nlh240 Asked March 2016

How do you deal with emotional burnout guilt?

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My mom has severe dementia at just age 69. Her body is healthy but she is totally out of her mind. She wanders all day, gets paranoid, and is often violent and aggressive. Caring for her is 24/7 job. You have to follow her all day to keep her out of trouble. She'll poo in the middle of the floor or try to drink bathroom cleaner or turn the gas stove on and burn herself. Etc,etc--you can never freaking let her out of your sight, and for reward she just hits and punches us all day. I'm so burned out and tired. I also have 3 kids who need me. Right now she's in a psych hospital to get her meds under control, and I swear she's not coming home. She is going to a nursing home. I just can't take her anymore! I feel horrible guilt over this but I really need to get my own mental health back and focus on my kids. How do you deal with guilt?

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Eyerishlass Mar 2016
From your description it sounds like your mom needs way more care than you can provide from nurses and aides who aren't burned out all the time caring for her. Choosing to put your mom in a nursing home is a good decision. She needs a higher level of care than you can provide and you recognize that. By making that decision you are caring for her and doing what's best for her. She's not safe at home and it isn't realistic that you have to follow her around 24/7. She needs a memory care unit and you are seeing that she gets what she needs. That's what a caregiver does.

I know by my saying don't feel guilty your guilt will go away but I really hope you work on not feeling guilty. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Your kids don't need to be around her in the state she's in and it must be almost impossible to care for 3 kids and your mom too.

Please try to stop feeling guilty. You're doing the right thing.
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Instead of a nursing home can you get her into a dementia care facility? They can do wonderful things that someone who isn't trained in dementia care can't do. It will be better for both of you. It's just not humanly possible for someone to take care of a severe Alzheimer's patient at home. You shouldn't feel guilty.
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Mincemeat Mar 2016
Your children and marriage if applicable are your first priority. Do you really want those sweet kids memories of growing up with that level of drama and stress? No. I would have given anything if I would have done things differently....do not weaken. She needs professional care.
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Midkid58 Mar 2016
For the sake of your sanity and the SAFETY of your children, your mom needs to be somewhere else. Think of it as protecting your kiddoes. She's no longer the mom you once knew. When you can get over grieving that, you can hopefully accept that she is better off not living with you.

We do feel guilty when we can't meet every need, spoken or unspoken by our loved ones. It's very hard to say "no" and it's very hard to not feel guilt, if you are at heart, a caring person.

It gets better.
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NCMary listen hun good caregiving is about knowing when enough is enough and you are there. There is no need to feel guilt simply because very few are actually trained to deal with this level of dementia. I think most of us wing it until we see that we are actually not doing Mum any good by continuing.....trouble is we should be stopping when we see that WE are not so good either. You are absolutely right to put your Mum into professional care if you no longer feel able to cope and I applaud you for being so honest. In the words of Nike Just do it xxxx
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nlh240 Mar 2016
Thanks everyone for your kind answes. I could not get through this without you.
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assandache7 Mar 2016
I agree with Eyerishlass.. Tell the hospital you can't take her home..
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Sorry pressed post too soon. Caring is about ensuring and monitoring that your Mum gets good care it is not for you to give the care but to ensure she gets it
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JessieBelle Mar 2016
Ncmary, I think that putting her in memory care is best for her, you, and your family. They can keep her out of danger there. Your children will be able to lead normal lives again. You've been a trooper, but it is time to turn her care over to the experts. Something you can do that will be a big help is to spend the time that she is in the hospital finding a good memory care facility and arranging for the finances. If she doesn't have a lot of money, you can start the Medicaid application for her. I hope that it gets easier for you soon. I know what you've been going through is torture. We want them so much to return to how it was, but it won't. All we can do is find them a good facility.
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There is no real guilt, because the truth is you will be doing her a favor!
One that will benefit you and your family all around.
There are professional to deal with this level of aggressiveness.
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