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Life brings many enjoyable missions and many overwhelming tasks to overcome. When a friend or family member becomes ill. The adventure to take on the tasks of a caregiver is overwhelming that people find to late or over looked. Or let's call it, bite more then you can chew is the later outcome. Is agreeing or becoming a first time caregiver for a love one the best tactic?

Unfortunately, I never got the chance to take care of my Parents because, they both passed away unexpectedly before their 60's. If they would have lived to seen their elderly yrs. I would have been the feller to care for them. Many know me on this Forum as venting about my 88 yr old Aunt that I agreed to take care of...As I was growing up this Aunt was one of my favorite Aunts. She was always nice to me and I looked up to her. My Father "her brother" told me yrs ago if there was anyone in the family to take of? This Aunt is the one he told me. This Aunt is also, my God Mother and was my Father's favorite sister. So, in a way I was prone to care for her when she reached her elderly yrs. After I took on this task of caregiver for my Aunt I wish I never found the word "Hate". I had no idea that this Aunt was so much of a hateful person. I never learned hate until this Aunt. Hate is like a spreading infection that's catchable. Do you love your loved one? I'm sure your answer is yes. Until you become a caregiver for them then, love is questionable. Becoming a caregiver for a loveone requires you to become closer to them and learning things about them that you may not want to learn about. I loved my Aunt. Until I became her caregiver. Now I hate her. I learned her darkside. I wish I never agreed to be her caregiver. If I never would of agreed to be her caregiver I wouldn't hate her today. Overcoming the hate isn't a simple task after catching it. Hate is a virus and very catchy. My advice to people is, before agreeing to be a caregiver for a loveone? How much do you really know about your loveone before attempting? Because, there's a darkside that you don't want to learn. Sometimes it's best to hand the rains over to someone else. The old saying "We learn as we go". If I knew then what I know now I would have never agreed to be a caregiver. I never was a hateful person until I took on this task. If you want to learn "Hate"? Become a caregiver!.. Because, enjoyable pleasure from being a caregiver isn't the only thing you will learn. Becoming a caregiver for your first time have you found the darkside yet?

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What should we do? Ignore everyone apparently old&young...if you are here living today you have been born helpless baby child/young..and if you live enough you will w/some minimum amount of wise survival skill grow to live longer....lucky you!...live longer - this is a skill...revere&respect...:)
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Best idea not outsider giving "care"... for if i were needing care?..we all might be receiving care eventually...
...hate...phew!...throw the first stone if you are more perfect...sigh!...my heart breaks hearing this....
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In reply,
My main point of this topic was to let people know that becoming a caregiver for a loveone isn't always the best idea.And truth be told the grass isn't as green on the otherside as some may think.For a caregiver as time goes bye you learn more and more about your family member.There's many things about a person you will find you rather not learn about.I hear people say this statement about elderly people all the time,(She's a very sweat old lady. or He's a very nice old man.)The people that say that is outsiders.Those people don't spend enough time to know the truth.Caregivers are forced to learn the elderlies darkside.
You may love your Mother or Father enough to take on the tasks as their caregiver.When people agree to take on this task.They don't realize that doing so they will learn their loveones darkside.That's something that knowone want's to learn they find to late.The old saying take the good with the bad.But,can you handle the bad?In time dementia will cause your father to say "Luck I am not your father.Take that to the darkside lol.
My point is,
Before attempting to take on the tasks of a caregiver for your family member.I learned it's best to have a outsider do it for you.So,you can seat back and enjoy your loveone to the end without learning their negatives that becomes hate as a virus.
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Debralee,I like your profile photo.I have two black labs.Best dogs I ever had.My oldest male dog is 13 yrs old.I took him to the vet today and found he has cancer.Very sad today I am.
Anyway,yes I feel resentment toward my Aunt .Do I hate the responsibilities I was thrown to do? The responsibilities isn't the problem.It's the hateful treatment I recieve for doing good for another is what I resent.People throws the word dementia in as a excuse to see different from what the truth really is.Your only hateful if you was raised to be hateful.When a elderly person shows their hate to others it's showing their true colors.Dementia has nothing to do with hatefulness.You either know how to hate or you don't.You don't learn to hate being old.I have a Mother-law that is much younger then my Aunt and has dementia far worse then my Aunt's.My Mother-law isn't hateful.If dementia is the excuse or hatefulness?Then,why don't they forget to be hateful?Just venting is all.
I hear it all the time from others saying my Aunt's hateful because,of her dementia.My Aunt's dementia isn't all the time as her hatefulness is 24/7.She is full of hate and negatives.24/7 there is nothing good that comes out of her mouth.
When your around so much hate you your self will turn to hate,it's a virus.
You told me,(I think you hate the responsibility of taking care of somebody who is not the person you know anymore.)That's not correct I must reply.
I never learned hate until I became involved with her.I learned her darkside.
If I would have never agreed to help her.I never would have known her darkside or hatefulness.Her hatefulness will only get worse.Her dementia wont help her forget that.
And last,
Yes I need to get out of underneath this Aunt.I did help on what I could do.It's stopping,walking away is the hardest part.
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Want to add that Mums recurring UTIs&more serious infections kept her from ever being able to return home...Dad had wanted for quite sometime care for both of them...we tried in-home care privately...but aide could not understand either of them...needed me to be there for them to bathe, to eat...they trusted only me, apparently, even when i didn't know what i was doing...
Now they are in skilled nursing facility...spring/summer/fall i drive there each day...winter this year has been difficult weather-wise...
Could not ask for more compassionate Nurses/Aides...where it is i lucked out!
My Dad as forgotten everything in English except "i love you"&"bull****"!...:)
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Was screaming at night sky driving back roads home...Can't can't...!!!...just can't...
Somehow did..doing..."can't " scarier than "doing"....
Mum now totally blind, has leukemia..17months ago at home was independently mobile...able to see light&shadow...Moved in with them..."temporary" full time caring...we all wore many hats Mum, Dad, and i then...
They hated me, trusted me, hated to trust me...i cried&cried&cried...then "turned on a dime"...on a time...
Best dime i ever bet on...
Dad dementia...has forgotten native finnish language&english(which he spoke fluently for 50 years)...
So here we is...still doing...still know nothing...yes very difficult...
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Abandoning elders..Xxxxx- wrong answer!...who do we think we are?!...no hate, no emotional whatever, no difficulty/hard; not pleasant /unpleasing....we are here because of all who have come/lived/walked/survived/fought/surrendered before today...it is a role&garment suited for all of us if we choose....not a choice but a must!...
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Deflect!deflect!.....never bad experience..challenging..frightful...unexpected...demanding...to understand past&present...tumbling backwards over time through our geographic generations...am up for it!...looking for show of hands?...a smile perhaps..even nod?....
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Dogabone, One does not "decide" if caregiving is the way to go. It is a result of necessity. In your case, my gut feeling is that this role is not for you. Pls find alternative care solutions for your aunt. God Bless you.
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I want to add to someone who wants to care for a loved one. Do you feel emotional and physically you can do this. You need to educate yourself and speak with your loved one's doctor to find out what to expect. I worked in a Geriatric facility and geriatric research. I knew how and what to expect. I took care of my mother for 8 years. The last 6 months was hospice care. My mother had no money. When she was walking. I would have a women come in twice a week and give her a shower which she would not do for me. But she would for a stranger. She would look at me with puppy dog eyes and I would just keep my distance. This woman would change her bed and clean her room. When my mother became bed bound. Medicare did allow 40 hrs of care a week. The last 6 months my mother was on hospice and hospice gives you 16 hrs of help per week. I was very fortunate to have the help I had. My 40 hr girl was golden. 8 hrs helped me take care of my needs and the needs of the house. I never regretted caring for my mother. If I had to do it again. I would do it the same way. No regrets.
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This is in response to Mr Hate. You aunt was a nice pleasant woman when she was well. When Dementia or AD happens unfortunately it can go either way. They can be pleasant or miserable. If you hate you aunt so much she is apt to being neglected or abused. Your best bet is to put her into a NH and not be a caregiver but a nephew. You hatefulness will affect her care.
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I agree "hate" is too strong a word. I dont think any of us hate care giving I just wish i had more support with this its not possible to do any job 24/7 on your own. I would be a happier caregiver if family were around to give me a break at times but because i dont i cant cope i would never hate my mum but i do "HATE" this illness. Its cruel and it destroys families all i do is pray for peace for her and for me then i feel guilty as i know the only way ill have peace is when she dies and thats an awful thing to want but im being honest it kills me to see her deteriorate every week and this is going to get worse? i cant imagine this getting any worse?
We went into town yesterday for shopping as soon as we got there she wanted to sit down so we went for a coffee then she spent about 15mins looking around a shop and AGAIN needed to sit down so we went for another coffee then home?? so sad that she cant manage a few hours out like she used to. I feel guilty as im running out of patience with her and i shouldnt as its not her fault i guess im seeing that shes becoming more and more dependent on me and im finding this overwhelming and a huge responsibility.
I met a woman the other day whos mum has ALS we got talking and she says her mum lives alone but she has family all over and they have a rota so her mum is never alone. I felt so jealous and felt no sympathy for her just kept telling her how lucky she was. she said her mum would never end up in a NH yeh right?
Imagine feeling envious of people who have support from family?
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Dogabone, I know from whince you come! I too am glad to hear others mention the negative side of caring for a relative. I can't say that I hate my mother as we were best friends prior to this disease. What I do hate are the actions and behaviors that have come to live in her body. I hate that she screams at me to "pack my stuff and get my ass out" that she is difficult and refuses medications, that she asks me 50 times a day if the dog has been fed, that she refuses to leave the house, that she fights me for the checkbook and calls me a liar. That she treats my sisters wonderfully and I am treated like a slave.

I had taken care of three other relatives prior to my mother and NO I DID NOT KNOW IT WOULD BE THIS HARD!!! None of the three had dementia.

If I had a crystal ball 8 years ago and could have predicted or seen what was going to happen on this care giving journey, I would have run in the other direction just as both of my siblings have.

Being treated badly takes a toll on you, I do not care if it is the disease, you are beaten down by it. Not being paid for your services so you can "save the inheritance" only to have it divided between those who do not life a finger to help, will make you angry or resentful.

This disease does bring out their bad side and in doing so, most assuredly will bring out yours as well....at least on occasion. Then when you decide you can handle it no longer and they will have to go to a nursing home, you get to experience the feeling of failure, and listen to everyone else as they tell you how disappointed they are.....in you!

I think you posted a valid question.
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dogabone - WE all start with good intent. But people change as their circumstances change. My mom is actually a "better" person when she was not doing as well as she is now. She has always been a negative person. Can't watch TV without her making cutting remarks about people, NEVER a positive comment. She'll do it in public too, and not care if the person hears, so doesn't say it to them thou. I find myself getting more negative. It's just like a marriage it's all the little things that drive you crazy. Constantly picky (negative), I know I'm over weight I don't need comments and I've told her before it does not help actually makes it worse. I use the oven it's still hot are you done with the oven? yes, well the light is still on. DAM IT just turn it off then don't need the commentary. I don't say it of course, but sure want to. Come in the door, did you turn off the light? I have lived alone and so has she for years so it's hard for both of us. As I started saying mom was much easier to "get along" with when she was not feeling as well she was very agreeable. I'm sorry that you now hate your aunt. That will end up causing remorse when she is gone, and you feel a sense of relief, then the guilt that you feel the relief and that you "hated" her. But I sure do relate to the attitude being catching like I said, I find myself being more negative. I suggest getting away as much as possible with positive attitudes. Watch any TV that is more light and not dramatic, comedies so you have laughter. Are you the only relative that can help, did she not have kids? or you any siblings to help give you some relief? God Bless
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I don't think there is a right or wrong tactic. Everyone has to decide for themselves what they want to do...and some don't have a choice and are forced into accepting the responsibility due to circumstances.

We must all give ourselves permission however to change our mind or adjust circumstances when things change beyond our control. People assume caregiving roles for many reasons: love, guilt, redemption, no one else to do it, financial --no where else to go, etc.

We must realize that the task we assumed wasn't bad or we could handle and manage but then it gets to be too much, lasts longer than we ever thought, Heath or mental health deteriorates and we can't manage anymore, our own families tire of the responsibilities and sacrifices, our own health deteriorates...all good reasons to accept it, own it and make a change if that's what it takes.

Yes, can you grow to "hate" sure. Doesn't mean you hate the loved one, but you do hate the situation, you do hate their demands, and yep you hate their behavior or attitude sometimes or maybe most times...it's okay and normal. When that happens, do the loving thing and seek new solutions, get some help with care, respite or find the person alternative care elsewhere; but don't destroy your life and health or risk hurting or abusing your loved one or caregivee.
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I think being a caregiver of a parent or spouse is difficult enough. I am not sure an aunt or uncle is the easiest to care for. I never had hateful thoughts for either of my parents nor did they towards me, so I really can't relate to the situation.

I loved them and they always loved and appreciated me. We were always very close when they were healthy and able bodied. For my situation, I did not want (they did not want) to be away from their home and "taken care of " by a revolving number of aides in a nursing home. They did not want to be in a home where patients were passing on each day either. Mentally, the more normal their homelife the better. Paid caregivers allowed me a chance to continue working and handle chores. We controlled and selected the caregivers so if they were not good with old people, they were not used again. We were blessed with one wonderful home health aide who was with my father for almost 4 yrs while I worked. She was almost a member of the family. Very kind to my father and he respected her and her very valuable work.

Back to your situation, see if you can get a placement. Caregiving is too hard to perform it for a person you no longer respect or love.
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Earlier this week I attended a public lecture presented by a family and personal counselor. When we audience members walked into the room, the first thing we saw were the words she had written on the board: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
You have allowed yourself to be turned into a martyr by your aunt. There is no shame in admitting that the situation has grown far beyond your ability to deal with it. It is far past the time to turn her care over to professionals who know how to deal with the type of person she is.
Look at it this way: If a storm tore the shingles off your roof and put holes in your roof, would there be reason to feel ashamed in calling a roofing contractor if you lacked the knowledge and physical strength to fix the roof yourself?
Just because your aunt is your relative doesn't mean that you should automatically have the personality and skills to meet the needs of a woman who by your own admission is difficult and hateful.
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I agree with PStegman....your Aunt would be covered by the State, if she needs care taking, they have homes. I assume you are both on meds, if not, meds are very helpful, and for your Aunt, necessary.
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Dogabone , I think you hate the responsibility of taking care of somebody who is not the person you know anymore. You are frustrated and those feelings turn into resentment toward your Aunt. You were not prepared to become a caregiver and went into it with blinders. You are at a point now where her care is more than you can handle. It is time to make alternate arrangements for her care. The longer you remain as her caregiver, the angrier you will become and the resentment will continue building. Things will only get worse as your aunt gets older. How long do you think you could go on before your snap and all these pent up frustrations explodes inwardly or outwardly? Do yourself a favor, give yourself credit for what you have done and start making plans for her care.
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As this journey with my mom continues, I find she is getting easier to be with as she trusts me. I am kissing her again. So things were not so good in the beginning. Maybe we were getting use to each other on a different level. Maybe I resented not having the time with my husband I was use too. She is like a kid in so many ways. She was watching TV today and the phone rang. It was then she wanted to ask me 20 questions. She hadn't said anything all day. My kids use to do that. But care giving has the word care in it. So that person knows when you care. Sorry things haven't worked out for you.
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I am the caregiver for my mom who was a very difficult, sometimes cruel woman who lived with an un diagnosed emotional disorder, it is very hard and disorienting at times, I know my mother has dementia but there is plenty in her of her strong personality that makes it hard to cope with. I believe you have done your best and I also believe you are a good person, otherwise you wouldn't be reaching out. Maybe it's time for you to consider other options besides having your aunt with you. God bless.
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I am humbled and amazed when I read so many of these posts by patient and loving caregivers with incredibly challenging situations. You have my deepest respect and admiration. That said, some of us (and I include myself) share some of the angry, resentful and despairing feelings that dogabone expresses. Just as not all of us have or had wonderful relatives, not all of us are equipped to deal with cruel, abusive or excessively demanding relatives. Please find help for your loved (or not-so-much loved) one and yourself. It is not a privilege to be abused by someone whom you once loved! No one here would encourage someone to remain in an abusive marriage because the spouse "can't help it", or because "you promised when you married that person." I hope that those who are overwhelmed by the requirements of caregiving will give themselves permission to acknowledge that their own needs are also important, and then go on to find other and better solutions for the care of these individuals.
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If you are an unpaid caregiver, it is all too easy to become resentful.

I am in this position (the little bit that was promised me, is being stolen by a sibling with POA).

I don't believe you really "hate" being caregiver, I believe you are underappreciated, and it's natural to feel extremely frustrated by that situation.

Instead of "hating" the situation, direct your frustration at the Other Family Members who SHOULD be helping (financially, time, etc).

You ALL have a responsibility.
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Hate is a very strong word. I don't believe you should be in this position any longer. I have times of true frustration and isolation but I wouldn't change what I do. My a mom can be a total pain but I always remind myself how difficult it must be for her and we work it out. I can only afford occasional help for breaks. If you can't take breaks and have help you must let someone else step in and then go visit her. You are recognizing your feelings and that's important so keep going and talk to some folks for further help, you will be ok and she will too! I wish you all the best!
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Don't take this the wong way, but what did you expect? Caregiving is hard...I am 32 and caring for my 90-year-old grandmother with my husband and a little help from my brother, her grandson. It is very hard, but mostly sad. I do not hate my grandmother...she is just is shell of who she used to be, but she still needs lovein her life from her family. Sure, she gets mad at me every single day for having her change her clothes, take her meds, wipe her bottom, whatever, but as a caregiver, you need to have a strong threshold to be able to just bite your tounge and deal with it. I am going to bend over backwards for my grandmother as long as I can. I have put things in my own life on hold, and I do feel that in some ways it's beyond my years and unfair since I am only 32, but I still don't hate my grandmother. Generally speaking, if you're not 100% mentally capable of managing someone's care, don't even try...it is a very rough job!
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I'm relieved that these feelings that you express are not uncommon. I 'hate' to say that I have come to feel them too. And you are right that can become an infection that can stay awhile. So many days I pray (and I'm not religious) that these feelings would go away. Living with an ill loved one DOES show you their darker side (a combo of their personality and their illness) but it also brings out my not so pretty side too. I don't like what I've become. Those from the outside who observe and visit infrequently HAVE NO IDEA the challenges the caregiver faces. Much of the time they see what I call "the public persona". I get annoyed when people tell me, "your mother is such a sweet person". She definitely is---to other people. So don't feel alone in your feelings. I share them.
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Thanks for this article...As I read it I reflected back on my current experience caregiving for my mother 87yrs with dementia. At times, yes, hate this but through prayer and knowing that once she called me her "good son" I find myself humbling down to her every request unless it not good for her. I was and still consider myself independent contractor wi engineering decline on leave while caregiving. This is not easy but each day I thank God for my mother still being apart of my life and that I was able to spend these last days of her life with her. So I understand what you went through and I think you are a caring person and heart goes out to you in prayer to take a positive look at what you did for this aunt and reflect on the aunt she was to you as a kid.

I just found out about a neighbor and my mom knew each other as kids and teens in the south, but living here in Los Angeles, CA for more than 65yrs. This neighbor as you talk about your aunt was just like that and I just found out about her and my mom two days before she died. I would have had more tolerances for her I think if known this. She had no kids, family never came around and watching from across the street seeing everyone asking about what's going to happen to the material things she left (ie house, car, etc.) he neighbor that was help this person (your aunt) is exactly what you said 'full of hate' because trying to help..."never again" as he puts it. I feel the same way about this after my mom passes but I have an aunt that hleps me from time to time with my mom. What if some day she needs some help?

The point is " I gave back"...I didn't get the mind of a scientist/engineer by myself.
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dogabone, she is schizophrenic and you are OCD, because you have posted this at least five times. For crying out loud, step back and let the state handle her. Sure you could use the money in her estate. It's not worth the madness you are going through.
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My heart goes out to you. You are not alone. Caregiving is not for everyone. Bless you for even trying. Caregiving will cause you to hit rock bottom, cry, scream, and give up. It is a thankless job that shuts off the light at the end of the tunnel. Reach down deep within yourself and give yourself a pat on the back. You tried to be the one to take care of your aunt. That alone speaks volumes. It is now time, though, to step back and get her professional help. Sometimes, caregiving requires a professional and a facility. Your aunt sounds like she may have dementia and that is a terrible disease. If you do not have proper training in how to deal with it, it will consume you and your life. It is time to hand over the reins. Bless you for trying and doing your best. It is now time to take care of yourself. Peace be with you.
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I'm a first-time caregiver but my grandma lived with us when I was young. She had Alzheimer's. So, taking care of my mom seems so much easier than that. I think having seen some of it ahead of time helps you prepare for what you might be in for, even if it doesn't lessen the amount of work.

But as we talk about people getting older and getting so nasty, I never quite know what to think about that. I wonder if, with some people, they've been kicked-around so much in their lives that they've turned bitter, or they're so sick that they don't have the patience for the rest of us, or maybe it's just something like hardening of the arteries that they have no control over?

Whatever the reason, as a caregiver, I think it's hard when you've had fond memories of a person and they're so different from what you've fondly remembered. Those happy times seem to be just gone and the sweet person we thought we were taking care of doesn't seem to be inside the shell we must care for. I think it's hard to resolve that the face we're looking at housed both the current "nasty" person and the past "nice" person. I just sympathize with you and think this is one of the hardest things of all for caregivers.
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