As of last week, after my elderly parent suffered another fall and has a significant injury to one arm, I now find myself living with them full time for total assist. There was issues with cognitive decline and efforts for placements were made but there is no place in the rural area that I live. Also there is a current increase in cases of Covid 19 in local nursing homes. There is an assessment that will be made this week to ascertain her qualifications for nursing home placement but I don't know if that will expedite any placement. I have been a caregiver for my parent for many years due to various reasons that would take a lifetime to unravel. I have resentment, as I have done much work to have them placed for well over ten years and they have refused and been lying about it as well.

Some family members live away and are not able or willing to come help, others have very little to say to me or to their parent. I feel overwhelmed, as I have tried to avoid this very position that I am in. I am the POA but now I am the forced 24/7 hour caregiver. I am disabled with having had two strokes of my own, heart issues, back problems and diabetes and yes, depression. And I have a home, a husband who is years older than I am and has his own health issues. We were already struggling to live as independent as possible. Now I am here at her home, and he is alone, with no car, as I have our only car. We live in a remote area and our winters are both long and cold. I worry for my husband's ability to care for himself and he worries about me, as he can hear in my voice how vulnerable I am. I am not sleeping well, my emotions are rising to the top at all times, and I either cry or get very angry and don't even know for sure who to get angry at? I have to walk away from my parent at times as I feel the immediate urge to say something that is painful. I have always been patient, quiet, and tolerating, but am not able to do that anymore. I am trying but it is not happening.

My own family support are not available to help in any manner as they are not able to visit as they live in the nearby country but are not able to cross the border due to the Covid 19. I have recently started to have a private pay person come for about 90 minutes a day for personal care, as I can not provide that level of physical care on a daily basis with the stenosis of my back and sciatic pain, which I don't even mention to anyone. I am awaken at least two to three times a night to assist with commode and don't get the sleep I require. Their is limitations to both staff availability and to finances so I am not certain how much longer this can continue, for both private pay services and even my own ability to function.

My spouse, while trying to be supportive, is also experiencing various emotions that leave him scared, angry and very concerned for my well being. My own adult children also are experiencing this. Some of my siblings that live away either don't call our parent or just respond to my occassional updates with thumb ups icons. One other sibling lives very far away and due to covid 19 is not able or willing to travel to assist. I have mixed feelings about this, but have to understand each of their limitations but also want them to understand my limitations and after one week of this upheaval to my life and to my husband's life, I am verbalizing to them and to a public format such as this that I am near beyond my capabilities and willingness. I don't know what the answers are to this, but I feel the need to vent so that if others experience this as well, I may gain both experience and shared acknowledgment. What also complicates things is that my relationship with my parent was not good at any time, their demands on me were heavy even at a young age. All I hear from my siblings is that they are sorry that I am in this position. I ask them "Why me" and "not them"? crickets.... I believe that my relationship with them is damaged for life.

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Don't give up on this forum. Not every piece of advice is going to be right for you. And that's OK. Just keep reading and you WILL find support and understanding. And advice. Some of it may be helpful. OR not. Take what you can use at this point and reread later. 99% of the people here are trying to help as best they can.

Your situation is horrible. I feel bad for you.

You really have to take care of yourself FIRST. It may seem mean to push your parent aside but it is necessary. Next comes your hubby. Then whatever you willingly want to give to your mom. Which, IMHO, needs to be much less than what you are doing now.

It appears that she needs to be put in somewhere ASAP. Yes, covid is an issue but facilities are doing their best and putting her somewhere is likely for the best, even with a risk of exposure.

Your mom probably won't want to move out, etc. Very very common. But at this point, if she can't take care of herself, and no one else will, then I'm sorry but her "vote" ceases to count for much.

Your relationship with your siblings could be damaged forever. I would suggest trying not to hold a grudge and perhaps after this crisis mode is over, you can get back to some kind of a relationship. It's up to you. If there were problems before this, then I'd probably use this as my "excuse" to make a clean get away. Who needs the extra stress that bad relationships bring us.
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Reply to againx100

dear need and cinna,

i’m in the same shoes too!!
(the shoes of trying to find nice, good solutions for our parents; trying to help).

somehow, so many of us received the same shoes.

dear cinna, courage!! i really hope you find good solutions! i myself, will have to think of me now, otherwise i really will drown.
as many have warned, many kind caregivers end up jobless/homeless/emotionally abused/feeling destroyed/etc.

as for getting icons from siblings— exactly the same in my situation.

i’m sending big hugs to you both: need and cinna.

bundle of joy
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to bundleofjoy

So okay, you made a choice to take on the role of caregiver for whatever reason. It was a mistake. We all make mistakes. I've made a boatload of them myself, as we all do. FIX it. Correct the mistake now and move on from it instead of making things even worse & further compromising yourself and your spouse!

Now let's look at Covid19 realistically. Lots of people are using it as an EXCUSE not to come and help you out. You're in over your head with too much on your plate as it is, and now you have others giving you excuses about how it's 'too dangerous' to come into your home and help you out. Okay fine. Let's call out the BS for what it is: BS, and move on.

Find a Skilled Nursing Facility that is accepting new residents. They do exist. I have one on tap for my mother right now that has no active Covid cases in the facility, in fact. They will quarantine my mother for 14 days, done deal. She lives in a Memory Care AL right now (with NO Covid19 cases, by the way) and will be jabbed on Friday, then again in 3 weeks). Done.

It's time for YOU to move on with YOUR life and tend to your own health issues and that of your spouse. Don't even give your siblings a second thought anymore b/c they've made their decision perfectly clear. Now you have to make YOUR future clear by deciding what to do with your elderly parent. It's no longer viable for him/her to live with you, that much is obvious. So find a suitable SNF and get the ball rolling today!

This forum can be a very supportive place, and it can also be one where you get unsupportive comments. I read one a short while ago which told the poster that if she was a Christian and had Jesus Christ in her heart, she'd KNOW that taking her mother into her home was the ONLY right thing to do! A more sanctimonious comment I've NEVER read in my life! As if this commenter was without sin herself and the only person on earth who was beyond reproach.

My point? Take what you LIKE and leave the REST!!! Most often, you'll get lots of helpful and useful advice to your issues here.

Wishing you the best of luck with everything that's on your heavy plate right now.
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Reply to lealonnie1

I have been in your shoes. All I want to say is that I understand exactly how you feel.

It doesn’t help one iota to hear others say, “You chose this or I told you so.”

I know that there are extenuating circumstances that we find ourselves in.

So, I will only wish the very best for you and hope that you will be able to find a feasible way to incorporate changes that are best for you and have peace.

Take care, dear lady.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

I'm thinking that coming here for sharing and advice is not going to be beneficial for me. I don't have the tolerance for misspoken words or blame. Thank you for the feedback. I'll move on.
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Reply to Cinnabarsmom
NeedHelpWithMom Jan 17, 2021
It takes time to process it all. I walked in your shoes for 15 years.

I truly understand how you feel. I was incredibly fragile when I was in the midsts of caregiving.

I desperately needed others to understand how I felt.

I wasn’t ready to hear any criticism, even though it was offered to help me.

I only wanted comforting. I wasn’t yet strong enough to face anything else. I understand that you need time to catch your breath.

I became broken after my many years of caregiving and I suspect that you are near that stage as well.

One day, you will find clarity like I did. I hope that day is soon.

I feel your pain. I wish you peace in the near future.
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My one brother stepped up to care for mother in his home. The rest of us took a pass, knowing it would be hard, and only get harder.

So now, of course, he is often VERY angry for the time he puts in. Mom doesn't pay him, nor pay her way, as was settled when she moved in.

Many times we had told brother to minimally allow her to use her LTC policy to pay for respite care or in home aides, whatever would ease his burden. He will not allow outsiders in his home, so that's a no go.

I feel for him, but at the same time, mom doesn't WANT me there, nor the other girls, Just the one other brother and he doesn't do anything---just a 'thumbs up' if you email him about a problem.

Brother CAN make this better--but WON'T. He has no right to guilt the rest of us, our choice to not be more involved goes back 24+ years when she and dad had to have help.

I can't fathom the physical pain you are in!! Actually, I can, as I have some similar problems. Putting yourself first is very very hard for people who are natural caregivers. We want to do our best, but often, our best means putting LO's in a place where they can receive the help they need.
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Reply to Midkid58

You are the one who chose to step up and care for your mom. You didn't have to. And now you're mad at your siblings because they were smart enough not to get involved in something they knew they couldn't handle? I'm guessing you perhaps are a little jealous that they're out living their lives and you're stuck with mom. I would be too. But thankfully it's not too late to change your situation. I'm glad she's having an assessment this week, but I would also call your local Council on Aging, and even Senior Services, to see what they recommend. You should be able to get a social worker involved to help you get her placed. And even if it's not nearby, she must be placed, sooner than later. You have to start taking care of yourself, or you will be in the statistics where the caregiver dies before the one being cared for. Your husband and children need you. I wish you the best
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Reply to funkygrandma59
Cinnabarsmom Jan 17, 2021
I understand the information you are communicating but there is more than what a small paragraph can not explain fully so i'll let the remarks about my putting myself in the caregiving position aside, because I don't know if you mean that when you see your parent having fallen and you call the ambulance because they don't remember to use their lifeline and you go to the emergency room because you know that there is no other way they can get backhome, well if that is the codependent in me, then I must be at fault.
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that is a breath of fresh air to have someone give me an adult answer to this situation. I may need more of an acknowledgement of the situation than answers. I guess i don't feel heard. Thank you Alva Deer for taking the time to hear me and share your thoughts.
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Reply to Cinnabarsmom

Your siblings are not the question here. Frankly I think they are the ones who have made the correct choice. They recognize they cannot be responsible for caring for an elder now either in the elder's own home or in their own. I think that you now realize that you cannot do it, either.
You are the POA and unfortunately that means this falls to you. I don't know your area, nor what is available, and the fact may be the the only placement in Board and Care or in Nursing Home may be out of your area somewhat.
At this point I don't think you have the energy or the wherewithall to do it all. I will advise you to get yourself and your mother the Vaccine for Covid-19 as soon as possible. Once that is done you may be down to the ER dump. That is the sad fact. Then some poor Social Worker, who you will let know upon admit to ER for your Mom, you cannot take your Mom back to her home nor can she be safely discharged there, will be stuck with finding placement. There will be no ideal now in Covid times, and in a rural setting likely in ANY times. Not everything can be fixed.Not everything can be made perfect. Your siblings have told you they are sorry for you. That is all that they have for you. If this changes your relationships with them ongoing, then so be it. You can ask them to sit with you and discuss in person. You can let them know the drastic measures you are now forced into. But I suspect they still will have little to offer to prevent this.
I wish you the very best of luck. If you have read much on the Forum here you will know that you are not alone in this. That doesn't, I know, make it easier.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to AlvaDeer
BarbChicago Jan 17, 2021
I enjoy reading your answers Alva. You along with a few others provide sensible, down to earth suggestions for so many who turn to this site for sympathy and help. Kudos kiddo.
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