, when normally I woudl never do that!
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southlover, what you are describing is what I'm fighting in myself. I have always been a bit of a loner, so it is an easy trap to fall into. But I know if I don't make myself get out that I'll just fall deeper into a funk. So I do Burger King therapy, go for walks, or take advantage of the senior center gym. Sometimes I wished we had neighbors that I could spend time with. All the people around are in their 20s, though, so we are the relics on the block. :)

It is not too late. Even if you're not motivated, put on your walking shoes and warm jacket and go for that walk. You'll feel 100% better by the time you get back. Then you can rake the yard or wash the car. Maybe someone will stop and talk. There are a lot of lonely people out there.
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As far as friends, in my case I cannot have contact because of the way my dad reacts(phone calls etc). My friends are 4 or more hours away. So getting time to get together would require someone to watch him an entire day. I have been with my dad 24/7 since Sep of 2010 with the exception of one 3 day period when my son was able to stay with him while I went out of state on family business. I've gained over 40 pounds in that time. I already take 2 antidepressants that I've taken for years due to chronic depression-- it keeps me level. Of course, the situation now is that I KNOW what I'm depressed about.
I will say this.. started over 2 years ago, I should have set up time to be out of the house by myself at least a few times a week..even if I didn't feel that I needed it. Now, it's as though I'm beyond that.. I don't even FEEL like going anywhere. I feel sometimes like I hate my dad, then immediately feel guilty. He can vary in one day from acting a little confused, to outright delusions and mean, nasty moods...that in itself, greatly affects how I feel. When he's not mean I find it easier to handle. He accuses me of stealing, hiding people in the house and of not being able to get anything through my thick head. I know he's sick, he it can really drain you to hear that non stop. He tells anyone who will listen how terrible I am.
I wish I had answers for you, but I have not handle things well myself.. my advice to ones just starting this is have someone watch them(even if u pay a service) just a few hours a week..even if all you do is go sit in a parking lot somewhere and listen to the radio.. I should have done that. I feel like it's too late now-- I'm not motivated to even go.
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About your friends: Yeah, some people are just self-centered. But I think mostly people are clueless. I certainly did not know what caregivers go through until I became one. Maybe no one cares at all, but I think it more likely it is "out of sight out of mind." Yes, your friends should definitely call you. But give them the benefit of the doubt and call them. Just chat on the phone, or perhaps invite them over. "Carol, I can't get away but I'd love to have your company. Is there a time this week you could come over for a glass of wine?" Reach out to your friends, even if they haven't figured out that they should be reaching out to you.

Even if you weren't having some health issues of your own, you absolutely, positively, without any room for argument, need some respite. Nobody can care for two impaired elders 24/7/365. You MUST get away and have some time to yourself. This is not optional. Hire someone. Pay for this out of your parents' income. I think you mentioned applying for Medicaid. How is that going? The Elderly Waiver program under Medicaid will pay for some in-home care. When you are a in position to do so, take advantage of that! Would your parents be able to attend an adult day program? That is another wonderful opportunity for respite for you.

Good for you to not be taking your frustrations out on innocent bystanders. Use that pent up energy to re-connect with friends, and to arrange some respite care for your parents.

Best wishes to you.
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Caregiving is a lonely task. People can compliment and say how wonderful we are for taking care of our family member, but I don't take their words to heart. Words are easy to say. Most people, including family, are not there for us, so we really have to learn to take care of ourselves. We have to get out, only if it is to go for a walk. We have to have the occasional meal out or go see a new movie. If we don't, we shrivel inside. This has been happening to me. I found myself withdrawing more and more. So I make myself do things even on days I don't feel like doing them. After I get out, I find that I enjoy it more than I thought. Getting out is a great way to combat the depression that can set in for caregivers.

Many people cannot leave their care receivers alone, not even for a few minutes. I think it is important to build respite care into the budget if this is the case. I think we need to do it before burnout sets in. Many of us have a tendency to isolate ourselves more when things become stressful. Sometimes I feel like I am carrying so much baggage, who would even want to be around me? It isn't a good way to feel about ourselves. We are wonderful people. If we weren't, we wouldn't be in this situation to start with.

One thing I found that helps me when I go out is I don't talk about caregiving. Sometimes people ask about my mother. I give a short answer, then try to leave it behind. I think enough of my mother at home. I don't want to think about her when I'm not.
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