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I am single only child, never married, no children. I'm a 24/7 caregiver again.


I'm asking how do other caregivers try to stay focused on positive thinking and not allow negativeness to sink into the conscience that causes personal depression. Unfortunately, I dealt with it in my past with a mom that had terminal cancer. Now dealing with a 93 dad for past 4+yrs that has symptoms of dementia/Alzheimer's, uses a walker to get around the house. I have no social life other than texting friends. I give myself a window of time to do shopping for food and post signs in the house to say where I'm going. I know I'm going through another relapse as a caregiver; but, it's a entirely a different situation. I describe it as, "Personal in house arrest with no monitoring device, I'm not in any trouble or have any legal issues with the authorities and can come and go as I please." That's why I call it personal as in the obligation of being a caregiver. And yes I'm getting tired of watching TV series shows that I have seen and are repeats to me for how many times almost 16 hrs a daily and continuous channel scanning. I've looked into in home care helpers; however, it won't help much since I can't pursue a job given the circumstance unless I'm working from home. I am looking for ideas or experiences of others that would contend with or have in their past.

Your question was, ‘How are coping with personal issues/ stress’?
I can tell you that it’s not easy (which you already know) but that there are ways to deal with this situation besides planting ourselves in front of the tv.
I walk daily (releases serotonin which helps with depression), practice self-care (bathing, eating healthy, reading, hobbies) and I connect with others who can offer support.
Take baby steps. Do one thing for yourself every day.
Get outside and garden or just sit in the sun and have a cup of tea! Paint, listen to music, refresh YOU.
Your life is just as valuable as your dad’s, maybe even more so. If something happens to you, your dad’s life as he knows it will end. And you are an important person and you future matters!! Be kind to yourself and be a little selfish.
Best of luck to you.
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Reply to Gbprincess
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I try to stay positive as much as I can. because it seems things CAN always be worse than they already are. my mom(AL) is already going down, down down. so if I complain NOW...just wait, gonna get worse.

but you list categories below your post

burnout

depression

stress

YOUR skills on how to handle this and remain positive and not allow depression
are probably just as good as the next person....sounds like you do have nerves of steel. because I would go batcrazy being isolated. and I like being alone. but not alone with person with dementia. 24/7

unfortunately telling you 'ways' to stay positive when each day drags by with zero changes day after day.... month after month. AND eventually your dad declining in mental and physical health, probably wont help a lot.

all I can tell you is its hard for everyone. and dementia is the PITS.
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Reply to wally003
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The psychiatrist and the maids are plausible ideas. However the maids are not certified caregivers and if Dad hallucinates and strikes out at one ( and connects) you could be in big trouble. Never say never. My mom was always 4’ 11” of meek and mild. Also on a walker. She had dementia. At one point without warning she actually growled at me and clawed my arm. What if the psychiatrist doesn’t laughingly tell you “Dad is a handful” but seriously suggests a facility?

You do have a great attitude about your situation, I have to say. From what you’ve said, from “Deputy Dawg on a walker” to phoning the police, you seem to find a certain amount of “entertainment “ in this. The police visits are laughable as you say. But the truth is, Dad is on their radar. If he injures someone, he may not have any choice but a facility.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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So, from what you’re saying, you are in jail and Dad is the warden. You do as he says, when he says. He runs the show. And you don’t even know if you own the house you live in. Should you ever have to file for Medicaid, this could present a real problem. I’m assuming you also don’t have POA or appear on any of Dad’s financial accounts or documents.

You ask how the rest of us cope. Some of us don’t. We’ve had people on this site who say they are considering suicide and people who say they’re going to abandon their loved one and take off. Personally,because of dire financial issues, I’m not doing so well either. Like you, I spend my days watching 40 and 50 year old reruns as bedridden hubby plays flip-a-rama.

There are no magic solutions. You need to decide what works for you. I can say though, if Dad acts out to the point you need to call the police, I wouldn’t be quite as accepting of it as you seem to be. This is not a “normal” part of this disease. That alone would galvanize me into finding another living situation for him, somehow. Dad’s brain isn’t working and he cannot be reasoned with. You may think he understands and pride yourself on dealing with him, but because it still happens, nothing is being solved and it will continue and continue to escalate.

You obviously have experience with caregiving. After all these years of doing it, I’m surprised you’d ask for suggestions on how to handle it now. Are you becoming worried this is all there is to life? Since you say you won’t place Dad or find a way for in-home care to give youeven a small break just for yourself, what do you think the solution is? As long as your situation is the same, your stresses will remain the same as well. A therapist could show you how to handle your feelings but I suspect you’ll have a reason you can’t do that either.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Cmcare Aug 10, 2018
I do have a POA.
I call my dad more of a Deputy Dog with walker. The stress is more or less juggling many situations that is self inflictive the I put on myself. One thought I had and haven't proceeded to do it is maybe call a psychiatrist that does home visits and have him or her pose as a friend and and talk to my dad. I wouldn't be surprised in the end of the discussion with my dad saying to me you definitely have your hands full. The other more plausible alternative is pay the maids that have relatives across the street to come on a more regular basis. They know him and only one speaks fluent English and Spanish and jokes with him; the other 2 only speak Spanish and they have no problem doing it at all. My dad doesn't speak Spanish so half the time one would be trying to communicate and understand the other plus he'd get exercise when they move him to another room.
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Ha ha ha, I used to call it that too, I actually looked on the web to see how people coped with house arrest!
I am by nature an introvert so the isolation worked for me... to a point. As my mom's need grew I was able to bring in caregivers twice a week, one day I had six hours so I could get completely away and another day I had two more and did my shopping and local errands. Getting out daily for fresh air and exercise was also a sanity saver - I took up running so I could work off the most stress in the least amount of time away. And I discovered AgingCare - it truly became a valuable lifeline for me (still is).
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Reply to cwillie
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Why is keeping your father at home (is it your home, or are you living in his?) so important that you are giving up your mental health and financial future for YOU?

Does your father have money to pay for help?

If there is no money, can he qualify for Medicaid and be placed in a facility?
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Reply to CTTN55
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Cmcare Aug 10, 2018
I’m living in a house I think I own. For all I know I own it. I’ve been paying taxes and on I’m the deed given the address.

My dad isn’t going to senior living community, assisted living, and unless he ends up in hospital and requires him to go to nursing home. He is not going to a nursing home.
Sometimes dealing with him in a fit; in an analogy, it’s like dealing with a person going through a epileptic seizure. Once it gets to that point where there is no understanding on his behalf. I then dial a certain number 👮‍♂️ and then they come in 2’s and once 4. I tell them the issue and they say no problem; we’ll talk to him. Once they talk and deal with him they give me the hot potato, jump ship on me, and move quickly out the door like the house is haunted. They say to me, you gotta deal with him. At least I can laugh and my dad has no idea why police showed uP.

In reference to being a caregiver is a obligation that one takes regardless of the circumstances and is guaranteed will endure many different encounters, situations and issues and not one of experiences will be exact same as in the past. At times you may try to look for advice from others experiences or other people’s views on what they did or would tackle a situation given a chance before it happened.

I’ve looked into all care options and know the costs. With in home care services you can only have one. Each one has there own business guidelines by which they set the amount of time they have to provide services such as daily, weekly, monthly, 24hrs, etc.. The second thing is finding the right one that he approves of and also deal his bad disposition at times which may not be too pleasant . Its a task and I’ll deal with it one way or another.
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