Are there counseling services for senior child taking care of an elderly adult?

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I feel angry and frustrated due to having to care every day for adult parent, and would like to speak to someone and get the emotions handled, so I can be more at peace with the situation that denies me a full life otherwise. I have lost work, social life, and experience physical strain and lack of adequate sleep as a result of caring for her.

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vpaleno, as you can tell from the responses - which will keep coming - most of us truly do know what you're feeling. Support groups do help, and even here online we hope we can give you some relief. However, a few sessions with a counselor would be excellent. If you can't find one who seems to have specific knowledge in caregiving, you can still benefit. You may want to look for someone who does grief counseling since part of what we deal with if grief and loss - of our own lives as well as that of our loved one.

I applaud you for understanding that your need to talk it out. Journaling helps many people, but you also should reach out to someone who can listen to the way you really feel without you holding anything back.

There are terrific suggestions on this thread so I hope that you'll take time to read it all.
Take care of yourself!
Carol
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For me, couple years ago I checked around the internet for therapy that was in my area. It's not easy to find a professional who is all that familiar with what Caregivers are going through. But you might be lucky and find someone who has been on the journey either with him/herself or had many clients who did.

It is so very difficult if the caregiver is also a senior citizen as our parent(s) still view us as being a young child who can do everything. They don't realize we are on our own journey of age decline, hello, we have our own aches and pains, our own vision problems, and if something drops on the floor it is a challenge for us to get up :P

I see by your profile that your Mom lives with you. That makes it even tougher. My parents [in their 90's] remained living on their own. And when I started to cut back on doing things because I just couldn't anymore, they looked at me like my hair was on fire. Who is going to help us? Ah, hire someone. Nope, no strangers in the house.... [sigh]. Holding ground isn't easy, makes you feel real guilty.
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I am very lucky that my church has a "caregivers group" led by one of our pastors that meets for lunch once a month. Sharing experiences with this group has helped me quite a bit and also been a great source of information. Perhaps something like this is offered in your area? It's also "free" as it doesn't come with counseling fees. I gave up my job, pets and home and moved 500 miles back to my home town to be in the area to be of assistance to my folks. One month after I finally found an affordable apartment my dad died unexpectedly during surgery resulting in me having to physically stay at my parent's house to look after mom. I've had my apartment for over a year and still haven't unpacked my belongings. My own health problems have gotten me to where I can no longer take care of mom full time and manage for myself as well. Last month I gave her 30 days notice that she needed to make other arrangements for her care as I was going to be moving into and living at my own place. I outlined the things I would still be able to do for her, doctor appointments, medication runs and banking so she would know what areas she needed to cover, groceries, housework, laundry etc. The church group has been wonderful in helping me not feel "guilty" about my decision. I'm looking forward to finally getting settled in my place. I've assured my mom I will not move out of state while she's still alive but I am looking forward to have the freedom to travel to where I used to live and visit my one and only grandchild who I found out was on the way 1 month after I moved back to my home town. I've encouraged mom to hire help rather than depend on a neighbor or relative coming over to do something so she can establish a schedule and depend on the person showing up. When I gave mom my "notice" I went over her options, bring help into the home, get a senior assisted living apartment or move out of state and live with my sister. For now she has decided to remain in her home. I hope you'll be able to get the emotional support you need and also have the opportunity to create a living situation that will take some of the constant pressure off you. Good luck.
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Many, many hugs in sympathy. I wrestled and still wrestle with it sometimes. My situation is about like yours. I am with my dad 24/7 because it's more comfortable for him. I understand the strangers in the house, too. My friends mostly evaporated when I quit the social scene. Invitations to visit me at home just weren't interesting enough or, more likely, scared them. A friend gave me a book of daily bible quotations and it helped me to realize that I couldn't change the situation so I'd have to change myself. I look on this life as another chapter, who knows how long, in becoming a fully mature individual. I use the Internet, have redeveloped some hobbies and am generally more at peace with myself. It took time and lots of self-talks to get over the "when am I getting my life back" internal conversation. It takes a lot of will power to do this job; congratulate yourself, and, if you can afford it, hire someone to do the cleaning, etc once in a while. It's a magic lift, and you can spend time with your family member. Good luck and bless you.
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I too was unable to find a caregivers support group..the only things I found were like seminars on lifting a person..etc..not about how do I handle dealing with mom who is argumentative w personality issues..maybe some dementia..this site has been the most helpful..a blessing really! This is a good place to vent and get kind but honest advise...guilt is a big hurdle to get over...can you get out by yourself for awhile? It helps me a lot...even though mom looks hurt when I do it...it's necessary
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I suggest that you speak with your HR Department and ask if you have an Employee Assistance Program or EAP. Many employees have one and are not aware, and most times they offer free referrals and in some cases, even free counselling. EAPs are confidential, too, so the information you provide is not given to your employer.

Absent an EAP, it doesnt sound like you are looking for a group situation, per se, but someone to help you. I was in the same situation a year ago, and through my health insurance, found a LCSW (licensed clinical social worker) who helped me tremendously in putting my feelings and emotions over caregiving into a healthy place again. She didnt specifically work with eldercare issues, but she did work with family issues.

I find this website tremendously helpful as I continue to navigate the waters with my Dad. But reaching out for extra help is a smart idea :) Best of luck to you.
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V, welcome! I would start out by talking to YOUR doctor about you frustration and difficulties. Depending upon where you live, which often determines the availability of qualified mental health professionals, you might get a referral to a counselor or therapist, but it might also be suggested that you try an antidepressant. Give it a shot! While they take several weeks to kick in, they can (and have for me at least, in the past) worked wonders at stabilizing mood and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

You might also, if you haven't already, call your local Area Agency on Aging and find out what resources are available for help with caring for your mother. Sometimes light housekeeping, bath aides and/or sitters can be had if you request.
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Oh my... How I feel your pain! For me, I'm in the UK, I was so very fortunate (in a lot of ways). I brought my dad home from hospital as he wasn't expected to live more than a few weeks, this was 10 months ago! He's 91 this year and is just getting stronger and stronger, now mobilises, does personal care, cooks and cleans.

He told me in no uncertain tones to go back to my own home, I've been back 6 weeks, I invested so much time into making him comfortable. I'm ashamed to say if I'd know he would still be here after all this time, I wouldn't have given my job up or semi cut links with family and friends. The support I got from the community and NHS services was exemplary. There was counselling laid on especially for carers, it was a service sanctioned through dad's GP. It was marvellous and I think I'd honestly done something awful to either my dad, his 84 yr old girlfriend who never lifted a finger or to myself.

I have no job now, I'm depressed and I know that most carers will know this 'place'. Please take care of yourself first and foremost. Xx
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If you like to write, then one option is to start a journal, either in a notebook or on your computer. Make sure to protect your privacy, either by hiding your notebook or hiding your document on your computer.
It does not matter if it is not written perfectly, the point is to get your feelings out of your head. I have used a diary and it help me dispel my anger around a work situation.
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I started caring for my dad and mom 8 years ago. Dad passed away 6 years ago and mom moved in with me. First mistake, I should have made her comfortable at a assistant apartment and resumed with my life. It's been 8 years since I have had any time for me. Mom don't go anywhere and don't want me too. I've been single for years and met someone 4 months ago whom she knows nothing about. She's going to be ugly as I know she wants total control. Cared to bring him home or even let her know of him because she will be ugly with her mouth and ruin the happiness I'm feeling. I want my life back. Mom is narsisstic and yes I have family but no help.
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