Been to the downs of caregiving which is called "vacant"? empty, drained out. Pls share some revolutionary tips. Only for sole caregivers who don't get help from anyone.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
get slightly impared every now and then and let your favorites on youtube take you away..very goog escape / diversion.
Helpful Answer (4)

My advice is DON'T be a "sole caregiver who doesn't get help from anyone." That way lies madness or vacancy which leads to madness.

The number one thing caregivers MUST do to avoid burnout is get some respite. This is not optional if mental health is to be preserved.

And to have some daily help.

If the loved one has assets and/or income to afford the costs of in-home help and respite care, that is what the assets and income should be used for, until the money is gone. Then Medicaid can pick up the gap. If the loved one has no income or assets, then apply for Medicaid immediately.

I know that as a caregiver, hearing "find respite" sounds like one more thing to add to an already overwhelming to-do list. But it needs to go to the top of the list.
Helpful Answer (4)

Ah, I fit the bill perfectly. No help from anyone and sole caregiver for over a decade.
I recently hit what I discovered to be a new 'rock bottom' I had not realized existed. The emotional rock bottom. Vacant...drained...unable to remember what it was in myself that had always kept me going before. None of they ways I used to help myself made one bit of difference. I was literally at the end of my rope.

Then my mom broke her second hip and had to spend 3 months in a SNF so that she could regain as much function as possible...if not walk, then standing at least. I'm not sure we got there because I had her home one day and she broke her arm...I think we still have some potential progress with HHC OT and PT but I digress.

The three months was more for me, I suspect. I realized last night that I was finally able to get my ducks in a row and now, I am finally feeling equipped and able to deal with the unpleasant surprises that invariably come with caregiving. At first, I thought I had kind of wasted the three months because I basically did nothing productive, including housework...just sat around, played games on facebook and vegged...visited with friends but not as much as I thought I would.

Now I see that I was working on myself mentally. And I did some paper crafts (I love paper) which I had not done IN MONTHS or maybe YEARS...I listened to music...I talked to myself...I did get slightly impaired whenever I felt the nudge...and was able to reflect upon things and see what I should change when mom came home. Of course, "the best laid plans of mice and men...." but that didn't matter. I had regained the ability to handle things. I hope it lasts...I think it will because I somehow gained a new perspective.

That's not helpful, perhaps, because you might not have the same was tragic she broke her second hip but in a way it was exactly what was needed even for her in many ways I won't go into here.

And being all alone means that it is near impossible to get a 3 month break outside of personal catastrophe. I had, before the break, decided I was going to call my 3 half-siblings and tell them that I could not go on without some sort of weekly break if even for an afternoon and it was going to be up to them to work out a way to provide financial resources to hire a private pay sitter from the HHC to sit with mom a few hours a week in order to save the sanity of the caregiver that was preserving the comfort of THEIR (siblings) own personal lives.

However, not knowing your situation, that might not be an option. It might give you a seed to start from, though...I hope.

I think that it is ESSENTIAL to have some sort of regular break any way possible. When mom's arm is healed in a couple of weeks, I plan on sending her to the local senior center a couple times a week and the adult daycare another couple of days. It will be good for her and for me. And it is free.

If I think of anything else, I will write it for you.

Also, if you have any hobbies you enjoy and can do at home while 'at ease' in your caregiving duties...pick them back up and do them! After I got my first craft project completed, I was amazed at how much better I felt inside! I thought, damn...why wasn't I doing this all along? How did I forget how good this is for me to do??!!?

It is sooooooooo easy to forget things like that when consumed in giving care 24/7 365 days a year. You put it aside for a day or two and the days turn into weeks and months and you just forget even those things that maybe at one point were so much a part of you, you didn't have to remind yourself exactly WHY they were a part of you. The essential taking time for self. Any little moment you can grab for yourself...GRAB IT.
Helpful Answer (3)

I'm new here. And thankful to come to a thread where people aren't prattling on about how caregiving enriches you life, gives you courage and compassion, yadda, yadda, yadda.

And Captain, I like your suggestion. LOL

My suggestions: Realize that when the elderly person is hospitalized for one of these falls, THAT is the time for there to be a change in their living situation. You MUST say that you will not be able to further care for the person. Period. And likely, you won't.

If the patient has the money to pay, fine. If they don't, find out what Medicare will pay for. My grandparents ended up in a County old age home. And it actually was not all that bad. (My mother, who is now 93, wasn't about to bring them into HER home!)

FWIW despite my mother (see my question post about having to break contact) making statements that she would never leave her house, that "they would have to take her out of there ten toes up", she is now happily the "Queen" of the facility where she lives. It is one of THE most expensive facilities in this fairly large city. The cost is $6,000/month and she is on self pay. Depleting the inheritance? Oh, yes, but hey, it's her money.

So, you need to look at the situation and ask yourself some questions. WHY are you giving care? Is it a money issue? In what way? When my grandparents needed placement I went to both my County Representative's office and my State Representative's office and requested assistance. Lo and behold, despite a "long waiting list" they were placed within 2 months.

When you look into it, despite almost every elderly person saying they "don't want to go into an institution" and they "want to stay in their own home", they almost always do better and have a better quality of life once they move. Alone at home the older they get, the more they become socially isolated.

My own situation is different. I was not an in-home caregiver. But I was an "only" caregiver, despite having a sibling. (And that's another whole story)
I also did not have a particularly good time of it with my elderly mother over the past 10-12 years of her decline. (As in, my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer, and despite aggressive treatment, died 14 mo. later at age 60. Three MONTHS later in a conversation with good old mom, I teared up when talking about him. Mom looked at me and said, "Are you STILL crying about him?? What's wrong with you?"

And yes, I was my husband's caregiver. He died at home as per his wishes. "No hospital" were his last lucid words to me.

If I could help anyone here in any way, as a "newbie" to this board today, I would ask that you ask yourself WHY you are in the position of being the caregiver. Really, really look at it. And don't ever think that things can't be changed.

Take care of yourself,
Helpful Answer (3)

Ask yourself "If money were no object, how would I handle this situation?" Just for the fun of it. What answers do you come up with?

Would the patient be placed in some place other than in YOUR home?
Helpful Answer (2)

Those are great points! The "WHY am I here" and the "If money were NO object" are pretty much the root of the issue when it comes to deciding what is best for EVERYONE involved. If that's possible, then it is the only way to go..and then with the largest number of satisfied voters, if you dig. But if anyone does not at least in some degree WANT to take personal care of the elder in question, then it can so potentially turn ugly...for everyone involved.
It is okay if the elder alienated everyone in their lives before hand but saved enough or built enough to pay for their infirm end is kind of like karma although I won't say that it is (cause I'm not sure myself what's what).
You reap what you sow.

Why am I here?
Because the first time I envisioned my mom in a nursing home as a hypothetical solution to the issues she was facing at the time, 10-11 years ago when I first came back home, I could not abide it. I could not stand to think of anyone in the family putting her in nursing home. I have worked in them. They are not bad places but they are not home. My mom is not the type to do well in one, and I have always known her that well...and 10 years later I know her even far better. And I think that is part of the 'why' am I here answer for me, too.

If money were no object for us, my mom and I, I know I would definitely keep her here and use the money for hired private trustworthy kind help, supplying all needs I possibly can from diet to wardrobe, etc., making sure she got the BEST care money could buy in our own home under my direct supervision.
You know, the old lady in the crochet shawl sitting out on the veranda each evening about mint julep time.

So the only real difference is that we don't have a veranda and I don't have anyone to supervise myself, which, actually, is better/easier for me in the final rackup, I think. (yeah right...keep on telling yourself that)

And I think I'm going to go buy me a powerball ticket in a minute. "~)
Helpful Answer (2)

kamilghafur, I'm a nosy bird...just asking out of curiosity about another culture! So don't answer if you don't want to, or can't...I understand.

But I don't really understand what you meant about taboo stigma? Is it taboo to take care of your elderly parents in your country or just taboo to discuss it? If just about discussion, does that apply to family, too, or just maybe to public and strangers?
If you can't talk to ANYONE at all because of that it must be really hard!
Helpful Answer (2)

@ jeanne,
" madness " lol
beeeb-abeeeb-abeeb-abeeeb, etc. mom has been standing in the driveway this am hurling my sockets and wrenches as far as she can throw em. cool, this is better than warner bros cartoons.
Helpful Answer (2)

Keep it real. Strengthen your mind and body. Read, yoga, nutrition, laugh, be honest, cry, talk, write. Pray, or meditate. This will fill the vacancy, which I don't think is really vacancy, but a form of isolation boredom. You need to interact in real life, even if with birds and animals. It will bring you a connection to the divine.
Helpful Answer (2)

I am amazed everytime I read these and hear the stories as they are so close to mine!
I need to pull out my beads now n then and make something sparkly! I can get lost in them for hours never a care!
But somehow caregiving has stolen the simple outlets as well,
My poor lil Jack Russell Terrier (I mention his breed because they need the excersize) is a saint, he has learned to sleep most of the day but he also can just look at me with those eyes saying come on, lets go, And I just wanna cry I tell em im sorry lil boy, I can't! when I can and should just snap a leash on and get out for a few....he and I would both be the better for it!
Helpful Answer (2)

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter