I've been caregiver for my wife for 21 years who has steadily gotten worse. I can still take care of her but what about my well-being?

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Ive been caregiver for my wife for more or less 21 years. The past 5 yrs she has steadily gotten worse and now I'm afraid I can add dementia. We had in-home care up to 2 years ago when 1 of the helpers started coming fewer days. She was doing lite house keeping and help in bathing, she also just spent time just being a companian. She came 3 days a week and someone else came 1 day. She stated she was taking classes 2 days and I approached her and said what's up, you're not taking classes, why aren't you coming 2 days? She responded she has become a downer for me and I can't do it any more. We have 2 daughters within 4 miles in either direction that started filtering phone calls and basically stopped coming to see her and haven't been much help phyically or supportedly. My eldest daughter has doa and poa. For the past 2 years I've been pretty much 24/7 caregiver and with her slowly losing her memory she making all kinds of acusations now from trying to poison her to trying to steal her money and now even abusing her. I failed to mention she fired the help and has been bed-ridden for most of 5 yrs. With he resent accusations I've had a person come to the home from the adult human services and they want to test her. She admitted it was my daughter who purpatrated the claim. I'm looking for advice now because I have a cloud hanging over my head. I know this is a problem with caregivers and the testing will more or less show just how far shes advanced. I can still take care of her at home I'm hoping but it will require more in-home care. I'm just wondering if for my own well-being if its worth it now. Any ideas will be appreciated.

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youngonce, you do have a lot on your plate. To get some ideas on what to do, scroll down to the bottom of this page to the blue section and click on ALZHEIMER'S CARE... there you will find many excellent articles regarding dementia. Hopefully it will give you an understanding as to what is going on with your wife's memory, and why she does the things she does.

When you find yourself being exhausted to a point of feeling like you will crash and burn, and getting only 4 hours of sleep [if that] per night, then time to re-think the situation. Twenty-one years is a long time. And now dementia is added to the list.

I went through a caregiving Agency which worked out great, but they are very expensive. Then came Assisted Living, I realize that in it self is a difficult choice. But what would your wife do if you were no longer there to help her? There are stats that show that close to 40% of the caregivers die leaving behind the love one they were caring, not good odds.

And I can understand why your daughters are not visiting their Mom, as that is not the Mom they knew from the past. As for helping out with the caregiving, not everyone is cut out for this very difficult job. If your daughters are working full-time or have children at home, their free time is very limited.
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How long has it been since your wife was thoroughly evaluated by her physician? Has she ever had a psychological evaluation? There are meds out there that can help with her dementia. APS has a file on you now. But, their investigation goes both ways. They can help you figure out what to do. I’m so sorry you are also in the midst of a family war.
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