Why is it that being a caregiver for mom is so hard?

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I am single, 56 years old and had to resign my job as admin assistant at the American Embassy in Mex city to take care of my mom. I live with her and have a caregiver four days a week during the day, I take advantage of that to do all my shopping for the house and go to banks to pay bills. I had 9 back surgeries and I was feeling ok but now I am beginning to have back problems. She is very deppressed because I am not with her all the time and her family tells her is because I care more for my dogs than her, which leds into a fight everytime. I try to do my best but sometimes I nag at her for not trying harder to forget and not think about her pains all the time as I do. I tell her that unfortunatelly she has to get used to pain as I have and try to put her mind in something relaxing. she watches soap operas all day unless someone from the family comes to visit, Her attitude changes 90 degrees when they come, she smiles and enjoys them as she does not me. Pls help, I am going crazy, I don´t have a life and try to engage in doing manual things to relax my mind a little bit

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Lisabeth...My mom had some times where she would snap at me out of the blue. I know this wasn't mom she would never do that. It took me a couple of months to finally come to terms with this disease. You have to know that she is not the one doing this..it's all the dementia. Now even when mom has her off days...I make sure I give her some type of affection. Whether its to rub her back or sit with her on the bed and put my arm around her. And every night when I tuck her in ..I give her a kiss on the cheek and tell her I love her. This makes things a little more comforting for her. She knows she is being taken care of. God Bless you for being there for her.
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Thanks for saying that.
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also remember...the disease will make her act that way for others..it's called "showtiming"...mom falls all over my twin sister when she comes to visit. She goes on about how beautiful and wonderful she is...and when i tell her "yes i know mom, she is my twin!" Mom looks at me like I'm an alien. It's not her..its what the disease is doing to her brain. The signals in her brain are crossed..she is losing a lot of reasonable thinking. But hang in there..some times my mom shows up now and again. The sweet thoughtful person she is.
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Lisabeth...I know how you feel. Same thing here. I quit working to have mom move in with me to give her care. She's in the final stage of Dementia at the age of 91. She has declined rapidly. The other siblings don't understand the full extent of caregiving and what it involves. They think they can just pick up where I left off..only I am still here. Mom has arthritic knees can't walk anymore. We scoot her around on her walker because she is too proud for the wheel chair.
Give yourself a pat on the back. She needs you and you are there for her that's all that matters. If they criticize you it's only because they are feeling a little guilty for not doing what you are doing. You should never feel bad about that. Your reward is waiting for you in heaven. Nothing can take that away from you..or that you were there for her in the end. God bless and Merry Christmas to you.
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Thanks for all the answers, I have tried huging and loving, but some times since she forgets many things and gets upset at me for not telling something I have already she snaps or I snap. I really love her but also my cousins ask me why I am not working and I have to answer again that she needs me, she cannot do anything by herself and I cannot pay for assistance all weeek, specially since if I get someone new things start disapearing. We just had a Christmas brindis here in the house and she loved it, but as always when we have something afterwards she starts complaining about her pain in her legs and I just try to tell her that it was her fault since in front of anybody she won´t try to walk or at least go to the bathroom because she is embarrased and obviously the pain gets worse. Sometimes I wish that someone in the family could just come and stay with her one whole day and I know that they would stop criticizing me. Well as all of you say we are the daughters and have to take care of our moms. they did so much for us when we were kids that now it is the time to give back.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL and thank you for your kind words
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Today was one of the reasons care taking is so hard. My Mom had a fall, she went from the hospital, to a rehab and today I brought her back to her Assisted living home. I asked a million times what do I need to do? Does she have everything she needs? Are her medicines called in? I was told "Everything is fine, x will take card of that. It's already been taken care of".

Of course it wasn't. They waited until the last minute to even look at what needed to be done. It spent today running around doing last minute errands that would have been much easier last week. Her medicines weren't called in to the pharmacy until today. They weren't completed before she needed them. Some of the medicines are narcotics so I can't get them filled until the doctor sees her. We have an appointment tomorrow. She just got home and really isn't up to trip to the doctor tomorrow.

Tomorrow's doctors appointment means I'm going to miss a Christmas party. And a break and something fun that I really need to do. Couldn't they have told me I need one sooner so I could have gotten an appointment when I wouldn't have to miss my party?

There no consideration about what might work for me. It's as if I have nothing else to do but take care of my Mom. I have no life as it is. If I complain they will say "oh I'm sorry" but the same thing will happen again.

I just tired of doctors, nurses etc. thinking I have no life but care taking.
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Jeannegibbs, I like the idea of the grape soda. I have been mixing the pills with pudding or applesauce. Daddy might like the soda better.
As for liquid meds, we went to them on some of Daddy's meds. If possible, I'd stay with crushed pills. (Not all pills should be crushed) For me it is easier. The liquid meds, for the most part, have to be refrigerated and taste bad. For some reason, hospice sends concentrated liquid meds. It makes it very difficult for my mother to give them. For the crushed pills, I do them once a week. I bought a crusher at Wal-Mart along with some little plastic medicine bags (right next to the crusher). I put each time's (AM & PM) meds in the dispenser box. When I finish the week, I take each time's meds out to crush. As I crush them, I put each dose in one of the bags & fold it up to put it back in the medicine dispenser box. For the liquids, I bought some of those little plastic cups like restaurants put salad dressing in (also available at Wal-Mart). I put each dose of medicine in a cup & use a marker to put what it is on the top. Some have to have water added to them because they have to be shaken & because they are so thick. I do not mix the liquid meds because it would be difficult to label them. I then take plastic boxes (such as tupperware) & put each time period's meds in the same box. By doing this, I can make sure with caregivers coming & going, 1 that he gets all the meds he is supposed to and 2 he does not get overdosed. I go to my parent's house daily and check to ensure the med situation is going like it is supposed to. Hope this helps some people. For all of us, this is a daily learning experience.
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Lisabeth, I don't have any practical answers. I wish I could help. I truly wish I could meet you in person for a real physical hug. i'm 56 too and have lost a career and have felt so many times i'm not a human being, just a hopeless zombie doing the dirtiest jobs - except that zombies don't get hurt and it hurts so much every day, while those of the family who don't care have such a goodtime. AZcaregiver hugs and gold stars to you, i know just how it feels when she fights the diapers. its the very hardest job we're in, folks, for we're trying to face hatred with love. as this site explained in the beginning, we're in the Angel business, and as Mstone55 says, this is surely a hopeful sign in this sad dirty world. all we can do is hold hands with you - don't give up is easy to say, i've given up so many times myself. but let's try just one more time - and one more, one more - to continue spreading care and love.
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AzCaregiver- i have the same "pain" issue with MIL. I have had RA for over 20 years. Learning to live with pain was a necessity, or I would have gone crazy a long time ago. I just decided somewhere along the way not to let it ruin my life. So, I am pretty accumstomed to it, and I never complain about it. This seems to confuse MIL as she complains a lot. I just think we are different people. Two weeks ago, I had a full knee replacement. MIL makes a disgusted face whenever I say the pain is not that bad, and that I am getting better every day. Everyone handles pain differently. I don't think there is much you can do with mother on that front. As for taking care of yourself- that has to be a priority.
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I am amazed at how many others here have also retired early from jobs to stay home and care for a parent or parents. For those of you still working and doing this I have nothing but admiration as well. It gives me a sense of hope for the world especially at this time...with all the craziness going on around us...there are those of us who still value human life and all the hardships that can come with those lives. We are blessed in our struggles...we are strong...we still have our loved ones...we have each other. Ours is not an easy road, but I believe that it is a road well taken. Sometimes I wonder if my mom ever felt any of these same feelings when my siblings and I were little and running around driving her crazy....the circle of life. Thanks to all of you...you have been such a blessing to me and I apprciate all your feedback and advice...even when it may not be specifically at me...there is always something I can take away!
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