I am 81, sick, exhausted, severely depressed and caregiver for my spouse with dementia. My husband is not ready for a "home" yet. Ive been caregiving for 13 years. I get meals on wheels, have a housekeeper 1 hour per week. I have a doctor, a social worker, a psychiatrist, a chiropractor and have an appointment at a sleep clinic. No one has given me any help at all except the chiropractor with my back and neck pain. Any suggestions? I'd appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you.

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Mythyme, the market is good for sellers - at least where I reside. I pray you find a buyer quickly so you can get the best and appropriate care for you and your husband. Meanwhile, contact your local Dept of Health and Services to see if there are any elderly services that can help alleviate your caregiving responsibilities.
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Perseverence. I don't know the right way to post a response to your questions. Sorry. 1. One son lives 5 hours away and is disabled. Other son is in canada a couple of hours away and helps me as much as possible. 2. Yes we own our home. 3. I've tried assisted living but our house didn't sell and we had to move back because of money. 4. Unfortunately we don't have a church. Thank you everyone for your good suggestions. And for your kind words. I have decided to try again to sell the house and move closer to my son. The new town has more memory care places. I won't have any friends but here my friends are dying.
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Bless your heart! You are indeed a very strong woman! How anyone handles that level of caregiving for so long, is several kinds of miracles.
Above advice is very good!
PLEASE reach out to call resource numbers.

Depression, indeed, impairs a person's ability to see anything clearly, or deal with daily life properly---though you probably have been doing a number of things to keep yourself going, to get this far.
Here are a few more to add to the "tricks up your sleeves":
1. get more than enough bright, daily, daylight--at least half an hour.
2. if not getting daylight, substitute using a "Happy Light"--a light fixture that gives between 150 to 200 watts incandescent,
or about 70 watts compact florescent lighting,
Full daylight spectrum, at least 15 minutes to 30 minutes daily,
about 3 feet from your face--you can have your eyes closed while doing that, or, set the light fixture just off-side a bit, & use it as a reading or sewing lamp.
NOTE: Veterans signed up to access V.A. Medical system, who have depression as part of their diagnoses, can request one of these lights--the VA medical will ship it to your home; it is on a sliding scale per income--those with lowest incomes may get them free.
When the Veteran has one, the spouse & anyone else in the home, can also use it!
3-A. Each morning, get out of bed, make bed, clean up, dress, eat.
That can be a major accomplishment during depression episodes.
Once up & done with these, other things might occur to you to do, since once up, one is more likely to do other things.
3-B. Exercise. If all you do is walk circuits around the house, that's a good start. Walking is low-impact; can even approximate it while sitting in a rocking chair.
4. Proper nutrition: helps with anxiety & depression, actually very good for a person, overall. Proper amounts of protein, veggies, fruits, good fats.
AND, simple as it seems, just getting enough water per day!
==B vitamins are great for nerve health;
==Vit. D3 is highly indicated to remedy depression--D3 can be used in very large amounts daily, depending on the blood test "25 [OH]D" the Doctor can do for you. This is still largely overlooked, it's easy, and fairly low cost--the D# capsules are usually pretty cheap. I've used up to 20,000 iu.'s daily, to bring levels up, and noted a decrease in depression within a few days.
Blood levels should be around 50--which is about mid-range on the blood test spectrum....anything lower is barely hanging on. Higher levels could be dysfunctional.
==Good Probiotics are very important...a specific one to look for in the lists of various probiotic strains in fermented products like a good yogurt,
is "L. rhamnosus"; research is showing this one at least, can decrease anxiety & depression significantly.
It can be gotten in a Probiotic capsule, too--use daily--the kind that needs stored in the refrigerator. The more various strains of good probiotics, & the higher the counts, the better.
I found some various good ones at a Vitamin Shoppe; also at health food stores, grocery Co-Op's, online, etc. Even mainstream pharmacy is starting to promote Probiotics--it's only taken them over 100 years to do that!
NOTE: ALWAYS use a probiotic that has numerous varied strains in it: otherwise, one risks throwing bowel regulation off-balance in undesirable ways. [[for instance: Acidophilus can be used singly to treat diarrhea; Bifidobacteria by itself, can loosen stools]].

5. MAYBE it's a matter of getting someone to do a proper, updated in-home evaluation, so a Social Worker or other evaluator can fully understand how things are.
==One must be very frank with staff who come to assess/evaluate the situation, ---it can be too easy for them to miss important factors that could get you better helps--sometimes a caregiver has to serve up all the "gory details" on a platter---make sure the evaluator can see all the difficulties you face daily and sporadically.
==Anything that might help prove the person you care for is a danger to themselves or others, OR that you are frail & fear for your health & safety, in -any- ways, can help evaluators find more helps for you.

I sure pray you get help, soon!
You're a dear-heart to stick by your man so long, when going got this tough. You need more help; surely one or more of the agencies listed in the posts, can get the helps you need!

Alzheimer's Assoc.
V. A. Medical or the nearest V.A. clinic or hospital.
Your local area agency on Aging.
Your local Hospice.
Local Senior Citizen groups
Public Libraries, even!

Please keep us posted how things go for you!
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You say you need a caregiver and possibly so, but could it be that respite would help you focus on what you need better. Perhaps, but where is repite going to come from? My suggestions are: 1 Senior servcices available where you live. 2 Your church. 3 An adult day care center. A support group. [They exist for many types of problems] Please contact the Senior Center if your town has one [many do]
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My goodness 82 and still doing all this you certainly do need a caregiver.
I do not know your wishes or financial situation but age has nothing to do with the way you are feeling anyone carrying your burden feels the same. Please try and do all the things suggested above. assisted living would be a good first choice but I suspect you may not want to give up your own independence.
you say your husband is not ready for a "home" but if the dementia is advanced and for example he often does not know who you are even if he is physically healthy, this may be the right answer. If you can still manage him at home you can bring him home for weekends or longer, take him out for meals or anything he used to enjoy that you can manage or if you have family members who can have him overnight. You are a very strong smart lady and once you have taken the first step the second will be easier. We are all here for different reasons but everyone whishes you the strength you need.
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One of the worst things about depression is it impairs our ability to focus on a situation and see it clearly. Depression makes us think more in terms of hiding away from uncomfortable issues, wanting the difficulties to just go away. (Can you tell I speak from experience here?) You say your husband is not ready for a "home" yet, however clearly his care is too much for you. The fact that you've reached out to our group suggests to me that you want support to make some tough decisions and get out from under the crippling burden your life has become. I send you blessings that you can take the necessary steps to see that BOTH of you are cared for properly and that you are at peace with your choices. This takes courage and being willing to move past the guilt feelings.
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Mythyme-Thank you for the decade + 3 years your husband has been fortunate to have you! Now that you are exhausted, you need respite care yourself. As others have stated, get some help from the social worker who should be providing you with resources and contacts. Talk to the psychiatrist about getting you an anti-depressant and talk to him/her about your needs. Be very careful the chiropractor does not break any brittle bones you probably have due to osteoporosis. I stopped going and got an anterior cervical disk and fusion surgery (dr. made a small incision at the throat area), did not feel any pain afterwards, and feel great now. No, I am not advocating surgery at your age, but with osteoporosis we all have to be careful about breaking bones. That said, you must reach out to others to help you find time for yourself. Read some of the suggestions others have made about finding resources, but do it soon because your husband needs you to be healthy both mentally and physically. My husband's going on 87 yrs. and your generation did not ask for help. Times have changed - ask for help, please. We will all pray for you!
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Also, you can contact your local government's senior citizen division. We live in a very small island, but we do have one. So, I'm assuming you would, too. Explain your situation and they can refer you to programs that you can qualify.

Here on island, the senior citizen division has meals-on-wheels, caregivers respite program (4 hours a week), a housing area for the capable senior citizen who has no where to go (funded locally/federally), etc... I just saw a pamphlet from this division. They have ALL sorts of programs for the senior citizen. Please check yours out in the govt page of your phone book.
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mythyme - call the Alzheimer's Association today! 800-272-3900 They are a wealth of information and support. There is all kind of support out there, but you have to reach out. Believe me, I know. I was going through the same thing. Now that I have reached out, I am getting great support from so many people. I know God has answered my prayers with His plan in His time. Reach out! Call them today! If money is a problem, there is help available there, too. Is your husband a veteran? Call the VA 855-260-3274. May God bless you and guide you. You are a saint for doing this for 13 years!!! I am only 62 and couldn't handle it. How you have done this for so long is beyond me. You are one strong woman! But do make those calls today! God bless you!
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God bless you, sweetie!! You need support! Okay, so here are some questions for you:

1) Do you have any children who live nearby and, if so, do they help or are they available to help?

2) Do you own your own home?

3) Are you in a position to hire full-time caregivers for you and your husband?

4) Have you considered assisted living?

5) Is there an organization/church in your area that provides volunteers to the elderly? Consider calling hospice and see if they have ideas for support in your area.

May God bless you with the strength and grace you need, in addition to support that is much needed.
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